Senate OKs bill requiring clean toilets, free Wi-Fi in land, RO-RO terminals
MANILA, Philippines – Voting 18-0, the Senate on Tuesday, July 24, passed on 3rd and final reading the bill requiring transport terminals nationwide to provide clean toilets, free internet access, and breastfeeding stations.
Senate Bill No. 1749, also known as the proposed Land Terminal Improvement Act, covers operators or administrators of land transport terminals, stations, stops, rest areas, and roll-on/roll-off (RO-RO) terminals.
The bill also prohibits collection of fees, except for luxury comfort rooms in terminals.
"Una sa lahat, hindi na parang premyo sa game show ang malinis na palikuran sa mga terminal. Dapat lahat malinis at walang kinokolekta para gamitin ang mga [comfort rooms]," said Senator Grace Poe, bill sponsor and public services committee chairperson.
(First of all, finding a clean toilet in terminals is not like a prize on a game show. Toilets should be clean and they should not come with a cost.)
"Para sa mga kapwa kong nanay – although lagpas na ako sa edad na ito – lalagyan ng breastfeeding station ang bawat terminal (For all fellow mothers – although I'm past that age already – each terminal will have a breastfeeding station). And for the Instagram and Facebook generation, or for those who need to send important messages, we will require free internet, Wi-Fi, or broadband to be provided in these terminals," she added.
Poe, in her earlier sponsorship speech, cited data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), showing that 58% or 42 million Filipinos 15 years old and above traveled in 2016.
PSA records also showed that domestic tourism expenditures reached P2.108 billion in the same year.
"Seventy-nine percent of domestic travelers in 2016 spent around P476 per trip for land transportation. Let us repay them with transport terminals that have clean toilets free of charge, a decent breastfeeding station, and free Wi-Fi or internet," Poe earlier said.
In 2017, the House of Representatives passed a similar measure – House Bill No. 725 – that seeks to prohibit collection of fees for use of sanitary facilities in land transportation terminals. – Rappler.com