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Gensan Pushes open Burning Ban, Plastics use regulation 

The General Santos City government is pushing for the full implementation of the ban on open burning and a local ordinance that regulates the use of plastic bags and expanded polystyrene food services containers.
The local government has activated a technical working group (TWG) that will spearhead city-wide awareness campaigns on the targeted rollout of the regulatory measures starting next year.
Teresa Naranjo, TWG member, said they had been conducting series of campaigns to help awareness and promote proper compliance among local residents and concerned establishments in the city.
She said they had partnered with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) for the awareness drive, which would focus on the negative impact of open burning and the use of plastic bags and related materials.
The campaign kicked off on Dec. 10 with an “Awareness Fun Run to Stop Open Burning” which was led by city officials and personnel.
Naranjo also revealed that the city government would also formally launch Ordinance No. 03 or the “Ordinance Regulating the Use of Plastics Bags and Expanded Polystyrene Food Service Containers in the City of General Santos.”
The ordinance, which was passed in 2014, prohibits the use of plastic bags as packaging materials for dry goods and regulates its use on wet goods.
It also bans the use of expanded polystyrene or Styrofoam and other similar materials as containers for food and products.
The ordinance prohibits business establishments and individuals from “using, selling and providing plastic bags to consumers as secondary packaging materials on wet goods; using, selling and providing plastic bags to consumers as packaging on dry goods; and, using, selling and providing styrofoam/styrophor as food service containers.”
Violators could face a fine of P5, 000 and possible revocation of business permits to operate for businesses as well as one-year imprisonment at the discretion of the court.
“Some 800 enforcers were deputized by Mayor Ronnel C. Rivera during the campaign kickoff,” Naranjo said.
Local shopping malls, groceries, public markets, and other business establishments in the city have expressed support to the implementation of Ordinance No. 03, the TWG member said.
As part of the campaign, a one-day seminar workshop on the new integrated solid waste management program of the city was held on December 11.
On December 12, the city government, Environment Management Bureau and UNIDO unveiled the central materials recovery and composting facility at the city sanitary landfill site in Barangay Sinawal. (PNA)

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