SC: P0.10 levy vs oil tankers constitutional

THE Supreme Court (SC) has unanimously declared constitutional a provision in Republic Act (RA) 9483 that compels operators of petroleum tankers and barges to pay a 10-centavo levy per liter for every delivery and transshipments of oil from storage facility to its point of destination. It would cover damage to property, containment, cleanup and rehabilitation in case of oil spills.

In a 35-page decision, penned by now-retired Associate Justice Presbitero J. Velasco Jr., the Court en banc reversed and set aside the decision issued by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Quezon City on February 22, 2017, which declared as unconstitutional Section 22 of RA 9483, as well as Section 1, Rule X of its implementing rules and regulations (IRR).

The law imposes a 10-centavo levy per liter for every delivery and transshipment of oil, which will go to the Oil Pollution Management Fund (OPMF), which will be used for the immediate containment, removal and cleanup operations of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in all pollution cases.

The fund will also be used in the research, enforcement and monitoring activities of relevant agencies, such as the PCG, Maritime Industry Authority and Philippine Ports Authority, and other ports authority of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Energy.

The case before the QC RTC was filed by petroleum marine and transport companies namely the Philippine P....

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