Our fellow Pinoys who are members of the deaf community (this is their preferred reference) have a request for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the TV networks who are hosting the presidential and vice presidential debates, dubbed as Pilipinas Debates 2016.
You see, in the first installment of the debate series, which was broadcast live from Cagayan De Oro City last Sun, Feb 21, there was no Sign Language interpreter.
In a Facebook post, Rack Estiller Corpuz shared images of the TV screen during the debate. He wrote this caption: “In the absence of a Sign Language interpreter in the Presidential Debates, the Deaf community is isolated from society. We are voters too but COMELEC still forgets providing accessibility of the Deaf.”
Below is the schedule for the debate series:
February 21, 2016 (5pm) – Capitol University in Cagayan de Oro City (Mindanao leg), hosted by Inquirer and GMA-7
March 20, 2016 (5pm) – University of San Carlos, Cebu City (Visayas leg), hosted by TV5 and The Philippine Star
April 24, 2016 (5pm) – University of Pangasinan, Dagupan Cit (Luzon leg), hosted by Manila Bulletin and ABS-CBN
Vice Presidential debate
April 10, 2016 (5pm) – Metro Manila, to be hosted by CNN Philippines, Rappler, and Business Mirror