People’s Freedom of Information Act (House Bill No. 1975)

December 4, 2021

An Act Implementing the People’s Right to Information and the Constitutional Policies of Full Public Disclosure and Honesty in the Public Service and for Other Purposes

This bill seeks to address this existing disparity by providing key measures such as: obligatory publishing of certain information by government agencies even without prior request from the public; full online disclosure of government contracts amounting to at least fifty million pesos (PhP50,000,000); and mandatory production of all government offices, including government-owned or -controlled corporations (GOCCs), of their own Freedom of Information Manual that outlines the processes and procedures the public must know in order to request data.

This bill also sets time limit for the government’s response to requests for public data: fifteen (15) days for both the granted and denied requests, with specified grounds for denial and available remedies to make an appeal for the latter.

This bill further mandates that official communication be conducted using plain language to ensure understanding of all the parties involved in the transaction.

This bill also establishes limitations on said constitutional right by setting limited and strictly construed exceptions on matters of national security, trade secrets, and presidential privilege. Furthermore, it also guarantees the right to privacy of every Filipino and ensures that disclosure of personal data in the custody of the State shall be done in accordance to Republic Act No. 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012.

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