Official Week in Review: May 23 – May 31, 1983

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May 23—

PRESIDENT MARCOS has ordered yesterday intensified efforts to prevent wasteful utilization of agricultural land and its exploitation by unscrupulous persons.

He warned that the government will prosecute persons who convert prime agricultural purposes without the approval of proper authorities.

The Chief Executive issues the warning as he announced that the government will now enforce more rigorously its policy on the proper use of prime agricultural lands.

Penal sanctions, he said, will be applied against those violating a presidential decree prohibiting the conversion of agricultural lands into any other purpose without the approval of the Human Settlements Regulatory Commission (HSRC), the regulatory arm of the Ministry of Human Settlements headed by the First Lady and Human Settlements Minister Imelda R. Marcos, and the ministries of agriculture and local government.

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May 24—

PRESIDENT MARCOS said that gradual economic recovery is better for the country because abrupt changes might lead to rapid deflation.

The President said that while signs of global economic recovery have been confirmed by other world leaders, the nation’s economic direction should not go toward a sudden and then burst, which had happened before.

The President would like to see a slow establishment of a firm and strong foundation so that any emergencies can be met with strength and stability.

In the light of this economic uptrend, the President said he expects the United States to move judiciously and prudently by maintaining a low inflation rate, then lowering of interest rate and deficits and seeing to it that no abrupt changes are made which might cause deflation.

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May 25—

PRESIDENT MARCOS said that the government keeps its doors open to dissidents who would like to begin a new life under an atmosphere of peace and freedom.

He said government has always maintained its open-door, policy for rebels since both government and the rebels hold the same principles and ideologies, individual liberty and democracy.

However, the President stressed that these ideals are seen in different ways.

At the same time, the President said that massive socio-economic projects have kept Mindanao on a development level comparable to other regions.

He said the latest high-priority projects there are the construction of widespread irrigation system and the distribution of farm implements to boost farm production.

The President reiterated government’s policy of not liquidating dissidents, but welcome them to pursue a peaceful and lawful way of life.

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May 26—

THE FIRST LADY, Imelda R. Marcos, was scheduled to arrive last night from an 18-day trip, to the United States where she conferred with business and industry leaders.

While in the US, Mrs. Marcos also underwent a periodic eye checkup.

She also addressed a conference of sugar industry leaders last May 11 at the Waldorf Astorias Hotel in New York during which she stressed the need for a free trade policy for the sugar industry.

Mrs. Marcos also surveyed additional market for Kilusang Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran products.

American buyers are expected to come to the Philippines to discuss design, quality control, products inventory, scheduling, production and delivery of KKK goods.

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May 27–

PRESIDENT MARCOS has directed the Laguna Lake Development Authority to hasten the dismantling of illegal and giant fishpens obstructing navigational lanes in Laguna de Bay.

The demolition of over-sized fishpens, the President said would restore the ecological balance in the lake, covering some 90,000 hectares to the benefit of both the fishpen operators and the small fishermen.

The President did not specify the size of the pens to be demolished but a previous letter of instructions had pegged those above 50 hectares as contrary to the maximum size allowed by law and may be dismantled by the proper authority.

The dismantling of giant fishpens will clear the passage to communal fishing grounds which has been increased from 5,000 hectares to 10,000 hectares.

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May 28–

PRESIDENT MARCOS said-that the government is considering the reimposition of the log export ban as soon as possible.

The President said that the log export ban should be enforced in a year to two at the latest.

In the last “Pulong-pulong” with farmers, the President had expressed dissatisfaction over the inability of forest concessionaires to comply with the forestation program of the government.

Early this year, the President prohibited logs from being exported. Upon the lobby of the wood industry and upon recommendation of the Ministry of Natural Resources, the President allowed a limited quantity of timber to be exported.

The President allowed the further exportation of logs to provide relief for the advers conditions under which the loggers have- operated during the last year.

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May 29—

PRESIDENT MARCOS said that the government’s budgetary resources are underwriting the various socio-economic programs being implemented to uplight the living conditions of the masses.

The President was reacting to claims by his critics that the government has resorted to foreign borrowings to find its massive socio-economic development projects.

According to the President, these critics still harbor the wrong impression that the government today borrows from foreign institutions as indiscrimately as the past administration before he assumed the Presidency.

The President stressed that as a policy, the government will not resort to foreign borrowings unless the project it intends to undertake is self-liquidating.

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May 30—

PRESIDENT MARCOS took steps yesterday to encourage farmers to return to the use of carabaos instead of using farm machines.

In a paralled move, the President issued an executive order prohibiting the transfer of carabaos from one province to another.

To support this move, the President ordered the release of P5 million to the Bureau of Animal Industry for the purchase of more carabaos to be distributed on credit to farmers throughout the country.

The President laid down the basic guidelines for this project because it is more practical for farmers not to buy farming machines but return to the use of carabaos to work in the farms.

Interested farmers will obtain loans under the project in accordance with guidelines promulgated by the Bureau of Animal Industry.

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May 31

PRESIDENT MARCOS has broadened the powers and functions of the Commitee on Transportation Cooperatives in order to streamline the public transport system.

At the same time, the President granted transport operators substantial tax income privileges as incentives for them to improve their service.

All transportation cooperatives from now on are exempted from payment of common carriers tax (in lieu of sales tax) for a period of five years from date of registration with the Committee on Transportation Cooperatives.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet recommended to Mr. Marcos the phasing out of the United States Food Assistance Program (under Public Law 480) not later than the end of 1984.

Under Public Law 480, America gave the Philippines millions of dollars worth of food, such as corn, soy beans, dried milk, dried eggs and flour to support the government’s nutrition program.

The government spent P60 million last year to handle and haul the food to various parts of the country, to feed school children, malnutrition cases, convalescing patients, and disaster victims.

Recently, the US government told the Philippines it would stop its food assistance program in 1987, citing the decline in malnutrition cases, the Philippine’s phenomenal growth in food production, and its per capita income of over $500.

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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(30), clxxiii-clxxvi.