February 1.—PRESIDENT Magsaysay had breakfast with his house guest, Crown Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia, who slept in the Palace last night
The Cambodian Prince arrived yesterday as the state guest of the country. The Prince and his entourage arrived at Malacañang at 5 p.m. yesterday and were given military honors by the Presidential Guards Battalion. Later, they were entertained at a merienda.
Last evening, President and Mrs. Magsaysay gave a state dinner in honor of Prince Norodom. The reception accorded the visiting Cambodian Prince was attended by the highest officials of the Republic and their ladies.
Prince Norodom left for Baguio City after breakfast this morning, accompanied by Vice-President Carlos P. Garcia
AFTER the departure of the Prince, the President summoned his physician, Dr. Jose Corpus, and has his throat examined. The President complained anew of pains in his larynx, throat ailment which afflicted him a few weeks before the last elections.
The President had to cancel appointments with a few callers whom he intended to receive before presiding over the regular meeting of his Cabinet.
FEELING a little relieved later, The President summoned Budget Commissioner Dominador Aytona and discussed with him the proposed P800 million budget for the fiscal year 1956-57.
AFTER his conference with Aytona, the President summoned the members of the Cabinet who had already gathered at the Council State room, to the Palace dining room. The Cabinet meeting was held at the dining room from 10:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
President Magsaysay and the Cabinet discussed various measures designed to strengthen the economy of the country. The discussion was touched off by an injury from NEC Chairman Alfredo Montelibano, who asked the President on the policy to be followed in approving the establishment of new industries which, he said, were beginning to be crowded.
The President said that all economic planning and policies should take their cue from 10 “guide-posts” which he had enumerated in his state-of-the-nation message to Congress. He said that henceforth the establishment of only those industries which will use raw materials produced in the Philippines would be encouraged. The President distinguished those new industries to be established from already existing new industries whose raw material requirements, he reiterated, will continue to be processed.
During the Cabinet meeting, the President:
- Directed Agriculture Secretary Juan de G. Rodriguez to speed up the processing of requests for lumber concessions, and cut all unnecessary red tape.
The Chief Executive said that foreign lumber companies were willing to invest in large-scale lumber cutting and processing which would bring in millions of dollars into the country. He said that Philippine forest resources amounted to some P27 billion. Proper steps should be taken to tap this wealth, he said.
- Told NEC Chairman Montelibano and Public Works Undersecretary Rafael Contreras that he wanted to have carried out as soon as practicable the rural electrification of the country, especially in Central Luzon.
The President said that he wanted the irrigation systems in Central Luzon to be operate by electric turbines which would prove less costly and more efficient than those run with diesel. He observed that with power and to be provided by the Ambuklao hydroelectric plant and the new Binga project, widespread use of electricity in Central Luzon will bring about the realization of this plan. He said the rural electrification program about the realization plan. He said the rural electrification program was important to rural development.
- Approved, upon the recommendation of the Cabinet, the proposed issuance and sale of bond issues under Republic Act No. 1397 as requested by the National Power Corporation:
(a) P15 million to finance the construction of the second unit of the Maria Cristina fertilizer plant; and
(b) P2 million worth of bonds to finance the construction of the Agusan River hydroelectric project in Bukidnon.
- Told Agriculture Secretary Rodriguez to replenish the fish stocks in many of the country’s lakes and rivers in order to increase the country’s fish supply. The President told Rodriguez to proceed with the construction of concrete vats where fish could be cultivated and later strewn in the depleted lakes and streams.
- Directed that loans for the importation of cattle should be processed quickly in order that more and better breeds of cattle could be brought into the country to increase the local bee and diary supply. He also inquired from Defense Secretary Eulogio Balao about progress in the goat farm in Tawi-Tawi, Sulu. He said that he wanted this goat project to succeed.
During the Cabinet meeting, the President directed that Navy LSTs be sent to stand be near Camiguin Island to evacuate the residents of that island in case the volcano erupts. The President was informed there were signs on imminent eruption of the volcano.
The President also directed acting Social Welfare Administration head, Mrs. Amparo Villamor, to enplane together with NARIC Manager Jacinto Gavino tomorrow morning to look after the flood victims in Compostela, Davao. The President had received reports that the area was still flooded. He said measures should be taken by all government agencies concerned to prevent the outbreak of epidemic in that region.
IN the afternoon, the President stayed in bed, feeling indisposed.
February 2.—FEELING indisposed on account of a recurrent throat ailment, the President cancelled all scheduled callers this day and his scheduled trip today to Vigan, Ilocos Sur, to attend the “Harvest Festival” in celebration of the bountiful results of the tobacco production drive he initiated in Northern Luzon.
The President this morning created a committee to inquire into report in a morning paper alleging the “mysterious disappearance of half a million pesos donated last year to the Social Welfare Administration by the United Nations Appeal for Children and other philanthropic organizations. The committee in composed of Judge Salvador Esguerra, Malacañang legal adviser, as chairman, and Judge Roman Cruz, Malacañang technical assistant, and Defense Undersecretary Jose M. Crisol, as members.
AFTER signing the administrative order, the President motored to the V. Luna General Hospital for treatment of his throat.
WHILE resting in bed after coming from the hospital, the President was told that a delegation of bus and jeepney drivers who were on strike had come to Malacañang to present a petition.
The President went out of his bedroom and conferred with the strikers. He appealed to them to resume operations and observe traffic rules and regulations in the interest of pedestrians and the traveling public. He promised them that their petition would be studied by proper authorities and that he would let them know the action to be taken on their petition.
The drivers promised to return to work immediately, pending the study of their petition that drivers caught violating traffic regulations be given three or five days to pay the fine instead of being jailed immediately in case they cannot pay the fine at once.
The drivers denied that they were on strike. They said they had to leave their vehicles because they wanted to come to Malacañang to present their petition to the President personally.
The delegation was headed by Gervacio Valle, president of the Manila Jeepney Drivers Association, and Alfredo Gomez, their legal counsel.
MALACAÑANG reiterated today that the Central Bank will continue processing the raw material requirements of already existing new industries.
The reiteration came in the face of persistent impression in some quarters that the Central Bank will no longer consider the raw material requirements of already existing new industries unless these industries used only native materials.
Press Secretary J.V. Cruz reiterated:
- That raw material requirements of already existing new industries will continue to be processed.
- As regards applications to establish new industries, the Central Bank will be guided by the President’s state-of-the-nation message in that it will consider only those industries that will utilize local raw materials.
The Malacañang spokesman also took exception to a morning paper editorial alleging that the Administration had abandoned the five-year program launched by President Magsaysay in a Far Eastern University speech in 1954.
“As President Magsaysay said clearly at his press conference Tuesday, January 31,” Cruz said, “the Administration has been and is continuing to implement those aspects of that program which have proven themselves practicable. On the other hand, those aspects, which for some reason or other have run into implementation difficulties, are naturally being restudied and revised by the National Economic Council. The President made clear when he launched that program that it would naturally allow for revisions and changes dictated by experience and changing conditions.”
February 3.—THE President had breakfast this morning with members of the Colorado (USA) School of Mines Alumni Association who pledged their “wholehearted cooperation in your efforts to develop fully the country’s economy.” They told the President that he could call on any of them any time he needed their help.
The alumni association members offered their services to the President with respect to the greater utilization of the country’s resources. They specifically cited the country’s mineral resources which, they said, could be developed for the the achievement of the Administration’s economic objectives.
The President thanked the mining engineers and said that he may avail of their services in the future.
The alumni group was represented by Servillano U. Aquino, president; Gustave L. Neuman, vice-president; and John R. Kuykendall, secretary-treasurer. The breakfast lasted from 8 to 9 a.m.
STILL feeling indisposed because of a throat ailment which had been bothering him for the last three days, the President decided to board his yacht Sta. Maria for a cruise on Manila Bay. His physician had prescribed complete rest for his throat.
PRESIDENT Magsaysay in the evening unequivocally endorsed the CB Monetary Board Policy statement at its regular meeting earlier this afternoon reiterating that “ there will be no change in the exchange rate of the Philippine peso in relation to the dollar.”
The President issued the statement endorsing the CB policy to spike reports that the Administration is planning to devalue the peso. Confusion on the stability of the peso was generated by news report in a morning paper quoting NEC Chairman Alfredo Montelibano as advocating the unpegging of the peso from the dollar during a congressional hearing yesterday.
Montelibano, in a statement this day, vehemently denied having given the statement. He said he was “misquoted.” He pointed out that he was against the unpegging of the peso from the dollar.
February 4.—PRESIDENT Magsaysay stayed aboard the Sta. Maria the whole day this day in compliance with the advice of his physicians to have a complete rest. However, the President was in constant communications with the Palace morning and afternoon.
The President returned to Malacañang in the evening although he was not expected at the Palace until tomorrow morning.
February 5.—THE President woke up early this morning and joined his family in hearing mass at the Malacañang chapel.
After breakfast with his family, the President motored around the city, accompanied by his son, Ramon, Jr.
EVIDENTLY not satisfied with the motor ride around the city, the President later motored to the Nichols Air Base for an air cruise to Zambales. He took off at 9:30 a.m., in his plane Pagasa, landing on the San Marcelino airstrip about 40 minutes later. He was accompanied by his brother Jesus and Maj. Jose Estrella, his aide.
After a short stay with his parents in barrio Barin, the President flew back to Manila and was back at the Palace about 12:30 p.m. He had luncheon with his family.
AT 5:45 p.m., the President and the First Lady motored to the Manila Broadcasting Company on Taft Avenue, where they inaugurated the new MBC radio center. They were accompanied by Rafael Yabut, MBC public relations officer. On hand to welcome them were MBC officials headed by Federico Elizalde, MBC president.
Mrs. Magsaysay cut the ceremonial ribbon at the main entrance of the building. Shortly after the inauguration, the President addressed the crowd which witnessed the event. He paid tribute to the “vigorous growth and development” of the local radio industry. He said the radio had “come of age as a moulder of public opinion and distinct influence on the thinking of our people.”
At 8 o’clock in the evening, the President gave an informal dinner in honor of Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia, who was scheduled to return to his country tomorrow morning after a week’s visit to the Philippines. The Prince presented the President with the Grand Croix de l’Ordre Royal du Cambodge, Cambodia’s highest decoration for a foreign chief of state. The dinner was attended by staff members of the Prince.
PRESIDENT Magsaysay was informed today by Manuel Gonzales, general manager of the National Marketing Corporation, of the revocation of distributorship of Herman Jopson, proprietor of the Jopson’s Supermarket in Sampaloc, and Arturo Rabano, owner of the Charity Grocery in San Andres, for registering “fictitious sales” in an attempt to cover NAMARCO merchandise they were believed to have channeled to the blackmarket.
A third distributor, Pilar Dominguez, former employee of the NAMARCO, serving retailers in San Juan, was suspended for alleged connivance with retailers serving as dummies of Chinese speculators.
Gonzales said that a NAMARCO certified public accountant who checked Jopson’s sales found that big allocations of goods were granted to the Tropical Hut Grocery, to one Mrs. Henares, and to one Mrs. Yasia. A check-up with those concerned revealed that they never received such big quantities of goods invoiced under their names.
This led NAMARCO investigators to believe that the “fictitious sales” were made to Chinese merchants.
Rabano had invoiced around P16,000 worth of goods to a certain retailer in Pasay City. Investigators who became suspicious of the big allocation found that the man listed never received the goods nor had he authorized Rabano to use his name. The man neither had a store and was not a registered retailer. The same amount of goods, consisting of onions and garlic, was believed channeled to the blackmarket.
According to Gonzales, a team of NAMARCO inspectors, composed of certified public accountants, is presently inspecting the books of NAMARCO distributors in Manila and provinces. Any distributor found to have committed offices similar to those committed by those suspended will lose their distributorship.
Gonzales told the President that several NAMARCO distributors, including ex-employees of the firm, are in their watch list. He also reported that several retailers have already been blacklisted by the NAMARCO for channeling goods to Chinese.
February 6.—FEELING sufficiently recovered from his ailment, the President started receiving callers this day.
He had breakfast with John W. Houser, executive vice-president of the Hilton Hotels International; Ray Purpus, public relations head; Commerce Secretary Oscar Ledesma; Modesto Farolan; and Larry Marquez. It was a social call of the visiting American executives who paid their respects to the President.
After the breakfast, President Magsaysay saw Rep. Jose J. Roy of Tarlac, Rep. Guillermo Sanchez and Gov. Felixberto Dagani of Agusan, ACCFA Administrator Osmundo Mondoñedo, MRR General Manager Salvador Villa, and John T. Cooper and T. Lee of the United States Veterans Administration in the Philippines.
The President also met the representatives of the Coordinating Secretariat of the International Union of Students who came to the Philippines as guests of the Student Councils Association of the Philippines (SCAP).
One of the President’s early callers was Sen. Pacita Madrigal-Gonzalez, who had wanted to see the President in connection with the current presidential investigation into the disposition of funds of the Social Welfare Administration. Witnesses to the probe had testified that Sen. Gonzalez, while SWA administrator, had listed some funds in her name. It was learned that Sen. Gonzalez requested the President that she be furnished with the records of the case.
Asked by newsmen about the SWA investigation, the President said there was no report yet from the committee. And when queried about the purpose of Sen. Gonzalez call at Malacañang in the morning, the Chief Executive said “she just dropped by for a visit.” The President met the newsmen at the weekly press conference held in the Palace dining room.
The President refused to comment on NEC Chairman Alfredo Montelibano’s multiple exchange plan, saying he had not received any such plan from Montelibano.
During the press conference, the President stressed that no one talked to Prince Norodom of Cambodia about joining the SEATCO. He said the Prince just paid us a goodwill visit, and that it “was a highly successful visit as such.”
PRESIDENT Magsaysay this day followed a heavy schedule of callers including a large group of farmers from Nueva Ecija who sought a better price for their onion products. The Chief Executive told the farmers the ACCFA would buy their onions a P7 per bag of 22 pounds.
The Nueva Ecija delegation was also assured by the President of early subdivision of landed estates, barrio roads, and irrigation systems. The delegation, which included mayors and municipal officials, was headed by Rep. Celestino Juan and Gov. Amado Aleta.
Another large provincial delegation received by the President which also requested aid was from Sariaya Quezon, headed by Rep. Manuel Enverga and Mayor Andres Remo. The delegation asked for a puericulture center, pre-fabricated school houses, artesian wells, and the completion of barrio roads.
Mrs. Luchi Lacson, wife of City Mayor Arsenio H. Lacson of Manila, Mesdames Sonia Lim, and Josefina Javier invited the President to speak at the opening of the 1956 Red Cross Fund Drive on February 19.
Dr. Jefferson Davies, United Nations abaca experts, was another caller. He was accompanied by Felix Imperial, Cosme Gonowan, and Ricardo Ledesma of the Abaca Corporation of the Philippines.
Rep. Lamberto Macias of Negros Oriental accompanied Mayors Teodorico Lato of Siaton, Ambrosio Adansa of Zamboanguista, and Gibson Araula of Dawin, all of Negros Oriental. They requested the Chief Executive aid for their various public works projects.
