Official Week in Review: April 22 – April 30, 1983

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April 22—

PRESIDENT MARCOS instructed the Ministry of Budget to release the full peso requirement to finish the expansion program and the first phase of the Metro Manila sewerage and sanitation program.

This was disclosed by the President during his speech at the inauguration of the new P250-million La Mesa Water Treatment Plant in Novaliches, Quezon City.

The President also directed all government agencies to give priority to the immediate requirements of potable water, including the use of the resources of Angat Dam for the purpose.

Although Angat Dam is used to generate electricity and for irrigation, the President said that “priority be given to the immediate human requirement of potable water.”

The President emphasized that of all the 11 requirements of man, water is number one because without water nothing can be produced.

He expressed hope that “there will be enough water for everyone” by 1990 when the MWSS expansion program shall have been completed.

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In her remarks earlier, the First Lady and Human Settlements Minister Imelda R. Marcos enjoined Metro Manila residents “to reap, but not waste, the benefits of these labors.”

She asked them “to share the responsibility of the wise and efficient use of these gifts to extend the pleasure not only to your children . . . for raw water is not an inexhaustible resource but a gift to humanity.”

The President pushed the switch that activated the water treatment plant and later toured the plant with the First Lady.

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April 23—

PRESIDENT MARCOS and Guam Governor Ricardo J. Bordallo will discuss matters of mutual interest to both countries when the latter makes his official call at Malacañang Tuesday.

Governor Bordallo is expected to arrive on that day with his wife, Madellene Z. Bordallo, for his three-day official visit.

Accompanying the governor are economic advisers Mark Pangilinan and Frank Chan, Director of Labor Loyd Umagat, Deputy Director of Agriculture Elizabeth Torres, Chief of Staff David Shimuzu and Special Assistant Angel Legaspi.

Their discussion will also touch on tourism, agriculture, development projects, human settlements, and labor. Some big construction projects in Guam reportedly need qualified manpower which the Philippines may very well fill.

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President Marcos cancelled three big forest concessions and prohibited all logging activities in Mindoro as he started a crackdown on loggers whose concessions do not have reforestation projects.

The President said the government is now “ruthlessly listing down the forest concessionaires who have not engaged in reforestation and we will eliminate those who have not complied.”

In issuing a prohibition against all logging activities in Mindoro, the President said the policy is to cancel all forest concessions where there are no reforestation projects.

The President said that this policy is in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Bureau of Forest Development and the Ministry of Natural Resources.

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April 24—

PRESIDENT MARCOS pushed the government’s massive water impounding program to check the effects of periodic droughts by harnessing the 48,000 barangays and the local governments.

To oversee and coordinate the program, the President created a new agency—the Water Conservation and Development Administration—to be headed by Administrator Pedro Dumol of the National Electrification Administration as general manager.

Named chairman of the board is the First Lady and Human Settlements Minister Imelda E. Marcos. The other board members are the minister of Local Government, the head of the Katipunan ng mga Baranggay sa Pilipinas, the president of the League of City Mayor and Governors, the president of the League of Municipal Mayors, the minister of Public Works and Highways and the minister of Natural Resources.

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The First Lady and Human Settlements Minister Imelda Romualdez Marcos visited an ailing Julio Cardinal Rosales at the Cebu Doctor’s Hospital.

The 76-year-old Cardinal, cancer-stricken since last year, beamed upon seeing the First Lady.

“I never expected this (the visit). It is a great honor for me and my province,” the prelate told Mrs. Marcos in a very soft voice.

Mrs. Marcos visited the Cardinal in Cebu after a two-day stay in Leyte to inspect government projects. She was accompanied by Ambassador Benjamin Romualdez, Public Works and Highways Minister Jesus Hipolito and Vice Governor Ismael Mathay, Jr.

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April 25—

PRESIDENT MARCOS said that he see no danger of external aggression against the Philippines between now and the end of the century.

“Right now, there is no threat. Not from Vietnam, China, Japan nor from the Soviet Union up to the end of the century,” the President told newsmen.

Assessing the security situation in Southeast Asia, the President said that” no matter what happens to Kampuchea, I don’t think there will be any threat against ASEAN countries, except possibly Thailand because of its boundary with Kampuchea.

The President also elaborated on his position on the global move for a nuclear freeze.

Saying that the government will support all efforts to avoid all kinds of war as a matter of policy, the President said:” If it merits that we be strong to do it, then we should be strong. If it is economic development that will prevent war, then let us have economic development.”

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President Marcos said that changes in Western press reporting may lead to a fair presentation of the situation in the Philippines as well as Asia.

With this development, the President said “we would like to see a more enlightened in-depth understanding of what we are trying to do instead of, you know, the instant knowledge type of assessment which often is not accurate.”

He said the Western press should spend enough time to study the idiosyncrasies, culture and background of the Filipino people and the nuances of the evolution of Filipino traditions.

