House approves use of Pinoy sign language in news programs

By Paolo Romero, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 05 2014 02:26 AM | Updated as of Feb 05 2014 10:26 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The House of Representatives passed on third and final reading a bill mandating the use of Filipino sign language insets in local television news programs to allow the hearing-impaired to understand the broadcast.

The House plenary approved on Monday with 208 votes House Bill 1214 authored by Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez that amends Section 22 of Republic Act No. 7277 or the Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities.

Under the bill co-authored by Abante Mindanao party-list Rep. Maximo Rodriguez, television stations are required to provide Filipino sign language insets.

The bill also wants closed captions or subtitles in at least two news programs every day and special programs covering events of national importance.

It further provides that television networks on free television may choose to provide Filipino sign language insets in other programs such as cultural affairs, livelihood and children programs.

“With the advances of information technology and the relevance of television programs, motion pictures and other audio-visual presentation as tools of learning, there is a need to enable persons with hearing impairment to take advantage of such technology and enjoy audio-visual presentations with their seemingly unbounded innovation,” the bill stated.