Bill requiring sign language in newscasts approved

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

MANILA -- The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a bill that would require the use of Filipino sign language inset for local news programs.

Bayan Muna party-list Representative Teddy Casiño, main author of House Bill 6709, said the measure’s objective is to make television more accessible to persons with hearing disabilities.

"State affirms and mandates the rehabilitation, self-development and integration of persons with disabilities into mainstream society through the Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities. Through the said law, television stations are encouraged to use subtitles or sign-language interpreters in their newscast programs," Casiño said.

Co-authors to the bill are Representatives Rufus Rodriguez (Cagayan De Oro), Maximo Rodriguez (Abante Mindanao party-list), and Raymond Palatino (Kabataan party-list).

With the passage of the bill, all free-to-air television stations will be required to provide Filipino sign language insets, and if possible, closed caption or subtitles in at least two newscast programs a day and special programs covering events of national significance.

The measure will also grant the free-to-air television stations the option to provide for Filipino sign language insets in other programs, such as those pertaining to cultural affairs, livelihood and those catering to children. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)

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