Mandaue businesses back move, say they will comply
Mandaue-based businesses are concerned about the implications of a city-wide plastic ban on their operations but are willing to comply with the rules nonetheless.
Fe Andrino, owner of JG Fat Sari-sari store along C. Ouano Street in Barangay Centro, said there was nothing she could do if the city government decided to implement such a prohibition.
“If that’s the case, we’ll just have to deal with it,” she told Cebu Daily News in Cebuano.
In an attempt to mitigate flood problems in the area, Mandaue City Mayor Gabriel Luis Quisumbing recently announced that he would implement a 2010 ordinance banning retail establishments from using and distributing disposable plastic bags and styrofoam.
Instead, they would be required to use paper or other reusable types of bags, he said.
Quisumbing made this announcement in the light of floods that hit Mandaue City, Cebu City and the rest of Metro Cebu on Friday last week.
Ordinance No. 12-2010-562 states that the indiscriminate throwing of plastic and styrofoam in public places has largely contributed to the city’s clogged drainage system, resulting to flooding.
All stores, shops, eating places, food vendors, carenderias and sari-sari stores within the jurisdiction of Mandaue City are covered by the ordinance.
Andrino said that even before the ordinance was passed six years ago, she was among those who voiced her support for the measure.
The store owner said the ban would compel her to purchase paper bags, which she said would mean additional expenses but added she would still be willing to comply with the law.
Violators may face a penalty of a P500 fine or five days in prison depending on the decision of the court.
Mayor Quisumbing, who only assumed office noontime of June 30 following a term in Congress, said he would implement the ordinance next week.
Vanessa Limana, whose family owns eatery Zandrie’s Place along P. Burgos Street in Barangay Alang-alang, said she knew about the city ordinance even before.
“I’m glad they’re finally pushing for its implementation now. That way, less plastic will clog our drainage system,” she said in Cebuano.
She said the eatery was already using paper bags, especially with barbeque take-outs when they would sell them at night.
Limana said they would just have to buy bigger bags this time.
Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) incoming President Glenn Soco said it is understandable for the mayor to implement existing laws and regulations.
“However, we will continue to hold consultations within the business sector on more viable measures to help address the flooding problem,” he said in a text message.
He added MCCI would continue to hold dialogues and meetings with the mayor and local officials as part of their collaborative stance in arriving at a solution.
MCCI past President Philip Tan, meanwhile, said he is in favor of the city government’s move but emphasized that plastic per se isn’t evil.
“What did plastic ever do? The root cause of all of this is the people using it,” he said in a phone interview.
Tan said consumers should learn to discipline themselves, bring their own reusable bags to stores and dispose of their garbage properly.
He said that if they would insist on using plastic, they should be made to pay.
“That ordinance has long been overdue. It just hasn’t been implemented properly. It’s time for the mayor to show he is serious,” said Tan.
Tan added that Quisumbing should first be given the opportunity to show what would come out of this recent move.
Whether it will be effective or not, Tan said it remains to be seen.
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