Home OPINION SAD STATE OF PHILIPPINE PUBLIC RESTROOMS

SAD STATE OF PHILIPPINE PUBLIC RESTROOMS

APART from the glaring absence of a modern and efficient transport system in the Philippines, which places us so many years behind our ASEAN neighbors, another aspect that saddens me is the state of the country’s public restrooms. This is evident particularly in Philippine airports.

In the fast-paced world of international travel, airports serve as crucial gateways that define a country’s identity. Amid the chaos of bustling terminals and security checks, there’s a small but significant space that often goes unnoticed until nature calls – the comfort room. More than just a functional necessity, the cleanliness and maintenance of these facilities speak volumes about a nation’s commitment to hygiene and civic pride.

Japan, a country renowned for its precision and attention to detail, sets an exemplary standard for restroom facilities in its airports. The toilets are not just clean; they often boast advanced features like automated bidets and hands-free faucets. This meticulous care for cleanliness sends a clear message to travelers: Japan values hygiene, and this commitment extends to every corner of the nation.

I recall my time in training alongside with fellow students from Congress at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo, Japan last October. During the program, we were taken aback when the training staff informed us about concerns regarding trash and tissues being discarded in the comfort room trash bins. In contrast, in the Philippines, the directive is to dispose of tissues in the bin.

It turned out that in some places in Japan, as well as in other places where you find small trash bins, there are tissues specifically designed to be flushed down the toilet. These are commonly referred to as “flushable tissues” or “tissue paper for toilets.” The Japanese sewage systems and toilets are engineered to accommodate certain types of toilet paper that quickly disintegrate upon contact with water. Toilet paper produced for the Japanese market is intentionally designed to break down rapidly, thereby minimizing the risk of clogs or blockages in plumbing and sewage systems.

Similarly, Hong Kong International Airport mirrors the city’s efficiency and cleanliness in its well-kept restrooms.

Contrast this with Philippine airports where restrooms may not be accorded the same level of attention. At the Zamboanga International Airport, for instance, more often than not, not one roll of tissue paper can be found in the comfort rooms of the arrival area. These instances of poorly maintained facilities leave a lasting negative impression on travelers, overshadowing the positive aspects of their journey.

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