The “No Plastics Monday” policy in the Dumaguete City public market will be expanded, to include all establishments in the city, as planned by legislators and environmentalists.
Councilor Joe Kenneth Arbas said the policy was adopted after consultations with the presidents of various associations in the public market.
The possible expansion and frequency of the ban on plastics has to be agreed upon by the stakeholders, because, at present, marketgoers and vendors cannot be penalized yet.
Councilors Karissa Tolentino and Manuel Arbon pressed for the implementation of the regulation on the use of plastics to include all commercial establishments, stores, and restaurants, among others.
Arbon said that since the ordinance provides exemption if the packaging used is certified as biodegradable plastics, then the absence of a competent and appropriate authority or national office that will make the certification should not cause the suspension of the implementation of the ordinance.
Councilor Lilani Ramon noted that Ordinance 231, passed in 2011, was implemented religiously at first, but when some big commercial stores complained that there is no agency in government that could certify any biodegradable plastics, the city government halted its enforcement.
She, however, said she supports the implementation of the ban on plastics now.
Reports said, however, that the Sangguniang Panlungsod hopes that the habit of doing away with the use of plastic bags will be cultivated, with the start of the “No Plastics on Monday” policy.
It is suggested that both buyers and sellers use recyclable plastic bags, baloyot/bayong, net bags, catcha bags or sako bags for their purchased goods.
The prohibited acts under the ordinance include the offering to sell or provide for free plastic bags to customers as secondary packaging materials for wet goods, offer to sell or provide free plastic bags to customers as packaging material for dry goods, offer to sell or provide polystyrene (styrofoam) to customers as packaging material, and disposal of plastic shopping bags.
Fines will be P500 for the first violation, P1,000 for second violation, and for succeeding offenses, P5,000, or imprisonment of not more than six months upon the discretion of the court, and cancellation of the violator’s license/permit to operate for a period of one year.
Except for intermittent disputes and minimum acts of defiance, majority of the buyers and sellers have complied with the policy, even in the absence of punitive actions on the part of the enforcers during its reimplementation that started on the first Monday of April.*RG
back to top