Congress has recently submitted to Malacañang Senate Bill 1749 mandating transportation terminals to provide free internet access and cleaner facilities to commuters.
Senate Bill 1749, also known as “An Act to Improve Land Transportation Terminals, Stations, Stops, Rest Areas, and Roll-On/Roll-Off Terminals,” shall require owners, operators, and administrators of land transportation terminals, stations, stops, rest areas and roll-in/roll-off (RORO) terminals to improve their facilities through the provision of free internet and clean sanitary facilities.
The provision for free internet falls under Section 3 and states that the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), in coordination with the Department of Transportation (DOTr), shall ensure that free internet is provided in transportation terminals, in pursuant to Republic Act No. 10929, otherwise known as the “Free Internet Access in the Public Places Act.”
Aside from the free internet access, the measure also seeks standards for sanitary facilities like clean restrooms with adequate ventilation and lighting, water supply, and flush system, the prohibition on collection of fees to access these facilities, as well as the establishment of a lactation station that is separate from the sanitary facilities.
Any owner, operator or administrator of the land transport terminals who does not comply with the standards for sanitary facilities will be fined in the amount of PHP 5,000 for each day of violation. Those who violate the prohibition on collection of fees for access to sanitary facilities will also be fined PHP 5,000. While those do not provide or maintain a lactation station will be filed PHP 5,000 for each day of violation.
The enrolled bill, which was adopted by the House of Representatives, was transmitted by the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office to the Office of the President last March 21. It will lapse into law if the President does not sign it after 30 days from receipt in his office.