CEBU CITY – A total of 31 local government units (LGUs) in Visayas and Mindanao and an international advocacy non-government organization (NGO) have called for a nationwide ban on single-use plastic as household and COVID-19-related wastes continue to increase.
Gloria Estenzo Ramos, Vice President of Oceana, an international advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans, said that when the country began the community quarantine due to COVID 19 in March, only Cebu province, two cities, and two municipalities initiated the adoption of a resolution addressed to the National Solid Waste Management Commission to ban single-use plastics nationwide. This was included in the priority list of Non-Environmentally Acceptable Products and Packaging (NEAPP), as mandated by Republic Act 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.
Ramos said 31 coastal LGUs, six provinces, and 25 cities and municipalities issued similar resolutions calling on the National Solid Waste Management Commission to ban the nationwide production, distribution, and trade of single-use plastics “before there will be more plastics than fish in the ocean.”
The six provinces that passed the Sangguniang Panlalawigan resolution were Cebu, Southern Leyte, Masbate, Davao Oriental, Bohol, and Aklan.
The 25 cities and municipalities that passed the Sangguniang Pambayan resolutions were: Libagon, Southern Leyte; Liloan, Southern Leyte; Limasawa, Southern Leyte; Maasin, Southern Leyte; Padre Burgos, Southern Leyte; PIntuyan, Southern Leyte; San Juan, Southern Leyte; Silago, Southern Leyte; Cebu City; Lapulapu City; Badian, Cebu; Bantayan, Cebu; Bogo City, Cebu; Ginatilan, Cebu; San Remigio, Cebu; Sibonga, Cebu; Guihulngan, Negros Oriental; Antequera, Bohol; Panglao, Bohol; Bien Unido, Bohol; President Carlos P. Garcia, Bohol; Trinidad, Bohol; Libmanan, Camarines Sur; Baguio City; and Angeles City, Pampanga.
“The Philippines is an archipelagic country and wastes are sure to flow and swell into marine litter that endangers our fisheries and ocean ecosystem. May the political will of the Commission be harnessed to reduce the plastic menace from the source,” Ramos added.
The LGUs passed the resolution calling on the National Solid Waste Commission to release the NEAPP list, considering the impact of the disposal of plastic bags and packaging materials into the marine environment.
Ramos said that Oceana recognizes that the government can stop the continuous production of single-use plastics for other purposes and packaging to save the country’s waterways, rivers, seas, and marine organisms that have become the dumping ground of humans’ unbridled consumption and utilization of plastics.