The Davao City Economic Enterprise (CEE) has expressed its support for the newly-launched ‘Bayong-kerohan’ campaign spearheaded by Communication students from the Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU).

The Bayong-kerohan program is an information and education campaign that aims to promote the use of ‘bayongs’ instead of plastic bags in grocery shopping, while raising public awareness to City Ordinance 0500 series of 2021 which prohibits the use and sale of single-use plastics (SUPs) by business establishments.

The campaign targets the Bankerohan Public Market— the largest public market in the city with a total of 963 stores.

A survey conducted by the Bayong-kerohan advocates revealed that only 50 per cent of store owners and merchants are aware of the ordinance banning SUPs.

The study also showed that the most used SUP item in Bankerohan is plastic sando bags, which makes up about 62 per cent of the total number of SUPs used daily. However, plastic sando bags are not included in the first phase of the SUP ordinance, which is also awaiting its corresponding Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR) for full implementation.

Ma. Cecilia Rodriguez of the AdDU Communication Department Faculty said this exclusion makes the use of reusable and eco-friendly containers instead of sando bags in public markets even more essential in reducing the number of SUPs that end up in the city landfill. She said advocates of the program will also be lobbying the city council to add sando bags to the list of SUPs to be banned under the SUP ordinance.

“Now we know where all the plastics are coming from– it’s from the public market. So, what we are advocating is for the market-goers to use eco-friendly containers. This is a traditional container that we use. We will go back to bayong,” Rodriguez said.

CEE Head Maximo Macalipes said his office has coordinated with the Bayong-kerohan program to monitor the impact the initiative will have on Bankerohan and its plastic waste output. He said the initiative may be replicated in the other public markets supervised by the CEE.

“We are supporting the advocacy of protecting our environment through the Bayong-kerohan program sa atong mga estudyante (of our students),” Macalipes said.

Second year AdDU communication student and Bayong-kerohan project head Jezreel Francisco said the advocacy campaign is not only geared at reducing the plastic waste output of the city, but may also add another source of livelihood for groups that will supply the bayongs and other eco-friendly bags and containers to public market merchants and shoppers.

For updates on the project, check out: