MALAYBALAY CITY (OP-IPS) Presidential Communications and Operations Office Sec. Jose Ruperto Martin Andanar and Bukidnon State University President Dr. Oscar B. Cabańelez have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in the implementation of the Freedom of Information Program in the university.
The two officials signed the MOU during the Bukidnon leg of the 2021 Transparency Roadshow on November 16, 2021.
Dr. Cabanelez, in his speech during the roadshow, said BukSU is a willing partner of the PCOO in this initiative.
“As an academic institution, we understand how significant our role is in promoting and advertising the transparency and full public disclosure of information,” he added.
The president pledged to help advocate for transparency and accountability in the government through the conduct of various information, education, and communication activities.
BukSU created its FOI manual in 2017, a year after President Rodrigo R. Duterte issued Executive Order (EO) No. 2, s. 2016 on July 23, 2016 to operationalize the Constitutional mandate of the People’s Right to Information. BukSU has been an FOI-fully compliant state university since 2018.
Sec. Andanar said the formal agreement is a step closer towards a more transparent and accountable Filipino community. He cited that this translates to a wider and more open access to information which can be utilized for research in the academe.
The MOU with PCOO focused on dissemination and use of the FOI Program in the elementary, secondary and tertiary level of the SUCs for academic or scholarly purposes, use of eFOI or the foi.gov.ph portal in the school libraries, and integration of the FOI Program in the curriculum.
The MOU also outlined the plan to enable the school librarians and library support staff to independently guide students and teachers of the SUCs as to the use of the eFOI portal in the campus.
During the Transparency Roadshow, Secretary Andanar turned over the FOI materials and information collaterals to Dr. Cabañelez. The said materials will be displayed in the FOI corner of the University Library for easy access of the students and personnel. This will introduce the use of eFOI to all stakeholders of BukSU.
Through the MOU, the PCOO encourage learners and teachers to ask the government conveniently in their SUC libraries about the Executive Branch of the Philippine Government. Apart from the Executive Order in the executive branch, there is still no law mandating the application of the FOI in the legislative and the judiciary.
BukSU committed to be a partner in the implementation of the FOI program, including the involvement of students in influencing, networking, and leading the campus-wide implementation of the FOI by designating an FOI Ambassador;
According to the PCOO, the roadshow aims to raise awareness on the transparency efforts of the Duterte administration.
Sec. Andanar was quoted by pia.gov.ph as saying, “promoting transparency is one of the most important tools against corruption in government”.
BukSU’s eFOI portal can be accessed via https://www.foi.gov.ph/. (Walter I. Balane/OP-Information and Publication Services)
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