Official Week in Review: June 28 – July 4, 1974

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June 28—

THE PRESIDENT said no civilian or military official presence of any kind will be allowed at the nationwide consultation of the barangays on September 1, to allow the people “complete freedom” in judging the performance of military and civilian officials. The nationwide consultation, referred to as “Pulong ng Mga Barangay”—(Gathering of Barangays), is being called by the President as a form of national integrity day, to ascertain popular support for individual military and civilian officials in key positions in the government. This popular assessment of official conduct is an attempt to comply with the principle laid down by the President in his political writings and speeches to the effect that public officials must be accountable to the people at all times.

THE PHILIPPINES has exerted efforts to make sports a purposeful instrument for youth development, the President said at the start of the 14-nation Asian Age Group Swimming Championships at Rizal Memorial Coliseum. “I am aware that sports promotes not only physical fitness but also the qualities of discipline, brotherhood and leadership,” the President said in a speech read for him by Geronimo Velasco, Philippine National Oil Company president-chairman. The government’s sports development program supplements traditional reliance upon the universal educational system to lay the groundwork for citizenship and leadership. In this work, the administration has called on the participation of the private sector, from trade unions and private industry to civic and religious organizations.

June 29—

THE PRESIDENT declared the Philippine government rejects and will continue to reject a military solution to its problems in Muslim Mindanao and will instead continue to pursue a fullscale socio-economic and political program for the advancement of the country’s minorities. The President made this statement at luncheon in honor of the visiting foreign minister of Lebanon, Fouad Naffah. As a proof of this, the President declared that a government loan recently signed by Secretary of Finance Cesar E. A. Virata with the Kuwaiti government will be used exclusively for projects in Mindanao. This is the first Arab loan to the Philippines—the first Asian loan from Kuwait—in the amount of five million Kuwait dinars or $17 million.

REGION 4 of the Department of Public Highways was divided by the President into two, to be known as Region 4–A and Region 4–B, to assure better administration and more thorough supervision of highway projects in all the provinces and cities within the region. Each region is headed by a regional director and both shall have regional offices in the Greater Manila area. Region 4–A comprises the following cities and provinces: Batangas City, Caloocan City, Cavite City, Lipa City, Lucena City, Manila, Pasay City, Quezon City, San Pablo City, Tagaytay City and Trece Martires City and the provinces of Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon and Rizal. Region 4–B comprises Puerto Princesa City and the provinces of Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Palawan, Marinduque and Romblon.

ORDER of Sultan Kudarat was conferred by the President on Foreign Minister Fouad Naffah of Lebanon in recognition of “extraordinary services to the cause of Filipino nationhood,” particularly during the Islamic Conference held in Kuala Lumpur. In accepting the award, Minister Naffah said he was highly honored because it was conferred on him not only by the President but by the architect of the New Society. The Lebanese foreign minister said the award was symbolic of developing friendly relations between the Philippines and Lebanon, and, in general, between the Philippines and the Arab world.

June 30—

THE PRESIDENT signed a socio-economic development-oriented budget of P14,164,010,000 for fiscal year 1974 to give full implementation to his anti-inflation policy of accelerated and increased agricultural and industrial production. The amount, which reflects the increased cost of development, will be drawn from resources, conservatively put at P15,639,000,000 by the Budget Commission. The new budget reflects the resolute effort of the government to maintain its economic performance in 1973, which registered an unprecedented growth rate of ten per cent. Despite the pressures of increased cost of government as well as socio-economic development, the government expects a more than satisfactory performance.

CHARTERED cities are now authorized to give financial aid to courts of first instance. Under Presidential Decree No. 500, a city may now share in the expenses relating to the construction, repair and alteration of the courthouse or courtroom and court offices, and the cost of equipment and supplies, of a court of first instance or similar court within its jurisdiction. PD 500 comes into effect notwithstanding Section 190 of the Revised Administrative Code which provides that the expenses for the maintenance of courts of first instance are to be borne by the provinces concerned. The decree notes that this provision incapacitates cities not expressly authorized by their charters to extend financial aid to the courts of first instance within their jurisdiction. Courts of first instance and similar courts in cities should be assured of adequate financial support to enable them to attain optimum performance, according to the decree.

THE PRESIDENT has set aside P1 million to preserve, restore, or reconstruct certain national shrines, monuments, landmarks, or cultural treasures for the fiscal year starting July 1, 1974. Under Presidential Decree No. 496, the same amount shall be set aside in each succeeding fiscal year’s budget for the same purpose. One-half of the amount shall go to the National Museum to take care of the national cultural treasures. The other half shall go to the National Historical Commission which has charge of several shrines, landmarks and monuments.

