THE WATER CODE OF THE
A DECREE INSTITUTING A WATER CODE,
THEREBY REVISING AND CONSOLIDATING THE LAWS GOVERNING THE OWNERSHIP,
APPROPRIATION, UTILIZATION, EXPLOITATION, DEVELOPMENT, CONSERVATION
AND PROTECTION OF WATER RESOURCES.
DECLARATION OF OBJECTIVES AND PRINCIPLES
Article 1. This Code shall be known as "The Water Code
of the Philippines."
Article 2. The objectives of
this Code are:
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;
Art. 3. The underlying principles of this code are:
b. To define the extent of the rights and
obligation 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 this Code.
a. All waters belong to the State.
Art. 4. Waters, as used in this Code, refers to water
under the grounds, water above the ground, water in the
atmosphere and the waters of the sea within the territorial
jurisdiction of the Philippines.
OWNERSHIP OF WATERS
Art. 5. The following belong to the state:
b. All waters that belong to the state can not be
the subject to acquisitive prescription.
c. The State may allow the use or development of
waters by administration 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 Council, hereinafter
referred to as the Council.
e. Preference in the use and development of waters
shall consider current usages and be responsive to the
changing needs of the country.
a. Rivers and their natural beds;
Art. 6. The following waters found on private lands also
belong to the States:
b. Continuous or intermittent waters of springs
and brooks running in their natural beds and the beds
c. Natural lakes and lagoons;
d. All other categories of surface waters such as
water flowing over lands, water form rainfall whether
natural or artificial, and water from agriculture runoff,
seepage and drainage;
e. Atmospheric water;
f. subterranean or ground water; and
a. Continuous or intermittent waters rising on such
The owner of the land where the water is found may use
the same for domestic purposes without securing a permit,
provided that such use shall have be registered, when required
by the Council. The Council, however, may regulate such use when
there is wastage, or in times of emergency.
b. Lakes and lagoons naturally waters rising on
c. Rain water and falling on such lands;
d. Subterranean or ground waters; and,
e. Waters in swamps and marshes.
Art. 7. Subject to the
provisions of this Code, any person who captures or collects water
by means of cisterns, tanks, or pools shall have exclusive control
over such water and the right to dispose of the same.
Art. 8. Water legally
appropriated shall be subject to the control of the appropriator
from the moment it reaches the appropriator's canal or aqueduct
leading to the place where the water will be used or stored and,
thereafter, so long as it is being beneficially used for the
purposes for which it was appropriated.
APPROPRIATION OF WATERS
Art. 9. Waters may be appropriated and used in accordance
with the provisions of this Code.
Appropriation of water, as
used in this Code, is the acquisition of rights over the use of
waters or the taking or diverting of waters from a natural source in
the manner and for any purpose allowed by law.
Art. 10. Water may be
appropriated for the following purposes:
Use of water for domestic purposes is the utilization of
water for drinking, washing, bathing, cooking or other household
needs, home gardens, and watering or lawns or domestic animals.
d. Power generation;
f. Livestock raising;
h. Recreational; and
i. Other purposes;
Use of water for municipal
purposes is the utilization of water for supplying the water
requirements of the community.
Use of water for irrigation is
the utilization of water for producing agricultural crops.
Use of water for power
generation is the utilization of water for producing electrical or
Use of water for power
fisheries is the utilization of water for the propagation and
culture of fish as a commercial enterprise
Use of water for livestock
raising is the utilization of water for large herds or flocks of
animals raised as a commercial enterprise.
Use of water for industrial
purposes is the utilization of water in factories, industrial plants
and mines, including the use of water as an ingredient of a finished
Use of water for recreational
purposes is the utilization of water for swimming pools, bath
houses, boating, water skiing, golf courses and other similar
facilities in resorts and other places of recreation.
Art. 11. The state, for
reasons of public policy, may declare waters not previously
appropriated, in whole or in part, exempt from appropriation for any
or all purposes and, thereupon, such waters may not be appropriated
for those purposes.
