BATAC, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – Asserting that answering the call of nature is a basic human right, former Philippine First Lady and incumbent Congresswoman Imelda Romualdez Marcos (Second District, Ilocos Norte) has filed an unprecedented bill before congress that would make it illegal to charge fees for the use of public toilets.
Charging a fee for the use of public toilets is a widespread practice in the Philippines — in bus stations, public parks and plazas, strip malls and even in some airports and restaurants.
In fact, in a public toilet just blocks away from the Ferdinand E. Marcos Museum — where the former president’s embalmed body lies in a refrigerated glass crypt — a reporter for The Adobo Chronicles had to pay five pesos ($0.11) to use the bathroom while doing a story in Batac, Ilocos Norte, hometown of Marcos.
The bill, if enacted, will apply to all public toilets throughout the country. Violation of the law carries with it a fine of One Hundred Thousand pesos and/or jail time of 6 months to one year.
Senator Nancy Binay, daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay, has expressed full support for the bill and promised to campaign for its approval when it reaches the Philippine Senate.
Notwithstanding the political rivalry between the Marcoses and the Aquinos, President NoyNoy Aquino said that he will sign Marcos’ bill when it reaches his desk.