Renovation of Mt. Samat Shrine underway
Raffy Viray (The Philippine Star) - April 9, 2016 - 10:00am

PILAR, Bataan, Philippines – A comprehensive masterplan to turn Mt. Samat National Shrine into a world-class memorial landmark has been submitted to the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).

Bataan governor Albert Raymond Garcia told The STAR that 250 hectares will be renovated following the masterplan prepared by Berkman, an urban and environmental development planning firm, in consultation with the Bataan Peninsula Tourism Council Foundation.

The plan aims to keep the shrine as a lasting tribute to the heroic struggles of our soldiers in the Bataan peninsula during World War II.

Project completion has been set for 2020.

Garcia added that the Mt. Samat Shrine is one of the five sites identified as eco-tourism enterprise zones by TIEZA, which would provide fiscal and tax incentives, infrastructure and other support.

The Mt. Samat Shrine is the second historical site chosen by TIEZA after Luneta. It is projected to attract two million visitors.

Major improvements will be made on the memorial cross, colonnade, museum, stage, open spaces and landscaped areas for sculptures, relics and art installations while preserving the sacred character of the shrine.

The governor added that planned tourism attractions include a Tomb for the Unknown Soldiers and a center for World War II Studies. A zip line is also included in the plan. The renovation will create more jobs for the people of Bataan and nearby areas.

The Mt. Samat National Shrine was built in 1970. However, it lacks hotels, shops, restaurants and entertainment facilities that would make people stay on after the yearly Araw ng Kagitingan rites.

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