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MALACANANG PALACE Manila

PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 374

 
SECTION 1. Section 2 to 22 of Republic Act No. 4846 are hereby amended to read as follows:

SECTION. 2. It is hereby declared to be the policy of the state to protect the important cultural properties and national cultural Treasures of the nation and to safeguard their intrinsic value."

SECTION. 3.
a. Cultural Properties are old buildings, monuments, shrines, documents, and objects which may be classified as antiques, relics, or artifacts, landmarks, anthropological and historical sites, and specimens of natural history which are of cultural, historical, anthropological or scientific value and significance to the nation; such as physical, anthropological, archaeological and ethnographic materials, meteorites and tektites; historical objects and manuscripts; household and agricultural implements; decorative articles or personal adornment; works of art such as paintings, sculptures, carvings, jewelry, music, architecture, sketches, drawings, or illustrations in part or in whole; works of industrial and commercial art such as furniture, pottery, ceramics, wrought iron, gold, bronze, silver, wood or other heraldic items, metals, coins, medals, badges, insignias, coat of arms, crests, flags, arms and armor, vehicles or ships or boats in part or in whole."
SECTION 2. Any provisions of existing law, rules and regulations inconsistent with the provisions of this Decree are hereby repealed and modified accordingly.

SECTION 3. This decree shall take effect fifteen (15) days after publication in the Official Gazette.

Done in the City of Manila, this10th day of January in the year of our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-four.
 

(SGD.)FERDINAND E. MARCOS President Republic of the Philippines
 



 
 
 
 

CULTURAL PROPERTIES DIVISION
NATIONAL MUSEUM
Executive House, P.Burgos St. Metro Manila, Philippines

AN UPDATED PRIMER ON PRESIDENTIAL DECREE 374
 

(An Act Amending Certain Sections of Republic Act 4846,Otherwise Known As "The Cultural Properties Preservation and Protection Act")

INTRODUCTION
 

This primer aims to guide collectors and people who treasure antiques, collectively known as CULTURAL PROPERTIES on the care, caution and procedures to be adopted in the process of acquisition, disposition and transfer of ownership of the items as well as the corresponding obligations appertaining thereto as possessors.
The CULTURAL PROPERTIES DIVISION, National Museum, a creation by law (Section 21, P.D. 374), is the implementing arm of the government on matters pertaining to the preservation and protection of cultural properties. It is specifically clothed with adequate police power to prosecute violators of P.D. 374.
This primer was conceived in order to facilitate the dissemination of the tenets of the law. It also serves as a ready guide for people who fancy things antique---amateurs and professionals alike.
We would like to acknowledge the efforts of the entire staff of the Cultural Properties Division for bringing together their ideas and suggestions thus making this revised primer a lot richer in terms of substance and meaning.

BACKGROUND OF PRESIDENTIAL DECREE 374

Q. What is P.D. No. 374 ? When did it take effect ?

A. It is a law otherwise known as "The Cultural Properties Preservation and Protection Act", amending certain sections of Republic Act No. 4846. It took effect on 10 January 1974.
Q. What is the implementing agency of P.D. 374 ?
A. The National Museum through the Cultural Properties Division (CPD) as stated in Section 21 of the Decree, is specifically tasked to implement and enforce the tenets of the law. It is clothed with adequate police power to prosecute violators of this Act.
Q. What are the items considered as cultural properties ?
A. Section 3 of the Act defines cultural properties to include old buildings, monuments, shrines, documents, and objects which may be classified as antiques, relics or artifacts, landmarks, anthropological and historical sites, and specimens of natural history which are of cultural, historical, anthropological or scientific value or significance to the nation; such as anthropological, archaeological, and ethnographical materials, meteorites and tektites; historical objects and manuscripts; household and agricultural implements; decorative articles or personal adornment; works of art such as paintings, sculptures, carvings, jewelry, music, architecture, sketches, drawings or illustrations, in part or in whole; works of industrial and commercial art such as furniture, pottery, ceramics, wrought iron, gold, bronze, silver, wood or other heraldic items, metals, coins, medals, badges, insignias, coat of arms, crests, flags ,arms and armor; vehicles or ships or boats in part or in whole.
Q. What is an antique ?
A. Antique is a term used by collectors, dealers, agents and the common 'tao' engaged in the trade to cover all cultural items. However, as defined by the Act (Section 3,f),"antiques are cultural properties found locally which are one hundred years or more in age or even less, but their production having ceased, they have, therefore, become or are becoming rare". Common examples of these would be ceramics, paintings, religious images (santos) and the rest.

