A provincial ordinance that calls for the regulation and eventual phase-out of single-use plastics and polystyrene products has been passed and approved by the Provincial Board of Davao Oriental.
Ordinance No. 16-06-10-2019 entitled “AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING REGULATION AND MECHANISM IN PHASING OUT OF THE USE OF SINGLE-USE PLASTIC AND POLYSTYRENE PRODUCTS IN THE PROVINCE OF DAVAO ORIENTAL AND IMPOSING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION THEREOF” was finally approved on November 15, 2019 by the 16th Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Davao Oriental.
The said ordinance was authored by Board Member Louie Nakpil Rabat.
City of Mati Mayor Michelle Nakpil Rabat meanwhile lauded the passage of the ordinance saying that it’s about time that government take the lead in the protection of environment especially of the aquatic animals that are the most affected by the proliferation of plastics in the ocean.
Just recently, a 13-meter sperm whale was found dead in Gumasa Beach in Glan, Sarangani. Cause of death was a single plastic cup lodged at the stomach of the whale.
With the passage of the ordinance, the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags and polystyrene products are prohibited.
It is also the aim of this ordinance to consequently shift to sustainable biodegradable materials including but not limited to woven bags (bayong), cloth bags (katsa), biodegradable polystyrene and other similar reusable, biodegradable and recycled materials.
Among those that are to be banned are plastic bags, clear plastics, plastic straw, plastic stirrers, plastic cutlery, polystyrene products, helium balloons.
Business establishments, hotels and restaurants, fast-food outlets, catering services, resorts, market vendors, food kiosks, sari-sari stores and ambulant vendors and households are mandated to strictly follow the said ordinance.
One month from effectivity, establishments shall dispose of straw, stirrers, cups, spoon and fork, food containers and clear plastics.
After six months, remaining non-biodegradable plastic bags and other similar non-biodegradable products used to carry the items purchased shall no longer be used.
After a year, there should be no plastic used for packing goods directly purchased from wet markets.
Violators will be fined and penalized with the following:
First Offense – Warning
Second Offense – A fine of P5,000 and 15 days of Community Service
Third Offense – Cancellation of Business Permits
Ambulant Vendors, unlicensed sari-sari stores and market vendors:
First Offense – Warning
Second Offense. – A fine of P3,00 and 15 days of Community Service
Third Offense – Confiscation of Items
Sixty percent of the collected fines from violators will be given to the LGU and the 40% will be given to person/s or associations/ who will report the violation. (CIO MATI)