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No. 1067


Water Code
of the Philippines

Refers to water under the ground,
water above the ground, water in the
atmosphere and the waters of the
sea within the territorial jurisdiction of
the Philippines.

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;
(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,
conservation and protection of water resources and rights to
land related thereto; and

The underlying principles of this code are:
(a) All waters 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
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
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.

The following belong to the State:
(a) Rivers and their natural beds;
(b) Continuous or intermittent waters of springs and brooks
running in their natural beds and the beds themselves;
(c) Natural lakes and lagoons;
(d) All other categories of surface waters such as water flowing
over lands, water from rainfall whether natural, or artificial, and
water from agriculture runoff, seepage and drainage;
(e) Atmospheric water;
(f) Subterranean or ground waters; and,
(g) Seawater.

The following waters found on private lands belong to
the State:
(a) Continuous or intermittent waters rising on such
(b) Lakes and lagoons naturally occurring on such
(c) Rain water falling on such lands;
(d) Subterranean or ground waters; and,
(e) Water in swamps and marshes.

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.

Water may be appropriated for the following purposes:
(a) Domestic
(b) Municipal
(c) Irrigation
(d) Power generation
(e) Fisheries
(f) Livestock raising
(g) Industrial
(h) Recreational, and
(i) Other 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 of lawns or domestic

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
mechanical power.

Use of water for 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 product.

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.

Except as otherwise herein provided, no person,
government-owned or controlled corporations, shall
appropriate water without a WATER RIGHT, which
shall be evidenced by a document known as a
WATER RIGHT is the privilege granted by the
government to appropriate and use water.


Any person may appropriate or use natural bodies of
water without securing a water permit for any of the
(a) Appropriation of water by means of handcarried
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.


As required under the provisions of P. D. 1067, a permit/authority
shall be secured from the Council in the following instances:
a) Appropriation of water for any purpose stated under Article 10
of the Code except for family domestic purpose provided under
Article 6;
b) Change in purpose of the appropriation;
c) Amendment of an existing permit/authority, such as change in
point or nature of diversion, amount of appropriation, period of
use, etc;
d) Transfer or lease of water right;
e) Temporary appropriation and use of water;


f) Developing a stream, lake, or spring for recreational
g) Lowering or raising the level of the water of a lake,
river or marsh, or draining the same;
h) Transbasin diversion;
i) Dumping of mine tailings or wastes into a river or a
j) Such other instances that will require a
permit/authority as determined by the Council.


In the following instances the granting of permit/authority
required under the provisions of P.D. 1067, is delegated by the
Council to the corresponding agencies indicated and
permit/authority pertaining to any of these instances shall be
secured from the agency delegated:
a) Excavation for the emission of a hot spring Ministry of
b) Cloud seeding to induce rainfall Philippine Atmospheric
Geophysical & Astronomical Service Administration (PAGASA);
c) Recharging ground water supplies National Pollution
Control Commission. Whenever necessary the Council may

Only the following may file an application with the
Council for permit/authority:
a) Citizens of the Philippines;
b) Associations, duly registered cooperatives or
corporations organized under the laws of the
Philippines, at least 60 percent of the capital of which
is owned by the citizens of the Philippines;
c) Government entities and instrumentalities,
including government owned and controlled


Except for those on cloud seeding, any application for

permit/authority mentioned above shall be filed with
the Office of the Public Works District Engineer, the
NIA provincial Irrigation Engineer, NPC Regional
Managers or the LWUA Water District General
Manager whichever is designated as gently by the
Council in the province where the point of diversion is
situated in the case of appropriation of waters or
where the project is located in all other cases.

Preference in the development of water
resources shall consider security of the State,
multiple use, beneficial effects, adverse effects
and costs of development.
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 not adversely affected by
an inferior right in the other.

