LINGAYEN—The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) is set to conduct a public hearing on a draft ordinance seeking to ban plastic bags and spitting inside the Provincial Capitol Complex.
The proposed ordinance was suggested by Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. to bring about a plastic-free and more hygienic environment in the entire provincial capitol compound.
Second District Provincial Board Member Von Mark Mendoza filed the measure and was quickly approved on first reading.
Subsequently, it was referred in the last session of the SP to the committee on laws and ordinances chaired by Sixth District Board Member Alfonso Bince Jr.
Once passed, the ordinance will strictly prohibit the use of plastic bags on dry and wet goods, as well as ban the use of Styrofoam and sale of soft drinks in plastic.
Indiscriminate spitting and littering anywhere within the Capitol Complex will also be banned in order to promote health and improve tourism.
Provincial Information Officer Orpheus Velasco said that the ban on plastic was already enforced during the Palarong Pambansa last May using the ordinance enacted by the municipality of Lingayen.
Since the ban on plastic and styrofoam was enforced in Lingayen, the volume of garbage being collected has been drastically reduced by 50 percent.
However, Velasco noted that the Lingayen municipal ordinance did not have any penalty clause for violators.
Velasco said under the proposed provincial ordinance, violators will be fined P500 for the first offense, P1,000 for the second offense and P2,000 plus community service for the third offense if the violator is a vendor.
However, if the violator is a provincial government official or employee, the first offense that would be meted is a reprimand, second offense, P1,000, third offense, P2,000 and community service.
Tourists and visitors will be given more leeway and will be served lesser penalties.