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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau


COMMITTEE ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON INQUIRY INTO DELAYED IMPLEMENTATION OF FILIPINO SIGN LANGUAGE ACT; APPROVES BILLS PROVIDING COMMUNICATION ACCESSIBILITY TO THE HEARING IMPAIRED

 

29 November 2021 04:08:20 PM

The House Special Committee on Persons with Disabilities chaired by Negros Occidental Rep. Ma. Lourdes Arroyo on Monday adopted House Resolution 955 regarding the delayed implementation of the Filipino Sign Laguage Act. The resolution directs the Inter-Agency Council created under Republic Act 11106 or the Filipino Sign Language (FSL) Act to submit to the House of Representatives a comprehensive report on the monitoring and implementation of the law It called for an inquiry into the delay in the issuance of the law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR) with the end in view of ensuring the rights of the deaf community in the country such as, but not limited to, access to information, education, and health services under RA 11106 during the COVID-19 crisis. In her sponsorship speech, Arroyo said the sector with hearing impairment was gravely affected by the lack of access to information during the pandemic. “Conversely, the hearing impaired have also experienced the inability to communicate their thoughts, their questions, their needs because of (the) lack of sign language interpreters,” she said. Arroyo further said that the Filipino Sign Language Law brought hopes of alleviation and empowerment. “There should be proper implementation which starts with promulgation of its implementing rules and regulations,” Arroyo added. Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) Komisyoner Benjamin Mendillo told the panel that his agency is still waiting for the primary stakeholders to submit their comments to the draft IRR. Under the FSL law, the KWF is designated as the lead agency to facilitate the creation of the FSL IRR through an inter-agency council, which is composed of various agencies and stakeholders. Mendillo said they needed the comments of the primary stakeholders like the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Supreme Court because they use interpreters in their court hearings. Aside from the DOJ and SC, agencies that have yet to send their comments to the draft IRR are the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), and the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF). Meanwhile, the panel also approved HB 3796 authored by Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez and HB 8922 by BAYAN MUNA Party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate. HB 3796 would provide communication accessibility to Filipino deaf and hard of hearing for full inclusion into the mainstream of society. Meanwhie, HB 8922 would provide for interpreters in all judicial, quasi-judicial, investigative proceedings, and public hearings involving deaf individuals. The committee also approved the committee report on House Bill 7753 authored by Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas, declaring the last full week of September of every year as the “National Week of the Deaf” and September 23 of every year as the “Filipino Sign Language Day”.

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