Pursuant to the powers vested in me by Act No. 10 to effect changes in the different Ministries, bureaus, offices, agencies, and instrumentalities of the Government, and to create new ones or abolish those existing, I, Jose P. Laurel, President of the Republic of the Philippines, do hereby order—

SECTION 1. For the purpose of controlling, directing, supervising, and coordinating all the information, and publicity activities of the Government, there is hereby created an office to be known as the Board of Information.

SEC. 2. The Board of Information shall be composed of a Chairman to be known as Spokesman, an Executive Officer and six members who shall be appointed by the President of the Republic of the Philippines. The Chair-: man shall have the rank and emoluments of a Minister of State and shall be the representative and spokesman of the President in his relations with the people and the press. The Executive Officer and the members shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by the President. One member of the Board shall, by designation of the Spokesman, act as secretary thereof. The Board shall be assisted by such number of technical and subordinate personnel as may be provided in the corresponding budget and appointed in accordance with civil service laws, rules, and regulations.

SEC. 3. The Board of Information shall have the following powers and functions:

(a) To adopt such methods or utilize such means as the radio, cinema films, theaters, newspapers, popular assemblies, district and neighborhood associations, and such other means as it may deem necessary to properly inform the people of the activities, accomplishments and policies of the Government and thereby establish a closer relation and better understanding between the Government and the people;

(b) To act as liaison office between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the domestic and foreign press; to issue from time to time news and press releases that have a direct bearing on the activities, functions and policies, and accomplishments of the Government; to arrange press conferences between the President and accredited representatives of the local and foreign press; to receive and reply to inquiries from newspaper offices; to prepare news digests of local and foreign dailies for the information of the President, and to clip and file for ready reference news items published in whatever form and manner which affect or may affect the Office of the President as well as other offices of the National Government;

(c) To disseminate proper and accurate information tending to establish a more intelligent and enlightened public opinion in the Philippines, with a view to bringing about complete restoration of peace and order throughout the country and a more effective cooperation between the people and the Government in the latter’s efforts to ameliorate the situation by minimizing the unavoidable ill effects of the present world conflict, also to remedying and repairing as much as possible the ravages and damages caused by the war, thus strengthening the morale of the population in times of crises and emergencies.

(d) To inform the public regarding any subject of great interest to the country such as the revival of our old moral virtues; the reorientation of our people in order to make them think and act as true Orientals; and to keep them posted in all civic activities and duties, including taxation, health problems, food problems, and on any other subject that may be of general interest to the community.

(e) To guide the public, by the proper means of publication, in advanced methods of industry, agriculture, commerce and other fields of economic activity;

(f) To edit and cause to be published the Official Gazette, and to control, direct, supervise, and coordinate the publication of all newspapers, periodicals, magazines, leaflets, and other literature of the Government, its agencies and instrumentalities; to control, direct, supervise and coordinate Government radio broadcasting facilities, and to prepare for publication at the end of each year the public utterances of the President, his messages to the National Assembly, important communications to the Ministers of State or to any official of the Government or private individual, proclamations, executive orders, administrative orders, ordinances, press statements, and all the laws passed by the National Assembly during that year;

(g) To collect and compile accurate information or data which may serve as rational basis for formulating and executing national policies of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines; and

(h) To perform such other duties pertaining to research and information on any subject which the President may consider of general and public interest.

SEC. 4. In order to carry out the purposes of this Order, the Board of Information shall make arrangements with radio broadcasting stations now or hereafter to be operated in the Philippines, publishers of newspapers, magazines, and other periodicals of private ownership and owners of theatrical enterprises for the use of said facilities by its agents and representatives; it may also request the assistance and cooperation of elements of the population in and outside of the Government in the gathering and in the compilation of the necessary data and information; in the preparation of materials, lectures, literatures, and in the mimeographing, printing, distributing and exhibiting of the same to the general public through the means and methods provided for in this Order.

SEC. 5. The powers and functions now exercised by the Bureau of Information and the Gazette and Library Division of the Office of the President shall be assumed and exercised by the Board of Information herein created. The unexpended balances of funds or appropriations, equipment, materials, records, and any other property pertaining to the Bureau of Information and the Gazette and Library Division shall be merged and consolidated and made available for the use and expenditure of said Board. The Spokesman may retain the services of such personnel as may be needed.

The transfer and merger or consolidation of funds or appropriations, equipment, materials, records, and other properties herein authorized, shall be made by the Spokesman and the Auditor General.

SEC. 6. The Spokesman of the Board of Information is hereby authorized, subject to the approval of the President, to organize the staff and personnel of the Board within the limits of the combined total of the appropriations allotted to the Bureau of Information and Public Security and the Gazette and Library Division in the General Appropriation Act for the fiscal year 1944: Provided, That the salaries or compensation of officers and employees of the Board of Information whose positions are created in accordance with this section shall be governed by the provisions of section 1 (11) of Act No. 7, otherwise known as the Rank and Salary Law.

SEC. 7. The provisions of Executive Order No. 24 issued on December 31, 1943, in so far as they may be inconsistent herewith, are hereby repealed and modified accordingly.

SEC. 8. This Order shall take effect on January 16, 1944.

Done in the City of Manila, this 11th day of January, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and forty-four, and of the Republic of the Philippines, the first.

President of the Republic of the Philippines

By the President:

Executive Secretary

Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library