The Official Month

TO LAY EMPHASIS on the importance and dignity of labor and to focus the attention of our laborers to their great responsibility in the present task of rehabilitation and reconstruction,” Proclamation No. 17 was promulgated on the first day of May. This proclamation called upon all Filipinos to perform manual labor on Labor Day which was set aside on May 6, 1944. The day was capped with a speech of His Excellency Jose P Laurel, President of the Republic of the Philippines, in which he reiterated the guiding principle of his administration—to establish a form of practical social justice, particularly the beneficial to the poor and working classes.

“I ask you,” he said, “to please have faith in this Republic and this Government, and the Government will have faith in you, and be able to do things for you. Do not take matters into your hands and try to remedy situations according to what you consider your reason.”

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SPEAKING on the same day, Honorable Emiliano Tria Tirona, Minister of State for Labor, Health, and Public Welfare, analyzed the labor policies of the Government and enjoined his countrymen to dedicate themselves to the attainment of these policies which are aimed at their welfare. There are hectares upon hectares of agricultural lands, he pointed out, waiting to be tilled by willing hands and if only each individual would engage himself in more work, the country will never feel the inadequacy of foodstuffs as it does.

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RELATED to this problem of greater food production was the statement issued May 13, 1944, by the Honorable Arsenio N. Luz, Chairman of the Board of Information, announcing the Government’s attitude towards rice profiteers. “The Government wishes to advise all concerned that unless they come to reason and help serve the paramount and supreme interest of our people, as well as its humanitarian objective, it shall be constrained to use force not only to control but to confiscate all the available supply of rice to save the suffering masses of our population from hunger and starvation.”

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UNDER Executive Order No. 55, the Food Administrator was ordered to immediately take possession of all stocks of palay or rice except amounts thereof as may be needed for consumption by families and their dependents.

BESIDES putting into effect the purpose of this Executive Order, the Food Administrator issued Orders Nos. 31 to 38. Food Administration Order No. 31 deals with rules and regulations governing the licensing and operation of rice mills; Food Administration Order No. 32, revokes Food Administration Orders Nos. 5 and 21 and all other orders fixing the maximum official prices of dried, preserved, smoked, and cured fish; Food Administration Order No. 33 requires all persons, companies, associations or corporations to report the quantity of rice in their respective possessions; Food Administration Order No. 34 fixes the official maximum prices of palay and rice in certain provinces and cities; Food Administration Order No. 35 deals with the seizure of food and other necessities; Food Administration Order No. 36 fixes the official maximum prices of laundry soap, lard and edible oil; Food Administration Order No. 37 fixes the official maximum prices of fresh camote in certain provinces and in Manila; and Food Administration Order No. 38 fixes the official prices of matches.

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PURSUANT to the Government policy of alleviating the living conditions of the masses, the President ordered the distribution of gifts of clothing fabrics to the indigent people of Pasig, Rizal, on May 10, 1944; to the poor people of Bulacan on May 24, 1944; and to those of Imus, Cavite on May 28, 1944.

AS HE rightly said in his message to the people of Bulacan, “this distribution of clothing today is one of the acts that will testify to my pursuance of the Government policy of alleviating the living conditions of the masses.

“I tell you honestly that, if the Government were only rich enough, I would personally give away not only cash but also other prime necessities of life; for it is my earnest desire that, if your President is enjoying comfort and security, everyone also should enjoy comfort and security. No man has the right to want ease for himself alone while his fellows are in the throes of suffering and starvation.”

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THE PEOPLE of Bulacan were also the recipients of a message from His Excellency in connection with the posthumous award of the “Order of Tirad Pass” to a Bulakeño, the late General Gregorio H. del Pilar, which order was received by the General’s sister, Andrea H. del Pilar. “I would like the example set by General Del Pilar to be a lodestar brightly illumining the paths our youths shall tread. These are times that call for men who have the qualities of the Hero of Tirad Pass. A country whose young men are proud to share the honors accorded the Hero of Tirad Pass, is a country that will never fall into misfortune and will never be enslaved.”

