The Provincial Government of Nueva Vizcaya and the Municipality of Sta. Fe, Nueva Vizcaya formally turned over the Balete Pass National Shrine administration to the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) on 13 May 2021.
As part of the hybrid virtual celebration of the 76th Anniversary of the Victory at Balete Pass, Sta. Fe Mayor Hon. Tidong Benito formally transferred the responsibility of administering the Balete Pass National Shrine, symbolically represented by a wooden key, to PVAO Administrator USec Ernesto Carolina.
This is in fulfillment of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed between DND-PVAO, Provincial Government of Nueva Vizcaya, and the Municipality of Santa Fe on 11 September 2018, which provides for the formal turn-over of the administration and management of the shrine to PVAO.
In his relinquishment message, Mayor Benito expressed his confidence that as the management of the national shrine shifts to the National Government through PVAO, significant changes and progress would be made with respect to culture, tradition, tourism, and economy in the province. Meanwhile, USec Carolina assured the people of Sta. Fe, Nueva Vizcaya that PVAO would make every effort to improve and develop the shrine, and elevate it to a world-class national shrine that all Filipinos can be proud of.
Pursuant to RA 10796, the Balete Pass was declared as a National Shrine as a tribute to the gallant Filipino guerrillas and American soldiers who victoriously fought at Balete Pass and succeeded in pushing the retreating forces of the Japanese Imperial Army farther to the North of Luzon.