MANILA WATER Co., Inc. said on Wednesday it will exercise all its legal options, including the filing of a motion for reconsideration by Oct. 2 in response to the Supreme Court (SC) decision that found the company liable for fines for violation of the Philippine Clean Water Act.
Separately, the parent firm of Maynilad Water Services, Inc. said it will file a motion for reconsideration on the same court decision on the water concessionaire on or before Oct. 2.
The company’s main shareholders Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) and DMCI Holdings, Inc. filed separate disclosures to the stock exchange on Wednesday.
The companies said they received a copy of the decision of the Supreme Court en banc on the case. The secretary of the Department of Environment of Natural Resources is also a respondent in the case.
In said decision, the Supreme Court found the company liable for fines for violation of Section 8 of the Philippine Clean Water Act.
Manila Water said the company is jointly and severally liable with the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) for the total amount of P921,464,184 covering the period starting from May 7, 2009 to the date of promulgation of the decision, Aug., 2019, to be paid within 15 days from finality of the decision.
From finality of the decision until full payment of the fine, Manila Water is to be fined the initial amount of P322,102 per day, subject to a further 10% increase every two years as provided under Section 28 of the Philippine Clean Water Act, until full compliance with Section 8 of the same law.
The total amount of fines imposed by the decision is to earn legal interest of 6% per annum from finality and until its full satisfaction.
In their disclosures, MPIC and DMCI cited the same fines for Maynilad.
Sec. 8 of the law mandates MWSS, as the government agency vested with the duty to provide water and sewerage services, and/or the concessionaires in Metro Manila and other highly urbanized cities — as defined in the Local Government Code — to connect all existing sewage lines to the available sewerage system within five years from the law’s effectivity or from May 6, 2004.
The decision also enjoins all water supply and sewerage facilities and/or concessionaires in Metro Manila and other highly urbanized cities to comply strictly with Sec. 8 of the law.
On Wednesday, shares in Manila Water slipped by 1.36% to P21.70 each. Shares in MPIC rose by 0.20% to P5.06, while DMCI shares declined by 1.21% to P8.99 each. — Victor V. Saulon