Act No. 2652

 

 

AN ACT

AMENDING ACT NUMBERED TWENTY-ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY-TWO, ENTITLED “AN ACT TO PROVIDE A SYSTEM FOR THE APPROPRIATION OF PUBLIC WATERS, AND FOR THE DETERMINING OF EXISTING RIGHTS THERETO; FOR THE.  PUBLIC REGISTRATION OF ALL WATER RIGHTS; FOR THE CREATION AND USE OF WATER POWER; FOR INVESTIGATIONS FOR AND THE CONSTRUCTION, MAINTENANCE, AND OPERATION OF IRRIGATION SYSTEMS BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS; FOR THE REPAYMENT OF MONEY EXPENDED THEREFOR; FOR THE CONSTRUCTION, MAINTENANCE, AND OPERATION OF IRRIGATION SYSTEMS BY PRIVATE PERSONS; FOR THE INSPECTION AND REGULATION OF ALL WORKS PERTAINING TO THE USE OF WATER; AND PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR ITS VIOLATION; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSE,” AND PRESCRIBING THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH A LOAN MAY BE OBTAINED FROM REIMBURSABLE FUNDS OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND OR OTHER PURPOSES

 

By authority of the United States, be it enacted by the Philippine Legislature, that:
 

SECTION 1.  Section five of Act Numbered Twenty-one hundred and fifty-two is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

“SEC. 5.  The Director of Public Works shall as soon as practicable prepare for such streams in the Philippine Islands as may be designated by the Secretary of Commerce and Police a list of the appropriations of water according to priority, and in order to make such list he shall cause a notice to all claimants of water rights to be published in English and when advisable in Spanish and the local dialect, three times a week for three consecutive weeks in some newspaper having a general circulation in the province or provinces in which said appropriation is to be made.  Such notice shall also be posted in English, Spanish, and the local dialect, for the space of three weeks as provided above, at the usual place of posting public notices in the municipalities affected by the appropriation, and shall besides be published three times a week for three consecutive weeks by means of bandillos or public criers.  Such notice shall contain a statement of the information that it is desired to obtain from the claimants, the conditions under which such claims must be presented, and any further facts that may be deemed necessary.  The said Director of Public Works shall send to each person known to have a claim to the waters of such streams a blank form, on which said claimant shall set forth in writing all the particulars, showing the amounts and dates of appropriations to the use of water of said stream to which he lays claim, the said statement to include the following data, if possible:

 

“(a) The name and address of the claimant.


“(b) The nature of the use or title on which the claim for an appropriation is based.


“(c) The date of the commencement of such use.


“Also if used for irrigation, the following:


“(d) The date of beginning of survey.


“(e) The date of beginning of construction.


“(f) The date when completed.


“(g) The date of beginning and completion of enlargement.


“(h) The dimensions of the ditch as originally constructed and as enlarged.


“(i) The amount of land irrigated in the first year.


“(j) The amount in subsequent years, with the date of irrigation and the amount of land such ditch is capable of irrigating.


“(k) The character of the soil and the kind of crops cultivated.


“(l) Such other facts as will show compliance with the law in acquiring the appropriation, and the rank of the priority claimed.


“Each of said claimants shall be required to certify to his statements under oath, and any officer authorized to administer oath is hereby authorized to administer such oaths:  Provided, however, That there shall be no charge for such oaths when administered by any officer of the Insular, provincial, or municipal government authorized to administer oaths.”

 

SEC. 2.  Section six of Act Numbered Twenty-one hundred and fifty-two is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

“SEC. 6.  The blank form required by section five to be forwarded to each known claimant shall be accompanied by a notice that the statement therein called for must be promptly presented properly prepared.  Whenever the Secretary of Commerce and Police shall, as provided by law, designate a stream or other body of water on which a priority list shall be determined, it shall be the duty of all claimants interested in such stream or other body of water to appear or submit proof of their respective claims, at the time and in the manner required by law; and any such claimant who shall fail to appear in such proceedings or to submit proof of his appropriation or claim shall be barred and estopped from subsequently asserting any rights theretofore acquired upon the stream or other body of water embraced in such proceedings, and shall be held to have forfeited all rights to the use of said stream or other body of water theretofore claimed by him:  Provided, however, That any claimant upon whom no other service shall be made than by publication in a newspaper, or by posted notices relative to such proceedings and taking of testimony may, within one year after the date, inclusive, of the approval of the list of priorities for the stream or other body of water, by the Secretary of Commerce and Police, have the approval opened and be let in to give proof of his claim; but before the approval can be opened in such case, the applicant shall give notice to all other persons interested in the water of the stream or other body of water as required of claimants in original proceedings and make it appear to the satisfaction of the Director of Public Works that during the pendency of the original proceedings he had no actual notice thereof in time to appear or to make proof of his claims and all parties interested may present affidavits to the matter of actual notice of the applicant.”

