Duterte signs Filipino Sign Language Act
President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law an act declaring the Filipino Sign Language (FSL) as the National Sign Language of the Filipino deaf and the official sign language of the government in all transactions involving the deaf.
Duterte signed last October 30 Republic Act. No. 11106, otherwise known as “The Filipino Sign Language Act,” which also mandates the use of FSL in schools, broadcast media, and in workplaces.
“The FSL shall be recognized, promoted and supported as the medium of official communication in all transactions involving the deaf, and as the language of instruction of deaf education, without prejudice to the use of other forms of communications depending on individual choice or preference,” the law states.
The Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), Techinical Education, and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), and all other national and local government agencies involved in the education of the deaf, are tasked to use and coordinate with each other on the use of FSL as the medium of instruction in deaf education.
The law also mandates the University of the Philippines together with the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF), professional sign linguistics, and linguistics researchers, in collaboration with the CHEd and DepEd, and the Early Childhood Care Development (ECCD) Council, to come up with guidelines for the development of training materials in the education of the deaf for use by all state universities and colleges, as well as their teachers and staff. /kga
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