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(NAR) VOL. 20 NO.3 / JULY - SEPTEMBER 2009

[ OP EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 816, July 06, 2009 ]


WHEREAS, the Constitution mandates the State to protect and promote the conservation and wise use of the country’s natural resources to achieve social development, economic progress and ecological stability;

WHEREAS, the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTDP) of the government includes water resources management and the formulation of a comprehensive development plan for the water resources of the country;

WHEREAS, the integration and harmonization of various government mandates and resources in the provisions for safe and clean water supply and effective flood control management for the entire country is emphasized in the MTDP;

WHEREAS, the reforestation and watersheds, coupled with the establishment of water quality, effective flood control and measures, and the implementation of integrated water management scheme, are highly recommended for the sustainable supply and allocation of safe and clean water;

WHEREAS, Section 4 of Executive Order (EO) No. 192, series of 1987, mandates that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is the primary government agency responsible for the conservation, management, and development of the country’s environment and natural resources, as well as their proper use, and shall ensure the equitable sharing of the benefits derived therefrom for the welfare of the present and future generations of Filipinos;

WHEREAS, there are existing river basin and flood control projects that should be rationalized into the Integrated River Basin Development and Management Master Plan and Framework Plan;

WHEREAS, there are several areas in the country that have no major river basins but which, nevertheless, has been and are vulnerable to water shortages, water pollution, major flooding and land slides, and therefore needs inclusion in the master plan for integrated river basins management;

WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 510 dated March 5, 2006 mandates the River Basin Control Office under the DENR to rationalize various river basin projects such as, but not limited to, the following: the Pasig River Rehabilitation, KAMANAVA flood control, Agno River and Allied Rivers Flood Control, and to promote and advocate an integrated river basin management to ensure protection of environment and people against floods and natural disasters;

WHEREAS, the President has the continuing authority to rationalize and integrate various mandates of the Executive Branch pursuant to Section 31, Chapter 10, Title III, Book III of the Administrative Code of 1987.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby order:

SECTION 1. Declaration. The River Basin Control Office (RBCO) under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is hereby mandated as the oversight agency for all government efforts and initiatives within the country’s river basins.

SECTION 2. Power and Functions of the RBCO. The RBCO, as lead government agency, shall specifically execute the following powers and functions:

a. Rationalize and integrate all national plans, projects and programs within the country’s river catchment basins, with the authority to serve as the oversight office of all various government agencies and corporations with relevant and related river basin initiatives, projects and programs such as, but not limited to, river basin infrastructure development, flood control, environmental protection and integrated water resources management. To this end, such government agencies and corporations shall coordinate their planned and ongoing river basin initiatives with the RBCO, to which the RBCO shall review and endorse approval and funding from the national budget thereof, as may be provided under existing laws, rules and regulations;

b. Harmonize all relevant national river basin policies and formulate new policies and create enabling policy environment that shall allow effective and efficient management and governance of the country’s river basins. To this end, all national government agencies and corporation shall consult with the RBCO in such planning and implementation, and have the RBCO as ex-officio member in the policy steering or project implementing boards as may be created therefor;

c. Serve as the national policy coordination office for local government units and non-governmental organizations in the development and sustainability of all river and catchment basins, for which the RBCO shall recommend the approval and funding thereof of national government agency and corporations’ support to such local and non-government river and catchment basin initiatives;

d. Serve as the DENR’s implementing office in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of DENR’s programs and projects within the country’s river basins;

e. Serve as central fund administrator for river basins appropriation provided under the DENR’s budget that shall allow a more rationalized and optimized management of government public spending; and

f. Serve as the government’s central river basin database management agency, to which all government agencies and existing river basin organizations with relevant mandates and developmental initiatives within the river basins are required to cooperate and regularly submit their updated databases for integration and consolidation by RBCO using a River Basin Integrated Information Management System.

SECTION 3. Budgetary Support. The RBCO shall have an initial fund of Two Hundred Forty Million Pesos (P240,000,000.00) to be sourced from unprogrammed funds of the DENR, and/or as may be recommended and/or approved by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), for the planning, operations and administration of RBCO including augmentation of manpower capacity to carry out its mandated functions and powers. Said amount shall be obtained from the remaining unreleased budgetary support for RBCO pursuant to Executive Order No. 510 dated March 5, 2006, which created the RBCO under the DENR. Starting budgetary year 2010, its operating budget shall be incorporated in the budgetary allocation of the DENR and member agencies.

SECTION 4. Inter-Agency Cooperation. The departments, bureaus, offices, agencies or instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations, are hereby directed to extend such assistance and cooperation as the RBCO may need in the discharge of its functions.

SECTION 5. Repeal. All executive orders, rules and regulations and other issuances or parts thereof, which are inconsistent with this Executive Order, are hereby revoked, amended, or modified accordingly.

SECTION 8. Effectivity. This Order shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its complete publication in a national newspaper of general circulation and fifteen (15) days after registration with the Office of the National Administrative Register.

Adopted: 06 July 2009

President of the Philippines   


Executive Secretary

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