CONTRACEPTIVE devices as aid in the nation’s family planning program may now be transmitted through the mails. This was not possible under the Revised Administrative Code which laid down postal rules and regulations prohibiting the use of the mails for the purpose. However, the President issued Presidential Decree No. 495 amending Section 1954, Paragraph (C) of the Revised Administrative Code. PD 495 exempts contraceptive devices that are non-abortive and are not intended for indecent and immoral purpose from the list of absolutely non-mailable matters provided by Section 1954, Paragraph (C) of the Revised Administrative Code.

July 1

ELECTRIC cooperatives have been returned to the supervision and control of the National Electrification Administration in line with the government’s policy to accelerate rural electrification. The return is effected under Presidential Decree No. 501, which exempts electric cooperatives from the regulatory powers of the Bureau of Cooperatives Management, Department of Local Government and Community Development. With electric coops returned to the NEA, they are expected to get a boost as soon as the NEA is converted into a national corporation. As such, the NEA will promote, organize, register, assist and regulate electric cooperatives.

PERSONS who failed to make full disclosures of their untaxed wealth and income under Presidential Decree No. 370 can now file “rectified” returns, liabilities and net worth as required by Presidential Decree No. 379. Deadline for the submission of these statements is September 30, 1974. The chance for taxfilers to rectify their returns under the tax amnesty decree is made possible through Letter of Instructions No. 200 issued by the President.

July 2

THE PRESIDENT has authorized the purchase by the national government of a 95,732 square meter piece of land in Makati, Rizal, to be used for the construction of an underground drainage main, in line with the flood control program in Greater Manila. The authorization is spelled out in Presidential Decree No. 502. The area will be purchased from the National Power Corp. which had formerly used it as right-of-way for the former Caliraya transmission lines.

THE PRESIDENT extended the term of the Presidential Commission on Reorganization to December 31, 1974. The extension, embodied in Executive Order No. 1286, would enable the Commission to continue its task of recasting the governmental structure. The Commission’s term expire June 30, 1974, under a previous executive order.

SECRETARY of Labor Blas F. Ople has urged all cottage industry producers and exporters to have themselves listed in the Philippine Directory of Cottage Industry Producers and Exporters now being published by MAI Directories for the Chamber of Cottage Industries of the Philippines. In a signed message, Secretary Ople also said that the directory will help achieve for the cottage industry heavy demand and establish communication lines abroad for cottage industry products.

CENTRAL BANK of the Philippines requires all investment houses to publish quarterly consolidated statements of their operations in accordance with Section 12 of Presidential Decree No. 129 otherwise known as the Investment Houses Law. The investment houses were told to publish their consolidated statements beginning with the end of the second quarter this year, which was June 30. Thereafter, statements shall be published every September 30, December 31, and March 31 of every year or of such other date as the CB may require. The quarterly publication shall be made within 300 days from the end of a particular period. It was specified that those statements shall be published in any of the three daily newspapers with the highest number of paid nationwide circulation certified by the appropriate government agency.

July 3—

THE PRESIDENT has created the “Gawad Mabini” award to give fitting recognition to the Department of Foreign Affairs personnel and other deserving Filipinos who have rendered distinguished service to the country at home or abroad. Named after the Philippines’ first secretary of foreign affairs, Apolinario Mabini, the decoration will be given on July 22 of every year, the hero’s birth anniversary. As provided in Presidential Decree No. 490, the award has three ranks, namely: Dakilang Kamanong, Dakilang Kasugo and Kasugo.

July 4

THE PRESIDENT congratulated Eugene Torre, Asia’s first international grandmaster, and assured him of full government support in the development of Filipino chess players. The 22–year old Filipino chess grandmaster, who received a rousing welcome on arrival from Nice, France, called on the President to pay his respects and to thank him for the parental concern he and the First Lady had shown to him. The President also gave the go-signal for the holding of a grandmasters’ tournament in the Philippines this coming October.

AN AREA consisting of 23.5 hectares in Lucap, Alaminos, Pangasinan, has been proclaimed as a national reservation and site for a marine fisheries multi-culture farm. Under Proclamation No. 1282 issued by the President, this area in three lots has been withdrawn from sale or settlement in Lucap Bay, subject to private rights if any there be. The place has actually been used to carry on experimental projects on marine species of shells and fishes since 1961. The presidential proclamation formalizes its disposition as a national reservation.

PERIOD from October 22 to October 26, 1974—and the third week of October of every year thereafter—has been declared “Midwifery Week.” Executive Secretary Alejandro Melchor Jr., who issued the proclamation, pointed out that, as members of health teams, midwives contribute to the task of nation-building by promoting maternal and child health practices. The promotion of maternal and child health, it was stressed, fits into the goals of the New Society which demands of every citizen full contribution to national development.

Source: Supreme Court Library

Office of the President of the Philippines. (1974). Official Week in Review. Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, 70(27), clxxxiii-clxxxvi.