What Went Before: Firms fined for violating Clean Water Act
In August, the Supreme Court, voting 14-0, ordered water concessionaires Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Manila Water Co. to pay nearly P1 billion each in fines for violation of the Clean Water Act.
The case stemmed from a Department of Environment and Natural Resources decision in 2009 to fine the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), Maynilad and Manila Water for violating Section 8 of Republic Act No. 9275 or the Philippine Clean Water Act.
The law requires the MWSS and the two concessionaires to connect sewage lines in subdivisions, homes, complexes, commercial buildings and other establishments to the available sewerage system.
In 2011, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the environment department.
The Supreme Court, in its decision promulgated on Aug. 6, said each concessionaire, separately as well as jointly with the MWSS, was liable to a total of P921.5 million in penalty effective May 7, 2009.
The fines should be paid within 15 days from when the decision became final.
They will be slapped an additional fine that starts at P322,101 per day of failure to settle the penalty. This will increase by 10 percent every two years of failure.
Also, the Supreme Court said the total amount of the fines should earn an interest of 6 percent yearly from finality and until full settlement of the fines.
Earlier this month, the two water firms, in separate motions, asked the Supreme Court to reverse its ruling ordering them to pay the fines. —Inquirer Research
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