The declaration followed a long process of study and examination by the National Museum of the Philippines pursuant to provisions of Republic Act No. 10066 also known as the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009.
The Act defines National Cultural Treasure as a unique cultural property found locally, possessing outstanding historical, cultural, artistic and/or scientific value which is highly significant and important to the country and nation, and officially declared as such by pertinent cultural agency.
The formal declaration was led by Dr. Jeremy Barns, director, and Angel Bautista, chief of Commission on Museums, Cultural Property Division of the National Museum witnessed by archaeologists from Thailand, Indonesia, France, Belgium, USA and a UNESCO representative.
Charina Cabading, executive director of Culture & Arts Division of the provincial government represented Palawan Governor Baham Mitra in a simple ceremony at the formal declaration made at the Tabon Cave Complex in Quezon town.
Tabon Cave is famous as the site where the earliest evidence of man in the Philippines was discovered in 1962. Dubbed as the Tabon Man, its discovery was made by a National Museum team led by Dr. Robert B. Fox.
The fossil, composed of human skull, jaw bones and teeth, found in the cave date back to about 22,000 to 23,000 years making it the most important archaeological discovery in the country.
Another important discovery in the cave complex is the world-renown burial jar, the Manunggul Jar, featured in the 1,000 peso bill. The jar is also a National Treasure.
Tabon Cave Complex is 138-hectares of rugged cliffs and deep slopes in Lipuun Point in Quezon municipality located about 145 kilometers southwest of Puerto Princesa City.