Pangilinan pushes Senate OK on bill banning single-use plastics
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate should follow in the footsteps of a House panel that recently approved a measure on taxing single-use plastics, Senator Francis Pangilinan said Thursday.
In a statement, Pangilinan said that imposing tax on single-use plastics was a “step in the right direction.”
“Nakita natin kung gano kalala ang patuloy na epekto ng pabago-bagong klima dulot ng global warming at climate change, lalo ngayon matapos ang pagsalanta ng Bagyong Tisoy sa Bicol at iba pang parte ng bansa,” Pangilinan said.
(We saw how drastic the effects were of the changing climate due to global warming and climate change, especially now following the onslaught of Typhoon Tisoy in Bicol and other parts of the country).
“Totoong problema ang climate change, lalo na sa isang pulo-pulong bansang kagaya ng Pilipinas. Kaya dapat ay bilisan natin ang pagpasa ng mga batas na makakatulong mabawasan ang epekto nito. Isa na rito ang pagpataw ng buwis sa mga single-use plastic at ang pagbabawal sa paggamit nito,” he added.
(Climate change is a real problem especially in an island country like the Philippines. That’s why we need to quickly pass measures to lessen its effect. These include the imposition of tax on single-use plastic or banning its use).
If passed into law, House Bill No. 178 would impose a P20 tax per kilogram of single-use plastic bags removed from the place of production or the Customs warehouse.
House Ways and Means Committee chair Albay Rep. Joey Salceda earlier said this could generate P4.8 billion in revenues for the government within a year of its implementation.
“Maaring magamit ang revenues na ito sa pagpapaigting ng Disaster Management and Risk Reduction initiatives sa ating bansa, o kaya naman ay pagpondo sa mga pag-aaral kung paano natin mapapabawas ang epekto ng climate change,” Pangilinan went on.
(The revenues can be used to further strengthen the Disaster Management and Risk Reduction initiatives in the country or to fund studies on how to lessen the effects of climate change).
“Ngayong tapos na ang budget hearing, mayroon pang ilang nalalabing araw ng taon kung kailan maaring dinggin ang mga inihaing batas ukol sa single-use plastics dito sa Senado,” he added.
(Now that we are through with the budget hearing, the days we have left before the year ends can be the time the Senate can tackle the measure on single-use plastics).
In July, Pangilinan filed Senate Bill No. 40 or the “Single-Use Plastics Regulation and Management Act of 2019.”
The said measure is currently pending with the Senate committee on environment, natural resources and climate change.
The bill proposes a ban on the manufacture, importation, and use of all single-use plastics, particularly disposable plastics commonly used for plastic packaging and food items such as grocery bags, food packaging, films and bags, manufacturing water bottles, straws, stirrers, containers, styrofoam/styros, cups, sachets, and plastic cutlery.
Recycling single-use plastics will also be incentivized, the senator noted.
“Malacañang na mismo ang nagsabi na pinag-aaralan na nila ang pagbabawal sa single-use plastics kung kaya’t kailangan na talagang simulang dinggin ito sa Senado,” Pangilinan said.
(Malacañang itself had said that they are looking into banning single-use plastic that’s why we need to begin tackling it here in the Senate).
President Rodrigo Duterte himself had been mulling to ban the use of plastics in the Philippines, according to his spokesperson.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo last month said the President bared the idea during the 43rd Cabinet meeting in Malacañang after the issue on climate change was raised.
Edited by JPV
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.