Insets of sign language interpreters using the Filipino Sign Language (FSL) in television news and public affairs programs will become mandatory in one year. This is part of a broad set of measures enacted by Congress under the Filipino Sign Language Act, signed into law by President Duterte in November 2018.
The law declares FSL as the national sign language of the Filipino deaf and the official sign language of government in all transactions involving the deaf and its use for the deaf in schools, broadcast media, and workplaces. FSL will be the official language to be used in the education of the deaf for the legal interpreting for the deaf in all public hearings, proceedings, and transactions of the courts, quasi-judicial agencies, and other tribunals and will be the official sign language of Filipino deaf employed in government service.
Within one year from the effectivity of the Act, television stations are required to provide FSL interpreter insets in their news and public affairs programs to guarantee access to information and freedom of information to the Filipino deaf. The KBP is among those designated to implement the measure together with the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino (KWF) and the Movie and Television Review Board (MTRCB).
The declaration of FSL as the official sign language of the Fiipino deaf forestalls the confusion arising from the use of different types and variants of sign language in use today. There are more than 121,000 Filipino deaf today.