Harmonizing Government Data Disclosure through Open Data and the FOI

Date Originally Published: November 11, 2016
Date Republished: October 13, 2017

The Open Data Philippines and the new Freedom of Information (FOI) Executive Order, aims to create an active exchange of information between the government and the public by introducing a central database for all publicly available government data and information through data.gov.ph.

As the FOI cements the public’s rights to government information, Open Data Philippines will provide the central portal where both requested and proactively disclosed data and information may be accessed.The FOI program will also create the Electronic FOI (eFOI), a facility that will handle requests for data and information and will ensure that each request is properly received, reviewed, and answered.

The FOI and Open Data initiatives will work harmoniously and simultaneously to manage and oversee government data collection and publication. The Presidential Communications and Operations Office (PCOO), in partnership with the newly formed Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the World Bank, conducted a workshop for national government agencies on October 10, 2016 to introduce the eFOI. The eFOI will have an online platform where citizens can lodge an FOI request, get updates on their requests, and receive their requested information. The eFOI platform will be available to a few government agencies for its beta phase.

Following the October 10th workshop were a series of consultations and workshops for the National Government Agencies, Government Owned and Controlled Corporations, State Universities and Colleges, and Civil Society Organizations. It is hoped that when the eFOI platform is launched on November 25, 2016, citizens will be able to conveniently request for government data and information online. The eFOI platform aims to be available for the rest of the government offices covered by the FOI Executive Order by 2017 to 2018.