The FOI Research Team conducts forward planning with the FOI Project Management Office of the PCOO in order to define questions of interest, select agencies where the case study approach will be implemented, and assign tasks for fieldwork. The forward planning was conducted last March 2019 at Astoria Greenbelt, Makati, Philippines.
As a result, the following agencies were selected as case studies for this research:
- Department of Public Works and Highways
- Department of Health
- Department of Transportation
The team used four criteria to select the agencies and these are as follows:
a. The agency must be one of the top 10 agencies in terms of number of FOI requests received.
b. It must be an agency that delivers direct services to people
c. The agency must be one of the top 10 spenders of the whole of government
d. The agency must have a functioning FOI request and response system
Based on statistics kept by the FOI PMO, as of December 2018, only 34% of a total of 939 covered agencies submitted data inventories, 49% submitted FOI manuals indicating operationalization of the EO at the agency level, while 33% submitted FOI summary reports indicating the number of requests received and responded to. It must be noted, however, that the large bulk of non-compliance are local water districts constituting 55% of the total number of covered agencies.
Among national government agencies, 100% were able to comply with the preparation of FOI manuals, 75% were able to submit data inventories, and 72% have submitted FOI summary reports. The Philippine Statistics Authority topped as the agency with the most number of requests, followed by key service delivery agencies like the Department of Health (2nd place), the Department of Transportation (3rd place), the Department of Public Works and Highways (5th place), and the Department of Education (7th place). Others on the list are the Department of Budget and Management (4th place), and the DILG (6th place). Interestingly enough,legal documents, including contracts, top the list of most requested information in 2018.
Among these agencies, the DPWH, DOH, DepED, and DOTr are among the top government spenders, largely because of the nature of the services that they provide to people. DPWH and DOH are among the agencies with a highly functioning FOI system.
In the next four months, an in depth study of these agencies will be conducted and case study reports will be made available soon.