Bontoc public help on momma spitting urged

BONTOC, Mountain Province – Everyone’s cooperation and support on the “No spitting of Momma Anywhere” is solicited in this capital town.

Members of the Municipal Peace and Order Council (MPOC) during their 4th Quarter Meeting on December 12, 2018 at the Bontoc Municipal Capitol unanimously agreed that the solution to the sanitation problem should be everybody’s concern.

This came out when barangay officials of Barangay Poblacion raised their observations and sentiments of unsanitary spitting of momma especially along the streets, meat sections and terminals of public utility vans, jeepneys and buses.

With this, members of the council and the public are encouraged to help in reminding those who chew betel nut that there is an existing ordinance of the municipality prohibiting spitting of momma anywhere.

This pertains to Municipal Ordinance No. 125, s. 2008 that prohibits the spitting of momma or momma juice/ concoction /material in any place other than in his private and personal spitting receptacle which must be carried in his person and in a manner that poses no inconvenience or disapproval from other people; and disposing of any momma material or spit unsanitary sight thereat or that evokes disapproval from other people.

In addition, no establishment, residence or place shall be found having its trash receptacle or its premises tainted with traces or indications of momma material. Also, the respective owner, operator, or occupant of establishments, residences, or place of business like vehicle parking/loading areas and retail stands/stalls, shall be held fully accountable for the desirable sanitations of their respective places pursuant to the provision of the ordinance.

Violators of this ordinance shall be fined P500.00 for the 1st Offense, P750.00 for the 2nd Offense and P1, 000.00 for the 3rd and succeeding offenses.

In an interview with Bontoc Mayor Franklin Odsey who also chairs the MPOC, he remarked that the implementation of the ordinance should not only be the responsibility of the police who implements local ordinances. He said that this should be a collaborative effort of the barangay officials, other stakeholders and the community as this is for the health and convenience of the constituents.

Meanwhile, health officials advised the frequent betel nut chewers to stop the habit as they may be at risk of acquiring oral or mouth cancer.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), betel nut itself has been classified as a carcinogen (carcinogenic to humans) by the International Agency for Cancer.

Health studies reveal that people who chew betel nut with lime have an increased chance of developing mouth cancer and people who chew the mixture with tobacco have a greater risk of acquiring the disease.

The WHO specified that oral cancer can develop in any part of the mouth, including the tongue, gums, the lining of the mouth, or the lips. Warning signs of oral cancer include sore spots or ulceration of lips, tongue, or other areas inside the mouth that do not heal promptly; swelling of the lips, gums or other area inside the mouth; difficulty in chewing or swallowing; repeated bleeding in the mouth with no apparent cause, and numbness or loss of feeling in any part of the mouth.

Thus, betel nut chewers who experience  the symptoms are advised to visit their dentist for earlier intervention treatment.

The WHO also promotes oral health as an effective preventive measure against oral or mouth cancer. Accordingly, brushing of teeth two to three times a day is the most effective and cost-effective way of keeping your teeth healthy.

By Alpine L. Killa

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