Thursday, April 15, 2010

Republic Act No. 10066 - National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009

After several years attending Senate and Congressional hearings and technical working groups, the Heritage Bill is now the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009. I remember attending hearings at the Senate used to be part of my regular schedule!

The new law was signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on March 26, 2010. I would like to congratulate everyone who took part in the legislation of this new law. I would like to make special mention of Sen. Edgardo J. Angara, the principal author of this law, for tirelessly working for its approval and enactment.

It's a 31-page document and as soon as we have a soft text copy of the law, we will post it online. But here are some significant and interesting points of Republic Act No. 10066 - An Act Providing for the Protection and Conservation of the National Cultural Heritage, Strengthening the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and its Affiliated Cultural Agencies and for Other Purposes:

     Sec. 5. Cultural Property Considered Important Cultural Property. - For purposes of protecting a cultural property against exportation, modification or demolition, the following works shall be considered important cultural property, unless declared otherwise by the pertinent cultural agency:

     Unless declared by the Commission,

     (a) Works by a Manlilikha ng Bayan;

     (b) Works by a National Artist;

     Unless declared by the National Museum,

     (c) Archaeological and traditional ethnographic materials;

     Unless declared by the National Historical Institute,

     (d) Works of national heroes;

     (e) Marked structure;

     (f) Structures dating at least fifty (50) years old; and

     Unless declared by the National Archives,

     (g) Archival material/document dating at least (50) years old.

     The property owner may petition the appropriate cultural agency to remove the presumption of important cultural property which shall not be unreasonably withheld.

                                                  * * *

     Sec. 7. Privileges for Cultural Property. - All cultural properties declared as national cultural treasures and national historical landmarks, sites or monuments shall be entitled to the following privileges.

     (a) Priority government funding for protection, conservation and restoration;

     (b) Incentive for private support of conservation and restoration through Commission's Conservation Incentive Program for national cultural treasures;

     (c) An official heritage marker placed by the cultural agency concerned indicating that the immovable cultural property has been identified as national cultural treasures and/or national historical landmarks, sites or monuments; and

     (d) In times of armed conflict, natural disasters and other exceptional events that endanger the cultural heritage of the country, all national cultural treasures or national historical landmarks, sites or monuments shall be given priority protection by the government.

     All cultural properties declared as important cultural property may also receive government funding for its protection, conservation and restoration. An official heritage marker shall likewise be placed on an immovable cultural property to identify the same as important cultural property.

                                                  * * *

     Sec. 12. Designation of Heritage Zones. - The National Historical Institute and the National Museum, in consultation with the Commission and the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board or other concerned agencies, shall designate heritage zones to protect the historical and cultural integrity of a geographical area.

     Sec. 13. Maintenance of Heritage Zones. - A heritage zone shall be maintained by the local government unit concerned, in accordance with the following guidelines:

     (a) Implementation of adaptive reuse of cultural property;

     (b) Appearance of streets, parks, monuments, buildings, and natural bodies of water, canals, paths and barangays within a locality shall be maintained as close to their appearance at the time the area was of most importance to Philippine history as determined by the National Historical Institute; and

     (c) Local government units shall document and sustain all sociocultural practices such as, but not limited to, traditional celebrations, historical battles, recreation of customs, and the reenactment of battles and other local customs that are unique to the locality.

                                                  * * *

     Sec. 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 renamed by 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.

                                                  * * *

     Sec. 35. Tax Exemptions on Donations. - All donations in any form to the Commission and its affiliated cultural agencies shall be exmpt from donor's tax and the same shall be considered as allowable deduction from the gross income in the computation of the income tax of the donor, in accordance with the provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended.

                                                  * * *

     Sec. 38. Incorporation of National Cultural Treasures and Important Cultural Property in the Basic Education System. - Within one (1) year from the effectivity of this Act, the Department of Education, in coordination with the Commission's Philippine Cultural Education Program, shall formulate the cultural heritage education programs both for local and overseas Filipinos to be incorporated into the formal, alternative and informal education, with emphasis on the protection, conservation and preservation of cultural heritage property.

