No. Waters found both in the public and private lands are owned by the State (1987 Philippine Constitution Article XII section 2).

Water was defined by Presidential Decree no. 1067 s. 1976 otherwise known as the Water Code of the Philippines, referring 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.

Specifically, the following belong to the State, viz;

  1. Rivers and their natural beds;
  2. Continuous or intermittent waters of springs and brooks running in their natural beds and the beds themselves
  3. Natural lakes and lagoons;
  4. 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;
  5. Atmospheric water;
  6. Subterranean or ground water;
  7. Seawater;
  8. Continuous or intermittent waters rising in private lands;
  9. Lakes and lagoons naturally waters rising in private lands;
  10. Rain water and falling in private lands;
  11. Subterranean or ground waters in private lands; and,
  12. Waters in swamps and marshes in private lands;

Moreover, waters may be appropriated by the State subject to the issuance of an appropriate Water Rights for domestic, municipal, irrigation, power generation, fisheries, livestock raising, industrial, recreational and other purposes so long as it is being beneficially used for the purposes for which it was appropriated.

In the case of domestic utilization, a permit is no longer necessary provided it is intended for drinking, washing, cooking or other household needs, home gardens and watering or lawns or domestic animals.

(Photo – courtesy of LGU New Corella)