All islets such as sandbars and delta shall not be subjected to any mode of titling. Islands formed by accretion or gradual process of accumulation of soil within navigable or floatable lakes or rivers, as well as dried creeks and dried river beds shall not be alienated, unless declared as open for disposition through a law enacted by the Congress or a Presidential Proclamation.

This, according to the Department of Environment of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is pursuant to DENR Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2020-16 dated December 10, 2020 entitled “Guidelines on the Disposition of Lands formed by Accretion Adjacent to Agricultural Lands and Management of Islets in River Channels.”

Said policy also mandates DENR regional offices through the CENROs and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the region to assess the physical and biological conditions including exposure to environmental and climate risks of these lands, and to declare whether these lands will be designated as no-build zone.

In instances, where potential and most suitable use are determined, the DENR may recommend the issuance of Presidential Proclamation or enter into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the local government unit for the proper management and development of the area.

Meanwhile, lands formed by accretion adjacent to agricultural lands (A&D) shall be disposed in accordance with the provisions of CA 141, as amended or the Public Land Act and the Civil Code of the Philippines.

DENR VIII Regional Executive Director Tirso P. Parian, Jr. says, “it is important that individuals adhere to the policies set by the government in managing the land to ensure both the conservation of resources and the safety of everyone”.

On January 16, 2012, Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje, issued a memorandum suspending the acceptance and processing of Public Land Applications (PLAs) on lands formed by action of the sea in all waterways and accretion islets in rivers, shores, dried creeks and river beds. This Memorandum mandates the lifting of suspension only upon the review and enhancement of policies and procedures on the survey and disposition of public lands on unstable land forms and those considered impermanent in nature.