Please Pass the Freedom of Information Bill NOW
His Excellency Benigno Simeon Aquino III President of the Republic of the Philippines Malacanan Palace Manila, Philippines
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Honorable FELICIANO R. BELMONTE, JR. Speaker House of Representatives Quezon City
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Representative Members House of Representatives Republic of the Philippines Quezon City . Email address:firstname.lastname@example.org
This petition is to respectfully request President Benigno S. Aquino III to certify as urgent the Senate-approved Freedom of Information (FOI) bill, just as he did with the Sin Tax and Reproductive Health bills and for Congress to pass a Freedom of Information Act before adjourning on Feb. 9, 2013.
We believe that Freedom of Information is of national importance and significance so that we plead our president not to be a mere observer but rather act proactively to strongly support the passage of the FOI bill. Your submission of your administration’s version of the FOI Bill is a positive step, but we need your strong endorsement for its passage. Freedom of information will be a strong tool in the fight against corruption in government which has been estimated to cause the loss of 20% of our national budget; your certifying the FOI bill as urgent will be a strong testament to your political will and sincere commitment in adhering to your policy of government transparency and accountability in the “daang matuwid” and your battle cry of “kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.”
Furthermore, we believe that Congress already had ample time to discuss and go through the process of approving an FOI bill for the past two decades since the bill was first filed in 1992 by then Pangasinan Rep. Oscar Orbos. Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr was quoted as saying “the House will try to approve the proposed FOI legislation next month” and that he is “personally in favor of this bill.” We therefore request that the passage of a Freedom of Information Act be added to the accomplishment of this present Congress which included the impeachment of former Chief Justice Corona and the passage of the Sin Tax and the Reproductive Health bills.
It has been reported that the passage of the FOI bill has the unwavering support of the major sectors - farmers, fisherfolk, overseas workers, entrepreneurs, businessmen, academe, and the media. Support by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines as well as the Right to Know Right Now Coalition have been reported nationally. We join all of these in calling for the immediate passage of the Freedom of Information Act.
Respectfully submitted through an Online Petition to be posted by Gregorio T. Mariano, Jr., M.D., a Fil/Am dual citizen and to be electronically signed by Filipinos all over the world.
Gregorio T. Mariano, Jr., M.D. Fil/Am Dual Citizen Hollidaysburg, PA