Office of the President
of the Philippines
MEMORANDUM ORDER NO. 389
(JULY 26th, 1996)
Prescribing the Precedures and Guidlines on Application for Permits to
Locate, Dig and Excavate Hidden Treasures in Accordance with the
Provisions of Presidental Decree No. 1726-A
1. All applications for permit to locate, dig or excavate hidden treasures shall be filed with the Legal Office of
the Office of the President. Appropriate fees and bonds as prescribed by law will be collected from the
2. The application must be under oath and shall state, inter alia, the exact site where digging and excavation is
to be undertaken, the applicant's reasons for concluding that hidden treasures can be removed from the site,
the nature of the treasures expected to be recovered and its estimated value, the extent of work (location,
digging and excavation) to be done and the estimated cost thereof, the damage which may be suffered at the
site and the applicant's proposed restoration program therefor as well as the estimated cost thereof. An
appropriate form will be devised for the purpose, which may be revised from time to time, when required.
3. The application must be accompanied by a vicinity/location plan duly certified by a licensed Geodetic
Engineer of Surveyor specifically pinpointing and delineating the (a) exact site where the work is to be
undertaken, which shall not be more than one (1) hectar for land or two hundred thousand (200,000)
square meters for bodies of water, the boundaries of which shall be superimposed in the plan, and (b) the
actual boundaries of the affected parcel(s) of land as well as existing improvements and significant landmarks
thereon, if any, or bodies of water, as the case may be.
4. A Technical Review Committee composed of experts to be appointed by the Executive Secretary shall
evaluate all applications. The technical criteria to be used by the committee for evaluating applications shall
likewise be approved by the Executive Secretary. The technical evaluation of the application will be submitted
to the Legal Office, who will recommend the said application to the President for consideration. If favorable, the
recommendation shall state the bond (to guarantee damages arising from the excavation and restoration of the
excavation site) to be required from the applicant.
5. Upon approval of the application, the applicant shall be required to execute and sign an appropriate contract
to locate and excavate, which shall basically be in the form of Annex "1" hereof. For this purpose, the Head,
Legal Office is hereby designated the government's authorized signatory for the contract. Upon execution of the
contract and the submission of the bond required in the proceding paragraph, the Legal Office shall issue the
permit applied for in favor of the applicant.
6. The validity period of the permit shall not exceed three (3) months but may be extended for another three (3)
months for valid reasons.
7. The bond referred to in par. 4 hereof shall be obtained by the applicant from the Government Service
Insurance System or, in case of the latter's failure to provide the same, from any other reputable bond
8. The information required to be disclosed by the applicant under par. 2 hereof shall be kept confidential for
9. A Committee shall be created to oversea the diggings or excavations and to take possession of all monies,
things and articles of value. The Committee shall be composed of the Commanding General, Presidential
Security Command, or his duly authorized representative who shall represent the government; another to
be designated by the Awardee and a third member with techincal competence in archaeology, to be
designated by the first two members, who shall be the Chairman.
10. The Technical Review Committee instituted under par. 4 shall assist the Legal Office in monitoring all
authorized excavations of diggings and shall submit monthly reports on the progress or result of the excavation
or digging to the Office of the President.
11. The National Intelligence Coordinating Agency shall continue to conduct surveillance of all unauthorized
treasure hunting activities and shall submit monthly reports thereon to the President. The first monthly report
shall be submitted within 30 days from the effectivity of this Memorandum Order.
This Memorandum Order Shall take effect immediately.
Done in the City of Manila, this 25th day of July in the year of Our Lord, Nineteen Hundred and Ninety-Six.
By Authority of the President:
RUBEN D. TORRES