The City Government of Isabela under the leadership of Isabela City Mayor Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman through its City Information Office in partnership with the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) headed by PCOO Undersecretary and Freedom of Information (FOI) Director, Atty. Kristian R. Ablan, conducted the Barangay Freedom of Information (FOI) activity at Basilan State College Amphitheater, March 22.
Director Ablan in his message explained that Freedom of Information is a mechanism to ask for an information from the government giving emphasis on the five (5) pillars of FOI, which inlude transparency, fighting fake news, academic research, innovation and empowerment. He also stated that Isabela City remains the only Local Government Unit in Zamboanga Peninsula with an FOI ordinance.
FOI Compliance Officer Patricia Marri O. Maranan tackled about the administrative liabilities and FOI exceptions such as information covered by executive privilege, international relations, law enforcement and protection of public and personal safety, and, confidential information for the protection of privacy of persons. Meanwhile, FOI Engagement Officer Hennesy Ozawa guided the participants with a walkthrough on the process of making an information request.
Vice Mayor Jhul Kifli Salliman discussed the salient points of FOI City Ordinance No. 19-536 or the Isabela City Transparency Ordinance enacted in 2019. He also reiterated the duty of the City Information Office and its Deputy anchored under Ordinance No. 19-536 Sec. 6 & 7.
Mayor Turabin-Hataman together with Vice Mayor Salliman and Usec. Ablan led the turnover of the FOI Kiosk. The FOI Kiosk contains info-collaterals on FOI and also serves as a symbol of the local government’s support and initiative to champion access to information. This is an offline initiative and partnership between FOI Philippines and the City Government of Isabela and through the FOI Kiosk, local citizens may utilize the FOI Program with ease and accessibility.
In her message, Mayor Turabin-Hataman expressed her gratitude to the PCOO and stated that the conduct of Barangay FOI in Isabela City is significant, “napatunayan natin na kahit napakaliit nating syudad at halos nasa pinakadulo na ng Pilipinas ay kaya nating makipagsabayan sa larangan ng Freedom of Information.”
“More than our compliance in FOI, talagang napakahalaga satin yung alam ng ating mga kababayan kung ano ba ang nangyayari,” the lady local chief executive added.
A separate session was set for the open forum and question for further clarification.