Enrile to support FOI bill as long as it is ‘POGI’

SENATE President Juan Ponce Enrile said that he will give full support for the passage of Freedom of Information (FOI) as long as it is “POGI.”

“I will support his Bill lalo na kung POGI,” Enrile said in an interview before the session begun on Wednesday.

Enrile is referring to the People’s Ownership of Government Information (POGI) also known as the Freedom of Information Act (FOI), filed by Senator Gregorio Honasan as counterpart measure from the bill filed by Quezon Rep, Erin Tañada in the House of the Representatives.

Enrile also said that the Senate can pass the FOI bill or POGI bill which was earlier passed in the committee level and under deliberation at the plenary in the lower house.

“We passed it before. I think we can pass it again,” Enrile said.

However, the Senate chief said he has no problem with the Right of Reply being initiated by some lawmakers in the House.

“Ako, I have no problem with the Right of reply? Hindi na kailangan sa akin yun, sanay naman ako na bubugbugin ng lahat ng tao. I survived,” Enrile said.

Earlier, Honasan, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media, said that the Senate is ready to fast-track the FOI Bill and work with the House of Representatives to ensure that it will soon become a law.

“At the Senate, we will continue working with all the members of the Chamber to hasten and complete the passage of the People’s Ownership of Government Information (POGI) also known as the Freedom of Information Act (FOI),” Honasan said on Tuesday.

At the House, the committee chaired by Tañada was able to convince panel members to approve the committee report on the FOI bill and send it to the floor for plenary debates.

Honasan likewise praised advocates of the FOI bill for their “relentless efforts” in campaigning for the passage of the proposed measure.

“We also congratulate the Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition and all other champions fo the FOI whose untiring and relentless efforts have won us this victory,” Honasan concluded.

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