DON’T look now, but a member of the House of Representatives wants to criminalize the charging of fees for the use of toilets in public and commercial spaces across the country.
We cannot overemphasize the importance of promoting and providing basic social services to the Filipino people, particularly the underprivileged and the marginalized.
House Bill (HB) No. 5118 is authored by Manila Teachers party-list Rep. Virgilio Lacson, who said that prohibiting the collection of toilet fees “is necessary to better serve the public.”
In filing HB No. 5118, Lacson lamented that a number of the country’s establishments, including bus terminals, charge fees for the use of their comfort rooms.
Given the shortage of free and clean comfort rooms in the country, the underprivileged and the marginalized are forced to defray the costs for human comfort.
And we share the view of the party-list lawmaker that the use of free and functional toilets must also be covered by the delivery of the State of good infrastructure to the citizens.
First-time violators of the proposed measure face a fine of P10,000, while the second offense shall be slapped with a fine of P20,000 or one year imprisonment at the discretion of the court.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government and local government units are mandated to administer and monitor the implementation of the proposed “Free Toilet Use Act of 2017.”
We support the early passage of the bill because the availability of free comfort rooms determines the level of dignity and quality of life of people in the community.
Thus, Congress should waste no time in approving the measure because it is in line with the government’s commitment to serve the public.