 

SEC. 3.  Section seven of Act Numbered Twenty-one hundred and fifty-two is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

“SEC. 7.  It shall be the duty of the Director of Public Works, as soon as practicable, to make an examination of s such stream and the works diverting therefrom, said examination to include the measurements of the discharge of said stream, and the carrying capacity of the various ditches and canals diverting water therefrom, an examination of the irrigated lands, and an approximate measurement of the lands irrigated and susceptible of irrigation from the various ditches and canals which said observations and measurements shall be reduced to writing and made a matter of official record in his office; and it shall be the duty of the Director of Lands to make a cadastral survey and map or plat, when authorized to do so by the Governor-General, showing the course of said stream, the location of each dam, ditch or canal diverting water therefrom, and the divisions and subdivisions of lands which have been irrigated or which are susceptible of irrigation from the work already constructed.  These cadastral surveys shall be paid for exactly as required by Act Numbered Twenty-two hundred and fifty-nine and its amendments.”

 

SEC. 4.  Section nine of Act Numbered Twenty-one hundred and fifty-two is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

“SEC. 9.  Upon approval of the list of priorities the Secretary of Commerce and Police shall publish the said approved list in the manner provided in section five of this Act.  This notice shall show for each appropriation:

 

“(a) The name and post-office address of the appropriator.


“(b) The priority number of such appropriation.


“(c) The amount of prior appropriations.


“(d) The amount of water to which the appropriator is entitled.


“(e) And if such appropriations be for irrigation, a description of the legal subdivisions of the lands to which said water is to be diverted.


“It shall thereupon be the duty of the Director of Public Works to issue to each appropriator represented in such list a certificate signed by the Secretary of Commerce and Police, setting forth the information shown in items (a), (6), (c), (d) and (e) of this section relating to his appropriation.

 

“Such certificates shall be transmitted by the Director of Public Works, by registered mail to the register of deeds of the province in which such appropriation shall have been made, and on the same date a notice of such transmittal shall be forwarded by the Director of Public Works to the appropriator and it shall be the duty of the register of deeds -to record the same in a book specially prepared and kept for that purpose charging therefor a fee of two pesos, and thereupon immediately transmit the same to the appropriator.  If the water is to be wholly or partially used in another province than that in which the point of diversion is located, the Director of Public Works shall instruct the register of deeds of the latter to transmit the same manner, after the proper procedure, the certified copy to the register of deeds of the province where the water is to be used and this officer shall be entitled to the fees and charged with the duties above mentioned:  Provided, however, That if such recording fee shall not be paid within one year after receipt of such notice from the Director of Public Works, the claimant shall lose all right to the priority of appropriation as established in this section.”

 

SEC. 5.  Section thirteen of Act Numbered Twenty-one hundred and fifty-two is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

“SEC. 13.  In the event of the appropriators not organizing in accordance with the provisions of the next preceding section, or during the time in which the rights of using the public waters which have been appropriated are being determined and adjudicated, the system shall be temporarily administered under this Act as follows:

 

“(a) By the municipal council, when the system affects one municipality alone.


“(b) By the provincial board, when it affects two or more municipalities of a province.


“(c) By the Director of Public Works, when it affects two or more provinces.

 

“The regulations issued for the administration, use and distribution of waters shall be previously approved by the Irrigation Council, and in the preparation of these regulations all the persons interested shall be given a hearing.

 

“The cost of this service shall be a lien upon the crops, in the first place, and in the second place upon the land of the water users and ditch owners, in accordance with the distribution thereof, as shown by the accounts of the municipal council, the provincial board, or the Director of Public Works, which distributions shall be based upon the quantity of water consumed by each appropriator or ditch owner, in proportion to the total quantity delivered to all:  Provided, however, That the funds necessary to defray the administration expenses prior to the expiration of each agricultural year (the period intervening between the beginning of the planting and the completion of the harvesting of the crops), in accordance with the appropriation, shall be advanced by the municipality of the province out of their funds, or by the Director of Public Works, out of the irrigation fund, and shall be reimbursed at the end of each year with interest at the rate of four per centum:  And provided further, That in the event of the municipalities or provincial board being without funds to cover these expenses the administration of such system shall be given to the Director of Public Works for such time as the funds advanced to meet said expenses are paid from the Insular Treasury.

