Water firms to appeal SC ruling
By Ronnel W. Domingo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
September 19, 2019 at 5:00 am

The two concessionaires of Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) intend to ask the Supreme Court to reconsider a decision announced in August, which imposed fines of about P1 billion each company for violation of the Clean Water Act.

Both Maynilad Water Services Inc.—through owners Metro Pacific Investment Corp. (MPIC) and DMCI Holdings Inc.—and Manila Water Co. said yesterday they had received a copy of the decision promulgated on Aug. 6.

The Supreme Court said each concessionaire, separately as well as jointly with MWSS, was liable to a total of about P921.5 million in penalty effective since May 7, 2009.

The respective fines should be paid within 15 days from when the decision has become 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 fines imposed by the decision should earn an interest of 6 percent yearly from finality and until full settlement of the fines.

In its decision, the high tribunal affirmed, albeit with changes, the decisions of the Court of Appeals that find Maynilad, Manila Water and MWSS guilty of violating Section 8 of the Clean Water Act.

The law mandates these entities to connect all existing sewage lines to the available sewerage system within five years from its effectivity, which started on May 6, 2004.

“We would like to affirm that [we] will exercise all legal options, including the filing of a motion for reconsideration by Oct. 2,” Manila Water said in a regulatory filing.

Also, in separate disclosures to the Philippine Stock Exchange, MPIC and DMCI said Maynilad would do the same on or before Oct. 2.

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