NINETEEN years have passed since then Congressman Oscar Orbos filed the “Freedom of Information Act of 1992”. Several other, more or less similar, bills were filed in the Senate and the House from 1998 until 2008, when then House Speaker Prospero Nograles filed House Bill 3732, or “An Act Implementing the Right of Access to Information on Matters of Public Concern Guaranteed Under Section 28, Article II and Section 7, Article III of the 1987 Constitution and for Other Purposes.”
In 2009 the Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media filed Senate Bill 3308, or “The Freedom of Information Act of 2009.” It passed the Senate on third and final reading on December 14, 2009. On January 20, 2010, the bicameral conference committee reconciled conflicting provisions in the Senate and House bills. The Senate approved the reconciled bill on February 1. The bill went to the House on February 3, but lack of quorum prevented its discussion. Congress then went into recess in preparation for the 2010 elections. Supposedly assured of passing on the last day of the 14th Congress on June 4, 2010, the bill died when the House adjourned without discussing it for lack of quorum. A number of administration congressmen, including some listed among House Bill 3732 sponsors, were not on the floor, but were seen in the House premises, leading to suspicions that the House leadership had orchestrated their absence to prevent passage of its own bill.
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