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.
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

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 is
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


a. 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.
b. No person shall develop a stream, lake, or spring for recreational
purposes without first securing a permit from the Council.
c. Unless-otherwise ordered by the President of the Philippines and
only in time 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 emergency.


d. No person shall raise or lower the water level of a river stream,
lake, lagoon, or marsh nor drain the same without a permit.
e. Drainage systems shall be so constructed that their outlets are
rivers, lakes, the sea, natural bodies of water, or such other water
course as may be approved by the proper government agency.
f. 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.
g. When the use, conveyance or storage of waters results in damage
to another, the person responsible for the damage shall pay


h. 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.
i. Lower estates are obliged to receive the waters which
naturally and without the intervention of man flow from the
higher estate, as well as the stone 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


j. The banks of 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, floatage, fishing
and salvage. No person shall be allowed to stay in this zone
longer than what is necessary for recreation, navigation,
floatage, fishing or salvage or to build structures of any kind.

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.
In declared flood control areas, rules and regulations may be
promulgated to prohibit or control activities that may damage or
cause deterioration or lakes and dikes, obstruct the flow of
water, change the natural flow of the river, increase flood losses
or aggravate flood problems.


The government may construct 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 of the bed or channel of the


Rivers, lakes and lagoons may, upon the

recommendation of the Philippines Coast Guard, be
declared navigable either in whole or in part.


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.

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.



When a river or stream suddenly changes its course to
traverse private lands, the owners of 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 land 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 in
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 therefor is secured from the Secretary
of Public Works, Transportation and Communication and work
pertaining thereto are commenced within two years from the
change in the course of the river or stream.

Waters of a stream may be stored in a reservoir
by a permittee in such amount as will not prejudice
the right of any permittee downstream. Whoever
operates the reservoir shall, when required, release
water for minimum stream flow.



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


424, MARCH 28, 1974


The Council shall have the following functions, duties, and
A. Regulatory and Executory:
a. Coordinate and integrate, on a sound and logical basis,
water resources development activities of the country within
the context of national plans and policies for social and
economic development;
b. Determine, adjudicate, and grant water rights amending, for
this purpose, Act No. 2152, and other laws relating to the
appropriation and utilization of surface ground water;


c. Formulate and promulgate:
1) General criteria, methods, and standards for basic data
collection, project investigation, formulation, planning and
design, and feasibility evaluation; and
2) Rules and regulation for the exploitation and optimum
utilization of water resources, including the imposition on water
appropriators of such fees or charges as may be deemed
necessary by the council for water resources development;
d. Review and approve water resources development plans
and programs of any agency within the context of the overall
national plans and program;


e. Undertake river basin survey, inventory and appraisal of water and
related resources and develop comprehensive basin-wide of storage and
control to maximize the conservation and multi-purpose use of water in
the basin;
f. Undertake hydrologic surveys and establish, operate and maintain
observation station networks and a centralized water resources data
center necessary for the scientific survey and appraisal of surface and
ground water potentials of the country; and
g. Conduct and/or promote special studies and researches with other
government or private agencies on all related aspects of water resources
development such as weather modification, environmental quality,
desalination, and the like.



B. Advisory and Recommendatory:

a. Appraise and/or advise the National Economic and
Development Authority (NEDA) on matters pertaining to
water resources development projects and programs;
b. Recommend to NEDA the adoption of general
policies and guidelines and short/long range plans and
programs for water resources development.

The Council shall have original jurisdiction over all disputes to relating to
appropriation, utilization, exploitation, development, control, conservation and
protection of waters within the meaning and context of the provisions of this
The decisions of the Council on water rights controversies shall be
immediately executory and the enforcement thereof may be suspended only
when 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 virtue of an order of a competent court.
All dispute shall be decided 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.


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, on any of the following grounds; (1)
grave abuse of discretion; (2) question of law; and (3)
questions of fact and law.

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.
(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, when
(g) Failure to install a regulating and measuring device for
the control of the 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

(j) Drilling of a well without permission of the Council.
(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, or
regulations of the Council.
(m) Illegal taking or diversion of water in an open canal,
aqueduct or reservoir.
(n) Malicious destruction of hydraulic works or structure
valued at not exceeding P5,000.00.

