BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Two Negros Occidental solons hailed the House of Representatives for its approval on third and final reading of a bill regulating the manufacture, sale and utilization of single-use plastic products.
3rd District Rep. Jose Francisco Benitez, who chairs the Technical Working Group that drafted House Bill No. 9147, said the passage of the bill is a critical, concrete step towards a sustainable economy.
“A big win for the environment and for future generations,” Benitez said as he thanked the Climate Change Commission–PHG for its inputs.
HB 9147 provides for the gradual phase-out of single use plastics, or those products designed to be disposed, destroyed, or recycled, after only one use.
Once the bill is enacted into law, products such as plates and saucers, cups, bowls and lids, cutlery such as spoons, forks, knives and chopsticks, food and beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene, oxo-degradable plastics, film wraps, packaging or bags less than 50 microns in thickness, and sachets and pouches that are multi-layered with other materials shall be phased out within four years.
Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya, who is among the principal authors of HB 9147, thanked his colleagues for its passage, adding that it will help a lot in addressing the effects of single-use plastic products to the environment.
Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, also a principal author of HB 9147, said “the time is ripe for the country to enact a national legislation that will regulate the production, importation, sale, distribution, provision, use, recovery, collection and disposal of single-use plastic products.*