June 23, 2024

Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the ban on single use plastic at the City Hall is a form of leadership by example.

“It’s called leadership by example. Kailangan ipakita na kaya namin dito sa City Hall bago ipatupad (itong regulasyon) sa ibang lugar. This will serve as a learning experience in the broader implementation of the single plastic use measure,” Magalong said of Memorandum 66, s. 2023, which prohibits the use of single-use plastic items within City Hall and city other government offices.

The memo urges city government workers and service providers such as canteen and store concessionaires as well as food caterers including office visitors to comply with the order.

Ang mentalidad natin ay umpisahan muna dito sa ating bakuran bago natin ipatupad ito sa ibang lugar,” the mayor said.

He said by doing so, the regulation’s dynamics and its impact can be learned and sorted out.

Katulad iyong pinagbabawal nating single plastic pero pagdating sa sugar, hindi pala pwede sa kung anu-anong packaging kundi sa plastic lang. So there are exceptions at may mga learnings kami nito,” Magalong added.

The memo stated that single-use plastic items include, but are not limited to “plastic cups/bottles, disposable cutlery and plates/food containers/meal boxes, plastic straws, plastic stirrers, Styrofoam containers, plastic sauce containers and any other forms of single-use plastic.”

Alternate, eco-friendly options such as reusable or washable bottles/plates/food containers/cups, utensils, biodegradable or compostable packing and other sustainable alternatives shall be used in place of single-use plastic items.

In 2017, the city approved the implementation of Ordinance No. 35 regulating the sale, distribution, and use of plastic carry/shopping bags and Styrofoam in the Summer Capital and prohibits business establishments to provide to any customer any plastic bag or polystyrene foam container for goods or items purchased or serve food or drink, take out or dine in, to customers in polystyrene containers or in plastic bags.

It also mandates all city government schools and offices to maintain a “No Plastic Bag, No Styrofoam” policy in their office or school premises including government sponsored events and functions.

Violators will be reprimanded 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; P5,000 fine and suspension of business permit for six months on fourth offense; and non-renewal of business permit or closure of business for the habitual offender. – Gaby B. Keith and Jessa Mardy P. Samidan