MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang said yesterday it would need more time to study the freedom of information (FOI) bill and thus it would not be included in the list of priority bills that President Aquino would present to Congress leaders in today’s Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) meeting.
In a press briefing at the Palace, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda also said the responsible parenthood (reproductive health) bill was still being studied. He did not give any categorical answer as to whether or not it would be among the 22 or 23 bills that the President would press Congress to pass at the soonest time possible.
“We’re expecting a healthy discussion again, it was a very fruitful discussion in the first LEDAC,” Lacierda said.
He said the decision to study further the FOI bill should not be interpreted to mean the Palace was not bent on having such a measure passed.
“The FOI is being studied, we have certain concerns, valid concerns, which we are going to raise, which have been raised by the President himself, and it’s not dead in the water. There’s a vigorous debate on the FOI, and just to give you an example, in our meeting (yesterday) morning with the President, we were precisely discussing the FOI. The President agrees with the FOI in principle but there are certain concerns which have to be addressed,” Lacierda said.
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