Art. 12. Waters appropriated
for a particular purpose may be applied for another purpose only
upon prior approval of the Council and on condition that the new use
does not unduly prejudice the rights of other permittees, or require
an increase in the volume of water.
Art. 13. Except as otherwise
herein provided, no person, including government instrumentalities
or government-owned or controlled corporations, shall appropriate
water without a water right, which shall be evidenced by a document
known as a water permit.
Water rights is the privilege
granted by the government to appropriate and use water.
Art. 14. Subject to the
provisions of this Code concerning the control, protection,
conservation, and regulation of the appropriation and use of waters,
any person may appropriate or use natural bodies of water without
securing a water permit for any of the following.
a. Appropriation of water by means of hand carried
Art. 15. Only citizens of the Philippines, of legal age,
as well as juridical persons, who are duly qualified by law to
exploit and develop water resources, may apply for water
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.
Art. 16. Any person who
desires to obtain a water permit shall file an application with the
Council who shall make known said application to the public for any
In determining whether to
grant or deny an application, the Council shall consider the
following: protests filed, if any; prior permits granted; the
availability of water; the water supply need for beneficial use;
possible adverse effects; land-use economics; and other relevant
Upon approval of an
application, a water permit shall be issued and recorded.
Art. 17. The right to the use
of water is deemed acquired as of the date of filing of the
application for a water permit in case of approved permits, or as of
the date of actual use in a case where no permit is required.
Art. 18. All water permits
granted shall be subject to conditions of beneficial use, adequate
standards of design and construction, and such other terms and
conditions as may be imposed by the Council.
Such permits shall specify the
maximum amount of water which may be diverted or withdrawn, the
maximum rate diversion or withdrawal, the time or times during the
year when water may be diverted or withdrawn, the points or points
of diversion or location of wells, the place of use, the purpose for
which water may be used and such other requirements the Council
Art. 19. Water rights may be
lent or transferred in whole or in part to another person with prior
approval of the Council, after due notice and hearing.
Art. 20. The measure and limit
of appropriation of water shall be beneficial use.
Beneficial use of water is the
utilization of water in the right amount during the period that the
water is needed for producing the benefits for which the water is
Art. 21. Standards of
beneficial use shall be prescribed by the council for the
appropriator of water for different purposes and conditions, and the
use of waters which are appropriated shall be measured and
controlled in accordance therewith.
Excepting those for domestic
use, every appropriator of water shall maintain water control and
measuring devices, and keep records or water withdrawal. When
required by the council, all appropriators of water shall furnish
information on water use.
Art. 22. Between two or more
appropriation of water from the same sources of supply, priority in
time of appropriation shall give the better right, except that in
times of emergency, the use of water for domestic and municipal
purposes shall have a better fight over all other uses; Provided,
That where water shortage is recurrent and the appropriator for
municipal use has a lower priority in time of appropriation, them it
shall be his duty to find an alternative source of supply in
accordance with conditions prescribed by the Council.
Art. 23. Priorities may be
altered on grounds of greater beneficial use, multi-purpose use, and
other similar grounds after due notice and hearing, subject to
payment of compensation is proper cases.
Art. 24. A water right shall
be exercised in such a manner that rights of third persons or of
other appropriators are not prejudiced thereby.
Art. 25. A holder of a water
permit may demand the establishment of easements necessary for the
construction and maintenance of the works and facilities needed for
the beneficial use of the waters to be appropriated subject to the
requirements of just compensation and to the following conditions:
a. That he is the owner, lessee, mortgage or one
having real right over the land upon which he purposes to
use water; and
Easement relating to the appropriation and use of waters
may be modified be agreement of the contracting parties provided
the same is not contrary to law or prejudicial to third persons.
b. That the proposed easement is the most
convenient and the least onerous to the servient estate.
Art. 26. Where water shortage
is recurrent, the use of the water pursuant to a permit may, in the
interest of equitable distribution of benefits among legal
appropriators, be reduced after due notice and hearing.
