The public is now ensured of better access to official records and documents in the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) since the Department has been certified as Freedom of Information (FOI) compliant by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).
DILG Assistant Secretary and FOI Focal Person Epimaco Densing III said the recognition is a testament to the Department’s commitment to the public to be transparent in all its undertakings.
“The Department understands that corruption can be lessened if the people can freely and easily access information on matters of public concern, hence, we strived hard for the DILG to become FOI-compliant,” Densing says.
The DILG Assistant Secretary says that FOI is one of the tools to effectively lessen corruption at all levels of the government. Hence, for the FOI to be more effective, he says it has to be cascaded down to the grassroots as corruption is worst in the level of the local government units (LGUs).
“As part of our anti-corruption program this year, the Department will require our LGUs to pass FOI ordinances for public transparency in local governance,” he stresses.
The Department has already completed its FOI manual and uploaded the same to the DILG website for the public to see.
To be considered FOI compliant, government agencies are required to upload their corresponding FOI manuals in their websites through the “transparency seal”. The publication of the manual is considered as one of the criteria for good governance conditions aligned with empowering citizens with access to government information.
Executive Order No. 2, Series of 2016 signed by Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte mandates all government offices under the Executive Branch, national government and all its offices, departments, bureaus, offices, and instrumentalities including government owned or controlled corporations (GOCC), statement universities and colleges, and local government units are encouraged to observe full disclosure and transparency in the public service.
Said E.O. provides that every Filipino shall have access to information, official records, public records and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development.
Aside from the DILG, 380 other state agencies have complied with the FOI order. Of the 380 agencies, 160 are national government agencies, 79 are government-owned-and/or-controlled corporations, 19 are state universities and colleges, and 123 are local water districts.
For step-by-step and complete information about the DILG FOI manual, visit http://dilg.gov.ph/PDF_File/reports_resources/dilg-reports-resources-201765_e1df4a82fa.pdf.