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House panel approves Filipino Sign Language bill

  • Written by Ryan Ponce Pacpaco
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 646

THE House Committee on Social Services has approved a substitute measure seeking to declare the
Filipino Sign Language (FSL) as the national sign language of the Filipino deaf and the official sign
language of government in all transactions involving the deaf, and mandating its use in schools,
broadcast media, and workplaces.

The bill, approved by the panel chaired by La Union Rep. Sandra Eriguel, titled “The Filipino
Sign Language Act” substituted House Bill (HB) No. 2094  authored by Alliance of Concerned Teachers
(ACT) party-list Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro.
    
The bill declares the State promotes the vision taken with Republic Act 10410 or the “Early
Years Act” and RA 10533 or the “Basic Education Act,” which have already recognized FSL in the
education of deaf learners from early childhood up to the secondary level.
    
The FSL shall be recognized, promoted, and supported as the medium of official communication
in all transactions involving the deaf, and as the language of instruction of deaf education, without
prejudice to the use of other forms of communication depending on individual choice or preference.
    
The Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), the Technical
Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and all other national and local government
agencies involved in the education of the deaf, are tasked to henceforth use FSL as the medium of
instruction in deaf education.
    
The FSL shall also be taught as a separate subject in the curriculum for deaf learners.
    
The reading and writing of Filipino, as the national language, other Philippine languages, and
English shall also be taught to deaf learners. The reading and writing of Filipino, as the national
language, other Philippine languages, and English shall also be taught to deaf learners.
    
To promote the licensing and mobilization of deaf teachers in formal education as well as
alternative learning system, the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), together with teacher
education programs nationwide, are directed to employ alternative assessment procedures which shall
consider the conditions, abilities, and social barriers of the deaf teachers. These procedures shall
be language-appropriate and culture-fair to deaf education graduates.
    
The bill requires all national and local government agencies and centers providing deaf
education to deaf students to undertake regular pre in-service training and evaluation of their
teachers in consultation with the representatives of the Filipino deaf community.
    
The bill establishes a national system of standards, accreditations, and procedures for FSL
interpreting, without prejudice to other forms of communication which respect the right of a deaf
person to accessibility, and to seek, receive, impart ideas on an equal basis with others according to
their choice.