Andanar: FOI Makes Gov’t Work Accessible For Scrutiny

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Tuesday highlighted the importance of President Rodrigo Duterte’s executive order on Freedom of Information (FOI) in making government work accessible for public scrutiny.

“Through this FOI, the work of government becomes properly accessible, transparent for scrutiny, and relevant for informative needs,” Andanar said in his speech during the first regional town hall meeting under the Dagyaw 2019: Open Government and Participatory Governance Regional Dialogues held at the Bren Guiao Convention Center here.

The FOI program is a government mechanism that allows Filipino citizens to request any information about government transaction, enabled via Executive Order No. 2 which President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed in 2016.

“In this manner, government becomes as large and as important as the nation by acquiring a dimension that is profoundly and wonderfully of the people, by the people, and for the people,” Andanar said.

He also stressed the significance of organizing the activity like the Dagyaw 2019 as it provides platform for the department heads to clarify specific government programs that affect the local communities.

“This is participatory democracy in real action, where the seated spectators are the people themselves: all of you. You can confront the top officials of the line agencies in a constructively critical conversation for the public services that you, the people, expect to be delivered,” Andanar said.

Participants in Region III raised concerns in areas that need support in infrastructure and agriculture.

Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary Ariel Cayanan, Department of Health (DoH) Regional Director Cesar Cassion, and Department of Public Works and Highways Regional Assistant Director Loreta Malaluan were present to discuss the government’s willingness to address issues during the Dagyaw 2019 organized by the PCOO, Department of Budget and Management, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Moreover, Andanar assured the participants of Duterte’s strong political will to carry out high-impact reforms that support the Philippines’ sustainable economic development.

“The strength of his leadership continues to promote the growth of the country in every aspect,” he said.

PCOO is set to organize the same open government dialogues in all regions in the weeks to come.

The word “Dagyaw” is a Hiligaynon term for “Bayanihan,” which exemplifies the concept of “togetherness.” It is envisioned to be one of the main government campaigns that will provide avenues for productive, valuable, sincere, and visible engagement between government and the people at the local level.

“This is participatory democracy in action, where the seated spectators are the people themselves, all of you,” Andanar told the town hall meeting participants.

“You can confront the top officials of the line agencies in a constructively critical conversation for the public services that you, the people, expect to be delivered. The bureaucratic web of problems and glitches can expeditiously evaporate, with dialogue, and direct resolutions,” he added. (PNA)

Photo Credit: facebook.com/pcoogov

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