Another provincial delegations which called on the President and asked for material and financial aid were the Cagayan delegation, accompanied by Agriculture Undersecretary Jaime Ferrer; the Palawan delegation, headed by Gov. Alfredo Abueg, Board Members Carlos Fernandez and Datu Jolkipli, and ex-Gov. Patricio Fernandez; the farmers’ delegation from San Pedro Tunasan, Laguna, accompanied by Rep. Jacobo Gonzales; the Moslem group headed by ex-Senator Tomas Cabili and Amir Mindalano; residents of Bucaue, Bulacan, headed by Mayor Dioscoro Juan; and Marinduque officials, led by Rep. Panfilo Manguera and Gov. Miguel Manguera.
The President this noon discussed again with members of the CB Monetary Board and Central Bank officials fiscal and economic policies of the government. During the conference the President:
(1) Noted that since the first week of February the dollar reserves of the country have remained firm and shown some tendency to increase.
(2) Directed a careful study of new industries that have already been established but are highly dependent on outside raw materials with a view to determining their long term effect on the economy. He said that all efforts should be exerted to insure that after a certain period these industries could draw on local supplies for their raw materials. He emphasized however that applications for dollar these industries will continue to be processed by the Central Bank.
(3) Reiterated a previous directive to consider applications for new industries that will make use of local raw materials.
(4) Directed that careful selections be made of the projects to be undertaken for which funds from bonds issues are to be used.
(5) Emphasized that the financing of new and already existing industries should be carefully planned and that attention b given to the five-year economic plan which he had announced sometime ago.
The President reiterated that it was the duty of the National Economic Council to update this plan by revising it every year in accordance with prevailing economic conditions with the view to making full use of available local resources. The President said that it should be kept in mind that the economy should be advanced without impairing the stability of the peso.
Present at the luncheon conference which lasted from 12:30 to past 2 p.m. were Finance Secretary Jaime Hernandez, Monetary Board Chairman; PNB President Arsenio J. Jison, and RFC Chairman Eduardo Romualdez (MB members); and Dean Vicente Sinco, Dr Amando Dalisay, and Jaime Velasquez (acting MB member); CB Officials Nicanor Tomas, Gregorio S. Licaros, R. Mariño Corpus, and Mrs. Fanny Garcia. Also present were Defense Undersecretary Jose M. Crisol, presidential overall performance officer, and Prof. Enrique Fernando, legal adviser.
ACTING Executive Secretary Fortunato de Leon this afternoon reiterated what President Magsaysay had proposed in his state-of-the-nation message that educational reforms be geared to the requirements of scientific and economic progress.
Secretary De Leon spoke in representation of the President at the opening program of the National Vocational and Industrial Exhibits and the formal launching of the Home Industries Program of the Department of Education at Philippine School of Arts and Trades at the corner of Ayala and San Marcelino Streets, this afternoon.
Mrs. Luz Banzon-Magsaysay cut the ceremonial ribbon, formally opening the program. Members of the congressional committees of education, headed by Speaker Jose B. Laurel, Jr., Sen. Jose P. Laurel, and Rep. Carmen Dinglasan-Consing, were present.
In his extemporaneous speech, Secretary De Leon said that while the development of the country’s international trade was most desirable, it was vital that the government develop local industries which would use local materials in order to uplift the living conditions of the common people.
For this reason, he said, it was necessary that stimulus be provided for the country’s growing industries and help in the organization of new ones. He said that this would require intensive vocational education and that for this reason the Department of Education and the Bureau of Public Schools had been directed to map out and implement vocational education projects.
February 7.—EVIDENTLY, no longer feeling the effect of his throat ailment and a slight attack of influenza which kept him in bed for three days, the President ploughed through a heavy schedule of callers from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. today. He received no less than 500 callers in three and a half hours.
A delegation from the Producers and Exporters Association presented a resolution pledging unqualified support and cooperation with the President’s efforts to solve the economic problems of the country. The group also offered suggestions on solving the spiraling prices of prime commodities, the dwindling dollar reserves, unemployment, and the problems of under-production. The group was headed by Gaudencio E. Antonio, president of the association.
The President thanked the group for their offer of cooperation to his administration He said he would take up their recommendations with appropriate officials.
Robert Kaufman of Noramgrex Company, Inc., Malden, Massachusetts, called to show the President pictures of his new invention, a movie corn mill, which he is introducing in the Philippines. Accompanied by Tirso Uytengsu, a Cebu businessman, Kaufman said that his machine could travel from barrio to barrio on its own power and could be set up in any area in a matter of minutes.
Leon Humberto Valenzuela, president of Lions International, called to pay his respects following his arrival in Manila last night in the course of a tour of various Lions clubs in the Orient. He was accompanied by Carlos Rivilla, governor of District 301 of Lions International; Ofilo A. Arellano, president of Manila Lions; and “Dindo” Gonzalez, past Lions international director.
Officers of the Optometrists Association of the Philippines headed by Dr. Gregorio Estrada presented the President with a resolution seeking the representation of their association in the board of examiners for optometrists.
Representatives from the Philippine Women Dental Foundation called to pay their respects on the occasion of the observance of the 6th National Dental Health Week from February 3 to 9 this year. The group was headed by Dr. Eufemia Laconico del Rosario, foundation president.
Members of the tax campaign committee called to submit their progress report following their tour of various parts of the country educating the people into paying their taxes. Headed by Mrs. Fernanda Balboa of the Women Voters’ League, the committee, in which the Department of Finance was represented, suggested that the President award a trophy to the municipal treasurer who registered the highest increase in tax collection during the year.
Clarita Tan Kiang, who had just returned form abroad, submitted a report on home financing projects in the countries she had visited. Miss Tan Kiang, who left the country several months ago traveling on her own had been requested to undertake studies of housing projects, particularly those established by governments of foreign countries for the low-income sections of their population.
Gov. Leon Fernandez of Sulu requested the condonation of back taxes in areas affected by the military campaign against the Moro bandit leader, Hadjo Kamlon, in his province. Fernandez, who also recommended the conversion of five municipal districts into regular municipalities, explained that farmers in the campaign area had not been able to plant during the entire period of military operations.
A delegation from Bulucan, headed by Rep. Ersmo Cruz, called to pledge their support and cooperation to the Administration. The delegation included Mayor Jose Bernardo of Pandi, defeated gubernational candidate Mamerto Bernardo, ex-Gov. Restituto Castro, Mayor Magno Gatchalian of Paombong, and other political leaders of the province.
Other provincial delegations this morning were those from Zamboanga del Sur accompanied by Sen. Roseller T. Lim and Rep. Alberto Ubay; from Cavinti and Luisiana, Laguna, accompanied by Rep. Wenceslao Lagumbay; from Batangas, headed by Reps. Numeriano Babao and Apolinario Apacible; from Angeles, Pampanga, accompanied by Rep. Emilio Cortez; from Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, accompanied by Rep. Jose Corpuz, from Dupax, Nueva Vizcaya, accompanied by Rep. Leonardo Perez; from Pozorrubio and Villasis, Pangasinan, accompanied by Gov. Conrado Estrela; from Bacolor and Macabebe, Pampanga, headed by Gov. Rafael Lazatin; and from Lipa City, headed by Mayor Baldomero Reyes.
Individual callers included Reps. Vicente L. Peralta of Sorsogon, Secrafin Salvador of Rizal, and Justino Nuyda of Albay; and Mons Egidio Vagnozzi, papal nuncio to the Philippines.
THE President today ordered the prosecution of distributors of the National Marketing Corporation found falsifying cash sales invoices and unloading NAMARCO goods to unauthorized alien traders.
In a conference with Manuel J. Gonzalez, NAMARCO general manager, at Malacañang, the President directed that the papers of four NAMARCO agents who had been ordered investigated and found padding invoices be forwarded to the Department of Justice for possible prosecutions in the courts.
The four NAMARCO distributors were Herman Jopson, proprietor of the Jopson supermarket in Bustillos, Sampaloc; Arturo Rabano, owner of the Charity Grocery in San Andres, Manila; and E.R. Lina and F.o. Maranan of Cabanatuan City, both serving retailers in Nueva Ecija. Their rights to distribute NAMARCO merchandise had been cancelled upon receipt of the results of their investigation by Manager Gonzalez.
Another NAMARCO agent, Pilar Dominguez, who had been designated distributor for San Juan, Rizal, had been suspended pending investigation of her case. Dominguez was a former employee of the corporation.
The four agents whose cases were referred to the Department of Justice had been found tampering the duplicates of cash invoices on goods distributed to Filipino retailers to make it appear that these bona fide retailers had received more goods than they actually got. The excess goods, the investigators found, had been channelled to the black market, particularly to unauthorized alien traders.
PRESIDENT Magsaysay submitted his proposed P1.347-billion budget for the fiscal year 1956-57 today, the last day of the period allowed him by law to present his proposed expenditures for the next fiscal year.
In his budget message the president pointed out that the proposed P1.347-billion outlay tops the present budget of the government by P235 million. He pointed out that despite an increase of P46 million in the actual general appropriations, he expected a balance budget. He said that the Government expects an income of P811 million, which is more than sufficient to cover up the expected expenditures.
The President said the present “fiscal plan” gives emphasis to economic programs and services which directly advance industrial and agricultural productivity.
Although the proposed budget shows a total of P1.347 billion, the actual general appropriations is P796,900,000 as against P750,186,611 of the current fiscal year, representing an increase of P46 million.
The President reiterated in his budget message the policy of his administration “that the Government will engage in business and industrial activity only in those fields which are vital to the economy but which temporarily at least are not attractive to private initiative.”
He said the budget gives priority to projects which are oriented to economic objectives, which are definitely income producing and which promise of bringing economic returns within a relatively short period. He stressed that budgetary emphasis has been made along agricultural lines. He said “our goal is to achieve self-sufficiency in food production.”
For economic development, the President has set aside a total 0f P640,900,000 while, for social development, he proposed as appropriation of P342 million.
The President proposed the adoption of the “performance budget system” in all government offices in accordance with law.
In its industrial and agricultural program, the President outlined the following specific activities which will be given priority in the present fiscal plan:
- Undertakings which significantly contribute to, or facilitate the operation of dollar-earning or dollar-saving industry.
- Rural development programs which stimulate self-help in achieving higher living standards and greater farm production;
- Programs directed to gaining self-sufficiency in the production of basic foodstuffs;
- Activities which expedite the process of land distribution among the landless; and
- Facilities and services which are of immediate importance as a foundation to the productive process, including power, irrigation and food control, feeder roads, and water transports.
February 8.—PRESIDENT Magsaysay had a breakfast conference this morning with the four Manila solons, who discussed with him measures calculated to benefit the residents of the city.
Among the measures taken up by the President with Reps. Arturo M. Tolentino, Angel Castaño, Joaquin Roces, and Augusto S. Francisco were the following:
- Early release of the GSIS loan to the PHHC for a housing project in Tondo;
- Early release by Budget Commissioner Dominador Aytona of the fund for the construction of a general hospital in Tondo; and
- Opening of the extension of the Inverness Street in Paco to Pandacan across the railroad tracks.
The Manila congressmen said they were studying the proposal to increase the number of city councilors from 12 to 20.
THE President received only a few callers today, as he was scheduled to preside over the weekly meeting of the Cabinet. He received Speaker Protempore Daniel Z. Romualdez of the House of Representatives and Gov. Bernardo Torres of Leyte, who joined the President and the Manila solons at the breakfast table. The Leyte officials requested aid for various public works projects in their province.
The President also received Assistant to the NBI Dorector Mariano Almeda, who reported on the progress of his investigation of the murder cases in Isabela and Cagayan.
Mr. and Mrs. David L. Marks paid a courtesy call on the President. Mr. Marks is connected with the NBC in New York, U.S.A.
Other callers received by the President were Sen. Francisco Rodrigo and Gov. Juan Triviño of Camarines Sur.
AT the Cabinet meeting today, President Magsaysay ordered the importation of ten 42-inch pumps to be used in irrigating lands along the Pampanga River which are without water during the dry season.
The President also approved the recommendation of Justice Secretary Pedro Tuason’s committee to allow Teodoro Agoncillo to publish his wining books, “The Revolt of the Masses.” The terms will be discussed and agreed upon between Education Secretary Gregorio Hernandez, Jr., and Executive Secretary Fortunato de Leon on the part of the Government, and Agoncillo, the publisher.
The Cabinet also received:
(1) The report of Vice-President and concurrently Secretary of Foreign Affairs Carlos P. Garcia on the latest development regarding the proposed barter of “D” sugar with Burmese rice; and
(2) A report of Education Secretary Hernandez on the work of the committee appointed by the President to follow through the erection of pre-fabricated school houses distributed in various regions of the country.
The President presided over the Cabinet meeting held at the family dining room. It started at 10:40 a.m. and ended at past 12 noon. The President left the Cabinet after one hour, and the Vice-President took over.
The told the Cabinet that he wanted his rural electrification project to be realized as early as possible. A phase of this project in the use of electric turbine pumps to irrigate tracts of land along the Pampanga River.
Invited to the Cabinet meeting to study and implement the plan were Public Works Director Julian Buendia, Highways Commissioner Rodolfo Maslog, NPC General Manager Filemon Zablan, and ICA Chief Harry Brenn.
The President directed the purchase of ten 42-inch pumps for the purpose. Electric power to be used in running these pumps will be supplied by the NPC’s Ambuklao hydroelectric plant. The President told Zablan and Buendia to coordinate their efforts in this project.
Vice- President Garcia informed the Cabinet that Burma had offered a counter-proposal to a previous offer of the Philippine Government to barter “D” sugar with Burmese rice in a ton to ton basis. He said Burma’s counter-proposal was that for every metric ton of rice, the Philippine Government would pay $89.50, and the Burmese Government would buy “D” sugar at $75.60. The Cabinet said it would study the matter. However the Vice-President informed the Cabinet that the Philippine Government had already received offers of two other countries to barter the “D” sugar with rice.
Secretary Hernandez reported to the Cabinet that the committee studying the progress of the erection of pre-fabricated school houses had decided to form provincial committees with the PC commander as chairman and the division superintendent of schools, the district engineer, and a PTA representative as members, to follow through this work in each province. Hernandez said that the provincial committee could keep closer supervision over the erection of pre-fabricate school houses.
According to a report of the committee a total of 1,417 pre-fabricated school houses had already been shipped to various parts of the country. Out of this, 558 were already erected, 339 being erected, 342 not yet erected, and 178 still in transit.
Some of the reasons given for the delay in the erection of the prefabs were: bad weather, difficulty in transporting the materials to final destination, lack of sand and gravel, lack of time by district engineers to supervise construction, harvest time in some places, and transfer of prefabs to more needy places.
Action in this matter was prompted by an earlier report of Defense Undersecretary Jose M. Crisol on rotting prefabs in some barrios in Altavas, Capiz.
The President also approved the sending of a delegation to the Fifth Pacific Area Travel conference to be held at the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo, Japan, February 13 to 17, 1956. The delegation is composed of Modesto Farolan, president of the Philippine Tourist and Travel Association, Inc., chief delegate; Felipe Juico, president of the Philippine Society of Travel Agents, representing the traveling agencies, as alternate; and Jovito A. Rivera, commercial attache, Philippine Mission in Tokyo, as alternate. The delegates will attend the conference at their own expense.
