Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima expressed hope that more local government units (LGUs) will take bolder steps this year in imposing a ban on single-use plastics in their respective jurisdictions.
De Lima made the call as she lauded the cities of Muntinlupa, Pasig, Makati, Las Piñas, Pasay, Quezon and recently, Parañaque which have now banned, or at least, have restricted the sale and use of single-use plastics in their respective localities.
“Natutuwa nga po tayo sa balita na parami nang parami ang mga LGUs na iminumulat ang kanilang nasasakupan sa masamang epekto ng paggamit ng single-use plastics,” she said.
“Hangad po natin na magtuloy-tuloy ang paglalatag ng mga mekanismo sa bawat lungsod upang protektahan ang kalikasan mula sa pagkasira at mailayo sa sakunang maaaring idulot nito gaya ng malawakang pagbaha tuwing tag-ulan,” she added.
Last Jan. 7, Parañaque City announced that it is banning the sale and provision of single-use plastics, including styrofoam, through its City Ordinance 18-40, which would take effect this June.
De Lima also encouraged other Metro Manila cities, especially those in coastal areas, to take cue from their neighboring towns that chose to take a strong stance to protect their environment versus profit or convenience.
Quezon City also welcomed 2020 by banning single-use plastics, including plastic bags in all of the city’s business establishments. They are looking at banning paper bags as well, in two years to lessen wastage.
“Nananawagan po tayo sa iba pang lungsod sa Kalakhang Maynila na tularan din ang kanilang mga karatig-bayan sa pagtatakda ng maigting na polisiya para pangalagaan ang kapaligiran; na sa halip na paboran ang mga kalakaran na maaaring magpalaki ng kita, mas pinipili nilang iwasan ang pagkasira ng kalikasan,” De Lima said.
“We hope that the chief executives of these local government units along coastal areas would also realize that environmental rights are human rights and that taking care of our ecosystems are our shared responsibility,” she added.
De Lima, who chairs the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, has repeatedly encouraged the public to join the global fight against worsening plastic pollution by pushing for the ban of single-use plastics in the country.
Last November, De Lima welcomed the Duterte administration’s pronouncement to ban single-use plastics in the entire country to mitigate the adverse impact of climate change and address the worsening nationwide garbage problem.