Freedom of Information Executive Order out this week

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MANILA – An executive order on freedom of information is expected to come out before the week ends.

Speaking at the Kapihan sa Manila Hotel, Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar said the order will cover departments and line agencies under the Office of the President. A consultation will be held Wednesday on the EO’s contents and the order is expected to be signed either on Thursday or Friday.

Andanar said the move shows that the President is “serious” on carrying out his promise, saying that the chief executive wanted it drafted and signed as soon as possible (“sa lalong madaling panahon.”)

“Hindi na ito aabutin ng Sabado. Change is coming. Change is here,” Andanar told reporters.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella sees no conflict with the move and Duterte’s pronouncement to avoid media, saying the President wants to devote more time to work.

“He abhors secrecy and he desires transparency and that’s part of his working and part of his values, that work ought to be done in a very transparent manner,” he said.

“It’s not secrecy. It’s not really secrecy,” Abella says of Duterte’s avoidance of media.

“Let’s put it this way and I’m not speaking for him but I’m speaking, let’s say, as a person observing the whole situation. He wants to devote his first hundred or so days to work and he doesn’t want it hampered by having to answer little noises, little noises.”

Abella assured journalists that there will be “a conversation” and “what you need to know you will be able to know.”

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