The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Philippines announced on September 15, 2021 that the fines imposed in violation of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Administrative Order No. 2016-08 regulating effluent standards would not be refunded. The announcement came after exporters of electronic equipment asked the government to reimburse fines that they had received in violation of Republic Act 9275 or the Philippine Clean Water Act. The DENR Administrative Order No. 2016-08 was partially amended in June 2021 to relax the thresholds for some parameters of the effluent standards, yet the EMB explains that the fines were imposed on companies in accordance with the existing environmental regulations at that time.
The DENR Administrative Order No. 2021-19, published in June 2021, revised the DENR Administrative Order No. 2016-08 to relax the thresholds for some parameters. However, according to William P. Cuñado, Director of the BEM, the issuance of the DENR Administrative Order No. 2021-19 is a part of the agency’s functions to review and revise effluent standards every five years or sooner, as stipulated in RA 9275 and there was no intention to relax but rather update the effluent standards.
The EMB’s news release on this matter can be viewed at the following URL