A. A fine of not exceeding Three Thousand Pesos
(P3,000.00) or imprisonment for not more than 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 following acts:
1. Appropriation of water without a water permit, unless such
person is expressly exempted from securing a permit by the
provisions of this Code.
2. Unauthorized obstruction of an irrigation canal.
3. Cultivation of a river bed, sand bar or tidal flat without
4. Malicious destruction of hydraulic works or structure valued
at not exceeding Twenty-Five Thousand Pesos (P25,000.00).

B. A fine exceeding Three Thousand Pesos
P3,000.00) but not more than Six Thousand Pesos
P6,000.00) or imprisonment exceeding three (3)
years but not more than six (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 acts:
1. Distribution for public consumption of water which
adversely affects the health and safety of the public.
2. Excavation or enlargement of the opening of a hot

3. Unauthorized obstruction of a river or waterway, or occupancy of a
river bank or seashore without permission.
4. Establishment of a cemetery or a waste disposal area near a source of
water supply or reservoir for domestic 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 of waterways without

7. Malicious destruction of hydraulic works or structure valued more than TwentyFive Thousand Pesos (P25,000.00) but at not exceeding One Hundred
Thousand Peso (100,000.00).
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 following acts:
1. Misrepresentation of citizenship in order to qualify for water permit.
2. Malicious destruction of a hydraulic works or structure, valued at more than
One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100,000.00).


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.

Any watershed or any area of land adjacent to
any surface water or overlying any ground water
may declared by the Department of Natural
Resources as 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


The conservation of fish and wildlife shall

receive proper consideration and 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.


Swamps and marshes which are

owned by the State and which primary
value for waterfowl propagation or other
wildlife purposes may be reserved and
protected from drainage operation and



No person shall, without prior permission

from the Environmental Management Bureau,
build any works that may produce dangerous
or noxious substances or perform any act
which may result in the introduction of
sewage, industrial waste, or any pollutant into
any source of water supply.


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 of Health.


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 by the National Pollution
Control Commission.

REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9275, MARCH 22, 2004


The State shall pursue a policy of economic growth in a manner consistent
with the protection, preservation and revival of the quality of our fresh, brackish
and marine waters. To achieve this end, the framework for sustainable
development shall be pursued. As such, it shall be the policy of the State:
a) To streamline processes and procedures in the prevention, control and
abatement of pollution of the country's water resources;
b) To promote environmental strategies, use of appropriate economic
instruments and of control mechanisms for the protection of water resources;
c) To formulate a holistic national program of water quality management that
recognizes that water quality management issues cannot be separated from
concerns about water sources and ecological protection, water supply, public
health and quality of life;
d) To formulate an integrated water quality management framework through
proper delegation and effeive coordination of functions and activities;

e) promote commercial and industrial processes and products that are environment friendly
and energy efficient;
f) To encourage cooperation and self-regulation among citizens and industries through the
application of incentives and market-based instruments and to promote the role of private
industrial enterprises in shaping its regulatory profile within the acceptable boundaries of
public health and environment;
g) To provide for a comprehensive management program for water pollution focusing on
pollution prevention;
h) To promote public information and education and to encourage the participation of an
informed and active public in water quality management and monitoring;
i) To formulate and enforce a system of accountability for short and long-term adverse
environmental impact of a project, program or activity; and
j) To encourage civil society and other sectors, particularly labor, the academe and business
undertaking environment-related activities in their efforts to organize, educate and motivate the
people in addressing pertinent environmental issues and problems at the local and national

This Act shall apply to water quality
management in all water bodies: Provided, That
it shall primarily apply to the abatement and
control of pollution from land based sources:
Provided, further, That the water quality
standards and regulations and the civil liability
and penal provisions under this Act shall be
enforced irrespective of sources of pollution.


The Department, in coordination with National Water
Resources Board (NWRB), shall designate certain areas as
water quality management areas using appropriate
physiographic units such as watershed, river basins or
water resources regions. Said management areas shall
have similar hydrological, hydrogeological, meteorological
or geographic conditions which affect the physicochemical,
biological and bacteriological reactions and diffusions of
pollutants in the water bodies, or otherwise share common
interest or face similar development programs, prospects or



Said management area shall be governed by a governing

board composed of representatives of mayors and governors
of member local government units (LGUs), and
representatives of relevant national government agencies,
duly registered non-governmental organization, water utility
sector, and business sector. The Department representative
shall chair the governing board. In the case of the LGUs with
memberships on more than one (1) management board, the
LGU shall designate only one (1) single representative for all
the management areas wherein is a member.



