Thursday, August 05, 2021

Briones: For a change

AND now for something completely different... Let's go to our neighboring city of Mandaue where there is clamor to stop the City Government's implementation of the plastic ban.

Not many people know that the Plastic Bag Prohibition Ordinance was passed in 2010 yet that was why they were surprised when Mayor Gabriel Luis Quisumbing decided to enforce it following the devastating flood that struck the city last July 1.

You see, the mayor had blamed plastic products for clogging the city's rivers and creeks, which caused these to overflow that day, stranding hundreds if not thousands of commuters.

Violators will be made to pay a fine of not more than P500 or face imprisonment of not more than five days, or both.

But before they cry foul—and by “they,” I mean retailers and business establishment--the City has stayed the issuance of notices of violation and the imposition of penalties since it's bent on disseminating the information so everyone concerned cannot use the excuse of ignorance when the City comes a-knocking at their door.

In other words, the City is giving them time to comply with the ordinance, “which requires all stores, shops, eating places, food vendors and eateries to provide their customers only with paper bags, cloth bags and other recyclable or reusable bags.”

But stall vendors at the Mandaue City Public Market are already painting a doomsday scenario.

At the meat section, Era Duallo told Sun.Star Cebu's Linette Ramos-Cantalejo that she is worried about losing her customers because of the ban.

Most of them are from Lapu-Lapu City, Consolacion and Liloan, she said, so they might end up going to a market closer to home.

And because she's afraid of losing her livelihood, Duallo, Jocelyn Armero, an eatery owner who goes to the market every day, and other consumers and vendors are asking the City to amend the ordinance and to reconsider the ban.

They want the City to target end users and apprehend those who throw plastic products in the waterways.

“Dili ang vendors ang angay nilang leksyonan ug lisod-lisoron, ang tawo na mugamit ug mulabay sa plastic unta. Kay ang plastic ra ba, ug dili ni hilabtan, dili baya ni mulakaw padung sa sapa,” Duallo told Ramos-Cantalejo.

Hmm, she has a point there. After all, a plastic bag doesn't get on its feet to make way to the nearest waterway. To quote the National Rifle Association of America's slogan, “guns don't kill people, people kill people.”

But we're not talking about murder. We're talking about Mandaue wanting to implement an ordinance passed six years ago to address flooding in the city. And it's giving everyone affected time to comply.

So, here's a novel idea. Why don't Duallo and company just follow the law or heed the advice of the market administrator. Instead of using plastic bags, they use reusable bags, net bags, baskets or ice boxes that can hold meat, fish and other goods.

Why not try that for a change?

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