(L-R) CDRRMO Chief Andy Berame, Jpark Resort Gen.Manager Jonathan Charles Nowell and Lapu-Lapu City Councilor Rico Amores. - photo by Allan Defensor

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Philippines- A reelected city councilor here is mulling the ban of single-use plastics within the entire city. Atty. Rico Amores revealed his plan in the sidelines of SCUBAsurero 2019, last June 12, a reef and coastal cleanup activity participated by volunteer divers whom Amores and the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) organized as part of the city’s environmental awareness (Go Green) month. CDRRMO chief Andy Berame explained that the activity served as one of the references in the proposed ordinance by Amores.

“The result of this clean-up will be a good data of the proposed ordinance,” Berame told iNews.Ph. The Scubasurero covered the coastal area of barangay Maribago, where known beach resorts and luxury hotels are plentiful. Maribago Barangay councilor Arvin Fiel Abing once said that at least 19 resort hotels are present in their place. Jonathan Charles Nowell, the General Manager of Jpark Island Resort and Waterspa said that the reef and coastal clean-up deserves the support of stakeholders like them.

“It is very important not only for us but for the community that we give them something back. The environment is very important, we are going green at Jpark. This is a step in the right direction, that we can keep our shoreline clean and keep the corals well cultivated. We gonna participate in this activity, more and more,” Nowell said for his part. The scuba divers which included some South Koreans collected about 126 kilos of trash in their cleanup, a lot of it, plastics (i.e. plastic bottles, food packaging).

Amores who chairs the committee on environment said that he intends to have a gradual implementation of the ordinance. What will be absolutely banned upon its implementation is the use of “plastic straws” while the single-use plastics, especially the plastic bags that are commonly used in grocery stores in malls and other merchandising establishments will be twice per week. Eventually, there will be an absolute ban of single used plastics, Amores said, who will calendar a public hearing on his proposed ordinance soon.

“One weekday and one weekend for single-use plastics, my proposal is on a Friday and a Saturday. After two years, we will have an absolute prohibition of single used plastics. At the side is the absolute use of plastic straws upon the implementation of the ordinance,” Amores told iNews.Ph. Nowell revealed that in Jpark, they are already using bamboo straws. Amores explained that the proposed ordinance is aimed solely in protecting “Mother Earth” as plastics are non-biodegradable and hence non-recyclables.

Aside from plastic bags and straws, single-use plastics are cutlery, plates and stir sticks which can cause clogs in canals and rivers and could drip its way to the ocean causing pollution in the marine environment. Amores who belong to Team Deretso of incoming Congresswoman, Mayor Paz Radaza and her husband former Congressman Arturo Radaza, fared well in the May 13 polls grabbing the 2nd spot of the 12 councilors, next to Vice Mayor Marcial Ycong, who decided to slid and did not seek reelection for his current elective post./Tonton Alcos Antogop