The governing board shall formulate strategies to

implementation of this Act in accordance with those
established in the framework and monitor the compliance
with the action plan.
Each management area shall create a multi-sectoral
group to establish and affect water quality surveillance and
monitoring network including sampling schedules and other
similar activities. The group shall submit its report and
recommendation to the chairman of the governing board.


A technical secretariat for each management area is hereby created which
shall be part of the department and shall provide technical support to the
governing board. They shall be composed of at least four (4) members who shall
have the following minimum qualifications:
a) One (1) member shall be a member of the Philippines Bar;
b) One (1) member shall be a Chemical Engineer, Chemist, Sanitary Engineer,
Environmental Engineer or Ecologist or significant training and experience in
c) One (1) member shall be a Civil Engineer or Hydrologist or Significant training
and experience in closely related fields and experience on ground water,
respectively; and
d) One (1) member shall be a Geologist, Biologist, or significant training and
experience in closely related fields.



The areas within the jurisdiction of the Laguna

Lake Development Authority (LLDA) shall be
designated as one management area under the
administration of LLDA in accordance with R.A.
No. 4850, as amended: Provided, However, That
the standards promulgated pursuant to this Act
and wastewater charge system established
pursuant hereof shall be enforced in said area.


The Department shall designate water bodies, or portions thereof, where
specific pollutants from either natural or man-made source have already
exceeded water quality guidelines as non-attainment areas for the exceeded
pollutants. It shall prepare and implement a program that will not allow new
sources of exceeded water pollutant in non-attainment areas without a
corresponding reduction in discharges from existing sources; Provided, That
if the pollutant is naturally occurring, e.g. naturally high boron and other
elements in geothermal areas, discharge of such pollutant may be allowed:
Provided, further, That the effluent concentration of discharge shall not
exceed the naturally occurring level of such pollutant in the area: Provided,
Finally, That the effluent concentration and volume of discharge shall not
adversely affect water supply, public health and ecological protection.

The Department shall, in coordination with NWRB, Department of

Health (DOH), Department of Agriculture (DA), governing board and
other concerned government agencies and private sectors shall take
such measures as may be necessary to upgrade the quality of such
water in non-attainment areas to meet the standards under which it
has been classified.
Upgrading of water quality shall likewise include undertakings, which
shall improve the water quality of a water body to a classification that
will meet its projected or potential use.
The LGUs shall prepare and implement contingency plans and other
measures including relocation, whenever necessary, for the protection
of health and welfare of the residents within potentially affected areas.

National Sewerage and Septage Management Program. - The Department of

Public Works and Highways (DPWH), through its relevant attached agencies, in
coordination with the Department, local government units (LGUs) and other
concerned agencies, shall, as soon as possible, but in no case exceeding a
period of twelve (12) months from the affectivity of this Act, prepare a national
program on sewerage and septage management in connection with Section 8
Such program shall include a priority listing of sewerage, septage and combined
sewerage-septage projects for LGUs based on population density and growth,
degradation of water resources, topography, geology, vegetation,
program/projects for the rehabilitation of existing facilities and such other factors
that the Secretary may deem relevant to the protection of water quality. On the
basis of such national listing, the national government may allot, on an annual
basis, funds for the construction and rehabilitation of required facilities.

Each LGU shall appropriate the necessary land,

including the required rights-of-way/road access to
the land for the construction of the sewage and/or
septage treatment facilities.
Each LGU may raise funds to subsidize necessary
expenses for the operation and maintenance of
sewerage treatment or septage facility servicing
their area of jurisdiction through local property
taxes and enforcement of a service fee system.

