In a bid to achieve and sustain affordable and adequate food supply, former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo is batting for the full public disclosure of all government transactions involving food and basic commodities.
Arroyo, who is Deputy Speaker, said pushing for transparency in food information through House Bill No. 4141 helps protect peoples’ right to affordable food.
“The people have the right to know the factors that influence food supply and prices. Access to official information, records, documents and papers pertaining to official acts, processes, transactions and decisions by the government as well as government research and data, relative to food and food security could help ensure transparency and accountability,” she said.
“Transparency on all information on food and food security would help prevent collusion and cartel, serve as a check against over-importation of basic commodities such as rice and corn, and aid in the collection of tariffs per metric ton,”Arroyo’s measure read.
Called the Affordable Food Transparency Act of 2016, the bill would mandate all government agencies engaged in ensuring adequate food supply, such as the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Agriculture and the National Food Authority, to disclose all their transactions involving food and basic commodities.
Exempted from the bill are pieces of information considered classified in the interest of national security as well as those maintained by the Department of Foreign Affairs on another sovereign state.