CAPAS, Tarlac: Grade 11 students in both private and public high schools here will have another requirement to comply with before graduation – to undergo a six-kilometer “Death March” to instill nationalism and patriotism.
Executive Order (EO) 8 requires the students to walk from the Death March marker in Barangay Santo Domingo to the Capas National Shrine in Barangay Cristo Rey, site of the former interment camp for Filipino and American soldiers who died in the hands of the Japanese during the Second World War.
The Filipino and US soldiers were forced to march from Santo Domingo to Cristo Rey without food or rest, beaten up mercilessly along the way, causing, many of them to die before reaching the internment camp.
The EO was signed by Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan on February 9 but was first released to The Manila Times Wednesday.
It said under the mandate of the Constitution, the local government unit aims to instill patriotism and nationalism among the youth of Capas who play a significant part in nation-building.
“The state recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual and social well-being,” the EO said.
“It shall inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs,” it added.
The march, which will cover six kilometers, starts on Saturday and every second Saturday of the month of March every year thereafter.
But the Department of Education’s schools division said it still has to discuss the order.
Noel Linsao, assistant schools division superintendent, said they will have to check the contents of the EO and will issue a statement on it this Thursday.
He said it is not necessary to enforce the order immediately since graduation for Grade 11 students under the K-12 program will happen next year.