MANILA - The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and its two concessionaires are not barred from using a combined drainage sewerage system.
This, as the Court of Appeals (CA) junked a petition for a writ of kalikasan by a consumer group, which sought to stop the allegedly hazardous system.
"The petitioner neither cited nor appended in their petition any scientific or other expert studies linking the combined sewerage system to the alleged damage to the environment," the 17th division of the appellate court said in a ruling penned by Associate Justice Pedro Corales.
It is even unclear if the combined sewerage system is already operating or is just part of a business plan. Thus, there is no urgent ground to issue a halt order, the CA said.
In its petition last month, a consumer group called Water for All Refund Movement (WARM) led by president Rodolfo Javellana, Jr. said the sewerage system – where rainwater and sewage are collected – lacks the necessary permit from the Departments of Health and Environment and Natural Resources.
On a technical ground, the appellate court said the group does not even have a legal standing to form a basis in filing the case.
"Even if we consider it as an organization of citizens who are consumers of MWSS, there is no proof of its accreditation or registration with any government agency as required in Section 1, Rule 7 of the Rules of Procedure of Environment Cases,” the CA said.
Associate Justices Normandie Pizarro and Florito Macalino concurred in this ruling.