COMMIT, RESPOND, REVOLUTIONIZE: Delivering the Right Information in the Time of a Pandemic


On 23 July 2016, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed the Executive Order No. 2, s. 2016 (EO 2) or the Freedom of Information (FOI) Program in the Executive Branch. By virtue of Memorandum No. 10, s. 2016, the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) through the FOI - Project Management Office (FOI-PMO), was designated as the lead government agency to operationalize said EO 2.

This year, the Philippines is set to hold its annual FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (FOI) SUMMIT to commemorate its four (4) fruitful years of championing transparency and accountability, promoting good governance, and empowering Filipino citizens through access to information. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect our institutions and challenge their capacities to guarantee the people’s basic and fundamental human rights, e.g. the right to information, this year’s Summit shall focus on this narrative, thus, bearing the theme, “Commit, Respond, Revolutionize: Delivering the Right Information in the Time of a Pandemic”.

The Summit features three (3) main rallying points: “Commit”—that government institutions shall continue to uphold the people’s right to access information and initiate important discourses in bridging current policy and implementation gaps; “Respond”—that government institutions shall pursue to make critical and informed decisions based on timely, credible, and verified information and take on an active role in addressing disinformation; and, “Revolutionize”—that government institutions shall seek and adopt innovative methods in building and reconstructing better systems and approaches which facilitate the effective disclosure of information all amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we continue to transition to the new normal, the FOI-PMO recognizes that we must take on a revolutionary approach to respond to the demands of the information age, but to do so requires acknowledgement of past successes, foreseeing future challenges, and learning from the course of implementation of the FOI Program. To take stock of all these, the 2020 FOI SUMMIT will be a two (2) day celebration which will involve a plenary session for the opening ceremony, followed by simultaneous breakout and learning sessions on the second day to make way for knowledge and information exchange in the field of access to information in the context of a pandemic.

In observance of the minimum health and safety standards and preventive measures amid COVID-19, this year’s Summit will be held via Zoom Teleconference on 23-24 November 2020 at 1:00 - 4:00 PM.