Duterte signs Filipino Sign Language Act

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 12 Nov.) – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday signed the Filipino Sign Language Act declaring the country’s national sign language as the official sign language in all transactions involving the deaf.

Authored by Senator Nancy Binay, the law seeks to eliminate all forms of discrimination against the Filipino deaf, and requires the use of the FSL in schools, broadcast media, and workplaces.

It mandates the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas, Movie and Television Review and Classification Board and the deaf organization to set standards for interpreting FSL in media.

Within a year after the law becomes effective, media must have FSL interpreter insets in news and public affairs programs, be it in broadcast or online news video.

The law tasks the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino to establish a national system of standards and procedures for the interpretation of the FSL.

The University of the Philippines and other education agencies shall develop guidelines for the development of training materials in the education of the deaf.

Qualified sign language interpreters are also required in all hearings, proceedings, and government transactions involving the deaf.

The 2000 Philippine census said there were around 121,000 deaf people in the country. (MindaNews)