The City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) admitted that it is having a “hard time” identifying whether the plastic bags being used by vendors are biodegradable or not.
Under the plastic ban ordinance, which took effect on Monday, July 3, all business establishments in Iloilo City are prohibited to use non-biodegradable plastic bags.
Jovan Dela Peña of CENRO advised vendors not to throw the packaging of their plastic bags.
“The packaging will serve as our basis for determining biodegradable plastic bags,” he said.
Since July 3, the first day of the implementation of the ordinance, CENRO inspected 207 establishments, including sidewalk stalls.
Of the number, 159 were found to be compliant of the ordinance, while the rest were given warnings.
Dela Peña said biodegradable plastic bags are those that decompose within six months.
Violators will be fined P500 and confiscation of plastic bags for the first offense; P700, confiscation of plastic bags and suspension of business permit for one week for the second offense, and P1000, confiscation of plastic bags and cancellation of business permit for the third and subsequent offenses.
The Non-biodegradable Plastic Shopping Bag Regulation Ordinance covers “sari-sari stores, market vendors, hawkers or bolanteros, supermarkets, department store and malls, groceries, restaurants, canteen, fast-food chains, bakeries, coffee houses, hotels, catering services and other establishments with similar nature, which provide and use plastic bags as packing material as a result of the sale.”
CENRO leads the implementation of the ordinance authored by former Councilor Nielex Tupas.IMT