Art. 27. Water users shall
bear the diminution of any water supply due to natural causes or
Art. 28. Water permits shall
continue to be valid as long as water is beneficially used; however,
it maybe suspended on the grounds of non-compliance with approved
plans and specifications or schedules of water distribution; use of
water for a purpose other than that for which it was granted;
non-payment of water charges, wastage; failure to keep records of
water diversion, when required; and violation of any term or
condition of any permit or of rules and regulations promulgated by
Temporary permits may be
issued for the appropriation and use of water for short periods
under special circumstances.
Art. 29. Water permits may be
revoked after due notice and hearing on grounds of non-use; gross
violation of the conditions imposed in the permit; unauthorized sale
of water; willful failure or refusal to comply with rules and
regulations or any lawful order; pollution, public nuisance or acts
detrimental to public health and safety; when the appropriator is
found to be disqualified under the law to exploit and develop
natural resources of the Philippines; when, in the case of
irrigation, the land is converted to non-agricultural purposes; and
other similar grounds.
Art. 30. All water permits are
subject to modification or cancellation by the Council, after due
notice and hearing, in favor of a project of greater beneficial use
or for multi-purpose development, and a water permittee who suffers
thereby shall be duly compensated by the entity or person in whose
favor the cancellation was made.
UTILIZATION OF WATERS
Art. 31. Preference in the development of water resources
shall consider security of the State, multiple use, beneficial
effects, adverse effects and cost of development.
Art. 32. The utilization of
subterranean or ground water shall be coordinated with that of
surface waters such as rivers, streams, springs and lakes, so that a
superior right in one is not adversely affected by an inferior right
in the other.
For this purpose, the Council
shall promulgate rules and regulations and declare the existence of
control areas for the coordinated development, protection, and
utilization of subterranean or ground water and surface waters.
Control area is an area of
land where subterranean or ground water and surface water are so
interrelated that withdrawal and use in one similarly affects the
other. The boundary of a control area may be altered from time to
time, as circumstances warrant.
Art. 33. Water contained in
open canals, aqueducts or reservoirs of private persons may be used
by any person for domestic purpose or for watering plants as long as
the water withdrawn by manual methods without checking the stream or
damaging the canal, aqueduct or reservoir; Provided, That this right
may be restricted by the owner should it result in loss or injury to
Art. 34. A water permittee or
appropriator may use any watercourse to convey water to another
point in the watercourse for the purpose stated in a permit and such
water may be diverted or recaptured at that point by said permittee
in the same amount less allowance for normal losses in transit
Art. 35. Works for the
storage, diversion, distribution and utilization of water resources
shall contain adequate provision for the prevention and control of
diseases that may be induced or spread by such works when required
by the Council.
Art. 36. When the reuse of
waste water is feasible, it shall limited as much as possible to
such uses other than direction human consumption. No person or
agency shall distribute such water for public consumption until it
is demonstrated that such consumption will not adversely affect the
health and safety of the public.
Art. 37. In the construction
and operation of hydraulic works, due consideration shall be given
to the preservation of scenic places and historical relics and in
addition to the provisions of existing laws, no works that would
required the destruction or removal of such places or relics shall
be undertaken without showing that the destruction or removal is
necessary and unavoidable.
Art. 38. Authority for the
construction of dams, bridges and other structures across of which
may interfere with the flow of navigable or floatable waterways
shall first be secured from the Department of Public Works,
Transportation and Communications.
Art. 39. Except in cases of
emergency to save life or property, the construction or repair of
the following works shall be undertaken only after the plans and
specifications therefore, as may be required by the Council, are
approved by the proper government agency; dams for the diversion or
storage of water; structures for the use of water power;
installations for the utilization of subterranean or ground water
and other structures for utilization of water resources.
Art 40. No excavation for the
purpose of emission of a hot spring or for the enlargement of the
existing opening thereof shall be made without prior permit.
Any person or agency who
intends to develop a hot spring for human consumption must first
obtain a permit from the Department of Health.
Art. 41. No person shall
develop a stream, lake, or spring for recreational purposes without
first securing a permit from the council.
Art. 42. Unless otherwise
ordered by the President of the Philippines and only in times of
national calamity or emergency, no person shall induce or restrain
rainfall by any method such as cloud seeding without a permit from
the proper government agency.
