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The Press in a Democracy: A Comparative Historical Analysis of the Non-Passage of the Freedom of Information Act from 1992-2012


This study followed the journey of the Freedom of Information Bill in Philippine legislature since it was first filed in 1992 until its “death” in February 2013. It found out three main things: (1) a qualitative discussion on the bills that have been filed from 1992-2012, (2) the “experiences” the FOI bill and its advocates have undergone, and (3) the contributors and obstacles to the passage of the bill. The study revealed that a total of 44 bills have been filed each at the House of Representatives and the Senate from 1992-2012. The bill had almost been passed during the 14th congress but failed due to a lack of quorum. As of this writing, the bill has also been considered “dead” for the 15th congress. Based on the interviews, the study also revealed that some of the factors that affect the passage of the bill are the President’s support and the lack of public demand for it. However, the biggest factor contributing to its non passage is resistance from the legislators at the House themselves, that is, passing a bill that could possibly unseat them. In the end, however, the freedom of information remains a right and a vital part in a democracy where the main thrust is an informed citizenry.

Guinmapang, L. J. G. and San Jose, M. Z. A. (2013). The Press in a Democracy: A Comparative Historical Analysis of the Non-Passage of the Freedom of Information Act from 1992-2012. Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication.


KEYWORDS: freedom of information, history, press, democracy


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