Many sectors of our society are pushing for the Freedom of Information Bill. The FOI Bill basically aims to either give information to the people (active) or allow information access to citizens (passive). One of the basic driving forces behind it is that it is a right given by the Constitution. Information must be given to citizens because we are in a democracy. The theory behind this is that the people should be in the know in order to be empowered and to act accordingly.
Of course we may have the law but without actual effective way of giving the people the actual information, then it will be useless, as if we don’t have the law. We need to ensure that the avenues are open to actually have the information available.
Much of the discussion with regard to the FOI Bill will in no doubt involve the terms of information technology. As we are nearing the absolute paperless days, we start to realize that there is no other way but to use and utilize information technology properly.
If the FOI Bill is finally passed, the use of information technology will be indispensable. Before, we used to regard news in the newspaper as the latest available after radio broadcasting. Next thing we know is that we now use the internet to access the latest stories. Internet is fast becoming a necessary medium to communicate ideas. With it, we can inform the people real time. What I see here is that the FOI Bill coupled with advance technology will no doubt give the Philippine citizenry the information that we so ever want and need.
John Joseph S. Parco