Commerce Secretary Oscar Ledesma said that Philippine participation in this conference will contribute tremendously in developing and expanding the country’s tourist trade. He said the Philippines was a charter member of the PATA and since its organization in 1952 the Philippines had participated in its several annual conferences.
President Magsaysay urged that the Constitution be guarded “against the passing passions of the moment” and that it be kept “inviolate from the whims of petty partisanship.” He made these brief remarks as he entertained at cocktails in Malacañang the delegated to the Constitutional Convention who paid a courtesy call this afternoon.
The 21st Constitution Day anniversary was celebrated this day under the auspices of the Philippine Lawyer’s Association. The celebration ended with a luncheon given by Mayor Arsenio H. Lacson at the Manila Hotel in the evening in honor of the surviving members of the Constitution Convention.
During the call of the delegates at Malacañang, former Sen. Vicente J. Francisco presented to the President a resolution requesting the President to declare February 8 as a public holiday in order that the people could better observe Constitution Day. A resolution introduces by Delegates Atilano R. Sinco and Timoteo P. Ricohermoso also requested the President and the Congress to cause the gathering and reconstitution of the records of the Constitutional Convention and their publication.
The President agreed to donate P1,000 to be awarded as the first prize in connection with the essay contest on the amendment tot the Constitution, held recently under the auspices of the Philippine Lawyer’s Association.
Before the President’s remarks at cocktails at Malacañang, Dr. Arturo A. Alafriz, president of the Philippine Lawyer’s Association, gave brief introductory remarks as he presented the President. Sen. Jose P. Laurel, who was also a delegate to the Convention, gave brief remarks in the Constitution. (See Historical Papers and Documents, page 608, for the full text of the President’s remarks.)
February 9.—AT breakfast this morning with the President, congressmen form Bicol provinces took up with the Chief Executive various agricultural development projects in their region.
The Bicol solons who broke fast with the President were Reps. Vicente L. Peralta and Salvador Encinas of Sorsogon; Pio Duran Justino Nuyda, and Tecla Ziga of Albay; Felix A Fuentebella of Camarines Sur; Fernando Pajarillo of Camarines Norte; and Mateo S. Pecson of Masbate.
AFTER breakfast, the President received a delegation from the Filipino Nurses Association who invited him to address their biennial convention in April. The group was headed by Miss Annie Sand.
The President received another big number of callers this day, as he was preparing to leave for an undisclosed place tomorrow to begin an uninterrupted study of reorganization plans submitted by the Government Survey and Reorganization Commission. He received visitors at his study form 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Dr. Felix Velasco, chief of the San Lazaro Hospital, head another group which showed the President the plan of the new P3-million San Lazaro Hospital to be constructed at the same site on Rizal Avenue, Sta. Cruz.
IN the course of his conference with Gov. Pedro Singson Reyes of Ilocos Sur, who showed him samples of cotton recently harvested in Candon, the President directed the ACCFA to extend all assistance to farmers in the Ilocos region to enable them to plant cotton on a large scale.
Impressed by the quality of the fiver harvested in Candon shown him by Gov. Singson Reyes, the President decided to encourage large scale planting of cotton to boost the local cotton industry and achieve self-sufficiency in textiles. He said with proper assistance from the government, farmers in the Ilocos and other regions could produce enough cotton to supply the nation’s needs.
EXECUTIVES of the Tokyu Car Manufacturing Company presented the President with a miniature scale model of the diesel rail cars which had been ordered by the MRR. Costing about P46,000 each, the car capable of running 120 kilometers per hour has a maximum load of 120 passengers.
Accompanied by MRR Manager Salvador T. Villa, the Japanese executives were Toshiji Yoshitsugu, president of the manufacturing company, Andrew M. Nakamura, and Shinzo Tsutsumi. Also with the group was Alejandro S. Makabali, local agent of the firm.
A LARGE delegation from the Philippine Government Employees Association headed by Mrs. Nieves Baens del Rosario, president, presented the President with a plaque which read: “For exemplary and honest service, brilliant performance, and self-sacrifice for the common weal, thereby restoring the faith of the people in the Administration and redeeming the honor of government employees, this testimonial of respect and high esteem is being tendered.”
Thanking the group, the President said that their manifestation of support and loyalty would encourage him all the more to continue working for the common good. He also assured the delegation that everything would be done to avoid unnecessary laying-off of employees as a result of the government reorganization plans.
A DELEGATION from the Blind Foundation of the Philippines presented a petition requesting a yearly allotment for the foundation. Headed by Nicomedes Miligat, president of the organization, the group also sought the extension of the right of suffrage to the blind.
MEMBERS of the board of directors of the Philippine Library Association called to submit several names of persons whom they recommended for the position of director of public libraries expected to be vacated when the incumbent, Luis Montilla, retires next month. This group was headed by Dr. Gabriel A. Bernardo.
Other delegations were those from the All Surigueños Club headed by its president, Jesus C. Berte; from the WMPM chapter of Isabela, accompanied by Rep. Samuel F. Reyes; from Biñan, Laguna, accompanied by Rep. Jacobo Gonzalez; from Cotabato and Lanao, accompanied by Sen. Domocao Alonto and Rep. Luminog Mangelen; and a composite group representing a number of civic organizations which recommended Fernanda Balboa of the Women Voters’ League for the position of social welfare administration.
PLEDGES of developing commercial and cultural relations between the Philippines and the Federal Republic of Germany were made this afternoon when the first German Minister to the Philippines, Baron von Furstenberg, presented his credentials to President Magsaysay.
The presentation ceremony was held at the ceremonial hall of Malacañang, attended by high government officials. Among the officials present were Vice-President and concurrently Foreign Affairs Secretary Carlos P. Garcia, Acting Executive Secretary Fortunato de Leon, Sen. Cipriano Primicias, Rep. Constancio Castañeda of Tarlac, Counsellor Octavio L. Maloles of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Minister Furstenberg was accompanied by Dr. Bruno Fischer, commercial counsellor.
After the presentation of credentials and the exchange of remarks, which took place at 4:30 p.m., President Magsaysay and Minister Furstenberg offered the ceremonial toasts.
The President engaged the German minister in formal explanatory talks regarding the opening of trade relations between the Philippines and Germany. The President suggested to Vice-President Garcia that talks on the promotion of Philippine-German trade be conducted by representatives of the Philippine Government and the German legation.
February 10.—PRESIDENT Magsaysay did not receive any callers this morning except Defense Secretary Eulogio Balao with whom he conferred until 10 a.m. The President received Balao in the family dining room.
LATER, the President left for an undisclosed place so that he could study the reorganization plans submitted by the Government Survey and Reorganization Commission.
It was understood that the President tok along Budget Commissioner Dominador Aytona, Judge Salvador Esguerra, and Prof. Enrique M. Fernando.
The GSRC submitted to the President some 61 separate plans proposing changes in the government structure. As the Chief Executive has only until February 14 to act on these plans before submitting them to Congress, he sought seclusion in order that he could study the plans without interruption.
MALACAÑANG announced in the evening that President Magsaysay approved a proposal to abolish the Public Service Commission and organize in its place a six-man body to regulate effectively the licensing of public utilities throughout the country. The proposal came from the GSRC. The plan will be submitted to Congress next week.
It was learned that the six-man body will be composed of two collegiate courts of three members each, which will conduct rigorous hearings before issuing certificates of public conveyance. The new office will operate under the Department of Public Works and Communications.
A Malacañang spokesman said that the President returned to the Palace shortly before 7 o’clock this evening.
February 11.—FOR the second consecutive day, the President left Malacañang for an “undisclosed place.” He was accompanied by Budget Commissioner Dominador Aytona, chairman of the Government Survey and Reorganization Commission (GSRC), in order to aid the President in the study of the various proposals on the reorganization of the government. Mrs. Magaysay and their daughter Teresita also accompanied the President.
Before leaving Malacañang at 11:45 a.m., the President summoned acting CB Deputy Governor Nicanor Tomas and Gregorio Licaros, chief of the import-export department of the Central Bank. The President called them presumably to induce Licaros to withdraw his letter expressing his desire to quit his post at the Central Bank.
February 12.—THE President returned to Malacañang at 5:30 this afternoon from a tree-day study of government reorganization plans on board the Santa Maria and prepared to wind up through the night his review of 61 plans for the reorganization of the government structure prepared by the Government Survey and Reorganization Commission (GSRC).
The President said he had gone over more than one-half of the plans and hoped to complete his study by tonight.
He has until Tuesday, February 14, to submit to Congress whichever plans he wishes considered by the legislature. Those he will not submit will be considered discarded. Congress may approve the plans separately either by explicit resolution or by inaction 70 days after receiving a plan from the executive. Disapproval by Congress of any plan will also require an explicit resolution.
Malacañang had no details to release as to which plans already have been approved by the President for submission to Congress and which have been discarded. Exception had been made, however with the plan to create a Department of General Services, which will serve as the housekeeping arm of the government. Malacañang had earlier announced approval of this plan by the President.
PRESIDENT Magsaysay this evening ordered another battalion combat team dispatched to Cavite to crack down further on lawlessness in that province.
The President’s decision, which he transmitted directly to Defense Secretary Eulogio Balao, was prompted by the recent “vengeance killing of a Cavite barrio lieutenant by the band of the outlaw chieftain, Leonardo Manicio, alias kilabot. The President said he wanted lawlessness in Cavite stamped out once and for all.
The Chief Executive also directed Balao to send for the next of kin of the slain barrio lieutenant, Nicanor Samonte, of barrio Navarro, General Trias, and to have them taken to Malacañang for whatever help they may need in view of their bereavement. The President said he wanted to see them personally. He also instructed Balao to have the barrio lieutenant decorated posthumously for his heroism.
The President acknowledged the substantial strides towards peace and order that have been made in Cavite recent months but expressed the wish that the drive be stepped up further to make life and property secure in the province.
The President also reiterated to Balao that he wanted all security agencies ordered to extend protection to persons cooperating with the peace-and-order drive, whether the latter liked it or not. Samonte, the saline barrio lieutenant, had been killed for joining an Army patrol tracking down the bandit chieftain and his gang. He had been offered protection by the military authorities in the province but he refused it. He was killed a few days later.
February 13.—PRESIDENT Magsaysay entertained at breakfast this morning, Dr. Billy Graham, American evangelist, who held spellbound some 40,000 people who jampacked the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium last night to hear his message.
The farmed Evangelist expressed his gratitude for the “wonderful” reception accorded him here. He told the President that the mammoth crowd was very orderly and peaceful throughout his speech which lasted for 71 minutes.
The breakfast lasted from 8 to 9 a.m. Others at the breakfast were Agriculture Secretary Juan de G. Rodriguez, U.S. Ambassador Homer Ferguson, Col. Harry Brenn of the ICA, Dr. Jorge Bocobo, Albino Sycip, Teodoro Toribio, Bishop Norman Binsted, Bishop Cipriano Navarro, Dr. Gumercindo Garcia, Leon O. Ty, Rev. Jose Yap, Dr. Robert Pierce, Jerry Bevan, Cliff Barrows, and Elsworth Culver.
After the breakfast, the President left with his aide, Maj. Jose Estrella, for an undisclosed place to complete his study of the 61 proposals of the Government Survey and Reorganization Commission.
MALACAÑANG announced in the evening that among the reorganization plans which President Magsaysay will submit to Congress on Tuesday, February 14, is Reorganization Plan No. 27-A, which revamps the Department of Commerce and Industry.
The reorganization of the Department of Commerce and Industry is highlighted by the following:
(1) Abolition of the Bureau of Commerce and creation of a Bureau of Domestic Trade;
(2) Creation of a Bureau of Foreign Trade;
(3) Creation of a Bureau of Industrial Promotion;
(4) Abolition of the Cooperative Administration Office and creation of a Bureau of Cooperatives Administration;
(5) Creation of a field organization; and
(6) Creation of staff divisions under the office of the secretary.
February 14.—BEING the last day given by law to the Chief Executive to submit his plan for reorganization the executive branch of the government, this day the President cancelled his schedule with callers in order to devote his time to the study of the 61 proposals of the Government Survey and Reorganization Commission. He conferred with Budget Commissioner Dominador Aytona, chairman of the GSRC, and Legislative Secretary Jose G. Nable.
After rejecting eight plans out of the 61 proposals, the President handed the plans to Nable for transmission to Congress in the evening.
Killed by the President were the reorganization plans on immigration, community development, land settlement and tenancy, three plans on national defense, fringe benefits, and public housing and mortgage insurance.
Approved for submission to Congress this evening were 53 plans for revamping offices of the executive departments, including a proposal to standardize the salaries of government employees.
The plan for standardization of salaries will affect more than 30,000 government employees. The plan was designed to correct inequalities in the government salary scale. The adjustment of salaries would be based on the responsibilities of the officials and employees concerned. However, the plan would not cause any reduction in the salary of any employee.
AFTER disposing of the reorganization plans, the President motored out of Malacañang and visited the irrigation division of the Bureau of Public Works in order to check up on the progress of the work on the installation of irrigation systems in different provinces.
The President stayed at the irrigation division for 20 minutes. He set down with Public Works Director Julian Buendia; Agapito Alano, chief of the irrigation division; and Tomas de Guzman, chief of the irrigation section.Also present were Public Works Secretary Florencio Moreno and Public Works Undersecretary Rafael Contreras, who came in later during the conference.
FROM the public works office, the President proceeded to the Bureau of Forestry on Juan Luna, Binondo. There he had another conference with forestry officials headed by Director Felipe R. Amos, who told him of the problems of his bureau.
Amos informed the Chief Executive that his office was seriously handicapped by the shortage of personnel and lack of funds. The forestry director said that before the was, his field men used to be out in the field about 20 to 25 days a month inspecting lumber areas, fishponds, grazing lands, and other concessions applied for by private individuals. Now his men had to stay in the office most of the time and go out only about five days a month owing to lack of funds, Amos said.
The President instructed Director Amos to present his problems at the scheduled, regular meeting of the Cabinet tomorrow morning. He expressed a wish that his attention should have been called earlier so that solutions to those problems could have been found.
In the course of the surprise visit at the bureau shortly before noon today, the President instructed Director Amos to rush action on pending applications, particularly those from dollar-producing industries. He also asked forestry director to expedite work in the reclassification of forestry lands into agricultural lands so that these idle public lands could be distributed to the landless as soon as possible and contribute to the Administration’s program of increased production.
IN the afternoon, the President launched the 1956 annual fund campaign of the Philippine National Red Cross at ceremonies held at the Malacañang social hall. He handed a check for P1,000 to Mrs Arsenio H. Lacson, chairman of the Manila fund campaign committee, as his contributor to the fund drive.
The President in his speech, called upon all citizens and residents of the Philippines, regardless of nationality or creed to support this year’s Red Cross fund campaign. He said, “I trust that the Filipino people will rally behind the banners of the Red Cross.”
Explaining the importance of the campaign, the President said: “The Red Cross is the instrumentality through which we all can give some help to our fellowmen who need it most. Through the Red Cross we can lighten the load of a typhoon sufferer, brighten the hours of a soldier in a hospital, or help tide over a patient through a crisis when life itself may hang in balance. In helping these needy countrymen of ours, we make our own lives more meaningful.”
