Consumers seek writ of kalikasan against MWSS


Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS). Photo from

MANILA, Philippines—A coalition of consumer groups in Metro Manila and nearby provinces has asked the Court of Appeals to issue a “writ of kalikasan” to stop the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and its two concessionaires from using a combined sewerage drainage system.

The Water for All Refund Movement (WARM), through its president Rodolfo Javellana Jr. and lawyer Anthony Edsel Conrad Tupaz, said the collection in a single pipe system of rainwater and raw sewage posed a threat to the environment and public health.

A writ of kalikasan would lead to appropriate protection orders and mandate court hearings on the environment and health issues.

In its 31-page petition, WARM said there were urgent safety concerns: “[W]hen there is more rainwater than the system can handle, a mixture of raw sewage and rainwater goes directly from the sewer system to a body of water without first being treated. It is the same as dumping highly toxic raw sewage into a natural body of water, an act prohibited by law.”

The overflowing of sewage-contaminated rainwater during floods also contributes to the spread of waterborne diseases such as leptospirosis, dengue and typhoid fever, the groups said.

Warm pointed out that a combined drainage system was already “clearly acknowledged” by developed and developing countries alike as something that would do more harm that good.

The coalition sought a temporary environmental protection order (Tepo) that would direct the MWSS and its concessionaires, Maynilad Water Services Inc. (MWSI) and Manila Water Co. Inc. (MWCI), to implement an adequate sewerage and sanitation plan and to stop collecting “environmental/sanitation” charges from consumers.

WARM said the combined drainage and sewerage system used by MWSI and MWCI, which was authorized by MWSS and has clearance from the departments of Health and Environment, violated “a host of environmental laws.”

MWSI and MWCI also have yet to submit their plans and projects for the construction of wastewater treatment facilities in Metro Manila, Rizal and Cavite up to the year 2037, which the Supreme Court ordered in the 2008 case of MMDA v Concerned Citizens of Manila Bay, also called the Oposa Case. Jerome Aning

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  • Ynigo Villanueva

    Maynilad and Manila water provides us 24 x 7 water availability. What those WARM wants? to give us a 1 hour per day water supply. tss! back to basic.

  • Ramon Guerrero

    Ever since the Writ of Kalikasan was conceived, every two-bit protest movement has been using it as a springboard, hoping that its very existence will compensate for the dearth of expertise in their arguments. (Vague attributions to other countries without accompanying data don’t count as citations.)

    WARM is clearly launching a two-pronged attack (the other being their protest on income tax charges) simultaneously. Interesting timing, that Writ of Kalikasan threat. Could it be because their original complaint hasn’t a leg to stand on? Most of the posts below address WARM’s claims most ably. The protestors cannot use generalities without taking into account the specifics.

    We see a sample of the Writ’s proponents below, where one commentator bandies semantics and calls a person (not an organization) ‘stupid’. Add to that incoherent attempts at economic exposition and rehashing issues that have already been addressed, and we see a sampling of the mentality who want water service nationalized.

  • parefrank

    Water cleaning at 2037? With the population increasing like rabbits, Manila Bay will look and stink like most of the public CRs where some people urinate beside the bowl and wipe their dirty fingers (no paper) at the walling.
    In really civilised countries, all waste water is recycled and already usual to four stages, releasing the water to rivers at a drinking quality. That also with view at the looming fresh water problems with melting glaciers which provide a big part of clean water.

  • tugas

    Stupid wArm. They want concessionaires to put up wastewater system but does not want them to be charged to consumers. San kukunin ang pondo? Sa hangin?

    • parefrank

      Stupid yourself. It is ony here that such companies can put all costs to the customers and still say “we are the owner”. Here, the customers pay all costs and fees of construction and then the costs of using and maintaining it, but the company is the owner without to spend any own money. Power, telephone etc. the same. Even loan interests and exchange rate variations are charfed to customers. And as recently seen, bonuses, gifts, travel costs and the coffee.
      But they call them “public Services” , omly with the reverse meaning that the public has to serve them.

      • tugas

        stupid you. Do you know that upon cessation of the said agreement all infratructures that were put up would revert back to the government. You better start informing yourself before you say anything. Imbecile

  • eight_log

    This is meant only to muddle more important issues!!!!

  • ern

    These consumer groups are dreaming…Do they even know what they are talking about?

    The present system is combined, and toilet wastes start from the poso negro into the only drainage pipes along the streets. So they want to have the entire metro manila roads to be excavated in order to lay another line/system of pipes exclusively for domestic waste? This will only work for new land developments.

  • rolandtr

    What about a writ of kalikasan for all informal dwellers living in the esteros.They put so many people in urban areas at risk and has destroyed the natural flow for surface runoff in Metro Manila.

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