MANILA — A youth group led by the National Youth Commission (NYC) supports the passage of the Freedom of Information bill into law as they deem it as an agent to “cement the Daang Matuwid (straight path)”.
In a Freedom of Information Youth Congress held Tuesday in Cagayan de Oro City in Mindanao, NYC Chairperson Gio Tingson said, “Our anti-corruption drive will be institutionalized by making the public assert that they have the right to know where public funds go.”
On Monday, the House of Representatives (HOR) Committee on Public Information has approved the said bill for plenary, a development which the youth group has welcomed.
The Youth Congress aims to promote unity and social action among youth sector to influence legislators on the prioritization of the FOI proposal.
“Transparency and accountability should be set as standards in the government. This bill, once pass into a law, will demand that standard,” Tingson said.
In partnership with the Oro Youth Development Council and the Mindanao University of Science and Technology, the youth group discussed the salient provisions of Senate Bill 1733 or the People’s Freedom of Information Act of 2013.
A plenary talk with almost 200 participants from different localities in the province was held as well wherein they tackled about the successes and failures of FOI from a global perspective.
The organizers of the Youth Congress also signed a Manifesto calling for the immediate passage of FOI Act which has been long pending in the HOR.
“We must not underestimate the voice of the youth in Public Transparency and Accountability. The process of passing the important FOI bill necessitates investment even from the young people. It is our role to educate the members of the youth sector and make them understand that they must do their fair share in lobbying for the legislative measure to be enacted into a law. We must establish our ownership of this very significant cause,” Asec. Earl Saavedra, NYC Commissioner Representing Mindanao, said.