The city of Las Piñas will soon enjoy litter free of plastic bags and packaging materials with the passage of ‘The plastic bag regulation ordinance’ by the city council imposing stiff penalty to violators.
Mayor Vergel Aguilar said the passage of the ordinance is the local government’s determined efforts in maintaining the ecological balance within their territorial jurisdiction consistent with the mandate of the Constitution to protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.
The city council presided by vice mayor Louie Bustamante passed the ordinance last September 15, which prohibits commercial establishments from using thin film, single use, or carry-out plastic bags of carrying away purchased goods. The corresponding implementing rules and regulation (IRR) for enforcement of the same has been submitted which shall take effect by January 1, 2012.
Aguilar said the indiscriminate dumping of plastic bags and packaging materials into the environment and its eventual burning in open dumps coupled with an apathetic behavior of the population are exacerbating air pollution, deteriorating water quality, contributing to the shallowing of bays and rivers, and as such constitute a serious threat to public health and the integrity of the ecosystem.
He pointed out that “the Sangguniang Panlungsod is mandated to protect the environment and impose appropriate penalties for acts which endanger the environment including such activities which result in pollution, acceleration or eutrophication of rivers and lakes or ecological imbalance”.
“The banning of the use and distribution of plastics bags and polystyrene foam (styrofoam/ styropor) will greatly contribute to a reduction in the volume of solid wastes generated by local communities that end up in canals, waterways, rivers, creeks and streams and eventually in the bay,” Aguilar said.
Section 3 of the Ordinance prohibits commercial establishment from using/utilizing thin film, single use, or carry out plastic bags at the point of sale for the purpose of carrying away goods.
In addition Section 4 prohibits commercial establishment from the use of Polystyrene Foam (Styrofoam/ Styropor) and other similar materials as containers for food and produce.
Commercial establishments are likewise prohibited from offering or selling plastic bags to be used as packaging materials.
Business establishment caught violating any of the prohibited acts above shall face the penalties of: P1,000.00 fine for first offence; P3,000 for the second offence and third offence; P5,000.00 fine and/ or imprisonment of not more than (6) months upon the discretion of the court, or worse, cancellation of license to operate for a period of one (1) year.
A massive information education and communication campaigns are now in place to warn and prepare the people of its implementation that also include the promotion of alternative biodegradable packaging materials. (END)