The Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) has been recognized by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) in the 2020 Freedom of Information (FOI) Awards for government agencies contributing to the development and progress of the FOI Program.

Announced in the awarding ceremony on 25 November 2020 and livestreamed via Facebook, the BLGF shared the recognition with the Department of Finance, the Bureau of Customs and the Securities and Exchange Commission among the 28 government agencies under the category with at least 90% closed or resolved transactions for 50-249 received requests. The Bureau of Internal Revenue, on the other hand, was awarded in the category of 500 or more requests and with at least 90% closed transactions.

With this year’s theme “COMMIT, RESPOND, REVOLUTIONIZE: Delivering the Right Information in the Time of a Pandemic”, Atty. Kristian R. Ablan, Assistant Secretary and FOI Program Director, in a welcome message, emphasized that while the pandemic significantly continues to challenge stakeholder engagements, the circumstances made way for greater opportunities in promoting FOI across the country.

Rosalia B. Naranjo, Administrative Officer V and FOI Focal Officer of the BLGF Central Office also earned a special citation as Best FOI Officer, together with seven other government agencies.

BLGF Executive Director Nino Raymond B. Alvina is grateful for the recognition and acknowledged the efforts and dedication of the agency’s FOI Team, noting that the BLGF began its compliance during the early phase of the FOI advocacy when it started catering to various electronic information requests on local treasury appointments, local finance data, and borrowings of local government units.

In 2017, during the first-year celebration of the FOI program implementation, the PCOO cited the BLGF for its unprecedented compliance with the FOI initiative, and was lauded for its quick response to an FOI request of a citizen that was granted by the BLGF within the same day the request was made.

It has been the policy of the BLGF to reply to every request lodged through the eFOI portal, within the prescribed period of FOI and ARTA. The average response rate is within 24-hours upon receipt of the request, and the BLGF remains committed to this service standard for 2021 and beyond.