2

organization duly organized and existing under Philippine laws and with principal place of business at 640 Morales Avenue, Brgy. Gen. Paulino Santos, Koronadal City and with members in the Municipality of Majayjay, Laguna, hereto represented by its Secretary General, Atty. Paterno L. Esmaquel, also of legal age and with office address at Unit 1706 17th Floor, Prestige Tower, F. Ortigas Jr. Rd., Ortigas Center, Pasig City. The oppositor Froilan T. Gruezo is a concerned citizen and resident of Majayjay, Laguna (Majayjay for short), while PPP has members in Majayjay who will be directly affected and prejudiced by the instant application for water permits subject matter of this opposition. It is part of the advocacies of PPP to promote good governance, transparency and accountability in our Government as well as in our public officers/employees. The PPP is duly represented hereto by its Secretary General, Atty. Paterno L. Esmaquel, who is likewise from Majayjay, Laguna. A copy each of the original and amended Articles of Incorporation of PPP and the necessary Secretary’s Certificate are hereto attached as Annexes “A”, “B” and “C”, respectively.

3

II SUMMARY STATEMENT MATTERS INVOLVED OF THE

Majayjay is situated at the foot of the mystical Mt. Banahaw. It is blessed with abundant sources of fresh potable water coming from various springs flowing to various rivers which naturally flow and drain to Laguna Lake. The subject applications for water permits shall and will affect the ecological balance of Laguna Lake as waters coming from the various springs and rivers of Majayjay will be diverted for Municipal and Commercial uses without comprehensive ecological study on its long term impact and effects to Laguna de Bay. Majayjay has an existing water system which is now almost 100 years old. As provided in the 1933 case decided by the Supreme Court entitled “The Municipality of Majayjay, plaintiff-appellee vs. Tomas Dizon, et.al., defendants-appellants,” GR No. L-3538, February 9, 1933, the water system of Majayjay was constructed in or before August 1920. The Majayjay Waterworks System (MWS for short) was named “Guevarra Waterworks System” in honor of the late stateman Hon. Pedro Guevarra, the then Senator for the Fourth Senatorial District and the author of Act No. 2773, the law which

4

authorized the issuance of the bonds that were used for the construction of MWS. From 1920’s up to the present time, the main source of water of MWS for distribution to the inhabitants/people of Majayjay is the “Sinabak Spring” located at Brgy. Malinao, Majayjay, Laguna. In other words, for almost 100 years now, Majayjay has been extracting and drawing water from Sinabak Spring which is being distributed to its inhabitants/people thru the MWS. Through the years and due to old age, the MWS was already repaired and rehabilitated for several times and the water coming from Sinabak Spring was and is being augmented by water coming from other water sources of Majayjay. But up to this time, Majayjay still principally relies upon MWS for the distribution of potable water to its inhabitants/ people. For the households covered by the MWS, the present water rate in Majayjay is P33.00 per house with supply of water for three (3) hours a day, more or less, at the estimated volume of 1,000 liters or one (1) cubic meter per day or thirty (30) cubic meters per month. Stated differently, for a price of P33.00 per house, the

inhabitants/people of Majayjay covered by MWS are receiving/

5

drawing water from MWS at the rate of more than 10 cubic meters and up to 30 cubic meters of water per month, more or less. It was under the foregoing background that Majayjay entered into and executed with the applicant the Contract for the Supply of Bulk Water dated August 1, 2011 which provides for a mind boggling term of 100 years, inclusive of the 50 years automatic extension, at the revenue sharing of 90% in favor the applicant and 10% in favor of Majayjay. Under the said Contract for the Supply of Bulk Water, the applicant was granted the right of first refusal to extract water from “all water sources of Majayjay” for the said period of 100 years and the right to sell bulk water to Majayjay and its neighboring towns. A copy of the said Contract for the Supply of Bulk Water is hereto attached as Annex “D”. Subsequently, Majayjay entered into a separate Water Supply Contracts, both dated December 30, 2011, with the Municipalities of Lumban, Laguna and Sta. Cruz, Laguna. Copies of the said two (2) Water Supply Contracts are hereto attached as Annexes “E” and “F”, respectively. It is interesting to take note that Majayjay was the one made to appear as the Water Supplier of bulk water to Lumban and Sta. Cruz under the said Water Supply Contract (Annexes “E” and “F” hereof)

