Most government agencies under the executive department have low compliance with the creation and validation of the Freedom of Information manuals despite the Duterte administration’s push for greater transparency, data from the Presidential Communications Operations Office showed Thursday.
Only 150 of the 195 national government agencies, or 76.92 percent have so far complied with a recent memorandum circular by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Harmonization of National Government Performance Monitoring, Information and Reporting Systems or Task Force AO No. 25, for agencies to upload their Freedom of Information People’s Manuals to their respective Transparency Seal pages and validate them before the PCOO.
Only 53 out of the 142 government owned and controlled corporations have so far complied with the MC as of Aug. 31 while only four out of the 113 state universities and colleges have submitted their FOI manuals.
Under President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order No. 2—all executive departments, agencies, bureaus, and offices to make public records, contracts, transactions and any information requested by a member of the public, except for matters affecting national security. John Paolo Bencito
Communications Assistant Secretary Michael Kristian Ablan, who was assigned as chief decision maker for FOI related transactions, reminded government agencies that they still have one month, or until October 1 to comply with the uploading of their FOI Manuals before the validation for their eligibility for the Performance-Based Bonus (PBB) starts.
The move is part of a new requirement under the 2017 guidelines for the criteria and conditions for the grant of the PBB.
“Each agency shall send a letter to the PCOO requesting for a validation of their compliance. Once confirmed, the PCOO will then issue a Compliance Certificate signed by the FOI Program Director. This certificate will serve as the official document that will be submitted to the Task Force AO 25,” Ablan said.