Philippine Federation of the Deaf

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Philippine Federation of the Deaf
Philippine Federation of the Deaf (logo).jpg
FormationOctober 19, 1996; 24 years ago (1996-10-19)
PurposeDeaf people representation and empowerment
HeadquartersQuezon City, Philippines
Medel Ayran

The Philippine Federation of the Deaf, Inc. (PFD) is a non-stock, non-profit organization which caters to the general needs of deaf people in the Philippines.

PFD is a national member of the World Federation of the Deaf.[1]


The PFD was founded on October 19, 1996, in a meeting held at the Philippine School for the Deaf where 17 leaders of different Deaf organizations nationwide participated. It was formally established during its 1st General Assembly held at the Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City on May 19, 1997. Members of the assembly, composed of 100 Deaf leaders and Deaf representatives from 15 regions of the country elected its eleven Executive Board composed of Deaf persons for a term of two years from 1997–1999.

The PFD registered with the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on June 26, 1997.

The organization promotes the empowerment of deaf people as well as providing representation of deaf groups in national and international meetings, forum and legislative bodies. PFD likewise aims to provide training to its grass-roots self-help Deaf member-organizations specifically on organizational management, community organization, advocacy techniques, leadership training, values formation and other skills necessary for their development.

PFD's activities include close monitoring with both government and non-government agencies on their efforts to enforce basic rights for the deaf and equalization of opportunities especially on employment to ensure that they are given just and equitable treatment.

Since its inception, PFD has 24 recognized deaf member-organizations within Metro Manila and provinces[2] and expects to increase in number once the requirements for membership have been complied with by other Deaf groups requesting to affiliate with PFD.


The PFD aims to serve all members of the deaf community. The organization's main goals are the following:

  • Equal opportunities in employment and access to quality education as vocational rehabilitation services, to telecommunication systems and mass media from the government and the private sectors, on social services and in the public/mass transport system;
  • Filipino Sign Language (FSL)[3] as the preferred language of the Filipino deaf people and support its research and development programs/project;
  • Public awareness of the deaf in Philippine society and support efforts towards its propagation;[4]
  • Support the training of qualified interpreters for deaf people.


Philippine Federation for the Deaf has already made:

  • Representation of the Deaf in national and international meetings/fora;[5]
  • Nomination of Deaf individuals for annual local and international scholarships and training;[6]
  • Advocacy campaigns with national government agencies, committees and legislative bodies;[7]
  • Training on organizational management, community organization, advocacy techniques, leadership training, values formation and other skills necessary for their development;[8]
  • Monitoring of implementation of government policy specially on employment;[9]

PFD is also responsible for organizing the following:

  • National Congress of the Deaf (biennial)
  • PFD General Assembly
  • International Deaf Awareness Week (IDAW) (triennial)[10]
  • Deaf Education Weekend Seminar[11]
  • Sports Development Seminars for the Deaf[12]

Organized events[edit]

During its existence, PFD has organized the following events.

  • Deaf Gender Awareness and Sensitivity Training Workshops
  • Deaf Women and Gender Awareness and Sensitivity Conference
  • Leadership training workshops for Deaf Organizations[13]
  • Sign Language training workshops[14]
  • Deaf Comedy Show

Representation in the government[edit]

The PFD has representation in the following government bodies.

Current projects[edit]

Among PFD's ongoing projects are:

  1. Preparation of the "Status Report on the Use of Sign Language" through the National Sign Language Committee (NSLC)[15]
  2. Documentation of Filipino Sign Language[16]
  3. Production of practical dictionaries and materials for Filipino Sign Language (parallel partnership with Hong Kong, Vietnam and Cambodia)

Filipino Sign Language Book Project[edit]

This is the front cover page of the book "Filipino Sign Language Part 1".

The National Sign Language Committee (NSLC) began collecting sign language data from the three main islands in the Philippines (Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao) in 2001. The NSLC through the publication of the "Status Report on the use of Sign Language in the Philippines" by 2004 shall provide baseline data on the use of sign in education, interpreting, sign instruction and media. The NSLC has been challenged by limitations in funding and other resources. When Dr James Woodward has made a proposal on the development of Asian-Pacific indigenous sign language dictionaries, this gave the Filipino Deaf community an opportunity to fulfill the plan of publishing an authentic FSL dictionary.

