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Muntinlupa issues Freedom of Information ordinance

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Muntinlupa City has passed the Freedom of Information Ordinance of 2020, the 4th city in the NCR to localize the FOI bill, to ensure transparency in local governance.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi signed the Ordinance 2020-139 or known as the FOI Ordinance of 2020 last October 14 to give Muntinlupa and non-Muntinlupa residents access to information, officials’ records, public records and documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, among others.

Fresnedi said the local government recognizes the importance of the people's right to government information by providing a local mechanism to ensure that these rights are respected and upheld.

City Ordinance 2020-139 is an adoption of Executive Order No.2 s. 2016 upholding the right of people to information on matters of public concern. Muntinlupa City is the 4th LGU in NCR to enact an FOI ordinance following Pasig, Valenzuela, and Quezon City.

Under the local ordinance, departments in Muntinlupa LGU are required to make public records available such as contracts, transactions and any information requested by a member of the public, except for sensitive information and matters affecting national security.

Any person who request access to information may consult the local FOI Focal Person for the processing of a request or may go directly to the concerned office that has the information being requested.

If the retrieved information has been approved for release, the FOI Receiving Officer shall immediately notify the requestor of the decision and release the information within fifteen (15) working days upon receipt of request.

Failure of any government officer to comply with the provisions of the ordinance shall be ground for reprimand for first offense, suspension of one (1) to thirty days for second offense, or dismissal from the service for third offense.

Muntinlupa Public Information Officer Tez Navarro said the local government supports the Presidential Communications Operations Office’s thrust on continuing proactive information disclosure efforts in the spirit of openness and transparency.

She noted that the IRR is still underway but the public can now coordinate with the Public Information Office being designated as the FOI concerned office.

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