AFTER launching the 1956 Red Cross fund campaign this afternoon, President Magsaysay brought together R. Mariño Corpus and Gregorio S. Licaros, both of the Central Bank import-export department, who earlier in the day figured in a controversy.
Corpus approached the President and indicated that he had no ill feeling against his colleague, Licaros. Corpus said that Licaros had been a victim of intrigues generated by those who did not want Corpus in the sensitive department of the Central Bank.
The President summoned Licaros, who attended the launching of the Red Cross fund campaign, and made the two shake hands and pledge to “let bygones be bygones.” However, the two both requested that they be relieved of their present membership in the CB import-export committee.
February 15.—UNAVAILABLE to callers for the last five days, the President started receiving visitors this day. He began the day, together with the First Lady, with a breakfast with Mr. and Mrs. Henry Morgenthou, Jr., U.S. Ambassador and Mrs. Homer Ferguson also attended the breakfast.
Morgenthau was U.S. Secretary of the treasury during the four terms of the late President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
President Magsaysay also received USN Rear Admiral Hugh Goodwin, outgoing commander of the U.S. naval forces in the Philippines, and the USN Rear Admiral Wendell Switzer, the new U.S. Navy commander. Ambassador Ferguson accompanied the naval officers.
The President told a large delegation from Romblon that he would order the survey of the Tablas waterfalls in the province for the proposed hydroelectric power project which would be utilized in the marble industry.
Public Works Secretary Florencio Moreno and Governor Manuel Solidum headed the Romblon delegation. The President told them that with the development of the marble industry in Romblon, the nation could stop importing marble from Europe. The delegation also handled a evolution to the President requesting the appointment of Prof. Jesus Fabella, president of the Philippine Historical Association, as director of the Bureau of Public Libraries upon the resignation of Luis Montilla.
Dr. Henry Kessler of the Kessler Institute of Fest Orange, New Jersey, U.S.A., was another presidential caller. Dr. Kessler, who was scheduled to be awarded the Philippine Legion of Honor (Commander) for meritorious services rendered in the rehabilitation of the physically handicapped in the Philippines, was accompanied by Health Secretary Paulino J. Garcia.
Also with Dr. Kessler were Doctors Benjamin Tamesis, Abelardo Inocentes, and L. Tablante of the National Orthopedic Hospital. Dr. Inocentes was loaned by the Philippine Government to the United Nations to continue the rehabilitation work started by Dr. Kessler in Indonesia. Dr. Inocentes, who took post graduate courses under Dr. Kessler, will leave for Indonesia soon as a United Nation physician. The President and Dr. Kessler talked about the rehabilitation work being done all over the country to help the physically handicapped persons.
Gov. Alejo Santos and Rep. Rogaciano Mercado of Bulacan accompanied a big delegation from the towns of Bocaue, Marilao, and Sta. Maria. The delegation, composed mostly of farmers, requested the immediate completion of the Bocaue- Marilao irrigation project.
Other callers of the President before he presided over the regular Cabinet meeting were Defense Secretary Eulogio Balao, Finance Secretary Jaime Hernandez, and Sens. Emmanuel Pelaez and Gil J. Puyat.
PRESIDENT Magsaysay and the Cabinet at their meeting today:
(1) Authorized the importation of $5,000 worth of potato seedlings for the use of upland planters, particularly in the Mountain Province, and at the same time requested the secretary of agriculture and natural resources to consider and carry out the establishment of a seed farm devoted exclusively to the raising of potato seedlings; and
(2) Authorized the Bureau of Forestry to dispense with public bidding in disposing of applications for timber concessions covering areas not exceeding 6,000 hectares.
The President presided over the Cabinet meeting which started at 11 a.m. and lasted until 12:30 p.m. The meeting was held in the family dining room.
The Cabinet action in approving the importation of potato seedlings was prompted by ACCFA Administrator Osmundo Mondoñedo’s letter to the President calling attention to the problems of potato planters in the Mountain Province.
Mondoñedo who was invited to the Cabinet meeting, also said in his letter that with the help of ACCFA’s financing, the local potato industry has progressed. He revealed that prior to 1953, there had been very little potato production. However, he added, local production rose in 1953 to 7,200,000 kilos and increased in 1954 to 7,245,741 kilos. But he said that in 1955 the production dropped to 6,657,558 kilos, which was probably caused by diseases and pests that infested the potato farms, particularly in the Mountain Province and Cotabato.
The Cabinet requested the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources to consider and carry out the establishment of a seed farm devoted exclusively to the raising of potatoes for seedling purposes, in line with the plan of the government to make the Philippines self-sufficient in potatoes.
The President emphasized to Agriculture Secretary Juan de G. Rodriguez and to Mondoñedo to do their best is seeing to it that there would be enough potatoes planted so that prices of this commodity could be kept down. He also congratulated the two officials for their efforts in looking after the interests of the local potato industry.
During the Cabinet meeting the President was presented by Mondoñedo with samples of potatoes grown in Rizal. The President ordered the potatoes fried and passed them around to the Cabinet members to sample. They all found the fried potatoes palatable.
In the presence of Forestry Director Felipe R. Amos, who was invited to attend the meeting, the President and the Cabinet authorized the Bureau of Forestry to dispense with public bidding in disposing of applications for timber concessions covering areas not exceeding 6,000 hectares. Such concessions, the Cabinet said, would be awarded through negotiated leases contracts. It was stipulated, however, that the successful applicants should be required to follow selective logging so as to prevent the needless destruction of trees not needed for timber purposes.
Action on this matter followed a surprise visit yesterday by the President to the Bureau of Forestry during which he instructed the forestry director to rush action on pending applications for timber concessions with a view to hastening the economic development of the country.
February 16.—PRESIDENT Magsaysay today, had breakfast with Federico Elizalde, who sought amendment of Executive Order 157, creating the National Theater Committee of which he is chairman.
The committee, Elizalde said, desired to control and supervise the construction of the proposed national theater. It was learned that the Department of Public Works and Communications has the sole power to supervise the construction of all public buildings. The Chief Executive referred the request to Malacañang Legal Adviser Salvador Esguerra.
Present during the breakfast which lasted from 8 to 8:30 a.m. were Education Secretary Gregorio Hernandez, Jr., U.P. President Vidal Tan, and Rafael Yabut of the Manila Broadcasting Company.
The President today ordered the Department of Education to revise the industrial arts curriculum of the public schools so as to train school children in trades that would be more useful to them in the future.
In a spirited pep talk before a delegation of industrial arts supervisors this morning, the President emphasized the advisability of dropping such subjects as basket-making in the public schools and substituting them with jute bag-weaving and other undertakings that would produce articles that are in demand in this country.
Accompanied by Education Secretary Hernandez, the delegation of industrial arts supervisors from public schools all over the country who are now in convention in connection with the home industries program of the Department of Education, informed the President that this was the first time they were ever convened in Manila. They promised that they would discuss in their conference ways and means of effectively carrying out the President’s policy.
The Chief Executive urged the educators to be more practical in their training of the youth. He said that the economic development program of the country was often handicapped by the lack of trained men in vocational fields.
The President received callers at his study from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. He received no less than 1,000 persons this morning. Most of his callers were made up of delegations from the provinces which sought financial assistance for pressing projects in their respective localities.
A delegation from the Federation of the Filipino Rice and Corn Millers presented a total of 23 resolutions requesting, among others, the abolition of the 2 per cent milling tax, repeal of the rice enrichment law, liberal credit facilities by the RFC and the PNB, and purchase by the NARIC of unmilled palay instead of milled rice. The group was headed by Efren V. Mendoza, federation president.
Another delegation from the Philippine Well Drillers Association headed by Raymundo Casuse complained against certain officials in the Department of Public Works and Communications who, they claimed, were putting up obstacles in their installation of artesian wells all over the country in connection with their contracts with the government. The President ordered Assistant Executive Secretary Enrique C. Quema to look into the matter.
Other delegations were those from San Antonio, Biñan, Laguna, accompanied by Mayor Jesus Garcia and Rep. Jacobo Gonzales; from Lavezarez, Samar, accompanied by Rep. Eladio Balite; from San Mateo Isabela, headed by Rep. Samuel F. Reyes; and from Tanza, Cavite, headed by Vice-Mayor Hermogenes Paconio.
Among the last delegations received by the President was a big group of farmers from Cuyapo and Guimba, Nueva Ecija, and Tarlac, Tarlac, which protested against the inclusion of their lands in the Hacienda Esperanza earmarked for expropriation by the Government for distribution to the landless. They claimed they were the real owners of these lands and not the landlord from whom the Government was poised to seize them.
Individual callers included Reps. Carmen Dinglasan-Consing of Capiz, Constancio Castañeda of Tarlac, Arturo M. Tolentino of Manila, Jose Corpuz of Nueva Ecija, and Leon Guinto, Jr., of Quezon; Govs. Nicanor Maronilla Seva of Albay, Juan Alberto of Catanduanes, Arsenio Lugay of Tarlac, and Juan Triviño of Camarines Sur.
President and Mrs. Magsaysay gave a formal dinner in honor of USN Rear Admiral and Mrs. Hugh H. Goodwin and USN Rear Admiral and Mrs. Wendell Switzer at 8 p.m. at the Malacañang banquet hall.
The dinner was a despedida for the Goodwins and a bienvenida for the Switzers. Admiral Goodwin is relinquishing his command for a new assignment and is being relieved by Admiral Switzer.
Among the guests were: U.S. Ambassador and Mrs. Homer Ferguson, Senate President Eulogio Rodriguez, Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and Mrs. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Defense Secretary Eulogio Balao, Press Secretary and Mrs. J.V. Cruz, Sen and Mrs. Emmanuel Pelaez, Rep. Numeriano U. Babao, U.S. Minister and Mrs. Charles R. Burrows, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary and Mrs. Raul S. Manglapus, Ambassador and Mrs Felino Neri.
Ambassador Joaquin M. Elizalde, Lieut. Gen. and Mrs. Jesus Vargas, Navy Commodore and Mrs. Jose M. Francisco, Air Force Brig. Gen. Pelagio A. Cruz, JUSMAG Maj. Gen. and Mrs. Wayne Smith, Capt. and Mrs Henry Louis Miller, Capt. and Mrs. Frank A. Nusem, Col. and Mrs. Richard C. Lowman, Lieutenant and Mrs. E.O. Scott, Jr., Miss Conchita Sunico, Mr. and Mrs Harry Brenn, Mr. and Mrs. John T. Cooper, Jr., and Mr. Dave Sternberg.
February 17.—THE President had an hour-long breakfast conference with NEC Chairman Alfrdo Montelibano this morning. He took up with his economic “Czar” his proposals to amend the five-year economic program of the Administration.
After the breakfast conference, the President received William Shipley, U.S. credit expert on detail with the Agricultural Credit and Cooperative Financing Administration. Shipley was accompanied to Malacañang by ACCFA Administrator Osmundo Mondoñedo.
The American adviser told the President he was leaving shortly for the United States.
Other callers who saw the President this morning were Sens. Pedro Sabido and Emmanuel Pelaez, Rep. Emilio Cortez of Pampanga, Govs. Antonio Raquiza of Ilocos Norte and Juan Alberto of Catanduanes, former Sen. Justiniano S. Montano, and former Rep. Amado Yuson of Pampanga.
AFTER receiving a few callers, the President motors to the Central Bank to inspect personally the progress of the implementation of his policies by the CB Monetary Board with regard to the allocation of dollars set down in two previous conferences with CB officials.
The President was told by Nicanor Tomas, acting CB governor, that the policies were being faithfully implemented. The President, who was accompanied to the Central Bank by Press Secretary J.V. Cruz and Defense Jose M. Crisol, stayed there from about 11 to 11:30 a.m.
IN the afternoon, the President left Malacañang at 4:20 for the Girl Scouts of the Philippines building on Padre Faura Street, to address the National Secondary Schools Press Conference now going on under the auspices of the Bureau of Public Schools.
President Magsaysay announced that the Government would reduce to the minimum the tuition fees of students studying vocational courses in government schools as a means of encouraging the vigorous growth of vocational education in the Philippines. He made this announcement during an open forum which followed his speech before the delegated to the National Secondary School Press Conference this afternoon at the Girl Scouts of the Philippines’ auditorium.
In his speech, President Magsaysay regretted a “tragic weakness” of our educational system that “encourage students to think only in terms of white-collar career and white-collar jobs.” He said he had decided to correct this weakness by recommending to Congress the “adoption of educational reforms geared to the requirements of scientific and economic progress.”
Reiterating his determination to pursue this policy, the President told the Secondary Schools Press Conference delegates:
“I urge you to begin laying emphasis through your school papers and in your other writings, on the opportunities that await students in the fields of science and technology.
“I urge you to begin preaching the gospel of vocational education, scientific education, technological education.
“I urge you to re-channel the ambitions of our students from white-collar careers and professions towards the engineering professions, agriculture, medicine, and allied pursuits.”
The President gave assurances that the Government would do everything possible to comply with this new educational reforms.
President Magsaysay arrived at the GSP building at exactly 4:30 p.m., accompanied by Press Secretary J.V. Cruz and a presidential aide, Maj. Jose Estrella. The President was met by education officials headed by Education Secretary Gregorio Hernandez, Jr., Education Undersecretary Martin Aguilar, Public Schools Assistant Director Benigno Aldana, Superintendent of City Schools Antonio Maceda, and Victor P. Hernandez, overall chairman of the conference.
February 18.—PRESIDENT Magsaysay cancelled his schedule of callers this day and confined himself in his bedroom, where he poured over a backlog of state papers.
However, he received Sen. Gil J. Puyat, who reported on his observations during his trip to the United State. Puyat returned from his trip abroad early this week.
After Puyat’s conference with the President, Legislative Secretary Jose C. Nable saw the President to brief him on the progress of some Administration bills now pending consideration in Congress.
Defense Undersecretary Jose M. Crisol also called to report on some “important confidential matters,” which he refused to divulge to newsmen.
IN the afternoon, the President motored out of Malacañang for an undisclosed place. He returned shortly before sundown.
February 19.—AFTER hearing a mass in the morning at the Malacañang chapel, the President received members of the Business Writers Association of the Philippines who were perhaps too busy on regular days to call on him. They called to award the Chief Executive a bronze plaque, making him an honorary member of the association “for encouraging healthy discussion of the country’s economic problems.”
The Chief Executive said it was an honor to be a member of such an organization and he expressed the hope that “we could meet more often so that you can express your views on the solutions to the economic problems of our country.”
Present at the awarding ceremony which was held in the President’s study were: T. de Guzman, Daily Mirror, president of the BWAP; B. Ronquillo, Bulletin; S. Bigay and B. Calleja, Manila Chronicle; E. Ilustre, Manila Times; V. Maceda, Bagong Buhay; A.B. Isip, O. Villasin, and H. Cosio, members.
