DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) in Davao City has introduced a legislative measure that seeks to ban the release of flying balloons and sky lanterns during events and occasions.
Councilor Maria Belen Acosta, the chair of SP’s committee on public safety authored the ordinance that she said, will ensure the safety of the public.
“Public welfare is foremost in this proposed ordinance. Public safety and environmental protection are paramount in the city council’s policy directions,” Acosta said.
She added that flying balloons and lanterns, when released in the air, also pose safety risks to low flying aircraft and power lines.
Released balloons and lanterns fall and litter anywhere, either in the bodies of water and worst, are often mistaken as food by marine animals that may cause their death, Acosta emphasized.
“In the case of lighted sky lanterns, their open flames may also cause a fire,” she added.
She pointed out that the policy directions of the city government of Davao are going towards the reduction of single-use of plastics and efficient solid waste management.
Acosta also clarified that the proposed ordinance will not completely ban balloons in the city.
“It is not a total ban. Only the release of flying balloons is not allowed,” she said.
She added that violators, as stipulated in the proposed ordinance, will be fined PHP3,000 for the first offense, PHP3,500 for the second offense, and PHP5,000 for the third offense.
The group Interface Development Interventions (IDIS) has expressed its full support for passage of the said local legislative measure.
“We, from IDIS and also on behalf of the Sustainable Davao Movement are really looking forward that this will be passed as an ordinance,” Ruel Kenneth Felices, the IDIS Partnership Building Officer said.
The other reason that IDIS consider in supporting the ordinance is the fact that Davao City lies near the bodies of water, Felices added.
“It is of a great call to pass the policy to ensure a more conducive environment for our wildlife and marine animals. The visual impact of the fallen, deflated balloons and lanterns, and the risk of harm to environment and animals which they pose are too obvious to be neglected,” he said. (davaotoday.com)