Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
Two local ordinances will be implemented close on the heels of each other in the next few days in Dumaguete City. These are Ordinance No. 231, series of 2011 that regulates the use of plastic shopping bags for both dry goods and wet goods, and is set to be strictly enforced starting August 28. Conversely, Ordinance No. 94, series of 2011 implements the no-smoking rule in public places, business establishments, and public conveyances starting September 1.
If there is anything supporters of these two ordinances are wont to say, it is that they have long been coming, and it is now time to put teeth in them through their implementing rules and regulations. Note that it has been a year since the ordinance was passed and the populace should be told that our lawmakers mean business this time.
The use of plastic bags has been found to be detrimental not only to the health of people, but also to our environment. Even waste or garbage segregation has not stopped the public from using plastic for convenience. But, not many people know that the production of plastic itself creates chemical additives that have negative environmental and human health effects. Some of the ill effects are direct toxicity, carcinogens, endocrine disruption, which lead to cancer, birth defects, immune system suppression, and developmental problems in children.
Time was when a leading fastfood chain in Dumaguete would yield tons and tons of styrofoam, accounting for the mounting waste to be disposed by the city government. Today, however, this same fastfood chain is slowly becoming conscious of the ill effects of plastic, and has started to use breakable dishes to serve their clients.
And, smoking? Need we say more? Today, it is no longer fashionable to be seen smoking. In fact, people today give smokers quizzical looks that seem to say that they do not know what they are getting themselves into.
If we put our foot down and implement our other ordinances, similarly, we believe we will get the support of everyone. As they say, better safe than sorry.*