Speaker Belmonte says Malacañang to include FOI bill in its priority bills

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Rep. Feliciano Belmonte, house speaker.
Rep. Feliciano Belmonte, house speaker.

By Sammy F. Martin

MANILA, 18Sept2013 (PNA) – The controversial Freedom of Information (FOI) bill may soon become a law after Malacañang “vowed to include the measure in the priority bills,” Speaker Feliciano Belmonte said on Tuesday.

Belmonte breaks the news after he was informed of the development that the said bill may get its way in the 16th Congress.

“Yes, I think it will be voted on,” Belmonte told House reporters in a chance interview. “The pronouncement will speed up the passage.”

“We are quite sympathetic, but it really helps that the Palace itself gave its okay, so that augurs well for the future of the bill in the 16th Congress,” he stressed.

He said that he has tasked three independent of lawmakers to study the FOI bill.

“We are seriously studying it. We are not ignoring it. I don’t want to discuss the particulars of the FOI. What I can say is it will be taken up,” Belmonte pointed out.

Only the Senate passed the FOI bill but in the House, the measure was stalled at the committee level then headed by Rep. Ben Evardone.

Everdone argued that it is a waste of time during the 15th Congress to push FOI bill because Malacañang did not certify the bill urgent.

He added that with the promise that they will include the bill in the priority bills, expect that the passage of the measure in the near future.

The controversial bill was one of the promises of President Noynoy Aquino during the 2010 presidential campaign. (PNA)

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