Art. 43. No person shall raise
or lower the water level of a river, stream, lake, lagoon or marsh
nor drain the same without a permit.
Art. 44. Drainage systems
shall be so constructed that their outlets are rivers, lakes, the
sea, natural bodies of water, such other water course as any be
approved by the proper government agency.
Art. 45. When a drainage
channel is constructed by a number of persons for their common
benefit, cost of construction and maintenance of the channel be
borne by each in proportion to the benefits derived.
Art. 46. When artificial means
are employed to drain water from higher to lower land, the owner of
the higher land shall select the routes and methods of drainage that
will cause the minimum damage to the lower lands, subject to the
requirements of just compensation.
Art. 47. When the use,
conveyance or storage of water results in damage to another, the
person responsible for the damage shall pay compensation.
Art. 48. When a water
resources project interferes with the access of landowner to a
portion of his property or with the conveyance of irrigation or
drainage water, the person or agency constructing the project shall
bear the cost of construction and maintenance of the bridges, flumes
and other structures necessary for maintaining access, irrigation,
or drainage in addition to paying compensation for land and
Art. 49. Any person having an
easement for an aqueduct may enter upon the servient land for the
purpose of cleaning, repairing or replacing the aqueduct or the
removal of obstructions therefrom.
Art. 50. Lower estates are
obliged to receive the waters which naturally and without the
intervention of man flow from the higher estates, as well as the
stones or earth which they carry with them.
The owner of the lower estate
can not construct works which will impede this natural flow, unless
he provides an alternative method of drainage; neither can the owner
of the higher estate make works which will increase this natural
Act. 51. The banks or rivers
and streams and the shores of the seas and lakes throughout their
entire length and within a zone of three (3) meters in urban areas,
twenty (20) meters in agricultural areas and forty (40) meters in
forest areas, along their margins, are subject to the easement of
public use in the interest of recreation, navigation, flotage,
fishing and salvage. No person shall be allowed to stay in this zone
longer than what is necessary for recreation, navigation, flotage,
fishing or salvage or to build structures of any kind.
Art. 52. The establishment,
extent, from, and conditions of easement of water not expressly
determined by the provisions of this Code shall governed by the
provisions of the Civil Code.
CONTROL OF WATERS
Art. 53. To promote the best interest and the coordinated
protection of flood plain lands, the Secretary of Public Works,
Transportation and Communications may declare flood control
areas and promulgate guidelines for governing flood plain
management plans in these areas.
Art. 54. In declare flood
control areas, rules and regulations may be promulgate to prohibit
or control activities that may damage or cause deterioration of
lakes and dikes, obstruct the flow of water, change the natural flow
of the river, increase flood losses or aggravate flood problems.
Art. 55. The government may
construction necessary flood control structures in declared flood
control areas, and for this purpose it shall have a legal easement
as wide as may be needed along and adjacent to the river bank and
outside the bed or channel of the river.
Art. 56. River beds, sand bars
and tidal flats may not be cultivated except upon prior permission
from the Secretary of the Department of Public works, Transportation
and Communication and such permission shall not be granted where
such cultivation obstructs the flow of water or increase flood
levels so as to cause damage to other areas.
Art. 57. Any person may erect
levees or revetments to protect his property from flood,
encroachment by the river or change in the course of the river,
provided that such constructions does not cause damage to the
property of another.
Art. 58. When a river or
stream suddenly changes its course to traverse private lands, the
owners or the affected lands may not compel the government to
restore the river to its former bed; nor can they restrain the
government from taking steps to revert the river or stream to its
former course. The owners of the lands thus affected are not
entitled to compensation for any damage sustained thereby. However,
the former owners of the new bed shall be the owners of the
abandoned bed proportion to the area lost by each.
The owners of the affected
lands may undertake to return the river or stream to its old bed at
their own expense; Provided, That a permit therefore is secured from
the Secretary of Public Works, Transportation and Communication and
work pertaining thereto are commenced within two years from the
changes in the course of the river or stream.
