THE Mandaue City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) wants to strengthen the coverage and penalties of the ordinance that bans plastics.

Araceli Barlam, Cenro head, said they’ve already apprehended 116 violators since they strictly implemented the ordinance last Aug. 1.

In a press conference yesterday, Barlam said they will gather information and proposals on how to strengthen City Ordinance 12-2010-562, also known as the Plastic Bag Prohibition Ordinance of 2010, by the end of the month.

No revocation

Cenro found the sanction imposed against the violator and the description of the coverage have little impact, considering the ordinance only indicates plastic bags, Barlam said.

The ordinance prohibits the use and distribution of disposable plastic bags and styrofoam in any establishments in the city, including carenderias and sari-sari stores.

Violators face a fine worth P500 or five-day imprisonment, or both, depending on the court’s decision.

If apprehended for the second time, Cenro will recommend the revocation of the establishment’s business permit. So far, Barlam said, no business permit has been revoked.

Recently, some vendors in the city public market were seen using transparent plastics without handles when packing goods and placing these in paper bags.

Barlam said they do not allow use of any type of plastic.

“We never stated that… That is clearly a violation of the ordinance,” she said.

She said most of the violators that were apprehended were ambulant vendors.

New drainage systems

City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Felix Suico said they cannot yet say that the implementation of the plastic ban has been effective in addressing the city’s flood problem.

“So far we cannot say that there was already a result in terms of addressing the flood problem in the city because it was just recently implemented. We can see the effect of banning plastics probably after a year from its implementation,” Suico said.

Suico, though, pointed out that the newly constructed drainage system in different areas in the city has helped alleviate the problem.

He said they’ve recently listed only seven barangays that are flood prone, after drainage systems were installed in other barangays.

These are Barangays Banilad, Subangdaku, Tipolo, Guizo, Looc, Cambaro and Maguikay.

Barangays Paknaan, Mantuyong and Cubacub have been stricken off the list.