Lapid seeks use of ‘plain language’ in government announcements

Lapid seeks use of ‘plain language’ in government announcements

By Liza Soriano

MANILA — Senator Lito Lapid has introduced a measure requiring the use of “plain language” in all advisories, warnings, announcements, and other similar documents produced by the government that is meant for public dissemination.

Under Senate Bill No. 273, all national government agencies, offices, and instrumentalities, including government-owned and – controlled corporations (GOCCS), are required to use plain language in English, Filipino, and/or other regional languages or dialects for several government-issued documents for public dissemination and distribution.

This includes advisories, notices, announcements, bulletins, forms, and other papers for the application, request, or enjoyment of public service, right, privilege, benefit, license, clearance, permit, the agency’s citizens’ charter, documents detailing and explaining a government program, activity, or project, replies, and responses to an inquiry or request for assistance or information.

It also includes any other document that the PIA (Philippine Information Agency) or GCG (Governance Commission For GOCCs) as the case may be, in consultation with the agency or office concerned, deems as important to be included in the measure

Lapid stressed that this bill will ensure the widest accessibility, clarity, and easy understanding of public information.

“Sadyang napakahalaga po sa ating bansa na lubos na naiintindihan ng ating mga kababayan ang lahat ng mga dokumento at sulatin ng ating gobyerno. Kung madali pong maintindihan ang ating mga batas ay mas ma-engganyo po ang ating mga kababayan na hindi iamang sumunod sa batas, kundi makiiahok po sa mga usapan patungkoi sa mga pambansang at pampubiikong mga isyu,” Lapid said.

To ensure “powered citizenry,” the government must use the right and appropriate communication tools, such as documents, advisories, notices, and announcements, that the people can easily understand and comprehend, Lapid said.

“Public communications must be characterized by the use of plain language in a clear, concise, and well-organized manner, which must, as much as possible, be free from technical words and jargon,” he said. (ai/mtvn)


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