By Warren Elijah Valdez
DAVAO CITY – A city councilor here said that the proposed measure on regulating single-use plastics (SUP) in the city will not be anti- poor.
Councilor Diosdado Mahipus Jr., the author of the proposed measure in regulating SUPs, clarified in an interview that, “not all of the single-use plastics will be regulated, only those that (we) have enumerated, that (we) consider unnecessary and has an alternative.”
It can be recalled that a group of environmental advocates here in Davao City was seeking for the local government’s response in lessening the city’s daily waste generation.
“An ordinance, in order to be valid, must pass the test of constitutionality. Meaning, it must not be oppressive, and it must not be contrary to law and—in cases of ordinances—we can’t really prohibit (but) we can regulate trade,” Mahipus said.
The proposed measure will regulate use of drinking cups; containers for condiments such as sauce or gravy, up lids or covers, stirrers, cutlery, straws, meal packaging, gloves, and other plastic materials used as buntings and balloon sticks.
The councilor said, plastic sachets, however, will not be included.
Mahipus said he already had consultations with various companies in the city, particularly those producing plastics. He added that they had positive response.
The companies, he said, “also wanted to make sure that this will have a minimal impact on their business” but they understand that this ordinance is for the benefit of Davao City residents as well.”
The councilor said that if there will be no commercially available alternative for producers and companies, they will be asked to pay for a “regulatory fee” which will be used in support of environmental protection programs so that their business will not be disrupted.
Mahipus said “if they pay for the regulatory fee and dispose the trash properly, then it is okay.”
This matter however, was still in the process of being discussed at the councilor’s committee.
“If there is no commercially available items to replace the regulated items, then they can use the regulated items as long as they comply with the requirements,” he said.