I don't mean to be hipster about it but all the talk about Freedom of Information Bill is so mainstream. Never knew it would gain this much traction. I have a draft of the said bill from 2012 that I found to be unsatisfactory where the administration imposes clauses that restrict freedom and transparency instead of enhancing it.

New Players Advocate FOI

Here are some of my "throw back thursday" posts regarding the matter:

1. My GMA 7 YouScoop Video on SONA

2. President Noynoy Aquino 2012 SONA (State of the Nation Adress) Poll (on this 2012 online poll, almost no one cared about FOI)

3. Freedom of Information Bill in the Philippines

So we must be careful when they try to make the bill very long and complex with a lot of flowery legal jargons that might just end up protecting bureaucrats and politicians from citizens when it should be the other way around.

I've also been hearing in the news that a lot of digitalization of public documents and utilization of social media are being pushed to be part of the bill. It is inevitable that technology will eventually change the way we think about the role of government.

(See also Public Service Through Social Media)

This is, perhaps, the "political timing" that the administration has been referring to (as mentioned by MLQ3 on one of my #tbt posts above). It does look bad, in a way, that people are, including the administration, joining the bandwagon of making government transparent in timing with the recent exposes and scandals regarding PDAF. This, of course, protects them and makes them look good.

Regardless, the fact that it is in the realm of mainstream discussion is a step in the right direction. It doesn't matter how the bill turns out. What matters is that the people want to take back concept that the government rules only under the consent of the governed and that they should always only be our servants and never our master.

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