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LAPID BATS FOR DISASTER ANNOUNCEMENTS IN FILIPINO

Senator Lito Lapid has filed a bill seeking 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 language or dialect all their announcements, advisories, press releases, issuances, and any other information relevant to a local or national disaster or emergency.

According to Lapid, most, if not all advisories, announcements, or issuances regarding 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 falls short of its objective because not all could understand English or Tagalog.

“Mahalagang maging accessible sa lahat ng ating mamamayan ang mga announcements at advisories, hindi lamang sa mga nakakaintindi ng Ingles o Tagalog.”

“Ang daming dayalekto sa ating bansa. Kaya naman mahalagang maging accessible sa lahat ng ating mamamayan ang mga announcements at advisories, hindi lamang sa mga nakakaintindi ng Ingles o Tagalog. Sa panahon ngayon na maraming bagyo at mga pandemya ang tumatama sa ating bansa, higit na lalong importanteng maintindihan ng publiko ang mga announcements at issuances ng ating gobyerno upang makapaghanda o makaiwas sa mga sakuna,” the veteran legislator said.

The seasoned lawmaker further stressed that during disasters and other emergency situations, an informed public is a prepared and ready public.

In filing Senate Bill No. 275, otherwise known as the Language Accessibility of Public Information on Disasters Act, the senator noted that this proposed measure will make certain 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 our 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.

“Layunin natin na ang lahat ng impormasyon tungkol sa mga kalamidad ay mas madali nang mauunawaan ng ating mga kababayan, lalo na yung mga nasa iba’t ibang rehiyon ng ating bansa.”

“Layunin natin na ang lahat ng impormasyon tungkol sa mga kalamidad ay mas madali nang mauunawaan ng ating mga kababayan, lalo na yung mga nasa iba’t ibang rehiyon ng ating bansa. Mahalagang maprotektahan natin ang ating mga kababayan sa panganib dulot ng hindi sapat o hindi naaangkop na komunikasyon, maling impormasyon, o kakulangan ng sapat na impormasyon sa malalayong lugar mula sa mga awtoridad hanggang sa kanilang mga nasasakupan sa panahon ng mga sakuna at kalamidad,” he added.

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 with the duties mandated by the Act.

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