Art. 59. Rivers, lakes and
lagoons may, upon the recommendation of the Philippines Coast Guard,
be declared navigable either in whole or in part.
Art. 60. The rafting of logs
and other objects on rivers and lakes which are floatable may be
controlled or prohibited during designated season of the year with
due regard to the needs of irrigation and domestic water supply and
other uses of water.
Art. 61. The impounding of
water in ponds or reservoirs may be prohibited by the Council upon
consultation with the Department of Health if it is dangerous to
public health, or it may order that such pond or reservoirs be
drained if such is necessary for the protection of public health.
Art. 62. Waters of a stream
may be stored in a reservoir by a permittee in such amount as will
not prejudices the right of any permittee downstream. Whoever
operates the reservoir shall, when required, release water for
minimum stream flow.
All reservoir operations shall
be subject to rules and regulations issued by the Council or any
proper government agency.
Art. 63. The operator of a dam
for the storage of water may be required to employ an engineer
possessing qualifications prescribed for the proper operations,
maintenance and administration of the dam.
Art. 64. The Council shall
approve the manner, location, depth, and spacing in which borings
for subterranean or ground water may be made, determine the
requirements for the registration of every boring or alteration to
existing borings as well as other control measures for the
exploitation of subterranean or ground water resources, and in
coordination with the Professional Regulation Commission prescribe
the qualifications of those who would drill such borings.
No person shall drill a well
without prior permission from the Council.
Art. 65. Water from one river
basin may be transferred to another river basin only with approval
of the Council. In considering any request for such transfer, the
Council shall take into account the full costs of the transfer, the
benefits that would accrue to the basin of origin without the
transfer, the benefits would accrue to the receiving basin on
account of the transfer, alternative schemes for supplying water to
the receiving basin, and other relevant favors.
CONSERVATION AND PROTECTION OF WATERS AND
WATERSHEDS AND RELATED LAND RESOURCES
Art. 66. After due notice and hearing when warranted by
circumstances, minimum stream flows for rivers and streams and
minimum water levels for lakes may be established by the Council
under such conditions as may be necessary for the protection of
the environment, control of pollution, navigation, prevention of
salt damage, and general public use.
Art. 67. Any watershed or any
area of land adjacent to any surface water or overlying any ground
water may be declared by the Department of Natural Resources (DENR)
as a protected area. Rules and regulations may be promulgated by
such Department to prohibit or control such activities by the owners
or occupants thereof within the protected area which may damage or
cause the deterioration of the surface water or ground water or
interfere with the investigation, use, control, protection,
management or administration of such waters.
Art. 68. It shall be the duty
of any person in control of a well to prevent the water from flowing
on the surface of the land, or into any surface water, or any porous
stratum underneath the surface without being beneficially used.
Art. 69. It shall be the duty
of any person in control of a well containing water with minerals or
other substances injurious to man, animals, agriculture, and
vegetation to prevent such waters from flowing on the surface of the
land or into any surface water or into any other aquifer or porous
Art. 70. No person shall
utilize an existing well or pond or spread waters for recharging
subterranean or ground water supplies without prior permission of
Art. 71. To promote better
water conservation and usage for irrigation purposes, the merger of
irrigation associations and the appropriation of waters by
associations instead of by individuals shall be encouraged.
No water permit shall be
granted to an individual when his water requirement can be supplied
through an irrigation association.
Art. 72. In the consideration
of a proposed water resource project, due regard shall be given to
ecological changes resulting from the construction of the project in
order to balance the needs of development and the protection of the
Art. 73. The conservation of
fish ad wild life shall receive proper consideration ad shall be
coordinated with other features of water resources development
programs to insure that fish and wildlife values receive equal
attention with other project purposes.
Art. 74. Swamps and marshes
which are owned by the State and which have a primary value for
waterfowl propagation or other wildlife purposes may be reserved and
protected from drainage operations and development.
Art. 75. No person shall,
without prior permission from the National Pollution Control
Commission, build any works that may produce dangerous or noxious
substance or perform any act which may result in the introduction of
sewage, industrial waste, or any pollutant into any source of water
Water pollution is the
impairment of the quality of water beyond a certain standard. This
standard may vary according to the use of the water and shall be set
by the National Pollution Control Commission.
