City of Koronadal, South Cotabato – On April 27, 2017, Atty. Flora Sherry Basquinez-Samaniego of the Legal Staff of National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Central Office oriented the NEDA XII staff on the coverage and other features of Executive Order (EO) No. 2, otherwise known as the Freedom of Information (FOI) Order.
The said EO provides for full public disclosure of all government records involving public interest and upholds the constitutional right of the people to information on matters of public concern.

Atty. Samaniego stated that based on the EO, “Every Filipino shall have access to information, official records, public records and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development.”

The information included for public disclosure are the records, documents, papers, reports, letters, contracts, minutes and transcripts of official meetings, maps, books, photographs, data, research materials, films, sound and video recording, magnetic or other tapes, electronic data, computer stored data, any other like or similar data or materials recorded, stored or archived in whatever format, whether offline or online, which are made, received, or kept in or under the control and custody of any government office pursuant to law, executive order, and rules and regulations or in connection with the performance or transaction of official business by any government office, she said.

She also mentioned that the FOI order “covers the national government and all its offices, departments, bureaus, offices, and instrumentalities, including government-owned and controlled corporations, and state universities and colleges.”

She also emphasized to the staff that upon receiving the request, “the staff must provide reasonable assistance to the requesting party, and shall respond and notify the requestor of their decision based on the listed inventory classifications of the document within 15 days from receipt of the request. Failure to notify the requestor of the action taken on the request within the response period will be viewed as a denial of the request.”

In closing, Atty. Samaniego encouraged the staff to familiarize themselves with EO No. 2, as well as the other related laws in order to protect themselves from any administrative liability. (Gwyneth Grace B. Collado, NEDA XII-DRD)