Mayor Benjamin Magalong has reconstituted the Plastic Carry/Shopping Bags and Styrofoam-Free Baguio Task Force to spearhead the implementation of Ordinance No. 35 series of 2017 or “The Plastic and Styrofoam-Free Baguio Ordinance.”
In Executive Order No. 156-2020, the mayor said, “There is an urgency to regulate the distribution, sale and use of plastic carry or shopping bags and Styrofoam containers in the city (because) despite the serious efforts to segregate compostable wastes from recyclable wastes, the continuous usage of single-use plastic and Styrofoam as packaging and food vessels continue to become a health hazard.”
The mayor tasked the City Environment and Parks Management Office and the City General Services Office as lead bodies with members from the City Mayor’s Office, City Treasurer’s Office and its Market Division, CEPMO’s Wastewater, Water and Ambient Air Management Division, GSO’s Solid Waste Management Division, Baguio City Police Office, Department of Education Baguio City and the city barangays through their committee members on environmental protection.
In enforcing the ordinance, the task force can issue notices of violation and citation tickets indicating corresponding penalty or reprimand for violations and confiscate prohibited items to be turned over to the Public Order and Safety Division together with the violators to avoid untoward cases and complaints against the task force.
It will also take the lead in the information and education campaign of programs supporting a plastic and Styrofoam-free city and spearhead the orientation and training of barangay officials deputized to implement the ordinance.
In the same order, the mayor deputized the punong barangays and the barangay kagawads assigned on environmental protection to enforce the measure.
Ordinance No. 35-17 prohibits business establishments from providing any 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 and will cover all business activities and establishments in the city including city government schools and offices.
All businesses will be required to post a signage: “Bawal ang Paggamit ng Plastic Bags at Styrofoam.”
As part of its provisions of the ordinance, all city government schools and offices should maintain a “No Plastic Bag No Styrofoam” policy in their office or school premises including in government-sponsored events and functions.
The penalties are 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 No. 6713 and other local orders and issuances.
Aileen P. Refuerzo