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Lito Atienza welcomes P1.35B budget for Manila Bay rehab in 2020

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Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza has welcomed the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) allocation of P1.35 billion for the rehabilitation of Manila Bay in 2020.

Citing the DENR’s budget proposal, Atienza said the fund will be spent to renew and preserve Manila Bay’s coastal and marine ecosystem.

“We will of course continue to support all new spending to revitalize Manila Bay. But Malacañang really has to crack the whip on the two water concessionaires that have been defying the Clean Water Act,” he said.

Last month, the Supreme Court upheld a 2009 DENR order penalizing Manila Water and Maynilad, along with the Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System, with a combined P1.84-billion fine for their failure to put up sewage lines, violating Section 8 of the Clean Water Act.

Atienza himself issued the 2009 order when he was DENR head.

The Supreme Court said Manila Water, Maynilad and the MWSS will have to continue to pay a P322,102 daily fine until they comply with the Clean Water Act.

The fine escalates by 10 percent in two years, plus legal interest of six percent per annum.

Atienza said it is imperative for Maynilad and Manila Water to put up sewer lines since bulk of Metro Manila’ water waste still ends up in Pasig River.