Bohol LGU asks DENR, NWRB to settle spring water extraction issue with neighboring town

The town of Sevilla in the province of Bohol has asked the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to stop its neighboring town Balilihan from extracting water from a spring located in one of its barangays.

In a letter to DENR Secretary Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga dated January 18, 2023, Sevilla town Mayor Juliet Dano said Balilihan’s P95-million waterworks project “intruded our political jurisdiction in the installation of their infrastructure in Bugwak Spring…[which] is situated at Magsaysay, Sevilla, Bohol.”

As indicated in their water permit, Dano stressed that the Balilihan local government unit should be extracting water from Bugwak Spring, Sto. Niño, Balilihan, Bohol. Instead, the neighboring town has been siphoning water from Bugwak Spring in Magsaysay, Sevilla, “contrary to their approved water permit.”

The Sevilla town mayor sought DENR Secretary Yulo-Loyzaga’s “utmost attention and immediate action,” saying the implementation of Balilihan’s waterworks project is a clear violation of DENR rules for having no valid water and building permits.

DENR’s National Water Resources Board (NWRB), which coordinates and regulates
all water development and management in the country, has given the LGU of Balilihan permit to extract water within its own territory.

Aside from DENR, Dano formally petitioned NWRB to stop Balilihan from extracting water from her municipality. She noted that Balilihan’s water permit is to appropriate water from its own territory, not Sevilla.

“The actual [water] diversion point is located at Magsaysay, Sevilla, Bohol as evidenced by the installations made by the Department of Public Works and Highways-Bohol 1st Engineering District,” Dano said in her petition before the NWRB.

“The requirements of Posting and Sending of Notice Under Section 9 of the Amended Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Water Code of the Philippines were not followed,” the petition read.

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