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Palace asks other LGUs to follow QC ban on single-use plastics

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Malacañang Palace wants other local government units to follow the lead of Quezon City in banning the distribution and utilization of single-use plastics starting February 2020.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Oct. 15 signed Ordinance SP-2876 which prohibits the distribution and utilization of single-use plastics in hotels, restaurants, and other similar establishments.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier raised the idea of prohibiting the use of single-use plastics in the country during a Cabinet meeting early this month.

While Duterte has yet to comment on Quezon City’s move, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said he expects all local governments to follow Quezon City's example.

“Wala pang sinasabi si Presidente (The President has not said anything yet). But I suppose all local governments would follow suit, since the President has already made a stand on that,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing on Monday.

Asked if the President planned to certify bills on the ban of single-use plastics in the country as urgent, Panelo said he would leave it to the discretion of the Congress.

“Well, that depends on the members of Congress. The President has already made a stand, definitive stand on that; all they have to do is to pursue that line,” Panelo said.

During the 35th Association of Southeast Asian Nations plenary summit in Thailand, the President issued the call to the developed countries to be “more circumspect” with their trash disposal.

He lamented that the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia have turned into “among those who become dumping grounds for hazardous shipments.”

“If we are talking about improving the ecology of the place, the environment, then we must take into account what we dump,” Duterte said.

“This is as good as any other time and any place to tell the other countries, the Western countries, to be more circumspect,” he added.

In May, Duterte ordered a total ban of waste materials from any foreign countries after a waste dispute with Canada.

The President threatened to dump tons of garbage back to Canada if it was not claimed back.

A report from non-government organization Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives showed that the Philippines uses a “shocking” amount of single-use plastic, including nearly 60 billion sachets a year.

The report found that almost 48 million shopping bags are used throughout the Philippines daily, adding up to more than 17 billion a year.

It noted that the figure excludes around 16.5 billion smaller, thinner, and transparent plastic bags used every year across the country.

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