New law to give people with hearing disabilities full access to information on TV
Asia-Pacific, July 26 2016
PHILIPPINES: Another legislative measure that would allow people with hearing disabilities full access to information and opportunities has lapsed into law, Senator Grace Poe said on Friday.
Poe said the measure entitled “An Act Requiring All Franchise Holders or Operators of Television Stations and Producers of Television Programs to Broadcast or Present Their Programs With Closed Caption Options” was assigned Republic Act No. 10905.
The new law, she said, will take effect 15 days after publication.
“One of the objectives of this legislation is to provide our people with hearing disabilities access to news, entertainment and information in promoting their welfare,” Poe, chairperson of the Senate committee on public information and mass media and the principal sponsor of the measure in the 16th Congress, said in a statement.
“Full realization of the goals of the measure is consistent with the Philippine Government’s commitment when it ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2008, which states that there should be full accessibility and recognition of the linguistic and cultural identity of persons with disabilities,” she added.
Closed captioning was defined under the new law as the method of subtitling TV programs by coding statements as vertical interval data signals that are decoded at the receiver and superimposed at the bottom of the TV screen.
The law provides exemptions to franchise holders or operators of TV stations and program producers on public service announcements that are shorter than 10 minutes; programs shown from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m.; programs that are primarily textual in nature; and when compliance would be economically burdensome to TV operators.
Poe said the rules and regulations of the new law will be promulgated by the National Telecommunications Commission and the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board.
The senator earlier announced that a new Anti-Carnapping Act, imposing jail terms up to life imprisonment, had also lapsed into law. She also sponsored the measure as former chair of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs in the 16th Congress.