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Public hearing on total ban of plastic slated

Public hearing on total ban of plastic slated

CEBU, Philippines —  The Cebu City Council is asking all affected stakeholders of the move to phase out of plastic products to attend the public hearing on April 30.

Among the invited guests hearing are representatives from the Cebu Chamber of Commerce, Inc., manufacturers of plastic, fast food chains, vendors at public markets, among others.

Last Tuesday, the City Council approved the recommendation of its committee on environment on the proposed ordinance of Councilors Eduardo Rama Jr. and Raymond Alvin Garcia.

“The proposed ordinance prohibits the sale and use of single-use plastic products such as plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, soda and water bottles, food packaging and the like,” reads portion of the committee report.

Councilor Jerry Guardo, chairperson of the committee, said the proposed measure will bring positive effect to the city government.

However, he said the conduct of public hearing is needed to hear the sentiments of the stakeholders who are directly affected by the total phase out of single-use plastic products.

In the report, the committee said the affected stakeholders are the manufacturers, retailers, groceries, supermarkets, public markets, restaurants, fast food chains, department stores, and other similar establishments in Cebu City.

There is another pending ordinance authored by Councilor Eugenio Gabuya, Jr. seeking the prohibition of certain single-use plastics like the thin-film used to wrap ice, sando bags, drinking straws, plastic shopping bags, stirrers, cups, plates, spoons, forks, and Styrofoam as a food packaging material, plastic tooth picks, and banderitas or flyers.

The authors of the two pending ordinances believed that the measure would address the current problem of the country which reportedly is considered as one of the worst polluters of the world’s oceans with plastics.

They said the plastics usually end up at city’s streets, canals, rivers, and other waterways.

As of now, the city prohibits the use of plastic shopping bags on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

One of the differences of the resolutions of Gabuya and that of Rama and Garcia is the implementation of the plastic ban.

For Gabuya, the ordinance will be implemented after the publication. For Rama and Garcia’s proposed ordinance, the Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office is assigned to make a phase out plan.

The plan will cover the prohibition of plastics by food establishments, retail stores, markets, supermarkets and groceries during the interim period; awareness-raising to encourage consumers to use reusable materials in substitution for single-use plastic products; and establishment of recycling facility in every barangay.

It is proposed to implement the measure after three years since the ordinance was approved.

Gabuya’s proposed ordinance is still pending at the council’s committee on laws, ordinances, and styling for its comments and recommendations.

Before the final deliberation of these ordinances, it will undergo public hearing to hear the sentiments of the affected stakeholders.   — MBG (FREEMAN)


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