TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan: The city government here is eyeing a “plastic holiday” to regulate the use of plastic bags, according to the City Environment Office here.
Newly-designated environment officer Catherine Taguiam said the proposed plastic holiday, once it is implemented, will reduce the use of plastic bags in this robust city in the northern Cagayan Valley region.
She said this is part of the city government’s efforts to reduce the volume of plastic wastes produced by the city especially from the business sector.
“Plastic bags are the major component of the garbage generated in the city. This is a long-needed step to avert tons of wastes daily by reducing the use of plastic bags particularly among business establishments here,” Taguiam added.
Meanwhile, the regional office of the Environment Management Bureau in Region 2 (EMB-Region 2) said plastics are useful but users should be responsible enough to properly dispose off the material.
“We should reduce what we throw, segregate our discards at source, reuse and recycle. It is high time to change our wasteful pratices,” Romeo Fragata, EMB-Region 2 solid waste management division chief, said.
The EMB-Region 2 has also urged local governments to comply with Republic Act No. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act. Local executives face administrative sanctions for violating provision of the law.
Marisa Balubal, environmental management service officer, said there are still some local government units in the region that failed to comply with the provisions of the solid waste law.
She said only six of the 98 local governments in Cagayan Valley have sanitary landfills or engineered controlled dumpsites in operation while the rest are still operating open and controlled dumpsites
“There is no reason for local governments not to comply with the law. The fact that there are those who are compliant to the provisions of the law, it shows therefore that it can be done and there is no reason why others could not follow suit,” Balubal said.
She said local chief executives could face administrative sanctions if they fail to abide by the provisions of the law, particularly on the prohibition of operating open dumpsites.
“We are also appealing to residents in the region to support and cooperate in the implementation of the Solid Waste Management Act as this is not only the role of the local leaders,” Balubal added.
LEANDER C. DOMINGO