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Passing the Filipino Sign Language Act

The president of the Philippines Federation of the Deaf explains the process for passing the Filipino Sign Language Act.
Image of a flow chart entitled "How A Law is Passed". The left side of the flow chart shows how a bill passes through the Philippines House of Representatives, the right side shows how the same bill passes through the Philippines Senate. In both the House and the Senate, a Representative or Senator writes and files a bill, which is then assigned a number starting with HB (for the House version of the bill) or SB (for the Senate version of the bill). Next, different versions of the bill are written by different Representatives or Senators, and the first "Reading" of the bill is held in the House and in the Senate. Then the House version of the bill is assigned to a House of Representatives Committee while the Senate version of the bill is assigned to a Senate Committee. Next, each Committee calls a Public Hearing. The bill goes to a Technical Working Group (TWG) in the House and in the Senate. Then a second Reading is held and the House Committee and the Senate Committee each approve their version of the bill. Then there is a third Reading and Plenary Debate of each version of the bill. If the bill is approved in both the House and the Senate, then the two versions of the bill are brought together in the Conference Committee so that the Committee can merge the House and Senate versions of the bill. Finally, the President can sign the bill into law. To the left of the flow chart is a note that says "Approved and passed HB 7503". To the right side of the flow chart, there is a photograph of a group of people with excited facial expressions. Also to the right of the flow chart are two notes, one saying "SB1455 approved in the TWG level" and the other note saying "2nd Reading Passed" (in reference to the Senate version of the bill). Below the flow chart is another message that says, "The lobbying and advocacy is not yet but we are one step CLOSER! The Philippine Federation of the Deaf needs your support. #SaveOurFilipinoSignLanguage"

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Click here to show & hide the transcript with descriptions

[Description: A woman signs directly to the camera for the whole video. An abstract painting hangs on the wall behind her.]

“Hello, deaf Filipino community! This vlog is about the bill in front of the House of Representatives and the Senate of Philippines. Remember before I shared a flow chart that shows how a law is passed. The Filipino Sign Language Act (House Bill 7503) has passed the third reading in the House of Representatives. The Senate version of the bill (Senate Bill 1455) will have its third reading by the full Senate Plenary. After it passes the third reading in the Senate, the two versions of the bill will be brought together in Conference Committee. When the two versions are reconciled with each other, the bill will be brought to Philippine President Roderigo Duterte for him to sign–so we hope.

“It is important for all of you to know that if President Duterte refuses to sign the bill and instead vetoes it, then we will have to start the process all over again to try to pass the bill. Or, if the bill is reconciled then submitted to [?] for approval. For example if on September 1st, President Duterte becomes too busy and forgets to sign the bill. After three days, it will pass automatically.

“It is very important for all of you to communicate to Senator Chiz Escudero as frequently as possible, be nice and thank him so he feels proud for helping bring the Senate version of the bill to its third reading. We hope it goes well! Thank you all very much again!”

View tweets announcing the third reading of the Filipino Sign Language Act in the House of Representatives

Read a news article on the Filipino Sign Language Act passing the House of Representatives. (This was before the third reading of the bill in the Philippines Senate.)

Read a press release explaining the Filipino Sign Language Act.

Watch a video, or read a Facebook post, announcing that the Filipino Sign Language Act was passed on August 28, 2018!

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