PRESIDENT Magsaysay today told the annual convention of the Federation of Abaca and Other Fibers Association:
(1) That he would release the balance of P18 million in the appropriation for the Abaca Corporation of the Philippines provided the abaca group presented him with a workable program for the expenditure of this amount; and
(2) That he would instruct the Department of Commerce and Industry to study the feasibility of permitting abaca for barter trade under the no-dollar import law, provided all barter would be in exchange for essential commodities.
The President made these pledges in a two-hour “bull session,” from 9:30-11:30 a.m., with the abaca conventionists at the Malacañang social hall. The organization was on the second day of its annual convention.
The President explained to the gathering that the Administration had been hesitant in the past to spend for the industry in view of the ravages of mosaic on abaca. However, he pointed out that the eradication of the disease would inevitably go hand-in-hand with government efforts to help the industry and raise the production rate and income of abaca.
The President, after being told that the convention had approved two resolutions requesting release of the P18 million balance for the Abaca Corporation of the Philippines and the inclusion of abaca among the crops eligible for barter, acceded to both petitions provided that, in the former case, the government was presented with a practical program for the expenditure of the P18 million, and in the latter case, the barter was confined to essential imports.
The President asked the conventionists to appoint a seven-man board to draw up the programming of the expenditure of the P18 million fund. He suggested that the board be headed by Felix Imperial, Jr., head of the Abaca Corporation of the Philippines.
In permitting in principle the barter of abaca with essential imports, the President pointed out that the present government policy was to allow barter only for essential commodities. He reiterated, however, that it was the intention of the Government to allow in the future the barter of local export products for non-essential commodities. He said this arrangement envisioned channeling the importation of luxuries and non-essentials from actual dollar importers to producer-exporters. Under this system, he said that the present dollar importers of luxuries and non-essentials would be cut off from dollar allocations and would be directed, instead, to contact producer-exporters for the importation of their commodities. These contacts would be established through a clearing house to be set up by the Government, he said.
The President also approved at the meeting a proposal for the National Development Company to set up a P10 million textile and processing plant for ramie in Davao. Ramie planters will pay off the cost of the plant through payments in ramie fiber, with the end in view of their acquiring full possession of the plant after a number of years.
The President also agreed that the abaca planters would be allowed to acquire title to 144 hectares each, the maximum permitted by law, provided these areas already were fully planted to abaca and fully cultivated. He extended this authority upon being informed that production of abaca was profitable only in case of ample acreage.
The President also directed during the meeting that a wire be sent to Governor Miguel Cuaderno of the Central Bank urging him to seek a loan from the United Stated to finance the establishment of two processing plants for ramie.
The meeting between the President and the abaca producers was opened by Rep. Pio Dura of Albay, who spoke on behalf of former Agriculture Secretary Mariano Garchitorena, president of the Federation of Abaca and Other Fibers Associations. Duran acquainted the President with the two resolutions approved the previous day by the convention seeking the release of the P18 million balance for the Abaca Corporation of the Philippines and the inclusion of abaca among the products qualified for barter under the no-dollar import law.
PRESIDENT Magsaysay this afternoon extolled the high patriotism of the late Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos who, he said, had preferred to be executed rather than compromise his firm conviction of what was true love of country.
The President said that, inspired by the ideals of Abad Santos in serving unselfishly his country, he was doing his best to serve all the people of the Philippines, both the high and the low, the rich and the poor.
“The country needs today more men possessing the qualities of Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos. He, like Rizal, belongs not only to the Philippines but to the entire world,” the President said.
The President make these remarks in an extemporaneous speech delivered before thousands who packed the San Fernando, Pampanga, provincial plaza to witness the unveiling of the Abad Santos monument and the presentation of a historical painting of the last hours of the hero.
The ceremonies followed an hour-long civic-military parade which was reviewed by the President and distinguished guests at the entrance to the Pampanga provincial capitol. Among those present at the ceremonies were Mrs. Amanda T. Abad Santos, widow of the late Chief Justice, and the Abad Santos family; Chief Justice Ricardo Paras, Justice Secretary Pedro Tuason; Pampanga Gov. Rafael Lazatin; Tarlac Gov. Arsenio Lugay; Pampanga Rep. Emilio Cortez; Tarlac Rep. Constancio Castañeda; ex-Justice Roman Ozaeta; U.S. Ambassador Homer Ferguson; and Lucas Yuzon, executive committee chairman.
President Magsaysay arrived at 2:45 p.m. at San Fernando aboard one of the new Manila Railroad diesel electric air-conditioned coaches. He was accompanied by Rep. Constancio Castñeda, Bulacan Gov. Alejo Santos, MRR Chairman Andres Hizon, MRR General Manager Salvador Villa, Assistant Press Secretary Guillermo V. Sison, and a presidential aide, Maj. Jose Estrella.
From the railroad station, the President motored to the Abad Santos residence, where he was received by Mrs. Abad Santos and members of the Abad Santos family. Merienda was served the presidential party.
The celebration was highlighted by the presence of a Moro delegation from Malabang, Lanao, the place where Chief Justice Abad Santos had been executed and buried by the Japanese. The Moro delegation was headed by ex-Rep. Manalao Mindalano, Mayor Balindo of Malabang, Datu Aguam, and Sultan Yamla.
Mindalano said that Moros of Lanao had the highest regard for the patriotism shown by the late Chief Justice Abad Santos and that they considered him as one of the greatest Filipino heroes. He said that this people were taking steps to build a monument in honor of Abad Santos.
Abad Santos’ widow had to go twice to the monument: first, when the monument was unveiled and, the second, when the painting was unveiled. The painting bowed Abad Santos kneeling before his execution, counseling his son Pepito not to cry and to be brave, and adding, “This is a rare opportunity for me to die for our country. Not everybody is given that chance.” After the unveiling, the widow who was touched with emotions, kissed the painting. The painting was done by Felix P. Gonzalez.
The President, who spoke extemporaneously in Tagalog, was applauded several times as he extolled the patriotism of Abad Santos, He said that Abad Santos could have led a rich and powerful life had he acceded to the Japanese request to serve under them. But, the President said, Abad Santos did not compromise his deep conviction.
Secretary Tuason, who cut the monument’s ribbon, aided by Mesdames Rosita Buan and Evangelina H. Lacson, and Chief Justice Paras, who unveiled the monument, aided by Mrs. Santos, gave brief remarks extolling the qualities of the late Chief Justice. The ceremonies closed with floral offerings participated in by Govs. Lugay and Lazatin, Ambassador Ferguson, and Messrs. Pedro B. de Jesus and Maximo Vergara.
The President was warmly received by the people of Pampanga. Hundreds approached him to shake his hand as he walked from the platform to board the train. He left San Fernando at 5:50 p.m. and arrived at the Tutuban Station at 7:05 p.m., making a ten-minute stop-over in Malolos to drop off Gov. Santos.
Aboard the train, the President moved from the air-conditioned coach to this first class couch and found the couches in the best of condition. He praised MRR Manager Villa for the new coaches and for the progress which the MRR was making in slowly wiping out its losses. The President said that by next year, the MRR was expected to make profits.
February 20.—STARTING with a breakfast conference with UNESCO Director-General Luther Evans and officials of the UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines, the President followed a heavy schedule of callers this morning. Officials of the commission, besides Dr. Evans, who were present at the breakfast conference were Dr. Eduardo Quisumbing, Miss Lumen Policarpio, Dr. Vidal A. Tan, Dr. Francisco Dalupan, Dr. Manuel Gallego, Dr. Urban Fleege, and Col. Fred Ruiz Castro.
At the breakfast, the President inquired into the progress of the program of staging dramas in the towns and barrios all over the country which was being undertaken by the UNESCO in the rural areas. The UNESCO officials told the President that the program was being implemented.
AFTER the breakfast conference, the President received Gov. Leon Guinto, Sr., of Quezon, who informed him that his re-election for the presidency in 1957 was unanimously endorsed by the provincial board and all the mayors, Nacionalistas and Liberals, of Quezon at a recent meeting in Lucena.
The President said, however, that the matter was far off yet and that he preferred not to discuss politics for the present. The Quezon governor, who saw the President with Reps. Leon Guinto, Jr., and Manuel Enverga, and all the mayors of the province, also told the President that the Administration’s rural development program was being fully implemented by all the provincial officials.
The President talked to the Quezon officials for almost 30 minutes, devoting most of the time inquiring about the progress of the construction of roads and irrigation systems in the rural areas. Gov. Guinto, who was the spokesman for rye delegation, requested more aid for the public works project in his province.
Rep. Panfilo Manguera and Gov. Miguel Manguera of Marinduque headed a group of mayors who requested the President to order the immediate search for a site for the proposed Marinduque airfield. The delegation also asked for aid for their irrigation systems.
Mayor Julian Pacificador of Hamtik, Antique, took his oath before the President as a member of the Nacionalista Party. The new Nacionalista mayor was accompanied by Rep. Tobias Fornier of Antique.
The Knights of Columbus, headed by Grand Knight Dr. Ramon F. Campos, also called on the President. They presented to him a special copy of an oath of allegiance to the Filipino flag. The copy of the oath presented to the President was engraved on a gold-plated plaque.
Among the many callers of the President were Sen. Mariano Jesus Cuenco; Ambassador Narciso Ramos; Reps. Manuel Cases of La Union, Serafin Salvador of Rizal, Salvador Encinas and Vicente Peralta of Sorsogon, Apolinario Apacible of Batangas, William Chiongbian of Misamis Occidental, Jacobo Gonzales of Laguna, Felipe Garduque of Cagayan, Gaudencio Abordo of Palawan, and Jose Nuguid of Bataan; and Gov. Bernanrdo Gapus of La Union, Judge Vicente Llanes, Atty. and Mrs. Juan C. Orendain, PHHC Manager Vicente Orosa, and the Iloilo delegates to the National Secondary School Press Conference.
PRESIDENT Magsaysay and economists of the country, including those from private economic sectors, this evening sat down to a three-hour conference and discussed ways and means of implementing the Administration’s economic program.
Among the points taken up was how to save the abaca industry. The conference discusses how to help this industry through barter, without adversely affecting the international reserve. Other matters considered for the rehabilitation of abaca were the establishment of big and small abaca centrals and the utilization of waste products of the industry.
Those present at the economic meeting were Dean Vicente Sinco; Acting Central Bank Governor Nicanor Tomas; Gregorio S. Licaros, CB special assistant in charge of imports; R. Marino Corpus, CB special assistant in charge of exports; Mrs. Fanny Garcia, secretary of the Export-Import Committee; NEC member Salvador Araneta; Alfonso Calalang, president of the Bankers Association; Mrs. Belen E. Gutierrez of the Far Eastern University; Achilles Mossesgeld of the University of Santo Tomas College of Commerce; Dean Santiago de la Cruz of the University of the East College of Commerce; Dean Jose Belmonte of the University of the Philippines College of Commerce; Prof. Amado Castro of the University of the Philippines; Filemon C. Rodriguez; Macario Z. Landicho of the Central cooperatives Exchange; Budget Commissioner Dominador Aytona; and Rosauro Santiago. Also present were Undersecretary Jose M. Crisol, overall performance officer of the President, and Prof. Enrique Fernando.
The President during the merienda conference exchanged views on various economic problems with his guests. It was announced that the President would call this economic group again sometime next week and will discuss the problem on marketing.
The conference lasted from 4 p.m. up to about 7 p.m.
AT 8 o’clock in the evening, the President motored to the Manila Hotel. where he addressed the annual dinner of the Business Writers Association of the Philippines.
The President handed the plaques at the awarding ceremony which started as soon as the dinner was finished. He congratulated all the BWAP award recipients, as they went to the presidential table to receive their plaques.
Eugenio Lopez received the award as “businessman of 1955” and 37 other businessmen received plaques and certificates for outstanding contributions to businessmen in the Philippines.
About 700 businessmen, industrialists, and government officials attended the 8th annual business awards dinner at the Manila Hotel.
Speaking at the annual dinner of the BWAP, the President defined the economic and fiscal policies of his administration and called them “bold and forward-looking” though “tempered with prudence to assure sound and steady progress towards our goals.”
He came out strongly against public borrowing, devaluation of the peso, and relaxation of exchange and import controls.
The President said that there had been many plans and programs for national development since liberation, but that these plans had not been “translated into practical financial terms and backed by well-defined fiscal policies to assure their faithful and effective execution.”
“Now, for the first time,” the President stressed, “we have joined our broad plans for social and economic growth with the specific measures required for their financial and administrative realization.”
February 21.—PRESIDENT Magsaysay the morning had a breakfast conference with Congress leaders during which they discussed various pending administration bills aimed at hastening the economic development of the country.
Present at the conference which lasted from 8 to 9:30 a.m. were Senate President Eulogio Rodriguez, Sr., Speaker Jose B. Laurel, Jr., Speaker Protempore Daniel Z. Romualdez, Senate Majority Floor Leader Cipriano Primicias, House Majority Floor Leader Arturo M. Tolentino, Senators Gil J. Puyat and Francisco A. Delgado, Rep. Godofredo Ramos of Capiz.
FOLLOWING the conference, the President proceeded to his study to receive scheduled callers.
Three delegations of teachers, one from La Union, another from Pampanga, and third from Lipa City, called to request the installation of pre-fab school buildings and artesian wells in their respective localities. The group from La Union was accompanied by Rep. Manuel T. Cases and Gov. Bernardo Gapuz; the one from Pampanga, by Gov. Rafael Lazatin; and that from Lipa City, by their principal teacher, Paciano Publico.
Officers of the Jose Rizal College Alumni Association headed by its president, Conrado Sevilla, invited the Chief Executive to attend the alumni participation in the anniversary celebration of the institution on February 26.
Officials of the Philippine Amateur Athletic Federation (PAAF) called to present a “Certificate of Election” naming the President an honorary president of the federation because of his interest in sports. Antonio de las Alas, PAAF president who handed the certificate, informed the Chief Executive that the federation was embarking upon a new program of encouraging sports in the rural areas as a means of helping improve the health of the people in outlaying communities.
A delegation from Alcala, Cagayan, accompanied by Rep. Felipe Garduque requested financial aid for the municipality. In the course of the call, Mayor Isaac Villegas Ty, who had won as an independent candidate in Alcala last elections was sworn into the Nacionalista Party by the President.
A large delegation of farmers from Cauayan, Isabela, asked for the release of a 400-hectare land previously reserved for a military camp site, and its distribution to some 150 families now working on the government property. The President promptly ordered the preparation of a proclamation releasing the land to the farmers.
The President received callers up to 1 p.m.
Other delegations were those of businessmen headed by Harry Stonehill and Peter Lim, who signified their intention to plant cotton in a large scale; the League of Philippine Architects headed by Rufino Antonio; four Bulacan mayors headed by Board Member Serafin Gonigondon; a delegation from Burawen, Leyte, accompanied by Rep. Domingo Veloso and Mayor Eduardo Bugho; from Naic, Cavite, accompanied by Rep. Jose T. Cajulis; from Iloilo City, headed by Sen. Jose Zulueta and City Mayor Rodolfo Ganzon; from Mauban, Quezon, headed by Rep. Manuel Enverga and Mayor Amado Clemente; from Laguna, headed by Rep. Wenceslao Lagumbay and Gov. Dominador Chipeco; from Nueva Ecija, headed by Gov. Amado Aleta; from Pangasinan led by Gov. Conrado Estrella; and from Bohol, accompanied by Rep. Esteban Bernido.