“THE Order of Tirad Pass” was also awarded on Constabulary Day, May 4, 1944, to fifteen Constabulary soldiers. The President declared on that day that among the Filipino people there are and there will always be men who will not hesitate to lay down their lives for the Motherland beyond the call of duty as exemplified by General Del Pilar and his gallant men at historic Tirad Pass in 1839. At the same time he announced the promulgation of Executive Order No. 50, increasing the base pay of noncommissioned personnel of the Philippine Constabulary.

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THE promulgation of Ordinance No. 18, establishing a national youth brotherhood to be known as the “Kabataang Pangarap ni Rizal” is in keeping with the intense concern of the Administration to develop in this country a new type of citizenry which takes into account our heroic tradition.

Executive Order No. 51 creates an Advisory Board for the Kabataang Pangarap ni Rizal.

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IN CONNECTION with the desire of the Government to strengthen the Kalibapi as the people’s party called upon to effectively support the Government in its policies and render its help to better insure the attainment of the ideals and objectives of the Republic, Ordinance No. 17 was issued, revising Executive Order No. 109, dated December 4, 1942, as amended by Executive Order No. 156, dated May 18, 1943, establishing a national service association to be known as “Kapisanan sa Paglilingkod sa Bagong Pilipinas.”

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ON THE same day this Ordinance was issued, the Honorable Benigno S. Aquino, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Head of the Philippine Gratitude Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the Empire of Japan, was in Manchoukuo on his way to the Philippines. The mission arrived here on May 8, after accomplishing its mission, that of expressing “to His Majesty the Emperor of Japan the undying gratitude of eighteen million Filipinos for Japan’s recognition of the independence of the Philippines and for the conclusion of the Pact of Alliance between the two countries.”

NINE days later, Speaker Aquino was inducted into office as Vice President and Director General of the Kalibapi. Director General Aquino promised that “the Kalibapi will go to the people. Its schools will be public plazas all over the country. Its mission will be to galvanize the people into realizing and fully enjoying the blessings of independence.”

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DR. CAMILO OSIAS who had been acting as Director General of the Kalibapi was shifted to head the Ministry of Education.

The President declared that “the selection of Dr. Osias is doubly fortunate: first, because he is until today the Director General of the Kalibapi, and second, because he is one of our foremost educators qualified by learning and experience and devotion to the country to be at the head of this important Min­istry.”

AFTER his induction into office, Dr. Osias delivered brief remarks before the Directors of bureaus and offices of his Ministry. Said he: “The occasion is most opportune for a clarification of our spiritual perspective through a clear-cut statement of the basic philosophy that should give impulse and direction t our educational and cultural endeavors. . . .

“One of the paramount needs of the Filipino people is Spiritual orientation. Education, though not the sole agency, is a very potent one to effect such an orientation.

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ANOTHER change in the educational program of the Government was the issuance of Executive Order No. 54, providing for a semestral instead of quarterly calendar for all schools and fixing the date of the commencement of the school year 1944-45 for the purpose of reducing the mental and physical hardship on both teachers and students, which they experienced under the quarterly system, and of enabling the students to help on the farm, particularly during the rice planting season and rice harvesting season

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THE forty-first anniversary of the death of Apolinario Mabini, the “Sublime Paralytic” and the “brains” of the Philippine Revolution was fittingly observed on May 13. The President had this to say in connection with the observance of the occasion: “The life of Mabini is both a rebuke and an encouragement to us today. It is a rebuke to a situation that needs more of discipline, abnegation, work, loyalty, determination and sacrifice. It is an encouragement in that Mabini, by doing as he did, as a human being and as a Filipino, has proved to us that we also, who are descended from him, should no less be capable, and on a bigger scale, because our opportunities and advantages are bigger and better. Once upon a time, Mabini walked on this blessed land of ours. Why should we expect less today? We should strive to be more worthy.”

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THE appointments for this month include those of Dominador M. Tan as Assistant Director General of the Kalibapi; Teodoro P. de Vera, Director of Local Branches of the Kalibapi; Vicente Lontok, Director of the Bureau of General Affairs of the Kalibapi; Jose Delgado Director-at-Large of the same body with station in Cebu; of Paulino Gullas as Commissioner for the Visayas and General Paulino Santos as Commissioner for Mindanao and Sulu; of Jose D. Ingles as Second Assistant Executive Secretary; and of the members of the Council of Scientists.

Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library