Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo on Monday said other local government units (LGU) should follow the stand of President Rodrigo Duterte against single-use plastic in their area.
Panelo made the remark after the Quezon City government approved an ordinance banning single-use plastics straws, cups, shopping bags and food containers for being harmful to the environment.
“Wala pang sinasabi si Presidente [The President has not said anything]. But I suppose all local governments would follow suit, since the President has already made a stand on that,” Panelo said in a press briefing in Malacañang.
When asked if the Office of the President has made a move to speed up the passage of bills that will ban single use plastic nationwide, Panelo said it is Congress’ call.
“Well, that depends on the members of Congress. The President has already made a stand, definitive stand on that; all they have to do is to pursue that line,” he said.
Earlier, Malacañang called on Congress to have the initiative to pass a bill that will ban single-use plastics nationwide.
When asked about the possibility of Duterte certifying such bill as urgent, Panelo said its still up to both the House of Representatives and Senate to make the move.
A bill had been filed at the House of Representatives this year that calls for a total ban on single-use plastics, as well a phaseout plan for plastics already in use.
House Bill No. 8692 or the “Ban on Single-use Plastic Products” still has to go through the approval process by Congress.
Aside from prohibiting establishments like restaurants and retail stores from using plastic, the bill also disallows the manufacturing, importing and selling of single-use plastics. The ban should take full effect one year after the bill is passed.