A one (1) day orientation cum IEC on water use regulation was conducted and attended by DENR-9 officials and technical personnel and representatives from concerned national agencies such Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) held last August 17, 2016 at the Grand Astoria Hotel, Zamboanga City. This orientation cum IEC is being conducted to equip concerned DENR personnel on the salient features of Presidential Decree No. 1067 otherwise known as the “Water Code of the Philippines” and to enhance their knowledge on water use regulations as well as to promote smooth coordination mechanisms with concerned National Government Agencies in the implementation of this regulation.
In line with the water use regulation, personnel from the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) graced the one (1) day orientation cum IEC as the resource persons.
The Law Governing the Use and Ownership of Water
Presidential Decree No. 1067, otherwise known as the Water Code of the Philippines covers underground water, water above the ground, water in the atmosphere and the waters of the sea within the territorial jurisdiction of the Philippines.
The Water Code has the following objectives: (a) To establish the basic principles and framework relating to the appropriation, control and conservation of water resources to achieve the optimum development and rational utilization of these resources; (b) To define the extent of the rights and obligations of water users and owners including the protection and regulation of such rights; (c) To adopt a basic law governing the ownership, appropriation, utilization, exploitation, development, conservation and protection of water resources and rights to land related thereto; and (d) To identify the administrative agencies which will enforce the law.
The underlying principles of the Water Code are the following, to wit: (a) All waters belong to the State; (b) All waters that belong to the State cannot be subject to acquisitive prescription; (c) The State may allow the use or development of waters by administrative concession; (d) The utilization, exploitation, development, conservation and protection of water resources shall be subject to the control and regulation of the government through the National Water Resources Board; and (e) Preference in the use and development of waters shall consider current usages and be responsive to the changing needs of the country.
Under the Code, a person appropriating or using natural bodies of water must secure a water permit except the following: (a) Appropriation of water by means of hand-carried receptacles; and (b) Bathing or washing, watering or dipping of domestic or farm animals, and navigation of watercrafts or transportation of logs and other objects by flotation.
Policy-Making Body for the Philippine Water Sector
In 1976, Presidential Decree No. 1067, otherwise known as the “Water Code of the Philippines” was enacted. Based on the principles that: (a) “all water belongs to the State;” and (b) the State may allow the use or development of its waters by administrative concession,” the NWRB was instituted as a “water resource regulator” tasked to regulate and control the utilization, exploitation, development, conservation and protection of all water resource
The specific functions of the NWRB, as a "Water Resource Regulator", include among others, (a) the issuance water permits for the appropriation, and use of waters; and (b) adjudication of disputes relating to the appropriation, utilization, exploitation, development, control and conservation, protection of waters. (For. Winnie/DENRIX RPAO)
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