Official Week in Review: October 31 – November 5, 1974

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October 31—

THE PRESIDENT and the First Lady visited a large garments factory as a model of the First Lady’s principal project for the amelioration of resettled squatter families. The First Lady plans to set up labor-intensive industries in Carmona, Cavite, and in Sapang Palay, Bulacan to accommodate the unemployed among the squatter families who have been resettled there. The First Couple visited the Gelmart Industries Philippines, along the Manila South Superhighway. It employs over J.000 workers, mostly women, in the manufacture of women’s bra, knitted gloves and stockings, and infant wear which are exported to the United States and Europe.

THE PRESIDENT conferred on Msgr. Josef Koenen of the Caritas organization in Germany, the Order of Golden Heart in a ceremony held at Malacañang. As a representative of Caritas, Dr. Koenen was cited for having been the prime mover in enabling the Philippines to be a recipient of outstanding contributions from the institution, chiefly for relief to the distressed during calamities. Similarly, Dr. Koenen was cited for having been responsible for extensive social services rendered by Caritas to Filipino communities in Germany, particularly Filipino nurses employed in various establishments in that country. The Caritas are Catholic social welfare institutions organized in different countries of the world.

UNDERLINING the speed with which the government acts on worthy proposals for Philippine oil exploration, the President directed the Petroleum Hoard to approve its 12th service contract negotiated in less than a week’s time between the government and a multinational exploration company. Trend Corporation of the United States, the latest foreign venture capital to join the search for oil in the Philippines, will be the operator under the service contract of a concession of more than 400,000 hectares in the Bicol offshore area. The President directed that negotiations for the service contract be expedited after Trend committed itself to drill at least one well each year from the second to the seventh years of the contract, in addition to the first test well.

November 1—

THE PRESIDENT, accompanied by the First Lady, flew through driving rain to conduct a personal survey of the extent of destruction wrought by the past four typhoons which successively hit Central and Northern Luzon recently. In the course of the survey, the President authorized the initial release of P7.5 million for the immediate repair and reconstruction of damaged public works installations, and for the prompt relief and rehabilitation of the stricken provinces. Provinces which will share in the P7.5 million outlay are Abra, Batanes, Benguet, Cagayan, Ifugao, Isabela, Kalingao-Apayao, Nueva Vizeaya, Quirino, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Mt. Province and Pangasinan.

November 2—

THE PRESIDENT and the First Lady, in the course of their tour of Northern Luzon, to assess the damages caused by four successive typhoons, dropped in at Batac, Ilocos Norte, hometown of the President, for the traditional Filipino homecoming on All Saints’ Day. There the First Couple conducted an inspection of the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and made a personal donation of an unspecified sum from the Marcos Foundation, for the improvement and expansion of the hospital s facilities. “This is my way of remembering our late father on All Saints’ Day”, the President said of the donation. The check was turned over to the hospital director, Dr. Eugenio Mendoza Jr., by Mrs. Josefa Edralin Marcos, the President’s mother, who joined the First Couple in the traditional visit to the old hometown.

November 3—

THE PRESIDENT has issued Presidential Decree No. 571 extending amnesty to leaders, officers and members of the Partido Kommunista ng Pilipinas (PKP), Hukbong Magpapalaya ng Bayan (HMB), Malayang Samahan ng Magsasaka (MASAKA), Malayang Pagkakaisa ng Kabataang Filipino (MPKP), at Samahang Pambansa ng Kababaihan sa Pilipinas (SPKP). Also included are those who may not be leaders or members of these groups but may have committed any illegal act to promote their political beliefs or to enhance acceptance of their ideas, views, and opinions about the social order, economic system or form of government in the Philippines. An earlier decree, PD 124, as amended, which expired on July 15, 1973, expressly excluded leaders and officers of these groups from amnesty benefits.

THE STAGE is set for a picture-project in urban renewal covering the Tondo foreshore area, with the chartering of the Tondo Foreshore Development Authority under Presidential Decree No. 570. With an initial outlay of P30 million, the Authority shall resolve the slum and squatter problems in the foreshore area, which “exemplifies a social in justice incompatible with the goals of the New Society,” according to the decree. The President named Brig. Gaudencio Tobias (ret.), director general of the Authority. Tobias helped lay the ground for the under taking with the planning group known as Tondo Foreshore Urban Renewal Project.

THE PRESIDENT has appointed 13 new municipal judges and has signed the transfer to other stations of six others. The new appointees are: Plaridel Mar Israel, Iguig, Cagayan; Francisco Collado, San Fernando, La Union, Branch II; Genaro V. Catalan, Los Baños, Laguna; Alejandro Arenas, Gasan, Marinduque; Jeremias A. Castro, Masbate, Masbate; Jose G. Montemayor, Sta. Rita, Pampanga; Abelardo G. Biala, Mapandan, Pangasinan; Leon M. Repatalo, Sual, Pangasinan; Salome A. Montoya, Makati, Rizal; Paterno Pondemira, Lavezares, Northern Samar; Pedro L. Felicen Jr., Maydolong, Eastern Samar; Adelardo G. Lee, Magallanes, Sorsogon; and Finestres G. Atienza, Kalintaan, Mindoro Occidental. Transferred were: Pioquinto U. Rodillon, from Sebaste, Antique, to Pandan, Antique; Gelacio Samulde, from Caluya, Antique, to Sebaste, Antique; Pedro Cabreros, from Iguig, Cagayan, to Tuguegarao, Cagayan; Melanio C. Rojas Jr., from Cervantes, Ilocos Sur, to Suyo, llocos Sur; Celso P. Tayros, from San Juan, Negros Oriental, to Siaton, Negros Oriental; and Romeo S. Montefalco, from Diadi, Nueva Vizcava to Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya.