6

although the applicant was the one granted the right to supply bulk water to Majayjay and its neighboring towns under the Contract for the Supply of Bulk Water dated August 1, 2011 (Annex “D” hereof). On account of which, Majayjay will bear all the responsibilities and obligations for the supply of bulk water to Lumban and Sta. Cruz, including the posting of the required performance security, but the sharing arrangement of the proceeds of the sale of bulk water will remain the same at 90% in favor of the applicant and 10% in favor of Majayjay. Owing to the above-described three (3) water contracts which are manifestly and grossly disadvantageous against Majayjay, the oppositors filed a criminal complaint in the Ombudsman for three (3) counts of violation of Sec. 3 (g) of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt-Practices, against Mayor Teofilo Guera, Vice Mayor Ana Linda C. Rosas and the seven (7) members of the Sangguniang Bayan of Majayjay and the President (Arcadio Gapangada) of the applicant, together with the corresponding administrative complaint against the respondent public officials, which criminal complaint and administrative complaint are docketed in the Ombudsman as OMB-L-C-12-0300-G and OMB-L-A-

7

12-0332-G, respectively. A copy of the body of the said complaint is hereto attached as Annex “G”. The subject applications for water permits were obviously filed by the applicant to pursue and consummate the sale of bulk water contemplated under the above-described three (3) water contracts. In other words, it was under this circumstance that the applicant filed the subject applications for water permits without any comprehensive ecological study on the long term effects of the extraction of high volume of waters from the water resources of Majayjay to the ecological balance of Laguna Lake and the lives of the people of Majayjay. III GROUNDS RELIED UPON TO THE OPPOSITION TO THE INSTANT THREE (3) APPLICATIONS FOR ISSUANCE OF WATER PERMITS. The oppositors hereby oppose and object to the subject applications for water permits on the grounds that: A. THE SUBJECT APPLICATIONS FOR WATER

PERMITS SHALL AND WILL ADVERSELY AFFECT THE ECOLOGICAL BALANCE OF LAGUNA LAKE.

8

B. THE

SUBJECT

APPLICATIONS

FOR

WATER

PERMITS SHALL AND WILL ADVERSELY AFFECT THE AGRICULTURAL LANDS OF MAJAYJAY. C. THE APPLICANT DOES NOT HAVE TITLE OR OWNERSHIP OVER THE PARCEL OF LAND WHERE THE SPRING SOURCE IS LOCATED. THERE IS NO PROOF OF LAND OWNERSHIP OF, LEGAL TITLE TO OR RIGHT OR INTEREST USE, THE PROPERTY ON WHICH THE WATER SOURCE IS SITUATED. D. THE APPLICANT DOES NOT HAVE ANY RIGHT AT ALL TO APPLY FOR THE WATER PERMITS. E. THE APPLICANT DOES NOT HAVE AUTHORITY TO APPLY FOR WATER PERMIT AS THE RIGHT TO APPLY FOR WATER PERMITS PERTAINS TO THE MUNICIPALITY OF MAJAYJAY IN THAT THE SUBJECT WATER PERMIT APPLICATIONS ARE CONTRARY TO THE TERM OF THE CONTRACT FOR THE SUPPLY OF BULK WATER DATED AUGUST 1, 2011 BY AND BETWEEN IBDC AND THE MUNICIPALITY OF MAJAYJAY (MAJAYJAY FOR SHORT).

9 F.

THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE WATER PERMITS APPLICATION IS FOR OTHER PURPOSES OR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES, AND NOT SOLELY FOR DOMESTIC AND/OR MUNICIPAL PURPOSES.

G. THE APPLICATION FOR WATER PERMIT IS NOT MAINLY FOR THE REHABILITATION OF

MAJAYJAY WATERWORKS SYSTEM BUT FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES OR FOR THE SALE OF BULK WATER TO NEIGHBORING TOWNS. H. THE CERTIFICATION DATED FEBRUARY 9, 2009 OF MAYOR TEOFILO GUERA OF MAJAYJAY IS FALSE BECAUSE THE PURPOSE OF THE SUBJECT WATER PERMITS APPLICATIONS IS NOT MAINLY FOR REHABILITATION BUT FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES OR FOR THE SALE OF THE BULK WATER TO NEIGHBORING TOWNS. I. THE SUBJECT WATER PERMITS APPLICATIONS ARE CONTRARY TO THE DESCENDING PURPOSES AND USES OF WATER AS PROVIDED UNDER THE IMPLEMENTING RULES AND REGULATIONS

10

IMPLEMENTING LLDA B.R. NO. 2007-338 (IRRLLDA FOR SHORT). J. SINABAK SPRING, PATAK-PATAK SPRING AND MANGULILA SPRING ARE EXISTING

GROUNDWATER SOURCES AND THERE IS NO WATER PERMIT FROM NWRB ATTACHED TO THE SUBJECT APPLICATIONS FOR WATER PERMITS AS REQUIRED UNDER THE IRR-LLDA. K. THERE IS NO PROPER NOTICE TO THE

BARANGAY CHAIRMAN WHERE PATAK-PATAK SPRING IS LOCATED AS THE LATTER IS NOT SITUATED IN BRGY. AMONOY BUT IN BRGY. BALAYONG, MAJAYJAY, LAGUNA.
L.

