With the Congress’ approval of Republic Act 10086 otherwise known as “National Historical Commission of the Philippines Act 2110”, the MRCS has been named as the Materials Research Conservation Division (MRCD). With the following mandate:
- To undertake and prescribe the manner of restoration, conservation and protection of the country’s historical movable and immovable objects;
- To provide consultancy services to collectors of historical objects that are considered valuable components of Filipino heritage to ensure that preservation, restoration and conservation techniques and procedures are in accordance with the accepted international standards set in protecting historical objects and materials, and choosing the best methods and appropriate materials currently acceptable to Philippine setting; and
- To enrich and update knowledge on restoration and preservation techniques through scientific research and establishing linkages between the Philippines and various international bodies engaged in the scientific preservation of historical and cultural objects.
- The primary function of the MRCD is the preservation of the relics and memorabilia of national heroes and other illustrious Filipinos.
- It also extends conservation services to government and private museums and individuals. However, they should provide the materials needed in the conservation treatment of their items.
- Secondary to its function is the materials investigation of movable historical objects and structures,
- In performing its functions, it shall assume responsibility to the relics/items, to its owners and custodians, to the conservation profession and to the society as a whole.
- It shall strive to attain the highest possible standards in all aspects of conservation such as document examination, scientific investigation and conservation treatments.
- In the Commission’s shrines and landmarks, it shall promote the importance of preventive conservation as the most effective means of preserving the collection. On the other hand, it shall perform remedial conservation treatment when necessary.
- It is responsible for choosing the best possible materials and methods appropriate to the conservation treatments and consistent with the currently accepted practice. Materials and methods chosen must not produce adverse effect on the item on future examination.
- Finally, the MRCD shall advocate/promote the respect/preservation of cultural properties through conservation practices; through extension of technical services and through the conduct of lectures and seminars.
Nature and Scope of Services and Functions
Laboratory Research and Analysis – functions as support to the Conservation Section. It documents ( to record information concerning the materials, structure and possible cause of deterioration), examines and investigates materials on historic structures and cultural objects prior to conservation treatment. Findings and results will be forwarded to the Conservation and Restoration Section to serve as basis for the implementation of conservation treatment. It is responsible in the evaluation of recent developments in the field of conservation for its feasibility and applicability under local conditions. Relative activities will include sampling and conduct of various experiments and tests on various materials, collaboration in the education and training of museum/cultural personnel in conservation.
Conservation and Restoration – is responsible for the actual conservation treatments/restoration of historical objects and other materials. Its procedures and methodology are based on the result of the tests/analysis performed by the Laboratory Research and Analysis section. It will not be discriminating in the use of new materials and methods but instead will assist in evaluating possible consequences involve in their use.
Education Center – The Division serves as repository of informational resources on conservation. With the Division as member to international conservation organization such as American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works ( AIC) based in USA and Institute for Conservation (ICON) based in England, it regularly receives/acquires scientific books, journals, and technical notes which are shelve in the Reference Library ready to be used by conservators, researchers, students, etc. The Division also organizes lectures and hands-on trainings/workshops in conservation.