JULY 10, 2013

NR # 3160

Solon re-files proposal to declare Balete Pass National Shrine in Nueva Vizcaya
A Northern Luzon lawmaker has re-filed his proposal to declare the Balete Pass in Sta. Fe, Nueva Vizcaya a National Shrine as a tribute to the gallant Filipinos and Americans who staked their lives during World War II in honor of freedom. Rep. Carlos Padilla (Lone District, Nueva Vizcaya) is pushing for his proposal through House Bill 844 seeking to declare the historical place as the Balete Pass National Shrine. Padilla said his proposal was originally filed in the 15th Congress as House Bill 5054, which was approved on third and final reading by the House of Representatives on September 5, 2011. However, he said the bill was not acted upon by the Senate; hence, he re-filed the measure last July 2, 2013. “The Balete Pass symbolizes the gallant stand of Filipino soldiers and guerilla fighters, together with the 25th Infantry Division of the United States Armed Forces of the Far East, against the Japanese forces during World War II. This fierce battle drove the Japanese Army back to the north of Luzon,” said Padilla, a former House Minority Leader. By virtue of Proclamation No. 653, the Battle of Balete Pass is annually commemorated from May 10 to 13. This important part of recent history according to Padilla, is symbolized by the Balete Pass Monument, which stands as a landmark when entering the Cagayan Valley through Sta. Fe, Nueva Vizcaya. “It is therefore fitting to declare the place a national shrine as a tribute to gallant Filipinos and Americans who staked their lives in honor of freedom,” he said. The Balete Pass is situated at barangay Tactac, Sta. Fe, Nueva Vizcaya and spans an area of about 557, 789 square meters. Under HB 844, the administration and maintenance of the Balete Pass National Shrine shall be under the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), and the Secretary of the Department of National Defense (DND) shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations for the implementation of the proposed Act. (30) rbb

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