Senator Grace Poe pursues bill to require free Wi-Fi access, restrooms in terminals

Images via Pixabay/Sen. Grace Poe's Instagram account
  • Senator Grace Poe pushes for free Wi-Fi and free restroom usage in transport terminals
  • The bill will mandate terminals to provide clean, sanitary facilities for commuters
  • It also will mandate terminals to put up necessary Wi-Fi facilities to ensure the provision of free Internet to the passengers

Senator Grace Poe has endorsed for plenary approval a requirement to provide free access to Wi-Fi in transport terminals and to prohibit collection of fees in restrooms of transport stops, rest areas, and terminals.

Poe, as the chair of the Senate Committee on Public Services, presented Senate Bill No. 1749, which seeks to improve land transportation terminals, stations, stops, rest areas and roll-on/roll- off (Roro) terminals “through simple, effective and practical measures” on Monday as disclosed by Inquirer.

The bill covers a mandate for the owners, operators, or administrators of terminals, stations, stops, rest areas, and Roro terminals, to provide clean, sanitary facilities for commuters.

“Second, it seeks to prohibit the collection of fees from passengers for the use of sanitary facilities in transport terminals. This institutionalizes the LTFRB’s existing guidelines on the same issue,” Poe said in her sponsorship speech.

She added that the bill requires the provision of free internet in transport terminals, which should have already been covered by Republic Act No. 10929 or the Free Internet Access in Public Places Act.

The bill will mandate owners, operators or administrators of transportation terminals, stations, stops and rest areas to cooperate with the Department of Information and Communications Technology(DICT) and put up the necessary Wi-Fi facilities to ensure the provision of free Internet to the passengers.

Once enacted, the bill will also require establishments of lactation stations inside terminals as per compliance with the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009 (RA No. 7600, as amended by RA No. 10028).

“It will improve the experience of weary Filipino travelers who use these transport terminals during their long trips. It is an improvement which will be immediately seen and felt. And it will show Filipinos that the government listens and cares. It fixes the ‘broken windows’ and gives the impression that no problem is too small for government to repair,” Poe said.