ON POSSESSOR

Q. How are "possessors" of cultural properties classified ?

A. The following are the kinds of persons associated with the ownership of cultural properties: 1. Collectors: they are mostly private individuals or institutions who acquire cultural properties for purposes other than sale; 2. Dealers: they are persons or enterprises who acquire cultural properties for the purpose of engaging in the acquisition and resale of the same; 3. Agents: they are employees of licensed dealers of cultural properties authorized to represent and transact business for and in the latter's behalf.

ON DISPOSABLE AND NON-DISPOSABLE CULTURAL ITEMS

Q. Are all the items classified as cultural properties considered disposable, i.e. for sale ?

A. Yes, except those designated by the Panel of Experts as IMPORTANT CULTURAL PROPERTIES (ICP) or NATIONAL CULTURAL TREASURES (NCT).
Q. What are Important Cultural Properties ?
A. These are items "singled out from among the innumerable cultural properties as having EXCEPTIONAL historical and cultural significance to the Philippines".
Q. What are National Cultural Treasures ?
A. These unique objects found locally, possessing OUTSTANDING historical, cultural, artistic and/or scientific value which are significant and important to this country and nation.
Q. What is the nature of ownership of items designated as Important Cultural Properties and National Cultural Treasures ?
A. The ownership of cultural items designated and/or classified as ICP or NCT by a Panel of Experts shall remain with the owner-collector (Section 7,c). Section 8 states that "National Cultural Treasures shall not change ownership, except by inheritance or sale approved by the Director of the National Museum, without the prior notification to and notations made by the Museum in the records. They may not be taken out of the country for reasons of inheritance. Where there is no heir, NCT shall revert to the National Museum or to any other state museum".

Q. Who compose the Panel of Experts ?

A. It is a body composed of three (3) competent men in the specialized fields of archaeology, anthropology, natural sciences, history, archives, fine arts, philately and numismatics, and shrines and monuments, duly designated by the Director of the National Museum to evaluate and designate ICP or NCT or to declassify the same as the need arises.

Q. Are there other related instructions on the treatment of NCT ?

A. Yes, Section 9 of the Act provides that NCT may be taken out of the country ONLY with the written permit from the Director of the National Museum and ONLY on two (2) instances:
1. for the purpose of exchange programs, and
2. for scientific scrutiny
In either case, the NCT shall be returned immediately after the exhibition or study. It is further provided, "that the Director of the National Museum shall require that the cultural treasures be adequately insured against loss or damage by owners thereof, and shall be properly accompanied by a duly authorized representative of the National Museum and/or protected".

ON REGISTRATION AND CENSUS OF CULTURAL PROPERTIES

Q. How is the census of cultural properties effected ?

A. The Law provides that all institutions and private individuals/collectors shall submit to the Museum a listing of their holdings of cultural properties with the following basic information:
1. Accession Number 
2. Brief Description and Measurement 
3. Name of Object
4. Origin or Provenance 
5. Date of Acquisition 
6. Source 
7. Complete Name of Owner(s) 
8. Complete Address of Owner(s)

Q. What are the obligations of the National Museum and possessors of cultural properties?

A. Any possessor/collector of cultural items are required to report to the Museum within thirty (30) days from the date of said acquisition. The National Museum shall notify the possessor in writing thirty (30) days prior to the Museum's intention to register the items. This same length of time is required for the Museum to be notified before any transfer, change of ownership or sale of ICP is effected.
In this regard it is incumbent upon the possessor or collector to make good his/her obligations for his/her own protection.

Q. How is a request for registration/inspection made ? What does the National Museum require from private collectors registering their items ?

A. Requests should be done in writing and forwarded to the CPD. The following are the requirements to be submitted by private collectors:
1. Submit the following when registering your collections: a. Colored photograph of each item (size: 3"by 5") b. Affidavit of Ownership or Deed of Sale or photocopy of the Certificate of Registration from the National Museum of the previous owner if acquired from a private person, or sales invoices(Approved by the BIR) if the cultural properties were purchased from a licensed dealer; and c. for paintings and sculptures: Certificate of Authenticity prepared by the NM Panel of Experts (Arts). 

2. Cultural properties in the homes of private collectors should be so arranged that the Museum personnel assigned to register/inspect such items would be able to work accordingly within a reasonable time; collections of less than twenty (20) pieces should be brought to the National Museum 

3. Owners of cultural items for registration or inspection are requested to fetch and bring back personnel of the National Museum; the personnel should be fetched early in the morning or afternoon to afford them ample time to work for they are not authorized to render overtime services;
4. Inform the National Museum beforehand of the number of items to be registered/inspected and the number of stamps needed so that the personnel assigned could be guided accordingly;
5. Handy men should be provided to lift big and/or heavy objects such as jars, porcelain and the like for the National Museum personnel to inspect; and 6. The necessary payment should be remitted immediately. The National Museum Cashier accepts ONLY cash, postal money order or certified cheque.

