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Lawmaker urges education secretary to use Filipino Sign Language for Deaf Education

8 September 2011 9 Comments


September 8, 2011


ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio today urged Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro to use the Filipino Sign Language (FSL) as the official national sign language for Deaf Education.

Pushing for the advancement of Filipino Deaf community’s basic rights to language, culture, participation and self-determination, Tinio facilitated a dialogue between the Philippine Federation of the Deaf together with other deaf organizations in the country and some key DepEd officials at the DepEd Central Office held this morning.

Among the national deaf organizations which participated in the dialogue are as follows: Philippine Deaf Resource Center (PDRC), Philippine Federation of the Deaf, Deaf Adventure Club (DAC), Deaf Advocacy Program—Center for Partnership and Development, Philippine National Association of Sign Language Interpreters (PNASLI), Philippine Association of the Deaf, and the Philippine Coalition on U.N. Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (PCCRPD).

Various academics also showed support such as the De La Salle – College of St. Benilde (CSB) – School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies, De La Salle – CSB- Center for Education Access and Development, and the UP Department of Anthropology.

Assistant Professor at the Special Education Department of the UP College of Education Dr. Therese Bustos, UP Linguistics Department Prof. Ricardo Nolasco, and Valenzuela 2nd District Representative Magtanggol T. Gunigundo also attended the dialogue.

“Filipino Sign Language is the most appropriate medium of instruction for the Filipino Deaf community as it is the native language that they recognize, comprehend and identify with the most,” argued Tinio.

Tinio also sought clarification from DepEd Secretary Luistro regarding the policy on the medium of instruction used for the deaf community. DepEd Undersecretary for Programs and Projects Dr. Yolanda S. Quijano recently declared that, “Signing Exact English (S.E.E.) is the official sign language to be used in deaf education and training of sped instructors and that the method of instructions will be both oral and S.E.E.”.

“This declaration clearly violates provisions of the Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Special Needs Education (1994) which stipulates that Filipino Sign Language shall be the medium of instruction,” said Tinio.

Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Special Needs Education (1994) states that “educational policies should take full account of individual differences and situations. The importance of sign language as the medium of communication among the deaf, for example, should be recognized and provision made to ensure that all deaf persons have access to education in their national sign language”.

Luistro answered Tinio by saying that the pronouncement was a “miscommunication”, stressing that “SEE” is a means to understand the deaf. The former also added that “he cannot guarantee anything at the moment except for the department’s commitment to work closely with the deaf community to craft better policies”.

The dialogue resulted in the creation of a working group which will collaborate with the DepEd on crafting of implementable policies and programs for the Filipino deaf community.

The ACT Teachers solon also vowed to file a bill recognizing Filipino sign language as the national sign language.#



ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. Antonio L. Tinio (0920-922-0817)
Julie Anne D. Tapit, Media Officer (0915-762-6522)



  • Thank you for the posting this news article! It is more than important for every teacher to know what the Deaf people want. I am looking forward for the proposed bill.

  • Rey Alfred Lee

    Thank u for the post “advocacy about every articles FSL and support Filipino Deaf Community”

  • Romalitomallari

    i really appreciated to support Filipino Sign Language and Deaf want to used it. thanks 🙂

  • Anonymous

    i don’t agree with that kind of idea and plan, i am deaf and i know what deaf people really need is to learn more english thru the use of sign exact english…

    • I don’t think all Deaf people can learn English through SEE. But I believe that FSL can help Deaf people learn English or Tagalog which is called a bilingual approach in Deaf education.

    • I agree with you even though I’m not deaf. It is unfortunate that English is more important language today than tagalog.

  • Yvette Apurado-Bernardo

    I believe FSL to help Deaf communities to understand the save time.. FSL is for signing not in this writing.. writing is better using in English, Tagalog..
    Thank you for your supporting to FSL..

  • English Improvement

    It is the language that the Filipino Deaf community uses.There are two types: Sign Language and American Sign Language. Because the “signs” are visual representations, they are “pictures” made with the hands.

  • I want to say thanks for this useful information, I shared it on my wall to be honnest cause I LIKE it(: