The Official Month

THE PROBLEM of national unity which has occupied the Administration since its inception received considerable attention this month when during the award of prizes to the winners of the National Symbol Contest, under the auspices of the City Government of Manila His Excellency, the President, intimated that as he passes sleepless nights in this time of nave crisis, he prays: “Oh God, give us something of your hidden power, something of that which is Divine which would fill the heart of every living Filipino, by which the division of Filipinos would be remedied by some such inherent power and authority. Give us, O God our symbol of unity to avoid fratricidal strife amongst Filipinos, so that we may glorify You and after You the great heroes that have given us and bequeathed us real independence, a government of Filipinos and for Filipinos.”

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THE Honorable Claro M. Recto, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, who spoke on the same occasion, declared that “this contest is concerned with what may be properly described as the crucial problem confronting us in these trying days—the problem of national unity. For it is not to be denied that the one thing we most imperatively need today is a spiritual force capable of tempering our collective will and of binding the eighteen million people of our land that may move like an army on the march, along the high road of their common destiny, towards a single objective.” He said that although there have been given a variety of good suggestions, “the symbol is yet to be.”

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ON June 19 all classes were suspended in accordance with Administrative Order No. 23, and on that day President Laurel issued a message in connection with the 83rd birthday anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal, Filipino martyr and patriot. “It is part of the enduring validity of Dr. Jose Rizal,” said he, “as the highest spirit most representative of our race that his stature rises in dignity and distinction according as his countrymen grow in their knowledge of his life and deeds.” Under Proclamation No. 18, June 19th of every year has been declared Kapariz Day. Calling the youth fair hopes of the Fatherland as Rizal did, President Laurel declared that the officials and the leaders of the Philippines who are serving the country with undoubted patriotism and to the best of their ability will soon pass from the scene, burdened as they are with responsibilities and duties. It is for this reason, he said, that there is need of preparing the youths and making them see their way clear to serving their country.

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ON the opening day of the Convention of Division Superintendents of Schools, June 26, 1944, this concern for service was laid by President Laurel before me delegates. “You cannot be useful teachers,” they were told, “unless you believe in the Republic of the Philippines. That is the starting point. You cannot be a teacher unless you believe in the capacity and the ability of the Filipino people to run their own affairs, and you cannot be a teacher unless you believe that the Filipinos should be left alone to live a life of their own in the midst of difficulties and shortcomings.

You cannot be a teacher unless you are determined to make this Republic live and survive. If you do not have this political objective and educational orientation, you cannot be a teacher because you have nothing fundamental to impart to the Filipino youth.”

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THE Honorable Camilo Osias, Minister of State for Education, succinctly summarized at the convention the fundamental educational policy of the Republic in these words: “The ultimate aim of education in the Philippines is to secure for the individual and the nation, through life-centered activities and materials, the greatest possible measure of efficiency, self-direction and happiness.”

As further proof of the desire of the Government to remedy the misery of the people, Executive Order No. 62, establishing the National Commodities Procurement and Distribution Corporation, was issued. Appointed to head the control body, which succeeds the Philippine Prime Commodities Distribution Control Association was Leopoldo R. Aguinaldo who, upon his induction into office, said that the basic objective of the Nadisco, namely to place commodities in the hands of those really in need, can only be achieved with “the cooperation of the public, the spirit of self-renunciation which must prevail among all.”

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RELATED to the work of the Nadisco are the orders issued by the Food Administrator. Food Administration Order No. 39 amends Food Administration Order No. 36, dated May 3, 1944, fixing the official maximum prices of laundry soap, lard, and edible oil; Food Administration Order No. 40 suspends the provisions of Food Administration Order No. 30, regarding the requirement for license and delivery of 20 per cent to the Biba in the matter of shipments of rice to Manila; Food Administration Order No. 41 creates committees on rice claims; while Food Administration Order No. 42 amends Food Administration Order No. 34, dated May 15, 1944, fixing the official maximum prices of palay and rice in certain provinces and cities.

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CLOSELY allied to each other are three decrees formulated this month pertaining to peace and order. These are Executive Order No. 57, promoting and retiring with gratuity certain members of the Metropolitan Constabulary of the City of Manila; Executive Order No. 58, establishing a unified control over the Philippine Constabulary; and Executive Order No. 59, creating a Bureau of Investigation, defining its duties, merging therein certain existing agencies of the Government, and providing funds therefor.

The Bureau of Investigation will be composed of the Division of Investigation of the Bureau of Public Prosecution, the Division of Information of the Philippine Constabulary, and the Secret Service Division and the technical section of the former Metropolitan Constabulary, and will have as its Acting Director Brigadier General Alberto Ramos and as its Acting Assistant Director Manuel A. Gonzales.

At the induction into office of Messrs, Ramos and Gonzales, President Laurel explained that “the Bureau of Investigation has been created to help the administration establish an upright, clean, and honest government. It has not been created for the purpose of making it difficult for the people to live but of helping those in the public service to perform their duties.”

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AN important regulation on finance is the issuance of Order No. 6 by the Minister of Finance. This order deals with the escheat to the Government of unclaimed balances of credits and deposits held by banks without court proceedings under Act No. 3926, as amended by Executive Order No. 204, dated September 9, 1943. Under Executive Order No. 63, the Minister of Finance shall have executive supervision over the Philippine National Bank and the Agricultural and Industrial Bank, and shall exercise the powers, duties and functions which by law pertain to the boards of directors of the said Banks.

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ON June 8, 1944, Executive Order No. 60 was promulgated with a view to rehabilitating the sugar industry and placing the industry on a basis which would insure its survival in an unprotected market. Appointed to direct the functions of the Philippine Sugar Association created by this executive order were Benito Razon as Vice-President and Executive Director; Juan Cojuangco, Cesar Ledesma, Ildefonso Coscolluela, Carlos Rivilla, Ricardo Descalls, Matsuo Imayoshi and Shigeru Morishita as Members of the Board of Directors and Keizo Hori as Auditor.

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OTHER decrees formulated this month are Executive Order No. 61, placing the Government of the City of Manila under the direct control and supervision of the President of the Republic of the Philippines; Ordinance No. 21, authorizing the Director of Communications to designate lieutenants of barrios as postal agents and to pay them a commission on the sale of postage stamps and stamped stock’ Ordinance No. 22, exempting from taxation the short-term securities authorized to be issued under Act No 35 and providing for their acceptance at par as security by the Republic of the Philippines in any transaction therewith in which security is required; and Order No. 23 of the Ministry of Home Affairs, changing the seat of government of the municipality of Siruma Camarines Sur.

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AT THE banquet given in honor of the Philippine Gratitude Mission, headed by the Honorable Benigno S. Aquino, on June 10, 1944, President Laurel had occasion to declare that the mission has not only created a good impression among the Japanese people but has also fostered greater and closer friendship between the people of Japan and the people of the Philippines. “I hope,” he said, “that as time goes by and as times are made more difficult because of the intensification of the world conflict that the Filipinos will not only love their freedom but also the freedom of their brother Orientals in this part of the world. I hope that we shall always be together—Japan and the Philippines.”

For his part, Ambassador Aquino declared that “For the formation of a nation external conventional demonstrations are not enough. It is necessary to possess sincerity and an unalterable conviction, a firm resolution to confront any menace, all adversities, all dangers. The sincere and true patriots many times are misunderstood and, in many cases, branded traitors, but this does not surprise me because many times the truth appears to be falsehood and loyalty treason.

“In these historic times, during which our country, which is an Oriental country, has established its own republic, I am sure that the sincere crystallized and well proven patriotism of our President will be a model and a mirror for all our countrymen.”

Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library