Press Release
July 22, 2016

New law gives PWDs equal access to information

A legislative measure that requires television franchise holders or station operators and producers to use closed caption methods in their broadcasts or programs has lapsed into law, Senator Grace Poe announced today, allowing the hearing-impaired full access to information and opportunities.

Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media and principal sponsor of the measure in the 16th Congress, said ?the Closed Caption Law is assigned Republic Act No. 10905. The law, entitled "An Act Requiring All Franchise Holders or Operators of Television Stations and Producers of Television Programs to Broadcast or Present Their Programs With Closed Caption Options," will ?take effect 15 days after publication.

"One of the objectives of this legislation is to provide our hearing-impaired access to news, entertainment and information in promoting their welfare.? Full realization of the goals of the measure is consistent with the Philippine Government's commitment when it ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2008, which states that there should be full accessibility and recognition of the linguistic and cultural identity of persons with disability," Poe emphasized.

Closed captioning is the method of subtitling TV programs by coding statements as vertical interval data signals that are decoded at the receiver and superimposed at the bottom of the TV screen.

Exemptions will be given to franchise holders or operators of TV stations and program producers on public service announcements that are shorter than 10 minutes; programs shown from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m.; programs that are primarily textual in nature; and when compliance would be economically burdensome to TV operators.?

The National Telecommunications Commission and the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, in consultation with other concerned agencies, shall promulgate the rules and regulations.

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