A photo of a restroom at a Philippine National Railways station that shows three toilet bowls in one room without dividers went around social media, after which the Department of Transportation had a story to tell.
The DOTr addressed inquiries over the viral photo on Facebook and said the structure was part of a project that was supposed to have been closed down.
The project was called Kayo ang Boss Ko or KBK toilet and was among the projects of the agency back in 2012, but had since been discontinued, the agency said on July 30 on its official Facebook account.
“PNR is recommending to DOTr blacklisting proceedings for the KBK contractors and officially handover the project to PNR for proper closure of the project,” the DOTr added.
The photo which shows a non-standard public toilet made some noise online.
The agency explained that the KBK project was not implemented properly due to “absence of coordination.”
“The project was procured by DOTC separately; one for civil works and the other for supply of the materials, hence, the project was not implemented due to absence of coordination even after the end of the term of the past administration,” the DOTr said.
This resulted in the KBK toilet being “merely a structure built on PNR stations” without facilities that make it a restroom like dividers, as shown in the viral post.
“Until today, the project was not turned over to PNR, thus, its repair and maintenance cannot be assumed by PNR,” the DOTr said.
While the DOTr put the blame on the botched 2012 project, its current leadership had a different composition then. In 2012, during administration of President Rodrigo Duterte’s successor, Noynoy Aquino, it was losing vice presidential bet Mar Roxas who led the agency. Roxas, who served for a year, was succeeded by Joseph Emilio Abaya as secretary in October 2012.
It was a clean restroom, with one obvious problem.
The picture of the public bathroom was originally shared by Facebook user Ehm Diolata, wherein she commented that it was taken from PNR Espana.
After DOTr posted its statement, Diolata returned that what she shared was not meant to humiliate any government body or individual.
“I am a PNR commuter since I was a child. I’m a proud Batang Riles, Batang Sta. Mesa. That day was the first time I saw a toilet inside a PNR Station. Malinis ang toilet, pero walang divider ang tatlong urinal bowl na naka-install,” she shared.
According to the transport firm, 20 facilities of the KBK toilets were given to the following PNR stations: Tutuban, Blumentritt, Laon-laan, España, Sta.Mesa, Pandacan, Pasay Road, EDSA, FTI, Bicutan, Sucat, calamba, San Pablo, Lucena, Tagkawayan, Sipocot, Naga, Iriga, Ligao and Legazpi stations.
Despite the memes that the odd-looking bathroom inspired, the KBK toilet venture had previously been flagged by the Commission on Audit because it remained uncompleted after three years of implementation.
The toilet facilities reportedly cost P295.8 million that started during the Aquino administration, but only had a 53.17-percent physical delivery rate, based on the COA report in 2016.