Among individual callers were Sen. Roseller T. Lim; Reps. Leonardo Perez of Nueva Vizcaya, Alberto Q. Ubay of Zamboanga del Norte, and Vicente L. Peralta of Sorsogon; and Gov. Emeraldo Eco of Camarines Norte.
IN the afternoon the President told the delegated to the First World Abaca Conference that the Philippine Government was doing its best to increase the abaca production of the country. He said that he would release at the proper time the balance of P18 million in the appropriation for the Abaca Corporation of the Philippines for this purpose.
The Chief Executive made these remarks during an informal talk with the delegates whom he honored with cocktails at Malacañang. The delegates came from eight countries, including Philippines, and were led by Agriculture Secretary Juan de G. Rodriguez and Agriculture Undersecretary Jaime N. Ferrer, chairman of the executive committee.
During the informal talk with the delegates, the President exchanged views on some aspects of the abaca industry. He welcomed the delegates and expressed the hope that the conference would prove beneficial to the abaca industry.
February 22.—PRESIDENT Magsaysay this morning conferred with National Economic Council Chairman Alfredo Montelibano, who reiterated his tender of resignation to the Chief Executive. The conference took place at the President’s study. The President accepted Montelibano’s resignation with regret.
Malacañang issued this morning the following statement regarding the acceptance of Montelibano’s resignation by the President.
“With regret, President Magsaysay this morning was constrained to accept the resignation of Alfredo Montelibano as acting chairman of the National Economic Council after the latter reiterated his tender of resignation during a conference with the Chief Executive.
“In accepting Montelibano’s resignation, President Magsaysay said that he highly appreciated the former NEC chairman’s contribution to the Administration.
“The President succeeded in convincing Montelibano to make himself available for a Cabinet position in the future.”
THEN the President conferred with Sam M. Nickey, Jr., president of the Nickey Brothers, Inc., of Memphis, Tennessee U.S.A.; and Charles P. Cobb, vice-president and general manager of the same company, who were accompanied to Malacañang by former Secretary Antonio de las Alas.
During the conference, Nickey told the President that Filipinos were being trained at his plant in Memphis, to manufacture plywood. The Nickey company is one of the biggest buyers of the Philippine lumber.
The President said that he was interested in the development of the lumber industry in the Philippines because it is an industry in which utilizes local raw materials.
Afterwards the President conferred with Gov. Jose Briones of Cebu and Cebu City Mayor Sergio Osmeña, Jr., on the needs of the province and the city of Cebu. The President invited Mayor Osmeña to sit down at the Cabinet meeting as a guest.
At 10:40 a.m., the President proceeded to the family dining room, where he presided over the Cabinet meeting.
The meeting lasted until 1:10 p.m. Invited to attend the Cabinet meeting were Defense Undersecretary Jose M. Crisol, overall performance officer of the President, Acting Director of Fisheries Heracleo R. Montalban, and Cebu City Mayor Sergio Osmeña, Jr.
President Magsaysay and the Cabinet today approved a new policy allowing titles to be issued to applicants for public lands not in excess of 144 hectares, provided that all such areas are fully planted, cultivated, and developed. This new policy amended a previous one limiting the grant of such titles to only 10 hectares.
The President directed the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources to implement the new policy regarding the issuance of tiles for public lands. He said that compliance with the conditions should be ascertained by the department before issuing the title to these lands. This new policy was deemed necessary in justice to families with several children who have succeeded in planting, cultivating, and developing public lands which they had acquired. It was pointed out that the new policy will enable children of large families to own reasonable areas for themselves to enable them to enjoy a more abundant means of livelihood.
The President told Director Montalban to step up the efforts of the government in increasing its production of fish in order that the country may become self-sufficient in its fish supply and eventually eliminate importation of canned fish.
He suggested that Filipino fishermen in Alaska who are well vexed in tuna fishing and who have 32 fishing boats and equipment, be invited to come to the Philippines to develop the country’s fishing industry. Immediately after the Cabinet meeting. Montalban called a meeting of his staff to implement the President’s directive.
The President told Undersecretary Crisol to fly to Burias Island, Albay, tomorrow, together with representatives of the Department of Health, the National Waterworks and Sewerage Authority, and the Department of Public Works and Communications to Survey the living conditions and beed of the people on that island.
According to a telegram sent to Malacañang by Lucena Padilla of San Pascual, Burias, the island does not have any road, artesian well, electric light, radio sets, veterinarian, agronomist, puericulture center, nurse, wharf, or public market. The President instructed Crisol to check of these deplorable living conditions of the people of that island so that necessary action can be taken to provide them with their essential needs. The President directed that the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office allot the sum of P10,000 for the construction of a puericulture center on that island.
The President and the Cabinet approved the unanimous selection of Silvestre Sabado of Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur, as the National Barrio Farmer of the Year 1955-56.
According to the findings of the committee which made the selection, Sabado had begun farming independently from his parents, acquiring a homestead of 12 hectares from the government. By hard work and thrift and the adoption of improved farming methods, he was able to produce more than what his family needed and was able to sell his surplus farm products. He was able to buy his own farm implements and work animals consisting of seven carabaos, ten plows, six harrows, one irrigation pump, one iron crusher for sugar cane, and two rice and corn mills. Through his accumulated savings, Sabado was able to acquire more hectares of land that at present he has an aggregate landholding of 27 hectares.
In spite of his being only a seventh grade graduate, he practices diversified farming – planting rice, sugar cane, corn, and coconut in addition to having a fruit tree orchard and home gardening, poultry, and piggery. He has improved his rice production from 45 cavanes to 60 cavanes per hectare through the adoption of better rice culture.
Sabado is a co-founder and director of a local FACOMA, a member of the barrio council PTA. It was found by the committee through an on-the-spot assessment of Sabado’s assets that he is now worth P76,250.
The committee which made the selection is chairmanned by Domingo B. Paguirigan.
February 23.—PRESIDENT Magsaysay accepted today “with regret” the resignation of Salvador Araneta as a member of the National Economic Council.
At the same time he designated Andres Hizon, board chairman of the Manila Railroad Co. and director of the coast and geodetic survey, as executive director of the National Economic Council.
Malacañang denied that Budget Commissioner Dominador Aytona had been named “executive officer” of the NEC. Hizon’s appointment made this clear.
The Palace further clarified that the trip of R.F.C. Chairman Eduardo Romualdez to the United States was being undertaken with his own funds and in a private capacity. Romualdez’s trip, said Press Secretary J.V. Cruz, has nothing to do with the current U.S. mission of Central Bank Governor Miguel Cuaderno. He stressed Cuaderno will remain in the United States as long as necessary for the successful completion of his mission.
MEANWHILE, the President this morning received Frederic Hartman and Eric Anderson, visiting executives of the Irving Trust Company of New York, who called to pay their respects. They were accompanied by Acting Deputy Governor Nicanor Tomas of the Central Bank, Fred Ruiz Castro of the PNB board of directors, Jose Cojuangco, Felix de la Costa and Jose Fernandez of the Philippine Bank of Commerce, and Alfonso Calalang, president of the Bankers’ Association of the Philippines.
During the call which lasted from 8 to 9 a.m., the President exchanged impressions with his visitors on various economic problems of the country. He did not receive any other callers. He spent the rest of the morning in the family dining hall, where he went over a pile of pending state papers.
IN the afternoon, the President appealed vigorously to the Filipino people to patronize products manufactured by Filipino brains and brawn.
“We should produce the essential things which we need and, what is more, we should buy made-in-the-Philippines products in order that we can strengthen the economy of our country,” the President emphasized.
The President was the guest speaker at the Economic Nationalism Movement rally held at the Luneta this afternoon, highlighting the celebration of Philippine Industry Week sponsored by the Philippine Chamber of Industries. His speech followed a parade participated in by industrial workers and laborers and ROTC cadets, which lasted from 3:55 to 5:40 p.m.
Fernando E.V. Sison, acting president of the Philippine Chamber of Industries, in introducing the President said, “Your economic pronouncements have given us encouragement to face the inherent trials and attendant problems of industrial development in an under-developed economy such as ours.” He expressed confidence that with Divine guidance, the President “will be able to steer successfully our economic policies.”
A feature of the program following the parade on the Luneta was the presentation of locally made hats to the President and members of the Cabinet. Gabriel Daza, president of the National Economic Protectionism Association (NEPA), printed a Lukban hat which the President immediately put on approvingly.
The President was fetched from Malacañang by Messrs. F.E.V. Sison and A.B. Isip of the PCI. The President was accompanied by his aide, Major Jose Estrella.
Speaking extemporaneously in Tagalog, the President said they every Filipino should love things that are Philippine in order that the spirit of nationalism could be fostered among the people. He said it was the duty of every patriotic Filipino to patronize Philippine-made products as this was one way of encouraging Filipino industries and providing jobs to Filipino workers.
The President said that he was personally practicing what he preached on this matter, as he wore and used Philippine products. “We should take great pride in wearing, using, and consuming products made by the brain, brawn, and sweat of our Filipino countrymen,” he said.
The President called attention to the fact that he was wearing Philippine-made shoed which, he said, were as good as foreign-made ones. He said he took pride in doing so. He added that in order to popularize the use of the barong tagalog and to encourage the growth of this industry, instead of wearing a formal cut-away on his inauguration on December 30, 1953, he wore the local barong tagalog.
The President’s appeal for patronizing local industries found enthusiastic response from the big audience which gave him several applauses in the course of his extemporaneous speech.
The President pointed out that although the Government was encouraging the growth of industrialization, this should go hand in hand with the country’s agricultural development. “We should increase our production both in the farm and in the factories,” the President said. He added that by increasing agricultural production the farmers who form the great bulk of the people will have increased buying capacity to purchase the output of the factories.
The President said that the Government was doing its best to protect local industries by means of gradually cutting the importation of materials which were being manufactured locally. He also said that in his desire to develop the ramie industry in order to provide work for hundreds and to enable the great majority of the people to wear high quality and cheap clothes, plans were on the way to put up three ramie plants in Mindanao.
The President’s speech lasted from 5:42 to 5:57 p.m. From the Luneta, the President motored back to Malacañang.
February 24.—PRESIDENT Magsaysay this morning told superintendents and principals of vocational schools that the country’s economic progress was retarded by lack of vocationally trained people o handle factory and agricultural machineries.
The vocational superintendents and principals, who are in conference. paid a call on the President. They presented a resolution pledging their support of the Administration’s economic policies and requesting several measures designed to improve the vocational schools.
The President decried the low regard of society toward graduates of vocational schools. He said that “people who work with their hands are despised in our country with a very few exception.” He asked the vocational schools officials to gel change “this attitude to our vocational graduates.”
The President urged vocational schools officials to raise the standard of vocational education and told them not to supply the country with half-baked graduates. He cited that the need for vocationally-trained people was growing with the country’s enlarging industries and merchandized agriculture. Vocational graduates, he said, should come out of their schools prepared to tackle their jobs.
One of the things requested by the superintendents and principals was the creation and appointment of an undersecretary of education for vocational education. The President expressed agreement with them.
The Chief Executive showed the vocational schools officials a sample of the cotton being planted in the Ilocos provinces and urged them to try cotton in the agricultural schools. He said he wanted the government agricultural schools to be the forerunners in raising improved cotton.
The President also deplored the lack of appreciation among the Filipinos for local products. He said that it would be difficult to improve the country’s economic condition “if we prefer imported materials to our local products.”
The Chief Executive said that he will give recognition to graduates of vocational schools who distinguish themselves in their respective lines. He added that he would invite them some day to a meeting in Malacañang.
The vocational schools superintendents and principals who called were headed by Jose Roldan, president of their association, and Dr. Pedro Guiang, second assistant director of the Bureau of Public Schools.
The President forwarded their resolution to Education Secretary Gregorio Hernandez, Jr., for immediate study and recommendation. After talking to them, the President invited the vocational officials to go with him to Camp Murphy, where he presented awards to 16 outstanding farmers.
THE President left Malacañang with Defense Secretary Eulogio Balao at 10 a.m. and was met at Camp Murphy with a 21-gun salute. After saluting the guard of honor, the President proceeded directly to the grandstand and after a short while awarded medals to 17 awardees.
The President awarded the Philippine Legation of Honor (Commander) to Tarciano Rizal of Calamba, Laguna, and the Philippine Legion of Honor (Legionnaire) to 16 farmers for their accomplishments in the field of agriculture in 1955 and for “having set a pattern worthy of emulation.”
The 16 farmers, including the National Barrio Farmer of the Year, Silverio Sabado of Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur, were cited for their “ability to produce high yields of rice through sheer industry and application of accepted principles of agricultural science.”
Tarciano Rizal, a distant relative of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, was cited for meritorious service to the Armed Forces by pin-pointing the hideouts of Huks and the members of the Communist Party from September 1 to October 18, 1950, and for courageously identifying top Politburo members.
A parade was held in Camp Murphy participated in by units of the Armed Forces, including the Philippine contingent that represented the country in the SEATCO war games in Thailand.
The farmers who received the Philippine Legion of Honor (Legionnaire) were: Cornelio Telan of Abian, Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya; Wenceslao Villanueva of Lamo, Dupax, Nueva Vizcaya; Baldomero Ranjo of Almaguer, Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya; Augusto Dedinas of San Agustin, Iriga, Camarines Sur; Luis Guevarra of Mining, Angeles, Pampanga; Cornelio Feliciano of Teringsing, Cordon, Isabela; Crispin de Vera of Lapogon, Tumawini, Isabela; Albertine Mostrales of Lumbingan, Midsayap, Cotabato;
Sebastian Cruz of San Nicolas, Magalang, Pampanga; Lucio Lagyap of San Jose, Iriga, Camarines Sur; Joaquin Mostrales of Lumbingan, Midsayap, Cotabato; Pedro Villanueva of San Fernando, Alicia, Isabela; Jose Mercado of Cardina, Naga City; Pastor Perez of Carolina, Naga City; David Perez of Carolina, Naga City; and Silvestre Sabado of Tawagan Norte, Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur.
IN the afternoon, the President officiated at the ground breaking ceremonies of the P3,180,000 Sta. Cruz-Mabacan river irrigation project in Pila,, Laguna.
At 3:45 p.m. the President pushed the lever from an improvised stage, which detonated a fuse a few hundred feet away and thus broke the ground, symbolizing the start of work on the project.
Among those present at the ceremonies were Laguna Gov. Dominador Chipeco, Reps. Jacobo Gonzales and Wenceslao R. Lagumbay, Pila Mayor Luis Carillo, Defernse Secretary Eulogio Balao, Public Works Undersecretary Rafael Contreras, Public Works Director Julian Buendia, NAMARCO General Manager Manuel J. Gonzalez, AFP Chief of Staff Lieut. Gen. Jesus Vargas, and Brig. Gen. Alfredo Santos, 2nd MA commanding general.
In an extemporaneous speech in Tagalog, President Magsaysay announced before hundreds of farmers and townspeople of Pila that the Administration was engaged in gigantic irrigation projects being undertaken simultaneously in various strategic places of the country. He said that he had asked Congress for P100 million for the purpose, with the end in view of making the Philippines not only self-sufficient in its staple crop of rice but also in the future to export this commodity to other countries.
