PCOO encourages LGUs to institutionalize and localize freedom of information thru an ordinance.
The 2-day Transparency Caravan gathered 600 attendees from academe, LGUs, civil society organizations and other sectors.
The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Transparency Caravan conquered the Province of Guimaras.
About 600 students, teachers and representatives from different sectors in the province, national government agencies, civil society organizations participated in the two-day event at the Guimaras State College in Mclain, Buenavista Guimaras on February 12-13, 2020.
PCOO Freedom of Information (FOI) Project Management Office Chief for Policy Planning and Support Division Atty. Tristan E. De Guzman discussed FOI as a tool to uphold transparency in public governance.
He emphasized that transparency in the government should be institutionalized through the passing of the ordinance in the local government units (LGUs).
“Kasama ang DILG, ini-encourage po namin ang lahat na LGU na i-localize po sa kanilang area ang FOI,” De Guzman said.
De Guzman added that the most important benefit of FOI to the people is the information that is instrumental for the development of the community.
Meanwhile, representatives from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) talked about “Project Dime”, a program developed by the agency together with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) that aims to monitor the status and speed of implementation of government projects.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) discussed about “Development LIVE”, a mobile application developed by the agency and the United Nations Development Program to encourage people to give feedback on the local infrastructure projects of the government.
These initiative of the government maximizing technology is an avenue to mobilize citizens’ participation through various platforms that is crucial in preserving transparency in public governance.
Governor Samuel T. Gumarin in his message underlined that transparency is the hallmark of an open government.
“Transparency is the hallmark of an open government where the public has access to government-held information and be informed of government proceedings. Access to information is the basic requirement for the public’s participation in governance,” Gumarin said.
Gumarin bared the initiative of the Provincial Government of Guimaras (PGG) to localize FOI with the 9th Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the province having conducted the first committee hearing for the proposed ordinance.
The PGG has also created the Guimaras Information Network as the lead core to operationalize the localization of FOI in the island.
“This initiative will ensure the free flow of information and ideas that is the very notion of democracy and is crucial in achieving the mission of the Province of Guimaras to improve the quality of life of the Guimarasnons through responsive and participatory governance,” he added.
Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Region 6 OIC-Regional Head Ms. Jemin B. Guillermo said that satisfying the public’s hunger for access to information is a huge challenge for the government that led to the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte to push for the Freedom of Information.
Guillermo said that FOI will generate peoples’ participation that is the only way to achieve good governance.
“Isa ka dako nga panghangkat sa gobyerno nga ma-satisfy ang cravings or ang kagustuhan, ang kauhaw sang mga pumuluyo to have access to information and for the government to be transparent in all its transactions. But it is a reality that despite the efforts being done by the government, there are still people who are not contented. These discontentment ang negative feedbacks led the government to push through with the Freedom of Information. This is because the government wanted to be transparent to its people.
“Good governance can only be achieved if there is active peoples’ participation. Above all, responsibiolity, honesty and accountability is a must to be embrace by everyone. Kun gusto naton ang pagbag-o, it mus start from ourselves,” Guillermo said.