FREE online course on Freedom of Information (FOI) for Filipinos

The Freedom of Information Project Management Office (FOI-PMO) of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), is offering a Free online course on Freedom of Information.

The free course is available on CourseBank (, the online learning platform of the  Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP).

The online course is powered by Project Smarter Philippines through Data Analytics Research and Development, Training, and Adoption (Project SPARTA) -- a joint initiative of the DOST, DAP, Analytics Association of the Philippines, and CourseBank.

FOI 101: Freedom of Information: An Introduction offers fundamental topics and discussions on the history of Access to Information (ATI) or Right to Information (RTI) both from a local and global perspective. The course will also map the legal framework on the right to access information.

The course will expound on the FOI Program and its implementation in the country, with a walkthrough of the Electronic FOI (eFOI) Portal as its digital platform.

The program's instructors include FOI specialists led by Kristian Ablan (Communications Assistant Secretary and Freedom of Information program director), with lawyer Mae Anne Sandoval and Ms. Pearl Iris Clemente.

Course Overview
This course is designed to build the capabilities of the learners in acquiring the recommended knowledge and skills in obtaining government information through the FOI Program. It approaches the subject by first giving a comprehensive overview of the basic principles and concepts underlying freedom of information. This is followed by enumerating the legal foundations which safeguard the public’s right to know along with the procedures on how learners can access information through the provisions stipulated in Executive Order No. 2, s. 2016. Finally, the course also offers an online tutorial on how to use the Electronic FOI Portal as an online platform for the retrieval and disclosure of information.

This course is specifically intended for all Filipino citizens to capacitate and help them exercise their right to access information.

What You Will Learn
Upon completion of this course, the learners are expected to:
  • understand the principles and concepts underlying freedom of information laws/policies;
  • explain the significance of freedom of information;
  • build awareness and gain a deeper understanding of their right to access information;
  • explain the interplay between the nature of information which is for public consumption and certain categories of information which limit information disclosure;
  • familiarize oneself in the process of acquiring government data and information through the FOI Program; and
  • identify the relevance of access to information to any other data-related initiatives.

What is FOI?
Freedom of Information is a mechanism that allows Filipino citizens to request any information about the operations and transactions of the government. However, this does not include information that can affect privacy or national security. This program is overseen by the PCOO.

The following information can be requested via FOI: "Information, official records, public records, and, documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions – as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development."

Requests are also accepted via their online platform, Proof of identification such as valid IDs may be required. Previous requests are also available to browse on their website. 

FOI and Librarians
The Presidential Communications Operations Office  (PCOO) under the Office of the President has recognized that librarians are a vital part of the government's thrust to strengthen Freedom of Information or FOI. Kristian Ablan has said that since librarians' role includes providing the public information, they have an important role in implementing FOI programs. 

Last September 11, 2020, the Project Management Office in partnership with librarian organizations held the 1st Freedom of Information (FOI) Webinar for Librarians with 3 CPD credit units. This is the first of a planned series of webinars to enrich librarians' knowledge and skills on FOI. [Read more: Librarians essential for Freedom of Information -PCOO]

DAP offers Freedom of Information course. (30 October 22). Retrieved from

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