Philippines approves TV sign language bill

Asia-Pacific, February 5 2014

MANILA: The Philippines Congress’s lower house has approved on final reading a bill compelling TV stations to use sign language for people with hearing disabilities.

Filipino Sign Language

“With the passage of a bill amending the country’s Republic Act, television stations are required to provide Filipino sign language interpretation,” said Congressman Maximo Rodriguez of Abante Mindanao, a sectoral party at the House of Representatives.

Some 208 members of the House of Representatives approved the passage of House Bill 1214, which amended the country’s Republic Act No. 7277, also known as the Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities, said Rodriguez.

“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 disabilities to take advantage of such technology and enjoy audio-visual presentations with their seemingly unbounded innovation,” Rodriguez quoted an explanation stated in the said bill.

The bill called for the use of captions or subtitles in two daily news programs and in special programs of national importance.

The Senate, the upper house of Congress, has yet to pass a counterpart bill before the two versions are unified and harmonized, for final passage.

Source: Gulf News

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