April 13, 2024

Mayor Benjamin Magalong wants an immediate implementation of programs and activities to significantly reduce the use of plastics in the city and fully engage in a circular economy.

In an urgent meeting called for last July 7 with officials from the Zero Waste, Eco-Waste Coalition, Department of Education, City Health Services Office, Environment and Parks Management Office-Waste and Hazardous Waste Material Division, and General Services Office, the mayor pointed out the need to collaborate for the said critical issues.

“We need to raise awareness on the dangers and ill-effects of the use of plastics,” the mayor emphasized, thus mindset and behavioral change comes in through education, information-education campaigns (IEC) and other endeavors.

For day care and basic education learners, the City Social Welfare and Development Office and the DepEd share responsibility on teaching the rudiments of waste segregation, reuse and recycling.

The Zero Waste Coalition agreed to expand learning modules to include children’s books about the environment, global warming and climate change. The CHSO will add materials about plastics’ detrimental effects to human beings.

The basic plastic-free lectures could be included in the forthcoming summer children’s reading camp, with storytelling and acting-out activities in coordination with the City Public Library, the Dep-Ed volunteered.

Magalong added IECs could be integrated during the parents-teachers meetings, even before the opening of classes this September.

Capability meetings and workshops regarding materials on plastic-free and the plastic and Styrofoam Free Baguio Ordinance shall be conducted among committee members with wider dissemination expected, as members could split into teams for lectures in the barangays, schools or small group discussions.

Plastics for packaging should be refused, and individuals, groups or barangays who could implement may be either subsidized or given incentives before a total transition into biodegradable packing materials.

Meetings for IECs and agreements for a plastic-free Baguio would be called for sectors including the academe, church, barangays, socio-civic groups, people’s organizations, and other groups. The business group had their meeting last Thursday, at the multipurpose hall, presided by the mayor. – Julie G. Fianza