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Total plastic ban in Mandaue starts next week – Quisumbing

CEBU, Philippines - Mandaue City Mayor Gabriel Luigi Quisumbing is determined to enforce next week a ban on the use of plastic bags in the city despite opposition.

Quisumbing said he will only be implementing an existing ordinance passed by the City Council.

"My job is to implement the ordinance. The plastic ban was approved by the City Council in 2010, so there will be total ban and no exemption," Quisumbing said, adding he is aware that some sectors are complaining about his move.

The mayor cited Section 1 of the ordinance which states that, "Don't use plastic bags in Mandaue City" in answer those questioning his move and asking for the implementing rules.

Quisumbing said the ordinance was approved during the administration of then mayor Jonas Cortes in 2010. 

 Under City Ordinance 12-2010-562 also known as Plastic Bag Prohibition Ordinance of 2010, the use and distribution of disposable plastic bags and polystyrene containers such as styrofoam in any establishments in the city, including carenderias and sari-sari stores, is prohibited.

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It was stipulated in the ordinance that only the use of "paper bags, cloth, recyclable paper and/or reusable checkout bags" is allowed.

Violators will be fined P500 or face five days imprisonment or both.

Quisumbing asked Vice Mayor Carlo Fortuna to amend the ordinance and increase the penalty.

The mayor said that total plastic ban will inconvenience the public at first but he believes that the people will get used to it. He explained that his move will lessen the problem of wastes thrown into canals that causes flooding.

Melanie Ng, president of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told The Freeman that the city should come up with a proper plan on how to regulate the use of plastic.

Ng also said the administration should consider the needs of the consumers and the business sector.

"In my opinion, every citizen should be responsible for the proper disposal of garbage and the use of plastic. I am sure the city will come up with a proper plan on how to regulate the use of plastic," Ng said.

Quisumbing has advised plastic manufacturers not to sell their products in Mandaue City.

"Don't sell it here," the mayor said. (FREEMAN)

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