Masbate Vice Governor Jo Kristine Revil and Pakil Laguna Mayor Vincent Soriano are two of the LGU officials recognized for their efforts in upholding Freedom of Information. In photo with them are PCOO Undersecretary George Apacible, PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar, Assistant Secretary Kelvin Lester Lee and FOI Program Director and PCOO Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan

The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), through the Freedom of Information-Project Management Office (FOI-PMO), was recognized at the recent 2018 FOI Summit and Awards held at the National Museum Auditorium, National Museum of Fine Arts. The FOI Summit was organized in partnership with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

In his speech, PCOO Assistant Secretary and FOI Program Director Kristian Ablan highlighted the mission of PCOO to transform the government to being open and transparent.

PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar, on the other hand, asserted that “the program serves as a formidable tool for fighting fake news and a game-changer in the information-dissemination process, as FOI becomes an efficient mechanism for garnering first-hand and reliable information.”

DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno also expressed his gratitude to government agencies that continue to serve the Filipino people and enable civic engagement in the Philippines.

Top government offices, organizations, and private individuals were recognized for their participation to the success of the Freedom of Information Program in the Philippines. Government officials present during the ceremony were Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Danilo Lim, Commission on Filipinos Overseas Secretary Francisco Acosta, Department of Justice Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, Department of the Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III, Department of Budget and Management Undersecretary Lilia Guillermo, South Cotabato Vice Governor Vicente de Jesus, Masbate Vice Governor Jo Kristine Revil, Pakil Municipal Mayor Vincent Soriano, San Nicolas Vice Mayor Marlon Valdez, and Pasig City Councilor Victor Ma. Regis Sotto. Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines Executive Director Bernardino Sayo and Executive Vice Director Edgardo Pamintuan also attended to receive their awards.

Agencies were awarded for their exceptional contributions to the progress of FOI: the Davao City Water District, the University of the Philippines System, the National Housing Authority, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, and the Department of Labor and Employment.

The Department of Budget and Management, Department of Energy, Department of Finance, Department of Health, Bureau of Immigration, Commission on Filipinos Overseas, National Telecommunications Commission, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, Light Rail Transit Authority, and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation bagged awards as top requested and performing agencies in the eFOI Portal.

Local Government Units that issued their access to information ordinances were honored for rolling out the FOI Program at the local level. These are the City of Pasig in Metro Manila, Municipality of San Nicolas in Ilocos Norte, Municipality of Pakil in Laguna, Municipality of Bula in Camarines Sur, Province of Bohol, Province of Masbate, Province of Surigao Del Norte, Province of Benguet.

For more information and updates, visit www.foi. gov.ph and FOI Philippines’ Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts.

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