Congress calls for review of implementation of Filipino Sign Language Act

Cong L Arroyo
Hon. Ma. Lourdes T. Arroyo of Negros Occidental, 5th District

The House of Representatives thru Negros Occidental 5th district Rep. Ma. Lourdes “Marilou” T. Arroyo, is calling on her colleagues to review the implementation of the Filipino Sign Language Act to ensure that the rights of the Deaf community in the country are protected and that they have access to information, education, and health services during this time of COVID-19 pandemic crisis. The law took effect on November 27, 2018.

Here is a repost from the original news article published by the Manila Bulletin dated June 20, 2020.

Arroyo calls for review of implementation of Filipino Sign Language Act

Published June 25, 2020, 10:42 AM

By Charissa Luci-Atienza

Negros Occidental 5th district Rep. Ma. Lourdes “Marilou” T. Arroyo is calling on her colleagues to review the implementation of the Filipino Sign Language Act to ensure that the rights of the Deaf community in the country are protected and that they have access to information, education, and health services during this time of COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

The chairperson of the House Special Committee on Persons with Disability filed House Resolution No. 955 directing the Inter-Agency Council to submit to the House of Representatives a “comprehensive” report on the monitoring and implementation of the Republic Act No. 11106, which was signed into law by President Duterte in November 2018.

“During this crisis when information is constantly changing, getting information to the deaf and people with hearing loss is not easy,” she said. She noted that under RA 11106, the Inter-Agency Council is required to make an annual report on the monitoring and implementation of the law and submit it to both houses of Congress, and publicly disclose it.,

RA 11106 declares the Filipino Sign Language (FSL) as the national sign language of the Filipino deaf and the official sign language of government in all transactions involving the deaf. The law mandates the use of FSL in schools, broadcast media, and workplaces.

Citing the report of the Manila Bulletin, she said an alliance of Deaf and hearing advocates has been formed to ensure the Deaf community’s equal access to information.

“It says that the alliance was formed recognizing the lack of sign language interpreters in TV stations during the announcement of the community quarantine and that interpreters had to designate a portion of their houses as their workstation to comply with the standards of TV inset,” Arroyo said.

She said all briefings of the Department of Health (DOH) as well as an official advisory of the government on rules and guidelines during the COVID-19 crisis should be made accessible to all citizens including our persons with disabilities.

Under HR 955, the House leader also asked private health facilities to provide access to health services to all deaf patients and their family members.

Under HR 955, the House leader expressed her panel’s readiness to look into the delayed issuance of the implementing rules and regulations of the law.

“There is a need to find out the reason behind the delay or inaction of the different government agencies involved in crafting the IRR of RA No. 11106 in order to diminish the severe risk to the health and well-being of individuals with disabilities especially the deaf and hard of hearing by timely and accurate health information surrounding the outbreak,” she said.
Section 13 of the law provides that the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino promulgate the implementing rules and regulations for the effective implementation of the proposed Act within 180 days after its effectivity date. That should be done in coordination with the Secretary of Education, chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), director-general of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), chairperson of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ), in consultation with the representative of the deaf community, teachers with knowledge and experience with the use of FSL in deaf education, academe, interpreters.

Here is the link to the original post.

Happy Resurrection Day, everyone!!!

Happy Resurrection Day to all my blog followers! As my special Easter greeting to you, please watch this praise song “Mighty to Save” performed by Inigo Pascual, a popular RnB singer from the Philippines. This is special to me because of One Music PH, a music portal owned and operated by ABS-CBN Network’s Star Creatives Group. They requested our school for the deaf (MCCID) to partner with them because they want to add a sign language interpretation of the song. We gladly accepted and happily translated the song into Filipino Sign Language.

