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Privilege speech: Locsin rallies for environment protection

ORMOC CITY, Philippines — Vice Mayor Leo Carmelo Locsin Jr., during last Thursday's regular session, delivered a privilege speech for the protection of the environment.

The vice mayor, who as a surfer is known as an advocate for the environment, had authored an ordinance regulating the use of plastics in Ormoc City, which was already presented for first reading by Councilor Goito Yrastorza, environment committee chairman.

Locsin, in his speech, said the use of plastics has wrought havoc to Ormoc's ecosystem. "We have turned our environment as a weapon that could, one day, kill our children," he said.

Citing the wanton use of plastics, Locsin said: "Drainage systems designed to help alleviate the flooding can no longer function properly. Cleanup reports after every disaster all reveal that primarily, plastic bags were responsible for the blocking of our drainage systems."

To address the problem, the vice mayor asked the City Council for support to his proposed ordinance, which seeks to ban the use of plastic bags for dry goods, and for primary and secondary goods.

Locsin, who is also a farmer that has been pushing for organic farmin, further asked the Council to prohibit the use of styropor, with monetary penalties on violators, and to empower the courts to suspend or cancel business permits at their discretion.

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"I speak to you now not only in my capacity as an elected official, but also as a father of two boys. Now more than ever, we must and should enact policies that bring economic development and prosperity for our people, but with the sincerest regard and deepest respect for the environment that we hold in trust for the men and women of tomorrow. To preserve and protect Mother Earth will be our greatest gift," Locsin ended his speech.


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