𝐊𝐨𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐝𝐚𝐥 𝐂𝐢𝐭𝐲, 𝐒𝐨𝐮𝐭𝐡 𝐂𝐨𝐭𝐚𝐛𝐚𝐭𝐨 - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources Office (DENR) 12 through its Licenses, Patents, and Deeds Division (LPDD) had inventoried Fourteen (14) on-site water users and identified water sources in partnership with the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Matalam in the municipality of Arakan, Cotabato on March 07-09, 2023.
The team headed by DENR - 12 LPDD Chief Emily Ampatuan emphasized to the applicants the importance of water regulation aside from the process of issuance of water permits. LPDD clarified its role in water use regulation as a National Water Resources Board (NWRB) deputy under the Water Resources Utilization Section (WRUS).
“Along with inventory of water users and identification of water sources, we also conducted information, education, and communication (IEC) campaigns. This is really a need to inform the public on the importance of water regulation and for the issuance of permits.” Regional WRUS Chief Forester Maisara D. Batuampar said.
As provided under NWRB Resolution No. 15-116, DENR-12 shall only perform the acceptance/verification of water permit applications (WPAs)’; conduct a continuing inventory of water users; identify water sources; conduct information, education, and communication (IEC) campaigns; conduct re-echo training with Provincial/Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (P/CENROs) and meeting with other deputized agencies; and perform other related activities as may be specifically assigned in accordance with the Presidential Decree (PD) 1067 known as the Water Code of the Philippines that may be agreed by parties.
The approval and issuance of water permits shall be performed by the NWRB as it is the national regulating and coordinating agency on water resources management and development and was mandated to implement the Water Code of the Philippines. They were also called upon to conduct monitoring and enforcement activities all over the country.
To date, DENR - 12 already accomplished fifty (50) water permit applications for the first quarter out of the expected 180 targets for this year which shall be endorsed to the NWRB. This activity started after the creation of WRUS in 2015 as a result of the department’s Rationalization Program.
Further, WRUS was created to deputize DENR-12 and other regional line agencies as a response to the NWRB’s lack of personnel and field offices constraining its monitoring and enforcement activities in the state. DENR-12 LPDD along with its other deputy functions focuses also on the monitoring of non-compliant water users for legal actions and on reminding the public of their responsibilities because all waters belong to the state as provided under Article 3 of P.D. 1067. (𝘞𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘳𝘦𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘩𝘰𝘵𝘰𝘴 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘊𝘌𝘕𝘙𝘖 𝘔𝘢𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘢𝘮, 𝘋𝘌𝘕𝘙-12 𝘓𝘗𝘋𝘋) | 𝘙𝘚𝘊𝘐𝘎𝘑