Ordinance to ban release of balloons hurdles first reading

The Bacolod City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance prohibiting the release of certain balloons in the city.

The ordinance was authored by Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr., chairperson of the City Council committee on human rights.

Gamboa said balloon launches are bad to the environment particularly to the marine animals for they are mistaken as food that poses danger to their health and life.

“In order to eliminate illegal garbage disposal and to save our environment from garbage pollution, one of the ways is to regulate the balloon releases in the city,” he said.

He added that Republic Act No. 7160 or “The Local Government Code of 1991: empowers the City Council to enact ordinances that regulates activities within the city in order to promote the general welfare.

Section 6 of the proposed ordinance stated that all business applicants through the Environment and Natural Resources Office (Enro) shall be informed that the sale, use and distribution of helium balloons, both public and private use is prohibited.

Section 8 of the proposed ordinance also stated the exceptions such as the balloons used for carrying scientific instrumentation during the performance of an experiment or testing procedure or by a person on behalf of a government agency or pursuant to a government contract for scientific or meteorological purposes; balloons released indoors; hot air balloons that are recovered after launching; and tethered sky lanterns.

Gamboa disclosed that violators of said ordinance will be fined P1,000, for the first offence, P3, 000 and P5,000 for the second and third or successive offenses, respectively. (MAP)


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