REGISTRATION AND CONSERVATION OF CULTURAL PROPERTY
SECTION 14. Establishment of a Philippine Registry of Cultural Property (PRECUP). - All cultural property of the country deemed important to cultural heritage shall be registered in the Philippine Registry of Cultural Property.
The Commission, through the appropriate cultural agencies and local government units, shall establish and maintain this Registry within three (3) years from the effectivity of this Act. The guidelines in the registration of cultural property are as follows:
(a) All cultural agencies concerned shall individually maintain an inventory, evaluation and documentation of all cultural properties it has declared according to their category and shall submit the same to the Commission. For cultural property declared as Immovable Cultural Property, the appropriate cultural agency shall, after registration, give due notice to the Registry of Deeds having jurisdiction for annotation on the land titles pertaining to the same;
(b) Local government units, through their cultural offices, shall likewise maintain an inventory of cultural property under its jurisdiction and shall furnish the Commission a copy of the same;
(c) Both cultural agencies concerned and local government units shall continuously coordinate in making entries and in monitoring the various cultural properties in their respective inventory;
(d) All government agencies and instrumentalities, government-owned and/or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries, including public and private educational institutions, shall report their ownership and/or possession of such items to the pertinent cultural agency and shall register such properties within three (3) years from the effectivity of this Act;
(e) Private collectors and owners of cultural property shall register such properties, within three (3) years from the effectivity of this Act. The private collectors and owners of cultural property shall not be divested of their possession and ownership thereof even after registration of said property as herein required.
Information on registered cultural properties owned by private individuals shall remain confidential and may be given only upon prior consent of the private owner. The Commission shall operate the Registry in the NCCA portal cultural databank.
SECTION 15. Conservation of Cultural Property. – All intervention works and measures on conservation of National Cultural Treasures, Important Cultural Property, as well as national historical landmarks, sites or monuments, and structures previously marked by the National Museum and/or National Historical Institute before the implementation of this Act shall be undertaken only upon prior approval of the Commission through the appropriate cultural agency which shall supervise the same.
The Commission shall approve only those methods and materials that strictly adhere to the accepted international standards of conservation.
SECTION 16. Documentation and Preservation of Traditional and Contemporary Arts. - Local government units shall document traditional and contemporary arts and crafts, including their processes and makers, and sustain the sources of their raw materials. The local government units shall encourage and sustain traditional arts and crafts as active and viable sources of income for the community.
The Commission, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Tourism and other government agencies involved directly or indirectly in the production of goods shall assist the local government units in protecting their traditional and contemporary arts and crafts making them viable for current and future markets, with a view to encouraging and promoting the unique heritage and identities of the said communities.
The local government unit concerned shall submit an annual inventory of these documentations to the Commission, which will be included in the Philippine Registry of Cultural Property, as established in Section 14 of this Act.
SECTION 17. Systematic Research in Natural History. - The National Museum shall have the authority to collect, maintain and develop the national reference collections of Philippine flora and fauna, rocks and minerals through research and field collection of specimens including Important Cultural Property within the territorial jurisdiction of the Philippines. It shall be exempt from any and all permit systems regulating the same.
The National Museum shall inform the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Agriculture of such collection. All type of specimens collected in the Philippine territory shall be deposited in the National Museum.
SECTION 18. Heritage Agreements. - The Commission, upon advice of the concerned cultural agency, may enter into agreements with private owners of cultural properties with regard to the preservation of said properties.
Such agreement shall be in the form of a contract, and may include such terms and conditions including, but not limited to:
(a) Public access to the property;
(b) Value of the encumbrance;
(c) Duration of the servitude of the property;
(d) Restriction of the right of the owner or occupant to perform acts on or near the place;
(e) Maintenance and management of the property;
(f) Provision of financial assistance for the conservation of the property;
(g) Procedure for the resolution of any dispute arising out of the agreement.
Such agreement should be annotated in the land title to bind future owners and/or occupants of the immovable cultural property.
SECTION 19. National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage. – The appropriate cultural agency shall closely collaborate with the UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in the Philippines. The Philippine Intangible Cultural Heritage Committee established by the UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines shall continue to take lead role in implementing the provisions of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural heritage with particular attention to Article 11 to 15 of the said Convention.
SECTION 20. Immovable National Cultural Treasures. - Immovable National Cultural Treasures shall not be relocated, rebuilt, defaced or otherwise changed in a manner, which would destroy the property's dignity and authenticity, except to save such property from destruction due to natural causes.
The site referred to in this provision may only be moved after securing a permit from the Commission or the appropriate cultural agency.
SECTION 21. Indigenous properties. - The appropriate cultural agency in consultation with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples shall establish a program and promulgate regulations to assist indigenous people in preserving their particular cultural and historical properties.
