Forum on Freedom of Information and its implication to the Youth and Labor Sector

10323032_10203713177569511_1178419599_nThe SKC-PSLINK’s Forum on Freedom of Information and its implication to the youth and Labor Sector has been successful to have representatives from various organizations like Scrap Pork Network/SANLAKAS, Merck Maguddayao, Public Services Labor Independent Confederation(PSLINK) General Secretary Ms.Annie Enriquez Geron , Basic Education Sector Teachers Federation (BESTFED) Regional Steward Felix C. Bautista Jr. , Right to know, Right now Coalition Lead convener, Atty.Nepomuceno Malaluan, Constitutional Reform and Rectification for Economic Competitiveness and Transformation(CoRRECT) Movement co-founder, Orion Perez Dumdum and its Youth-wing Organizer Charles Judiel Baynas. This is a very great opportunity to critically tackle Freedom of Information in particular sectoral perspectives and in a broader, political and ideological way. Ms.Annie Enriquez Geron talks about FOI on Public sector unionist’s perspective and Public Services Labor Independent Confederation‘s efforts to promote, educate, organize and involve employees and Bgy.Health workers about it. 

It has been tackled also that PSLINK is part of the labor delegation that will meet with President Aquino and his cabinet tomorrow April 29,2014, days before May Day, to discuss the actions that have been taken by the current administration in response to issues about Freedom of Information and 7 other critical workers’ issues raised by labor groups during last year’s Pre-Labor Day dialogue. Atty.Nepo oriented the attendees which has never been part of any FOI mobilization about the bill , how it works and our constitutional rights which it strengthens. Ms.Annie said “Sa Right to know,[Right now] coalition, noong unang latag ng ating kampanya.[Nais natin] na mapalawak ang nakakaunawa nito. Kasi sabi natin ‘di dapat ito matignan na ang may gusto lang nito ay ang midya , na ang may gusto lang nito ay ang mga propesyonal , [at] mga nakakaangat sa sektor ng lipunan . Sabi nga nila – ‘hindi naman yan pangmasa. Malayo yan sa bituka ng masa.’ Kaya kailangan nating ipaliwanag kung gaano kalapit o gaano karelevant ang Freedom of information sa mamamayang Pilipino” She as a part of NAGKAISA and as the Vice-President of the Public Services International assured that “Handa rin naman ang mga government employees, yoong mga nasa PSI [Public Services International], at NAGKAISA na itaguyod itong Freedom of Information sa lahat ng mga kampanya, na gawin din itong paksa sa lahat ng mga malaking pagpupulong. Yan ang aming committment,yan ang aming understanding din sa mga kanya-kanyang pagkilos ng mga konfederasyon sa loob ng NAGKAISA.” “About sa Freedom of Information, nais naming iparating sa sektor ng Kabataan na hindi lamang limitado sa mga kabataang nasa kurso na nakalinya sa ganitong mga bagay  ang ganitong usapin” -Ellirie Aviles , SKC President This is a nation wide issue which directly affects each and everyone of us.One of the participants pointed out that the Government wanted us to stay stupid, stupid enough not to know our rights and other information which we could use to promote our daily lives. Such information as salary standards , school records ,  public records and any other transactions and decisions by the government stays hidden. Our government is functioning opaquely. This allows the government officials to do as they want within the barrier , including the expenditure of public funds to whatever they may desire. The occurrence of Pork barrel scam would not be possible if an FOI act exist. There has been similar stories before about scams on public funds involving “Raketeers” or these middle men through their Non-government organizations and many other means. Napoles’ case is just one of it. We can’t say, but there might be any other groups with same modus working within the barriers. For a Transparent and Accountable government , PASS People’s Freedom of Information Now!

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