News Release

PBBM: PH backs ICIC, international community in advocating people’s right to information

The Philippines stands in solidarity with the International Conference of Information Commissioners (ICIC) and the entire international community in advocating for people’s right to information, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said on Monday as he promised to fight fake news in the country.

“As a nation with a robust democracy, we reaffirm our commitment to champion this basic human right. It remains indelibly etched in our fundamental law,” President Marcos said during the Opening Ceremony of the 14th Edition of the International Conference of Information Commissioners held today at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.

“We value its potency to empower our people to make informed decisions to participate fully in our democratic processes, and hold their representatives accountable without fear or apprehension.”

During the event, Marcos lauded the ICIC for all its efforts in advancing the people’s right to access information, and in fostering a conducive and inclusive atmosphere for the healthy exercise of this universal human right.

The President also called on all the branches of government to uphold the people’s freedom of information (FOI) as he promised to advance the campaign against misinformation and disinformation in the country.

“I reiterate our call not only to the executive branch, but to all branches of government, to genuinely uphold and give effect to the people’s freedom of information in the course of our day-to-day operations, with good faith and with openness,”

“Undeniably, this is to our best interest as a nation. It is a key to our pursuit of good governance, improved public services, and a more progressive and sustainable society.”

Expressing support for ICIC’s mission, the President assured the organization of the Philippines’ continued promotion of the FOI through a whole-of-nation approach.

At the same time, Marcos enumerated current government initiatives under the People’s Freedom of Information (FOI) Program, with the government leveraging available technology and digital platforms to serve the people.

Part of the effort is the E-Governance initiative, which advocates for the streamlining and digitalization of the key services of various government offices and local government units (LGUs).

The Executive Branch is working with legislators for the enactment of an E-Governance Law to provide a stronger mandate and broader reach, Marcos said.

He also highlighted that the FOI Program will also be crucial in advancing the campaign against misinformation and disinformation in the country.

“Like everyone here, we too recognize as a matter of principle that fake news should have no place in modern society,” he said.

“As part of our efforts, we will undertake a massive Media and Information Literacy Campaign, which shall be digital, multi-media, and youth-oriented.”

The President also made an assurance for the continued implementation of the FOI Program in the Executive Branch, through the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).

To promote the people’s twin rights to information and to good governance, the administration included these principles at the core of the Philippine Development Plan for the next six years, he said.

The ICIC connects Information Commissioners, Ombudspersons and other bodies charged with overseeing the implementation of Access to Public Information legislation, in order to foster the protection and the promotion of access to public information as a fundamental pillar to social, economic and democratic governance.

The ICIC first met in 2003 and has met regularly since then. In March 2019, it reached a milestone when it adopted its Governance Charter.

The Philippines is the first Southeast Asian country to host the Conference, following Mexico (2005 and 2022), South Africa (2004 and 2019), United Kingdom (2017 and 2006), Chile (2015), Germany (2013 and 2003), Canada (2011), Norway (2009), and New Zealand (2007). PND