Q. How about in the case of dealers ?

A. Requirement numbers 2 to 6 for private collectors shall also apply here.

ON EXPORTING AND IMPORTING CULTURAL PROPERTIES

Q. What requirements are needed when applying for an export permit ?

A. The following are the requirements:
1. Bring the items intended for export to the National Museum (CPD) for physical inspection and appraisal.
2. Submit the following:
a) photocopy/ies of the sales invoices approved by the BIR from the duly licensed dealer where the items were purchased; or 

b) Notarized Affidavit of Ownership of the items to be exported in the absence of sales invoices; or 

c) Certificate of Registration of cultural properties for the items to be exported duly prepared by authorized personnel of the CPD and approved by the Director of the National Museum.
3. Cultural properties intended for export must first be registered with the National Museum.

4. Permit to Export shall ONLY be for cultural properties as defined in Rule 1V of the Rules and Regulations for the Implementation of P.D. 374. The National Museum reserves the right to deny inclusion of "repro" or reproductions and other items not covered by P.D. 374 in the permit to export.

5. Documents needed to process the papers should be submitted to the CPD at least three(3) days before the cultural items are to be shipped.

6. Cultural items for export shall be crated and sealed in the presence of a duly authorized Museum representative.

7. The complete and exact address of the addressee submitted together with other pertinent papers. For foreigners the following are also needed: a) passport number b) issuing country c) date of issue

8. Cultural properties may not be imported to the Philippines without an official certification of exportation from the exporting country. NOTE: Always present and leave the Customs Copy of the Export Permit to Customs Authorities at the Port of Exit.

Q. When may a gratuitous permit to export cultural items be availed of ?

A. Only in exceptional cases may the National Museum issue a gratuitous permit to export cultural items. These are when the said items are brought out of the country for scientific, educational or cultural purposes. Otherwise, the exporter is obliged by Law to pay to the National Museum ten percent (10%) of the total selling price or appraised value of the items to be exported.

Q. When may a cultural item(s) be summarily confiscated ?

A. ONLY the Director of the National Museum or his duly authorized representative is authorized by Law to summarily confiscate cultural items. Confiscation is carried out ONLY:
1. when the items are being concealed from registration;

2. when the items intended for export are without the necessary export permit; and 3. when the items were excavated in violation of the Law.

If other authorized law enforcement officers confiscate such cultural items deemed "questionable" as stated above, he/she shall issue a certification duly witnessed by at least two (2) disinterested persons or public officials to the owner of the apprehended items and shall likewise submit a report of such act within five (5) days following the confiscation to the National Museum and the nearest PNP Command.

ON RESTORATION OF ICP AND NCT

Q. What procedures are followed before any restoration of any ICP or NCT is undertaken ?

A. The following shall be followed as decreed:
1. Secure a written permission from the National Museum at least sixty (60) days prior to the start of the work. Include photographs and plans to show the current state of the items as well as the proposed work;
2. No restoration of ICP or NCT shall be conducted without the supervision of a duly designated Museum personnel;
3. Proponent of such restoration work shall within thirty (30) days after completion of the said work submit to the Museum a narrative report together with detailed photographs of the completed project.

ON SURVEY, EXPLORATION AND EXCAVATION OF CULTURAL PROPERTIES

Q. Who may conduct surveys, explorations and excavations in government or private properties ?

A. The Decree specifies that ONLY designated personnel of the National Museum or any other institution duly authorized by the Director of the National Museum shall conduct activities such as surveys, explorations and excavations or diggings of archaeological (land and marine) or historical sites, whether on government or privately owned properties.
In like manner that only institutions in collaboration with the Museum are authorized to conduct explorations and field expeditions for the purpose of collecting natural history specimens and for scientific studies. The Guidelines for the Collection of Biological Specimens is to be strictly adhered to.

Q. What should a digger do when he accidentally finds cultural properties in the course of an excavation work ?

A. Should this happen, the digger should:
1. suspend the work immediately, and 

2. report the matter to the National Museum. The Museum shall then dispatch a personnel to verify the report as well as ensure the safe and proper removal of the items with the consent and knowledge of the digger and/or owner of the property. The Museum Director shall lift the suspension of the work when he deems it appropriate enough.

Q. What are the requisites for private individuals or institutions intending to undertake excavations in private properties ?

