Guv orders total ban on plastic use

Raffy T. Cabristante (The Freeman) - August 3, 2018 - 12:00am

DUMAGUETE CITY, Philippines — Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo has ordered the total ban on the use of plastic in all government offices and public hospitals in the province.


In an executive order, dated July 18, and released to the media this week, Degamo enjoined all provincial staff and employees to immediately stop using plastic shopping bags, plastic mineral water bottles, plastic drinking straws and Styrofoam food containers.

His order was in response to the launch of the Visayas leg of the “Clean Seas Pilipinas” campaign, an initiative of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) together with SmartSeas PH, a Philippine-based non-government organization.

Clean Seas Pilipinas, which was officially launched last July 6 at Silliman University, aims to address the “alarming accumulation” of plastic waste in the Earth’s oceans.

The governor also noted that the Philippines is the third-most country in the world in terms of releasing plastic waste into the sea, next to China and Indonesia.

“The precarious state of the world’s oceans is a matter of global concern. The international scientific community has issued warnings and calls to action on the urgency of taking measures to protect this ecosystem vital for the survival of life,” Degamo said.

Through this order, provincial employees are expected to set an example to other Negrenses to avoid the use of plastic, which Degamo believes can only be achieved through a “change of behavior.”

Degamo’s order came two days after the Dumaguete City government heightened its implementation on the “No Plastic Everyday” policy in the city’s public market. Effective last July 16, high fines were imposed on buyers and stall owners using plastic bags to contain products.

More enforcers have since been deployed in the Dumaguete public market to ensure that the policy is well-implemented. Anyone caught using plastics, except for wet goods such as fish, will be slapped a fine of P500 for the first offense, P1,000 for the second offense, and P5,000 for the third offense, plus a jail term of not more than six months.

This is Degamo’s second executive order addressing the environmental issues in the province released this year. Last March 28, he also issued an EO banning coal-fired power plants in Negros Oriental, and instead develop and use clean and renewable energy.


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