Saturday, April 14, 2012

House Bill 5901: Anti-Spitting Law

Alliance of Volunteer Educator (AVE) partylist Representative Eulogio Magsaysay filled House Bill 5901 that seek to outlaw spitting in public places.
The bill, prohibits persons from carelessly or intentionally spitting saliva, phlegm, mucus or other substances in public places.
Persons caught spitting face a jail term of six months and a fine of P500 for first offense; P1000 for second offense; and P2000 for third offense.
The bill also require the violator to attend a health seminar conducted by the Department of Health (DoH).
According to Magsaysay he seeks to address the Filipinos' bad habit of spitting in public places. He said spitting in public places may cause the spread of dreaded diseases, including tuberculosis and hepatitis among others.
I applaud Magsaysay for that bill. What concerns me most is the need to pass such law just to address a "bad habit". Of course its disgusting to see saliva in the pavement much less to see someone spitting a yellowish mucus.
I agree, prevention is better than cure but House Bill 5901, if pass, will only be one of those laws that can not be properly enforce.
What's his plan? Is Magsaysay planning to hire more law enforcer to fully enforce such law? Or maybe, some kind of watchmen to be strategically place on virtually all corners of "public areas". Will he be going to construct "spittoon" in public areas like the pink urinals of MMDA? For that he need to hire more aides to clean those spittoons otherwise they will become nest of bacteria and virus like those stinking urinals. A clever idea for job creation eh?
Further, the need for such bill only shows how we Filipinos are so stubborn, at least to some. Or does Magsaysay becomes so anti-social that he seeks to outlaw something that has been a social norm  since time immemorial?
I do not see how could you outlaw such. We can only educate people out of it. Because the underlying problem roots from a lack of civic mindedness and proper etiquette. WE do not need laws to outlaw a cultural habit if that law itself can't be fully enforce.
China, India, Singapore and Malaysia has the same Anti-Spitting law but that's insufficient and the problem has never been arrested. It's because changing social habits is not a one, two, three step.
What if you have a mouthful of phlegm? Are you going to swallow it? What if you inhaled dirt or dust from our polluted air? Are you not going to spit it out? Of course, you ain't going to aim at people, don't you?
What if the violator take the matter to court? Does that mean the law enforcer need to collect the spit to use as evidence? Oh common! I don't buy that idea. It's only a waste of time and resources of the government in expense of the tax payers money.
Magsaysay said that the reason why he seek to outlaw spitting is to stop the spread of dreadful diseases. But that's only theoretically possible. For a virus or bacteria to be spread from a lump of spit on the pavement need to be blown into the air while its still fresh and be inhaled directly into someone's lung.
In my humble opinion, we don't need such law. The government needs to instil right social behavior in our children. Magsaysay, as a teacher, must know that. Educate them while they are still young. What we really need to combat diseases is a comprehensive Health Care System that is accessible to everybody.
For the mean time, I must spit in the window of my room because this topic makes my salivary gland work overtime. Hey, a piece of advice to our congressman, "Bring your own spittoons when you are going to deliberate this House Bill. he he he



  1. some states in America also have the same law. Spitting is not just a cultural social behavior. its an innate human behavior.

  2. Let’s talk about Anti-Spitting Act , the Whak-tu's, and the culture of the modern Filipino

  3. Tres bon sujet! Ton ami du MOROCCO!