THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has ordered Holcim Philippines, Inc. to pay a P400,000 fine for violating the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004, following an oil spill at the company’s La Union cement plant last year, the company said Wednesday.

“In connection with the oil spill incident at the Holcim La Union Plant which occurred on July 4, 2020, the Pollution Adjudication Board of the Environmental Management Bureau ordered Holcim Philippines, Inc. to pay a fine of P400,000 for violation of Republic Act No. 9275 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations,” the company said in a filing to the bourse.

In a statement, Holcim Philippines said the clean-up was completed on July 6. The company added that it will seek a reconsideration of the fine, citing its “immediate and effective response” in addressing the oil spill, which it said was caused by heavy rains.

“The company will move for a reconsideration of the penalty based on the plant’s immediate and effective response to prevent adverse impact on the environment. These included fast containment of the spill through reinforced sand barriers, siphoning of the water in the creek, and retrieval of debris to prevent seepage into the sea,” Holcim Philippines said.

It added that its La Union plant “has strengthened its pollution control facilities to ensure that the incident does not happen again.”

The company has four other cement manufacturing facilities in Bulacan, Batangas, Misamis Oriental and Davao, as well as facilities focusing on aggregates, the dry mix business and technical support. — Angelica Y. Yang