Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mayor Bernabe on call to ban plastics in P’ñaque: No, no, no

The Parañaque City government will not heed Metropolitan Manila Development (MMDA) calls for complete ban on the use of plastic or styrofoam for commercial use.

This was the disclosed by Mayor Florencio Bernabe during the forum of Association of Information Officers of Metro Manila (AIMM) yesterday after receiving many negative reactions from the consumers and producers as well as businesses in the city.

While commending the move made by Muntinlupa City on plastic ban which was endorsed by the MMDA and the Eco Waste Coalition, Bernabe said it is not applicable in Parañaque City.

Instead of working on plastic ban the city will focus on waste segregation program, plastic recycling and information campaign to impose discipline among residents who indiscriminately throw garbage anywhere, Bernabe said.

At present, the city council is crafting its own version of environmental laws which will impose heavy penalties on litterbugs to teach them a lesson on proper way of disposing garbage.

Meanwhile, Bernabe presented through power point presentation to media the first robotic alike backhoe which can enter even the impenetrable site in many squatters area that can be used to pick up tons of garbage in creeks which block the passage of water that resulted in floods in some low-lying areas.

The acquisition by the city of a “floating dredging machine” which will dredge the Parañaque River that has become shallow due to silt and tons of garbage will help in giving life to the dying creeks which have been neglected over a long period of time, according to Bernabe.

In another development, the Muntinlupa City government is going hard in its implementation of the ban on plastic containers as it sternly warned five popular fast food restaurants and a branch of a popular bookstore chain that they face closure for continued violation of the city ordinance.

According to Muntinlupa City Public Information Office chief Omar Acosta, the five establishments had been warned to comply with Ordinance No. 10-109 until next week or face closure for a year and outright revocation of their business licenses.

Pending the inspection of the Environment and Sanitation Center and Business Permits and Licensing Office sometime next week the erring establishments have yet to be named.

But sources at city hall disclosed two of the fast food restaurants are located in Barangay Putatan fronting the city hall while the two others are along National Road in Barangay Poblacion. The bookstore is located at SM Tunasan.

Muntinlupa Ordinance No. 10-109, authored by Councilor Joselito Arevalo, took effect on January 18. It strictly prohibits the use of plastic sando bags, pouch, plastic shopping bags and plastic film bags and styrofoam materials such as disposable food containers, cups, plates and the likes.

Business establishments such as malls, groceries, supermarkets, pharmacies, private and public flea markets and restaurants and food stores are prohibited from using plastic bags as packing materials for dry or wet goods/products.

Acosta said the 12 business establishments had been fined twice, P1,500 and P2,500, for the first and second offenses, respectively.

Should they be found to have not complied with the ordinance for the third time, the stores will be closed for a year, their business permits and licenses canceled while the management face six-month jail term.

The fine for the third offense is P3,500.

Aside from the 12 establishments, 775 violators had been cited for violation by the city hall since the plastic ban took effect on January 18.

Muntinlupa City Mayor Aldrin San Pedro said local businesses were given a one-year grace period before the full implementation of the ordinance last month.


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