BAGUIO CITY– Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan underscored that the local government will be unrelenting and uncompromising in the implementation of the city’s anti-plastic ordinance starting May 1 this year to contribute in efforts to significantly reduce the volume of non-biodegradable waste generated not only by residents but also businesses in the different parts of the city.
The local chief executive pointed out even customers of business establishments will not be spared from the implementation of the anti-plastic ordinance, thus, buyers of goods will be barred from bringing with them plastic bags in transacting purchasing goods from groceries or event in different stalls in the public market.
“We received requests from different establishments for possible exemption from the coverage of the anti-plastic ordinance because what they are currently using are biodegradable plastics but the owners of the said businesses must prove to the concerned offices of the local government that what they are using are biodegradable plastics,” Domogan stressed.
He explained what should be done by the business establishments requesting for exemption from the coverage of the anti-plastic ordinance is to seek the amendment of pertinent provisions of the measure with the local legislative body using as proof the studies that will show that what they are currently using are biodegradable plastics when wrapping goods being purchased by their clients.
According to him, concerned offices are now conducting a massive information and education campaign in the city to remind the residents and the businessmen on the upcoming implementation of the city’s anti-plastic ordinance by May 1 so that the volume of plastics being collected from the different barangays and the central business district area will be significantly reduced and for people to be empowered to embrace the use of biodegradable bags when buying goods in the different establishments around the city.
It can be recalled that the local government gave a one year grace period for business establishments in the city to dispose of the huge volume of non-biodegradable plastics being used in the wrapping of goods purchased by their customers.
Records show that the local government enacted the first no plastic ordinance in the city which gave businesses a 5-year transition period but the same measure was amended in 2017 without being implemented to conform with the prevailing situation in the local markets.
Domogan urged residents and businessmen to first abide by the city’s no plastic policy to test its limits and uncover its possible loopholes before seeking its possible amendments that will be filed before the local legislative body in the future.
He emphasized by contributing in the efforts of the local government to reduce the volume of plastics being dumped in the different staging points in the barangays, people who will no longer patronize the use of plastics will be doing justice to effectively and efficiently address the increasing volume of biodegradable waste being shipped out of the city through its temporary transfer staging area located within a portion of the Baguio Dairy Farm. Which was authorized by the agriculture department for a maximum period of one year for such purpose./By Dexter A. See