BAGUIO City Mayor Mauricio Domogan called on the City Council for the amendment of the city's plastic ordinance.

The ordinance passed in 2007 was up for full implementation in 2012 promulgating the use of paper bags, buri bags and other biodegradable bagging containers in all supermarkets, groceries and other business establishments citywide.

However, reports from a Legislative Tracking conducted recently on the implementation of the ordinance showed the use of paper bags may not be the best choice as alternative to plastic bags.

"Possible amendments to the ordinance such as the use of biodegradable plastics and other alternatives should also be taken into consideration in its implementation," Domogan said.

The ordinance was put in place to minimize and eradicate the use of plastic bags, which is a major source of waste in the city.

"The use of biodegradable plastic bags that can easily decompose which was not yet readily available when the ordinance was crafted needs also to be considered," he said.

Advocating the use of paper bags and buri bags is a noble endeavour he said but must also be carefully studied in order to achieve success in its implementation.

The City Government has started with the information dissemination campaign on the ordinance early in 2011 garnering mix reactions from the public.

It covers all supermarkets, groceries, and retail outlets or stores in all areas identified as commercial zones specifically stating that all are required to use paper bags, buri bags, and other biodegradable materials as containers or bags for all dry goods and groceries instead of plastic bags.

It also covers the public market Wet Section, such as fresh meat, fish, vegetables and fruits, with the provision that the goods can be packed in plastic containers or sando bags provided these are placed in shopping bags allowed by the said ordinance.

Recommended as fine for violators is P1,000 for the first offense for any business establishment found to have violated the provisions of the law.

For the second offense a fine of P2,500 will be imposed for non-compliance and a fine of five thousand pesos is imposed as penalty for the third offense.

Those found to be habitual offenders will be meted the penalty of suspension of business and non-renewal of business permit.

The mayor, however, proposes a more thorough study on the matter. (Paul Rillorta)