Press Release
July 24, 2018

Bill to improve restrooms in transport terminals okayed

The Senate has approved today on third and final reading a bill which seeks to improve the restroom facilities on land transportation and roll-on/roll-off (roro) terminals nationwide.

Senate Bill 1749, otherwise known as an Act to Improve Land Transportation Terminals, Stations, Stops, Resto Areas and Roll-on/Roll-off Terminals" was approved with 18 affirmative votes, no negative vote and zero abstention.

Senator Grace Poe, primary author and sponsor of SBN 1749, said the measure also sought to mandate the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), in coordination with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and other concerned agencies, to provide free internet access in these terminals and to establish at least one lactation station that is separate from the sanitary facilities.

"I am sure you travel and seen this for yourself. Sometimes, we go to gas stations and use the restrooms there and we cannot even use it if we do not fill up or we do not buy anything from the store," Poe said in her sponsorship speech.

According to her, once the bill is passed into law operators or administrators of land transport terminals, stations, stops, rest areas and "roro" terminals would be required to provide clean, sanitary facilities for passengers.

Under the bill, collection of fees from passengers for the use of sanitary facilities in transport terminals will be prohibited. This, however, does not cover luxe comfort rooms.

"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 breast feeding station and free wifi or internet," Poe said.

Poe cited records from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) which showed that 42 million Filipinos or 58 percent of the population aged 15 and above had travelled in 2016. She added that PSA records showed domestic tourism expenditures had reached P2.108 billion in 2016.

"Along tens of thousands of kilometers of lengthy roads all around the country, land transportation terminals, stations, stops and rest areas are like sanctuaries for travelers using land transportation," Poe said. (PM)

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