MANILA— The Department of Tourism (DOT) secured on Friday Petron Corporation’s commitment to providing sustainable and barrier-free restrooms in its stations near tourist destinations.

Tourism chief Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and Petron Corporation president Ramon Ang who were joined by Petron dealers and tourism stakeholders led the signing of the memorandum of understanding at the San Miguel Corp. head office in Mandaluyong City.

Under the partnership, some 200 Petron stations will undergo the accreditation process of DOT where the restrooms’ environmental management system as well as amenities, safety, cleanliness, and facilities will be assessed.

While there are a total of 2,400 Petron gas stations in the Philippines, Ang said the corporation will continue to engage with the DOT.

“We will continuously build when there’s a need to expand more. Sa amin libre ‘yan, may bidet pa and tubig so talagang malinis na malinis,” he told a media interview.

“We have many tourists but they struggle on the road because of the lack of toilets. This is why we put a lot of toilets in our stations and since this partnership with the DOT means well, we decided to improve the restrooms,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Romulo-Puyat thanked Petron Corporation for its commitment to support the DOT program, noting the project’s importance.

“By ensuring that public restrooms near tourist destinations are clean, comfortable, and safe, and with a proper waste management system, we can deliver our promise of a more fun travel destination one toilet at a time,” she said.

The partnership is part of the Philippine government’s broader program called the Barrier-Free and Environmentally Sustainable Toilet (BEST) project, which is in line with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ Public Toilet Standard. (PNA)