Lagawe mayor vows to curtail "freedom of spit"
by Daniel Codamon
LAGAWE, Ifugao (7 September) -- The "Freedom of Spit" currently and widely enjoyed by many betel nut (moma) chewers here may not be for long as the young and no nonsense mayor of this town vowed to curtail this liberty.
Mayor Ceasario Cabbigat Jr., the youngest mayor of this capital town to date said that tolerance against this freedom has already come to its limit so control and action must be done before it goes out of bounds.
This he said is part of his project under the "Clean and Green Program" and also to have a sustainable, maintainable and sanitary environment especially of this capital town.
It can be recalled that in 1998, an ordinance was passed by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan prohibiting "moma" or betel nut chewers to spit anywhere and providing a penalty thereof.
The ordinance was intended to forestall the growing menace of unsanitary practice of egesting the red sputum of the betel nut to the surroundings and in public places by the wanton and indiscriminate spiting of the "moma" loving chewers.
Betel nut chewing has already addicted a sizeable number of the Ifugao population including those in private and government offices thus controlling their liberty to spit anywhere is somewhat difficult.
However, after the enactment of the ordinance, blatant and mocking violation can be readily observed at the capitol buildings, public markets and offices, parking and waiting areas of public utility vehicles and everywhere in the different municipalities of the province.
It continues to be nuisance to the public as even passengers in public utility vehicles just spit through the windows as the vehicle is in motion.
Cabbigat, who served as councilor then vice mayor, narrated these observations making him conclude that the ordinance is only a white elephant and a paper tiger that he promised to make it alive and ready to bite.
The strict and effective implementation of no of spitting anywhere after chewing betel nut would be a test of Cabbigat's political will. (PIA Ifugao) [top]