San Nicolas, first municipality in PH to pass, adopt FOI law; VM Valdez accepts recognition

MANILA – Municipal Vice-Mayor Edistio P. Valdez received the plaque of recognition of the municipality of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte for being the first municipality in the country to pass and adopt a Freedom of Information (FOI) Ordinance on Wednesday, November 28.

The plaque was given by Secretary Jose Ruperto Martin M. Andanar of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) during the 2018 FOI Awards held at the National Museum of Fine Arts with the theme, “Empowering Citizens Through an Effective Freedom of Information Program.”

“Through this Ordinance, we are adopting the Executive Order No. 2, Series of 2016, of the President,” VM Valdez said in a statement. “Actually, they have been convincing all Local Government Units (LGUs) and all department agencies of the government to adopt the FOI Bill. We are being transparent [so] all programs and activities that are being done in our respective offices are announced to the public,” he added.

According to PCOO, eight (8) LGUs have issued their own FOI Ordinances to date. A total of 190 National Government Agencies (NGAs), 102 Government-Owned and/or -Controlled Corporations (GOCCs), 103 State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), 197 Local Water Districts (LWDs), and 4 agencies outside the Executive Branch have complied in submitting their respective FOI Manuals.

The FOI Awards is an annual celebration dedicated to FOI partners, program implementors, and stakeholders that contributed to the Program’s achievements. – Rod Jerick R. Ribao