     The Philippine Registry of Cultural Heritage Property shall likewise be incorporated into the formal, alternative and informal education by the provincial and local governments.

                                                  * * *

     Sec. 42. Creation of Sentro Rizal. - There is hereby created and established a Sentro Rizal whose main purpose is the promotion of Philippine arts, culture and language throughout the world.

     Sec. 43. Overseas Branches or Offices of Sentro Rizal. - Sentro Rizal shall have branches or offices in countries where there are children of overseas Filipino workers who need to be educated about their roots, as well as developed countries where there are large Filipino communities.

     Sec. 45. Services Offered. - The Sentro Rizal shall offer Filipino language courses for children and adults, as well as exhibits, small concerts, poetry reading, Philippine cuisine lessons in all Sentro Rizal branches.

                                                  * * *

Here is the full text of R.A. 10066 - National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009.


  1. Tess Pediongco-Villa18.4.10

    yeah...and i saw you there at the Senate...we are 2 from the office attending the hearings..

  2. Jonathan Gino18.4.10

    Let's just hope it'll be properly implemented...

  3. Rommel Earl Digo18.4.10

    really? this i have to monitor...

  4. Paul Pena18.4.10


  5. Jimmy Caumeron18.4.10

    wohoo! FINALLY!

  6. Jessie Cuyugan18.4.10

    excuse my ignorance, but what does national cultural heritage act will do for the Filipino people as a whole...

  7. It gives strength to government cultural agencies as we ensure the protection of our country's cultural properties, potent symbols for pride of place and national unit

  8. Jessie Cuyugan18.4.10

    thanks Ivan i appreciate the prompt response. i am sure the act has all the good intentions when it was passed now the implementation remains to be seen. Not to fall on crivices of red tapes and corruptions...

  9. Shei Datinguinoo18.4.10

    @jessie -- it will arm cultural and heritage advocates the mandate, the ammo for standing against those who'll try to destroy/desecrate our cultural/historical properties... i'm yet to see the final version, but i hope it empowers ordinary citizens, too. like when someone's too appalled to see Rizal's Calamba house puke GREEN, and seeing no valid reason/personal accounts supporting claims that Rizal ever lived in a green house!

  10. We'll be doing a road tour after elections to explain the new law to LGUs and the communities around important cultural heritage sites

  11. Ronald N. Villanueva18.4.10

    as a local heritage worker here in boljoon, cebu i hope the role of the LGU's will be properly well defined in the IRR of the Act because as what I've read it gives more power and authority to the National Museum in a manner that the NM will not just consult the LGU's

  12. Rheeza Santiago Hernandez18.4.10

    sir sana po makapunta kayo dito sa malolos at ma-explain ang tungkol dito... please...

  13. Rheeza, yes we'll be doing a road show. With the new law, structures more than 50 years old cannot be demolished without NHI permission.

  14. Rheeza Santiago Hernandez18.4.10

    nau-unti unti po kasing maubos ang mga old houses na me historical relevance dito sa amin... kakalungkot...please help us

  15. Manny S Gaerlan18.4.10

    great! now, i hope this time they will not forget the IRR and let us be vigilant in its implementation.

  16. Anonymous20.4.10

    For works of National Artists such as Joya, Kiukok, HR, Alcuaz. And we have buyers abroad, we can't send it for auction? That's restrictive!!! What if the buyer is a foreigner and there's no taker here and you need some cash? Artworks are investments also. What happens to investors then? So this means sale will dip from now on?

  17. Please understand the law before you react. It says "the property owner may petition." It does not prohibit totally.

    The law is there to ensure that our treasures are not traded haphazardly. In effect, the law slows things down a bit so that we can discern properly and make sure the outstanding ones stay here.