THE

SUBJECT

APPLICATIONS

FOR

WATER

PERMITS WILL CAUSE ADVERSE EFFECT TO PUBLIC AND/OR PRIVATE INTEREST. M. THE SUBJECT APPLICATIONS FOR WATER

PERMITS WILL AFFECT THE PRESENT BRGY. WATER SYSTEM.

11

N. THERE

IS

NO

PROOF

THAT

THE

SAMPLE

SUBMITTED IS THE SAME SAMPLE THAT WAS SUBJECTED TO LABORATORY EXAMINATION.
O.

IT DOES NOT APPEAR FROM THE RECORDS OF THE SUBJECT THAT APPLICATIONS NOTICES OF FOR WATER

PERMITS

APPLICATIONS

WERE POSTED TO THE FOLLOWING OFFICES FOR POSTING IN CONSPICUOUS PLACES WITHIN

THIRTY (30) DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THE APPLICATION AS REQUIRED UNDER SECTION 9 OF THE IRR-LLDA, TO WIT:
(a)

BRGY. CHAIRMAN OF THE PLACE WHERE THE POINT OF DIVERSION IS LOCATED;

(b)

PROVINCIAL

SECRETARY

OF

THE

SANGGUNIANG PANLALAWIGAN OF THE PROVINCE WHERE THE POINT OF

DIVERSION IS LOCATED; (c) DPWH DISTRICT ENGINEER OR NIA IRRIGATION OFFICER AS THE CASE MAY BE.

12

P.

THERE IS NO PROOF THAT THE INVESTIGATION AND STUDIES REQUIRED UNDER SECTION 10 OF THE IRR-LLDA WERE CONDUCTED BY THE OFFICE CONCERNED AS THERE EXISTS NO RECORDS OF THE INVESTIGATION AND STUDIES OF: 1. THE APPROXIMATE SEASONAL

DISCHARGE OF THE WATER SOURCES; 2. THE AMOUNT OF WATER ALREADY

APPROPRIATED FOR BENEFICIAL USE; 3. THE WATER REQUIREMENT OF THE AS OF DETERMINED BENEFICIAL FROM USE

APPLICANT STANDARDS

PRESCRIBED BY THE LLDA/NWRB;
4.

POSSIBLE

ADVERSE

EFFECTS

ON OR

EXISTING

GRANTEES/PERMITTEES

PUBLIC/ PRIVATE INTEREST INCLUDING MITIGATING MEASURES; 5. 6. ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS; LAND-USE ECONOMICS;

13

7.

WHETHER

THE

AREA

TO

BE

IRRIGATED WITH THAT OF AN EXISTING OR PROPOSED IRRIGATION ASSOCIATION FOR COMMON IRRIGATION FACILITIES, IF THE PURPOSE IS FOR IRRIGATION ONLY; 8. 9. CLIMATE CONDITIONS AND CHANGES; OTHER RELEVANT FACTORS.

Q. THE APPLICATIONS FOR WATER PERMITS SHALL AND WILL PUT IN DANGER THE LIVES AND HEALTH OF THE PEOPLE OF MAJAYJAY AS THEY WERE MADE IN VIOLATION OF SECTION 13 OF THE IRR-LLDA WHICH PROVIDES THAT “NO CONSTRUCTION WORK OR PRIVATE SECTOR PROJECT SHALL COMMENCE UNTIL THE PLANS, SPECIFICATIONS AND IMPLEMENTING

SCHEDULES ARE DULY APPROVED.”

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IV DISCUSSION A THE SUBJECT APPLICATIONS FOR WATER PERMITS SHALL AND WILL ADVERSELY AFFECT THE ECOLOGICAL BALANCE OF LAGUNA LAKE. The subject applications for water permits shall and will endanger the balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature, especially in Laguna de Bay Region. The water right granted by Majayjay to applicant to extract water from all sources of Majayjay for a period of 100 years will certainly create ecological imbalance and put in danger the life of Laguna Lake as it appears that there is no comprehensive study ever conducted on the possible long term effect to Laguna Lake of the extraction by a private company of water from all water sources of Majayjay for the period of 100 years. For instance, in the water application to extract water from Mangulila Springs in Brgy. Piit, Majayjay alone, the applicant will extract water from Mangulila Springs for diversion/distribution to Magdalena, Sta. Cruz and Lumban at the rate of 900 LITERS PER

15

SECOND (LPS) or 54,000 LITERS PER MINUTE or 3,240,000 LITERS PER HOUR or 77,760,000 LITERS PER DAY or 2,332,800,000 LITERS PER MONTH or 27,993,600,000 LITERS PER YEAR. Mangulila Springs naturally flows and drains to

