In joyful observance of Easter and Earth Day, officials of Barangay Hulong Duhat, Flores, Bayan-Bayanan and Dampalit of Malabon City and Barangay Tanza of Navotas City today signed a timely declaration that will ban the use of plastic carry bags in their areas every Wednesday.
The signing of the “Pledge of Commitment” was held today at the Hulong Duhat Public Market where 100 complimentary “bayong” (native basket) donated by Malabon City Mayor Canuto Oreta were also given free of charge to market goers.
Among those who took part in the combined Easter-Earth Day event were the members of the Dioecese of Caloocan Ecology Ministry, Malabon Metro Tennis Club and the EcoWaste Coalition.
Diocese of Caloocan Bishop Deogracias S. Iñiguez, Jr. lauded the initiative of the participating barangays of Malabon and Navotas Cities as he encouraged other barangays to follow suit for a cleaner and greener environment.
“We welcome this action by concerned barangay leaders to address our pervasive problem with waste. By encouraging our constituents to shift away from using plastic bags to using bayong and other reusable bags and containers, we can reduce the volume of our waste and help prevent plastic pollution in the CaMaNa area,”said Bishop Iñiguez.
CaMaNa refers to the area covered by Caloocan, Malabon and Navotas Cities.
“Plastic bags are one of the major pollutants that clog our waterways. Reducing plastic use will help ease our problem with flooding as well as prevent pollution of our water bodies. It will also cut government spending for the costly cleanup of our canals and rivers. Funds saved can be used to pay for basic services for the poor,” he said.
“I invite other barangays in the country to implement their own plastic-bag free days. This is our share for the healing of our ailing planet,” stated Bishop Iñiguez.
According to Romy Hidalgo, Head of the Ministry on Ecology of the Diocese of Kalookan and EcoWaste Coalition, the anti-plastic “Pledge of Commitment” jibes well with the ongoing effort by the Sangguniang Panglungsod of Caloocan, Malabon and Navotas Cities to adopt strong ordinances that will regulate the sale and use of plastic carry bags.
“The barangay-level ‘plastic-bag free day’ to combat plastic pollution only shows that local officials and residents can take action for the environment despite the absence of a national policy to prevent and reduce plastic bag waste and pollution,” he said.
Hidalgo noted that many local government units, including Muntinlupa City, have enacted bans on plastic bags notwithstanding the failure of the National Solid Waste Management Commission to draw up a robust pro-environment policy against plastic bags.
Senators Loren Legarda and Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. have introduced bills regulating the production and consumption of plastic carry bags, Hidalgo further said.