Domestic Sewage Collection, Treatment and Disposal. - Within five (5)

years following the effectivity of this Act, the Agency vested to provide water
supply and sewerage facilities and/or concessionaires in Metro Manila and
other highly urbanized cities (HUCs) as defined in Republic Act No. 7160, in
coordination with LGUs, shall be required to connect the existing sewage line
found in all subdivisions, condominiums, commercial centers, hotels, sports
and recreational facilities, hospitals, market places, public buildings,
industrial complex and other similar establishments including households to
available sewerage system. Provided, That the said connection shall be
subject to sewerage services charge/fees in accordance with existing laws,
rules or regulations unless the sources had already utilized their own
sewerage system: Provided, further, That all sources of sewage and septage
shall comply with the requirements herein.

In areas not considered as HUCs, the DPWH in

coordination with the Department, DOH and other
concerned agencies, shall employ septage or combined
sewerage-septage management system.
For the purpose of this section, the DOH, coordination
with other government agencies, shall formulate
guidelines and standards for the collection, treatment and
disposal of sewage including guidelines for the
establishment and operation of centralized sewage
treatment system.

National Water Quality Management Fund. - A water

quality management fund, to be administered by the
Department, in coordination with other concerned agencies,
as a special account in the National Treasury is hereby
established. The fund shall be used to finance the following:
a) Finance containment and clean-up operations of the
government in water pollution cases;
b) Guarantee restoration of ecosystems and rehabilitation
of affected areas;
c) Support research, enforcement and monitoring activities;

d) Provide technical assistance to the implementing

e) Grant rewards and incentives;
f) Support information and educational campaign; and
g) Such other disbursements made solely for the
prevention, control or abatement of water pollution and
management and administration of the management
areas in the amounts authorized by the Department.

The fines imposed and damages awarded to the government by

the Pollution Adjudication Board (PAB), proceeds of permits
issued by the Department under this Act, donations,
endowments and grants in the form of contributions to the
national government under this Act shall form part of the fund.
Such donations, endowments and grants shall be exempt from
donor's taxes and all other taxes, charges or fees imposed by
the government and shall be deductible from the gross income
of the donor for income tax purposes.
Disbursements from the fund shall be subject to the usual
accounting and budgeting rules and regulations.

The Area Water Quality Management Fund. - The area water quality
management fund is hereby established for the maintenance and upkeep
of the water bodies in a water quality management area. The fund shall be
utilized for the grant of rewards and incentives for entities whose effluent
discharges are better than the water quality criteria of the target
classification of the receiving body of water, loans for acquisitions and
repairs of facilities to reduce quantity and improve quality of wastewater
discharges, and regular maintenance of the water bodies within the
management area.
An amount of not more than ten percent (10%) of the total amount
accruing to the funds annually shall be allocated for the operational
expenses of the governing board, its secretariat and multi-sectoral water
quality surveillance and monitoring network.

This fund shall initially be sourced from the fines incurred

by the establishments located in rural areas before the
effectivity of this Act. Thereafter, the fees collected under
the wastewater charge system established under Section
13 of this Act, donations, endowments and grants for water
quality management of the area shall accrue to the fund.
Disbursements from the fund shall be subject to the usual
accounting and budgeting rules and regulations. This fund
shall be managed by the Board of the corresponding
management area.

Wastewater Charge System. - The Department shall implement a

wastewater charge system in all management areas including the
Laguna Lake Region and Regional Industrial Centers through the
collection of wastewater charges/fees. The system shall be
established on the basis of payment to the government for
discharging wastewater into the water bodies. Wastewater charges
shall be established taking into consideration the following:
a) To provide strong economic inducement for polluters to modify
their production or management processes or to invest in pollution
control technology in order to reduce the amount of water
pollutants generated;

b) To cover the cost of administering water quality

management or improvement programs;
c) Reflect damages caused by water pollution on
the surrounding environment, including the cost of
d) Type of pollutant;
e) Classification of the receiving water body; and
f) Other special attributes of the water body.