 

“The municipal and provincial treasurers shall, in the performance of their official duties, collect the charges for administration expenses for each year upon the completion of each harvest, acting in this respect as delegates of the Director of Public Works.  Such lien shall have preference over all other liens except that for taxes on the land and any mortgage lien in favor of the Philippine Agricultural Bank, or its successor, and such preferred lien shall not be removed until all charges are paid or the property is sold for payment thereof.  Within one year after default of payment on an installment payable on any parcel of land, the municipal president, the provincial governor or the Director of Public Works shall file with the Clerk of the Court of First Instance of the district in which the land is situated, a list of all lands upon which default has been made.  The clerk of the court shall thereupon publish in the manner provided for the publication of the summons in a civil action, a list of the lands so filed by the Director of Public Works, accompanied by a notice requiring the owners to file an answer thereto within thirty days after the completion of the publication.

 

“Upon the filing of an answer by the person interested, the action in respect to such person shall proceed to judgment, as provided for other actions by the Code of Civil Procedure.  Upon termination of such thirty days judgment shall be entered against such persons as have not answered, and their lands, or the portion thereof deemed necessary, shall be sold, after ten days’ public notice, at public auction by the sheriff to satisfy such preferred lien.

 

“Any excess over the amount of said lien and the cost of such procedure shall be returned to the interested person, who shall have one year thereafter to redeem his land by payment of the amount of judgment, and costs with interest at six per centumProvided, however, That in the event of the cost of maintenance being so exceptionally high in any year that it exceeds fifty per centum of the net profits, such exceptional cost shall be distributed in an equitable manner, over two or more years, but not more than five:  And provided further, That in the cases in which a crop is unharvested at the time of the execution of the lien, the execution shall be levied first on said crop.

 

“In the preparation of the regulations mentioned in this and the next preceding section, the customs and usages of each locality shall be taken into consideration, and in these regulations one day of the year shall be fixed for a meeting of all the persons interested for the purpose of preparing an estimate of expenditures for the next succeeding year.”

 

SEC. 6.  Section fourteen of Act Numbered Twenty-one hundred and fifty-two is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

“SEC. 14.  Any person hereafter desiring to appropriate any public water shall previously make an application to the Secretary of Commerce and Police through the Director of Public Works.

 

“This application shall set forth:

 

“(a) The name and post-office address of the applicant.

 

“(b) The source from which said appropriation shall be made.

 

“(c) The place or site of diversion.

 

“(d) The approximate amount of water to be diverted.


“(e) A description of the proposed works.


“(f) The purpose or object of the appropriation.


“(g) If for irrigation, a description of the land to be irrigated and the area thereof, and any additional facts required by the Secretary of Commerce and Police.


“(h) The names and post-office addresses of all persons known to have interests, either directly or indirectly, relative to the application.


“On receipt of this application, which shall be on a form prescribed by the Secretary of Commerce and Police, and to be furnished by the Director of Public Works without cost to the applicant, it shall be the duty of the Director of Public Works to make a record thereof in his office, and to carefully examine the same to ascertain whether it sets forth all facts necessary to determine the nature and the amount of the proposed appropriation.

 

“If the application be defective it shall be the duty of the Director of Public Works to point out the defects noted and return it to the applicant for correction, and sixty days after receipt thereof by said applicant shall be allowed for the refiling thereof.  If refiled, corrected in proper form, within such time the application shall take priority as of the date of original filing, subject to compliance with the further provisions of the law and the regulations thereunder:  Provided, That prior to the approval of the application the applicant shall not be authorized to perform any work for the use of the waters.”

 

SEC. 7.  Section fifteen of Act Numbered Twenty-one hundred and fifty-two is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

“SEC. 15.  When the original or corrected application is filed in accordance with the requirements of this Act, the Director of Public Works shall, within thirty days, cause to be published in English and when advisable in Spanish and the local dialect, three times a week for three consecutive weeks in some newspaper having a general circulation in the province or provinces, in which said appropriation is to be made, a notice showing:

 

“(a) The name of the applicant.


“(b) Date of filing of application.


“(c) The information required in section fourteen hereof under (b), (c), (d), (e), (f) and (g).


