File photo of then PNP chief and now Partido Reporma senatorial bet Guillermo Eleazar during a hearing at the Senate (Photo courtesy by Rappler)
By Tracy Cabrera
MANILA — According to senatorial aspirant Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, he believes a separate bill on freedom of information (FOI) should be passed in order for the public to be assured that they have all the access they need in acquiring records, data, and other pertinent documents to ensure transparency in government transactions.
An Executive Order (EO) on FOI had actually been issued by President Rodrigo Duterte during the early days of his presidency but this was only to ensure transparency in transactions in all offices under the executive branch of the government.
To broaden its scope, however, a bill has been proposed in both houses of Congress and in this, the former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief and Partido Reporma candidate has expressed his all-out support for the said bill, which has been sought for a long time to guarantee transparency in all government agencies.
According to Eleazar, the enactment of legislation in this concern would help efforts to eliminate graft and corruption not only in government but the private sector as well as it would render all transactions open to scrutiny by the concerned public.
“Kung transparency ang pag-uusapan especially on how the people’s money is spent, ideally wala na dapat batas ito dahil it is the obligation of every public servant na maging tapat because this is in line with our oath of office and our Constitution not to betray public trust. So I really appreciate iyong ating mga public officials that even before there President Duterte’s executive order on FOI, they have been doing this voluntarily,” he pointed out.
“Since there are still some who do not stick to this inherent principle in public service, then we need to strengthen transparency and accountability on this matter in order to compel them to do so, except of course if there are issues involving national security,” he added in conclusion. (ai/mtvn)