DAVAO City Councilor Diosdado Mahipus Jr. advocated for the promotion of reusable grocery and shopping bags during his recent privilege speech at the Sangguniang Panlungsod on Tuesday, September 26.
The second district councilor's initiative coincides with the observance of Lunhaw Month in September.
Mahipus sought the council's approval to pass a resolution urging grocery and retail stores in the city to actively encourage the use of reusable bags.
He recalled the successful passage of the No to Single-Use Plastic Ordinance by the 19th Council, which regulates single-use plastics, and grocery bags, and promotes plastic bottle recycling.
Highlighting Davao City's commitment to environmental preservation through various ordinances, including those related to land use, climate change, waste management, and natural resource protection, Mahipus emphasized that more action is needed. He proposed considering additional environmental protection legislation, including an ordinance governing the use of plastic grocery bags within the city.
“We have so many victories in the protection of the environment, but the battle is not yet finished. We must continue with our gains. It is therefore appropriate during this Lunhaw Month to bring to fore the need to study more environmental protection legislation, including the passage of the proposed ordinance regulating the use of plastic grocery bags in the city,” Mahipus said.
He suggested various measures, such as regulating plastic grocery bags, implementing a designated "no grocery bag day" inspired by a recommendation from Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) secretary Mabel Acosta, and promoting the use of environmentally friendly alternatives like bags made from recycled materials, reusable plastic bags, and larger reusable plastic bags.
However, Mahipus acknowledged that such regulations require careful evaluation of their feasibility, practicality, and potential economic impact on Davao City.
He underscored the importance of reducing the city's plastic dependency and encouraging the adoption of reusable grocery bags.
Mahipus also called upon local businesses using grocery and shopping bags to actively embrace environmental protection policies and play a proactive role in promoting the use of reusable bags. RGP