By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
The measure mandating land transport terminals to provide free internet services and clean restrooms for commuters is now awaiting President Duterte's signature.
Passengers begin to troop to the Araneta Bus Station in Quezon City, April 5, 2019, as they make the most of the long weekend to go to their provinces to observe the coming Holy Week. (MARK BALMORES / MANILA BULLETIN)
Congress forwarded to Malacañang last March 21 Senate Bill (SB) 1749, or the proposed Act to Improve Land Transportation Terminals, Stations, Stops, Rest Areas and Roll-On/Roll-Off Terminals for President Duterte’s approval.
The measure will lapse into law if Duterte fails to act on it 30 days from receipt of his office.
Senator Grace Poe, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Services and principal author of the measure, expressed hope the President will sign the bill in time for the school break.
She noted that families are also expected to spend their vacation in local tourist destinations.
Under the bill, land transport and roll-on/roll-off terminals nationwide would be required to provide passengers clean restrooms free of charge.
The terminals must also have separate stations for breastfeeding mothers.
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), in coordination with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and other concerned agencies, will also be mandated to provide the free internet access in the terminals.
The measure proposes a fine P5,000 each day of violation and another P5,000 each day for terminal operators which collect fees from the passengers for the use of sanitary facilities.
Another P5,000 each day of violation will also be imposed as a penalty for the failure to provide breastfeeding stations.
Last March, the House of Representatives adopted the SB 1749.