PCCI: needed investment to meet new effluent standards to hurt businesses

Businesses are seeking a three-year extension of the grace period to comply with the Water Quality Guidelines and General Effluent Standards of 2016, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said.

In a statement on Friday, the PCCI said that compliance with standards in the Administrative Order 2016-08 of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) “would entail substantial capital investment, operational and maintenance expenses, which may hamper the recovery of businesses from the devastating impact of the pandemic.”

“We cannot afford at this time to add burden, especially to MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) that are trying to recover from this pandemic,” PCCI President Bendicto V. Yujuico said.

The DENR’s administrative order covers all businesses.

“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,” the PCCI noted.

The group is also seeking the inclusion of an environmental regulatory relief provision for businesses in the proposed third Bayanihan Act to help them recover from the impact of the public health crisis. — Arjay L. Balinbin