Dir Gladys Tang from Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) oversees project management the project involving the four countries, and is also local project director for Hong Kong. Dr James Woodward is regional manager and also he is local project director for Vietnam. Fr. Charles Dittemeier is the local project director for Cambodia. The Philippine Federation of the Deaf is responsible for implementation of the project output in Philippines. Marites Raquel Estiller-Corpuz is the only Deaf local project director out of these four countries.

The Project is funded for three years to develop dictionaries and teaching materials as well as a database of sign language data.[17] Six Deaf coordinators are already being trained in sign language analysis, fieldwork and dictionary production. These six Deaf coordinators will be collecting data from regions.

Legal status[edit]

In 2005, a legal issue was raised against Philippine Federation for the Deaf regarding their status as a non-profit foundation. It was registered as a non-stock, non-profit corporation, but its registration was recently revoked after the Securities and Exchange Commission discovered that the PFD had not been filing annual reports.

The PFD had been unable to file an annual report because first, none of the officers knew of the requirement, and second, it could not afford to hire a regular accountant and auditor. As Julius Andrada,[18] president of the foundation, stated in a letter to SEC Chair Fe Barin: “The consequence of our hearing impairment is not just a loss of sound but a loss of access to information.”

In late 2003 though, the PFD was able to secure some project funds that allowed them to hire an accountant, who then prepared a financial report. It was only after the report was filed with the SEC that the foundation’s shortcomings were discovered. As penalty, the PFD was slapped with a fine of P21,000, which it had to pay if it wished to retain its SEC registration.

In letters to Barin, Andrada notes that the PFD "has not had any fixed sources of income for the past six years (and) our only current project is for three years (that) covers contractual employees with fixed terms renewable every six months." The Php21,000 fine, Andrada adds, could be "used for other projects of the Federation which will help Deaf Filipinos."[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Official List of Members Archived 2010-09-05 at the Wayback Machine - World Federation of the Deaf Official Website
  2. ^ List of Member Organizations - PFD Website
  3. ^ SignWriting in the Philippines Official Website
  4. ^ “The Community and Culture of Deaf Filipinos" - PDRC Opening Talks in pdf format
  5. ^ List of Non-government Organizations by Country - Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability Official Website
  6. ^ Solidarity and Movements of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Asia - Japan Federation of the Deaf News Archive
  7. ^ "Seminar addresses limited access of deaf Filipinos to justice system" - Philippine Information Agency News Archive
  8. ^ "Free Training Courses for the Deaf" - Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) News Archive
  9. ^ "World Bank Explores funding for civil society organizations" - News Archive 2007
  10. ^ "International Deaf Day Celebration a Success" - MCCID News Archive 2006
  11. ^ "Dr.James Woodward of Gallaudet U. Speaks at Deaf Interpreting Seminar" - MCCID News Archive 1999
  12. ^ "DIBF Deaf Coach Clinic/Development Seminar" - Deaf International Basketball Federation News Event 2006
  13. ^ South East Asian Deaf Organizations Symposium 2007 - First Asian Deaf Camp in the Philippines (html version of pdf file)
  14. ^ "Sign Language Zambo to hold 2-day seminar on sign language and legal system" - Philippine Information Agency News Archive
  15. ^ Status Report On The Use Of Sign Language In The Philippines - Status Report in pdf format
  16. ^ Ang Kahalagahan ng Proyektong Diksyonaryo ng Philippine Federation of the Deaf sa Edukasyon ng Bingi sa Pilipinas - pdf format of Raquel Estiller Corpuz' lecture during the 9th Philippine Linguistics Congress
  17. ^ Project for Publication of "Introduction to Filipino Sign Language" - Embassy of Japan in the Philippines News Archive 2003
  18. ^ PFD Officers - PFD Website
  19. ^ "Plight of small NGOs" - Opinion Article from Philippine Daily Inquirer by columnist Rina Jimenez-David

External links[edit]