This after the Mandaluyong City government enacted Ordinance No. 512, series of 2013, which has prohibited business establishments from charging senior citizens and PWDs for the use of toilets.
However, the ordinance requires seniors or PWDs to present identification cards (IDs) certifying their status for them to use the facilities for free.
The IDs, the ordinance said, should have been issued by the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs or the Persons with Disability Affairs Office of the City of Mandaluyong.
Toilet caretakers or attendants who refuse free access to senior citizens or to PWDs would be penalized with a minimum P500 fine or imprisonment of 10 days, or up to P5,000 fine or imprisonment of six months, depending on how many times the offense was committed.
Supervisors and officers in charge of pay toilets and the owners of erring business establishment also face penalties, which include possible revocation of their permit to operate.
The ordinance notes that “it is now commonly practiced by some business establishments in the City of Mandaluyong to charge a fee for the use of restrooms … supposedly intended for keeping up with the maintenance and cleanliness of these facilities.”
It also recognized that most people would look for the nearest free restrooms to avoid paying fees, and that senior citizens and PWDs would find it difficult finding or getting to no-pay toilets.