Ban on plastics, styro junked-A A +A
Friday, March 25, 2011
THE City Council rejected Wednesday the proposed ordinance that will prohibit the use of plastic bags as packaging materials and styrofoam as containers for food in Bacolod City.
Councilor Em Ang, the author of the ordinance, expressed dismay over the outcome of her proposal.
"This should have become among the landmark ordinances of the city, considering that plastics greatly contribute to harming human beings and the environment," she said.
Five councilors gave their nod to the proposal. They are councilors Caesar Distrito, Homer Bais, Al Victor Espino, Mona Dia Jardin, and Ang.
Those who voted against the ordinance were councilors Elmer Sy, Elcid Familiaran, Sonya Verdeflor and Catalino Alisbo. Councilor Bobby Rojas was on leave, while Councilor Keith Manuel Ramos came too late to cast his vote.
Councilors Carl Lopez, Archie Baribar and Dindo Ramos abstained.
Councilor Ang said the council's failure to pass her proposal will have a negative impact on the environment.
"I have worked so hard for this ordinance for five months. I battled for this for five second readings at the council. It should have been timely, considering that the city's sanitary landfill facility will be completed in June and this should have gone together with the city's Solid Waste Management program," she lamented.
She said there are so many studies proving that plastics greatly contribute to floods.
Of the debris that clogged the waterways during the flood last January, 76 percent was plastics, she added.
Familiaran said he would have batted for the proposal if only Ang allowed his suggestions to amend some of its provisions.
He clarified that the minutes of the sessions show that he supported the proposal. However, he wanted a total ban on the use of plastics.
Familiaran pointed out that while the tile of the proposal states the ban on the use of the plastics, the body of the proposal bans only the use of plastics by department stores and retail stores, not the general public.
"If a person resides in Talisay, he cannot buy plastics in Bacolod. But if a Bacolod resident goes to Talisay and buys plastics, he can do so and he will bring it home to Bacolod and use it," he said.
The ban should apply to all, including the public, Familiaran added. "How can we monitor the irresponsible disposal of plastics and waste by a sari-sari store in a barangay? We can hardly implement a simple Jay Walking Law."
For Councilor Sy, he voted against the bill considering that his business involves the sale of plastics.
Councilor Lopez, for his part, explained that his abstention on the said bill stemmed from his absence during the passage of the bill on second reading. As such, on the third reading, he is not allowed to comment anymore but simply vote for or against the ordinance.
While he is for the ban on the use of plastics, he said Ang's proposal needs revisions, such as providing an alternative to plastics. (CNC)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 25, 2011.