Nat’l sign language bill debates delaying FOI bill deliberations - lawmaker | Inquirer News

Nat’l sign language bill debates delaying FOI bill deliberations – lawmaker

/ 04:58 PM November 13, 2012

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Instead of going straight to the much-awaited deliberations on the Freedom of Information Bill, the House committee on public information started the debates on the national sign language bill Tuesday.

Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat, one of the legislators present during the panel’s hearing, said in his Twitter, “Anti-FOI solons delaying [the] committee hearing on sign language bill so [they] can delay FOI discussions.”


Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez started questioning the proposed measure, which seeks to declare the Filipino sign language as the national sign language.

Instead of having hand gestures pertaining to letters as with the American sign language, Bayan Representative Teddy Casino argued that what made Filipino sign language better was that it was based on “signs and not words.”


Rodriguez insisted that those from areas with different dialects might not be comfortable with “Filipino sign language” to which Casino said “there’s only one translation in sign language whatever the dialect.”

Bagong Henerasyon Representative Bernadette Herrera-Dy said that FSL was not compatible to international sign language users.

Nueva Ecija Representative Rodolfo Antonino said that if FSL is imposed on local media outfits, “they may lose their foreign audience.”

Zambales Representative Mitos Magsaysay however saw the issue as one on “the interpretation of (the term) Filipino sign language” and not on the type of sign language itself.

In the middle of the heated debate among legislators, members of the audience kept mumbling “that’ll be OK” as they were impatient for the panel to move to discussions on the FOI Bill.

Lawmakers eventually voted against deleting the term “Filipino” from the proposed measures.

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