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Capitol enforces stricter rules in release of docs

Michael Vencynth H. Braga/JMO (The Freeman) - November 17, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Provincial Information Office has made it clear that the memorandum on the release and access to official and public documents issued by the Cebu provincial government to its departments is not a gag order.

Provincial Information Officer Ethel Natera said the directive was only made to keep track of those who obtain and request copies of the official records of Capitol.

This was confirmed by some Capitol reporters who tried to ask for copies of some documents from the Provincial Budget Office and Provincial Agriculture Office yesterday, but to no avail.

The reporters were following up a story but the department heads refused to release them pending a written request.

Provincial Agriculturist Roldan Saragena said he respects the directive.

Provincial Budget Officer Danilo Rodas, on the other hand, said his office will remain transparent but he still has to adhere to the order.

It was on November 9 this year when the Provincial Administrator issued the memorandum reminding the Capitol employees of an old memorandum issued on August 31, 2010.

According to the memo, its purpose is for “effective control and monitoring of action taken on every request for information or access to official records, including production of copies thereof.”

Before obtaining or getting access to the records, one has to submit a written request stating the purpose of the action. A clearance and a written approval from the department head concerned will also be required.

“Please be reminded that non-compliance to these set of procedures will be subject to disciplinary action following the required due process,” the new memorandum reads.

The new directive came amidst issues including the P80 million consultancy projects, which were questioned by lawyer Winston Garcia who will be running against Davide in the 2016 gubernatorial race, and the P250-million contract for the supply of heavy equipment, which was awarded to the highest bidder. — (FREEMAN)

ACIRC CEBU MEMORANDUM PROVINCIAL PROVINCIAL ADMINISTRATOR PROVINCIAL AGRICULTURIST ROLDAN SARAGENA PROVINCIAL BUDGET OFFICE AND PROVINCIAL AGRICULTURE OFFICE PROVINCIAL BUDGET OFFICER DANILO RODAS PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICER ETHEL NATERA WINSTON GARCIA
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