AFP backs PRRD initiative on Freedom of Information

MANILA -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) strongly supports President Rodrigo Duterte's calls for transparency and full public disclosure of information.

“The public has the right to know the right information at the right time. An informed populace is a source of national power, and right information can empower Filipinos of informed decision,” AFP public affairs office chief Col. Noel Detoyato said in statement over the weekend.

In line with this initiative emphasized under Duterte's Executive Order (EO) No. 2, the AFP conducted its Freedom of Information (FOI) Cascading and Leveling Seminar to its respective offices and units at the AFP Commission Officers Club, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City Friday.

Assistant Secretary Kristian Ablan of the Presidential Communications Operations Office discussed the contents of the EO, which is the enabling order for FOI and mechanism to promote transparency in the government’s administrative process.

He also discussed the list of exceptions and the electronic FOI portal.

As the AFP cascaded its FOI Manual to the offices and units, Col. Napoleon de Vera of the AFP Civil-Military Operations or OJ-7 presented the overview and important aspects of the AFP FOI Manual.

On legal matters, Col. Agustin Matavia, AFP’s Deputy Judge Advocate General, discussed the administrative liabilities of the failure to comply with the requirements of the process.

While Noriza Atienza, acting public affairs division chief of the Department of National Defense Public Affairs Service, shared the defense department's experience on the implementation of FOI.

“We must release the information to the people with maximum disclosure and with minimum delay,” Detoyato added. And to ensure compliance to the FOI process, an oath-taking ceremony for the designated FOI Action Officer and Staff was held after the seminar presided by the AFP vice chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Salvador Melchor Mison Jr.

"The AFP understands that the power of the State emanates from the public, and that the public needs and deserve to know all government transactions, decisions, and policies that affect the lives of Filipinos," Detoyato concluded. (PNA)


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