Sen. Manny Pacquiao has filed a bill to ban spitting and blowing of the nose in public places amid the rising concern over the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Philippines.
Senate Bill No. 1406 or the proposed “Anti-Spitting Act of 2020” states that individuals who spit or “intentionally” expel “saliva, phlegm, or mucus” in public will be fined PHP 5,000 for first-time offenders and PHP 10,000 for second-time offenders. Those caught a third time will have to pay a PHP 50,000 penalty and attendance in a seminar at the Department of Health or up to 6 months of imprisonment.
This was filed in order to prevent the spread of the virus which can be transmitted from human to human through the transfer of bodily fluids. It was filed on March 9, 2020, the same day that the Philippines declared a state of public health emergency.
“Considering the gravity of the situation, there is an urgent need to institute a concrete preventive measure to stop the spread of the disease that has become a global health emergency,” said Pacquiao about the bill. “This shall not only prevent the spread of the coronavirus [but also] other contagious and airborne diseases.”
As of writing, there are 64 confirmed cases in the Philippines and 6 deaths. The President has imposed a month-long general community quarantine starting March 15 to contain the spread of the virus.
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