  18. A covered structure is about to be constructed in our town plaza... there is a snowballing of opposition to preserve the plaza as it is over a century old. But the government officials are dead set on erecting the building... which is a violation of section 13 on this act. What possible actions can we do. Please advise....

  19. Acovered structrure building is about to be constructed in our town plaza. Opposition to this project is snowballing for the fact this is a priceless heritage but it appears the public officials are dead set on erecting the infastructure... What possible action can we do? please advise...



  20. File a complaint with the NCCA through the Committee on Monuments and Sites. You didn't mention which town. Please copy furnish me with complaint so that I could help follow-up. E-mail me at

  21. Sir,

    Thank you very much for your advise. I asked one of the group to furnish a copy of all the letters and comments on the issue.

    Thank you,


  22. Thank you Ivan, The place I was talking about is in Antequera Bohol..

  23. Anonymous10.11.11

    Thanks for posting our church in Duero but I guess You can also include our Duero Central Elementary School, the only century old two-storey building in the Province of Bohol.

  24. Anonymous18.1.12

    Our Ancestral House in Nueva Ecija is already 100 years old this year (built 1912), it has been partially repaired because part of it nearly collapsed. Can we still apply for government funding for the protection, conservation and restoration?

  25. An NHCP team will have to survey it. Then it needs to be declared a Heritage House before it can be qualified for technical support and funding. Once it is declared, you can try asking your local government or congressman to help fund its restoration

  26. Anonymous21.6.12

    Can an LGU solely declare Heritage zone in their own area (LGU) as per approval of their City Council (as City Ordinance), then copy furnish to NHCP? Or NHCP should be the office which can declare the area as Heritage zone? If so, what could the first step? TIA.

  27. Anonymous8.7.12

    Pls. Help us preserve old houses here in antipolo city

  28. LALOMA THE LECHON CAPITAL OF THE PHILIPPINES - ang Laloma po ay may sariling Kultura na na masasabing sa kanila , ito po ay nagsimula nuong late 30's ayon sa aking pagsasaliksik. Ang laloma po ay bantog sa pag lilitson ng baboy, ang kustombre (custom) ng nauna nilang ninuno ay maglitson, ito po ay kanilang ginagawa sa pagbili ng baboy sa karatig na lugar, katayin sa loob ng kanilang bakuran at itinda sa harap ng kanilang tahanan. Itong gawain na ito po ay nagpatuloy hanggang sa ang mga magkakapit bahay kasama po dito ang bantog na si mang Tomas na nagtinda rin nuong mga unang taon ng !950's at sinundan ng aming pamilya Ferreros ang paglilitson at sumunod pa ang mga iba. Hanggang maging tunay ngang naging kilala ang LALOMA sa Paglilitson at nung taon 2000 ay naging LECHON KAPITAL NG PILIPINAS, ngayon po ang Quezon City Veterinary Office ay sumususog ng isang patakaran na gawing lahat ng kinakatay ng Laloma ay gawin sa isang City Slaughter House, Ang Laloma po ay Mahigit nang 50 taon na nagkakatay ng baboy sa kanilang sariling bakuran ( Customary ways of slaughtering their pig inside their compound) dati namang po na may meat inspector ang Laloma na nagmumula sa QC VETERINARY OFFICE. gusto naming maprotektahan ang aming pinagmamalaking sariling Kultura, ito po ay ang aming sariling pamamaraan ng Buhay, Maglilitsaon po kami na taga Laloma. Kulturang amin pong sinimulan nuong unang panahon pa. May Arko po ang Laloma na Nagsasabing ito ay LITSON KAPITAL NG PILIPINAS at ito po ay aprubado ng QC Council. paano po ba kami matutulungan ng Republic Act 10066. maraming Salamat po, Ramon Ferreros po ng LALOMA LECHONEROS. 09178957705/7405969

  29. You can pm me sir at Ramon Ferrreros regarding Laloma


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