President Rodrigo Duterte has designated the Department of Justice and the Office of Solicitor General as chairpersons to create the new inter-agency Freedom of Information Policy Committee.
Under Memorandum Circular No. 49, the two agencies are tasked to review the inventory of exceptions to the FOI executive order in the executive branch issued more than two years ago.
He also tasked the policy committee to periodically update the list of FOI exceptions “to properly reflect any change in existing laws and jurisprudence.”
The committee’s members are representatives from the Presidential Communications Operations Office, Office of the Government Corporate Counsel, and the National Privacy Commission.
“The duly authorized representatives of the member-agencies of the IA-FOI-EPC should be senior officials, each with a rank not lower than Assistant representative or its equivalent,” the memorandum said.
“Further, member-agencies shall designate an alternate representative with the same qualifications. The IA-FOI-EPC shall meet regularly at least once every six months, or as often as necessary upon the order of either of the chairpersons,” it added.
In July 2016, the President signed Executive Order No. 2 adopting and implementing a policy of “full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest, subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law.”