Baguio studies wider coverage of ‘no plastic’ ordinance

Published July 25, 2018, 12:29 AM

by Roel Tibay

By Philippine News Agency

BAGUIO CITY — The city government is considering expanding the coverage of its no-plastics policy to include not just the ubiquitous sando bags, but also plastic straws, cups, and containers.

Only plastics bags and styrofoams were mentioned in the original city ordinance passed in 2017, titled “Plastic and Styrofoam-free Baguio” ordinance.

Residential areas, businesses, and schools are also being eyed to be included in the plastics ban, aside from government offices and the central business district.

Councilor Elaine Sembrano said on Monday the planned revisions are now being drafted after an initial dialogue between the City Council and various concerned sectors about the ordinance.

“We will have to look into their recommendation. They will be present in our next session to advise the council on their recommended revision,” she said.

Sembrano said all of the ordinance’s kinks must soon be ironed out, saying the no-plastics policy must have been done much earlier.

“Aayusin na natin, plantsahin na natin para once and for all magstart na, kasi it has been long overdue dapat talaga ‘yan, noon pa ‘yan (we are fixing it now, ironing it out so that once and for all the implementation can start as it had been long overdue, it should have been started before),” she said.

The city official also warned of no more exemptions once the revisions are completed.

“Hingi sila ng hingi ng extension but definitely, I will go for no plastic sa city, walang exception because the moment magbigay ka ngexception, everybody will be asking for it, bale wala yung ating pinagpaguran, bale wala yung ating advocacy na no plastic sa city (They always ask for exceptions but definitely we will go for a no plastic city, no exceptions because the moment you give one, others will follow and the advocacy, what we worked hard for, will be wasted).”

She said the city task force assigned to implement the ordinance has already been undergoing training to equip them with the skills to apprehend.

“We have to train deputized representatives, the task force. Sila lang pwede maghuli, magsabi na bawal yan, magbigay ng citations ng penalties (They are the only ones allowed to apprehend, to say what is not allowed, to give citations and penalties),” she said.

The task force will be composed of 11 members from the Public Order and Safety Division (POSD), League of Barangays, City Mayors Office, Treasurer’s Office, and the police.