Cebu City ‘not yet ready for plastic bags ban’
Is Cebu City prepared to ban the use of plastic shopping bags for even once a week?
Most city councilors don’t think so, saying the proposal by Councilors Nida Cabrera and Edgar Labella to restrict the use of plastic shopping bags on Saturdays needs further study and public consultation.
The council set a a public hearing on July 18 to hear what citizens have to say.
“I don’t think Cebu City is prepared for this,” said Councilor Augustus Pe Jr. during the May 30 session where they deferred final deliberation on the measure.
The proposed ordinance seeks to reduce the volume of non-biodegradable garbage in the city.
It proposed a fine ranging from P2,000 to P5,000 or imprisonment of six months to one year and the possible cancellation of the violating establishment’s business permit.
If approved, the ordinance will be enforced by the Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) through the Cebu Environmental Sanitation and Enforcement Team (Ceset).
Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young said the proposed ordinance should be “refined” to make its implementation easier.
The draft ordinance consolidates two ordinances, one proposed by Cabrera to regulate the use of plastic as shopping bags and Councilor Edgar Labella proposal to ban the use of plastic for packaging.
Both draft ordinances already underwent public hearing .
The consolidated version was scheduled for final deliberation by the council.
Pe questioned section 8 which requires establishments to give freebies equivalent to P1 to customers who bring their own shopping bags or those who return used shopping bags.
“Is section 8 constitutional or is it obligatory for businesses to give freebies without government absorbing the cost?” Councilor Rodrigo Abellanosa asked.
Pe also questioned Section 10, which requires business establishments to return used plastic bags to their manufacturers or suppliers that are accredited with the Philippine Plastic Industry Association Inc.
Vice Mayor Young said it may be more practical to apply sections 8 and 10 to bigger establishments and not all vendors.
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