July 17, 2024

Starting May 20, the city government will begin the strict implementation of the plastic and Styrofoam-free ordinance at the city market.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong ordered a heightened no plastic policy enforcement in establishments all over the city starting May 15.

Leaders of the different sections of the market were convened by the Plastic Carry/Shopping Bags and Styrofoam-Free Baguio Task Force last May 10 where some agreements were reached on how the ordinance can be best implemented at the trading center.

Pursuant to the agreements, posters containing reminders on Ordinance 35-17 or the Plastic and Styrofoam-Free Baguio Ordinance were installed in the different sections of the city market to inform the vendors and market goers.

Under the ordinance, commercial establishments are prohibited from using or providing single use plastic or sando bags in favor of paper bags or containers that are reusable or made of biodegradable materials.

Customers may bring their own containers or bags.

As agreed on by the task force and the leaders of the different sections of the city market, the use of eco-bags for dry goods will be encouraged.

For fish and wet goods, customers are encouraged to bring their own containers.

It was agreed that vendors will launch a donation drive for used containers, eco-bags, paper bags and the like which the vendor may lend to their customers who have no containers for their wet goods. The containers must be returned upon the customer’s next visit for use by other patrons.

Dropping points for container donations will be at the offices of the market superintendent, Public Order and Safety Division, the Baguio Market Vendors Multipurpose Cooperative (Bamarvempco), fish section, and dry goods section.

As part of the cooperative’s project, all sections will be designated as buying stations for all kinds of plastic such as Tetrapacks, noodle wrappers, coffee and shampoo sachets, candy wrappers, and plastic bottles (must be clean and neatly packed) which the cooperative will buy at P1 per kilo.

Magalong thanked the market leaders for their cooperation and for coming up with useful suggestions in reducing the use of single use plastic materials in the city.

The ordinance prohibits business establishments from providing any customer any plastic bag or polystyrene foam container for goods or items purchased or serving food or drink, take out or dine in to customers in polystyrene containers or in plastic bags and will cover all business activities and establishments in the city including city government schools and offices.                     

As part of its provisions of the ordinance, all city government schools and offices should maintain a “No Plastic Bag No Styrofoam” policy in their office or school premises including in government-sponsored events and functions.              

The penalties are reprimand or immediate closure for establishments without business permit on first offense; P1,000 fine on second offense; P3,000 fine and eight hours community service on third offense; and P5,000 fine and suspension of business permit for six months on fourth offense.              

Penalties for violation of any of the provision by heads of the city government offices, school administrators, principals, and concerned persons in authority will be subject to Republic Act 6713 and other local orders and issuances. – Aileen P. Refuerzo