Dalitawan River of Majayjay. On the other hand, Dalitawan River naturally flows and drains to water tributaries leading to Laguna Lake. There is no available comprehensive study conducted regarding the long term effect of diverting from Laguna Lake 7,760,000 LITERS PER DAY of water coming from Mangulila Spring. Neither is there a comprehensive study conducted on the long term effect to Laguna Lake of getting water directly from Dalitiwan River. Nor is there a comprehensive study conducted on the long term effect to Laguna Lake of getting water for domestic use from other major sources of water of Majayjay such as Olla River, Balanak River and Maimpis River. All these rivers naturally flow and drain to Laguna Lake. In fact, the so-called water project of the applicant did not pass and was not reviewed by the Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator’s Office to ensure that there is or there will be no adverse effect to Laguna Lake, as evidenced by a Certification hereto marked and attached as Annex “H”.

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Mangulila, Sinabak and Patak-Patak Springs naturally flow and drain to various rivers of Majayjay. Rivers with highly altered and regulated flows lose their ability to support natural processes and will gradually lose its existence. Clearly then, since there is no comprehensive study ever conducted to determine the long term effect to Laguna Lake of the diversion for domestic use or municipal use of water coming from water sources of Majayjay, there is great probability that this Honorable Office’s programs to promote and accelerate sustainable development in the Laguna de Bay Region and to preserve the ecological integrity therein would be rendered meaningless by the subject applications for water permit. B THE SUBJECT APPLICATIONS FOR WATER PERMITS SHALL AND WILL ADVERSELY AFFECT THE AGRICULTURAL LANDS OF MAJAYJAY. The subject applications for water permits shall and will adversely affect the agricultural lands of Majayjay. The springs of Majayjay not only give life to its rivers but the springs also support its irrigation system and/or the agricultural lands of Majayjay. In other words, the agricultural lands in Majayjay useless and

17

principally depend on the various Springs for irrigation. Without the water coming from the Springs, the agricultural lands in Majayjay will not be productive which will cause untold prejudice and damages to the people of Majayjay as Majayjay is principally an agricultural town. The subject applications for water permits, if granted, will authorize the applicant to extract water at the total rate of 82,944,000 LITERS PER DAY or 2,488,320,000 LITERS PER MONTH or 29,859,840,000 LITERS PER YEAR. The applicant will extract

82,944,000 LITERS PER DAY of water from various springs of Majayjay for domestic use and/or municipal use and/or commercial use and with no regard to the other beneficiaries who have relied from the springs of Majayjay since time immemorial. Due to abundant water, the lands in Majayjay are rich. Forestry is also abundant in Majayjay and the springs give life to it. The springs flow to its irrigation system. However, agricultural life in Majayjay might be in danger as there is no comprehensive study conducted to determine the long term effect of diverting 82,944,000 LITERS PER DAY of water coming from Mangulila, Sinabak and Patak-Patak Springs solely for domestic, municipal and commercial uses.

18

Most importantly, the oppositors received information that there is an irrigation water permit or water permit for agricultural use granted for extracting water from Sinabak Spring to assure and protect the supply of water to the agricultural lands along the path of the water flowing from Sinabak Spring. Thus, the said irrigation permit or water permit for agricultural use would be rendered nugatory upon the allowance of the applicant’s water permit application for Sinabak Spring considering there is no available study on record regarding the effect to the agricultural lands in Majayjay of the extraction of 2,592,000 LITERS PER DAY from Sinabak and its diversion for domestic use and/or municipal use. C THE APPLICANT DOES NOT HAVE TITLE OR OWNERSHIP OVER THE PARCEL OF LAND WHERE THE SPRING SOURCE IS LOCATED. THERE IS NO PROOF OF LAND OWNERSHIP OF, LEGAL TITLE TO OR RIGHT OR INTEREST USE, THE PROPERTY ON WHICH THE WATER SOURCE IS SITUATED. D THE APPLICANT DOES NOT HAVE ANY RIGHT AT ALL TO APPLY FOR THE WATER PERMITS.

19

E THE APPLICANT DOES NOT HAVE AUTHORITY TO APPLY FOR WATER PERMIT AS THE RIGHT TO APPLY FOR WATER PERMITS PERTAINS TO THE MUNICIPALITY OF MAJAYJAY IN THAT THE SUBJECT WATER PERMIT APPLICATIONS ARE CONTRARY TO THE TERM OF THE CONTRACT FOR THE SUPPLY OF BULK WATER DATED AUGUST 1, 2011 BY AND BETWEEN IBDC AND THE MUNICIPALITY OF MAJAYJAY (MAJAYJAY FOR SHORT). Being closely related, we will jointly discuss the grounds for opposition raised herein. It cannot be denied that the applicant did not present or attach to the petition any title or proof of ownership over the parcel of land where the springs (Sinabak Spring, Patak-Patak Spring and Mangulila Spring) subject matter of the applications are located. As provided under Sec. 5 of IRR-LLDA, one of the requirements for application for water permit for municipal use or any other use such as for commercial use is the title or proof of ownership over the parcel of land where the springs is located. The rule used the word “shall” which means that the requirement is mandatory. It is a settled rule that “the term ‘mandatory statutes’ is a generic term describing which require and not merely permit a course of action. They are characterized by such directives as

