Press Release
August 15, 2022


Pinuno Senator Manuel "Lito" Lapid has filed a bill mandating the use of "plain language" in all government-issued advisories, notices, announcements, and similar documents intended for public dissemination and distribution.

Under Senate Bill No. 273, all national government agencies, offices, 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 the following:
forms and other papers for the application, request or enjoyment of a 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;
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 remarked 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.

Lapid, in his explanatory note, said that informed citizenry is an empowered citizenry. To ensure this, 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.

It can be recalled that Senator Lapid has also filed Senate Bill No. 275, otherwise known as the Language Accessibility of Public Information on Disasters Act, which seeks 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.

"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 added.

The proposed measure tasks the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to monitor and ensure the implementation of this plain language requirement. Meanwhile, the GCG is tasked to ensure the compliance of GOCCs.

Furthermore, the bill proposes that the CSC and GCG conduct regular trainings, seminars and other similar capacity-building activities for the offices and agencies covered by the measure.

For plain language in Filipino and other regional languages or dialects, the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) shall be tapped to facilitate the necessary capacity-building activities," the bill states.

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