Such an ordinance, if enacted, is seen to reduce, if not eliminate, plastic bags as packaging materials.
“There is now a need to regulate the use of plastic bags to prevent potential serious imbalance particularly in the city’s canals, creeks, rivers and other waterways,” said Del Rosario who also co-chairs the Roxas City Task Force on Environmental Protection (RCTFEP).
The initiative will encourage the use of alternative packaging materials such as woven bags or bayong, cloth bags (katsa) and other similar materials like banana leaves, he said.
During a recent task force meeting, Del Rosario said he proposed that the “no plastic day” will be on Sunday.
However, the proposal “will be subjected to public consultation,” he said.
When the proposed ordinance is approved, the city government will conduct massive information education and communication campaigns about the initiative using the Internet, print and broadcast media.
Before the ordinance is implemented, the City Health Office-Sanitary Department and the RCTFEP are mandated to study the feasibility of providing alternative receptacles to the disposition and marketing of products so as not to affect the flow of trade and commerce here.
Violators of the “no plastic day” will be fined with P500 and P1,000 for the first and second offense, respectively.
For the third offense, violators will be fined with P2,500 and/or imprisoned for not more than six months upon the discretion of the court.
In the case of business establishments, third offense calls for cancellation of their license to operate for a year. (Alex A. Lumaque/PIA/PN)