20

‘shall’ and not ‘may’.1 “A ‘mandatory’ provision in a statute is one, the omission to follow which, renders the proceedings to which it relates void.”2 Thus, on this score alone, the subject applications for water permits should be denied for utter lack or merit. Moreover, the applicant does not have any right at all to apply for the questioned water permits. The subject applications for water permits of the applicant were apparently filed by the applicant on the basis of its supposed right under the Contract for the Supply of Bulk Water dated August 1, 2011 by and between IBDC and the Municipality of Majayjay. Sad to say, however, it is expressly provided under Sec. 7 of the said Contract for the Supply of Bulk Water that the right to apply for water permit belongs to Majayjay and not to IBDC. The role of the applicant is merely to assist Majayjay in the application for water permits.3 Thus, it is quite clear that the applicant does not have the right at all to apply for the questioned water permits. F THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE WATER PERMITS APPLICATION IS FOR OTHER PURPOSES OR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES, AND NOT SOLELY FOR DOMESTIC AND/OR MUNICIPAL PURPOSES. G
1 2

Pineda, Ernesto L. Persons, 2000 ed., p. 20. Pineda, Ernesto L., Persons, 2000 ed., p. 19. 3 Section 6 of the Contract for the Supply of Bulk Water dated August 1, 2011.

21

THE APPLICATION FOR WATER PERMIT IS NOT MAINLY FOR THE REHABILITATION OF MAJAYJAY WATERWORKS SYSTEM BUT FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES OR FOR THE SALE OF BULK WATER TO NEIGHBORING TOWNS. H THE CERTIFICATION DATED FEBRUARY 9, 2009 OF MAYOR TEOFILO GUERA OF MAJAYJAY IS FALSE BECAUSE THE PURPOSE OF THE SUBJECT WATER PERMITS APPLICATIONS IS NOT MAINLY FOR REHABILITATION BUT FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES OR FOR THE SALE OF THE BULK A WATER TO NEIGHBORING TOWNS. I THE SUBJECT WATER PERMITS APPLICATIONS ARE CONTRARY TO THE DESCENDING PURPOSES AND USES OF WATER AS PROVIDED UNDER THE IMPLEMENTING RULES AND REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING LLDA B.R. NO. 2007-338 (IRR-LLDA FOR SHORT). We will also jointly discuss the grounds raised herein for the opposition as they are also closely related with each other. The applicant wants to make it appear that the subject applications for water permits are intended for municipal purposes and/or for the rehabilitation of the Majayjay Water Work System. For

22

this purpose, the applicant even attached to its application the Certification dated February 9, 2009 of Mayor Teofilo Guera of Majayjay attesting that the waters to be extracted from the above stated springs will be used in the rehabilitation of Majayjay Water Work System. The subject applications for water permits provide that the purpose of the extraction of water from the said spring sources is for domestic purposes. However, the body of the subject applications for water permits will show that the bulk of the water to be extracted from Sinabak Spring, Patak-patak Spring and Mangulila Spring will not be used for domestic purposes but for municipal purposes and other purposes such as commercial purposes. Use of surface water for domestic purposes has been defined as the utilization of the subject surface water directly drawn from a source by a household for drinking, washing, bathing, cooking, watering of gardens or animals and other domestic uses.4 On the other hand, the use of water for municipal purposes has been defined as the utilization of surface water for supplying the water requirements of a community, whether by piped or bulk distribution for domestic use, direct consumption, the drawer or abstractor of which being the national government, its
4

Sec. 1 of Rule 1 IRR-LLDA

23

subsidiary agencies, local government units, private persons, cooperatives or corporations.5 The applicant provides in the subject applications for water permits that Sinabak Spring source and Patak-Patak Spring source shall be diverted to Majayjay while the Mangulila Spring source shall be diverted to the Municipalities of Magdalena, Sta. Cruz and Lumban. These statements of the applicant under oath in the subject water applications are undeniable proof that the true and real purpose of subject applications for water permits is not to extract water for domestic purposes but to extract water for commercial purposes. This is so because, as would be shown in the subsequent discussion, the bulk of the water to be extracted will be diverted for commercial purposes in that the same will be diverted for sale as bulk water to the Municipalities of Magdalena, Sta. Cruz and Lumban. The descending purposes and uses of water as provided under Section 1 of Rule 1 of IRR-LLDA are as follows: a. Domestic b. Municipal c. Irrigation d. Power Generation
5

Sec. 1 Rule 1 of IRR-LLDA

24

e. Fisheries f. Poultry and Livestock Raising g. Industrial h. Recreational; and
i.

