City officials strongly reiterated the strict compliance of Ordinance No. 35, series of 2020, regulating chewing and spitting of ‘moma’ in public places in the city.
Further, Resolution No. 124, series of 2023, directed the activation of the Task Force Moma to implement the provisions of this ordinance.
Local legislators stated that in the same note, notice will be given to the City Treasury Office to issue booklets of the citation tickets for enforcers and other deputized enforcers and that the City Public Information Office shall assist in distributing information pertinent to all aspects including the printing and distribution of copies of this ordinance to the public and publicize activities and reports related to its implementation and enforcement.
Inspire of the existence of Ordinance No. 35, series of 2020, the body admitted that there still exists the unsanitary practice of moma-chewing and spitting in the different parts of the city as evidenced by the red-orange marks on roads and pavements, and even where the said ordinance directly prohibits in public utility vehicles and public places in general.
Under the said ordinance, public places is defined as all places that are accessible or open to the public or places for collective use regardless of ownership or right to access, including, but not limited to, schools, work places, government facilities, establishments that provide food and drinks, accommodation, merchandise, professional services, entertainment or other services. It also includes outdoor spaces where facilities are available for the public or where a crowd of people would gather such as, but not limited to, playgrounds, sports grounds or centers, church grounds, health/hospital compounds, transportation terminals, parking areas, markets, parks, resorts, walkways/sidewalks, entrance ways, eating areas and the like.
According to the body, the practice of chewing and spitting of moma in public is not only very unsanitary, unhealthy and unethical, but it is even escalated by the fact that the COVId-19 and its numerous variants are still present in the society which is a guaranteed spreader of the virus and very likely of other communicable diseases as well.
Further Section 9 of the ordinance provides the penalties to any person or entity who commits the prohibited acts as provided.
Likewise, the said ordinance created the Task Force Moma to implement and enforce the same with the City Mayor as chairperson; the Chairperson of the Committee on Health and Sanitation, Ecology and Environmental Protection as co-chairperson; the city health officer as action officer and 13 members that include the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) director and the Public Order and Safety Division head, among others.
Among the duties and responsibilities of the task force as provided in the ordinance include serving of citation tickets and notices and deputize enforcers, thus, calling to action primarily the BPCPO and the POSD having police powers and authority to apprehend violators of the mandate of the measure.