La Union Provincial Board mulls “Straw-Less Fridays”

SAN FERNANDO CITY, LA UNION, Philippines — The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of La Union is currently studying a proposed ordinance to regulate the use of plastic drinking straws and declaring every Friday in the province as plastic-drinking-straw holiday.

Authored by SP member Nancy Corazon M. Bacurnay, the ordinance aims to lessen the volume of consumption of plastic drinking straws, which, thrown indiscriminately, end up in sewers or canals that clog waterways or in the nearby sea and ocean. As explained in the proposal, this endangers life of marine animals that mistake these straws as food and ingest them.

The proposed ordinance was the subject of a public hearing last March 16, wherein managers and owners of affected business establishments were invited to give relevant comments and suggestion. The hearing was headed by the SP Committee on Environment chaired by Board Member Francisco “Kit” C. Ortega, and Board Member Reynaldo M. Mosuela, Chair of the Committee on Laws, Rules and Privileges.

Participants commended the proposed legislation, but sought for exemptions as there are also products where straw is indispensable such as frozen drinks and special drinks with cream or pearls.

Intensive information dissemination was also requested to assist the business establishments in explaining to their costumers especially tourists on the non-use of straw. It was learned that since 2011 Jollibee Foods Corp. has already been implementing in its stores straw-less Fridays on their soft drinks and juices.

Earlier, members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan conducted a survey at the CSI mall on the possibility of foregoing the use of straw on some beverages. The results are not yet available.

A second reading for the purpose has been scheduled, where comments and suggestions will be incorporated in the proposed ordinance. Jane Flores/ GPC/