Tuesday, June 18, 2019


Perhaps there are still many who could still remember a time when transport terminals offered little in terms of creature comforts. While vendors and eating places were expected, passengers were supposed to come and go quickly by land or sea. As the years passed however, terminals have evolved to offer conveniences that might rival airports. Having TVs showing television programming or recorded media was just a start. But that is only the beginning of change, and most of these improvements before were done as initiative by the terminals’ managements. Now however, such perks in transport terminals get some renewed enforcement in a recently signed legislation.

GMA Online News reports that a new law mandating a variety of comforts in transportation terminals across the country was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte. This was Republic Act 11311, which actually was passed by Congress and cleared for the President’s signature as early back as April 17, although the legislation has only been released for public perusal by Malacañang this Wednesday, June 19. The new RA will have the Department of Information and Technology work with the Department of Transportation to see about ensuring that transport terminals in the Philippines will be able to offer free Wi-Fi internet connection.

In addition to allowing passengers to surf on their mobile devices while they wait for their rides, TA 11311 also has provisions to mandate clean restrooms for their general use. The big change here is eliminating an accepted practice in terminals today: collecting tolls to use the restroom. Terminal operators will be compelled to stop the tolls by the law, instead allowing free restroom use to passengers who can produce a paid travel ticket. On the other hand, deluxe bathroom facilities are not covered by the legislation and can continue to toll users. There must also be separate restrooms for male, female and PWD users.

Third, terminals are now mandated to provide private breastfeeding stations in their facilities, similar to most major shopping malls, for the convenience of mothers nursing babies. These will also be free to use. Government inspectors who find transport terminals that have not implemented the new regulations 60 days from the taking effect of RA 11311 can fine the operators P5,000 daily, with each charge levied for the lack of appropriate restrooms, tolling restroom use, and the lack of breastfeeding stations. The initial fine will be subject to review every five years since the law’s implementation.

All regulations in Republic Act 11311 will apply to transport facilities such as the main terminal hubs (major cities), stations of bus lines, passenger stops (roadside loading/unloading), rest areas, and the roll-on-roll-off port terminal facilities.

Image courtesy of ABS-CBN News


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