House Panel hails approval of IRR for Filipino Sign Language law

The House Committee on Persons with Disabilities has hailed as “a milestone for the deaf community in the country” the approval of the long-awaited Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 11106, the Filipino Sign Language Law (FSL).

Negros Occidental Rep. Ma. Lourdes Arroyo thanked the Inter-Agency Council (IAC) for immediately responding to the committee’s call with the approval of the FSL Law IRR.

This comes after the House panel held a deliberation on House Resolution 955, looking into the delay of the promulgation of the IRR of RA 11106, which was enacted in 2018.

“When President Duterte signed the FSL Law last October 2018, it brought hopes of alleviation and empowerment to the Deaf Community in our country. I am very grateful that through the intervention of the Committee, the issue with the delay of the issuance of the IRR has been resolved and that the FSL law which aims to uplift the lives of the deaf community, particularly their need to access to information and communication can now be properly implemented,” Arroyo said in a statement.

Arroyo also highlighted the efforts of the deaf community that played a vital role in the approval of the IRR.

“I would also like to congratulate and thank the representatives of the Deaf Community on this milestone. Your strong commitment and intervention have greatly helped in fast tracking of the approval of the IRR,” Arroyo said.

RA 11106 declares the 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.

According to Section 13 of the law, the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino shall promulgate the implementing rules and regulations for the effective implementation of the Act within 180 days after its effectivity date.

It 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 deaf community, teachers with knowledge and experience with the use of FSL in deaf education, academe, interpreters. (PNA)