The Dumaguete City government will start re-implementing the no plastic bags policy every Monday in the city public market starting April 2.
Several enforcers will be deployed in the market complex. Violators will be penalized by a fine of P500 for first offense, P1,000 for the second violation, and P5,000 or imprisonment of not more than 6 months at the discretion of the court, and cancellation of the license/permit to operate for a period of one year, for the third violation.
Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo has been pushing for the implementation of the anti-plastic ordinance as one of the best means to manage the city solid waste.
City Economic Enterprises Officer Jose Ronnie Fortin said the "No plastic day every Monday" project is in support of the city's campaign to reduce plastic use and better manage garbage collection and disposal.
After setting an example in the public market, the implementation will expand to include the fish terminal and cold storage, slaughterhouse and passenger terminal. Eventually, with the full support of the Environment and Natural Resources, the ban on plastic use will be strictly enforced in the entire city.
Fortin noted that when the use of plastic bags was prohibited after the passage of Ordinance No. 231 in 2011, the volume of garbage generated by the market had reduced.
However, the implementation was disrupted several years ago with the pullout of the enforcers. The plastic trash, considered harmful and too slow to decompose, accumulated and clogged the city’s sewage system and canals.
Fortin is urging marketgoers to instead use recyclable plastic bags, baloyot or bayong, net bags, katsa bags or sako bags. Plastic bags will only be allowed as primary packaging materials.
Other prohibited acts in the plastic ordinance are to offer to sell or provide for free plastic bags to customers as secondary packaging materials for wet goods, offer to sell or provide for free plastic bags to customers as packaging material on dry goods, and offer to sell or provide polystyrene (styrofoams) to customers as packaging material and disposal of plastic shopping bags.*RG
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