MANILA, PHILIPPINES —The Department of Tourism (DOT) has won this year’s Champion of Freedom of Information (FOI) Award conferred by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) at the awarding ceremony held at Hilton Manila in Pasay on November 21.
DOT Head of Records and Communication Section Maricel C. Malalad also won the Best FOI Receiving Officer.
“The award is an affirmation of the Department of Tourism’s commitment to upholding transparency and accountability, and the freedom of information. We thank President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for his unparalleled support for tourism where, led by his drive towards inclusive tourism governance, we have reached out to as many sectors as possible and engaged with the public and private sectors in reviewing and revising policies, and implementing landmark programs that are responsive to the public’s needs. We also thank the Presidential Communications Office and the 2023 FOI award screening committee for your diligent efforts in the deliberation process,” said Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco in a statement.
“Today we celebrate good governance through the FOI awards. The DOT is proud to have made the cut for models of transparent, accountable and responsive departments. We pledge to continue our efforts to uphold these principles and to serve the Filipino people with integrity and passion. The Department of Tourism will continue to showcase the beauty of our nation and to share our cultural heritage with the world all while ensuring the principles of FOI are embedded in our work,” Secretary Frasco also said in a message read by Assistant Secretary Gissela Marie Romualdez-Quisumbing.
In 2020, the DOT was awarded Top Performing Agency under the Department Level category; Rising Star Award under Department Level in 2021; and first Runner-Up Champion Award also under Department Level.
This year, the DOT received 455 FOI requests and the entire requests have been processed. Among its FOI efforts and initiatives over the years are also the issuances of memo and department orders for FOI compliance, such as the DOT FOI Manual which serves as a guide to DOT officials, employees, and the general public in the processing of any request for information.
The annual FOI Awards is organized by the Freedom of Information-Program Management Office (FOI-PMO) of the PCO which honors the efforts of government agencies across the Executive Branch, as well as institutional partners, individuals, and civil society organizations that significantly contributed to the development and success of the FOI Program implementation as well as those who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to freedom of information.