Parliament Q&A

Oral reply by Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, to Parliamentary Question on Toilet Facilities in Hawker Centres and Coffeeshops, on 15 October 2020

TOPICS: Cleanliness

Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) what is the percentage of hawker centres and coffeeshops which currently do not adhere to the ratio of female and male toilet facilities of 5:3 as required by the NEA; (b) what steps can be taken to encourage the relevant owners and operators to make the requisite changes to comply with the ratio requirement; and (c) whether incentives can be provided under NEA's Toilet Improvement Programme launched on 2 October 2020 to effect the desired changes.


1. The Code of Practice on Environmental Health (COPEH) specifies the minimum number of female and male toilet facilities for different categories of premises, according to their Gross Floor Area (GFA) or capacity. For small food establishments, such as coffeeshops that are no more than 250 square metres in area, the minimum requirement is to provide one toilet and one wash hand basin. For larger hawker centres and coffeeshops, the required ratio of female to male toilet facilities will vary according to size. The 5:3 ratio of female to male toilet facilities applies to premises such as shopping malls, conference halls and cinemas. 

2. NEA regularly updates the requirements in the COPEH, including those pertaining to the number of female and male toilet facilities. These will apply to premises, including hawker centres and coffeeshops, when they undergo rebuilding or major renovation.

3. NEA will encourage owners and operators of hawker centres and coffeeshops to provide toilet facilities that meet the latest COPEH through the Toilet Improvement Programme (TIP). The TIP provides co-funding support of up to 90% to incorporate better designs and technologies for more productive and effective cleaning of toilets.

4. I urge Town Councils and coffeeshop owners to apply for the TIP to upgrade their toilets.

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