VESTING THE JURISDICTION AND CONTROL OVER WATERSHED RESERVATIONS IN THE MINISTRY OF ENERGY AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
WHEREAS, under Section 5 of Presidential Decree No. 705, the Bureau of Forest Development is vested with authority and jurisdiction over all forest lands including watershed reservations;
WHEREAS, watershed areas are critical and essential not only to the life-span of hydroelectric dams and other water-oriented projects of the government but also to its flood control and other environmental or ecological programs;
WHEREAS, in view of the foregoing reasons and in order to curtail the continuing destruction, denudation and appropriation of watershed areas by private parties, it is imperative that their inalienable and non-disposable character be better assured, and to this end, more stringent measures adopted for their better protection, development, management and rehabilitation;
WHEREAS, under Presidential Decree No. 1206 the Ministry of Energy has been mandated to formulate and implement the government’s policies, plans and programs on the development of energy resources of all kinds; and
WHEREAS, in pursuance of its aforestated functions the Ministry of Energy will be in a better position to afford the desired protection, development, management and rehabilitation of watershed areas.
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 the following:
SEC. 1. Any provision of existing law to the contrary notwithstanding, the Ministry of Energy shall have jurisdiction, control and regulation over all watershed areas and reservations proclaimed or hereafter proclaimed as such by the President of the Philippines.
SEC. 2. The Ministry of Energy may exercise its powers, functions and responsibilities over watershed areas and reservations through the National Power Corporation (NPC) or such other government agencies or instrumentalities as are attached to or otherwise placed under the Ministry of Energy. The NPC or any other such designated government agency shall be responsible for the management, protection, development and rehabilitation of watershed areas, including but not limited to the following:
1. Identification of watershed areas which require immediate rehabilitation and development;
2. Preparation of plans and programs for the maximum utilization of watershed resources;
3. Formulation and/or implementation of measures to prevent denudation of watershed cover;
4. Undertake public education and information drive to create awareness among the populace of the importance of forests and uses of watershed areas;
5. Promotion of the development and conservation of existing and vegetative cover;
6. Formulation of plans and development programs for resettlement and relocation;
7. Coordination with other government agencies/instrumentalities, religious and civic groups in undertaking forest conservation measures in watershed areas;
8. Undertake afforestation, reforestation and physical rehabilitation measures in critically denuded watershed areas; and
9. Development, maintenance and management of tree farms within adequately vegetated watersheds for the production of transmission line poles.
SEC. 3. The Ministry of Energy shall be hereby empowered to call upon and enlist the assistance of any or all government agencies in the exercise of its powers herein.
SEC. 4. The Ministry of Energy shall prescribe, adopt and issue rules and regulations governing the implementation of the herein granted functions, powers and responsibilities, and any person or persons who shall violate such rules and regulations shall be punished with a fine ranging from Five Hundred Pesos (P500) to Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00) or with imprisonment from six (6) months to five (5) years, or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court.
SEC. 5. To carry out the purposes of this Decree, there is hereby appropriated out of any funds in the National Treasury not otherwise appropriated, the sum of THIRTY MILLION PESOS (P30, 000,000) for the operation of the National Power Corporation or any other designated implementing agency in addition to whatever appropriation the other government agencies concerned may contribute to this undertaking. Thereafter, the necessary appropriation shall be included in the Annual Generation Appropriation Act.
SEC. 6. The provisions of Presidential Decree No. 705 and other laws, decrees, orders, rules and regulations as are inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.
SEC. 7. This Decree shall take effect immediately.
DONE in the City of Manila, this 11th day of June, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-eight.
(Sgd.)President of the Philippines
By the President:
JACOBO C. CLAVE
Presidential Executive Assistant