The President said that out of 27 irrigation projects whose blueprints had already been finished, 18 with an aggregate cost of P60 million were already put to bid and work in them would be started soon.
The President said that the Sta. Cruz-Mabacan river irrigation project would irrigate 6,000 hectares and benefit the towns of Pila, Victoria, Sta. Cruz, Calauan, Lilio, Nagcarlan, Bay and Los Baños.
The Chief Executive said that having come from a family which grew u p on a farm, he knew the problems of the farmers, especially the lack of irrigation which would spell the doom of their rice crops. As such, he said, he was exerting very effort in carrying out the government project of providing as many irrigation systems throughout the country so that farmers could raise more than one crop during the year and thus increase rice production and improve their financial condition.
The President was applauded several times in the course of his 20-minute speech. He was introduced by Gov. Chipeco, who paid tribute to his great desire in improving the living conditions of the people, especially those in the rural areas.
The ceremonies over, the President proceeded to the Pila municipal government building, where merienda was served by the local officials.
On his way back to Manila, the President made a few minutes, stopover at the 24th BCT camp and at Camp Vicente Lim, headquarters of the 2nd MA.
The President also found time to inaugurate a new P8,500-barrio school in barrio Platero, Biñan. Met at the barrio junction by the townspeople, the President, accompanied by Reps. Gonzales and Lagumbay and Biñan Mayor Jesus Garcia, walked almost a kilometer to the barrio to officiate at the inauguration ceremonies.
On his way to the barrio, the President stopped several times to talk to women workers who were engage in home hat-making industry and to several farmers who had just finished sacking their newly threshed palsy. He was met at the school house by Mrs. Elena L. Benjamin, head teacher, and Fr. Estanislao Cabrera, who officiated at the blessing of the school.
The President left Malacañang at 1:10 p.m. He was accompanied by NAMARCO Manager Manuel J. Gonzalez, Rep. Gonzales, Secretary Balao, Gen. Vargas, Appointments Secretary Marcelino Calinauan, Assistant Press Secretary Guillermo V. Sison, and Capt. Agerico Palaypay, presidential aide.
The presidential party was met on the way to the town of Bay by Gov. and Mrs. Chipeco, Rep. Lagumpay, and Gen. Santos. Upon arriving at the Victoria road junction, the President was stopped by a delegation which greeted him and placed leis on him.
Halfway to the town of Pila, the presidential Chrysler car developed trouble and the President had to transfer to Gen. Vargas’ car.
The President got off his car one kilometer away from the grounder of the population. He was wearing the Lukban hat which had been given him during the NEPA celebration yesterday afternoon at the Luneta.
The presidential party returned to Malacañang at 6:45 p.m.
February 25.—PRESIDENT Magsaysay today instructed Fovernor Miguel Cuaderno of the Central Bank to negotiate for a dollar loan in the United States for the purchase of two ramie plants to be installed in Mindanao with the view to cutting down the importation of textiles which amounts to millions of pesos a year.
The President sent his instructions by cable to Governor Cuaderno who is currently on a mission in Washington D.C. He said that Cuaderno would remain in the U.S. as long as necessary for the successful completion of his mission.
The President also considered the purchase of modern equipment for the manufacture of cigars to enable the country to fill its export quota with the U.S. He said that the Philippines has never been able to fill its yearly quota owing to antiquated production machinery.
The Chief Executive did not receive any other caller this morning.
IN the course of his conference with Commerce Secretary Oscar Ledesma in the morning, the President expressed his desire to inquire from the Tabacalera whether it would be willing to put up modern cigar factory in Cagayan. He asked Secretary Ledesma to get in touch with Tabacalera officials.
The President today certified to the Court of Industrial Relations the labor disputes between the:
(1) Hind Labor Union (PLUM) and Hind Sugar Company; and
(2) The Pasumil Workers Union and the Pampanga Sugar Mills.
The President was informed by Labor Secretary Eleuterio Adevosoof the existence of strikes in the two companies which are still going on and not yet settled to the satisfaction of all concerned.
In his letter to the CIR the President said that the sugar industry was indispensable to the national interest and that the continuance of the strikes would adversely affect the national economy.
The Hind Labor Union declared a strike against the Hind Sugar Company on February 4, 1956, while the Pasumil Workers Union declared a strike against the Pampanga Sugar Mills last February 12.
The President requested the Court of Industrial Relations to take immediate appropriate steps in the exercise of its powers granted by law.
February 26.—THE PRESIDENT discussed for two and a half hours with representatives of private sectors of the country’s economy and heads of government fiscal agencies effective means of increasing production of basic commodities.
The President explained that the economic conference had been called to determine the roadblocks that sowed down production so that these problems could be cooperatively studied and practical solutions to them found.
Among the points taken up at the conference, in which the President played a leading part, were the problems causing the below-par production of essential and basic products; such as, (1) rice, (2) fish, (3) lumber, (4) basic metals, (5) cattle, and (6) abaca.
With the President presiding over the discussions, the conferees exchanged freely their views and stated their problems which boiled down to financing and in some cases to problems of transportation and technical know-how.
The President expressed satisfaction that representatives of government fiscal agencies were given the opportunity to hear first hand these various obstacles impending abundant production. The conference listened to the discussions with understanding and were inclined to act on the proposed solutions more sympathetically.
The conference started off with a discussion on how to increase the production of rice and fish. The President explained that the government had long ago started a vigorous food production campaign. With regard to rice, he said that out of the P100 million he had asked Congress for new irrigation projects, 18 projects with an aggregate cost of P60 million were already put to bid and work on them would be started soon. He said that orders were already placed for the importation of 42” pipes to be used in deep well irrigation systems in Central Luzon to be run by electricity coming from the Ambuklao hydroelectric project. Irrigation, plus the use of fertilizers and more enlightened rice-farming methods, the President said, would tremendously increase rice production.
To this, Manuel V. Gallego, president of the Rice Growers Association, suggested that small dredges be used in Central Luzon and that more areas be opened to rice planting. He added that one imperative need of the rice industry was the industrialization of rice by-products. HE said machinery for this purpose was available in Japan. Rice growers would not mind over-population of rice, he added, if rice by-products could be turned into more useful commodities as this would mean additional incomes to them.
Regarding increased fish production, Prof. Felipe Roman of the University of the Philippines said that there was need for fishing boats and equipment for deep-sea fishing. He said this was the easiest way to increase fish supply, as all that was necessary was to go out to sea properly equipped and after several hours the fishermen got their catch. Atty. Juan T. David, who is engaged in large-scale fishpond industry, said that a modern refrigerator was badly needed to store the fish so that it could be preserved and distributed to different parts of the country when needed. He complained that the Central Bank had not given him yet the needed dollars.
The President said that both deep-sea fishing and the fishpond industry would be encouraged by the government. He said fishing boats were included in the Japanese reparations. Filipino “tuna” fishermen in Alaska were being invited to the Philippines to help build the industry, and the government had already sent survey teams throughout the country before leasing some 100,000 hectares as fishponds. He advised the formation of fishpond cooperatives so that the fishpond industry could be merchandized. He said he would look into the financial problems of the industry.
Former Secretary Antonio de las Alas, president of the Lumber Producers Association, told the President that Philippine lumber has jumped from the seventh to the third position as an export product and that it could be a greater source of dollars provided lumbermen could get needed machinery. He also deplored the high cost of shipping. Former NEC Chairman Filemon C. Rodriguez pointed out the urgency of knowing how to utilize all lumber by-products as done in other countries.
The President said that he had been very interested in the development of the lumber industry and as a matter of fact had hurried the development of agriculture in the release of lumber concessions, avoiding red tape. He said that government financial agencies would give more sympathetic leaning to these financial needs of the industry.
De las Alas also brought to the attention of the conferees the need of encouraging the production of more base metals which abound in the country. He urged the Bureau of Mines to do some prospecting. He mentioned the fact that only recently a private party had discovered molybdenum.
Former Secretary Mariano Garchitorena, president of the Abaca and Other Fibers Federation, expounded on the need for additional funds to help in the industrialization and better production of abaca. He said that among others abaca fibers could be used in the manufacture of nets for deep-sea fishing. The President recalled that he had already announced the release of P18 million at the proper time to help the abaca planters.
Garchitorena also urged the government to buy more bulls from India to improve the local stock. In this connection, the President said that the Bureau of Animal Industry was implementing “Operation Dispersal” through which farmers were being lent improved stocks of cattle for breeding purposes. He added that artificial insemination among local cattle was one way of improving the stock, but that he considered Garchitorena’s suggestion of importing India bulls as very worthwhile.
The conference was held at the Malacañang porch and lasted from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon. The President said he was glad that many of the problems which retarded local production were brought to light and that solutions were offered to overcome them. He requested all those who participated in the discussion to submit to him a brief memorandum on the points brought out so that he could study them and then submit them officially to the National Economic Council for further study and action.
The President said that he would meet the same group next Sunday. He said that he would call members of the different chambers of commerce for a similar conference sometime next week in order to pinpoint procedural roadblocks and bottlenecks which hampered implementation of economic policies.
Those who attended the conference were:
Commerce Secretary Oscar Ledesma; Budget Commissioner Dominador Aytona; Alfonso Calalang, president of the Bankers Association; former NEC Chairman Filemon C. Rodriguez, Mariano Garchitorena, president of the Abaca and Other Fibers Federation; Antonio de las Alas, president of the Lumber Procedures Association; Manuel Elizalde, president of the Philippine Sugar Association; Manuel Gallego, present of the Rice Growers Association; Dean Vicente Sinco, acting member of the Monetary Board;
Acting CB Governor Nicanor Tomas; Gregoriio S. Licaros and R. Marino Corpus of the CB import-export department; Mrs. Fanny Garcia, director of the CB department of economic research; Mrs. Belen Gutierrez, FEU Board of Trustees chairman; Dean Mariano B. Apacible of the UST College of Commerce; Dean Jose Belmonte of the UP College of Commerce; Prof. Amado Castro of the UP; Prof. Isauro Santiago; Pacifico Vililla, president of the Philippine College of Commerce;
Prof. Macario Z. Landicho of the CEU and the Central marketing Exchange; Joseph Perez de Tagle, president of the Davao Philippine Chamber of the Commerce; Jose Carpio of the Philippine Association; Caesar Lanuza, director of the planning of the NEC; Benito Legarda, Jr., CB economist Armando Fabella of the surrey commission; Vicente Fabella; Prof. Felipe Roman, UP; Reynaldo Farralts, engaged in fishing and pasture; and Atty. Juan T. David.
Also present were Prof. Enrique M. Fernando and Assistant Press Secretary Guillermo V. Sison.
The President also met this morning Gov. Juan Frivaldo of the Sorsogon and the both discussed the problems in his province.
At noontime, the President attended the foundation day of his Alma Mater, Jose Rizal College. He had lunch with the prominent alumni of the college. He was accompanied by his aid, Maj. Pat Garcia.
LATE in the evening, the President was visited by group of Liberals who tried to attach some political significance to the resignation of Alfredo Montelibano and Salvador Araneta as chairman and member, respectively, of the National Economic Council.
The Liberals, who expressed a desire to join the majority party, made overtures for turning NPs in the event of a political realignment as a result of the Montelibano and Araneta resignations.
President Magsaysay, while expressing satisfaction over the enthusiasm of some oppositionists to join the majority party, denied that the Montelibano and Araneta resignations would cause a ripple in the political alignment
Among those who saw the President in the evening were former Reps. Cesar Miraflor, Hermenegildo Atienza, Sebastian Moll, and Dennis Molintas.
February 27.—THE PRESIDENT received this morning the members of the Davao Ramie Planters Association, led by Ricardo Ledesma, who discussed with him the early establishment of the ramie factory here. The ramie planters said that they had more than enough supply of raw ramie for local consumption if the textile were manufactured here.
Ambassador Neri, who was present at the conference, was directed by the President to get in touch with the diplomatic missions of Germany and Switzerland for the possibility of installing here a ramie processing machinery from either of the two European countries. The President was informed by the ramie planter, who had gone to Europe, that Germany and Switzerland were leading in the manufacture of ramie textile.
Gov. Juan Pajo of Bohol presented to the Presented samples of fine buri products manufactured in Bohol which included table mats, mats screens, and curtains. Impressed by the articles, the President called NAMARCO Manager Manuel Gonzales and told him to advance the money for the manufacture of the buri products.
The President also told Governor Pajo to see Education Secretary Gregorio Hernandez, Jr., for the introduction of the manufacture of the articles in the division of vocational education of the Department of Education. the President told Gov. pano that the products were good and could be sold abroad.
The Chief Executive received callers up to 1 p.m. Many of the callers were delegations fem the provinces which requested aid for school houses, waterworks irrigation systems, barrio roads, and artesian wells.
Among the provincial delegations that saw the President were Rep. Carmen Dinglasan-Consing, Gov. Jose Dinglasa and mayors from Capiz; Rep. Emilio Cortez and residents of Mexico, Pamapanga; Gov. Rafael Lazatin and farmers from Macabebe, Pampanga; Sen. Emmanuel Pelaez, Rep. Ignacio Cruz, Gov. Vicente de Lara and municipal officials of Misamis Oriental; Sen. Decoroso Rosales and officials of the Tala Leprosarium; Rep. Celestino Juan and farmers from Nueva Ecija; Rep. Rogaciano Mercado, Gov. Alejo Santos, and mayors and municipal councilors of Bulacan; Reps. Salvador Encinas and Vicente Peralta, Gov. Juan Frivaldo, and mayors of Sorsogon; Rep. Fernando Pajarillo, Gov. Esmeraldo Eco, and residents of Camarines Norte; Sen. Alejo Mabanag, Rep. Manuel Cases, Gov. Bernardo Gapuz, and provincial officials of La Union; and Rep. Carlos Tan and mayors from Leyte.
Seven Indonesian police officers, who are here to observe at the NBI and the Manila Police Department, also called on the President accompanied by Col. Mamerto Montemayor. The Indonesian police officers are scheduled to stay here for one month.
The new officers of the CONDA headed by Bert Javier, president, were inducted by the Chief Executive. The CONDA officers, accompanied by Malacañang Technical Assistant Ignacio Debuque, Jr., presented the President with a vase and a Javanese figurine.
Former French Minister to the Philippines Gaston Willoquet was another caller of the President. Willoquet called on the President following Mr. and Mrs. Merville McInnis. McInnis is the president of the McInnis and Company of Washington and vice-president of the Washington State International Trade Fair.
Other callers of the President included Sen. Quintin Paredes; Reps. Francisco Ortega of La Union, Reynaldo Honrado of Surigao, Ombra Amilbangsa of Sulu, and Guillermo Sanchez of Agusan; Gov. Nicanor Maronilla-Seva of Albay, Manuel Baretto of Zambales, and Francisco Infantado of Mindoro Oriental. Brother Gabriel and Brother Charles, famous botanist of De la Salle College also called on the President.
IN behalf of the Philippine Government, President Magsaysay this afternoon received from the United States Government the sum of P150,000 in cash representing part if the proceeds of vested property in the Philippines formerly owned by enemy nationals. The President also received transfer of other vested property, including 17 parcels of land totaling an area of approximately 700,000 square meters located in Manila and Davao City.
