Albay to get strict on plastic bag use

Published July 9, 2019, 6:31 PM

by Rica Arevalo

By Nino Luces

STO. DOMINGO, Albay – The newly elected mayor of Sto. Domingo town vowed to strictly enforce the anti-plastic ordinance in the first 100 days of his term.

Jun Aguas told the Manila Bulletin that after inspecting the town’s public market Monday, he noticed that the implementation of the ordinance regulating the use of plastic bags he filed when he was councilor has been lax.

“We admit na since the time na nag-resign ako as municipal administrator kasi nga tumakbo ako as mayor, nag slow down yung implementation. So this time, within my first 100 days, we will strictly implement it,” he said.

Located at eastern seaboard of Luzon, the town of Sto. Domingo’s business center is just a few kilometers from its black sand beaches, the historical Bantayan ruins and the Coral Genesis project.

“We have to do something about it. Hindi natin pwedeng pabayaan ito. Nanganganib ang ating yaman naturales na bumubuhay ng ating turismo,” Aguas explained.

He said he has consulted with groceries and other businesses owners on enforcing the ordinance to the letter. “Kakausapin din natin yung mga barangay captains na i-adopt din yung ordinansa at istriktong ipatupad. Kung ayaw nilang sumunod, nandyan naman ang Ombudsman,” he added.

He said the use of plastic bags is only allowed at the wet market. The dry good sections must use paper bags or eco-bags.

“Sayang yung ating mga tourism sites na yan kung hindi nating pangangalagaan ang ating kapaligiran. Sa baba lang natin, mga resorts na. Nandyan yung Coral Genesis Project natin na ire-rehabilitate uli natin dahil may mga sira na dahil sa pwersa o alon ng dagat. Nakipag usap na rin tayo sa JCI para sa pagsasaayos,” he said.

The Coral Genesis project is a 300-square0meter coral formation at the bottom of the sea. It has solar-powered artificial reefs that enhance the growth of corals and serve as a breeding site for fishes.

Aguas also said the Bantayan ruins should also be protected from waste since it has been endorsed to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts of the Philippines (NCCA) as a heritage site.

Also endorsed to the NCAA were the Sto. Domingo church and the Pugad Lawin Park.

In Albay province, the anti-plastic ordinance was filed by former 3rd District Board Member Arnold Embestro and approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan in 2012 but according to its author, it was not fully implemented.

The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources (ENRO) chief, Ma. Theresa Atos, admitted there are still municipalities that do have an anti-plastic ordinance.