“Such notice shall also be posted in English, Spanish, and the local dialect, for the space of three weeks provided in the next preceding paragraph, at the usual place for posting public notices in the municipalities affected by the appropriation, and shall besides be published three times a week for three consecutive weeks by means of bandillos or public criers; and the notice shall be sent to all known claimants by registered mail:  Provided, That any person interested may object to the appropriation within the time limit stated in the notice and fixed by the Director of Public Works, which shall not be less than thirty days nor more than sixty days, beginning with the last day of the publication in the newspaper of the said notice, filing with the said Director of Public Works a written protest stating reasons for the objection.  It shall be the duty of all persons having claims adverse to the application to appear or submit proof of their respective claims, at the time and in the manner required by law; and any such claimant who shall fail to appear in such proceedings or to submit proof of his appropriation or claim shall be barred and estopped from subsequently asserting any rights theretofore acquired upon the stream or other body of water embraced in such proceedings, and shall be held to have forfeited all rights to the use of the water covered by the application.  Upon termination of the period set for the filing of protests, the Director of Public Works shall make the necessary investigation regarding the appropriation, and any objections that may have been filed, taking testimony if necessary, in accordance with the provisions of section eight hereof and shall make report upon the case to the Secretary of Commerce and Police, who shall take action thereon, after reviewing the evidence in support of and against the appropriation.  The decision of the Secretary of Commerce and Police shall be subject to appeal in accordance with the provisions of section four of this Act.”

 

SEC. 8.  Section seventeen of Act Numbered Twenty-one hundred and fifty-two is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

“SEC. 17.  After the approval of an application the applicant shall submit in duplicate to the Director of Public Works, for approval, the plans and specifications for the works necessary for the use of the water granted by the said approval.  No work shall be begun until the plans for the same have been approved, and no work shall be done at any time except in accordance with the said plans.  The Director of Public Works shall have authority to examine and inspect such works during construction and order any changes or alterations which he may consider necessary for the security of the work, or the safe-guarding of life, property, or the public interest.  No water shall be turned into such works until the approval of the same by the Director of Public Works has been secured.


“Any failure to conform to the requirements laid down in this section shall be punishable as a misdemeanor under this Act:  Provided, however, That applicants for small appropriations to irrigate land, not in excess of sixteen hectares, shall not be required to submit plans and specifications other than those required in the application and the water may be turned into such works as soon as completed without reference to the Director of Public WorksAnd provided further, That the plans for the construction or reconstruction of temporary earth, brush, or grass dams across the channel of a stream, shall not be submitted when less than three meters in height.  If a dam across a channel of a stream is to be constructed of permanent materials, the plans shall be submitted to the Director of Public Works for approval.  Plans of temporary dams constructed of temporary materials such as brush, grass, or of earth, greater than three meters in height, shall be submitted for approval.”


SEC. 9.  Section eighteen of Act Numbered Twenty-one hundred and fifty-two is hereby amended to read as follows:


“SEC. 18.  Upon the approval of the completed work by the Director of Public Works, he shall issue to the applicant a certificate signed by the Secretary of Commerce and Police, setting forth the name of the applicant, the date, source, purpose, and amount of the appropriation, and if for irrigation, a description of the land to be irrigated, which certificate shall within one year after its issuance be recorded in the province in which the point of diversion of the appropriation is, as well as in the province where the water is used, in the same manner as is provided in section nine of this Act for the registration of certificates of appropriation.  The priority of such new appropriation shall date from the filing of the application in the office of the Director of Public Works.


“If the area irrigated or to be irrigated is sixteen hectares, or less, the Director of Public Works shall issue the certificate mentioned in this section upon the approval of the application of the water right and not upon the approval of the completed work.”


SEC. 10.  When it is desirable and possible to loan any funds of the Government for the purpose of building irrigation systems or maintaining, improving, and reconstructing any irrigation system actually in existence, the said funds shall be loaned only upon the following conditions:

 

(a)      The owners of the lands to be irrigated shall organize themselves as a corporation or as an association under the laws of the Philippine Islands.  The submission to, and approval by, the Secretary of Commerce and Police, of the articles of incorporation or by-laws of the association shall be necessary.

 

(b)      The water rights shall be determined, acquired, and shall be appurtenant to land in accordance with Act Numbered Twenty-one hundred and fifty-two as amended.

 

(c)      A cadastral survey of the lands to be irrigated shall be made and a map thereof perfected and completed in accordance with Act Numbered Twenty-one hundred and fifty-two as amended.

 

(d)      The lands belonging to a corporation or an association formed to obtain the benefits of this Act shall be known as an irrigation district.  The lands to be included in, and the limits of a district shall be determined by the Director of Public Works and approved by the Secretary of Commerce and Police.