Other purposes

By diverting the bulk of the water to be extracted for commercial purposes, then the subject applications for water permits have flagrantly violated the above enumerated descending purposes and uses of water. The use of water for commercial purposes is the last in the descending purposes and uses of water. Before the water can be diverted and use for commercial purposes, the water must be first devoted for domestic, municipal and irrigation purposes which are obviously violated by the subject water applications. The bulk of the water to be extracted from the said three (3) Springs will not be diverted for domestic, municipal or irrigation uses or purposes in Majayjay but the same will be diverted for commercial purposes or for sale as bulk water to the Municipalities of Magdalena, Sta. Cruz and Lumban. Thus, the subject applications for water permits are clearly devoid of merit.

J

25

SINABAK SPRING, PATAK-PATAK SPRING AND MANGULILA SPRING ARE EXISTING GROUNDWATER SOURCES AND THERE IS NO WATER PERMIT FROM NWRB ATTACHED TO THE SUBJECT APPLICATIONS FOR WATER PERMITS AS REQUIRED UNDER THE IRR-LLDA. Sinabak Spring, Patak-Patak Spring and Mangulila Spring are existing ground water sources in Majayjay. In fact, Majayjay has been extracting and drawing water from Sinabak Spring for almost 100 years now. Patak-Patak Spring and Mangulila Spring are also existing groundwater sources in Majayjay. As provided under Republic Act No. 9275, otherwise known as the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004, groundwater means a subsurface water that occurs beneath a water table in soils and rocks, or in a geological formations. Section 5 of Rule 1 of IRR-LLDA explicitly provides that one of the strict requirements for water applications either for domestic use, municipal use or other use such as commercial use is the presentation and submission of Water Permit from NWRB. It is beyond dispute that the applicant failed to present and attach to its subject applications for water permits the required water permits from NWRB. Again, this requirement on the submission of the water permits from the NWRB regarding the existing groundwater source is a

26

mandatory requirement under the IRR-LLDA. As such, omission to follow which, renders the proceedings to which it relates void 6. Thus, the subject applications for water permits must fail. K THERE IS NO PROPER NOTICE TO THE BARANGAY CHAIRMAN WHERE PATAKPATAK SPRING IS LOCATED AS THE LATTER IS NOT SITUATED IN BRGY. AMONOY BUT IN BRGY. BALAYONG, MAJAYJAY, LAGUNA. In its applications for water permits under SWPA-12-01003, the applicant states that Patak-Patak Spring source is located at Brgy. Amonoy, Majayjay, Laguna. This is a big lie because Patak-Patak Spring is not located at Brgy. Amonoy but in Brgy. Balayong, Majayjay, Laguna, as shown in the attached Certification issued by Brgy. Chairman of Brgy. Balayong, Majayjay, Laguna hereto attached as Annex “I”. This clearly shows that the applicant makes false statement and representation under oath in its applications for water permit over Patak-Patak Spring source. Stated differently, due to the manifest failure to indicate the true and correct location of Patak-Patak Spring source, the applicant failed to comply with the requirements for the filing of application for water permits as the same resulted to the
6

Pineda, Ernesto L. Persons, 2000 ed., p.19.

27

failure to give the required notice to the Barangay Chairman and the failure to post the notice in the Office of the Barangay Chairman. L THE SUBJECT APPLICATIONS FOR WATER PERMITS WILL CAUSE ADVERSE EFFECT TO PUBLIC AND/OR PRIVATE INTEREST. M THE SUBJECT APPLICATIONS FOR WATER PERMITS WILL AFFECT THE PRESENT BRGY. WATER SYSTEM. We will jointly discuss the grounds raised herein for the opposition as they are also closely related with one another. In filing the subject applications for water permits, it does not appear that the applicant had made a comprehensive study on the long term effect to the people of Majayjay of extracting water from water sources in Majayjay for diversion to the Municipalities of Magdalena, Sta. Cruz and Lumban. It is significant to take note of the fact that the bulk of the waters to be extracted from the said three (3) Springs will not go to Majayjay but to the Municipalities of Magdalena, Sta. Cruz and Lumban. This is quite ridiculous and unjust. From the three (3) applications of water permits, 900 LITERS PER SECOND or 77,760,000 LITERS PER DAY will be diverted to

