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Philippines Financial District Bans Plastic Bags

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FM07 (Capital Market)
Thelmar B. Castillo Dr. Elizabeth Valera
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Student Instructor

Title of the news: Philippines Financial District bans Plastic Bags
Reporter : Agence France-Presse
Title of the newspaper: Philippine Daily Inquirer
Date: July 18, 2013
Facts:
MANILA – The Philippines financial capital banned disposable plastic shopping bags and styrofoam food containers on Thursday, as part of escalating efforts across the nation’s capital to curb rubbish that exacerbates deadly flooding.
After a widespread publicity campaign leading up to the ban, Makati city environment protection officers began handing out fines of 5,000 pesos ($115) to shops and supermarkets caught distributing the items.
“We have already seen a lot of cases. We have issued a lot of tickets,” one of the environment officers, Danny Villas, told AFP.
While Makati, one of 17 cities or districts that make up Metro Manila, still allows food to be wrapped in plastic, it has banned the bags that shops and restaurants traditionally issue for free.
Styrofoam food containers and plastic cups are also banned.
Consumers are given the option of paper alternatives or not using any bags, with supermarkets encouraging shoppers to bring their own.
Team leader Xenelit Camarce, who was inspecting a public market, said there had been strong resistance to the ban, particularly among the poor.
“A lot of people, especially those sidewalk vendors, they are still using it. But the ones really complaining are the customers, those buying fish and chicken. They get angry when they are accosted,” she said.
Makati is home to many of the country’s foreign embassies, biggest corporations and banks, swankiest shopping malls and about 2,900 restaurants.
Although its official population is just over 600,000, this swells to about 3.7 million in the daytime when thousands of commuters travel to the area to work, city officials said.
Makati became the ninth out of the 17 areas to issue the plastics ban, meaning 6.7 million of Metro Manila’s population of 13 million people are covered by the restrictions.
Prexy Macana, project officer of Makati’s environmental services department, said cutting down on plastic was vital to stop the clogging of the city’s waterways, which is widely blamed for contributing to floods.
“During our bi-monthly wastewater clean-ups, we found most of the garbage is plastics,” she said.
June is the start of the rainy season in the Philippines, and Metro Manila has already endured heavy flooding, although none deadly.
The worst floods to hit the capital in recent years occurred in 2009, when Tropical Storm Ketsana submerged more than 80 percent of the city and claimed about 400 lives.
Another 100 people died in August last year when heavy rains lashed the city for more than a week.
Reaction:
It has been a very noble move of the administrators in Makati for banning the use of plastics. By doing so, they are not only helping the environment, they are also saving up to 20% of expenses brought about by purchasing plastic bags that are used once only. Large scale and small scale businesses spend about 20% of their net income for plastic bags and the widespread use of it gives devastating effects in their surroundings. As stated by the Makati environmental agencies, plastics are the primary source of flooding in most waterways of the city. By regulating, and perhaps, even eradicating the use of such plastics, Makati can avoid such calamities especially in times of typhoons and severe raining in the area.

Although many would disagree on the plastic ban, especially the sidewalk vendors and small scale businesses, this program of the Makati government is being strictly enforced. The environmentalists are only concerned with the effects this plastics have on nature and what we can do to avert this catastrophe.

Indeed I react well on this issue for not only am I a pro-environment but also, economically speaking, agree on banning the plastic use and thus reduce the amount of expenses we incur on businesses and other matters involving the use of plastics. In the long run, this program will boost the city’s economy in some ways. Consider, by banning plastics, another business will be erected, a business of making environment-friendly bags and by doing so, another factory shall emerge and more work shall be afforded and finances shall boom.

Recommendation:

Although I adhere positively to the said program, they should have done gradual banning of plastics rather than a total ban so as to have the people get used to the program and not have mixed reactions regarding the matter. Though it has positive effects in terms of finances and economy in the long run, it should indeed have been taken gradually.

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