MANILA – The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) officially released the results of the 2019 Functional Literacy, Education and Mass Media Survey (FLEMMS) rider questions on access to information.
In an effort to institutionalize access to information in the country, the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), through the Freedom of Information Project Management Office (FOI-PMO), initiated a partnership with PSA in 2018 to include FOI-related questions in the 2019 FLEMMS.
“The data results are really valuable to us [FOI PMO] as these reveal public awareness about FOI, and help us plan and recalibrate our efforts on how we conduct our information, education, and communication (IEC) efforts, and other capacity-building and outreach activities,” PCOO Undersecretary and FOI Program Director Kris Ablan said in a media release on Friday.
The FOI rider questions aim to provide baseline data on the knowledge, experience, and interest of Filipinos in requesting government information. Demand for sector-specific data as well as the channels through which Filipino households prefer to request and receive information was also identified in the survey.
Key findings from the rider questions based on the results generated from the responses of 25,478,786 estimated number of households were the following:
● 59 percent are aware of their right to access government information under the 1987 Philippine Constitution.
● Documents, records, data, and reports are the types of government information most requested by Filipinos.
● Information on social services and subsidies, education, and health were the most requested categories of information.
● In terms of Filipinos’ preferred channel or means to request information, 44% still preferred office visits, and 27 percent utilized the Electronic FOI (eFOI) Portal through http://www.foi.gov.ph.
● 27.89 percent of Filipinos plan to request government information in the future; and their interests include health, social services, education, and financial services.
“The results are insightful and fascinating. I am surprised that the majority of Filipinos would still want to physically go to the office since our thrust has always been to encourage them to ask online. We are grateful to the PSA for including the rider questions in the survey, and for unpacking the data for us,” Ablan said.
The PSA’s FLEMMS is a nationwide household-based survey conducted every five years since 1989 by virtue of Executive Order 352. The 2019 survey is considered the sixth in the series of functional literacy surveys following its last round in 2013.
Full details of the results of the FOI rider questions can be accessed via foi.gov.ph. (PNA)