28

the Municipalities of Magdalena, Sta. Cruz and Lumban, while 30 Liters coming from Sinabak Spring and another 30 Liters coming from Patak-Patak Spring or the total of 60 LITERS PER SECOND or 5,184,000 LITERS PER DAY will be diverted for municipal use in Majayjay. There is a recurrent water shortage in Majayjay and thus it is unfair and unjust to the people of Majayjay for applicant to bring the water resources of Majayjay to the neighboring towns without first satisfying or filling the needs of the people of Majayjay. Before selling and diverting waters to the neighboring town, the applicant must fist satisfy the water requirements of the people of Majayjay pursuant to the descending purposes and uses of water as provided under Sec. 1 of Rule 1 of the IRR-LLDA. There is no available study in the record of subject applications on how the applicant will satisfy the recurrent water shortage in Majayjay and/or the needs for water of the people of Majayjay. Further, there are some informal/unregistered Barangay Water Systems in Majayjay which are extracting waters from either Sinabak Spring or Patak-Patak Spring for free distribution to the people of the Barangay. If the applicant would be granted water permits over Sinabak Spring and Patak-Patak Spring, the same will deprive the people of some Barangays of free water coming from Sinabak Spring

29

and Patak-Patak Spring. The informal/unregistered Barangay Water System drawing water from Sinabak Spring and Patak-Patak Spring have been extracting waters therefrom for several years now and thus they have already acquired vested right to extract water from Sinabak Spring and Patak-patak Spring. Accordingly, the grant of water permits to the applicant will result to the eventual closure of the said Barangay Water System which provides free water to the people of the Barangay, thereby resulting to untold prejudice and damages to the people of the concerned Barangays. Simply put, the grant of the questioned water permits will cause grave adverse effect and irreparable damages to the public. N THERE IS NO PROOF THAT THE SAMPLE SUBMITTED IS THE SAME SAMPLE THAT WAS SUBJECTED TO LABORATORY EXAMINATION. While it is true that the applicant has supposedly submitted a result of physical/chemical analysis of the sample of water from the said three (3) Springs, this does not prove that the sample submitted is the same sample that was subjected to laboratory examination. In fact the record shows that the water sample from Sinabak Spring was

30

collected on November 10, 2010, the receipt of the sample was on November 11, 2010, and the examination was done on November 11 to 18, 2010. The chain of custody from the time of collection on November 10, 2010 up to the time of examination on November 11 to 18, 2010 was not recorded. It also appears from the document

submitted by the applicant that the water sample was collected not by the testing laboratory itself. Thus, it has not been proven that the sample collected and examined are in fact one and the same. It is also worthy to note that Majayjay Waterworks is the name of the customer of San Pablo City Water District Laboratory as indicated on the submitted water sample test and analysis result. To emphasize, the applicant for the water permits is IBDC and not Majayjay Waterworks. Moreover, San Pablo City Water District Laboratory does not show that it is a Department of Health (DOH) accredited water testing laboratory and thus the result of the laboratory test is suspect and without legal force and effect.

O IT DOES NOT APPEAR FROM THE RECORDS OF THE SUBJECT APPLICATIONS FOR

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WATER PERMITS THAT NOTICES OF APPLICATIONS WERE POSTED TO THE FOLLOWING OFFICES FOR POSTING IN CONSPICUOUS PLACES WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THE APPLICATION AS REQUIRED UNDER SECTION 9 OF THE IRR-LLDA, TO WIT: a. BRGY. CHAIRMAN OF THE PLACE WHERE THE POINT OF DIVERSION IS LOCATED; b. PROVINCIAL SECRETARY OF THE SANGGUNIANG PANLALAWIGAN OF THE PROVINCE WHERE THE POINT OF DIVERSION IS LOCATED; c. DPWH DISTRICT ENGINEER OR NIA IRRIGATION OFFICER AS THE CASE MAY BE. P THERE IS NO PROOF THAT THE INVESTIGATION AND STUDIES REQUIRED UNDER SECTION 10 OF THE IRR-LLDA WERE CONDUCTED BY THE OFFICE CONCERNED AS THERE EXISTS NO RECORDS OF THE INVESTIGATION AND STUDIES OF: 1. THE APPROXIMATE SEASONAL DISCHARGE OF THE WATER SOURCES; 2. THE AMOUNT OF WATER APPROPRIATED FOR BENEFICIAL USE; ALREADY

3. THE WATER REQUIREMENT OF THE APPLICANT AS DETERMINED FROM STANDARDS OF BENEFICIAL USE PRESCRIBED BY THE LLDA/NWRB;

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4. POSSIBLE ADVERSE EFFECTS ON EXISTING GRANTEES/PERMITTEES OR PUBLIC/PRIVATE INTEREST INCLUDING MITIGATING MEASURES; 5. 6. ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS; LAND-USE ECONOMICS;

7. WHETHER THE AREA TO BE IRRIGATED WITH THAT OF AN EXISTING OR PROPOSED IRRIGATION ASSOCIATION FOR COMMON IRRIGATION FACILITIES, IF THE PURPOSE IS FOR IRRIGATION ONLY; 8. 9. CLIMATE CONDITIONS AND CHANGES; OTHER RELEVANT FACTORS. We will also jointly discuss the grounds for the opposition raised herein as they are also closely related with one another. It does not appear from the records of the subject applications for water permits that the concerned Brgy. Chairman of the place where the aforestated Springs are located have issued a certification that the applications were posted at the Office of the concerned Brgy. Chairman. Neither is there a certification issued and attached to the applications that the Provincial Secretary of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the Province of Laguna has posted in its office the subject applications for water permits nor is there a certification issued by the DPWH, District Engineer or NIA Irrigation Officer regarding the posting in his Office of the subject applications.

