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Press

Release 01 July 2013 Quezon City

Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition files the Peoples FOI Bill
Members of the Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition (R2KRN) will file the peoples version of the Freedom of th Information (FOI) bill today the beginning of the 16 Congress. Dubbed as the Peoples Freedom of Information Bill, the proposed legislation will be filed through the constitutional provision known as indirect initiative, a mechanism that allows citizens to formally petition Congress to enact national laws. Using the indirect initiative to file the FOI is a mandate under the Philippine Constitution given life through Republic Act 6735. It allows the people to directly file a bill in the Congress, noted Nepo Malaluan, lead convener of the Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition and Co-Director of the Institute for Freedom of Information (IFOI). We are invoking this right to send a strong message that the Filipinos want this bill passed into law. The past four congresses have failed the people as far as FOI legislation is concerned, Malaluan said further. Section 11 of Republic Act 6735 or the Initiative and Referendum Act, empowers any duly accredited peoples organization to file a petition for indirect initiative with the House of Representatives and other legislative bodies. It further provides that an initiative bill shall have precedence over other legislative measures pending before a committee. Members of the R2KRN Coalition started lining up in Congress with lawmakers on Sunday, June 30, to submit the Peoples FOI bill, in time for the opening of filing on July 1, at eight oclock in the morning. The group hopes that the th Peoples FOI bill will be among the first bills filed in the 16 Congress. th Were doing this, foremost, to stress that the FOI Bill should be among the top priorities of the 16 Congress. We hope that it gets stamped as House Bill 001 to emphasize the urgency and importance of the legislation, declared Vincent Lazatin, co-convener of R2KRN and executive director of the Transparency and Accountability Netwok (TAN). The R2KRN Coalition is made up of peoples organizations, academics, and civil society groups that advocate for the passage of the FOI, which once legislated, will be a law that will ensure the effective operation and practice of the

people's right to information and the declared state policy for full disclosure of all transactions involving public interest.
Aside from IFOI and TAN, other members of the R2KRN Coalition that filed the Peoples FOI Bill as co-petitioners are Action for Economic Reforms, Aksyong Kabayanihan Para Sa Organisadong Pagbabago (Angkop), Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), Ang Kapatiran Party, Caucus of Development NGO Networks (Code-NGO), Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), Filipino Migrant Workers Group (FMWG), Focus on the Global South - Philippines, FOI Youth Initiative (FYI), National Union of Journalists of The Philippines (NUJP), Peace Women Partners, Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA), Philippine Center For Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM), Prudentialife Warriors Pilipinas, Public Services Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK), and Social Watch Philippines. More members of the Coalition are set to join as co-petitioners when they file the counterpart petition in the Senate. For more information contact: Nepo Malaluan: 0918 927 1501 Vincent Lazatin: 0922 865 1228 Reylynne dela Paz: 0915 408 2675