28 March 2017, Camp Aguinaldo—The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), Filipino War Veterans Foundation, Inc. (FILVETS), GeoEstate Development Corporation, and, AFP Museum ceremoniously opened the BGEN FRANCISCO H LICUANAN JR. World War II Collection Browsing Room located at the AFP THEATER premises beside the AFP Museum. Secretary of National Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana unveiled the Browsing Room with PVAO Administrator LTGEN ERNESTO G CAROLINA AFP (RET), Dr. Patricia Licuanan, and; Department of National Defense Undersecretary for Civil,Veterans and Retiree Affairs (USCVRA) Eduardo Del Rosario. The inaugural timely ushered in the upcoming commemorations for the 2017 Philippine Veterans Week including the 75th Araw ng Kagitingan.
The BGEN FRANCISCO H LICUANAN JR. World War II Collection Browsing Room is one of the repositories of digitized World War II records from the United States (US) National Archives. More digitized files from the Philippine Collection there that contains 1,665 boxes of World War II history will add to the already available Guerilla Recognition files scanned from 300 boxes courtesy of the joint PVAO-FILVETS endeavor, the Digitization Project.
The Browsing Room was named after the father of the sponsor of the Digitization Project and the Chief Executive Officer of the Geo Estate Development Corporation, Mr. Francisco Licuanan III, who was represented in the event by his sister, Dr. Patricia Licuanan. FILVETS, Chief Operating Officer, LTGEN RAUL URGELLO AFP (RET) expressed that World War II history now accessible at the Browsing Room will reveal what happened in the past. Secretary Lorenzana shares this enthusiasm about sourcing digitized World War II files for public consumption since he has actively participated during the Digitization Project in his capacity then as the Head of the PVAO Office of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C. In the inaugural, he recounted how the prospects of the next Digitization Project will completely bring home the Filipiniana World War II collection for scanning from the US National Archives and other facilities there. Secretary Lorenzana asserted that the Digitization Project must be continually supported as he referred to its efforts as, “this is for our generation’’, among an audience comprised mainly of students.