Iloilo City to impose total plastic ban starting July

ILOILO CITY -- The Iloilo City Government is all set for the enforcement of the city’s Plastic Ordinance starting July 1, said Jovan Dela Peña of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro).

Dela Peña, who heads the 10-man team that will oversee the apprehension of violators of Regulation Ordinance No. 2013-403, said establishments and vendors were warned that they only have at least five days to use in their business their remaining non-biodegradable plastic bags.

He said based on his latest inspection, most big malls here are already compliant to the ordinance.

Non-biodegradable plastic bags have been gradually eliminated in the city starting 2013. Now on its fourth year, the ordinance calls for its total elimination.

Regulation Ordinance No. 2013-403 regulates the use of non-biodegradable plastic shopping bags as wrapping, bagging, and/or packaging materials of establishments in the city. It covers sari-sari stores, market vendors, hawkers or bolanteros, supermarkets, department stores/malls, groceries or restaurants, canteens, fast-food chains, bakeries, coffee shops, hotels, catering services, and other similar establishments.

Dela Peña said Cenro has tapped the experts of the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Department of Science and Technology here in the training of task force members on how to differentiate or identify biodegradable from non-biodegradable plastic bags.

The city, however, has no equipment that will determine if unlabeled plastic bag is biodegradable or non-biodegradable. Hence, Cenro sought the help of Central Philippine University (CPU) for the use of the latter’s machine.

“If we are not sure if the plastic bag is biodegradable or not, what we will do is get a sample and have it checked at CPU,” said Dela Peña.

“If the plastic is non-biodegradable, we will issue the vendor/establishment citation ticket,” he said.

Penalties for violators are P500 fine and confiscation of non-biodegradable plastics for the first offense; P700 fine, confiscation of non-biodegradable plastic bags, and suspension of business permit for one week in the second offense; and P1,000 fine, confiscation of plastic bags, and cancellation of business permit in the third offense.

Dela Peña called on the public to support the enforcement of the ban on plastic bags by bringing their recyclable bags when shopping. (PNA)
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