Saturday, November 11, 2017

Batac council passes 2 environment-friendly measures

Batac City—The Sangguniang Panlungsod here passed two ordinances that will help the environment.

In support of Republic Act 9003, the solid waste management law, the council approved ordinances regulating the sale and use of non-biodegradable plastic bags and styrofoam food packaging.

Batac councilor Mary Coleen Columbia Cajigal said the ordinances promote and protect the health, safety and the general welfare of the public through the reduction of litter and wastes.

Ms. Cajigal, who authored the said ordinances, added that this measure will regulate the sale and use of non-biodegradable plastic bags as carry out bags in all commercial establishments in this.

Another ordinance will also regulate the use and sale of Styrofoam food packaging in all food establishments here.

Since Batac is now a center of education, trade and industry in the province’s second district, Ms. Cajigal said this creates large volume of food packaging materials from food establishments catering to the people’s need.

The two ordinances, she continued, will help reduce harmful wastes that can further harm the environment.

She said the use of polystyrene material, or styrofoam and plastic bags, have a component of styrene which is known to carcinogenic effects to humans.

Studies further showed, according to the author, that the process of making said styrofoam pollutes the air that results in the destruction of the environment; and at the same time, it also takes a long time for the material to decompose.

The ordinances tasked the Office of Mayor and the Office of the City Treasurer particularly at the Business and Licensing Division and Market Section as main implementors of the law.

Violators of said two ordinances will face fines of P2,000, P3,500, and P5,000 for the first, second and third offenses, respectively. A third offense may also result in the cancellation of the establishment’s business permit.

Ms. Cajigal further disclosed that the city government will create trust fund for the fines and penalties from those ordinances. The said fund will only be accessible for environment and solid waste management projects in the city.

Batac Vice mayor and presiding officer Jeffrey Jubal C. Nalupta finally confirmed the approval of said ordinances after thorough deliberations and discussions made as compared with other localities in Metro Manila and in the province that already these kinds of ordinances.

However, the vice mayor said they still need to give business establishments here at least six months to use and sell their styrofoam and plastic bags. After the six-month grace period, Mr. Nalupta said the city government will then strictly implement the ordinances.

The said ordinances, however, still need the approval of both Batac mayor Albert D. Chua and the Sangguniang Panlalwigan before they become local laws.

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