Muntinlupa execs to tweak ordinance on plastic banBy Niña Calleja
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Muntinlupa Mayor Aldrin San Pedro has asked the city council to amend the landmark ordinance which bans the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam containers by including stiffer penalties for errant establishments and tax incentives for those that comply.
Even though the compliance rate among businesses has hit close to 90 percent since the ordinance took effect in January last year, city government officials want to further improve on it, Omar Acosta, the city’s public information chief, told the Inquirer Monday.
“Our goal is not to totally eradicate plastic because it is impossible to do. What we want is for the city residents to learn how to use plastic bags wisely,” Acosta said.
Since January 2011, around 1,400 establishments have been issued violation tickets while seven others face closure based on the Environment Sanitation Center’s records.
San Pedro has proposed that establishments whose business permits have been cancelled for violating the ordinance should not be given a chance to file an appeal to ensure strict compliance with the ban, Acosta said.
Under 2010 Ordinance 10-109, violators will be fined P500 for the first offense, P1,000 for the second and P2,500 for the third. It is up to a court to determine if the penalty should include imprisonment.
The city government may also choose to suspend or cancel a business firm’s license to operate.
San Pedro, meanwhile, has also pushed for the inclusion of community service among the penalties prescribed for first-time offenders.
At least seven cities in Metro Manila have followed Muntinlupa’s lead in passing an ordinance to regulate the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam.