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THE Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) and the Mt. Samat Flagship Tourism Enterprise Zone (FTEZ) are forging a new partnership with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) in an effort to restore the Memorial Cross of the Shrine of Valor and reinforce the structural integrity of the 51-year old historic icon.

Representatives of PVAO, Mt. Samat FTEZ under the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), and NHCP are conducting a series of inspections and consultations for the proposed study on the restoration of the Memorial Cross and Colonnade.

The agencies aim to gather complete data through surveys and tests necessary to formulate a conservation plan that will strengthen the structural integrity of the 1,821-feet shrine without sacrificing its historical and aesthetic value.

The Cross’ sculptural slabs, granolithic marble, and relief known as Nabiag Na Bato of Napoleon Abueva will be included in the restoration project. The study will identify the best conservation plan suitable for the preservation and maintenance of the reinforced exterior.

The project will assure the safety of tourists in the Shrine of Valor and allow extended operations in the heritage. It will also prepare the historical hub for the influx of tourists, which is foreseen as the effect of the continuous development of the Shrine Site as part of the Comprehensive Tourism Master Plan of the FTEZ.

Meanwhile, the ITWG of the agencies will also work on the restoration and rehabilitation of the Colonnade, which was initially approved by TIEZA.

The Colonnade restoration aims to accurately recreate its form, features and character, while preserving its heritage value and achieving a high level of authenticity. It will also help in enhancing tourists’ experience without compromising the historic character of the facility.

In line with the mandate of the national government to promote the sustainable development of tourist spots in the country, especially the cultural and heritage sites, the Mt. Samat Shrine of Valor was officially designated as FTEZ on February 27, 2017 through Tieza. It also resulted from the inter-agency partnership of the TIEZA, the Provincial Government of Bataan and Municipal Government of Pilar, and the PVAO.

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