SECTION 22. Renaming of Historical Streets, Buildings Designated as Cultural Treasure or Important Cultural Property. - The names of historical streets, parks, buildings, shrines, landmarks, monuments and sites designated as National Cultural Treasures or Important Cultural Property shall not be allowed to be re-named by a local or national legislation, unless approved by the National Historical Institute, and only after due hearing on the matter. Furthermore, for changes of names done to historical streets, parks, buildings, shrines, landmarks, monuments, and sites prior to the effectivity of this act, the National Historical Institute may direct the local government units to restore their original names, also after due hearing.
REGULATING THE EXPORT, TRANSIT, IMPORT
AND REPATRIATION OF CULTURAL PROPERTY
SECTION 23. Export of Cultural Property. – Whoever desires to export cultural property registered in the Philippine Registry of Cultural Property shall adhere to the following requirements:
(a) Authorization from the Commission through the appropriate cultural agencies;
(b) Application for export permit shall be submitted thirty (30) days before the intended export from the Philippines; and
(c) Application for export permit must include the following: (1) the purpose of the temporary export; (2) the export date of the cultural property; (3) the repatriation date of the cultural property; (4) a description of the cultural property; and, (5) the inventory of the cultural property in the Philippine Registry of Cultural Property.
The grant of export permit shall be based on the following conditions: (i) the cultural property is exported on a temporary basis; and (ii) export of cultural property is necessary for scientific scrutiny or exhibit.
SECTION 24. Repatriation Claims and Agreements. – Should the cultural property registered in the Philippine Registry of Cultural Property be illicitly exported from the country, the Department of Foreign Affairs shall, upon the recommendation of the appropriate cultural agency, claim the right of repatriation vis-à-vis all other contracting States. Any compensation and costs shall be carried by the Philippine government.
For the protection of cultural and foreign affairs interests and to secure cultural heritage, the Philippines may conclude international treaties with contracting States on the import and repatriation of cultural property subject to the following conditions:
(a) The scope of the agreement must be cultural property of significant importance to the cultural heritage of the contracting States;
(b) The cultural property must be subject to the existing export policies for the purpose of protecting cultural heritage; and,
(c) The contracting States shall grant reciprocal rights.
POWERS OF THE COMMISSION/CULTURAL AGENCIES
SECTION 25. Power to Issue a Cease and Desist Order. - When the physical integrity of the national cultural treasures or important cultural properties are found to be in danger of destruction or significant alteration from its original state, the appropriate cultural agency, shall immediately issue a Cease and Desist Order suspending all activities that will affect the cultural property. The local government unit which has the jurisdiction over the site where the immovable cultural property is located shall report the same to the appropriate cultural agency immediately upon discovery and shall promptly adopt measures to secure the integrity of such immovable cultural property. Thereafter, the appropriate cultural agency shall give notice to the owner or occupant of the cultural property and conduct hearing on the propriety of the issuance of the Cease and Desist Order. The suspension of the activities shall be lifted only upon the written authority of the appropriate cultural agency after due notice and hearing involving interested parties and stakeholders.
SECTION 26. Power to Issue Compulsory Repair Order. - When a privately-owned heritage site cannot be maintained by the owner or has fallen into disrepair thru neglect to such an extent that it will lose its potential for conservation, the Commission, through the appropriate cultural agency, may serve on the owner or occupant of such property, an order to repair or maintain such site. If the owner fails to comply with said order within thirty (30) to forty-five (45) days, repairs may be undertaken by the appropriate cultural agency for the account of the owner.
SECTION 27. Visitorial Powers. - The cultural agencies concerned, through the Commission, are hereby given the power to inspect National Cultural Treasures and Important Cultural Properties, and national historical landmarks, sites or monuments at any time to ensure the protection and integrity of such. They may also inspect public or private collections or objects that may be categorized as cultural property; Provided, That in the case of private collections or objects, the prior written consent of the owner shall be obtained.
SECTION 28. Power to Deputize Other Government Agencies. – The cultural agencies concerned, as well as the Commission, shall have the power to deputize the Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine Coast Guard, and other local or national law enforcement agencies, including the Bureau of Fisheries’ agents, the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources’ rangers, the Bureau of Customs and Immigrations agents, members of the Office of the Special Envoy on Transnational Crimes and other such agencies and their successors in interest, to enforce the provisions of this Act and its implementing rules and regulations. The said agencies shall immediately detail their respective personnel to protect the cultural items under the National Registry.
Failure to follow deputization order of the concerned cultural agency as well as the Commission shall be penalized in accordance with Section 49herein.
SECTION 29. Power to Recover Cultural Properties. – The Commission is empowered to recover or retrieve cultural properties which are under the custody of foreign nationals or entities and to bring these properties back to Philippine custody.
Continued in Part III