Official Week in Review: January 12 – January 18, 1981

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January 12—

PRESIDENT MARCOS has called a meeting of the National Security Council on Jan. 15 to review the security situation in preparation for the lining of martial law, most likely on Jan. 17.

The expanded NSC meeting will include not only the regular council members but also the General Military Council, all task force chiefs and PC provincial commanders.

Normally, NSC meeting are attended only by the President, the defense minister, the AFP chief of staff, chiefs of the major service commands, the commander of the Presidential Security Agency, the foreign affairs minister, the justice minister and other Cabinet members who may be called by the President.

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January 13—

PRESIDENT MARCOS declared six provinces and three cities in Northern Mindanao under a state of calamity following continuous rains that flooded 24 towns and killed at least 18 people since Dec. 19.

The President issued the declaration in response to the request of provincial government officials who have been coordinating relief operations in the flooded areas which had displaced 9,015 families or 50, 377 persons.

Government relief agencies had initially placed the damage to both public and private properties at P50 million, but destruction could be much more once final reports are completed.

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PRESIDENT MARCOS said that decisive changes in various sectors last year, including sports development, indicate bright prospects for the Filipino athlete.

The President, gave this optimistic assessment in a speech read for him by Michael M. Keon, president of the Philippine Olympic Committee during the awarding ceremonies for the Outstanding Athletes for 1980 under the auspices of the Philippine Sportswriters Association at the Philippine Plaza.

He stressed that sports development is part of national development of any country.

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THE FIRST LADY, Imelda R. Marcos, hailed the municipality of Navotas as an example of what a small community with limited resources can do in a program of development and emerge ahead of bigger and richer towns and cities engaged in the same endeavor.

Mrs. Marcos presented Navotas Mayor Victor B. Javier P1 into for his municipality as over-all winner in the Town Hall Plaza Improvement and Beautification Contest and two other prizes of P100, 000 each for topping the office interiors and building exterior categories of the contest.

A total amount of P2.5 million was awarded by the First Lady to the winners of the contest. Second-placer Mandaluyong won P500, 000. Parañaque, which placed third, won P200, 000.

The other five runners-up were awarded F100.000 each. They are Malabon, San Juan, Manila, Caloocan, and Pasig, in this order.

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January 14–

PRESIDENT MARCOS appointed Manuel S. Alba as acting minister of the budget.

The President told Alba to start discharging his duties immediately and to furnish the Office of the President and the Civil Service Commission with the copies of his oath.

Alba, 38, replaces Budget Minister Jaime Laya who was appointed governor of the Central Bank with the retirement of Gregorio Licaros.

Alba was deputy budget minister and concurrently deputy director-general (deputy minister for economic planning) of the National Economic and Development Authority.

He also holds various positions at the Ministry of Human Settlements, Philippine Export Council, Statistical Advisory Board, and other government boards and agencies.

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January 15—

PRESIDENT MARCOS is scheduled to convene this morning the National Security Council and the Cabinet to finalize strategies to cope with problems that may arise after the lifting of martial lav.

The meeting, set at 10 a.m. in the Cabinet room, is part of the final round of policy consultations being conducted by the President before the lifting of emergency rule, possibly on Saturday, which is Constitution Day.

Tomorrow, the President will call a caucus of the ruling Kilusang Bagong Lipunan to discuss the implications of the lifting of martial law on the functions of the Batasang Pambansa.

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PRESIDENT MARCOS approved the grant of additional aid this year to local governments, particularly these adversely affected by the recent drop in coconut and sugar prices.

The aid which will come from the national government, was earlier recommended by outgoing Budget Minister Jaime C. Laya. The President’s approval came shortly before Laya was appointed Central Bank governor.

Laya recommended to the President two measures concerning the grant of aid to local governments. They are:

—The grant of additional aid to local government whose incomes declined in 1980 due to low prices of coconut and sugar, in an amount not exceeding the actual drop in these local governments’ local revenue from recurring sources between 1979 and 1980.

—The adoption of guidelines to implement a new decree which allows year-to-year increase in allotments from Bureau of National Revenue collections to local governments beyond the 25 percent ceiling imposed by law.

In Presidential Decree No. 1741, certain local governments may receive increases in their BIR allotments of more than 25 percent, depending on their needs.

PRESIDENT MARCOS said that the Central Bank under the leadership of former CB Gov. Gregorio Licaros played a vital role in the progress of the country’s economy in the past decade.

The President made this assessment in his remarks after inducting former Budget Minister Jaime C. Laya as the new governor of the Central Bank.

Laya replaced Licaros who retired after 50 years of service in the government, including 11 years as CB governor.

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PRESIDENT MARCOS conferred the Order of Sikatuna, rank of datu, on outgoing Ambassadors to the Philippines Joachim Pierre Maurice Pallard of the Republic of Gabon and Mohammed Yussof bin Zainal of Malaysia, fur their services in international relations. Ambassador Pallanl has completed a four-year tour of duty in the country, while Ambassador Zainal is retiring from the diplomatic service.

