Official Week in Review: April 16 – April 21, 1983

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April 16

PRESIDENT MARCOS has rescinded the order of the Philippine National Bank to stop the withdrawal of dollar deposits from the bank.

The President issued the order during the central committee meeting in Malacañang after receiving reports that the PNB had stopped the withdrawal of dollar deposits by its depositors.

“There is no basis for the issuance of such an order,” the President said. “I did not authorize it. On the contrary, we have guaranteed the untouchability of all foreign exchange deposits in the Philippines under Republic Act No. 1405, as amended by an Executive Order.”

The President explained that the Executive Order “makes it criminal for anyone to, in any way, look into the ownership and source of such funds.”

“They are safeguards and this is the guarantee,” the President emphasized.

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President Marcos has ordered Budget Minister Manuel Alba to immediately release the additional funds allocated to KKK projects already programmed for P450 million for 1982 including those programmed for 1983 which amounts to P1 billion.

The President issued the order during the meeting of the central committee of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan in Malacañang, on request of the First Lady and Minister of Human Settlements, who is also secretary general of the KKK.

During the meeting, the First Lady suggested that assemblymen be encouraged to look for possible investors abroad.

She pointed out that their son, Gov. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. of Ilocos Norte, has been able to attract investors from Hongkong, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia and Japan to invest in some industrial projects in Currimao, Ilocos Norte.

The First Lady added that if assemblymen are encouraged to bring in investors from abroad, they will also feel good because they will be relevant to their district and regions.

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April 17—

THE FIRST LADY, Minister of Human Settlements Imelda R. Marcos, told the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan central committee, led by President Marcos, that initial Flexihomes demonstrations will be held m the next six months.

The central committee had earlier endorsed construction of the low-cost homes all over the country.

The President ordered the demonstration in all regional and provincial capitals. The Flexihomes project is undertaken by the Ministry of Human Settlements through the Bagong Lipunan Improvement of Sites and Services (BLISS) program.

Flexihome demonstrations will include a livelihood scheme to help homeowners augment their incomes, Mrs. Marcos said. Small-and-medium-scale industries will be set up.

The amortization cost of a Flexihome model is P125 to P275 a month for non-pag-ibig members and P92 to P250 a month for Pag-ibig members. The monthly amortization will run for 25 years.

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April 18–

PRESIDENT MARCOS met two top defense officials of the United States, a special envoy of the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and a party of Soviet parliamentarians at Malacañang.

US Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Thayer and Rear Admiral Donald Jones, military assistant to the US Ambassador to the Philippines Michael Armacost. Thayer, accompanied by his party of 10, arrived Saturday on a three-day official visit.

Later in the morning, the President received Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz, special envoy of the Unicef, who arrived Saturday for a four-day visit.

The President also received the parliamentary delegation from the Supreme Soviet of the Union Soviet Socialist Republics.

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April 19—

PRESIDENT MARCOS met with Paul Thayer, United States deputy defense secretary, who called at Malacañang, accompanied by Ambassador Michael Armacost.

During their discussion which lasted about 30 minutes, the President and the US defense official exchanged views on pending matters between the Philippines and the United States, particularly on the review of the military facilities agreement.

The President and Thayer expressed the hope that the review of the agreement would proceed smoothly and be finished ahead of schedule.

The President also asked Thayer to inform Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger that he approves of the request that the regular meetings between the defense secretaries of the Philippines and the United States is preceded by meetings on lower levels.

Secretary Thayer arrived last Saturday and is leaving tomorrow after visiting the military base facilities at Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base.

He was accompanied by his senior aide, Rear Admiral Donald S. Jones, and Lt. Col. James P. Martin and Donald Elrich of the Office of the International Security Affairs.

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April 20–

PRESIDENT MARCOS stressed that state auditing has become an indispensable tool of government as he underscored the role of auditors in protecting the people’s money from corruption or mismanagement.

Keynoting the opening of the 10-day congress of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions at the Philippine International Convention Center, the President said audit institutions can support national development by maintaining public confidence in government integrity m the spending of public funds.

In his 33-minute speech, the President cited constitutional reforms which provided for an independent Commission on Audit.

The President said that the creation of the COA was followed by the codification of audit laws through which all regulations on government accounting and auditing were consolidated under one title.

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President Marcos yesterday stopped operations of all vessels plying the Zamboanga-Singapore route to curb smuggling in Mindanao.

The President also announced that a new system in the barter trade in Mindanao will soon be adopted to plug loopholes in the present system.

He ordered Customs Commissioner Ramon Farolan and Maj. Gen. Delfin Castro, Southcom commander, that “on account of infirmities that do not contribute to general welfare, operations of all vessels plying the Zamboanga-Singapore route must be stopped immediately.”

The directive was issued on representation of Muslim Affairs Minister Romulo Espaldon.

Only a few powerful merchants are reportedly benefiting from the barter trade put by the government to help former Muslim rebels in the South.

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April 21—

PRESIDENT MARCOS expressed his desire to discuss bilateral issues with Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone. This was disclosed by the President in his talk with former Japanese Ambassador Toshiro Urabe, who is here to pave the way for the visit.

The four issues which the President said he would like to be concluded are: Financial support for a subsidy for copper mining; and air agreement to allow the Philippine Air Lines to fly to the United States via Tokyo; the lowering of tariff on banana exports to Japan; and the financing of the San Roque multi-purpose project in Pangasinan.

It was understood that the President and Urabe talked about possible areas of agreement on the four areas mentioned to make the Nakasone visit “meaningful”.

A highly industrialized country, Japan gets most of its raw materials from ASEAN. Japan is the Philippines No. 2 trading partner.

The Philippine government will press for the conclusion of negotiations with Japan on four major issues when Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone visits the country on May 6-8, 1983.

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Source: National Library of the Philippines

Office of the President of the Philippines. (1983). Official Week in Review. Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, 79(25), cxli-cxliii.