June 14, 2024

Councilor Leandro Yangot, Jr. has proposed an ordinance seeking to regulate the transport, storage, reuse, recycling, reprocessing, or disposal of used cooking oil and grease trap waste by business establishments in the city.

The ordinance, once approved, will cover hotels, restaurants, bakeshops, canteens, food stalls, and similar establishments.

It aims to address health hazards associated with the reuse of cooking oil which can lead to the formation of free radicals, increase chances of heart disease, and cause high blood pressure, and other ailments.

It also aims to avoid contamination of water bodies and pollution of the aquatic environment caused by improper disposal of grease trap waste and to prevent clogging of drainage systems by ensuring proper treatment and disposal.

The proposed ordinance is aligned with Republic Act 6969 or the Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990 which regulates waste to prevent environmental and health risks. Used cooking oil and grease trap waste are classified as hazardous waste by Department of Environment and Natural Resources Administrative Order 2013-22.

Under the proposed ordinance, it is unlawful for food establishments to not segregate used cooking oil and grease trap waste, illegally dispose of or sell used cooking oil and grease trap waste to unauthorized buyers; allow unauthorized persons to collect, transport, and dispose of these wastes, and operate without registration and clearance from the City Environment and Parks Management Office and City Health Services Office-Sanitation Division.

The ordinance mandates that food establishments handle used cooking oil and grease trap waste in coordination with the Cepmo, CHSO-SD, and General Services Office. 

The city government will also partner with the departments of Energy and Science and Technology to explore processing used cooking oil as alternative transport fuel. 

Non-compliant food establishments will face fines ranging from P2,000 to P3,000 and may have their business permits revoked.

The Cepmo will lead the implementation of the ordinance. Its responsibilities include disseminating information to food establishment owners and occupants, preparing annual reports on the ordinance’s implementation progress, coordinating with CHSO-SD and the Business Permits and Licensing Office, and collaborating with national agencies like the Environmental Management Bureau of the DENR.

The proposed ordinance has been approved on first reading by the city council and referred to the committee on health and sanitation, ecology, and environmental protection for review. – Jordan G. Habbiling