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Lawmaker vows to reintroduce FOI bill

MANILA, Philippines - Re-elected Ifugao Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat yesterday said he would reintroduce and push for the approval of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill in the incoming 16th Congress.

“We should make FOI a priority in the next Congress as it is crucial in strengthening the tuwid na daan (straight path) advocacy. It is crucial in the administration’s campaign against graft and corruption,” he said.

Baguilat, a member of the ruling Liberal Party, said with more party members winning seats in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, major reform bills such as the FOI would have a greater chance of approval.

“The FOI bill seeks to make it easier for people and the media to access public documents, especially those related to bidding of government projects as well as expenditures. This way, there will be greater transparency in government affairs and the way taxpayers’ money is spent,” he said.

Baguilat added the eventual enactment of a law on freedom of information should be part of the administration’s good governance legacy.

The Ifugao lawmaker also vowed to work for the approval of other reform bills that the outgoing Congress failed to pass.

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These include the proposed National Land Use Act, the alternative mining bill, anti-discrimination bill, forest management bill, and the draft Maritime Code.

Baguilat said he would also pursue autonomy for the Cordillera region, which includes his province. – With Artemio Dumlao

                                                                    

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