Official Week in Review: January 1 – January 7, 1979

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January 1—

PHILIPPINE and United States panels of negotiators reached agreements on amendments to the existing RP-US Military Bases Agreement. Areas of agreement reached wore: 1) Reaffirmation by the US of Philippine sovereignty over the bases; 2) The placing of each base under command of a Philippine base commander; 3) Agreement to reduce1 the areas for use by the US military within the bases; 4) Assumption by Philippine forces of responsibility for perimeter security of each base; 5) Assurance by the Philippine government of unhampered US military operations; 6) Review by both the Philippine and US governments of the agreement every five years. In a fifteen-minute interview with mass, media which followed the five-hour meeting of the RP and US panels, the President said, among others, that he expected formalization of the agreed amendments within the next two weeks of the next month.

January 2—

THE PRESIDENT will meet the national security council this morning to discuss the six-point amendment to the Military Bases Agreements arrived at by the American and Philippine panels While the national security council will ratify the matter for the Philippines, the American panel has referred it to the appropriate office in Washington, D,C.

THE FIRST Couple tendered a luncheon for visiting American congressmen, during which, the President said the panels of the two countries were in the final stages of polishing up their notes on the military bases agreement., before, exchanging them. He said once the notes were exchanged, they would be subject to confirmation by the US Congress. Rep. Lester Wolff, and adopted son of the Philippines, led the congressmen composed of Rep. Joel Pritchard, Rep. Stephen Neal and Rep. Robert Dornan.

January 3—

THE GOVERNMENT started its crackdown on overstaying aliens and illegal immigrants. In an order issued to the Commission on Immigration and Deportation (CID), Justice Minister Vicente Abad Santos directed that no change, of status be allowed for aliens who were admitted to the Philippines under various immigrations procedures. He was referring specifically to aliens who were admitted into the country under CID office orders Nos. 117, 118, and 119.

January 4—

THE FIRST Lady and Human Settlements Minister Imelda Romualdez Marcos ordered a restudy of the present structure of the Metro Manila Commission to make it more responsive to the people’s needs. She created a study group composed of Assemblyman Ronaldo B. Zamora and Budget Director Silvestre D. Sarmiento, MMC action officer for finance, to go over various proposals and submit the necessary recommendations. She is expected to refer the matter to the President for possible amendments to Presidential Decree No. 824 creating the Metro Manila Commission.

January 5–

THE PRESIDENT, meeting a group of American senators, expressed hope that the sighing of a final accord on amendments to US-Philippine base agreement could be achieved by deadline time tomorrow. Sen. Samuel Nunn, chairman of the armed services subcommittee on military manpower, headed the group of US legislators which included Sen. Gary Hart, Sen. John Glenn, and Sen. William Cohen. With them was Ambassador Richard Murphy. Both the President and his visitors expressed satisfaction over the progress of the military bases negotiations.

THE FIRST Lady, Gov. Imelda Romualdez Marcos, fired off a Series of directives in an effort to provide Metro Manila residents with their basic needs and give the, city a thorough facelifting. In her first conference with the mayors this year, the governor expressed satisfaction over their performance but urged them to undertake more development projects to provide the 11 basic needs of human settlements.

BUDGET Commission released P2 million for the rehabilitation of fish ponds and fishpens damaged by typhoons that hit the country late last year. The rehabilitation program was designed to avert a projected fish supply shortage due to typhoon damage.

January 6—

METRO Manila Gov. Imelda Romualdez Marcos tackled the problem of sidewalk vendors and ambulant peddlers in the metropolitan area. She authorized the use of certain city and municipal streets, roads, and open spaces as sites for flea markets and vending areas under certain terms and conditions. She said the authorities cannot overlook or ignore the problem because of its economic and social implications.

January 7—

THE PHILIPPINE and United States governments exchanged notes confirming acceptance of amendments lo existing KP-US Military Bases Agreements as hammered out by the panels of negotiators of the two governments. The notes were signed by Foreign Minister Carlos P. Romulo in behalf of the Philippine government and Ambassador Richard Murphy in behalf of the US government. The notes exchanged were President Carter’s letter to the President, US State Secretary Cyrus Vance’s letter to Minister Romulo, and Romulo’s letter to Ambassador Murphy. The signing and exchange of notes at the Maharlika Hall of Malacañang were witnessed by the President and the First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos, US and Philippine diplomats, members of the cabinet, the RP and US panels of negotiators, ranking Filipino military leaders and members of the Batasang Pambansa.

Source: National Library of the Philippines

Office of the President of the Philippines. (1979). Official Week in Review. Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, 75(1), iii-iv.