Art. 76. The establishment of
cemeteries and waste disposal areas that may affect the source of a
water supply or a reservoir for domestic or municipal use shall be
subject to the rules and regulations promulgated by the Department
Art. 77. Tailings from mining
operations and sediments from placer mining shall not be dumped into
rivers and waterways without prior permission from the Council upon
recommendation be the National Pollution Control Commission.
Art. 78. The application of agriculture fertilizers and
pesticides may be prohibited or regulated by the National Pollution
Control Commission in areas where such application may cause
pollution of a source of water supply.
ADMINISTRATION OF WATERS AND ENFORCEMENT
OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS CODE
Art. 79. The Administration and enforcement of the
provisions of this Code, including the granting of permits and
the imposition of penalties for administrative violations
hereof, are hereby vested in the council, and except in regard
to those functions which under this Code are specifically
conferred upon other agencies of the government, the Council is
hereby empowered to make all decisions and determinations
provided for in this Code.
Art. 80. The Council may
deputize any official or agency of the government to perform any of
its specific functions or activities.
Art. 81. The Council shall
provide a continuing program for data collection, research and
manpower development need for the appropriation, utilization,
exploitation, conservation, and protection of the water resources of
Art. 82. In the implementation
of the provisions of this Code, the Council shall promulgate the
necessary rules and regulations which may provide for penalties
consisting of a fine not exceeding One thousand Pesos (P1,000.00)
and/or suspension or revocation of the water permit or other right
to the use of water. Violations of such rules and regulations may be
administratively dealt with by the Council.
Such rules and regulations
shall take effect fifteen (15) days after publication in newspapers
of general circulation.
Rules and regulations
prescribed by any government agency that pertain to the utilization,
exploitation, development, control, conservation, or protection of
water resources shall, if the council so requires, be subject to its
Art. 83. The Council is hereby
authorized to impose and collect reasonable fees or charges for
water resources development from water appropriators, except when it
is for purely domestic purpose.
Art. 84. The Council and other
agencies authorized to enforce this Code are empowered to enter upon
private lands, with previous notice to the owner, for the purpose of
conducting surveys and hydrologic investigations, and to perform
such other acts as are necessary in carrying out their functions
including the power to exercise the right of eminent domain.
Art. 85. No program or project
involving the appropriation, utilization, exploitation, development,
control, conservation, or protection of water resources may be
undertaken without prior approval of the Council, except those which
the council may, in its discretion, exempt.
The Council may require
consultation with the public prior to the implementation of certain
water resources development projects.
Art. 86. When plans and
specifications of a hydraulic structure are submitted for approval,
the government agency whose functions embrace the type of project
for which the structure is intended, shall review the plans and
specifications and recommend to the Council proper action thereon
and the latter shall approve the same only when they are in
conformity with the requirements of this Code and the rules and
regulations promulgated by the Council. Notwithstanding such
approval, neither the engineer who drew up the plans and
specifications of the hydraulic structure, nor the constructor who
built it, shall be relieved of his liability for damages in case of
failure thereof by reason of defect in plans and specifications, or
failure due to defect in plan construction, within ten (10) years
from the completion of the structure.
Any action recover such
damages must be brought within five (5) years following such
Art. 87. The Council or its
duly authorized representatives, in the exercise of its power to
investigate and decide cases brought to its cognizance, shall have
the power to administer oaths, compel the attendance of witnesses be
subpoena duces tecum.
Non-compliance or violation of
such orders or subpoena and subpoena duces tecum shall
be punished in the same manner as indirect contempt of an inferior
court upon application by the aggrieved party with the proper Court
of First Instance in accordance with the provisions of Rule 71 of
the Rules of Court.
Art. 88. The Council shall
have original jurisdiction over all disputes relating to
appropriation, utilization, exploitation, development, control,
conservation and protection of waters within the meaning and context
of the provisions of this Code.
