Ban on single-use plastics opposed
Alicia Chua (The Freeman) - December 4, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) is opposed to the proposed ban on single-use plastics in Cebu City.

CCCI board secretary Francis Dy expressed the chamber’s opposition during the joint public hearing of the four proposed ordinances seeking to regulate and or total ban of the use of plastics in the city.

Councilors Nestor Archival, Sr., Alvin Dizon, Eugenio Gabuya, Jr., and Eduardo Rama emphasized the urgency to take actions to lessen the plastic waste. The four councilors are seeking to prohibit the use of single-use plastics such as disposable utensils in all business establishments.

But Dy said the proposal will not only affect the business establishments but the employees of the manufacturers as well.

Dy explained that they are against the proposed ordinances since the most common alternative option which is paper bags are still harmful to the environment.

“The total phase out of plastic in the city will not only affect the businesses and manufacturers but also its employees,” said Dy.

Rama said they will take note of the concerns of Dy and other stakeholders and will include in their proposed ordinances. He, however, clarified that his proposal is not for the total ban but a start on taking measures on minimizing plastic usage.

“If we want to walk the talk that we really care about the environment we have to have drastic measures, and this is not a drastic change in our policies, these are baby steps,” said Rama.

Local Government Units (LGUs) are taking the lead in promoting and advocating these proposals on single-use plastics.

Rama shared that a highly urbanized city like Cebu, actions must be done in order to make a change.

“I am confident since dili man drastic ato gi propose and for me it’s reasonable, it has been done in other cities and other countries all over the world, even in the Philippines nahimo na,” said Rama.

During the public hearing, the issue on reciprocity of ordinance with the congress was also discussed, since some council members raised the possibility that there might be the same prohibitions already approved by the national government.

“Under the Local Government Code we have the authority to craft ordinances for the general welfare, in the congress it takes time for a bill to be approve and if we aren’t gonna be proactive, we are just gonna wait for years, and everyday that passes we are damaging the environment,” said Rama.

As of now, plastic shopping bags are only banned every Wednesday and Saturday in the City.

In Central Visayas, Siquijor and San Carlos City, Negros Occidental has already passed an ordinance regulating the use of plastic. (FREEMAN)

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