Sunday, August 7, 2011

How Taguig Fared in PCIJ's Audit of Access to Information

Recently, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism ("PCIJ") " deployed seven college student interns who filed requests for six major types of documents, including the asset disclosure records of the LGU officials, as well as the budget and development plans of the LGU. The audit also focused on documents pertaining to education, health, public safety, civil registry and property, and doing business." The subjects of the audit were the 17 local governments of Quezon City, Manila, Marikina, Paranaque, Pasay, Navotas, Malabon, Makati, Mandaluyong, Pasig, San Juan, Valenzuela, Las Pinas, Muntinlupa, Pateros, Caloocan and of course,  Taguig.

The requests fell mostly on deaf ears. Taguig complied fully with only 28.57% of the information requests, albeit still ranking higher than Malabon, Valenzuela, San Juan, Manila, Pateros and Caloocan. Taguig was also cited for being amongst the LGUs which failed to supply the SALN, or Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth of its local officials. In addition, the PCIJ had this to say about Taguig: 
Political rivalry also got in the way of accessing documents in Taguig. Majority of the requests were denied there supposedly because the documents had to be kept “confidential” on account of an ongoing court case between Mayor Laarni Cayetano and her losing rival in the May 2010 elections, retired Supreme Court justice Dante Tinga.

Only the documents from Taguig’s BPLO, the Assessor’s Office, and the City Health Department were provided. Requests filed with the Mayor’s Office, the Public Safety and Order Office (POSO), and the City Budget Office were not granted within the 15-working day deadline set in law.

Here's the link to the full PCIJ report: Part 1 and Part 2.

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