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The IRR-LLDA clearly provides that the notice of the application must be posted in the offices concerned and the apparent purpose of the posting of the notice is to inform the public about the application. This purpose of the IRR-LLDA was obviously not achieved in the absence of the required certification of the posting of the notice from the concerned Brgy. Chairman, Provincial Secretary of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and the DPWH District Engineer, or NIA Irrigation Officer. Similarly, there is no proof attached to or available in the records of the subject applications for water permits that the investigations and studies required under Sec. 10 of IRR-LLDA were conducted by the office concerned. In other words, the requirements for filing of application for water permits as provided under Sections 9 and 10 of IRR-LLDA were not complied with by the applicant. Those requirements provided under Sections 9 and 10 of IRR-LLDA are strict and mandatory requirements in the filing of the application for water permit and thus the violation of which renders the application null and void and without legal effect. Acts executed against the provisions of mandatory or prohibitory laws shall be void, except when the law itself authorizes their validity.7
7

Article 5, The Civil Code of the Philippines.

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A mandatory statute is one that contains words of command or of prohibition, the omission to follow which renders the proceeding to which it relates illegal and void, or the violation which makes the decision therein rendered invalid. Acts executed against the

provisions of mandatory or prohibitory laws shall be void, except when the law itself authorizes their validity.8 Q THE APPLICATIONS FOR WATER PERMITS SHALL AND WILL PUT IN DANGER THE LIVES AND HEALTH OF THE PEOPLE OF MAJAYJAY AS THEY WERE MADE IN VIOLATION OF SECTION 13 OF THE IRRLLDA WHICH PROVIDES THAT “NO CONSTRUCTION WORK OR PRIVATE SECTOR PROJECT SHALL COMMENCE UNTIL THE PLANS, SPECIFICATIONS AND IMPLEMENTING SCHEDULES ARE DULY APPROVED.” The applications for water permits shall and will put in danger the lives and health of the people of Majayjay as they were made in violation of Section 13 of the IRR-LLDA which provides that “no construction work or private sector project shall commence until the plans, specifications and implementing schedules are duly approved.” Section 13 of the IRR-LLDA was included in LLDA’s Implementing Rules and Regulation on water permitting, registration
8

Agpalo, Philippine Administrative Law, p. 47.

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and monitoring system for the extraction of the lake waters of Laguna de Bay for a reason. Section 13 is not mere formality but it serves as a precautionary measure to protect and safeguard the health and safety of the people who will be given service by the applicant for water permit. In other words, the lives of the consumers of a water system depend on the strict implementation of the approved plans, specifications and implementing schedules. If the above-quoted

section is not followed, the government cannot ensure that the water system installed and/or the materials used are in accordance with the accepted standards for the applicant to safely provide water to the public. The subject applications for water permit filed by the applicant are still pending. In fact, the applicant has not yet complied with all the requirements of this Honorable Office. Thus, there are no

approved plans, specifications and implementing schedules to speak of. Despite all these, the applicant started its construction all over Majayjay by installing reported sub-standard pipes beneath the surface, as shown by photographs herein marked and attached as Annexes “J”, “J-1” to “J-7”, respectively. Clearly, the subject applications for water permits should be denied as they were made in gross violation Section 13 of the IRR-

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LLDA. The plans, specifications and implementing schedules must first be duly approved by the LLDA to ensure that the water system to be installed is in accordance with the accepted standards since the consumers of the water system will treat the water that will come out from the pipes as potable water. It bears to remind that Section 67 of IRR-LLDA provides that “In case where the offender is not a permittee or grantee or has no right to use the water whatsoever, the LLDA through its deputies or authorized representatives shall, in addition to the imposition of appropriate fines and penalties, cause the stoppage of the use of water either through demolition of the dam or hydraulic structures, without prejudice to the institution of a criminal/civil action as the facts and circumstances may warrant”. Thus, the oppositors hereby reserve the right to cause the stoppage of the construction and/or installation of water pipes by demolition thereof without prejudice to the institution of the appropriate criminal action. WHEREFORE, the oppositors most respectfully pray to this Honorable Office that the above described applications for water permits of the applicant be denied for lack of merit. Other reliefs just and equitable in the premises are likewise prayed for.

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