By Dale G. Israel
Cebu Daily News
Imagine reading Mandaue City's traffic signs and billboards in both English and Cebuano.
A proposal to have bilingual signboards instead of just English text will be discussed in the Mandaue City Council next week.
Councilor Victor Biaño is proposing an ordinance that would require Cebuano translations in all the texts appearing in billboards and traffic signs.
"Every Cebuano-speaking person must be proud of his own tongue and should be able to project it to others in order to expand the usage to more people," said Biaño, who is Mandaue chapter president of the Cebuano language advocacy group, Lubas sa Dagang Binisaya (Ludabi).
In an interview, Biaño said other countries post traffic signs in two language. He cited Japan as an example where signs appear in English alongside Japanese characters.
"One of the better ways to project the Cebuano language is to use it on traffic signs, Welcome and Thank You signs at boundaries and other directional signs, which are some of the first things that a non-Cebuano will see upon arrival in Mandaue City," he said.
The draft resolution, which will be discussed on Wednesday, suggests penalties for violators.
The penalties include a P5,000 fine or imprisonment of 30 days, or both at the discretion of the court.
Private advertising agencies that don't comply with the ordinance would have to pay an additional P2,000 fine and would be asked to immediately remove their material.
Biaño's proposed ordinance designates the Engineering Office and the Office of the Building Official (OBO) as the implementing agency.