The total plastic bag ban is an act which prohibits the use of plastic bags in restaurants and other establishments and provides penalties thereof. However since 2011 the bill, authored by Senator Loren Legarda, is pending before the committee.
One of the local government units who has an ordinance banning plastic bags and styrofoam containers for most goods bought in commercial establishments is the City of Muntinlupa. The local government is encouraging residents to use reusable containers when buying takeout food.
City administrator Byron San Pedro said the measure stemmed from observations that canteens and other small-scale food vendors in the city were still using plastic bags for meals to go.
“Our anti-plastic policy only allows the use of plastic bags as packaging for wet goods, but canteens and karinderyas (eateries) have continued to use them for takeout food,” San Pedro noted in an Inquirer interview.
The city has begun implementing the measure on the local government’s 6,000 employees by ordering them to bring reusable containers, including mugs and glasses, for the food and beverages they will buy. Violators will then facs administrative sanctions.
Here in Negros Occidental, San Carlos City is strictly implementing the no plastic policy. All establishments in the city are not using plastic anymore. Customers have to bring their own bags everytime they go to the supermarket to buy groceries. Vendors in the wet market are using big leaves for wrapping. And the local government assigned personnel to constantly monitor its compliance.
I really commend their local officials for doing the right thing. They have the tenacity and good leadership to implement the laws in their locality.
If you have the chance to visit San Carlos City you will be surprised that the no smoking ordinance is also strictly adhered to. People of City Hall are roaming around the city looking for violators, simply put their local government means business. If you are caught violating the ordinance, proper penalty is imposed regardless of who you are. No padrino system, no palakas, no exemption, and no one is above the law in San Carlos City.
Meanwhile, in Bacolod City there is an ordinabce but it is not implemented. We are one of the most liveable cities and yet we cannot even implement a simple ordinance banning plastic in the establishments. What are we afraid of? We all know that plastic is one of the causes of the congestion of the drainage system. It is one of the culprits why days ago Bacolod was submerged in water.
We need to really make ways to mitigate flooding in Bacolod. I know the local government knows what to do. Two of the effective solutions are good leadership skills and political will though.
Quo Vadis Bacolod?/WDJ