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Parañaque City Mayor Florencio Bernabe, Jr. (second from left) is awarded a water-themed painting by Artist Ivan Acuña; the MWSI Special Partnership Award; and a plaque of recognition from Maynilad officials (from left) President and CEO Victorico P. Vargas, Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chief Operations Officer Herbert M. Consunji and Chief Finance Officer Randolph T. Estrellado during the 5th Anniversary Celebrations of the Maynilad Water Services Inc. which was held recently at the SM Mall of Asia. The Special Partnership Award was given in recognition of the contribution of the Parañaque City Government and Mayor Jun Bernabe for the continued expansion of MWSI water services in the city. (Photo By: Jun Budlat)
National Capital Region

PIA Press Release
Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Palace okays passage of FOI bill

by Domingo B. Natividad V

QUEZON CITY, Jan 4 (PIA) -- Malacanang announced on Wednesday its support for the passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill with President Benigno S. Aquino III giving the “push forward” signal.

In a press conference, Presidential Communications Strategy Undersecretary Manuel L. Quezon III said that the present administration is supporting the FOI bill will, “make mandatory disclosure of a lot of information” with consideration to legitimate exceptions.

Quezon described these information as those, “you already begun to see being put up after, specifically, in terms of what media is most interested in for their stories.”

Also, this FOI version stipulates that, once in place, “every agency is required to post online the SALNs (Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth) of its leading officials.”

When sought to specify the legitimate exceptions, Quezon said these include those already recognized by the law and jurisprudence. He said exempted information are those that would harm the ability of the state – such as in protecting peace and order or relations with other countries – and the freedom of the President, as chief executive, to have the widest consultations in the freest debates within his official family.

But Quezon made it clear that this FOI exceptions will not serve “as means of covering up, excusing, hiding a crime.” If the law compels the production of that information because of a crime, then, it must produce, he said.(RJB/ DBNV-PIA NCR)

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