By Mary Lailani P. Tupaz
NAVAL, Biliran — Biliran’s capital town, the Municipality of Naval, will regulate the use of plastic bags in public markets on weekends starting August 24-25 through Municipal Ordinance No. 15 Series of 2018.
During the PIA-Biliran’s Pulong-Pulong ng Bayan over Radyo Natin-Naval, Romel Salvatierra, communications officer and chief of Task Force Anti-Plastic Ordinance, has urged the consumers who buy goods in the town’s public market to bring their own alternative materials such as eco bags, baskets, pails, coolers, and other biodegradable and recyclable materials in carrying their goods.
The local government of Naval will initially provide 1,500 “bayong” or native baskets a day before the implementation of the ordinance on a “first come, first served” basis.
The free “bayong” will be made available at the distribution center in the vicinity of the public market where a list of households from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) will serve as checklist to avoid duplication among members of a particular household within the municipality.
Aside from the free “bayong,” eco-bags will also be distributed in stores inside the public market a day before the implementation of said ordinance, according to Salvatierra.
Mayor Gerard Roger Espina of Naval had made talks with the private establishments and businesses in the area to cooperate with the local government unit’s initiative.
Some committed to comply in September while others appeal for a longer grace period up to December to consume their remaining stocks of plastic bags and containers, he said.
The initial plastic use prohibition during weekends will soon extend and strictly implement an all-day plastics-free as marketers and consumers slowly become accustomed to not using plastic bags in all their dealings in the markets and in other establishments, Salvatierra added.
Municipal Ordinance No. 15 or an ordinance regulating the use of plastic for goods and commodities and promoting the use of alternative materials such as native baskets, eco bags, and other biodegradable and recyclable materials in the Municipality of Naval was sponsored by Sangguniang Bayan Member Ofelia Espina, and was enacted on September 18, 2018.
The ordinance will be strictly implemented in the municipality to avoid environmental pollution, clogging of drainage that causes flooding, and to safeguard wildlife, both in land and in seas.
Individuals and establishments who will violate said ordinance shall be imposed penalties of P500, P1,000, and P1,500 for the first, second, and third offenses, respectively, as stipulated in the ordinance. (LDL/MLT/PIA-8, Biliran)