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FOI Rising Star Award. From left to right: PCOO Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco, PCOO Undersecretary Kristian R. Ablan, PRA Director Nolasco K. Bathan, PRA Acting Assistant General Manager Atty. Johanna Irene Maramba-Gargantiel, PRA FOI Team Member Ms. Luciana D. Samarro, PRA FOI Team Member Ms. Ericka. Anne M. Pacio (Courtesy of PCOO live coverage)

The Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) received the 2021 FOI Rising Star Award in recognition of its stellar commitment and implementation of the government’s Freedom of Information (FOI) program during the 2021 FOI Awards at Radisson Blu Hotel in Cebu City on 25 November 2021.

With the theme “Revisiting Milestones, Reinventing the Future: Celebrating Five Years of FOI Implementation in the Philippines”, the FOI Awards is conferred by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), through the Freedom of Information - Project Management Office (FOI-PMO), to government agencies, individuals, and organizations who have made significant contributions to the development and progress of the FOI program.

Borne out of E.O. No. 2, s. 2016, the Freedom of Information programs of the government work towards operationalizing the people’s Constitutional right to information and full public disclosure and transparency in public service.

In celebration of the 5th edition of the FOI Awards, the FOI-PMO Secretariat has expanded and established a new set of awards this year. As one of the newest categories, the FOI Rising Star Award is given to government agencies and institutions that have exemplified great progress and performance in the implementation of the FOI campaign.

According to Atty. Johanna Irene Maramba–Gargantiel, PRA Acting Assistant General Manager for Legal and Administrative Services and FOI Officer, “PCOO’s recognition of PRA as one of the FOI Rising Star awardee is a validation of the PRA’s continuous efforts to actively support the National Government’s advocacy to ensure the constitutional mandate of the right to information of every Filipino citizen. In the coming years, the PRA shall continue its commitment to institutionalize the FOI programs and mechanism towards achieving public service excellence.”

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Meet the PRA FOI Team. From lower left to lower right: General Manager and CEO Atty. Janilo E. Rubiato, and Chairman of the Board of Directors Atty. Alberto C. Agra; From upper left to upper right: Ms. Regina Carla T.  Talaga, Ms. Ericka Anne M.  Pacio, Special Assistant to the Corporate Head Atty. Jeanelle Lee-Gamido, Management Information System Division Manager Mr. James Cenzon, Acting Assistant General Manager Atty. Johanna Irene Maramba-Gargantiel, Ms. May Cecilia C. Malicdem, and Ms. Luciana D. Samarro

The PRA is joined by fourteen other agencies and institutions that have been acknowledged in the FOI Rising Star Award category for 2021. These are:

  1. Department of Tourism (DOT)
  2. Philippine National Police (PNP)
  3. Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC)
  4. Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD)
  5. National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP)
  6. Occupational Safety And Health Center (OSHC)
  7. Aurora State College of Technology
  8. Occidental Mindoro State College
  9. Bulacan Agricultural State College
  10. Sulu State College
  11. General Santos City Water District, General Santos City
  12. Santa Maria Water District, Bulacan
  13. Metro Kalibo Water District
  14. Licab Water District

The award complements PRA’s quality policy in acting with transparency and accountability and the provision of unapparelled service for the general welfare and betterment of the Filipino people. It likewise affirms PRA’s core value of being responsive to society’s needs.