THERE was once the anti-spitting ordinance, which seeks a stop to indiscriminate spitting that is commonly done in these parts and in the process lessen the likelihood of spreading tuberculosis in Davao City.
On 2009, City Health officer Dr. Josephine J. Villafuerte said that Davao City has a high number of multi drug-resistant TB cases at 275. Multi-drug resistant TB patients are harder to cure than ordinary TB because, as its names states, it is already resistant to different anti-TB medicines. These usually involve cases where the patient did not religiously follow the regimen of taking the prescribed medicine or stopped even before the prescribed period of treatment was over, thus causing a resistance to the drug administered.
As a result, the anti-spitting ordinance was passed by the city council last August 25, 2009. The ordinance was even posted in public places like the San Pedro Church, Bankerohan Public Market, and Agdao Public Market.
The ordinance says, “no person shall carelessly or intentionally spit saliva, phlegm, mucus or other substance from the mouth in public places within the city.” Violation of this ordinance will be penalized by a fine of P100 for the first offense; P200 for the second offense; and P300 for the third offense.
Clearly, the ordinance sought to impose discipline on Davao residents and stop the unsanitary habit of spitting anywhere by many, especially among the masses.
But, it has been three years since the ordinance was passed and nothing has changed.
No one has been known to have been fined, and the spitting continues.
Obviously, ordinances are made by authority for the betterment of the city. However, there are some ordinances that disregard the manner by which an ordinance can be implemented.
There is no one to do the catching of spitters and there has been no effort to educate the people. As the vice mayor said, we don’t need police officials to watch over every individual, the discipline should start from ourselves.
Sunday Essays are articles written by students of Ateneo de Davao University for their journalism class. Jacqueline Cubelo is an AB Masscom student.