Frequently Asked Questions

Need more information about using this eFOI platform?

Your Rights

1. What is Freedom of Information or FOI?

Freedom of Information (FOI) is the government’s response to the call for transparency and full public disclosure of information. FOI is a government mechanism, which allows Filipino citizens to request any information about the government transactions and operations, provided that it shall not put into jeopardy privacy and matters of national security.

The FOI mechanism for the Executive Branch is enabled via Executive Order No. 2, series of 2016.

2. What is eFOI

eFOI is the online FOI platform that is available to select agencies, providing an alternative avenue for Filipinos to file their requests for information.

The FOI rules and exceptions also apply to the eFOI platform.

3. What is Executive Order No. 2 S. 2016?

Executive Order No. 2 (EO 2) is the enabling order for FOI. EO 2 operationalizes in the Executive Branch the People’s Constitutional right to information. EO 2 also provides the State policies to full public disclosure and transparency in the public service.

EO 2 is an important enabling mechanism to promote transparency in the government's administrative process. Through FOI, citizens are empowered to make a formal request to get information held by the government, barring certain sensitive and important data related to the nation's security. FOI complements continuing proactive information disclosure efforts where agencies are duty-bound to publish information in the spirit of openness and transparency.

FOI is an integral element President Duterte’s Good Governance Plan aligned to reforms and initiatives that pursue greater transparency, accountability, and citizen participation in governance. EO 2 was signed by President Rodrigo RoaDuterte on July 23, 2016.

4. Who oversees the implementation of EO 2?

The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) oversees the implementation and operationalization of the FOI program. PCOO serves as the coordinator of all government agencies to ensure that the FOI program is properly implemented.

Making An FOI Request

Download the FOI Request Form here

5. Who can make an FOI request?

Any Filipino citizen can make an FOI Request. As a matter of policy, requestors are required to present proof of identification.

6. What information can I ask for through FOI?

Information, official records, public records, and, documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development.

7. What agencies can I request information from?

An FOI request under EO 2 can be made before all government offices under the Executive Branch, including government owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs) and state universities and colleges (SUCs).

FOI requests must be sent to the specific agency of interest, to be received by its respective Receiving Officer.

8. How do I make an FOI request?

The request process slightly varies depending on which platform is used.

FOI Platform:

  • Place your request in writing by filling up a request form and submit to the agency’s Receiving Officer (Download the form here). Ensure to state your full name, contact information, and provide a valid copy of your government-issued ID as proof of your identity. Describe in detail the document you wish to access.
  • The Receiving Officer shall validate the request and logs it accordingly on the FOI tracker or registry.
  • If deemed necessary, the Receiving Officer may clarify the request on the same day it was filed, such as specifying the information requested, and providing other assistance needed by the Requestor.
  • The request is forwarded to the Decision Maker for proper assessment. The Decision Maker shall check if the agency holds the information requested, if it is already accessible, or if the request is a repeat of any previous request.
  • The request shall be forwarded to the officials involved to locate the requested information.
  • Once all relevant information is retrieved, officials will check if any exemptions apply, and will recommend appropriate response to the request.
  • If necessary, the head of the agency shall provide clearance to the response.
  • The agency shall prepare the information for release, based on your desired format. It shall be sent to you depending on the receipt preference.

eFOI Platform:

Like the paper-based FOI platform, requests made thru the eFOI platform will be automatically sent to the agencies concerned for immediate processing.

You will be required to create an eFOI account. Through this account, you will see a dashboard of your FOI requests, and the results of your FOI requests.

eFOI Requestors must create/log in to his/her account:

  • Click the Log in button and enter the email address and password.
  • In case the requestor is a new user, click the Sign up button, and provide the required information.
  • Once logged in, the user will be directed to the Dashboard. The Dashboard contains all the requests done by the account owner.
  • Click the Make a Request button. Once clicked, the user may choose the name of the agency.
  • User will be directed to the Make a Request page. Complete the required fields. Once sent, the request will be forwarded to the Receiving Officer of the concerned agency.
  • The same process of clarification, retrieval, and approval of release applies to the eFOI platform.
  • Once approved, the response will be posted to the user’s Dashboard.

