Solon urges use of Filipino Sign Language in formal education

ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio filed House Bill 6079 declaring the Filipino Sign Language (FSL) as the national sign language and mandating its use as the medium of instruction in deaf education, among others.

Tinio said that the “Filipino Sign Language Act of 2012” is based on the rights of Deaf learners to their own culture and identity, and to inclusion in school and society. The bill was crafted upon close consultation with representatives of the Filipino Deaf community, who joined Tinio in calling for its immediate enactment.

“This measure is therefore long overdue,” Tinio said. “Since their natural language is visual, Deaf children cannot understand their lessons, which are taught through Filipino, English, or any auditory- or orally-based language.”

The progressive lawmaker noted that the Committee on Social Services, where HB 6079 is referred, should immediately set the first hearing to begin the initial stages toward its enactment.

HB 6079 also mandates the use of FSL in public services and transactions like health centers, courts, and workplaces, and standards and the creation of standards and institutions for FSL interpreting.

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