SARS: SPITTING IN PUBLIC TO BE BANNED

Manila, April 30, 2003 -- The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority 
(MMDA) wouldn't want to be left behind when it comes to helping the public 
avoid catch the deadly pneumonia virus.

Yesterday, MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando urged local government units to 
immediately craft ordinances against spitting in public as a precaution 
against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

"We have come to a point where we have to seriously improve the hygiene and 
cleanliness in Metro Manila," he said.

"We have to teach them kung paano mandiri, we have to tell them that 
spitting in public is very unhygienic," Fernando said.

The MMDA chairman also convened a meeting of all health officials from 17 
cities and municipalities in Metro Manila to discuss measures about 
containing the deadly virus.
He said the prevailing SARS scare should prompt local officials to pass 
uniform ordinances to discourage the people from spitting as well as 
urinating in public.

"Spitting is a disgusting practice," Fernando said. "Spitting saliva, 
phlegm, mucus or any other discharges in the streets, pedestrian walkways, 
passenger vehicles and even public toilets exposes people from grave health 
risks, and may help spread infectious diseases."

Marikina City is the only locality in Metro Manila that has embarked on a 
serious campaign to stop spitting in public places. The law has been in 
place since Fernando was the city mayor.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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