M a n i l a

PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 424 March 28, 1974


WHEREAS, the social and economic progress of the country is highly dependent on the proper development, control and utilization of its total water resources;

WHEREAS, as the country progresses and the population increases, there will develop, as has been experienced, keener competition and conflict of interests among water users; and

WHEREAS, there is an urgent need for a well-integrated and coordinated planning and prosecution of projects, including an expanded effect in the continuing task of water resources survey and appraisal, in order to achieve an orderly and scientific development as well as optimum utilization and control of our water resources to meet the present and future water needs of the country;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution do hereby order and decree:

Section 1. The Water Resources Committee under Article XI, Chapter I, Part X of the Integrated Reorganization Plan shall be renamed National Water Resources Council, hereinafter called the Council, and attached to the Department of Public Works, Transportation and Communications (DPWTC).

Section 2. The Council shall have the following functions, duties, and powers:

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.

Section 3. The Council shall be composed of the following:

Secretary, Department of Public Works, Transportation and Communications Chairman
Secretary Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, or his UndersecretaryMember
Director General, National Economic & Development Authority, or his DeputyMember
Administrator, National Irrigation AdministrationMember
General Manager, National Power CorporationMember
Director, Bureau of Public WorksMember

Provided, That the National Economic and Development Authority, in the exercise of its sound discretion, may increase or decrease the membership of the Council.

The members of the Council shall receive a reasonable amount of per diem as the Council may provide for every meeting actually attended by them.

Section 4. The Council shall have a working staff which shall function under the supervision and control of an Executive Director, who shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines upon recommendation of the Council. The Executive Director shall receive a salary as may be fixed by the Council. Initially, the Water Resources Survey Division of the Bureau of Public Works, shall be the working staff of the Council. The appropriate personnel, records, functions, and applicable appropriations, properties, and facilities of the Division shall be transferred to the Council within the current fiscal year. The Council shall fully organized and expand its working staff, and shall fix the salaries remunerations, including per diems and allowances of the personnel, subject to existing requirements, but exempt from WAPCO and Civil Service rules and regulations, insofar as technical positions are concerned; provided that the personnel shall be entitled to benefits and privileges normally accorded government employees, such as retirement, GSIS insurance, leave and similar matters.

Section 5. In the performance of its functions, the Council, may request and secure the assistance of any government agency, office or instrumentality which the Council is hereby authorized to call upon. Whenever necessary the Council may enter into contracts for consultancy services.

Section 6. The amount of Ten Million Pesos out of any available funds from the National Treasury is hereby appropriated and authorized to be released, for the organization of the Council and its initial operations, including purchase of hydrologic equipment. Henceforth, funds sufficient to fully carry out the functions and objectives of the Council shall be appropriated every fiscal year in the General Appropriations Act. The budget of the Council shall be in the form of lump sum appropriations with the Council having sole authority to determine the details of expenditures; provided that the Council shall submit to DPWTC a report of disbursement thereof within 45 days after the close of each fiscal year.

Section 7. The Council shall hold its organizational meeting within forty-five (45) days upon promulgation of this Decree.

Section 8. The functions, monies, and records, properties, rights and obligations of the Water Resources Committee are hereby transferred to the Council.

Section 9. All laws, decrees, charters, executive orders, administrative orders, proclamations, rules and regulations, or parts thereof in conflict with this Decree are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

Section 10. If any provision, provisions, part or parts of this decree is declared unconstitutional, such declaration shall not invalidate the other provisions hereof.

This Decree shall take effect immediately.

Done in the City of Manila, this 28th day of March, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-four.

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