The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has committed to uphold the public’s right to information, particularly in the academic sector, after it bagged a Freedom of Information (FOI) award.
CHED was awarded as the FOI Champion second runner-up during the recent FOI Awards held by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) to recognize significant efforts of government agencies in promoting the right to information.
“This gives us additional inspiration to work harder in ensuring freedom of information is fully implemented in CHED, and [in] state universities and colleges. And equally important, that it is in the consciousness of more people especially students and the broader academic community,” CHED Chairman J. Prospero De Vera III said in a statement.
According to De Vera, promoting FOI in higher education is particularly “challenging” given the diverse stakeholders, the close to 400 campuses of public universities scattered across the country, and the huge number of students enrolled in public and private higher education institutions (HEIs)
Despite this, the CHED chief assured that it will continue to support the government in promoting the institutionalization of freedom of information, not only in terms of institutional compliance but also in ensuring that students become “aware of the power of knowledge” derived from information available from various state agencies.
“We made sure that CHED supported the initiatives to ensure the institutionalization of FOI in our offices and state universities and colleges,” De Vera added.
The FOI Awards is an annual event that aims to recognize the remarkable contributions of government offices in the executive branch, including government-owned and controlled corporations, state universities and colleges, and local water districts, to the development and progress of the FOI program.