May 24, 2024

Mayor Benjamin Magalong called for renewed community action to address indiscriminate spitting of betel nut or “moma” quid observed to have become rampant anew as evidenced by the proliferation of tints on walls and in nooks and crannies in the city.

The mayor engaged the organization of moma vendors to help spread awareness on Ordinance 35, s. 2020, which regulates the chewing and 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.

The head of the association assured the mayor of their cooperation, informing that they are even regularly providing their customers with containers to prevent them from just disposing of these residues anywhere.

Magalong also directed the Baguio City Police Office and the Public Order and Safety Division to intensify operations against the violators of the ordinance.

But he said the community has to do their part as the law enforcement agencies could not keep track of all moma chewers as they have crime-fighting and other duties as well.

The mayor said he will again call for the involvement of the barangay officials and transport officials to help arrest the practice of indiscriminate spitting of moma residues within their jurisdictions.

“We have to again address this nuisance and get rid of these unsightly and near-permanent red stains in public areas such as parks, terminals, streets and even church grounds. The issue is not only on cleanliness, but also on the health, sanitation, and hygiene of our constituents,” he said.

“To moma users, please be responsible for your act and avoid causing nuisance to the public or better yet, quit chewing altogether to avoid its negative effects,” the mayor added.

Years of using the betel nut and its additives may lead to oral cancer, addiction and unsightly colored teeth and mouth.

Apart from the ordinance, Resolution 11, s. 2023 requests 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. – PIO