Message of His Excellency, Jose P. Laurel, President of the Philippines, to the National Assembly, October 16, 1943.

GENTLEMEN OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY:

The urgent solution of certain national problems that require appropriate legislation has made it necessary for me to issue Proclamation No. 1, calling the legislative body of the Republic of the Philippines to a special session. Although it is my purpose to conserve for the time being the present structure of our Government until a general reorganization plan is approved, envisioning a more simple, economical, and efficient governmental machinery, I believe, however, that the National Assembly should urgently act on certain measures that may enable us to readjust our Government along the lines demanded by the new situation brought about by the independence that we have just proclaimed.

During your special session, I urge consideration or the following measures:

1. To concur in the grant of full amnesty which the President of the Republic will grant to political offenders or violators of laws of political character in the Philippines; and to act on other matters which require ‘the concurrence of the National Assembly.

2. To provide for general relief of the suffering masses of our population, particularly the invalids, widows and orphans left in the wake of the present war. Our plan for reconstruction must first take notice of the plight of these public wards and use the resources of the nation to mitigate their misery and anguish.

3. Because of the present high cost of living to consider the advisability of providing a minimum living wage for our laborers and low-salaried employees of the Government to enable them to live through the economic crisis and tide them over to better times.

4. To create a Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately in view of our diplomatic relations with the Empire of Japan and other countries. It might prove more expeditious if a lump sum be appropriated for the new Ministry as well as for the expenses of an Embassy in Tokyo.

5. To fix, and provide for, the salaries of constitutional officers.

6. To prescribe the Great Seal and Coat of Arms of the Republic.

7. To fix the date of the regular session of the National Assembly as required by the Constitution. For practical reasons, it might be desirable to fix the date in such a way that the budget could be submitted and approved for the calendar year by simply continuing the budget approved by the Executive Commission which covers the period ending March 31, 1944.

For the purpose of paragraph 2, section 10, Article III of the Constitution, I hereby certify to the necessity of the immediate enactment of the proposed measures above mentioned.

Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library