The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) receives the Special Patent for the Capas National Shrine lot from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region III on 26 May 2022. The hand-over ceremony was held at the Capas National Shrine, Barangay Aranguren, Capas, Tarlac.
The Capas National Shrine is a memorial built by the Philippine government to honor the heroism and sacrifices of all the Filipino and American soldiers who fought against the Japanese Imperial Army and endured the grueling days of the Bataan Death March during World War II.
DENR Undersecretary for Administration and Information System, Usec. Ernesto D. Adobo Jr., and Tarlac Governor Susan A. Yap, led the awarding of the special patent of the 500,001 square meters shrine area to the PVAO Administrator, USec. Ernesto G. Carolina and PVAO Legal Affairs Chief, Atty. Rolando Villaflor.
In his message, Usec. Carolina shared that the Capas Shrine was the first national shrine that received its title among the 10 declared national shrines under the administration of PVAO. “Today is a day to be joyful and hopeful that this first special patent that we have received would spur the development of these Shrines, which we call ‘love for country builders’ where our children can go, recall the memories of the war, and visualize the images of heroism, bravery and gallantry of our veterans,” Usec. Carolina said.
In her remarks, Tarlac Governor Susan Yap expressed her full support to PVAO’s thrust to develop historical sites not only as viable tourist destinations but moreso to promote nationalism and patriotism among our citizens.
Capas National Shrine is within the administrative jurisdiction of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) Tarlac headed by Forester Celia D. Esteban and Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Capas headed by Forester Gerundio C. Fernandez. Hence, the title was processed in these offices under the provisions of Sec. 4 – “Special Patents” of RA 10023 (An Act Authorizing the Issuance of Free Patents to Residential Lands).
Capas National Shrine was declared as a National Park by virtue of Proclamation No. 842 by then President Corazon Cojuanco Aquino on 7 December 1991.