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Ginhawa sa wakas: Poe lauds signing of law on free wifi, toilet in transport hubs

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Senator Grace Poe on Wednesday lauded the signing of a law that requires free internet services and clean sanitary facilities for commuters in transportation terminals, saying travelers could now look forward to a day when staying in terminals would be a more pleasant experience for a change.

Republic Act 11311 or an Act to Improve Land Transportation Terminals, Stations, Stops, Rest Areas, and Roll-on/Roll-off Terminals was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last April 17 but was just released by Malacañang Wednesday.

“Now, travelers and commuters can rest in the thought that after hours in traffic, they can find an oasis in transportation terminals through a free internet connection and clean comfort rooms,” Poe said in a statement.

Poe, the principal author and sponsor of the measure, said concerned agencies should strictly implement the law, and ensure that the internet provided is free and that the restrooms can really give the travelers comfort and rest.

She also said the overall maintenance of these facilities should also be consistent.

“A place is known by its people and their cleanliness. Let our transportation terminals leave a good impression to travelers towards their destination,” Poe said.

Under RA 11311, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), in coordination with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and other concerned stakeholders, shall ensure that free internet access is provided in the transportation terminals, stations, stops, rest areas, and RoRo terminals.

Meanwhile, the owner, operator or administrator of transportation terminals, stations, stops, rest areas, and RoRo terminals shall provide clean sanitary facilities in accordance with the standards set by the law.

Those who do not comply with the standards for sanitary facilities will be fined in the amount of PHP5,000 for each day of violation.

The measure also prohibits terminal operators from collecting fees from passengers for the use of regular sanitary facilities. Passenger need only to show the paid bus ticket for the day in order to avail of the free use of sanitary facilities.

Anyone found collecting fees for the use of sanitary facilities will also be fined PHP 5,000 for each day of violation.

However, the law does not cover separate, well-appointed or deluxe sanitary facilities that are operated solely for commercial purposes and for the convenience of passengers who require and prefer such facilities.

The terminals must also have separate lactation stations for breastfeeding mothers.

Another PHP5,000 for each day of violation will also be imposed on operators or owners who fail to provide lactation stations.

The DOTr, in coordination with the DICT, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Department of Health, Philippine Ports Authority, and other concerned stakeholders, has 60 days from the law’s effectivity to jointly promulgate the implementing rules and regulations. (PNA)

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