(File photo)

Councilor Nesario Awat said the City Legal Office (CLO) might already come out with a legal opinion in February that would help the City Council make a decision regarding the proposed “Anti-Plastic Use” ordinance.

Favoring the total ban of the product in all forms in Puerto Princesa City, Awat said Wednesday that the legal opinion of the CLO is the only thing that is delaying them in making a vote on the proposal.

“Hindi na rin siguro tatagal ‘yan, baka by next month. Actually kasi ang nagpapabagal dito ay ‘yong City Legal Office kasi wala pa silang legal opinion (It’s not going to take long anymore, probably next month. Actually, the legal opinion of the CLO is the only thing that is delaying this),” said Awat.

Awat, vice chair of the environmental protection and natural resources committee, said the measure is still being deliberated at their level.

Ordinance No. 358-2018 was consolidated last year from four different ordinances authored by Awat and Councilors Jimmy Carbonell, Roy Gregorio Ventura, and Maria Nancy Socrates.

“We have to wait for the final action, parte ng demokrasya ‘yan. Ang anti-plastic ordinance natin ang natitirang issue diyan [ay] ‘yong legal [opinion]. Previously, talagang na-discuss natin ‘yong ordinansa (We have to await the final action because it’s part of democracy. The remaining issue in the anti-plastic ordinance is the legal opinion. Previously, we were really able to discuss the ordinance)” Awat said.

Awat said they want the CLO’s opinion if the measure can cover the banning of plastic use in commercial establishments that use them to pack groceries, wrap food items, and others.

He also said that the new version is about totally prohibiting the use of all kinds of plastics.

“Kasi ‘yong original version kung saan ay talagang pasok lang ng pasok, pero talagang questionable na i-prohibit mo ‘yong selling. Until such time ang ipinagbawal nalang talaga natin [ay] ‘yong use. Pero dito sa use, sasabihin natin ‘yong ating single-use plastic by way of enumeration. Sa enumeration, ay hindi lang daw talaga plastic, kundi talagang dapat isama natin ‘yong mga cups, mga kutsara at tinidor na plastic. Anything na plastic. ‘Yon ang kini-kwestyon ngayon ng mga kasamahan. Sabi nila, ‘Bakit natin isasama ‘yon ay paano ‘yong mga galing sa company na ang produkto ay mayroong kasamang straw at ‘yong mga nakalagay din naman sa mga cups [o] mga cellophane? So ‘yon ang inihihingi namin ng legal opinion kung puwede ba ‘yon o hindi,” he pointed out.

(In the original version, everything was entered and entered, and it’s really questionable to prohibit selling. Anything plastic. Until such time we just decided to ban the use. But in the use, we have to enumerate the single-use plastic. In the enumeration, it’s just not plastics, we have to include plastic cups and utensils. Anything plastic is what our colleagues are questioning. They said, ‘Why would we include those from companies that sell products that include them in the cups or cellophane?’ So, this is why we need the legal opinion.)