Community acts on moma quid after city mayor’s call
Mayor Benjamin Magalong’s call for the stoppage of indiscriminate spitting of betel nut or moma quid triggered positive actions from the business sector.
Moma vendors banded to produce and hang banners and put up signs containing reminders on Ordinance 35, s. 2020, which regulates the chewing, spitting of betel quid or moma in public places.
The ordinance also bans selling of moma products to minors. Penalties range from P500 to P2,000 in fine or four to eight hours of community service.
Leaflets were also distributed to their patrons.
All stall owners at the Dangwa station also agreed to clean up areas with quid marks, residues and other wastes.
“Napagkasun-duan din po ng mga lahat na stall owners na magtutulong po kami sa pagpapalinis at paglilinis sa mga areas na madumi,” the traders told the mayor.
Magalong on Feb. 7 called on barangay officials, moma traders, and cooperative/transport officials to help arrest the practice of indiscriminate spitting of moma residues expressing disgust over unsightly and near-permanent red stains in public areas such as parks, terminal, streets and even church grounds.
The issue is not only cleanliness, but also health, sanitation and hygiene, and that quid could even spread virus, he said.
Years of using the betel nut and its additives may lead to oral cancer, addiction and unsightly colored teeth and mouth.
The mayor said the community needs to help as the Public Order and Safety Division and Baguio City Police Office could not keep track of all moma chewers as they have other duties.
As a tourism city, Baguio should be kept clean and green by its own residents, he added.
Apart from the ordinance, Resolution 11, s. 2023 earnestly request bar owners, pub houses, and other entertainment establishments to regularly flush or wash off betel nut sputum and other unsanitary floor stains within their premises.
The mayor said he will also advocate for the strengthening of the ordinance. – Aileen P. Refuerzo and Julie G. Fianza