Benguet SP crafts FOI ordinance

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, May 30 (PIA) -- The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Benguet is currently working on an ordinance which operationalizes the Freedom of Information (FOI) in the province, anchored on the  presidential directive which ensures the bureaucracy’s  commitment to openness and enforces a policy on full disclosure across government agencies.


Executive Order No. 2, Series of 2016 signed by Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte mandates all government offices under the Executive Branch, national government and all its offices, departments, bureaus, offices, and instrumentalities including government-owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs),state universities and colleges, and local government units are encouraged to observe full disclosure and transparency in the public service.

Board Member Robert Namoro, who authored the measure, said all the departments of the province including hospitals are covered by the ordinance. He said FOI is also part of the assessment of the Seal of Good Local Governance.

Information that can be accessed include official records, public records and documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions or decisions, as well as government research data used as basis for policy development. But there are inventory of FOI exceptions which will be published for proper guidance of those covered.

No request for information shall be denied unless it clearly falls under any of the exceptions in the inventory of FOI exceptions, as stated in the provision.

Board Member Ruben Paoad, a lawyer, said the passage of the law has no limitation so one can avail of his or her right to information. But he cautioned that if it involves security of the state, then such information could not be disclosed.

Among the other provisions of the measure are the filing of Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Net Worth available for scrutiny, protection of privacy, procedure that governs filing and processing of request for access to information, notice of denial, remedies in cases of denial of request for access to information, keeping of records, penalty provisions, and establishment of an FOI office.

Namoro said the measure is expected to be passed by June. Susan C. Aro (ALT/SCA-PIA CAR, Benguet)


Benguet Destinations

Strawberry Farm

La Trinidad is know to be the “Strawberry Capital of the Philippines” because of the strawberry fields. Visitors can experience strawberry picking and also taste different products made from strawberry like the strawberry ice cream and strawberry “taho”.

Asin Hot Springs

Located at the outskirts of the city of Baguio, this attraction gives it’s visitors the chance to indulge in serious relaxation. Asin Hot Springs has been knwon to do wonders for the mind, body and soul because of the spring’s natural minerals like sulfates, calcium and chloride.

BenCab Museum

The BenCab museum, located at KM 6. Asin Road, houses the permanent collection of Philippine National Artist Benedicto Cabrera (BenCab) in several galleries, as well as venues for art shows and exhibitions. The Philippine Contemporary Art Galleries highlight the artist’s collection of paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture. The smaller exhibition rooms contain other collections accumulated by BenCab through the years.

Bell Church

The home to beautiful landscaped gardens and intricately designed arches and buildings adorned with flags, bells and dragons. Bell church holds some artifacts about Buddhism and literatures about the history of China.

Mt. Pulag

Mt. Pulag is the highest peak in Luzon and the third highest in the Philippines which is 2,922 meters above sea level. The view from the top of Mt. Pulag never fails to amaze its climbers.

Kabayan Mummies

Also know as the Fire Mummies of the Philippines, the Kabayan Mummies are from the Ibaloi tribe of Benguet. This have been included in the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the World by a non-profit organization that focuses on the preservation of important historical monuments and sites.

Ambuclao Dam

The Ambuclao dam is popularly known as the biggest rock filled dam in the Far East and is considered as one of the major projects in Luzon that feeds electricity to the grid lines of Luzon.

Rose Gardens

Rose lovers will surely be pleased with Rose Gardens. A famous tourist attraction located in La Trinidad. Here, you will find a large variety of roses, chrysanthemums and other ornamental plants.

Mt. Ugo

This is considered to be one of the major destinations in the Cordilleras. It is the highest mountain located in Tinongdan, Itogon via the Benguet-Vizcayay boundary that boasts of stunning views of neighboring mountains and the great Luzon valley.

Kalugong View Point

A trek to Mount Kalugong is something that adventure seekers and nature lovers woudn't miss. The Kalugong View Point will give you a breathtaking experience and a panoramic view of the La Trinidad Valley and ther villages.
EL Kikasa