FOI CHAMPION. Secretary Jose Ruperto Martin M. Andanar (2nd from left) leads the signing of Memorandum of Understanding with the Bicol State College of Applied Sciences and Technology (BISCAST), Monday, March 25, in Naga City. Looking on are BISCAST OIC Dr. Isidro R. Bola (leftmost), PCOO Asst. Secretary and FOI Philippines Program Director Atty. Kristian Ablan (2nd from right), and PTFoMs Executive Director USEC Joel Sy Egco (right). JRMadrid-PIAV/Camarines Sur
NAGA CITY --- In one of the unparalleled efforts of the government to ensure that information reaches even the smallest unit of the community and is ushered via a credible partner, the Freedom of Information Management Office (FOI-IMO) of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) represented by no less than Secretary Jose Ruperto Martin M. Andanar inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Bicol State College of Applied Sciences and Technology (BISCAST) last Monday, here.
The momentous signing is one of the highlights of the 2019 PCOO Roadshow held at the ETC Hall, BISCAST and was witnessed by BISCAST officials headed by Dr. Isidro R. Bola, who represented BISCAST President Richard Cordial.
The college president has an equally significant event with the presidents of universities and colleges from Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia Thailand and the Philippines for a MOA signing during the 5th Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Polytechnic Network Meeting in Malaysia.
Sec. Andanar expressed appreciation for the partnership and the commitment extended by BISCAST to implement the FOI program in the said school, as the government continues its efforts in fostering a nation engaged in furthering transparency and disseminating government information within the academic community.
“For the first time, public records of the government can now be properly accessed because of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order on the Freedom of Information. To date our communications office has obtained the following percentages of submitted manuals as guides for the process of obtaining information: 100% compliance from the national government agencies, 92 % from State Universities and Colleges, 88 % from GOCCs and 38 percent from local water districts,” Andanar emphasized.
The PCOO official further said that these statistics only show that the government is “open for examination by the public, the people become the primary participants in checking the misuse of funds because the FOI EO we have likewise opened the direct communication highway for people to government discourse.”
The MOU will materialize the dissemination and utilization of the FOI program in the tertiary schools for academic and scholarly purposes. It also endeavors to educate the learners on the standard and electronic means of accessing government information through the FOI program.
The MOA is also a manifestation of the government to inform campuses all over the Philippines that they have the right to access information on matters of public-concern as enshrined in the 1987 constitution. -LSMacatangay-PIAV/Camarines Sur