Davao mayor, DENR back law vs balloons, lanterns

DAVAO. Davao City Mayor Sara-Duterte Carpio supports the ordinance prohibiting the release of balloons and sky lanterns in Davao City.

DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio assured her full support to the proponents of the ordinance prohibiting the release of balloons and sky lanterns in Davao City.

The mayor said on Thursday, January 10, that the law against the wasteful and hazardous practice will potentially reduce Davao City’s waste disposal.

“There is an urgent need to reduce our waste because we cannot keep on creating sanitary landfills every five years,” she said, adding this can only be achieved through recycling and banning plastic wastes.

Davao City Councilor Maria Belen Acosta first proposed the ordinance on January 8.

She mentioned that bulk of the wastes collected by the city’s Bantay Dagat team are plastics in forms of sachets, wrappers, and mineral bottles, among others.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Davao Region, regional director Ruth Tawantawan, in a separate interview, said these balloons when dropped to the ocean can be consumed by marine creatures like sea turtles.

“We have hawksbill turtles that consider Punta Dumalag in Matina Aplaya as a nesting area, and they are considered critically endangered,” she said.

Duterte-Carpio, however, urged the City Council to help them come up with more ideas about how to reduce plastics in the environment.

“Dili lang mga balloons, daghan pa plastics atong pwede i-ban (We can actually ban more plastics apart from balloons),” she added.

Acosta shared in her privilege speech during the recent regular session that when balloons deflate, they indiscriminately drop anywhere and they cannot be recovered and properly disposed.

“Balloons and sky lanterns or paper lanterns release is an act of littering,” she added. The guidelines are still up for discussions after the committee hearings. (ASP)


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