Issue of May 13, 2018
     
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Public airs suggestions to help craft plastic-free ordinance IRR
by Hanna C. Lacsamana with reports from Aileen P. Refuerzo

Using one’s creativity is among the things that cropped up from the solutions forum and writeshop forum held by the city government in its bid to craft the implementing rules and regulations of the Plastic and Styrofoam-Free Baguio City Ordinance.

“When going to the city market and you know you will buy wet items like fish, bring your own containers,” said City Environment and Parks Management Office Head Cordelia Lacsamana, who related how the discussions went and some of the notable inputs from the participants last May 9 at the City Hall multipurpose hall.

Lacsamana, who is tasked as the action officer of the monitoring and oversight committee for the interim implementing rules and regulations spelled out in Administrative Order 45 of Mayor Mauricio Domogan, described the forum as a sweeping success despite not being able to hold the writeshop, with numerous insights and suggestions from various sectors dominating the whole-day activity.

“Those who attended are representatives of the core citizens of Baguio, and we are happy because so many things came out beyond the ordinance and the AO concerning the distribution, sale, and use of plastic, which would be very helpful in the crafting of the IRR,” she said.

She said a technical staff is tasked to collate and package the results of the forum, which will form part of the final IRR.

Lacsamana said gray areas of the ordinance and the AO were also raised, while some sectors repeated their previous requests for the city council and Office of the Mayor to possibly extend or exempt them from the implementation of the ordinance.

Some of the distributors were asking for solutions as some of them claimed of already having their inventory of carry plastic bags, and most of them were ordered in bulk.

“However, it is understood na hindi naman puwede talaga na mai-extend ang implementation ng ordinance. If ever, it is going to be on a case to case basis as we still have to analyze what would be its effect to the ordinance’s implementation,” Lacsamana said.

She said one thing definite was the agreement that there is no stopping the ordinance’s implementation. “For us, it is a very big step because this is a wakeup call for Baguio citizens, doing something about plastic, particularly the use of carry on or sando bags and Styrofoam products.”

The Cepmo acknowledged more research is needed to  come up with possible alternatives to sando, bags, in acknowledgment of the dilemma of those working at the public market, which is one of the biggest users of sando bags as they need it in selling products in  small amounts and packing wet goods.

Domogan emphasized the need for the city to go plastic-free and for residents to cooperate to achieve the intention to protecting the environment and public health.

Councilors Peter Fianza, Mylen Yaranon, and Elaine Sembrano were present the whole-day discussion.


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