Pangilinan encourages Senate to OK bill regulating single-use plastics asap

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Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan pushes for single-use plastics regulation.

Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Thursday said the Senate should also approve the bill that will regulate the single-use plastics, and should follow what the House panel did

Pangilinan, in a statement, said that implementing tax on single-use plastics will be a “step in the right direction.”

“Nakita natin kung gano kalala ang patuloy na epekto ng pabago-bagong klima dulot ng global warming at climate change, lalo ngayon matapos ang pagsalanta ng Bagyong Tisoy sa Bicol at iba pang parte ng bansa,” he said.

“Totoong problema ang climate change, lalo na sa isang pulo-pulong bansang kagaya ng Pilipinas. Kaya dapat ay bilisan natin ang pagpasa ng mga batas na makakatulong mabawasan ang epekto nito. Isa na rito ang pagpataw ng buwis sa mga single-use plastic at ang pagbabawal sa paggamit nito,” Pangilinan added.

Under the House Bill No. 178, every kilogram of single-use plastic bags will be taxed P20 from the place of production or the Customs warehouse. 

Earlier, Albay Rep. and House Ways and Means Committee chair Joey Salceda said this could generate P4.8 billion revenues in the government during its first year of implementation. 

“Maaring magamit ang revenues na ito sa pagpapaigting ng Disaster Management and Risk Reduction initiatives sa ating bansa, o kaya naman ay pagpondo sa mga pag-aaral kung paano natin mapapabawas ang epekto ng climate change,” Pangilinan explained.

“Ngayong tapos na ang budget hearing, mayroon pang ilang nalalabing araw ng taon kung kailan maaring dinggin ang mga inihaing batas ukol sa single-use plastics dito sa Senado,” he went on.

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Greenpeace and #breakfreefromplastic conduct a beach cleanup activity and brand audit on Freedom Island, Parañaque City, Metro Manila, Philippines (Image source: scotlandnature.blog)

Single-use plastics regulation and management act filed

In July, the senator filed Senate Bill No. 40, or the “Single-Use Plastics Regulation and Management Act of 2019.”

The said measure is currently pending with the Senate committee on environment, natural resources and climate change.

Once passed into law, the bill will ban the manufacture, importation, and use of any type of single-use plastics, including disposable plastics which are commonly used for plastic packaging, and  food items such as grocery bags, food packaging, films and bags, manufacturing water bottles, straws, stirrers, containers, styrofoam/styros, cups, sachets, and plastic cutlery.

Pangilinan also noted that recycling single-use plastics will also be incentivized.

“Malacañang na mismo ang nagsabi na pinag-aaralan na nila ang pagbabawal sa single-use plastics kung kaya’t kailangan na talagang simulang dinggin ito sa Senado,” Pangilinan said.

Meanwhile, Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte himself had been considering to ban plastics in the country.

He said the President revealed the idea during the 43rd Cabinet meeting in Malacañang after the issue on climate change was brought up.

Related:

DENR to ban single-use plastic nationwide, Sec. Cimatu says

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