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    Posted August 15, 2011 by
    Muntinlupa City, Philippines
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Boot camp: Pick your story

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    On Banning The Use Of Plastic Bags And Styrofoam In Muntinlupa City, Philippines


    Last January of this year, the city council of Muntinlupa has finally approved the enforcement of a citywide ban against the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam. City Ordinance 10-109 entitled “An Ordinance Prohibiting the Use of Plastic Bags on Dry Goods, Regulating its Utilization on Wet Goods and Prohibiting the Use of Styrofoam/Styropor in the City of Muntinlupa” took effect on January 18, 2011 after a year-long moratorium since it was approved last year to give stakeholders ample time to adjust and conform.


    The said ordinance is being enforced in all shopping malls, public markets and groceries throughout Muntinlupa City. Many environmentalist groups from both within and outside the city have rejoiced when the ordinance was officially enforced. However, there are also some groups of residents from Muntinlupa City which have expressed opposition to the ban on the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam. The enforcement of the ordinance is quite revolutionary in the Philippines since Muntinlupa was the first prime city in the country that imposed a ban on the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam.


    Other cities and towns in  the Philippines started imitating Muntinlupa in coming up with  ordinances that will prohibit the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam. The  municipal government of Biñan City in Laguna, Philippines came up with a  stricter version of an ordinance banning the use of plastic bags and  Styrofoam. A consumer who would defy the ban against the use of plastic  bags in Biñan City will be penalized by paying a minimum fine of 500  pesos (roughly 11 dollars). While many Filipinos are in favor of the  ordinance in Muntinlupa banning the use of plastic bags, there are also  some people in the country who want to repeal it and would rather  challenge its legality or constitutionality.


    I  want to make a story about the said ordinance since it’s some kind of a radical  decree in a highly-urbanized area where people have already been accustomed to the  use of plastic bags and Styrofoam every time they purchase foods, clothes and other items. I want to show to CNN viewers how the said ordinance is being enforced right now and how it is  being challenged by some groups within the city. I  would love to tell this story to the televiewrs of CNN because I'm a resident of Muntinlupa City myself. I’m planning to interview the city  councilors who were responsible in enacting the ordinance as well as the leaders of  the groups that lobbied for its passage and enforcement. I will also interview the  community leaders who have opposed the passage of such an ordinance.  I  will give both the “pro-ordinance” and the “anti-ban” individuals the chance to  express their sentiments regarding the issue.



    I  think the topic is newsworthy because people nowadays are searching for creative  means that will curtail the abuses against the natural environment.  Politicians and activists are really experimenting with new ideas and procedures that can prevent  the degradations against the environment. People should really formulate  effective measures that would truly-secure the ecological balance in our planet.



    Many city and municipal governments from within and outside the Philippines are eager to know if the City of Muntinlupa has indeed achieved a lessened littering of plastics since the enforcement of the said ordinance. The story that I’m going to tell will also tackle certain statistics that may prove or disprove the effectiveness of the said ordinance in lessening the plastic discards being damped upon waterways. Plastic discards do contribute to the clogging of waterways in the area. Muntinlupa City Mayor Aldrin San Pedro had earlier said that “plastic bags and Styrofoam materials are major contributors to the clogging of waterways in Metro Manila, which in turn cause flooding.” Citing information from the city’s engineering department, San Pedro said that “90 percent of materials found obstructing storm drains and waterways are plastic discards, costing the city government P2.3 million for de-clogging operations in 2009.”



    I  joined this year’s i-Report boot camp because I would like to improve my skills as a free-lance writer. I’ve been a blogger for 8 years now and an i-Reporter for more than 2 years, so I do want to communicate effectively my articles and news to the readers of my blogs and viewers of my i-Reports. The i-Report boot camp is a big opportunity for me to learn about the proper techniques and means of writing, editing and reporting news.


    I've  already  drafted some plans on how will I contact the people that I’m going to interview and how will I present the story objectively to  televiewers. I think the story should be told to CNN viewers because of  the fact that non-biodegradable materials do contribute to the clogging  of waterways all over the globe.

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