A. The applicant shall:
1. Write a formal letter of request addressed to the Director of the National Museum informing him of the intention to excavate a particular parcel of land. This same letter should include pertinent data such as the exact location and measurement of the lot, the rightful owners of the property and the exact purpose of the dig.

2. Secure a written and notarized consent from the lot owner allowing the applicant to conduct excavations on the said property.

3. Submit a photocopy of the most recent Tax Declaration of the property. Excavation shall be conducted ONLY in the presence of an archaeologist or any competent person who is to supervise the archaeological excavation and whose qualification and expertise shall be determined by the Museum. The supervisor may be required by the Museum to submit a progress report of the project and shall within thirty (30) days upon completion of the excavation submit to the Museum a catalogue of all the materials found thereon and a description of the archaeological context in accordance with generally accepted archaeological methods.

Should numbers 1,2 and 3 merit the approval of the Director, a Museum representative will be sent to the area to verify the archaeological potential of the site. Should this investigation prove positive, a Permit to Excavate is then granted to the applicant. An accompanying Memorandum of Agreement between the Museum and the applicant is then drawn to cover such pertinent areas like the sharing scheme, the work schedule and the responsibilities of both parties in regard to the project. The total fee for the Excavation Permit (land) is P 1.020.00
NOTE: For underwater archaeological sites a separate and distinct guideline is to be adhered to.

ON TAX INCENTIVES

Q. When is a Certification of Tax Deduction available ?

A. The Museum shall issue this certification under the following circumstances:
1. Donation or support to the museum;?

2. Donation of ICP or NCT or monetary contribution for the purchase of ICP or NCT to any accredited institution; This should be supported by a Deed of Donation and Acceptance, and in the case of monetary contribution by an official receipt issued by the recipient institution.

3. Donations supported by private individuals or institutions for scientific or cultural expeditions, explorations, excavations, restoration and preservation projects, upon certification by the Museum Director, shall be accompanied by: a) receipt of acceptance by the donee; b) an approved project proposal, program of work or contract between donor and donee;

4. One may avail of the tax deduction privilege for donations made on the I immediate preceding year.

5. Donations made in kind to the Museum or any accredited institution shall be appraised by a Panel of Experts. The valuation arrived at by the Panel shall be the amount to be certified by the Director for tax deduction purposes.

Q. What are the requirements and steps to be followed when donating cultural properties to the National Museum ?

A. A donor should submit the following requirements:
1. All cultural properties intended to be donated to the National Museum or to any accredited museum or institution should be brought to the National Museum for proper appraisal and valuation by a Panel of Experts convened by the Director. The valuation arrived at by the Panel shall be the amount to be certified by the Director for tax deduction purposes (if availed upon by the donor). 

2. Submit the Deed of Donation and Acceptance (prepared by the National Museum Legal Unit) to the CPD; in case of monetary contribution, the official receipt issued by the National Museum Cashier.
3. Claims for tax deduction based on donations or support by private individuals or institutions for scientific and cultural expeditions, explorations, excavations, restoration and preservation projects for certification by the Director shall be accompanied by:
a) receipt and acceptance by the donee, and 

b) an approved project proposal, program of work or contract between the donor and donee

ON LICENSES OF DEALERS AND AGENTS

Q. What are the documents needed in applying for a dealer's license ?

A. For new applicants, the following documents should be submitted to the CPD:
 
1. certificate of registration with the Department of Trade and Industry 

2. city or municipal business license 

3. BIR business license 4. certified statement of the inclusive numbers of the official invoices duly stamped by the BIR 

4. listing of their bonafide agents with two (2) passport size pictures

5. listing of their present stock inventory to be duly inspected and stamped by the National Museum
 
These documents plus an annual fee of five hundred pesos ( P 500.00 ) are needed prior to the issuance of a license. An application fee for new license of twenty pesos ( P 20.00 ) is also charged.

NOTE: For renewal of license ONLY the city or municipal permit is required. However, for expired licenses a corresponding table for arrearages will be charged.

Q. What are the documents needed in applying for an agent's license ?

A. The following are the requirements to be submitted for an agent's license:
1. police clearance from his/her place of abode
2. sworn statement of the licensed dealer authorizing his agent to transact business in his behalf;
3. two (2) passport size photos
4. payment of one hundred pesos ( P 100.00 ) plus an application fee of twenty pesos ( P 20.00 )
A maximum of ten (10) agents are allowed each dealer.

Q. What is the validity period of said licenses ?

A. The dealer's and agent's licenses are valid on the date such documents shall have been duly approved and signed by the Director until the last day of the calendar year (December 31).The license is valid for a maximum of one (1) year. The museum reserves the right to invalidate, suspend or cancel such licenses when the holders shall have violated the tenets of P.D. 374.

