Zamboanga City folk reminded of anti-spitting ordinance amid COVID-19 scare
ZAMBOANGA CITY – The city government is reminding residents and visitors to respect and follow a 66-year-old city ordinance that bans spitting in public places in a bid to combat the spread of then the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Health authorities have said that the virus can be transferred to another person through saliva droplets.
Dr. Dennis Dacayanan of the Department of Health (DOH) Region 9, observed that the people here take for granted basic hygiene practices.
“I see the stretch of spit along the streets. The danger is, if you step on it (and) you don’t remove your shoes at home, you (might) spread the disease. We need to remove any footwear outside the door,” Dacayanan said.
Mayor Maria Isabelle Salazar said the local government will conduct an intensified campaign to tell people “not to spit anywhere to protect ourselves from the spread of this virus.”
The mayor cited recent research that saliva transferred on food could be a mode of transmission for COVID-19.
“There is an ordinance with regards to spitting and I think its high time for us to be made aware of this, because, this is something very common to some people,” Salazar said.
Public market supervisor Raymond Padayhag said Section 40 of City Ordinance No. 500, or the Sanitary Code of Zamboanga City, provides that “spitting, shining of shoes, smoking and chewing of tobacco are prohibited” in public places.
The Code was enacted in 1953.
Violators will be slapped a P200 fine and six-month imprisonment.
Padayhag said that combatting the practice of spitting in public places is a big challenge in the public market.
“People in the market have this bad habit of spitting anywhere,” noted Padayhag, who welcomed the mayor’s pronouncement of strictly enforcing the often forgotten 1953 ordinance.
He added that the ban includes the chewing of betel nut which induces one to spit from time to time.
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