Benguet town mayor vows strict ‘no plastic’ regulation


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — La Trinidad, Benguet Mayor Romeo Salda on Monday vowed to strictly implement the town’s ordinance on plastic, polystyrene, and other synthetic packaging materials with the goal of reducing waste from these substances.

“Our environment officers and public safety and order people have been doing their job, but still, many owners of business establishments and the public are not following the ordinance, thus, we will be strictly enforcing it,” Salda said.

The local chief executive encouraged the locals, especially the business establishment owners, to use eco-friendly bags and packaging for their products.

Municipal Ordinance 11-2015 states that “plastic, styrofoam, and other synthetic materials are anti-environment materials and a major contributor to the growing garbage problem of the municipality.”

It further says it aims to reduce pollution caused by the use of plastic materials and protect the environment.

“In the interest of public health and safety, the municipality (will) adopt measures to regulate the use of plastics and other non-biodegradable materials in all business establishments, groceries, department stores, supermarkets, retailers, and sari-sari stores,” the ordinance further states.

The ordinance is in line with Republic Act 7610 or the Local Government Code of 1991, which provides that the local government unit shall share with the national government the responsibility of managing and maintaining the ecological balance in its jurisdiction.The ordinance urges business establishments to instead use paper or cloth and biodegradable materials in packaging their goods.

But since La Trinidad town, also known as the “Salad Bowl of the Philippines”, hosts a vegetable trading post, it exempts wholesalers of vegetables from the ordinance, but encourages them to use of biodegradable, reusable alternative products and containers in packaging their crops, which are transported outside the province.

Violators face the penalty of a fine from PHP1,000 to PHP2,500 on the first three offenses.