PICC, Pasay City
June 19, 2023
“The Philippines stands in solidarity with the ICIC and the entire international community in this advocacy. As a nation with a robust democracy, we reaffirm our commitment to champion this basic human right. It remains indelibly etched in our fundamental law,” emphasized President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. when he keynoted the 14th Edition of the International Conference of Information Commissioners (ICIC) at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.
The ICIC is a network of information commissioners and ombudsmen from across the globe who meet regularly to discuss topical issues related to the protection and promotion of the right to public information. The Philippines’ hosting this year, spearheaded by the Freedom of Information – Project Management Office (FOI-PMO) under the Presidential Communications Office (PCO), is the first in Southeast Asia.
“We value its potency to empower our people to make informed decisions, to participate fully in our democratic processes and hold their representatives accountable without fear or apprehension,” he added.
Pursuant to Executive Order No. 2, s. 2016, the FOI-PMO is mandated to monitor and capacitate government agencies and the general public on the FOI Program and the use of the Electronic FOI (eFOI) portal via www.foi.gov.ph. The President underscored that the government is pressing forward in its efforts to promote the people’s rights to information and good governance, and placed these principles at the core of the Philippine Development Plan for the next six years.
He shared that the Administration is working with the legislative branch for the enactment of an E-Governance Law to streamline and digitalize key services of national government offices and local government units (LGUs) for ease of access, apart from the FOI Program’s relentless campaign against misinformation and disinformation in the Philippines.
The Program is also set to undertake a digital, multi-media and youth-oriented Media and Information Literacy Campaign.
“Our people can be assured of the continued implementation of the FOI Program in the Executive Branch, through the Presidential Communications Office… Undeniably, this is to our best interest as a nation. It is key to our pursuit of good governance, improved public service, and a more progressive and sustainable society,” he added.
“Beyond this event, the ICIC can be assured that the Philippines will continue to promote Freedom of Information. With a whole-of-nation approach, we will strive to maintain a government that is not only effective and efficient, but also transparent and accountable to our people,” President Marcos Jr. ended in his message.
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