President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law requiring clean restrooms, lactation stations and free Internet connections in all transport terminals, stations, and roll-on/roll-off terminals.
He signed Republic Act 11311 on April 17, 2019, but copies of the document were released to reporters only on June 19.
Senator Grace Poe said Wednesday travelers and commuters could rest in the thought that, after hours in traffic, they could find an oasis in transportation terminals with free Internet connections and clean comfort rooms.
“We hail the signing of Republic Act 11311, which requires free Internet services and clean sanitary facilities for commuters on transportation terminals,” Poe said.
“We urge the strict implementation of this law to see to it that the Internet provided is indeed free and that the restrooms can really give the travelers comfort and rest.”
Poe, chairman of the Senate committee on public services, said the maintenance of these facilities should be consistent.
“A place is known by its people and their cleanliness,” she said.
Under the new law, the state “recognizes that the right of every establishment to a fair return on investment carries with it a corresponding social responsibility to provide adequate facilities for the comfort of its clientele.
“Towards the end, the State shall hereby require the owners, operators, and administrators of land transportation terminals, stations, stops, rest areas and roll-on/roll-off terminals to improve their facilities through the provision of free Internet services and clean sanitary facilities.”
The standards for sanitary facilities include separate restrooms for people with disability, male, and female passengers, adequate ventilation and lighting and safe, adequate and running water.
There should also be a flush system, toilet seats with covers, a lavatory with toilet paper, mirror, soap, hand dryer and door lock, a waste bin and exclusive space for diaper-changing.
Lactation stations should be private, clean, sanitary and well-ventilated, where nursing mothers can wash up, breastfeed, or express their milk comfortably.
The law also prohibits transport terminals from collecting fees from passengers for the use of regular sanitary facilities.
Instead of fees, passengers only need to show the paid bus ticket for the day to use the facilities.
A P5,000 fine will be imposed on the owner, operator or administrator of land transport terminals, stations, stops or rest areas who do not comply with the law. With Macon Ramos-Araneta