Implementing QC’s plastic bag reduction ordinance

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Moje Ramos-Aquino, Fpm

Moje Ramos-Aquino, Fpm

My column two weeks ago generated some reactions which I hope SM and other retail establishments will do something about. Otherwise, they might cause customers to feel disgruntled and pushed to the wall.
Here are some of them:

Imelda Galindo:  “March 8  Ma’am sinabihan ko din po ang employee dun sa may [SM] Centerpoint na sabihin naman po nila sa management nila, kasi binalot sa papel ang shoes na binili ko eh medyo mahal naman, kaya bumili pa po ako ng bag. Bakit ‘di na lang paper bag ang gamitin samantalang ang yaman ni Henry Sy. Di naman po siguro kabawasan sa kita nila na gawing bag ang papel para mas convenient naman para sa aming nagpapayaman sa kanyang pamilya [I also told the employees at SM Centerpoint to tell their management because they wrapped in paper the rather expensive shoes I bought, so I had to buy a bag. Why couldn’t they use paper bag since Henry Sy is now rich.  Perhaps it will not diminish their earnings when they use paper bag for the convenience of those of us who make them rich].”

She added, “Ganun pala ang SM. Hindi ko tinitignan kasi ang resibo ko pag namalengke ako sa SM akala ko free ang bags nila, may charge pala yan. Hindi ko alam. Salamat po sa pagpost hindi na ako mamamalengke sa SM . . . ” [So SM is like that. I don’t look at the receipt when I buy from SM and I thought the bags are for free, but they are not. I did not know.

Thanks for your post and I will not shop anymore at SM . . . ].”


I can remember when this no plastic bag ordinance of Quezon City was first implemented, some of the helpful employees of SM Sta. Mesa, on their own volition, fashioned bags from the wrapping paper at the cashier’s counter.  Then one day, I was passing by the cashier’s cage when an employee who looked like a supervisor told his co-workers to stop making paper bags. I distinctly remember her saying, “Management will be angry at us if we do that. They don’t like us to make paper bags.  Just wrap the items and use the scotch tape.” I left and did not shop there anymore.

Ternel Telesforo:  Ako talaga gabahay ang eco bag ko [exaggerated]. Kaya wala silang magawa he he. Ang pinaka ayoko ay yung sasabihin ng cashier na ‘Sir, kulang ako ng 25 sentimos, okay lang po ba?’ Sasagutin ko ng ‘Hindi siya okay . . . Eh kung ako ang kulang 25 o 50 o 75 sentimos, papayag ka ba? Pinayayaman n’yo naman masyado si Henry Sy . . . Hindi ako payag. [I have a houseful of eco bags. So they cannot do anything he he.  What I do not like is when the cashier tells me, ‘Sir, I don’t have 25 centavos, is that okay with you?’ I answer, ‘Not okay. If I am short by 25 or 50 or 75 centavos, would that be that okay with you? You are helping make Henry Sy accumulate too much wealth. I will not allow that].”

In other countries where plastic is banned, they give sturdy paper bags.

Here, they sometimes give us bags made of very thin paper that easily tears, or they simply wrap your purchases in thin paper with their logo printed on it.  Such greed!

Dennis Ramos: “Tama ka dyan ate Moje! I bought Purefoods hotdog. Di ko napansin one month na lang expire na. When I cooked it, maasim na. . . I thought that this mall is a high-profile establishment, then mas quality pa pala bimili sa wet market! Two times nangyari yan sa akin.”  [You’re right.  I bought Purefoods hotdog.  I did not notice that the hotdogs were expiring in one month. When I cooked it, it tasted sour already. I thought that this is a high-profile establishment, but then you can get better quality at the wet market. This has happened to me twice].”

Prince Victor: “May paper bags na ba sila? They should put groceries there! Ang tagal na excuse nila na  inuubos lang ang stock. Sobrang kapal na! Anyway, off to Hi Top pa din habang walang paper bags sa Save More!”  [Do they have paper bags already?  They should put the groceries in there.  It’s long been their excuse that they are using up their stocks.

They are thick-faced.  Anyway, off to Hi Top while there are no paper bags in Save More!].”

Gondo Ding:  “Sa [In] Japan, eco bag is necessary for everyday shopping . . . for clothing . . . they give plastic bags or some department store like Uniqlo will ask which do you prefer, plastic or paper bag.”

Mansueto Sibal: “Noong plastic pa ang ginagamit na lalagyan ng mga malls, libre ito. Pero ngayon may bayad na. Hindi ba dapat ang mga malls magprovide ng paper bags? Tungkulin nila na bigyan ang customers ng lalagyan ng pinamili niya. Kung may dalang eco bag ang namimili, hindi ba dapat na ang namimili ang bayaran?  [When plastic bags were used by malls, the bags were free.  But now they charge for it. Shouldn’t malls provide paper bags for free?  If the customers have their own eco bag, I think they should be given rebates].”

Joeboy Agriam: “Naku baka makalusot! Kaya pala yumaman si Henry Sy, kahit P2 ay kukunin pa.”  [They may get away with it!  No wonder Henry Sy is so rich, he is keen to collect even a measly P2 from customers].”

Ruth Medford: “Kahiya-hiya naman sila. Global ang concern tungkol dito. Baka ma-CNN sila. Tawagin natin si Anderson Cooper!” [They are a source of shame!  The concern here is global in nature. This matter might even reach the attention of CNN. Let us inform Anderson Cooper].”

I am sure that there are millions out there silently seething over this no-plastic ordinance of Quezon City and other cities in Metro Manila. The ordinance has good intentions, but as always, in the hands of unscrupulous people, the spirit of the measure becomes lost in its implementation as greed and business interests prevail.

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