Official Week in Review: February 19 – February 25, 1979

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February 19—

THE PRESIDENT has appointed 117 new local government officials, Malacañang said. The Ministry of Public Information, which released the list of the new officials,-said that of 117, 106 are town mayors, five are city mayors and six are provincial governors; There are no new appointments in Metro Manila and Region 6 which is composed of the provinces of Negros Occidental, Iloilo, Capiz, Antique and Aklan. Forty-one were appointed in 1978, from October to December, while the rest were designated this year. In all, there are 1,478 town mayors, 60 city mayors, and 77 governors, or a total of 1,615 local officials.

THE PRESIDENT called to a meeting the country’s top law enforcement officers to discuss measures to stop the uptrend of crimes in Metro Manila: He said that while the national crime rate during the past three, years has gone down, crime incidents rose due to the increase in population. He said the increase in petty crimes which are attended by violence like robbery and holdup is enough to alarm the citizen.

THE FIRST Lady, Imelda Romualdez Marcos, met formally with Austria’s top officials on the first full day of her working visit in that country at the crossroads of Europe. It was a busy day of conferences with the mayor of the city-province of Vienna, after a rousing welcome marked by extensive publicity from the Austrian press.

February 20—

THE PRESIDENT, in a move to coordinate all reclamation projects, has issued Executive Order. No. 525 granting the Public Estate Authority (PEA) the primary responsibility for all such projects. The order was issued to provide for the coordinated economical and efficient reclamation of land to maximize their contribution to national development.

ASSOCIATE Justice Vicente G. Ericta of the Court of Appeals was appointed by the President as Tanodbayan, a newly activated constitutional post charged with prosecuting graft and corruption cases against government personnel. He replaces Justice Salvador Esguerra who died recently.

February 21—

THE PRESIDENT declared that the strength of the nation is in the barangays during graduation rites for 6,000 leaders from 800 barangays of Batangas who completed a five-day barangay executive officers’ training course aimed at instilling the spirit of self-reliance among the, people-The President, in his speech, told the leaders to assist the government in the systematic delivery of basic needs of the people, particularly in the rural communities.

February 22—

THE PRESIDENT, in a move to stop the upsurge of crime in Metro Manila, ordered the immediate hiring of 1,575 more men for the four police districts in the area and the training of thousands of barangay volunteers to help track down criminals. He also announced that he will soon fill up vacant courts to expedite pending cases, particularly those involving serious crimes. Another presidential directive was the tightening of security in the national penitentiary and rehabilitation centers to prevent escapes which has been found to be one of the reasons for the uptrend in criminal incidents. During a meeting with top law officers and mayors at Malacañang, the President said the new recruits who will beef up the police forces will be civilian employes to be drawn from the barangay tanod and paid P15 a day on a casual basis. The local governments, and if necessary, the national government, will provide the funds for their pay.

THE FIRST Lady, Imelda Romualdez Marcos, who has become an instant hit in the Austrian press, met with the president of parliament while a cabinet team discussed possible economic projects with Austrian financiers. On the third day of her visit in Vienna, she spent more than an hour exchanging impressions on parliamentary work with the presiding officer of the Austrian parliament, Dr. Anton Benja.

February 23—

THE PRESIDENT has ordered the Ministry of Agriculture to meet with rice farmers to fix a new floor price for palay which the government at present buys at P55 a cavan. The new floor plan will cushion the impact on farmers’ income of forthcoming increases in gasoline, and other goods and services and wages,

AUSTRIAN financiers offered credit facilities to the Philippine delegation headed by the First Lady, Imelda Romualdez Marcos, for possible economic projects, envisioned in their newly signed trade agreement. Members of: the cabinet with the party of Mrs. Marcos met for the second straight day with, a group of Austrian businessmen, industralists and bankers to discuss implementing, details of the trade accord signed by the two countries.

THE PRESIDENT attended the graduation of his son, 2nd Lt. Ferdinand (Bong Bong) R. Marcos Jr., in a jungle warfare and mountain operation course. In his brief remarks during the ceremony, the President said the course is a part of the security plan of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and is intended not only for regular troops but also for the reserve force. Six other officers and 85 enlisted men graduated with Bong Bong, while two other officers and 26 enlisted men were made honorary graduates.

February 24—

DEFENSE Minister Juan Ponce Enrile has cautioned military personnel stationed in Kalinga-Apayao against committing any form of abuse towards tribal minorities in that region. Speaking during an unscheduled inspection trip at the military camp, in Tabuk, Kalinga-Apayao, Minister Enrile said erring personnel will be dealt with accordingly and dismissed from the service “if necessary.”

February 25—

THE PRESIDENT disclosed government plans to keep the prices of essential commodities down by importing cheaper goods and decontrolling prices of certain items. He made the disclosure in an interview at Fort Del Pilar where he witnessed the turnover of the corps command of this year’s graduating class of the Philippine Military Academy to the junior class; He also said he will stop the exportation of cement in a day or two to make more of the commodity available locally. However, he said he would encourage cement producers to operate at full capacity by allowing cement to seek its own price level in the free market.

Source: National Library of the Philippines

Office of the President of the Philippines. (1979). Official Week in Review. Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, 75(9), xliii-xliv.