The decisions of the Council
on water rights controversies shall be immediately executory and the
enforcement thereof may be suspended only then a bond, in a amount
fixed by the Council to answer for damages occasioned by the
suspension or stay of execution, shall have been filed by the
appealing party, unless the suspension is by virtue of an order of a
All dispute shall be decide
within sixty (60) days after the parties submit the same for
decision or resolution.
The Council shall have the
power to issue writs of execution and enforce its decisions with the
assistance of local or national police agencies.
Art. 89. The decisions of the
Council on water rights controversies may be appealed to the court
of first Instance of the province where the subject matter of the
controversy is situated within fifteen (15) days from the date the
party appealing receives a copy of the decision, of any of the
following grounds: (1) grave abuse of discretion; (2) question of
law; (3) questions of fact and law.
Art. 90. The following acts shall be penalized by
suspension or revocation of the violator's water permit or other
right to the use of water and/or a fine of not exceeding One
thousand Pesos (P1,000.00), in the discretion of the Council :
a. Appropriation of subterranean or ground water for
domestic use by an overlying landowner without registration
required by the Council;
Art. 91. A. A fine of not exceeding Three Thousand Pesos
(P3,000.00) or imprisonment for not more that three (3) years,
or both such fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the
Court, shall be imposed upon any person who commits any of the
b. Non-observance of any standard of beneficial
use of water.
c. Failure of the appropriator to keep a record of
water withdrawal when required.
d. Failure to comply with any of the terms or
conditions in a water permit or a water rights grant.
e. Unauthorized use of water for a purpose other
than that for which a right or permit was granted.
f. Construction or repair of any hydraulic work or
structure without duly approved plans and specifications,
g. Failure to install a regulating and measuring
device for the control volume of water appropriated, when
h. Unauthorized sale, lease, or transfer of water
and/or water rights.
i. Failure to provide adequate facilities to
prevent or control diseases when required by the Council in
the construction of any work for the storage, diversion,
distribution and utilization of water.
j. Drilling of a well without permission of the
k. Utilization of an existing well or ponding or
spreading of water for recharging subterranean or ground
water supplies without permission of the Council.
l. Violation of or non-compliance with any order,
rules and regulation of the Council.
m. Illegal taking or diversion of water in an open
canal, aqueduct or reservoir.
n. Malicious destruction of hydraulic works or
structures valued at not exceeding P5,000.00.
1. Appropriation of water without a water permit,
unless such person is expressly exempted from securing a
permit by the provisions of this code;
B. A fine exceeding Three Thousand Pesos (P3,000.00) but
not more than Six Thousand Pesos (P6,000.00) or imprisonment
exceeding three years (3) years but not more than (6) years or
both such fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the Court,
shall be imposed on any person who commits any of the following
2. Unauthorized obstruction of an irrigation
3. Cultivation of river bed, sand bar or tidal
flat without permission.
4. Malicious destruction of hydraulic works or
structure valued at not exceeding Twenty-Five Thousand Pesos
1. Distribution for public consumption of water which
adversely affects the health and safety of the public.
C. A fine exceeding Six Thousand Pesos (P6,000.00) but
not more than ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00) or imprisonment
exceeding six (6) years but not more than twelve (12) years, or
both such fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the Court,
shall be imposed upon any person who commits any of the
2. Excavation or enlargement of the opening of a
hot spring without permission.
3. Unauthorized obstruction of a river or
waterway, or occupancy of a river bank or seashore without
4. Establishment of a cemetery or a waste disposal
area near a source of water supply or reservoir for domestic
or municipal use without permission.
5. Constructing, without prior permission of the
government agency concerned, works that produce dangerous or
noxious substances, or performing acts that result in the
introduction of sewage, industrial waste, or any substance
that pollutes a source of water supply.
6. Dumping mine tailings and sediments into rivers
or waterways without permission.
7. Malicious destruction of hydraulic works or
structure valued more than Twenty-five Thousand (P25,000.00)
but not exceeding One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100,000.00)
1. Misrepresentation of citizenship in order to
qualify for water permit.