Here it is:

“Isa Pa With Feelings” Actors sign Deaf and Hearing

cargel.jpg

Last week, I got hold of this image being shared on Twitter and eventually on Facebook which landed in the Filipino deaf community pages and groups. It was, I guess, owned by a certain @cargel_nation2, as what appeared on the bottom of the image. After a careful search, I found out that the owner of this image did not say who he/she is. Only that he/she is a Carlo Aquino – Angelica Panganiban Loveteam Fan. But I am pretty sure the original image was taken from the Black Sheep Production, the producers of the movie “Isa Pa With Feelings” which I and my deaf students/alumni are excited to watch for free this October 18 courtesy of “Lawyers and Friends for Maine”. 🙂

However, I noticed that the signs were incomplete. These signs were not a one-hand movement but a combination of two actions. People who want to learn sign language might get confused and understood this as a static sign. So, I went to my dusty old Adobe Fireworks software and created an animated version (GIF) of the signs. The movements are not that complex. I simply copied the hand, used the Rubber Stamp and Blur tools and pasted it meticulously to generate the second sign. Lastly, I combined the two using the State command to create an illusion of movement.

To my dear readers, introducing, the Filipino Sign Language (FSL) of the words Deaf and Hearing!!!!

carlo deaf animated gif1.gif
Carlo Aquino signs DEAF.

The FSL sign for “deaf” is very much the same as American Sign Language. The index finger first points on the lower part of the ear lobe. Then, the finger touches the side of the lips. As far as I can remember, this is the only sign the Filipino deaf uses to introduce themselves. Pointing both the ear and lips might describe that they cannot hear and speak. Even though we know that there are many deaf who can speak, this sign has been deeply rooted in their culture that any variations or changes on this sign never became widespread use.

Carlo Aquino plays the deaf tutor in the movie. He is a hearing person in real life.

maine sign hearing animated gif
Maine Mendoza signs HEARING.

This FSL sign for “hearing” is the one being used by the majority of the Filipino deaf. The first handshape is like a bent “C” near the ear without touching it. The second hand-movement is elongated or long-shaped “O”, also near the ear. The movement needs to be done many times and in quick successions. The sign means a sound can pass through a person’s ears and reverberates or in continuing effect.

The FSL sign for hearing is different from ASL. In ASL, the emphasis is on the person’s ability to talk or speak, so the sign points to the mouth or lips. To compare below is the ASL sign for a “Hearing Person”.

In the movie, Maine Mendoza plays the hearing person who wants to learn sign language.  Happy signing!!!!

PS: I did not personally ask the permission of the image uploader to use his photo. I hope he won’t mind. 🙂

Lawyers for Maine sponsors MCCID for Free Block Screening of New Movie

isa pa with feelings fb post

Our school Manila Christian Computer Institute for the Deaf was fortunate to be selected by a group of lawyers and friends of Filipino Actress Maine Mendoza to watch her forthcoming movie for free this October 18.

The “Lawyers & Friends for Maine” group through one of their members Atty. Christine Lejano emailed our school inviting 50 deaf students and alumni to watch “Isa Pa With Feelings (One More Time With Feelings)” including free rides from our selected pick-up point going to the movie theater at Power Plant Cinema at Rockwell Mall in Makati City.

Isa Pa With Feelings is an upcoming Filipino romantic-comedy film starring Maine Mendoza and Carlo Aquino, directed by Prime Cruz. It set to be released on October 16, 2019, under Black Sheep Productions. It stars popular young TV and Movie Actress Maine Mendoza who is learning sign language and being tutored by Actor Carlo Aquino. Mendoza is from GMA-7 while Aquino is from rival ABS-CBN 2 which also produces the movie.

Philippine Actress Maine Mendoza clarifies misconception about deaf people

MANILA, Philippines — Popular Philippine actress Maine Mendoza has cleared a common misconception that deaf people have no voice.

In her Twitter account, the “Eat Bulaga” host reposted an infographic about deaf people.

“YES YES! Let me just clear this common misconception about deaf people. DEAF PEOPLE HAVE VOICES; but many prefer to sign (using FSL: Filipino Sign Langauge) because it is their first language and their right. Therefore, the term Deaf-Mute is not right dahil HINDI PO SILA PIPI, (because they are not mute)” Maine wrote.

maine tweet about deaf culture.fw

Maine stars as a sign language student in the upcoming film “Isa Pa With Feelings” with Kapamilya actor Carlo Aquino, who plays a deaf character.

 

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