Move to beef up paper bag ordinance up at city council

A MOVE to upgrade the city’s “paper bag” ordinance is in the works at the city council.

Councilors Elaine Sembrano and Maria Mylen Victoria Yaranon proposed an ordinance to put more teeth to Ordinance No. 26 series of 2007 or the Baguio Paper Bag Ordinance which promulgates the use of paper bags, buri bags and other biodegradable containers in all supermarkets, groceries and other retail business establishments in the city.

The alderwomen said the measure was not fully implemented despite its supposed full implementation by year 2012.

“In the last five years, it has been observed the practice of using biodegradable bagging containers for shopping purposes has not been fully enforced despite the mandated cutoff period of 2012.

Supermarkets, groceries and retail outlets or stores in commercial zones within the city have continued to used plastic bags, despite the prohibitive requirements of the Ordinance,” the alderwomen noted in their proposal.

They said the ordinance has to be enforced to its fullest intent and to the extent possible of inculcating desired changes in our shopping practices for the city to control the use of plastic bags and plastic or polystyrene foam containers for an effective solid waste management in the light of the growing concern on environmental degradation due to these toxic materials.

In their proposal, the alderwomen sought to rename the measure as the “Baguio City Anti-Plastic Bag and Anti-Styrofoam Ordinance” to cover all business establishments and stores in the city.

Added provisions that would expressly prohibit the establishments from providing to customers any plastic bag or Styrofoam and instead give only recyclable paper bags or containers or reusable bags or containers to carry goods.

But customers will not be prohibited from using bags or containers of any type they bring to the store themselves.

They also proposed that six months after the approval of the measure, the city government through the general services office will undertake an information education and communication (IEC) with the assistance of other offices.

After the six months, the ordinance would become operative.
The proponents also added a penalty for fourth offense wherein violators will have their business permits revoked and establishments closed.

The original penalties for the first to third offenses – fine of P1,000 for first offense; P3,000 for second and P5,000 fine and three-month suspension of business permit for third offense – were retained.
The proposal has been submitted to the city council. (Aileen Refuerzo/PIO)

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