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PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1726-A
October 1, 1980

PROVIDING GUIDELINES ON TREASURE HUNTING

WHEREAS, hidden treasures buried for years or centuries underground have, in most cases, been found to be possessed of great cultural significance aside from their monetary values;

WHEREAS, there should be appropriate guidelines for hunting hidden treasures to protect the interest of the government and preserve the cultural heritage of our people;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virture of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby order and decree:

SECTION 1. Any provision of law to the contrary, notwithstanding, treasure hunting in government properties of portions of the public domain shall not be allowed, except upon prior authority of the President of the Philippines.

SEC. 2. Any person desiring to hunt hidden treasures in government properties of portions of the public domain must first file an application for a permit with the Legal Office, Office of the President and shall sign a contract governing the disposition of all monies, articles and things of value which may be found.

SEC. 3. A Committee is hereby created to be composed of three members, namely, the Commanding General, Presidential Security Command, or his duly authorized representative who shall represent the government; another, to be designated by the permittee and a third member to be designated by the first two members, who shall be the chairman.

SEC. 4. The Committee shall oversee the digging or excavation and shall take possession of all monies, things or articles of value which may be found and provide for their safekeeping at the expense of the permittee.

SEC. 5. All the monies, articles and things of value which may be found shall be disposed in accordance with the following procedure :

      a) A portion shall be sold by the Committee, if necessary, to pay the compensation or allowance of the members of said Committee and experts employed, if any.

      b) After making the above deductions, the remainder shall be divided equally between the government and the permittee-finder. If the treasures consist of war spoils of booty or anything of value buried by Imperial Japanese Forces during the last World War, the treasure shall be divided as follows: Seventy-five (75) per cent for the government and twenty-five (25) per cent for the permittee-finder.

SEC. 6. Any government property damaged or destroyed during the digging or excavation shall be repaired or restored at the expense of the permittee.

SEC. 7. Treasures found in private properties shall be governed by the Civil Code.

SEC. 8. Paragraph 5 b of Letter of Implementation No. 47, and all laws, decrees, orders, rules or regulations inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.

SEC. 9. This Decree shall take effect immediately.

Done in the City of Manila, this 1st day of October in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and eighty.

FERDINAND E. MARCOS
President of the Philippines

By the President:
JOAQUIN T. VENUS, JR.
Presidential Assistant


Treasure-Hunting Laws in the Philippines