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THE FIRST LADY, Imelda R. Marcos, approved a massive food production program aimed at bringing clown the cost of food, particularly in Metro Manila.

The program called the Kadiwa Sa Bagong Liputian Production Program will be participated by 10 major government agencies concerned with the production of the country’s staple foods.

The First Lady thought of integrating the functions of these agencies and harnessing their technology, manpower, and resources, as an assurance that the total plan of action towards an intensified food production will have long lasting effects and not “merely touch the surface of the problem.”

The program is premised on the First Lady’s concept of establishing food granaries in different provinces in the form of plantations, ranches, and by the maximum harnessing of waterways to step up on fish culture, to ensure the people of an abundance of vegetables, fish, beef and pork.

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January 16—

THE RESPONSIBILITY of maintaining peace and order in the country will be shifted to local authorities and police forces when martial law is lifted, except in areas where there is actual conflict.

This was stressed by the President during the meeting of the National Security Council and the Cabinet during policy consultations before the formal announcement of the lifting of martial law, possibly tomorrow.

The President said that while the responsibility of maintaining peace and order will be given to the local police, military units should stay in their posts and continue to perform their main responsibility of safeguarding national security.

During the one-hour 40-mimite meeting, the President reviewed the gains of the new society and restated the implications of the lifting of the emergency rule, imposed more than eight years ago.

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PRESIDENT MARCOS underscored the impact of the movies as the most “pervasive influence” on the culture of peoples.

In a short after-luncheon speech before the delegates to the “Manila ’81 Event,” a prelude to next year’s Manila International film festival, the President said -that the history of the culture of the world will be written underlining the significance of the movies as an influential factor in its evolvement.

The President received a standing ovation from the delegation composed of well-known producers, actors and actresses led by Jack Valenti, Franco Nero, Peter O’Toole and the now very popular 15-year old Brookes Shields, who drew much of the attention from her peers.

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THE 60-MEMBER Batasan committee on constitutional amendments adopted a proposal to elect by region the members of the regular National Assembly in 1984.

The plan was one of six resolutions endorsed by the committee for Batasan enactment beginning on Monday when the chamber convenes as a constituent assembly.

The committee gave in to proposals to allow individual amendments when the plan to hold regional elections is discussed in the plenary session.

A major amendment to the original proposal would guarantee every province representation in the legislature.

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THE LIFTING of martial law and the changes it will bring to the country is still the most predominant subject foreign correspondents are interested to know more about.

This surfaced when the First Lady, Imelda Romualdez Marcos, held a no-holds barred dialogue with some 30 foreign correspondents covering the Manila International Film Festival ’81.

In a half-hour question-answer session at the Technology Resource Center, writers from leading American, Asian and European magazines and newspapers, asked a variety of questions ranging from the lifting of martial law to the evolvement of a national identity.

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January 17—

PRESIDENT MARCOS called on the people to be more militant to enable the country to achieve greatness in the years ahead.

The call was issued by the President after formally proclaiming the end of martial law rule and the beginning of “a new era and a new day.”

In his address highlighting the ceremonies of Constitution Day in Malacañang, the President issued Proclamation No. 2045 ending the emergency rule which he imposed eight years and four months ago.

During the emotion-filled ceremonies, the President reminded the people that martial law does not carry with it the passing of all burdens.

There will be more tests for our capacity, far our resiliency, for our strength as a people,” the President stressed.

The President said the militancy of a concerned citizenry and the social commitment of a responsible elite are needed more than ever now because, the end of martial law does not mean the end of all needed reforms.

“As I now sign this proclamation in full view of our nation and the world at large, I am profoundly conscious of the tasks that remain, hoping that we shall not lose the momentum of our achievements so that those who shall come after us may carry on the quest of a greater society,” the President said.

The President signed the 18-page document at exactly 11:45 p.m.

The First Lady and Human Settlements Minister Imelda R. Marcos was touched and was misty-eyed at the end of the solemn rites.

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THE OPPOSITION group called the United Democratic Opposition (UNIDO) “constitutes a dangerous element,” President Marcos said in his opening remarks during the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan caucus in Malacañang.

Reacting to statements by the UNIDO, the President said a socialist form of government would be established by the opposition once they assume power.

The President cited what he described “a very innocuous paragraph” in the 30-page document issued by the opposition which stated that if they control the government, they will determine what private enterprises will be taken over by government.

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January 18—

PRESIDENT MARCOS ordered the release of 341 detainees, including two women, for humanitarian reasons and in line with the government’s policy of compassion and national reconciliation.

Of the number, 159 have been charged with violation of the laws on public order and national security while the remaining 182 are common criminals.

The President issued the order after approving- the recommendation of Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile to release the detainees.

Source: National Library of the Philippines

Office of the President of the Philippines. (1981). Official Week in Review. Official  Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, 77(3), xiii-xvii.