Senator Lito Lapid has filed a bill that seeks the use of Tagalog or regional dialects on announcements, advisories, press releases, and any other information about local or national disasters or emergencies.
He filed Senate Bill No. 273 which seeks to mandate all government agencies and local government units to use languages that can easily be understood by the public.
Lapid said that most, if not all advisories, announcements, or issuances on impending disasters or calamities are delivered either in English or Filipino.
“And the government’s aim to keep its constituents well-informed of and prepared for impending disasters fall short of its objective because not all could understand English or Tagalog,” Lapid said.
Bill No. 273, also known as the “Language Accessibility of Public Information on Disasters Act,” also proposed that information relating to impending calamities or emergencies such as epidemics, outbreaks, and public health emergencies shall be language-accessible and readily comprehensible, especially to speakers of regional languages and dialects.
Also included in the bill are translations of information on social amelioration programs, emergency assistance and other social protection measures, disease outbreaks, typhoon warnings, signals, volcano, earthquake, tsunami, and landslide bulletins.
Lapid said the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) shall render the necessary technical assistance and expertise to the government agencies and local government units and monitor their compliance to the duties mandated by the Act.