Art. 92. If the offense is committed by a corporation,
trust, firm, partnership, association or any other juridical
person, the penalty shall be imposed upon the President, General
Manager, and other guilty officer or officers of such
corporation, trust, firm, partnership, association or entity,
without prejudice to the filing of a civil action against said
juridical person. If the offender is an alien, he shall be
deported after serving his sentence, without further
2. Malicious destruction of a hydraulic works or
structure, valued at more than One Hundred Thousand Pesos
After final judgment of
conviction, the Court upon petition of the prosecution attorney in
the same proceedings, and after due hearing, may when the public
interest so requires, order the suspension of or dissolution of such
corporation, trust, firm, partnership association or juridical
Art. 93. All actions for
offenses punishable under Article 91 of this code shall be brought
before the proper court.
Art. 94. Actions for offenses
punishable under this Code by a fine of not more than Three Thousand
(P3,000.00) or by an imprisonment of not more than three (3) years,
or both such fine and imprisonment, shall prescribed in five (5)
years; those punishable by a fine exceeding Three Thousand Pesos (
3,000.00) but not more than six thousand Pesos (P6,000.00) or
imprisonment exceeding three (3) years but not more than six years
(6) years or both such fine and imprisonment, shall prescribe in
seven (7) years; and those punishable by a fine exceeding Six
Thousand Pesos (P6,000.00) but not more than Ten Thousand Pesos
(P10,000.00) or an imprisonment exceeding Six (6) years but not more
than Twelve (12) years, or both such fine and imprisonment, shall
prescribe in ten (10) years.
TRANSITORY AND FINAL PROVISIONS
Art. 95. Within two (2) years from the promulgation of
this code, all claims for a right to use water existing on or
before December 31, 1974 shall be registered with the council
which shall be confirm said rights in accordance with the
provisions of this Code, and shall set their respective
When priority in time of
appropriation from a certain source of supply cannot be determined,
the order of preference in the use of the waters shall be as follows
a. Domestic and municipal use;
Any claim not registered within said period shall be
considered waived and the use of the water deemed abandoned, and
the water shall thereupon be available for disposition as
unappropriated waters in accordance with the provisions of this
c. Power generation;
e. Livestock raising;
f. Industrial use; and
g. Other uses.
Art. 96. No vested or acquired
right to the use of water can arise from acts or omissions which are
against the law or which infringe upon the rights of others.
Art. 97. Acts and contracts
under the regime of old laws, if they are valid in accordance
therewith, shall be respected, subject to the limitations
established in this Code. Any modification or extension of these
acts and contracts after the promulgation of this code, shall be
subject to the provisions hereof.
Art. 98. Interim rules and
regulations promulgated by the Council shall continue to have
binding force and effect, when not in conflict with the provisions
of this Code.
Art. 99. If any provision or
part of this Code, or the application thereof to any person or
circumstance, is declared unconstitutional or invalid for any
reason, the other provisions of parts therein shall not be affected.
Art. 100. The following laws,
parts and/or provisions of laws are hereby repealed:
a. The provisions of the Spanish law of waters of
August 3, 1866, the Civil Code of Spain of 1889 and the
Civil Code of the Philippines (R. A. 386) on ownership of
waters, easement relating to waters, use of public waters
which are inconsistent with the provision of the Code;
Art. 101. This Code shall take effect upon its
b. The provisions of R. A. 6395, otherwise known
as the Revised Charter of the National Power Corporation,
particularly section 3, paragraph (f), and section 12, so
far as they relate to the appropriation of waters and the
c. The provisions of Act. No. 2152 as amended,
otherwise know as the Irrigation Act, section 3, paragraphs
(k) and (m) of P.D. No. 813, R. A. 2056; Section 90, C. A.
d. All Decrees, Laws, Acts, parts of Acts, Rules
of Court, executive orders, and administrative regulations
which are contrary to or inconsistent with the provisions of
Done in the City of Manila,
this 31st day of December, Nineteen Hundred and Seventy-Six.
FERDINAND E. MARCOS
President of the Philippines
By the President:
JACOBO C. CLAVE
Presidential Executive Assistant