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Use Paper Bags this December
« on: November 14, 2007, 04:28:21 PM »
Christmas shopping items in a bayong? Why not?

In a recent move to trash the more environmentally impacting cellophane bags and styropor packaging, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) would be attempting to implement indigenous and paper bags in mall counters this December.

The agency’s move is in line with the government’s promotion for environment protection, especially from the impacts of global warming, sources said.

Reports also said the environment agency is to implement its massive advocacy campaign on the use of native and indigenous materials in all commercial establishments, it being a better alternative to the non-biodegradable plastic.

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Jose Atienza also revealed that the directive was one of the priorities given by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, which he is to implement when he was appointed to head the agency.

“In compliance with the President’s directives, the DENR is now pushing to promote the use of our indigenous materials (like bayong and paper bags) in all shopping malls, groceries, restaurants, among others), instead of using those that can contribute to the impact of climate change,” Atienza said.

Atienza, who is now celebrating his first 100 days at the DENR, revealed that the massive advocacy and nationwide campaign to promote the use of recyclable and indigenous materials would kick-off next month, December.

He said that all local government unit (LGU) executives have pledged to cooperate and extend their full support to the drive.

After the launching, Atienza said, the DENR will coordinate with the city and municipal councils nationwide to determine the sanctions and penalties to be imposed on violators.

“Uunti-untiin muna natin,” he said.

“All we need to do now is to coordinate first with the local councils. Once the policy and penalties are created in the local efforts, we will go up to Congress for the passage of a possible law regarding that matter,” Atienza said.

Aside from advocacy campaign, the DENR is currently implementing a massive tree planting drive in all protected forestry and mangrove reforestation. It has also its restoration program for the historic Laguna de Bay, Pasig River and Manila Bay.

--Rey Anthony Chiu
Philippine Information Agency

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Releasing of Paper Lanterns

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