The Philippines, being ranked 4th in the world among countries with the longest coastline with a water area of 1830 sq. km., implements a Clean Water Act to protect its water resources versus the rising population of the country.
The law promotes quality management for all bodies of water.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) takes the lead in the implementation of the Clean Water Act (CWA).
The Local Government Units, on the other hand, takes responsibility in the management and improvement of water quality in their jurisdiction.
Based on the CWA, the following are the prohibited acts:
a) Discharging, depositing or causing to be deposited material of any kind directly or indirectly into the water bodies or along the margins of any surface water, where, the same shall be liable to be washed into such surface water, either by tide action or by storm, floods or otherwise, which could cause water pollution or impede natural flow in the water body;
b) Discharging, injecting or allowing to seep into the soil or sub-soil any substance in any form that would pollute groundwater. In the case of geothermal projects, and subject to the approval of the Department, regulated discharge for short- term activities (e.g. well testing, flushing, commissioning, venting) and deep re-injection of geothermal liquids may be allowed: Provided, That safety measures are adopted to prevent the contamination of the groundwater;
c) Operating facilities that discharge regulated water pollutants without the valid required permits or after the permit was revoked for any violation of any condition therein;
d) Disposal of potentially infectious medical waste into sea water by vessels unless the health or safety of individuals on board the vessel is threatened by a great and imminent peril;
e) Unauthorized transport or dumping into sea waters of sewage sludge or solid waste as defined under Republic Act No.9003;
f) Transport, dumping or discharge of prohibited chemicals, substances or pollutants listed under Republic Act No.6969;
g) Operate facilities that discharge or allow to seep, willfully or through gross negligence, prohibited chemicals, substances or pollutants listed under R. A. No. 6969 into water bodies or wherein the same shall be liable to be washed into such surface, ground, coastal, and marine water;
h) Undertaking activities or development and expansion of projects, or operating wastewater/sewerage facilities in violation of Presidential Decree. No.1586 and its implementing rules, and regulations;
i) Discharging regulated water pollutants without the valid required discharge permit pursuant to this Act or after the permit was revoked for any violation of condition therein;
j) Non-compliance of the LGU with the Water Quality Framework and Management Area Action Plan. In such a case, sanctions shall be imposed on the local government officials concerned;
k) Refusal to allow entry, inspection and monitoring by the Department in accordance with this Act;
l) Refusal to allow access by the Department to relevant reports and records in accordance with this Act;
m) Refusal or failure to submit reports whenever required by the Department in accordance with this Act;
n) Refusal or failure to designate pollution control officers whenever required by, the Department in accordance with this Act; and
o) Directly using booster pumps in the distribution system or tampering with the water supply in such a way as to alter or impair the water quality.
The Clean Water Act was passed into law to ensure that the Philippines will be able to take care of its water resources.