‘Kaka’ vows to work overtime on FOI

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 30 Oct) – Dinagat Rep. Arlene “Kaka” Bag-ao vowed to work overtime to hasten the passage of the Freedom of Information bill even though Congress is in recess.

In her meeting with the local press here, Bag-ao has lamented the long delay of the passage of the FOI act.

Bag-ao was one of the co-authors of one of the FOI bills in the 15th Congress, when she was still a party-list representative with Akbayan.

She said there must be 20 versions of the FOI bill now in the House of Representatives.

Last week, the House public information committee finally convened to for the consolidation of the different versions of the FOI bill. While the lawmakers have agreed to form a technical working group (TWG) for the task, they have not yet agreed when its first meeting will be.

Bag-ao said she has to work with the TWG even though Congress is in recess so a consolidated version of the various bills can be completed by Nov. 26

Various media groups have been clamoring for the passage of the FOI bill.

The pressure to enact a law even became more intense last August when the multi-billion peso pork barrel scandal broke out.

This calling for the passage of the said bill has become intense pressure to the administration of President Aquino last August when the 10 Billion Pork Barrel scandal broke out.

Aside from her advocacy on the FOI bill, Bag-ao has also introduced at the House of Representatives bills on national land use and management policy, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, reforming and strengthening the Sangguniang Kabataan, among others.