In 1974, President Ferdinand E. Marcos signed Presidential Decree No 372, amending certain sections of Republic Act No, 4846, otherwise known as the “Cultural Properties Preservation and Protection Act”. Sec. 20. of the Decree states that:
“Any violation of the provisions of this Act shall, upon conviction, subject the offender to a fine of not more than ₱10,000 or imprisonment for a term of not more than two years or both upon the discretion of the court: Provided, that objects or materials attempted to be concealed from registration or those intended to be exported or excavated in violation of this Act shall be summarily confiscated and forfeited to the National Museum: Provided, further, that if the violation is committed by a juridical person, the manager, representative, director, agent, or employee of said juridical person responsible for the act shall also be liable to the penalties provided herein.”
Republic Act (RA) 9072, or the Caves and Cave Resources Protection and Conservation Act, on April 8, 2001, mandates the DENR to take the lead in conserving, managing and protecting caves and cave resources as part of the country’s natural wealth.
“Human activities such as disturbing, trampling, unauthorized collecting and selling of plants and animals living within shall be deemed punishable by law with a maximum of eight years imprisonment or a maximum fine of ₱1, 000,000”.
In 2010, the Philippine Congress passed Republic Act No. 10066, or the National Cultural Heritage Law, to address the destruction of heritage sites in the country.
Under the said law, the following immovable cultural properties are entitled to a heritage marker: National Cultural Treasures; Important Cultural Property; National Historical Shrines; National Historical Monuments; National Historical Landmarks, and World Heritage Sites.
“A fine of ₱200,000 or even imprisonment (of at most 10 years) awaits any person who destroys, demolishes marked heritage structures.”