At least 29 health workers in Naga City, Camarines Sur have undergone basic sign language training to improve communication with the deaf and mute residents they serve.

Elizabeth Pujado, a Community Based Rehabilitation Specialist in Barangay Lerma, has been serving at the local health station for decades. 

She acknowledges the challenge of understanding and communicating effectively with the six deaf and mute individuals in their barangay.

"Ang enot po talaga dae kami nagkakairintidihan kung ano po talaga si mga gusto nindang sabihon samo, kung ano na si gusto nilang sabihon sainda — dae mi po nae-express sa sainda," Pujado said.

Pujado, along with others from 27 barangays in the city, participated in basic sign language training. 

This initiative aims to equip them with essential skills to interact with deaf and mute residents more effectively.

Elmer Baldemoro, Administrator of the Naga City Local Government Unit, said barangay personnel who handle persons with disabilities (PWDs) need to understand sign language to better serve the deaf community.

"Sinda itong mga personahes sa barangay na iyo ang nag-aasikaso kang mga PWD, and part kang client ninda itong mga deaf. So kinakaipuhan na makanuod sinda ning sign language para maintindihan ninda, asin makaolay ninda itong mga deaf na mga yaon sa barangay," Baldemoro said.

The training also included early signs of hearing impairment and speech delay.

This activity coincides with the observance of the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Month.