MANILA - The Senate on Tuesday approved on third and final reading a proposed law recognizing the Filipino Sign Language (FSL) as an an official medium of instruction and communication.
Under Senate Bill number 145, FSL will be used in all government transactions for the deaf community and will be used as a medium of instruction for deaf learners.
The proposed law also makes FSL an official means of interpretation in broadcast media. It tasks the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas, Movie and Television Review and Classification Board and the deaf organization to set standards for interpreting FSL in media.
"With the bill's passage into law, it would free our fellow Filipinos who are deaf or hard of hearing from illiteracy, marginalization, and oppression; and make them partners in nation-building," Senator Binay, author of the measure, said in a statement.
"There is a need to identify and adopt standards that would guide the development and advancement, especially in communicating of the deaf and hard of hearing," she added.
Around 120,000 Filipinos are deaf, Binay said citing a national census in 2000.
The House of Representatives earlier this month approved a counterpart FSL bill.