The Senate has approved the bill allowing passengers to use public comfort rooms in any land transport terminals for free last May 19.
According to a press release of the House of Representatives, House Bill 725 is now on its way to Malacañang to be signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
HB 725 bans the collection of fees from passengers when using sanitary facilities located in land transportation terminals, stations, stops,and rest areas.
It also requires owners, operators, and administrators of land transport terminals, stations, stops and rest areas to provide and maintain suitable and clean sanitary facilities for passengers.
Passengers can use sanitary facilities such as comfort rooms, hand washing area, and drinking facilities for free as long as they would be able to show a paid bus ticket for the day.
However, terminals can build “deluxe sanitary facilities” for commercial purposes that can be used by passengers who are willing to pay.
“Any owner, operator or administrator of land transport terminals, stations, stops or rest areas who violates the prohibition under the Act shall be liable for a P5,000 fine,” as stated on the bill.
The fine may also become higher depending on the reviews of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) five years after the date it was implemented.
The principal author of House Bill 725 was the late Mountain Province Representative Maximo Dalog.
According to his explanatory note, “the maintenance of rest areas and service facilities is part of the services for human care of common carriers, hence additional payment should not be imposed on travelers.”
He also added that the collection of fees makes travelling in the country more expensive and carries additional weight to public passengers.