LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – While observing an initial positive reaction, the proponents of an ordinance that seeks to regulate the use and sale of plastic bags as packing materials in La Trinidad kicked off this week an information campaign within the 16 barangays, and to also gather more inputs that will strengthen the proposed measure.
The policy was one of the five proposed measures the municipal council brought to the La Trinidad constituents on Wednesday for a hearing.
Its main author, Councilor Arthur Shontogan, presented the draft of the ordinance during the consultation where participants initially expressed willingness to have such a regulatory measure and supported the inclusion of a penal provision.
But some revisions still have to be done on some of the provisions, said Shontogan, and that it must be presented to a majority of the constituents since only few attended Wednesday’s hearing.
“We will be the ones to be going around our barangays and feel their pulse,” Shontogan said Thursday, just after he went to Barangay Beckel for a meeting wherein he took the chance to start discussing the proposal.
He added they will continue the information campaign until they can be sure of the support of majority of the constituents and a final draft that carries all their inputs is made.
Shontogan said the proposal is their way of helping in the management of the town’s solid wastes by minimizing non-biodegradable refuse such as plastic bags. La Trinidad generates a minimum of 48 tons of wastes daily.
The proposed ordinance, co-authored by councilors Estrella Adeban and Robert Namoro, aims to reduce the environmental impact of plastic bags by regulating its use and sale and providing penalties for violators.
It will cover all markets, grocery stores, retail outlets, catering services and other commercial stalls, business establishments, restaurants and eateries, and entities in all areas in the municipality.
It requires all supermarkets, public markets, bakeries, restaurants, groceries, and retail stores in the municipality to use packaging or bagging materials such as papers or cloth bags but most especially buri bag or bayong, non-plastic sack or bags and sturdy reusable shopping bags, biodegradable plastics or other biodegradable bagging materials.”
Proposed fines range from P300 up to P2,000 including confiscation of items and/or imprisonment depending on the kind and frequency of offense committed.