Official Week in Review: May 1 – May 7, 1983

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May 1

PRESIDENT MARCOS, having received reports about rainfall in many drought areas in Mindanao and the Visayas, has ordered the Ministry of Agriculture and other agencies to press on with rehabilitation work.

He instructed the Agriculture Ministry to send out its more than 6,000 extension workers to render field service to drought victimized farmers who were reported to have started replanting their fields.

He said the extension workers must teach farmers the effective use and conservation of water from communal irrigation systems.

The President has ordered the Agriculture Ministry, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), and the Farm System Development Council (FSDC) to recommend to him ways to maximize use of irrigation water.

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President Marcos has ordered the release of newsman Antonio Ma. Nieva from detention in Camp Crame. He will be placed under house arrest; he left Camp Crame at noon.

He later reviewed the order for the conditional release of Nieva with authorities concerned to determine if he should continue to remain under house arrest.

Meanwhile, the President told authorities in Cebu and Manila to grant permits for demonstration on behalf of Cagayan de Oro Mayor Aquilino Pimentel, detained on charges of rebellion.

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President Marcos and the First Lady, Mrs. Imelda R. Marcos observed their 29th wedding anniversary with a mass at 11 a.m. in Malacañang.

During the mass, their granchild, Fernando Martin, son of Tommy Manotoc was baptized.

Jaime Cardinal Sin who arrived from Rome, baptized the child.

Among those who stood as sponsors are Ambassador Benjamin Romualdez, Irene Marcos, Ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco, Jose Campos, and Johnny Velasquez.

Following the mass, the First Couple gave a launch at Heroes Hall for friends and relatives as well as government officials.

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May 2—

PRESIDENT MARCOS has granted a package of benefits to workers as he called on the labor sector to support the government’s efforts to redistribute the fruits of economic development.

Speaking at the Labor Day celebration at the Folk Arts Theatre, the President also directed the Bureau of Internal Revenue to study the possibility of exempting cost of living allowances given to employees receiving not more than P1,500 monthly, exclusive of such allowances, from taxation.

A decree being prepared to this effect also proposes the exemption of retirement benefits, pension and gratuities, from taxation.

If granted this year, the exemption will take effect for the taxable year 1983.

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President Marcos has ordered the release under house arrest of labor leaders Felixberto Olalia and Bonifacio Tupaz.

The President acted in response to a petition by the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines read by Andres Dinglasan, TUCP executive vice president, during the Labor Day celebration at the Folk Arts Theatre, appealing to the President’s spirit of reconciliation.

The President ordered the minister of national defense and the Metrocom to release the two detainees under house arrest as of noon today.

The President, however, asked the two detainees not to continue with their plans to disrupt labor and industry.

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May 3—

PRESIDENT MARCOS and Metro Manila Governor Imelda R. Marcos distributed P10,000 checks to each of the 1,700 barangays in Metro Manila to finance projects of these barangays.

The checks were drawn from the Barangay Kilusang Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran livelihood loan fund. They were distributed during a meeting with barangay captains in Metro Manila at the Ramada Hotel.

During the meeting, the First Lady:

1. Directed mayors and vice mayors in Metro Manila to meet with barangay captains at least once a month.

2. Called on the barangay captains to build at least 10 flexihomes in their barangays by November 7 this year.

The amount of P17 million granted to the Metro Manila barangays will be drawn from the Land Bank, without any collateral or interest. The barangays will pay the loan to the Metro Manila Commission, which will shoulder the payment of interests.

Under the plan, each project will be supervised by a Samahang Kabuhayan to be organized in each barangay. The Samahan will be composed of the barangay council members and the executive officer of the livelihood program.

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May 4

PRESIDENT MARCOS has assured US Treasury Secretary Donald Regan that the Philippines encourages foreign investments, noting that the US was the Philippine’s principal trading and investment partner.

In 1982, the US accounted for $3.28 billion or 25.9 percent of Philippine external trade. As of June last year, American investments in the country totalled $999.72 million or 58 percent of total foreign investments here.

At the same time, the President said that the country’s foreign investments are much lower and that business incentives were better than those granted by other countries.

Other standing requests by the government include:

1. Liberalization of quotas on Philippine textiles through the merger of traditional and non-traditional categories under the RP-US textile agreement.

2. Resumption of the bilateral maritime consultations that could lead to a mutually acceptable agreement on cargo-sharing.

3. Renegotiation of the RP-US air agreement with the view of minimizing adverse effects to the Philippine flag carrier of the US policy to deregulate the airline industry.

4. Expression of serious concern over the adverse, effects of the proposed US countervailing duty on Philippine tuna exports and to the country’s investment promotion programs.

5. Extension of the availment for the $204.5-million US Export-Import Bank loan guarantee to the Philippine nuclear plant to give the Philippines ample time to secure necessary loans for the completion of the project.

US Treasury Secretary Donald Reagan stressed that settlements could be worked out to resolve the nagging trade and economic issues between the Philippines and the United States.

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May 5

PRESIDENT MARCOS urged developing nations, particularly Asia, to work out programs that would increase agricultural productivity to raise the incomes and buying power of their people.

The President spoke at the opening of the 16th annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank at the Philippine International Convention Center.

He stressed the need for the expansion of domestic market until the protectionist trade barriers by the developed nations are dismantled.

In his speech before 1,200 delegates and observers from 45 countries, including the United States and Japan, the President also:

1. Called upon rich nations to give more financial assistance to the poor nations of Asia to enable them to attain political stability and peace and better quality of life.

2. Urged the holding of dialogues to identify areas of mutual interest in markets, resources and investments.

3. Underscored the need for sincerity, and the will of the industrialized nations to “translate into reality the clamor of the Third World for a concerted effort to establish a New International Economic Order.”

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May 6–

PRESIDENT MARCOS ordered the release of three priests arrested last Friday in Negros Occidental and a farmhand in Camarines Sur acquitted by a trial court more than two months ago.

The three priests–Father Brian Gore of Australia, Niali O’Brian of Ireland, and Vicente Dangan, a Filipino–were released under house arrest upon the request of Jaime Cardinal Sin.

They were arrested last Friday after charges of multiple murder were filed against them before the regional trial court of Kabankalan, Negros Occidental. They were implicated in the murder of Kabankalan Mayor Pablo Sola and four of his companions last year. Provincial Fiscal Rodolfo Herman recommended no bail for the three.

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May 7–

PRESIDENT MARCOS stressed for a rearrangement of the relationship between the Philippines and Japan to give, he said, meaning and strength to the partnership.

Speaking during a toast at dinner in Malacañang in honor of the visiting Japanese prime minister, the President said that beneficial relationship would help avoid tensions and disagreements in the future.

The President also said that Japan has a leading role to play in bringing peace and prosperity in the region and express confidence its economic power, will not be utilized to dominate or exploit its smaller neighbor.

According to the President, at this particular junction in the history of the region, the political leadership in Japan, in cooperation with the Asean leaders, can help maintain not only security in Southeast Asia but also continuous prosperity and oneness of the human family.

Noting the economic dominance of Japan, the President said that it is in the, interest of Japan that the small nations of Southeast Asia should continue to prosper and, the relationship between her and its neighbors will remain mutually beneficial.

Nakasone, in his response, said that is essential that we promote enhanced relations upon mutual understanding, friendship and trust at the individual level, if Japan and the Philippines are to maintain mutually beneficial and stable relationship.

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(27), clv-clviii.