/ 22 June 2024

ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro together with other members of the Makabayan bloc filed a resolution seeking to investigate the abolition of the Filipino Sign Language Unit under the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino.

The group filed House Resolution 1774 seeking to launch a probe on KWF’s decision not to renew the contracts of service of the FSL Unit’s members and administrative staff, effectively abolishing the unit.

“This abrupt abolition of the FSL Unit is a grave concern that demands immediate attention,” Rep. Castro stated. “It not only violates the KWF’s mandates under its charter and the Filipino Sign Language Act but also threatens the rights and welfare of the Filipino Deaf community. It is also very discriminatory against deaf people and their welfare,” Castro said.

The lawmaker emphasized the critical role of the FSL Unit in implementing Republic Act 11106 or the Filipino Sign Language Act.

“By dismissing the entire FSL Unit, the KWF has left itself without a mechanism to ensure the implementation of the law’s mandates across various agencies. This effectively renders the rights guaranteed by the law useless,” Castro explained.

Castro also highlighted the broader issue of labor contractualization in government agencies.

“This act of abolition exposes the damaging effects of ‘endo sa gobyerno.’ It leaves vital government functions to workers on precarious contracts, often underpaid and without job security,” she said.

The resolution calls on the House of Representatives to investigate the matter in aid of legislation.

“Congress must ensure that the laws we pass are implemented properly and that agencies fulfill their mandates, especially in serving marginalized sectors like the Deaf community,” Castro concluded.