The transfer ceremony was held at the Malacañang Council of State room. President Magsaysay and Stanley Gilbert, manager of the Philippine office of the U.S. Office of Alien Property, signed 13 agreements under the provisions of Republic Act No. 8 and under the United States statue known as the Philippine Property Act of 1946. Gilbert handed to the President a check for P150,000.
Other items included in the transfer to the Philippine Government were vested shares of stock of two controlled corporations seven buildings, and approximately 400 items of personal property, including office furniture and equipment and a station wagon.
Dallas S. Townsend, director of the office of Alien Property, U.S. Department of Justice, acting for the attorney general, was represented by Stanley Gilbert, manager of the Philippine Office.
Acting as witnesses and also signing the documents were Foreign Undersecretary Raul S. Manglapus and U.S. Ambassador Homer Ferguson. Also present during the ceremonies were Ambassador Felino Neri, Atty. Prudencio Castillo of the foreign office; Acting Chairman of the Board of Liquidators Filomeno Kintanar; Atty. Eladio Enriquez, member, board of liquidators; Atty. Juan B. Francisco, of the liquidators; Atty. Alfredo Catolico of the Department of Justice; Minister Charles R. Burrows of the U.S. Embassy; Atty Juan T. Santos and Flaviano G. Canuel; and Benjamin de Guzman of the Office of Alien Property.
The transfer ceremony lasted from 4:15 p.m. to 4:40 p.m.
FROM the Council of State room, the President proceeded to the Malacañang porch, where he received a big delegation from Cagayan headed by Defense Secretary Eulogio Balao, Gov. Marcelo Adduru, and Reps. Paulino Alonzo and Felipe Garduque. The delegation was composed of 29 mayors and other political leaders of the province.
The Cagayan officials presented to the President problems confronting their people, ranging from the construction of an irrigation system, artesian wells, waterworks, reopening of the port of Aparri, construction of puericulture centers, and the need of pre-fabricated school houses.
The President said that he was glad to be appraised of all the problems of their province so that proper steps could be taken to solve them.
The President said among other things that he planned to establish a cigar factory in Cagayan in order to improve the kind of tobacco locally manufactured, and that he would help in securing loans from the RFC to help the people in their fishpond projects.
THE President today signed Proclamation No. 266, amending a previous proclamation declaring February 22 to 28 (or 29) of every year as Traffic Safety Week, and March 1 of every year as Safe Driving Day.
The previous proclamation was amended by enlisting the assistance of the Manila Drivers Association to cooperate with the National Traffic Commission in taking charge of all arrangements and activities for the fitting celebration of Traffic Safety Week and Safe Driving Day throughout the Philippines. The Commission was authorized to solicit donations in cash or in any kind for the purpose of carrying out the aims of the proclamations.
February 28.—PRESIDENT Magsaysay had a breakfast conference this morning with Mindanao legislators who pledged their support to various administration bills pending in Congress. During the conference which lasted from 8 to 9:30 a.m., the solons also took up with the President problems of their respective localities.
Present were Sens. Emmanuel Pelaez, Domacao Alonto and Roseller T. Lim; and Reps. William Chiongbian of Misamis Occidental, Cesar Fortich of Bukidnon, Reynaldo P. Honrado of Surigao, Ombra Amilbangsa of Sulu, Alberto Ubay of Zamboanga del Norte, Ignacio Cruz of Misamis Oriental, and Guillermo Sanchez of Agusan.
Following the conference, the President received callers at his study.
A large delegation from Pangasinan Poultry Association headed by Ramon Paulino, association president, requested government assistance so as to eliminate alien middlemen who were reportedly controlling the poultry industry. The President immediately called up Col. Osmundo Mondoñedo of the ACCFA and instructed him to study ways of extending immediate aid to poultry raisers all over the country.
A large group of Laguna high school teachers presented a resolution seeking financial assistance for the repair of school buildings in the province. The group, which also included a number of municipal officials, was accompanied by Gov. Dominador Chipeco and Reps. Jacobo Gonzales and Wenceslao Lagumabay.
Swami Pronavananda Sarawasti, a monk and philosopher from India now on a world tour, called to pay his respects. He was accompanied by H.U. Vaswani, president of the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Manila.
A delegation of farmers from the Jala-Jala Tenants Association requested the purchase by the government of a 230-hectare hacienda located in Morong and Cardona, Rizal, and its distribution to tenants. Accompanying the delegation was D.H. Soriano, legal counsel of the association.
Fr. Antonio Gonzalez, secretary-general of the University of Santo Tomas, accompanied a group of student representatives who invited the President to be guest of honor at the 345th anniversary celebration of their institution on March 7. The President accepted the invitation.
Other delegations were those from Calatagan, Batangas, accompanied by Apolinario Apacible; from Iloilo, headed by Gov. Mariano Peñaflorida; for Zamboanga del Norte, headed by Gov. Romulo Garrovillo; from Candelaria, Quezon, accompanied by Rep. Fernando Pajarillo; from Negros Occidental, headed by Gov. Valeriano Gatuslao; and from Jimenez, Misamis Occidental, headed by Mayor Francisco Paylaga.
Among individual callers were Sens. Quintin Paredes and Edmundo B. Cea; Manuel Zosa of Cebu, Ricardo Ladrico of Iloilo, and Gaudencio Abordo of Palawan, and Mayors Simeon Cañenero of Alimodian and Alfonso Espino of Dingle, Iloilo. The President received callers until 12:30 p.m.
The President turned his attention to the poultry industry when a delegation of poultry raisers from Pangasinan called on him this morning with their problems.
During the call, the President conferred with Osmundo Mondoñedo, head of the Agricultural Credit and Cooperative Financing Administration, and directed him to extend ACCFA loans to poultry raisers in the country where they can be served by the farmers cooperative marketing association in the form of feed, payable in the form of eggs.
The President was informed by the ACCFA Administrator that the cooperative agency has set up two refrigeration plants, one in Manila and another in Cabanatuan City.
Mondoñedo said the problem of the poultry industry was national in scope. He said every poultry raiser was at the mercy of traders who in turn were controlled only by one man. Immediate steps are being taken by the ACCFA to break the monopoly, according to Mondoñedo, through the organization of cooperative marketing associations, the construction of storage facilities, and shortly, the extension of credit to poultry raisers.
After conferring with the President, Modoñedo directed Porfirio Manacop, in charge of the fishery project of the ACCFA, to make representations with the Bureau of Fisheries to transfer immediately to Balatan , Camarines Sur, the one-ton fish grinder which the bureau has in order to modernize the manufacture of fish meal in that area. Should this machinery prove satisfactory, a bigger capacity grinder will be put up in Balatan, he said.
Manacop reported that the country’s present consumption requirements of fish meal amounted to 3,000 metric tons. More than this amount can be produced in Balatan provided the producers are given the necessary machinery and credit assistance to expand their production.
The President assured Mondoñedo that as soon as the Balatan project can produce all the fish meal needed by the country, he would direct the Central Bank to cut off the dollar allocations covering the importation of fish meal.
IN the afternoon, the President received members of the National Federation of Sugar Cane Planters who reiterated to him their “loyalty to you not merely in words but in deeds.”
This pledge was made through Jose Mapa Gomez, president of the NFSCP, in his brief remarks during the cocktails which the President gave in honor of the sugar people at Malacañang.
In his response, President Magsaysay assured the sugar cane producers that the Government was seriously considering the problems facing the industry. He said that he already knew of these problems and that he had transmitted them to the National Economic Council for consideration and solution.
President Magsaysay added, “I don’t want you to suffer.”
He said that the resolution by Mr. Gomez reiterating the pledge of loyalty of the sugar cane producers had touched him. He acknowledged a deep sense of gratitude to the sugar cane planters who, he said, had fought together with him for a cause in the past.
The President honored the delegates to the bird national congress of the sugar industry with cocktails at Malacañang this afternoon.
Three resolutions signed by Mr. Gomez together with Manuel Elizalde, president of the Philippine Sugar Association, were presented to the President; namely,
(1) A resolution of appreciation making of record the sugar industry’s appreciation for the President’s message and its desire to secure public interest to the fullest practicable extent;
(2) A resolution for the filing of a petition against the exclusion of Philippine participation in future United States sugar consumption increases; and
(3) A resolution allowing producers the use of their dollar earnings.
Among the leader of the sugar group who were present at the cocktails were Commerce Secretary Oscar Ledesma and former National Economic Council Chairman Alfredo Montelibano. Upon seeing Mr. Montelibano, the President greeted him warmly: “How are you, Peding?”
President Magsaysay said that he would be glad to help emergency sugar planters who have no quotas improve their lot by means of planting other crops like garlic, onion, tobacco, and coffee.
The President told the group headed by Rep. Jose Puey and Board Member Alfredo Marañon of Negros Occidental and Rep. Ricardo Y. Ladrido and Col. Julian Chavez of Iloilo that he would be glad to listen to their problems at a breakfast conference in Malacañang on Friday, March 2.
After giving a cocktail party for the sugar planters and millers, the President presided over a two-hour press conference with newsmen at the dining room.
The President told newsmen that he was going along “partly” with Salvador Araneta, former National Economic Council member, by “pumping more money into productive enterprises.”
The President referred to Araneta, who resigned last week owing to divergent economic views with the Chief Executive, in answering questions during his weekly news conference in Malacañang.
He went into lengthy explanations of his pet projects, mentioning rice, cotton, rural electrification and irrigation, barrio roads, coffee, goats, and coconut among them.
He said only by going all-out with these projects, which he described as capital investments and self-liquidating, could the Philippines be self-sufficient.
The President made these points in answer to other questions:
- “We can offer a reward of P1 million” to any Filipino who can devise a process to remove acid from coconut oil. He said coconut oil minus its acid would make the best lubricating oil, thus saving the dollars spent for imports of this new item now.
- He is still looking for a man to take over the NEC following Alfredo Montelibano’s resignation last week as its chairman, also as a result of differences n economic views with the President.
- He would ask Public Works Secretary Florencio Moreno to prepare a bill providing for the automatic corresponding increase in the assessed value of lands benefited by new barrio roads to contribute to their maintenance, thus freeing elective officials from this politically inexpedient job.
- Araneta, like any other citizen, has the tight to take the Central Bank to court if he believed it was liable for any illegal action. Araneta was reported to have charged the CB with illegally imposing foreign exchange restrictions.
- He is for Mayor Arsenio H. Lacson’s campaign to drive vendors from Manila’s sidewalks. He said he had told Executive Secretary Fortunato de Leon that vendors’ petition for Malacañang intercession should never have been endorsed to Lacson.
- He would appoint “many” judges of courts of first instance in a weeks time, including those for the cities of Quezon, Pasay, and Cavite.
February 29.—THIS morning, President Magsaysay had a two-hour breakfast conference with leaders of Congress. Agreed upon at the conference were the following:
(1) The President will issue a directive to the National Economic Council to study and draft legislation for the re-allocation of exports and administration of products under quota in the U.S. markets in relation to the Laurel-Langley Agreement.
(2) The adoption of Speaker Jose B. Laurel’s suggestion for a definition in the tariff billow “critical items: instead of merely mentioning Executive Order No. 150. The tariff bill, pending in Congress, empowers the President to lower or increase tariff rates, and Executive Order No. 150 carries a list of what are considered “critical items”.
(3) The foreign investments bill will be given top priority in the conference committee; and
(4) The apprenticeship bill, which is pending in the House, will be amended so as to provide an office for the bill’s implementation.
In the tariff bill, Congress leaders said that some of the “critical items” listed in Executive Order No 150 may not be classified as such any more after a few months so that a definition of “critical items” in the bill would be more specific than just mentioning Executive Order No. 150.
The breakfast conference lasted from 8 to 10 a.m. Present were Senate President Eulogio Rodriguez, Sr., Speaker Jose B. Laurel, Jr., Sens. Cipriano Primicias and Jose P. Laurel, Sr., and Reps. Daniel Romualdez and Arturo M. Tolentino.
After the breakfast, the President received Reps. Manuel Cases of La Union, Floro Crisologo of Ilocos Sur, and Ramon Mitra of Mountain Province and Mayor Alfonso Tabora of Baguio City.
PRESIDENT MAGSAYSAY and the Cabinet today approved the purchase by NAMARCO of local onions in order to stabilize the prize of this commodity and protect onion growers against low prices.
The Cabinet meeting was held at the family dining room and lasted from 10:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. At the Cabinet meeting, the President:
(1) Disapproved a proposal of Cebu Portland Cement Co. (CEPOC) to tax imported cement at P2.60 per bag;
(2) Authorized the imp oration of 2,000 pounds of sodium fluroacetate to intensify the rat campaign;
(3) Ordered the elimination of red tape in the issuance of visas and the liberalization of regulations regarding entry of tourists to the Philippines; and
(4) Approved the recognition of the Republic of the Philippines of the new state of Sudan.
The President also received a report from Defense Undersecretary Jose M. Crisol, the President’s overall performance officer, on his inspection of living conditions of the people of Burias Island, Albay.
In the afternoon, the President gave cocktails in honor of Eugene Broderman, director of Far Eastern Affairs, U.S. Department of Commerce, and a member of the American panel which had discussed the changes in the Bell Trade Act with a Filipino counterpart committee.
Mr. Broderman made a stop-over in Manila in the course of a trip to the Far East.
Invited to the cocktails were members of the Philippine panel, presiding officer of both Chambers of Congress, and officials of the U.S. Embassy headed by Ambassador Homer Ferguson.
Former President Elpidio Quirino, second Chief Executive of the Republic of the Philippines, died this evening about 6:30 in his “Hilltop” country retirement home in Novaliches, Rizal, a victim of heart attack.
A heart attack seized the former President as he stood in froth of a mirror in his bedroom after coming from the bathroom. He was 65 years old. He died one day less than two years and two months since he turned over the presidency to Ramon Magsaysay.
President Magsaysay led the nation this evening in mourning the death of his predecessor in office.
“Our people have lost a leader, and I have lost one who never ceased to be a friend and a sincere counsellor,” the President said in a statement issued upon learning of the late President’s death.
President Magsaysay’s statement follows in full:
“I am deeply shocked by the death of former President Quirino.
“I join the Filipino people in paying tribute to a leader who dedicated all his life to the service of his country. President Quirino participated in many of the developments which our progress to democratic maturity and independence, and it was natural that he was finally rewarded with the highest office within the gift of his countrymen—the Presidency.
“In this office, President Quirino labored earnestly and courageously to lift the country from the ruins and prostrations of the last war. The achievements in reconstruction and rehabilitation realized in his time continue to draw to this day the grateful appreciation of our people and the admiration of the sole world.
“Our people have lost a leader and I have lost one who never ceased to be a friend and sincere counselor. A kind Providence designed that we should meet and share some pleasant moments only a few days before he was to pass away, and I shall always cherish the memory of the visit. I know that a grateful people joins me in prayers for the eternal repose of his soul.”
Source: Supreme Court Library
Magsaysay, R. (1956). Official Month in Review. Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, 52 (2), lxix-cvii.