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April 26—

PRESIDENT MARCOS gave Administrator Pedro Dumol, general manager of the newly created Water Conservation and Development Administration, one week to come up with models of small water impounding dams.

The construction of small clams throughout the country is part of the government program to counteract periodic droughts, especially in the Mindanao area.

The President told Dumol that each of the 1,500 municipalities in the country should be allotted two or three of the water dams.

He directed Dumol to ask barangay chairmen to submit proposals for the building of small dams in their localities so that necessary funds and materials can be sent to them. Each dam is expected to cost P10,000.

A total of P500 million has been set aside for the construction of the dams.

The small dams, the President said, will keep water level steady, keep natural springs alive and the ground most.

Under the plan, the barangays will build the dams which they will later own, maintain and operate.

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April 27—

PRESIDENT MARCOS has ordered the forfeiture of all illegally constructed fishponds in the 2,965-hectare Bulacan communal fishing grounds in favor of the government.

The communal grounds, facing Manila Bay, was established as a reservation for four Bulacan towns in 1966 through Republic Act No. 4701: 600 hectares for Bulacan town, 150 hectares for Paombong, 90 for Malolos, and 255 for Hagonoy.

The President ordered that the reservation be granted to the four towns for their proprietary use.

He told the Ministry of Natural Resources to delineate boundaries indirating 300 meter strips running paralelled to the boundaries of the four towns. This must be done in six months.

The President also ordered the Ministry of Local Government to prepare a five-year development plan to maximize the productivity of the forfeited fishponds.

To keep the markers intack and prevent persons from destroying or removing such boundaries, the President ordered the Philippine Constabulary to file charges against those violating the instructions.

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April 28—

PRESIDENT MARCOS has ordered every barangay and municipality or city to develop and maintain tree parks to enhance the beauty and ecosystem of every community.

He said these forest or tree parks would also provide the people with a healthy and wholesome environment and places for rest and recreation.

In a letter of Instruction No. 1312, the President explained that there is need for the people to appreciate the importance of preserving our forests and restoring at the earliest possible time out denuded areas.

In the establishment of the parks, the President said that one park shall be put up for every barangay, municipality or city. In the case of urban areas, the municipality or city government shall provide forest or tree parks in suitable and accessible areas for several barangays who shall assist in the project.

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President Marcos said the government can wipe out rebel forces in one month if it wanted to.

The President assessed the capacity of the armed forces in his address at the 86th anniversary of the Philippine Army.

The President made public declassified documents on victories of government troops in the battlefield.

He said the drive against insurgents is taking time because “the purpose of the armed forces is not to eliminate the rebels but to win them back.”

The President stressed it is time the people realized that the present conflict “is not a fight between the government and the rebels but on a way of life and ideology.”

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April 29—

PRESIDENT MARCOS signed into law Cabinet No. 54, also known as the investment Incentives Policy Act of 1983, granting more incentives to local and foreign firms which are export-oriented.

The first major revision of the government’s incentive policies, the new law is designed to restructure the industrial sector and attract more foreign exchange earnings.

Under the new law the number of incentives was reduced to six from 15 under the old laws but two entirely new incentives were added granting tax credit on the net value earned and on the net local content of export-values.

Unlike in the past, Trade and Industry Minister Roberto Ongpin said that the new incentives system is performance-oriented.

The two new incentives entitled:

1. New projects and expansions registered with the Board of Investments to tax credits equivalent to five percent on net value earned for non-pioneer industries and the 10 percent for pioneer industries.

2. New projects and expansions to tax credits equivalent to 10 percent of net local content of export sales.

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April 30—

PRESIDENT MARCOS said that the government has no intention of suppressing the people’s basic human rights with the recent arrest of suspected subversive elements, including those in media.

This assurance was given by the President in answer to questions during the “Meet the Press’ program on MBS Channel 4.

While stressing that it is his constitutional duty to uphold the law, including cases against persons accused of subversion, the President said “there is no intention to oppress our people.”

According to the President, he does not intend to use the law against political enemies or against people who hold different views, whether they are political ideologies or economic beliefs.

In the same interview, the President said the Philippine panel will be guided by national interest and not by any other nation during the renegotiation of the RP-US Military Bases Agreement covering the 1984–89 period.

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President Marcos said last night the country’s economy has improved significantly in the last decade and is now ready to benefit from the upturn in world trade.

Speaking at the “Meet the Press” program, the President said there is marked evidence of the country’s economic growth.

“It is not as dramatic as we had hoped it would be, but certainly it is more real and concrete than the prevailing prognosis at the beginning of the year,” he said.

Citing statistics, the President pointed out that while the minimum wage was P8 and the laborers employed were only seven million, the floor wage is now P31.90 with 17.6 million members of the labor force.

The President also pointed out that the traditional annual income of P830 per hectare has now increased to P2,200.

The President said he was convinced that the economic recovery has begun, both for the country and the world, adding that the nation can now benefit from improved conditions in the world.

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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(26), cxlvii-cli.