MANILA - The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to declare Filipino Sign Language (FSL) as the national sign language of the Filipino deaf.
House Bill 7503 also aims to establish FSL as the official sign language of the government in transactions with the deaf.
The measure seeks to mandate the use of FSL in schools, broadcast media, and workplaces involving the deaf.
"The FSL shall be taught as a separate subject in the curriculum of 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 lower chamber said in a statement.
The FSL also mandates the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) and the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) to require FSL interpreter insets in news and public affairs programs.
Under the measure, courts should ensure the availability of a qualified sign language interpreter in all proceedings involving the deaf.
Meanwhile, state hospitals and all health facilities shall ensure access of the Filipino deaf to health services, including the free provision of FSL interpreters and materials upon the request of deaf patients or persons who have deaf family members.