The provincial board has approved an ordinance providing for transparency in local governance. Entitled Palawan Transparency and Freedom of Information Ordinance of 2019, the measure provides for a mechanism for the disclosure of public records of the provincial government.
Board Member Ryan Maminta, the author of the measure, said it outlines the procedure for access of information, provides remedies to the requesting parties in case of denial and impose administrative sanctions and criminal liability against public officials or employees who shall violate the provision of this ordinance.
The ordinance covers the provincial, municipal, and barangay offices.
“Every person shall have the right to access, examine, and copy a public record. This shall include the right to publish or otherwise disseminate a public record or the information contained in a public record. The right to copy a public record shall include the right to take photographs, video or sound recordings or to make physical copies through printing photocopying or other similar means,” the ordinance stated.
Under the ordinance, there shall be a disclosure of public records pertaining to the annual budget reports, annual procurement plans, the annual statement of indebtedness, payments, and balances (SIPB), statement of receipts and expenditures, supplemental procurement plan, utilization of 20 percent component of the Internal revenue allotment (IRA), utilization of the local disaster risk reduction management funds, trust fund utilization, unliquidated cash advances, human resource compliment, utilization of the gender and development fund and quarterly statement of cash flow.
For those documents which are not covered by the full disclosure policy, the normal procedure for requesting a public document under this ordinance is required to be complied with.
While providing access to information, public records, and official records, responsible officials under the ordinance shall ensure and afford full protection to an individual’s right to privacy as provided in Republic Act No. 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012.