QC gov’t to resume ban on plastic bags, single-use plastics on March 1

Robie de Guzman   •   February 16, 2021   •   314

The Quezon City government has announced it will resume the full implementation of the Ordinance 2868-2019, which bans the use of plastic bags and single-use plastics in the city.

In an advisory, the city government said the city-wide plastic bag ban will be imposed starting March 1.

The city already implemented the ban in January 2020 but was temporarily lifted in May through the issuance of the city’s Localized Guidelines for Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) and its succeeding versions.

“There is a pressing need to strengthen the city’s efforts in response to the global movement to reduce plastic wastes. Our call to action is also in fulfillment of the city’s international commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase climate resilience,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said in an earlier statement.

“With the re-implementation of the plastic bag ban, we hope to promote sustainable practices in the city,” she added.

Under a memorandum issued by Belmonte, all shopping malls, supermarkets, fast-food chains, drug stores, and other retailers registered under the Business Permits and Licensing Department (BPLD) should cease the distribution and/or provision of plastic bags to their customers.

“We will not allow the retailers to use plastic bags anymore at the check-out counters. Kailangan nang magdala ng mamimili ng sarili nilang reusable bags,” the mayor said.

The use of brown paper bags in groceries and other retail stores will only be allowed this year as it will be prohibited starting 2022 as part of the full implementation of the ordinance.

The local government urged the public to properly disinfect their reusable bags before and after use in groceries and markets.

“We are also encouraging the public to use their own eating utensils in their homes and offices as they consume their take away food,” the city government said.

The city will also be enforcing the ban on the distribution of disposable and single use plastics in restaurants and hotels for dine-in transactions starting July 1, 2021. Its implementation was also deferred through the MECQ guidelines.

As stated in City Ordinance 2876-2019, restaurants are prohibited from distributing single-use plastic/ disposable materials to their dine-in customers such as plastic spoon and fork, knives, plastic/ paper cups, plates, plastic/ paper straws, coffee stirrers and other disposable materials and styrofoam.

For food delivery and take away orders, food establishments are also encouraged to adopt a “by-request protocol,” where they ask their customers if they need single-use plastic utensils and condiment sachets before providing it to them.

Food delivery applications such as Grab Food and Food Panda are also requested to consider incorporating the protocol to positively contribute in the plastic waste reduction program of the city.

Meanwhile, hotels in the city will also be prohibited from distributing soap, shampoo, shower gels, liquid soap, conditioners, and other items used for hygienic purposes in sachets and single-use containers.

Restaurants and hotels will be required to submit their transition plans, including health and safety protocols, to the EPWMD on or before May 31, 2021, the city government said.

The city government said it will be deputizing enforcers to check each establishment’s compliance to the ordinances.

Businesses that fail to implement the law will be penalized with a fine of P1,000 for the first offense; P3,000 fine and revocation of environmental clearance and issuance of cease and desist order by the BPLD for the second offense; and a fine of P5,000 and revocation of the Business Permit and issuance of closure order for the third offense.

QC gov’t launches program to exchange waste for basic commodities

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 2, 2021

The Quezon City Government has launched a plastic waste trading project for residents to exchange their plastic waste with basic commodities.

The program entitled “Trash to Cashback” is launched with the help of the city’s Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department and the Basic Environmental Systems and Technologies, Inc. (BEST).

Under the said program, residents will convert their plastic waste to environmental points that can be exchanged for basic commodities such as rice, eggs, bread, fruits, vegetables and other essentials such as toiletries.

The QC government has yet to provide further details but they announced that caravans and rolling stores will be deployed to various barangays in the city.

Those interested may visit https://www.facebook.com/bxtraphilippines. -AAC

Quezon City resumes implementation of plastic bag ban

Robie de Guzman   •   March 1, 2021

The ban on the use of plastic bags in Quezon City has resumed on March 1.

In a statement, the city government said Mayor Joy Belmonte led the kickoff-rites last Sunday by inspecting markets in Galas, Muñoz, Suki, A. Bonifacio, Frisco, and Kamuning in Quezon City to distribute bayongs and eco-bags to marketgoers.

Belmonte also visited a supermarket in Barangay Kamuning.

The city government said the activity serves as a kick-off event in relation to the re-implementation of the City Ordinance 2868-2019 or the Plastic Bag Ban, which prohibits the use of plastics as carry-out bags in retail establishments through the city.

Belmonte said the activity is also part of the city’s celebration of Women’s Month this March which highlights the role of women in environmental protection.

Under the Kababaihan Para sa Kalikasan movement with the theme “Babae: Tayo ang Pagbabago,” women are encouraged to be more pro-active and be catalysts for change given their important role in our households and communities.

“We suspended the implementation of the ordinance during the pandemic para hindi po makadagdag sa uncertainty, but now we can manage the pandemic better so itinuloy na natin,” Belmonte said.

“Alam naman natin na plastics are one of the greatest polluters of our oceans and bodies of water, clogs our waste streams and pose health risks,” she added.

The city already implemented the ban in January 2020, but was temporarily lifted in May through the issuance of the city’s Localized Guidelines for Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) and its succeeding versions.

Under Ordinance 2868-2019, supermarkets, malls, shopping centers, fast-food restaurants, and other businesses violating the ban will be meted out with a fine of P1,000 for the first offense, a fine of P3,000 and revocation of environmental clearance for  the second offense, and revocation of business permit and a fine of P5,000 for the third offense.

The city government earlier said that it will also be enforcing the ban on the distribution of disposable and single-use plastics in restaurants and hotels for dine-in transactions starting July 1, 2021. Its implementation was also deferred through the MECQ guidelines.

As stated in City Ordinance 2876-2019, restaurants are prohibited from distributing single-use plastic/ disposable materials to their dine-in customers such as plastic spoon and fork, knives, plastic/ paper cups, plates, plastic/ paper straws, coffee stirrers and other disposable materials and Styrofoam.

For food delivery and take away orders, food establishments are also encouraged to adopt a “by-request protocol,” where they ask their customers if they need single-use plastic utensils and condiment sachets before providing it to them.

Food delivery applications such as Grab Food and Food Panda are also requested to consider incorporating the protocol to positively contribute in the plastic waste reduction program of the city.

Meanwhile, hotels in the city will also be prohibited from distributing soap, shampoo, shower gels, liquid soap, conditioners, and other items used for hygienic purposes in sachets and single-use containers.

The city government said it will be deputizing enforcers to check each establishment’s compliance to the ordinances.

Senate to conduct probe on QCPD-PDEA ‘misencounter’ — Dela Rosa

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa on Thursday (February 25) announced that the Senate will be conducting a hearing to shed light on the ‘misencounter’ between the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

The lawmaker said the investigation which will be conducted on March 2 will look into the seeming lack of proper coordination from both camps.

In a statement, Dela Rosa said that there was also negligence in the proper dissemination of that coordination to the operating units.

“Through our hearing and investigation, we will try to ferret out the truth and give [an] opportunity to all parties involved in this unfortunate incident to explain their side,” he added.

Dela Rosa said the hearing will help the Senate determine if there is a need to revise laws concerning law enforcement authorities. -AAC

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