PCCI appeals for environmental regulatory relief under Bayanahin 3
Calls on DENR to extend DAO grace period to 3 years
June 4, 2021 - The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the country’s largest business organization, has appealed to the Senate to include an environmental regulatory relief provision for the industry in the proposed Bayanihan Act 3 to help businesses cope with the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
The PCCI has also called on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to extend to three years, without penalties, the grace period for the enforcement of the (DAO) 2016-08: Water Quality Guidelines and General Effluent Standard from its effectivity on June 18, 2021. DAO 2016-08 covers all businesses, including micro and small, commercial establishments, offices and institutions. Non-compliance will be imposed with penalties for a minimum of P10,000 daily, provided for under Republic Act 9275 or the Philippine Clean Water Act and its implementing rules and regulations.
PCCI President Bendicto V. Yujuico, in a letter to Senate President Vicente Sotto III, said that compliance with standards imposed under the DAO 2016-08 would entail substantial capital investment, operational and maintenance expenses which may hamper the recovery of business from the devastating impact of the pandemic.
“Given the present situation, we appeal to our government to reconsider the implementation of this DAO 2016-08, at least to give businesses a grace period of three years. We cannot afford at this time to add burden, especially to MSMEs that are trying to recover from this pandemic,” Yujuico said.
He added that all businesses are facing many difficulties particularly in trying to fulfill the Compliance Action Plan (CAP) required under the DAO, which include among others, travel restrictions, reduced manpower deployment, lack of technology and limited financial resources.
Yujuico said that under Bayanihan 1 & 2, the government provided relief measures to stimulate the economy, these include the provision of financial assistance to affected industry, streamlining of business permitting and licensing system, extension of deadlines and waiving of imposition of penalties and interest on non-compliance with their respective regulations, among others. Environmental regulatory relief was however not included.
PCCI is also recommending a relief from imposition of penalties and issuances of notice of violation to assist businesses in their respective recovery efforts.
PCCI Director for the Environment Committee and Climate Change Committee Jose P. Leviste, Jr. said that the environmental relief that will be provided to industry will not compromise the environment as DENR will continue to enforce alla environmental laws and constant monitoring of effluents levels will still be performed