The fee shall be based on the net waste load depending on the
wastewater, charge formula which shall be established with due public
consultation within six (6) months from the effectivity of this Act: Provided,
That net waste load shall refer to the difference of the initial waste load of
the abstracted water and the waste load of the final effluent discharge of
an industry: Provided, further, That no net waste load shall be lower than
the initial waste load: Provided, finally, That wastewater charge system
shall not apply to wastewater from geothermal exploration.
Industries whose water effluent are within standards promulgated pursuant
to this Act, shall only be charged with minimal reasonable amount which
shall be determined by the Department after due public consultation, giving
account to volumetric rate of discharge and effluent concentration.


SECTION 25. Rewards. - Rewards, monetary or
otherwise, shall be provided to individuals, private
organization and entities, including civil society, that
have undertaken outstanding and innovative
projects, technologies, processes and techniques
or activities in water quality management. Said
rewards shall be sourced from the Water Quality
Management Fund herein created.

SECTION 26. Incentives Scheme. - An incentive

scheme is hereby provided for the purpose of
encouraging LGUs, water districts (WDs),
enterprises, or private entities, and individuals, to
develop or undertake an effective water quality
management, or actively participate in any program
geared towards the promotion thereof as provided
in this Act.

A. Non-fiscal incentive
1. Inclusion in the Investments Priority Plan (IPP). Subject to the rules and regulations of the Board of
Investments (BOI), industrial wastewater treatment
and/or adoption of water pollution control technology,
cleaner production and waste minimization technology
shall be classified as preferred areas of investment under
its annual priority plan and shall enjoy the applicable
fiscal and non-fiscal incentives as may be provided for
under the Omnibus Investment Code, as amended.

Fiscal Incentives
1. Tax and Duty Exemption on Imported Capital
Equipment. - Within ten 10) years upon the effectivity of
this Act, LGUs, WDs, enterprises or private entities shall
enjoy tax-and-duty-free importation of machinery,
equipment and spare parts used for industrial wastewater
treatment/collection and treatment facilities: Provided,
That the importation of such machinery, equipment and
spare parts shall comply with the following conditions:

a) They are not manufactured domestically in sufficient quantity, of

comparable quality and at reasonable prices;
b) They are reasonably needed and will be used actually, directly and
exclusively for the above mentioned activities; and
c) Written endorsement by the Department that the importation of such
machinery, equipment and spare parts would be beneficial to environmental
protection and management: Provided, further, That the sale, transfer or
disposition of such machinery, equipment and spare parts without prior
approval of the BOI within five (5) years from the date of acquisition shall be
prohibited, otherwise the LGU concerned, WD, enterprise or private entity
and the concerned vendee, transferee or assignee shall be solidarity liable
to pay twice the amount of tax and duty exemption given it.

2. Tax Credit on Domestic Capital Equipment. - Within

ten (10) years from the effectivity of this Act, a tax credit
equivalent to one hundred percent (100%) of the value
of the national internal revenue taxes and customs
duties that would have been waived on the machinery,
equipment, and spare parts, had these items been
imported shall be given to enterprises or private entities
and individuals, subject to the same conditions and
prohibition cited in the preceding paragraph.

3. Tax and Duty Exemption of Donations, Legacies and Gifts. - All legacies, gifts
and donations to LGUs, WDs, enterprises, or private entities and individuals, for
the support and maintenance of the program for effective water quality
management shall be exempt from donor's tax and shall be deductible from the
gross income of the donor for income tax purposes.
Imported articles donated to, or for the account of any LGUs, WDs, local water
utilities, enterprises, or private entities and individuals to be exclusively used for
water quality management programs shall be exempted from the payment of
customs duties and applicable internal revenue taxes.
Industrial wastewater treatment and/or installation of water pollution control
devices shall be classified as pioneer and preferred areas of investment under the
BOI's annual priority plan and shall enjoy- the applicable fiscal and non-fiscal
incentives as may be provided for under the Omnibus Investment Code, as

B. Financial Assistance Program

Government financial institutions such as the Development Bank of the
Philippines, Land Bank of the Philippines, Government Service Insurance
System, and such other government institutions providing financial
services shall, in accordance with and to the extent allowed by the
enabling provisions of their respective charters or applicable laws, accord
high priority to extend financial services to LGUs, WDs, enterprises, or
private entities engaged in sewage collection and treatment facilities.
C. Extension or Grants to LGUs
Cities and municipalities which shall establish or operate sewerage
facilities may be entitled to receive grants for the purpose of developing
technical capabilities.