 

(e)       Loans shall be made only upon lands to which Torrens titles exist.

 

(f)       A corporation or association organized as above shall forward a petition to the Secretary of Commerce and Police indicating the intention of the said corporation or association to build an irrigation system, or to maintain, improve and reconstruct any irrigation system actually in existence, which furnishes or is to furnish water to lands owned by the members of the corporation or association, binding said corporation or association to contribute funds to the extent of one-half of the actual cost of the proposed work and requesting a loan for the remaining one-half.  As soon as the petition is received by the Secretary of Commerce and Police he will refer it to the Director of Public Works for an investigation of the project and a recommendation upon the feasibility thereof.  If the Secretary of Commerce and Police, after being duly advised by the Director of Public Works, shall decide favorably upon the petition he shall advise the corporation or association to that effect, submitting a statement of the amount of the estimated cost of the project which shall include the cost of engineering and preliminary investigation.  The corporation or association, if satisfied with the statement of estimated cost, shall then deposit with the Insular Treasurer or with the provincial treasurer of the province in which such corporation or association is located one-half of such estimated cost, subject to the order of the Director of Public Works, to be used for the reconstruction, maintenance, or improvement of an irrigation system actually in existence, or for the building of a new system as the case may be, and a loan of the remaining one-half will then be made, whereupon the Director of Public Works will prosecute the work to final completion as rapidly as circumstances permit:  Provided, That if the Secretary of Commerce and Police shall decide that the proposed project is impracticable the expenses of the investigation made by the Director of Public Works shall be charged to the funds appropriated, and no part of said expenses shall be paid by the corporation or association:  And provided further, That in the event the Secretary of Commerce and Policee shall decide that the project is feasible and practicable, all of the expenses shall be paid by the association or corporation, as the case may be:  And provided further, That if the estimate of the Director of Public Works shall be insufficient for the completion of the work contemplated additional funds shall be provided within thirty days by the corporation or association, as the case may be, of the date of the formal request therefor by the Secretary of Commerce and Police, for the purpose of defraying any additional expense over and above the estimated cost of the work.  Any funds contributed and remaining unexpended when the proposed work is completed shall be refunded to the corporation or association.

 

(g)      The administration of the irrigation works built, maintained, improved or reconstructed under the provisions of this Act as well as the distribution of water among the consumers, together with the assessment of the annual cost for maintenance, operation, reconstruction and repair of same shall be in accordance with the provisions of Act Numbered Twenty-one hundred and fifty-two.

 

(h)      In carrying out the provisions of this Act, the Secretary of Commerce and Police shall issue and enforce such rules and regulations not inconsistent with the specific provisions of this Act, as may be necessary to give full effect to the purposes of the law as set forth herein.

 

(i)       The amount loaned shall not exceed fifty per centum of the assessed value of the land, exclusive of the value of buildings thereon.  The amount loaned shall be a lien upon the lands of the corporation or association and such lien shall have preference over all other liens except that for taxes on the land and any mortgage lien of prior date in favor of the Philippine Agricultural Bank or its successor, and such preferred lien shall not be removed until the entire loan, plus interest thereon or interest upon that part of the indebtedness remaining unpaid at the rate of four per centum per annum, is paid or the land is sold for payment thereof.

 

(j)       All work shall be executed in accordance with the procedure provided by section six of Act Numbered Five hundred and eighty-four for the construction of public works:  Provided, That, other things being equal, preference shall be given to the corporation or association owning the land to be irrigated in the matter of awarding contracts for the construction, maintenance, improvement or reconstruction.

 

(k)      The minimum size of a district shall be twenty-five hectares.

 

(l)       The maximum loan shall not exceed fifty thousand pesos.

 

(m)     The amount loaned shall be repaid as follows:  Interest shall begin upon the date the loan is made.  One year thereafter the accrued interest for one year shall be paid.  One year after the date that the Director of Public Works certifies that the work for which the loan was made is completed, the first payment upon the principal, plus accrued interest, shall be made.  The payment upon the principal shall be one-twentieth of the amount of the loan.   Thereafter each year until the loan is completely repaid, one-twentieth of the amount of the loan, plus accrued interest, shall be paid:  Provided, That the balance unpaid at the beginning of the twentieth year after the date of the loan shall be paid in full during said year:  And provided further, That if the corporation or association wishes to pay off the loans, plus accrued interest in a period less than twenty years from the date of completion of the work, it may do so.

 

Enacted, February 24, 1916

 

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