Makati City goes after plastic ban violators
Several market vendors in Makati found violating the citywide plastic ban on its first day of implementation on Thursday were let off with a warning although some were penalized.
An official, meanwhile, said that business establishments have no excuse for not complying with the ordinance given the nine-year adjustment period allowed by the city government.
Danilo Villas, head of the city’s Department of Environment Services, said the first day of the ban’s implementation still found several establishments that were caught unaware.
“There were some stores that were giving away plastic bags and Styrofoam packaging. But they can no longer say that they have not been warned,” Villas said in an interview.
According to the city hall official, the monitoring teams he deployed around the city recorded 14 violations from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Plastic Monitoring Task Force was tasked to implement City Ordinance No. 2003-095 which bans the use, sale and distribution of plastics and other nonbiodegradable materials such as Styrofoam.
Violators face a fine of P1,000 or imprisonment ranging from five to 30 days while firms or establishments will be fined P5,000. Their owners may also be jailed for a month up to a year.
At a public market in Barangay Olympia which is located a few blocks away from city hall, almost all of the dry goods vendors spotted by the INQUIRER were still using plastic bags.
One of them explained that they were given permission by the monitoring team to get rid of their stock of plastic bags but were warned that starting Friday, they would be penalized should they refuse to switch to paper or biodegradable containers.
“By tomorrow (Saturday), these bags will be gone. We still have to buy paper bags to replace these,” a vendor who refused to give his name told the INQUIRER.
Marilou Macaraig, a vegetable vendor, admitted she had yet to buy paper bags for her goods.
“We were not informed that they would implement the ordinance today (Friday). There were no meetings held or notices posted,” she said.
Villas told the INQUIRER that several stall owners in Olympia were among those cited for noncompliance with the ban.
He said he himself caught a violator, a fast-food chain on J. P. Rizal Avenue, around 11 a.m. while he was conducting an inspection.
Villas, however, said that although there were violators, there were more businesses which complied with the ban.
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