VIGAN CITY – Are the days of plastic bags nearing their end?
This seemed to be so as Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member Christopher ‘Topeng’ Baterina, Chairman of the Committee on Energy, Water, Utilities, Cooperatives and Non-Government Organizations has filed a resolution regulating the use of plastics in the province.
His resolution was recently approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Ilocos Sur headed by Vice Governor Jeremias “Jerry” Singson.
“Plastics are great contributors to global warming once burned, likewise, they pollute our waters especially our seas,” he said during a Kapihan Iti Amianan Media Forum held at the Provincial Capitol over the weekened.
A staunch environmentalist, Baterina said that plastics degrade for a long period of time and once they disintegrate and mixed with the seawater, they are consumed by fishes which eventually, are served to the Filipino dining tables.
He clarified, however, that soon-to-be provincial ordinance doesn’t include the use of styrofoams as he has not found yet a styrofoam alternative for use by food caterers, restaurants and canteens.
“I am very sure that our manufacturers will soon find an alternative to styrofoam so that sooner, we will include that also in the ban. Adunto siguro ti makagura kaniak (Many people will, perhaps, dislike me for this) but in the long run, they will realize that what I’m doing is for all of us and the future generation. It’s about time all of us must contribute something to contain pollution and global warming,” he said.
He said, however, that he is not totally against plastics.
“I would just like to clarifiy that I am not against plastics, but I am for limiting, short of banning single-use plastic products such as sando bags, plastic straws, thin plastic cups, etc.,” he said.
Baterina also filed a resolution that would encourage the use of renewable energy in lieu of fossil fuels.
“Fossil fuels, like gasoline and diesel, are also great contributors to global warming and for this, we need to use more of our resources such as solar energy,” he said.
He has also designed a program that passed the government’s responsibility of maintaining irrigation waters to irrigators’ associations because “they know what’s best for themselves.”
“These associations are empowered to collect minimal contributions from its members as a maintenance fund. They are also authorized to impose penalties on its delinquent members,” he said.
SPM ‘Topeng,’ a Political Science graduate, is a son of former Congressman Salacnib Baterina and a younger brother to former SPM Ismael Baterina. The older Baterinas, who are both lawyers, are currently active in the practice of their law professions. (Edward B. Antonio)