PRESIDENT MARCOS broadened the powers and functions of the Committee on Transportation Cooperatives in order to streamline the public transport system.
At the same time, he granted transport operators substantial tax and income privileges as incentives for them to improve their service.
All transport 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 the President the phasing out of the United States Food Assistance Program (under Public Law 480) not later than the end of 1984.
Prime Minister Cesar E. A. Virata, presiding at the Cabinet meeting, said the government could implement its nutrition program using its own resources.
The Cabinet directed the Ministries of Health, Education, and Social Services—the three most affected by the phase out—to devise alternative programs using food resources of the Kilusang Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran livelihood program.
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PRESIDENT MARCOS pledge yesterday continued support for the Philippine Air Force in the effort to upgrade its potentials in deterring aggression.
Addressing the 47th anniversary of the PAF at Villamor Air Base, the President said it was the government’s policy to make it a force that shall deter any thought or act of aggression against the Republic of the Philippines.
The President said that despite limited resources that prevent it from acquiring modern equipment and aircraft, the local air force can, within the framework of cooperation with its allies and other nations, effectively deter aggression or even the thought of aggression.
Consequently, the President said, first priority has been given to the PAF in the upgrading system among military commands.
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President Marcos said that the new memorandum of agreement on military bases not only meets present requirements but also provides Filipinos with a stronger substance of security for the future.
Ambassador Benjamin R. Romualdez, head of the Philippine panel, and US Ambassador Michael H. Armacost, head of the US side, signed the agreement in rites witnessed by the President, and the First Lady, Minister of Human Settlements Imelda R. Marcos.
Earlier, the President had received a letter from US President Ronald Reagan pledging to seek congressional approval of a $900-million appropriation as compensation for use of the bases for the five-year term starting Oct. 1, 1984.
Larger by far than the present $500-million, Reagan stated in his letter, will be broken down as follows:
1. Military assistance, $125 million.
2. Foreign military sales credits, $300 million.
3. Economic support fund assistance, $475 million.
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PRESIDENT MARCOS called for a reassessment of economic measures to put the house in order in anticipation of the world economic upturn.
The President cited the need to reduce the high balance of payments (BOP) deficit and to restrict foreign borrowings, pointing out that the international debt already exceeds $17 billion, while the debt service ratio stands close to the salutary limit of 20 per cent.
He directed government offices to design measures ensuring a comprehensive effort to attain BOP targets and to readjuct the economy in line with the volatile and competitive world environment. These measures must also consider the realities of the world energy situation, he said.
The readjustment program should increase the export competitiveness of industry, improve energy self-reliance, and increase savings mobilization, efficiency, and investment project selection.
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PRESIDENT MARCOS called the new elementary school curriculum a return to the basic skills in reading, writing, mathematics and computation.
The new curriculum would also stress analysis and integration as well as values, both universal and Filipino.
The President inaugurated the new curriculum, to start in the new school year, at the Philippine International Convention Center—calling this the first stage of a revolutionary educational reform program.
The President called the new elementary program the harbinger of a more changes in all levels of education in our country and it represents the authentic beginning of a truly Filipino educational system for the Filipino people.
The new curriculum was designed to improve pupil achievement, reduce the drop-out rate, improve retention and participation rates as well as the efficiency of the total elementary education system.
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PRESIDENT MARCOS proposals to ease trade irritants between developing and developed countries was presented in the forthcoming session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
President Marcos has time and time again, pressed for conciliatory measures to eliminate trade barriers that hamper the growth of trade between rich and poor nations.
The Philippines, according to Prime Minister Cesar Virata, aside from pressing for the elimination of measures obstructing economic growth, also sought the implementation of other measures that would help developing countries recover from the current global economic recession.
It also pressed for measures to relate economic growth with social and human development.
The Philippines will be the convening chairman of UNCTAD-6 after hosting UNCTAD-6 in Manila in 1979, Virata said.
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PRESIDENT MARCOS has approved a program to accelerate the building of housing units for Mindanao by mobilizing wood-based companies in the region.
The plan will provide jobs for hundreds of workers, use abundant local timber, and boost the operations of under-utilized wood factories in the area, the President said.
The housing plan will be led by the Sta. Clara Housing Industries, working with a Mindanao-based wood firms, and in coordination with the Ministry of Human Settlements and other state financing and welfare agencies.
The program was approved in a joint meeting of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan central committee, which was presided by the President and attended by the First Lady, Imelda R. Marcos. Assemblyman Emmanuel Pelaez of Mindanao recommended approval of the program.
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THE FIRST LADY and Human Settlements Minister Imelda R. Marcos and Prime Minister Cesar E. A. Virata led government officials at the burial ceremonies in Cebu City of Julio R. Cardinal Rosales.
The body was interred at high noon at the Archdiocesan Mausoleum for bishops in Cebu City beside Msgr. Lino Gonzaga, former bishop of Zamboanga who died in 1981. Monsignor Gonzaga was a first-degree cousin of Cardinal Rosales.
Jaime L. Cardinal Sin, Manila archbishop and now the only living Filipino cardinal, officiated at the burial rites.
Mrs. Marcos’ final hommage to the late cardinal evokes a sentimental touch as it was from Cardinal Rosales, the second Filipino to be ordained Prince of the Church, from whom she received her first Holy Communion.
During the cardinal’s last days at the hospital, the First Lady paid him a surprise visit. She offered to have him airlifted to the United States or to any part of the world for treatment by medical experts.
THE FIRST LADY; Metro Manila Gov. Imelda R. Marcos, has ordered yesterday the suspension of tuition fees in all public high schools in the metropolis, thus ending a two-week debate on whether to collect tuition or not.
Under Ordinance No. 2 of the Metro Manila Commission, the 13 towns and four cities of Metro Manila were given the option, starting this year, to collect tuition, ranging from P180 per year for first year high to P240 for fourth year.
Before the ordinance could be implemented, the First Lady suspended it, and asked mayors to consult with barangay captains on the issue.
Pasay City and Makati, which have always provided free education, decided to continue operating their high schools free.
Manila, the pioneer of free high schools, asked for deferment of the ordinance’s implementation to next year.
The First Lady stressed the youth can avail of free secondary education and the opportunity to develop their talents, and acquire basic skills that will enable them to participate actively in our quest for economic and social development and national stability.
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Office of the President of the Philippines. (1983). Official Week in Review. Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, 79(31), clxxix-clxxxii.