Q. How does the license requirements apply to the dealer or shop owner ?

A. A license is necessary for each shop that trades in antiques. Thus, each branch store is deemed separate and distinct from the main store and therefore is required to submit the same documents and pay the corresponding fees annually.

ON SALE OF CULTURAL PROPERTIES

Q. How are cultural properties put on sale ?

A. Only cultural items duly stamped (RPNM stamp) by the National Museum shall be sold free from any legal incumbrance. Additionally, only licensed dealers and agents shall engage in the sale of cultural properties.

Q. How may un-stamped cultural properties be transported from one area to another ?

A. Un-stamped cultural items will not be apprehended by the National Museum or any authorized law enforcement agency if they are covered by a conduction invoice secured by the seller. This invoice should have his/her residence certificate and tax identification number as well as the exact areas where the items will be transported. This Conduction Invoice is prepared ONLY by the CPD and has a limited validity period.

ON DUTIES AND FUNCTIONS OF CULTURAL PROPERTY DEPUTIES

Q. Who are Cultural Property Deputies ?

A. Cultural Property Deputies are persons duly authorized by the Director of the National Museum to act on matters within the sphere of P.D. 374 in his behalf for a specific period of time with no additional compensation.
Q. What are the functions and duties of Cultural Property Deputies ?
A. As a deputy, he/she has the following functions and duties incumbent to his position:
1. to report to the Museum any violation of the Decree, as well as its Implementing Rules and Regulations
2. to conduct surveys and/or explorations of reported archaeological or historical sites and submit a written report of the same to the Director
NOTE: They are NOT authorized to conduct archaeological excavations.

ON PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS

Q. What are the penalties that may be imposed upon violation of P.D. 374 ?

A. Section 20 of P.D. 374 stipulates that upon conviction, an offender whether a juridical person, the manager, director, representative, agent or employee responsible for the act shall be subjected to pay a fine of not more than ten thousand pesos ( P 10,000.00 ) or imprisonment for a term of not more than two (2) years or both upon the discretion of the court. In the case of cultural items having been previously summarily confiscated, they shall be forfeited in favor of the National Museum.

ON COLLECTION OF FEES

Q. What are the fees authorized by P.D. 374 collectible in favor of the government through the National Museum ?

A. The following fees are payable to the National Museum as originally prescribed by the Decree:

Schedule of Fees

1. Application fee for:

a. Export Permit P 20.00
b. Permit to Explore/Excavate 20.00 
c Certificate to Supervise Excavation 20.00 
d. Certificate of Registration 20.00 
e. Certificate of Tax Deduction 20.00 
f. License as Dealer 20.00 
g. License as Agent 20.00
2. Permit fee to Export(10% of assessed value) 

3. Permit fee to Explore/Excavate (land) 150.00 

4. Permit fee to Explore/Excavate (marine) 6,000.00 

5. Permit fee for Restoration/Reconstruction (1/10 of 1% of estimated cost) 

6. License fee for Dealers 500.00 

7. License fee for Agents 100.00 

8. Registration fee for Immovable Cultural Properties 50.00 

9. Registration fee for Movable Cultural Properties (RPNM stamp fee for dealers and collectors) 5.00 per object 

10. Fee for Certificate of Authority to Supervise Exploration, 50.00 Excavation 

11. Deposit to the National Museum for incidental expenses 500.00 

12. Surcharges for late renewal of dealer's license
March 5% of P 500.00 25.00 
April 10% of 500.00 50.00 
May 15% of 500.00 75.00 
June 20% of 500.00 100.00 
July 25% of 500.00 125.00 
August 30% of 500.00 150.00 
September 35% of 500.00 175.00 
October 40% of 500.00 200.00 
November 45& of 500.00 225.00 
December 50% of 500.00 250.00
13 Fee for Memorandum of Agreement 300.00 

14. Fee for each certification issued by the CPD other than those 3.00 mentioned in Section 1 of this Rule 

15. Inspection fee for each item for export/not covered by P.D. 374 2.00
 
Payments made in the field, viz., payments for new or to be renewed licenses, stamps, are valid only upon issuance of a provisional receipt issued by the Museum personnel concerned. Upon return to the permanent station (National Museum, Manila), an official receipt is mailed to the owner of the stamped cultural item or license.

FOR FURTHER INQUIRIES: Please write or see

MR. CECILIO G. SALCEDO
Museum Curator 11
Cultural Properties Division
National Museum
Executive House,
P. Burgos St., Metro Manila

Telephone Nos. 527-12-16/527-66-15
Fax No. 527-03-06

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