Prohibited Acts. - The following acts are hereby prohibited:

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.

Fines, Damages and Penalties. - Unless otherwise provided herein, any person who
commits any of the prohibited acts provided in the immediately preceding section or
violates any of the provision of this Act or its implementing rules and regulations, shall
be fined by the Secretary, upon the recommendation of the PAB in the amount of not
less than Ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) nor more than Two hundred thousand
pesos (P200,000.00) for every day of violation. The fines herein prescribed shall be
increased by ten percent (10%) every two (2) years to compensate for inflation and to
maintain the deterrent function of such fines: Provided, That the Secretary, upon
recommendation of the PAB may order the closure, suspension of development or
construction, or cessation of operations or, where appropriate disconnection of water
supply, until such time that proper environmental safeguards are put in place and/or
compliance with this Act or its rules and regulations are undertaken. This paragraph
shall be without prejudice to the issuance of an ex parte order for such closure,
suspension of development or construction, or cessation of operations during the
pendency of the case.

Failure to undertake clean-up operations, willfully, or through gross

negligence, shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than two
(2) years and not more than four (4) years and a fine not less than
Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) and not more than One hundred
thousand pesos (P100,000.00) per day for each day of violation.
Such failure or refusal which results in serious injury or loss of life
and/or irreversible water contamination of surface, ground, coastal
and marine water shall be punished with imprisonment of not less
than six (6) years and one day and not more than twelve (12) years,
and a fine of Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (P500,000.00) per day
for each day during which the omission and/or contamination

In case of gross violation of this Act, the PAB shall issue a

resolution recommending that the proper government agencies
file criminal charges against the violators. Gross violation shall
mean any of the following:
a) deliberate discharge of toxic pollutants identified pursuant to
Republic Act No.6969 in toxic amounts;
b) five {5) or more violations within a period of two (2) years; or
c) blatant disregard of the orders of the PAB, such as the nonpayment of fines, breaking of seals or operating despite the
existence of an order for closure, discontinuance or cessation of

In which case, offenders shall be punished with a fine of

not less than Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00)
but not more than Three million pesos (P3,000,000.00}
per day for each day of violation or imprisonment of not
less than six {6) years but not more than ten {10) years, or
both, at the discretion of the court. If the offender is a
juridical person, the president, manager and the pollution
control officer or the official in charge of the operation
shall suffer the penalty herein provided.

For violations falling under Section 4 of Presidential Decree No.979 or any regulations prescribed
in pursuance thereof, such person shall be liable for a fine of no1 less than Fifty thousand pesos
{P50,000.00) nor more than One million pesos (P1,000,000.00) or by imprisonment of not less
than one {1) year nor more than six (6) years or both, for each offense, without prejudice to the
civil liability of the offender in accordance with existing laws. If the offender is a juridical entity,
then its officers, directors, agents or any person primarily responsible shall be held
liable: Provided, That any vessel from which oil or other harmful substances are discharged in
violation of Section 4 of Presidential Decree No.979 shall be liable for penalty of fine specified in
the immediately preceding paragraph and clearance of such vessel from the port of the
Philippines may be withheld until the fine is paid and such penalty shall constitute a lien on such
vessel which may be recovered in proceedings by libel in rem in the proper court which the
vessel may be. The owner or operator of a vessel or facility which discharged the oil or other
harmful substances will be liable to pay for any clean-up costs.
Provided, finally, That water pollution cases involving acts or omissions --- committed within the
Laguna Lake Region shall be dealt with in accordance with the procedure under R. A. No.4850
as amended.

Administrative Sanctions Against Noncompliance with the Water Quality Management

Area Action Plan. - Local government officials
concerned shall be subject to Administrative
sanctions incase of failure to comply with their action
plan accordance with the relevant provisions of R.A.
No. 7160.