The city government of Baguio will now fully enforce the anti-plastic ordinance and violators will now be fined, after Baguio Mayor Mauricio Domogan signed an administrative order on November 26 creating a task force to oversee the implementation of the local law.
The task force will be headed by the City Environment and Parks Management Office co-chaired by the General Services Office (GSO), with members from the barangay, treasurer’s office and the permits and licensing office
The Public Order and Safety Division (POSD) with the function to enforce the anti-plastic ordinance
Domogan said that there is an urgency to regulate the distribution, sale and use of plastic shopping bags and Styrofoam and provide penalties because still despite serious efforts of the city to segregate compostable from recyclables waste material, the plastics and Styrofoam still dominate the waste streams that is a health hazard to all living species and organisms.
It can be recalled that in 2007, the city council of Baguio came up with the Bayong Ordinance, which requires individuals to use of bayong (buri bags), cloth, or recyclable bags.
The ordinance prohibits business establishments from providing customer any plastic bag or polystyrene foam container for goods or items purchased or serving food or drink, take out or dine in to customers in polystyrene containers or in plastic bags.
Penalties for violation include reprimand or immediate closure for establishments without business permit for first offense; P1,000 fine for second offense; P3,000 fine and eight hours community service for third offense; and P5,000 fine and suspension of business permit for six months for fourth offense.
Penalties for violation of any of the provision by heads of the City Government offices, school administrators, principals and concerned persons in authority will be subject to Republic Act 6713 and other local orders and issuances.
By Joseph Manzano