Friday, February 1, 2013

Freedom of Information Bill at House of Representatives

The much-awaited deliberations on the Freedom of Information Bill at the House of Representatives never materialized Tuesday as session was abruptly suspended till Wednesday afternoon due indirectly to a lack of quorum.

With the bill's principal authors eagerly expecting the sponsorship of the FOI bill at the plenary – which would have formally opened deliberations on the landmark legislation – sessions were suddenly suspended due to an issue that has nothing to do with the FOI bill.

It started when Davao del Sur Rep. Marc Douglas Cagas opposed the reading of a motion referring Republic Act 10360, which created the Province of Davao Occidental, formerly Davao del Sur, to the House archives.

Cagas had opposed the move and questioned the presence of a quorum to stop the proceedings.

As it turned out, there were only 114 of the 287 House members present.

Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tañada said that they were saddened with the turn of events and found it "absurd" that a parochial issue had hijacked a bill of national importance.

"It does not look good for the whole House of Representatives if we can not even push the FOI to its logical conclusion," Tañada rued.

He said that he and other principal authors of the FOI Bill had tried to talk to Cagas so that he would give way for the sponsorship of House Bill 6766 to no avail.

No comments: