Notes on accession continua natural


ALLUVIUM. To the owners of lands adjoining the banks of rivers belong the accretion which they gradually receive from the effects of the current of the waters. (Art. 457)

What are its requisites?

[1] cause is current of the river,
[2] deposit must be gradual and imperceptible,
[3] land where accretion takes place is adjacent to the banks of the river,
[4] river must continue to exist.

Accretion can take place along the banks of a lake but not in ponds and lagoons (Art. 458) Accretion does not take place along the shores of the sea. (Gov’t v. Colegio de San Jose) (Meneses v. Court of Appeals)

Ownership is automatically acquired by the riparian owner by law. Riparian owner is not required to take any act to acquire ownership.

Registration is not required for acquiring ownership, but useful to protect ownership from being acquired by others through acquisitive prescription.

AVULSION. Whenever the current of a river, creek or torrent segregates from an estate on its bank a known portion of land and transfers it to another estate, the owner of the land to which the segregated portion belonged retains the ownership of it, provided that the removes the same within two years. (Art. 459)

[1] Opposite of alluvium. Action of river is abrupt, soil segregated is identifiable, original owner retains ownership provided he remove the same within two years.
[2] “Claims” same as “removes” (Code Commission)
[3] Delayed accession; it takes place only after 2 years.Trees uprooted and carried away b the current belong to the owner of the land upon which they may be cast, if the owners do not claim them within six months. (Art. 460).

Same principle as avulsion.

Also a case of delayed accession, because owner of land on which the trees may be cast acquires ownership of them only after six months and original owners did not claim them.

Change in course of Rivers. River beds which are abandoned through the natural change in the course of the waters ipso facto belong to the owners whose lands are covered by he new course in proportion to the area lost. However, the owners of he lands adjoining the old bed shall have the right to acquire the same by paying the value thereof, which value shall not exceed the value of the area occupied by the new bed. (Art. 461)


[1] Change of course must be sudden, a natural one and more or less permanent.
[2] Owners of the land along the old bed have a period of two years to bring the river back to it old course. (Art. 58, Water Code, PD 1067)
[3] Also a case of delayed succession due to the right of the lands bordering the abandoned bed to acquire it by paying the value thereof.
[4] New bed becomes property of public dominion (Art. 462)
[5] Owner retains ownership of land isolated by branching of waters of a river. (Art. 463)