The Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) management expects that the proposed ordinance regulating plastic use in the city will be deliberated and passed within this year.
Park superintendent Elizabeth Maclang hopes that the 22,202-hectare protected area would be the pilot site for the proposed ordinance being drafted at City Council.
“We want it to be an ordinance with the park as the pilot area for the plastic usage regulation,” park superintendent Elizabeth Maclang told the media on Monday, March 5.
The long-sought policy, she added, will complement the efforts to preserve the UNESCO-declared World Heritage Site’s outstanding universal value.
Also known as the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, this protected area features “spectacular limestone karst landscapes, pristine natural beauty, and intact old-growth forests and distinctive wildlife.”
Numerous studies show the impact of plastic wastes on the natural environment.
According to the United Nations Environment Program, more than 8 million tonnes of plastic are ending up in the oceans each year.
This has caused marine wildlife fatally mistaking plastic debris, particularly microplastics, for food, and also corals getting entangled in plastic.
But Maclang believes that going zero plastic at PPUR is an uphill task. “It can’t be zero out because it would take a long process,” she said.
Meanwhile, the El Nido municipal government last December 2017 started to strictly implement its existing ordinance banning the use of plastics, in keeping with its status as a protected area.