November 4—

CURRENT world food crisis is a problem that must be solved not merely on a national level in developing countries but through close cooperation on a global scale, the President said at the opening of the 12-day “Conference on Plant Protection in Tropical and Sub-Tropical Areas'” This will require the escalation of both technical and financial assistance to developing countries, from the wealthier and more technologically-advanced developed countries, the President added. Moreover he said, international organizations, like the United Nations, will need to assume an even more decisive and greater coordinating role in meeting the global problem. The resident’s speech was read for him by Agriculture Undersecretary Jose D. Drilon, Jr.

MALACAÑANG has granted extensions to the fund campaigns of the Consumers Union of the Philippines and the Community Chests and Councils m the Philippines, in separate proclamations. Under Proclamation No. 1345, the national membership, consumers’ education and educational fund drive of the CUP is extended to March 31, 1975. Its original fund drive was authorized from October 1, 1973 to October 31, 1974. Under Proclamation No. 1341, the period of the annual educational and fund campaign of the Community Chests and Councils in the Philippines has been extended to December 31, 1974. The money raised will go toward the support of the services of the various CC welfare agencies.

MALACAÑANG declared the period from November 2 to November 8 and the first week of every November thereafter as Packaging Development Week. In Proclamation No. 1343, it was noted that Philippine industry is continuously increasing its output of Philippine-made pro ducts both in volume and variety and that the consumers’ acceptance of “Made-in-the-Philippines” products will depend not only on the quality of the product but the appeal of its packaging presentation. It was pointed out that the marketability of products labeled “Made-in-the-Philippines,” both on the domestic and export market, can be improved by better packaging and the development of packaging components from local materials through the joint efforts of the Packaging Institute of the Philippines (PIP), representing the private sector, and the Design Center Philippines (DCP), representing the public sector.

November 5—

FRANK W. ZINGARO, president of the Philippine-American Chamber of Commerce of New York, with Mrs. Zingaro, paid a courtesy call on the President. Mr. Zingaro said he had known the President from a “long way back” and he wanted to renew old times. They were accompanied to Malacañang by local Caltex officials including W. C. Dunning, managing director; R. J. O’connor, and Francis Ablan, and their ladies. Later, the President also received officials of the Meiji Seika Kaisha Ltd. of Japan, reputedly the world’s fifth largest producer of antibiotics. Headed by T. Nakagawa, president, the MSKL officials are looking into the possibilities of entering into joint ventures with local firms for the establishment of a cocoa plantation and factory for the processing of chocolate products for export.

LAND reform has progressed to a point where all the big landowners, with lands as small as 24 hectares in area, have been dismantled, and the next step is due. The President made this known at a briefing that he gave the International Advisory Committee of the Chase Manhattan Hank on board the Presidential yacht RPS Ang Pangulo. The President explained that land reform is the keystone in the government program to extirpate the causes of the rebellion that had brought about the operation of the Constitutional self-defense mechanism called Martial Law. But while the big landholdings are being distributed to the actual tillers, no tenant will be allowed to acquire his piece of land unless he participated in a package service, the President explained. These included his membership in a cooperative, rural credit, infrastructure support, electric power, and small-scale industries.

THE PHILIPPINES plans the complete liquidation of its unemployment and underemployment problems “within this decade” by means of a bold program of human resources development and utilization. This was the President’s message delivered to the First Asian Regional Conference on Human Resources Training and Development at the Philippine Village Hotel. Some 250 delegates and 79 observers representing 20 Asian and Oceanian countries are attending the four-day conference. To fuel the employment program, the government has encouraged more investments—domestic and foreign. The volume of foreign investments alone has already increased in the first semester of the year by 109 percent over the previous year. Another measure is to reverse the country’s traditional export patterns by switching from land-based exports to labor-based products reflecting more value added, more labor added. Employment in public works will be doubled by applying more labor-intensive construction techniques in projects directly supporting food production, like irrigation and farm-to-market roads, with P500 million for each fiscal quarter appropriated. In addition, a nationwide network of public employment exchanges and a machinery for the export of excess manpower to job markets abroad has been created under the new Labor Code. The President’s speech was read for him by Secretary Blas F. Ople of the Department of Labor.

THE PRESIDENT discussed the need for technical and financial assistance for the development of local energy sources, particularly coal, with Udo Kollatz, deputy minister for economic cooperation of the Federal Republic of Germany. The German minister made a courtesy call on the President after a four-day stay here, during which he visited the national shrine on Mt. Samat, and the International Rice research Institute in Los Baños. The President expressed the hope Germany will send technical men in coal production so that coal can be tapped as another energy source along with hydroelectric and geothermal, to replace oil partially. The President also expressed hope the Philippines will receive a bigger share of the German tourist market, reputedly the biggest in the world, with the utilization of chartered flights which are economical and popular among the tourists.

Source: National Library of the Philippines

Office of the President of the Philippines. (1974). Official Week in Review. Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, 70(45), ccciii-cccvi.