A GROUP composed of various environmental groups called Ecowaste Coalition is pushing for a plastic-free Sinulog 2020 celebration as a way to lessen Cebu City’s production of plastic wastes.
In January 2019, Cebu City’s Department of Public Services ended up collecting 110 tons of garbage after the Sinulog festival.
Ecowaste Coalition’s national coordinator Aileen Lucero said there is a need for environmental laws to have complementing ordinances regulating the use of single-use plastics, especially during public events.
The group appealed to Mayor Edgardo Labella to certify as urgent the proposed ordinance of Councilor Alvin Dizon to ban the use of single-use plastics in all public events.
The council had referred to the committee on laws Dizon’s proposal to ban the use of foam food containers and single-use plastic in all public events in the city.
His ordinance aims to protect, advance and promote the right of the people to a balanced and healthy ecology and instill health consciousness among them.
All event organizers and participants must undergo orientation about the ordinance before the event. They will also be required to bring their own bottles and use recyclable materials during the event.
Violators will face a warning and a fine of P1,000 for the first offense; P3,000 for the second offense; and P5,000 for the third offense. Third-time violators will also not be allowed to organize or participate in any events for a year.
Organizers who comply with the ordinance can be exempted from paying amusement tax.
In his privilege speech during the regular session on Tuesday, Oct. 8, Dizon discussed institutionalizing the practice of plastic-free council sessions, asking the mayor to issue an executive order prohibiting the use of styrofoam and single-use plastics in all Cebu City Government offices and activities and investing in infrastructure and technology to capture and recycle plastic materials “before they reach the oceans and landfills,” among others.
At the end of his speech, Dizon distributed tumblers to all council members.
The council then requested the Office of the Secretariat to stop providing plastic water bottles. (JJL)