Top officials of the Duterte administration commended Governor Hilario P. Davide III for the move of becoming the first local chief executive in the country to issue an order in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill.
Last August 30, Davide signed Executive Order No. 15 which provides for the system in the executive department in obtaining information or documents and acknowledges the people’s constitutional right to information on public matters.
“We would like to congratulate the Province and Governor Davide for coming up with this model, the first in the country for an FOI in the provincial level,” said Peter Laviña, Chief of the Office of Participatory Governance and former campaign spokesman of the President.
Marlonfritz Broto, director for Good Governance and Anti-Corruption office under the Office of Secretary Leoncio “Jun” Evasco, echoed Laviña’s sentiment. Broto, a lawyer, attended the event on behalf of Evasco.
“I hope this would be a setting statement to all other leaders of the country that there is a need to have this kind of Executive Order. Again congratulations to Governor Davide,” Broto said.
Both officials were in Cebu on Wednesday as resource speakers during the opening salvo of the province-wide forum on federalism organized by the Provincial Information Office.
Davide handed over a copy of the province’s EO to Laviña and Broto in a ceremony. He said the move is part of his agenda of pursuing transparency and good governance in his administration.
Last month, the Department of Interior and Local Government awarded Davide as among the top performing governors of the country.
According to Broto, a copy of the order would be furnished to the Office of the President. He also said he would inform Duterte that the Province of Cebu had responded to his call.
“This is not simply a local issue but actually an international one that this country should address,” Broto pointed out.
He added that this kind of system or process would give the impression to the public that there is a government that people can trust.
During the campaign period, Duterte pledged support for the passage of an FOI bill, which he vowed to include among his priorities in his legislative agenda if he would become president.
Less than a month after he assumed office, the former Davao Mayor signed the order to fulfill his campaign promise of bringing transparency in government. (Kelvin Cañizares)