MANILA – The House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly approved on third and final reading a proposal requiring disaster-related information to be stated in accessible language to ensure public understanding.
A total of 193 lawmakers voted to approve House Bill 8943, or the proposed Language Accessibility of Public Information on Disaster Act. No lawmaker voted against the bill or abstained from voting.
The bill aims to render meaningful and effective the right of the people to information, especially in times of disaster and other emergencies, by ensuring that announcements, advisories, and similar public communications are accessible in terms of the language or dialect used.
The bill seeks to mandate all government agencies and local government units to convert in an easily understandable form and translate to Filipino and any other appropriate regional languages all their announcements, advisories, press releases, issuances, and other information relevant to such disaster or emergency.
The translated information shall be disseminated as widely as possible through all available media and communication channels.
The Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino shall be mandated to render necessary technical assistance and expertise to the government agencies and LGUs, including the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. (PNA)