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11348402 Maria Lourdes Kristia R. Cabrera FIB: Should we take the risk of passing it now?

The Freedom of Information Bill, or FIB, proposes full out disclosure of government information, which has not yet been released to the public. Tired of corruption and not knowing where your taxes go? Allow the government to revise the FIB before passing it as a law. For the betterment of our country and our people, this bill must please all. The FIB is for the good of everyone but must not yet be passed due to 3 reasons, all private documents will be open to the public, safety of our government officials will be put at risk and the senate has not yet proposed a Privacy Act. The Freedom of Information Bill has not yet been revised and therefore, as it is, has many debatable flaws. At the moment, the senate has not made any final changes regarding the limitations of this bill. In general, the FIB proposes all out disclosure of government data to the public. For the security of our nation, there are certain information that is meant for the governments consumption only. Not every private document must be made available to the people, especially since this law proposes full transparency rather than partial. Until this law will be subjected to revision, there are more pros than cons. Since corruption is quite rampant in a country like ours, cases regarding plunder and graft are continuously surfacing. People are demanding for this Bill to be passed. At the moment, this bill has not yet been properly looked into and is therefore too new. It does not take into precaution its cons, which would surely affect our government officials. Let us remember that our officials net worth will also be made available to the public. In a 3 rd world country where cases of kidnapping are quite common amongst people who hold high positions, we are endangering not only our officials bust as well as their families. Every private detail regarding their assets, including what there properties are and what areas they are located will not be subjected as irrelevant. People may freely acquire of this information. We have elected these officials through our own will. Placing them in this predicament with no options will make their situations complicated. To serve the public is their goal but by exposing them to danger, we will be placing our leaders at risk. Unlike countries that have approved of the FIB, our senate has not thought of passing a supporting act. Unlike countries like the US, we have not

proposed a Privacy Act, which would provide limitations, regulations and a smaller scope in terms of how this Bill may be used by the people. This act provides exemptions from the FIB in certain cases. Through the Privacy Act, the FIB will compromise between the state and the people. Instead of full transparency, certain data deemed highly important will not be exposed. Undoubtedly, corruption has taken over our government. We cannot blame the people for having their doubts in regards of the honesty, credibility and moral standing of our official. With various cases regarding theft and corruption surfacing each year, it is our duty as Filipinos to do something about these problems. From people like Corona to Napoles and even past presidents of our country, the number of graft and corruption cases cannot be easily counted. The amount of money that has been taken away from us can no longer be fathomed. The reason as to why this bill is in demand can be easily determined. Despite these happenings, we must not be rash and think about how this bill will take effect in the long term. The constitutional rights of our official will be put aside for our benefit. Their safety is a factor too. Filipinos seem to forget that official are citizens as well and that one act must benefit all. The freedom of Information Bill is unmistakably for the people but it has not yet been revised nor properly looked into. No act, which would provide certain exemptions from this bill, has been passed or talked about by the senate. Its effects on our official have not been thought of either. Therefore I conclude that the passing of this bill must be delayed until it has become void of debatable flaws. In a time of doubt let us not be rash but reasonable. We often forget that out officials are not only our leaders but our countrymen as well. Let us not only revise, but compromise for the benefit of all.