VIRAL: Has the DOTr created an entrance to Hogwarts Express?

Published March 4, 2021, 4:30 PM

by Noel Pabalate

Agency clarifies ‘middle signage means that both comfort rooms are dedicated solely for PWDs.’

A photograph of Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade inspecting a comfort room for persons with disabilities (PWD) in Tagbilaran Port went viral on social media. The photo shows two restroom doors, the left has a female sign and the right has a male sign on top. Placed in between is a PWD sign, which became a hot topic in the comment section of the DOTr’s post on Facebook.

What really made the buzz was the tweet of economist and online columnist JC Punongbayan that said “Comfort Room 9 ¾.”

Punongbayan was referring to the Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station in London in the Harry Potter movies. It is magically concealed in a wall between platforms nine and 10 where wizard students pass through to board the Hogwarts Express, the train that brings students to and from Hogwarts.

The DOTr, in seeing the tweet, clarified on its Facebook Page that the “middle signage means that both COMFORT ROOMS ARE DEDICATED SOLELY FOR PWDs. That is the reason why the doors have wide and PWD-accessible configuration,” it wrote. “If you will also look closely at the photo, there are TWO ARROWS at the left side pointing to opposite directions. Those two arrows are directional signages leading to the male and female regular comfort rooms.

But in another tweet, Punongbayan told DOTr to take some advice from a behavioral economist Jeff Arapoc, who tweeted a concise note on visual cues. He then posted an edited photo of DOTr, placing additional signages that suggest clearer directions.