Through the Freedom of Information-Project Management Office (FOI-PMO), the Philippines successfully led the first online convention with FOI champions in Asia last January 28, 2022 to discuss the groundwork for the formulation of the Asian Access to Information Alliance (AIAA).
With the primary goal of co-developing FOI programs, projects, policies, and practices, an FOI alliance is envisioned to foster a greater culture of mutual cooperation and open exchange of information across Asia.
The event was kicked off by PCOO Undersecretary and FOI Program Director Kristian R. Ablan. He shared the untiring efforts of the FOI-PMO to seek and seize prospects for the program’s growth as well as to lay the foundation for the country’s implementation of an FOI law. Usec. Ablan advocated the creation of an international alliance for peer-learning and benchmarking among Asian countries in implementing FOI.
Commissioner Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena of the Sri Lankan Right to Information Commission and Commissioner Adrian Alcala of the National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information, and Personal Data Protection (INAI) in Mexico openly expressed their support towards the establishment of the AIAA emphasizing the contextual similarities between Asian countries. Also in attendance to provide support to the first online convention are the heads and representatives of the respective access to information implementing offices in Israel, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, as well as the Taiwan consular office in the Philippines.
By April 2022, the concerned representatives are expected to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to formalize their membership.