9. Is there a Manual for this FOI program?

Yes, the People’s FOI Manual is designed for the general public to guide them in making FOI requests. A People’s FOI Manual should include the following:

  • the location and contact information of the head, regional, provincial, and field offices, and other established places where the public can obtain information or submit requests;
  • the person or office responsible for receiving requests for information;
  • the procedure for the filing and processing of the request as specified in the succeeding section 9 of this Order;
  • the standard forms for the submission of requests and for the proper acknowledgment of requests;
  • the process for the disposition of requests;
  • the procedure for the administrative appeal of any denial for access to information; and,
  • the schedule of applicable fees.
People’s FOI Manual

Download the Model People’s FOI Manual here

The People’s FOI Manual is designed for the general public to guide them in making FOI requests. A People’s FOI Manual should include the following:

  • 6.1 the location and contact information of the head, regional, provincial, and field offices, and other established places where the public can obtain information or submit requests;
  • 6.2 the person or office responsible for receiving requests for information;
  • 6.3 the procedure for the filing and processing of the request as specified in the succeeding section 9 of this Order;
  • 6.4 the standard forms for the submission of requests and for the proper acknowledgment of requests;
  • 6.5 the process for the disposition of requests;
  • 6.6 the procedure for the administrative appeal of any denial for access to information; and,
  • 6.7 the schedule of applicable fees.

10. I only see fifteen (15) agencies in the eFOI platform. Why is this so?

The eFOI platform is an added service. This platform is in its initial testing, and fifteen (15) agencies agreed to participate in the testing.

The eFOI platform may soon be available to all agencies. It is important to note, however, that the main FOI platform for all agencies will be through the paper-based FOI platform.

Fees

11. How much does it cost to make an FOI request?

There are no fees to make a request. But the agency may charge a reasonable fee for necessary costs, including costs of printing, delivery, reproduction and/or photocopying.

Processing Times

12. What will I receive in response to an FOI request?

You will be receiving a response either granting or denying your request.

If the request is granted, you can expect to receive the documents as an attachment, through mail, or be requested to collect the documents at the agency you had applied to. If the request is denied, the agency will give an explanation on the denial.

13. How long will it take before I get a response?

The standard processing time is fifteen (15) working days.

14. Can an Agency extend the processing time?

Yes. In some instances, an agency may need more time to review your request and thereby extend the processing time. Under such circumstances, an agency will inform you of an extension, which shallnot be longer than twenty (20) working days.

15. Can I have my request expedited?

There is no process by which requests can be expedited. All requests will be reviewed equally on a case-by-case basis and allotted the fifteen (15) working day processing period from the time of receipt.

Complaints Handling

16. What if I never get a response?

If the agency fails to provide a response within the required fifteen (15) working days, you may write an appeal letter to the person or office next higher in authority within fifteen (15) calendar days from the lapse of the required response period. The appeal shall be decided within thirty (30) working days by said person or office next higher in authority.

If all administrative remedies are exhausted and no resolution is provided, you may file the appropriate case in the proper courts in accordance with the Rules of Court.

17. What if I am not satisfied with how the Agency handled my FOI request?

If you are not satisfied with the response, you may write an appeal letter to the person or office next higher in authority within fifteen (15) calendar days from the receipt of such response. The appeal shall be decided within thirty (30) working days bysaid person or office next higher in authority.

If all administrative remedies are exhausted and no resolution is provided, you may file the appropriate case in the proper courts in accordance with the Rules of Court.

Important Information

18. Privacy

Once deemed valid, your information from your application will be used by the agency you have applied to, to deal with your application as set out in EO 2. If the agency gives you access to a document, and if the document contains no personal information about you, the document will be published online in the agency’s disclosure log, along with your name and the date you applied, and, if another person, company or body will use or benefit from the documents sought, the name of that person, entity or body.

19. Copyright

According to Section 176 of the Intellectual Property Code (RA No. 8293, as amended), no copyright shall subsist in any work of the Government. However, prior approval of the government agency or office wherein the work is created shall be necessary for the exploitation of such work for profit. Such agency or office may, among other things, impose as a condition the payment of royalties. No prior approval or conditions shall be required for the use of any purpose of statutes, rules and regulations, and speeches, lectures, sermons, addresses, and dissertations, pronounced, read or rendered in the courts of justice, before administrative agencies, in deliberative assemblies and in meetings.