LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, April 29 –The provincial government here has reiterated anew its determination to support and implement the objective of the Department of Education (DepEd) to make the 2012 Palarong Pambansa on May 6 to 12 "green and eco-friendly".
Governor Amado Espino Jr. reiterated this policy even as many of the 17 delegations seeing action in the national games have already arrived in Pangasinan and are already raring to go to action.
The provincial government is now all set for the games which will be held in different playing venues in Lingayen, specifically the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center, and in Dagupan and San Carlos cities, Binmaley and Calasiao.
Consistent with the objective to make the Palaro 'green" and eco-friendly, all of the souvenir shops that have set up in Lingayen in connection with the national games had been ordered to discard plastic and styrofoam materials, said Provincial Information Officer Butch Velasco.
As far as the provincial government is concerned, plastic and styrofoam are a no-no in the entire town of Lingayen.
Governor Espino said Pangasinan is 100 percent supporting the objective of DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro to have a "green and eco-friendly Palarong Pambansa".
Even booths/stalls participating in the current Tourism and Trade Exhibit at the premises of the Pangasinan Training and Development Center (PTDC), near the provincial capitol, now use newspapers turned into paper bags to pack dry goods/items purchased by customers.
Otherwise, they would be fined P500 for each violation in accordance with a municipal council ordinance of the municipality of Lingayen, which would be in effect during the Palarong Pambansa and the Pangasinan Pista'y Dayat ( Sea Festival) celebration.
Enacted by the Sangguniang Bayan of Lingayen on January 17, 2011, the ordinance prohibits the use of plastic bags on dry goods and regulating its utilization on wet goods and also strictly bans the sale and use of styrofoam in the municipality.
Authored by Lingayen Councilor Judy Vargas, the ordinance states that in its desire to reduce, if not totally eliminate the use of plastic film bags as packaging materials, the municipality of Lingayen encourages the utilization of alternative packaging materials such as woven bags (bayong), cloth bags (katsa), paper bags and other similar materials (e.g. banana leaves, taro leaves, etc.) and at the same time, promote the "Bring Your Own Bag Program".
The ordinance further states that there is a need to regulate the use of plastic bags to prevent potential serious ecological imbalance particularly in the creeks, rivers and other waterways.
Plastic bags and styrofoam, being non-biodegradable materials, clog canals, creeks, rivers, during rainy season and end up causing harm to the community.
Thus, well-known convenience stores and food establishments in the municipality like 7-11 and Goldilocks are now using brown paper bags, instead of the standard plastic bag or sando bag, for packing their products.
Gov. Espino earlier announced the four objectives of the Palaro in Pangasinan and one of which is to make it clean and green.
There should be no litters such as plastics and styrofoams in all the game sites, the billeting areas and in all other places in Lingayen, the governor said.
During a press conference in connection with the provincial governments Summer Triple Treat which included the Pangasinan Day on April 11, Pista'y Dayat on May 1 and Palarong Pambansa on May 6 to 12, Espino showed samples of environment-friendly bags to be used during the Palaro.
These bags, which would be distributed to all delegations attending the Palaro, will replace non-biodegradable materials such as plastic bags and styrofoam.
Education Secretary Luistro bared that DepEd will seriously pursue the campaign to make the Palaro an environment-friendly event.
We will require food caterers to dispense with plastic and styrofoam in the preparation of meals, Luistro said.
The 2012 Palarong Pambansa will officially open on May 7 at the NRSCC in Lingayen with President Benigno Aquino III gracing the occasion.
Some 10,000 athletes from all over the country are participating in the week-long Palarong Pambansa. (PNA)