The Official Month

THE readjustment of the Government machinery continues with the issuance of Executive Order No. 41, which extends until May 1, 1944, the period in which presidential appointees may continue in their respective positions; Ordinance No. 7, creating Courts of Special and Exclusive Criminal Jurisdiction to try crimes and offenses penalized by Act No. 65; Ordinance No. 11, placing associations of insurance companies under the supervision of the Bureau of Credits and Investments; and Administrative Order No. 19, which deals with the appointment and assignment of employees in connection with the reorganization; and with the approval of Act No. 62, which provides rules regarding the filling of vacancies in the National Assembly.

ACT NO. 65 is entitled “An Act imposing heavier penalties for crimes involving robbery, bribery, falsification, frauds, illegal exactions and transactions, malversation of public funds and infidelity as defined in the Revised Penal Code and violations of food control laws, when committed by public officers and employees, and for similar offenses when committed by private individuals or entities, and providing for a summary procedure for the trial of such offenders.”

To carry out the purposes embodied in Ordinance No. 7 and Act No. 65, His Excellency, President Jose P. Laurel, appointed Judges and Special Prosecutors of the newly-created Courts of Special Criminal Jurisdiction.

SPEAKING at the induction into office of Messrs. Gaudencio Garcia and Pastor M. Endencia as Judges and Gregorio Narvasa and Arturo M. Tolentino as Special Prosecutors under Ordinance No. 7, President Laurel told the appointees that the service they can render to the Republic of the Philippines is to prosecute those persons who, though rich, want “to grow richer at the expense of the masses of our people.” This intention arises from the violation of food control laws, punishable under Act No. 65.

The roll of Presidential appointments also includes those of Apolinario S. de Leon and Cesareo H. Grau as National Treasurer and Assistant National Treasurer, respectively; directors and assistant directors of different bureaus; and the members of the Advisory Board on Labor, and the Board of Review, created under Ordinance No. 9.

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Ii will be seen that the Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Administrative Order No. 43 designated Mr. Hilarion S. Silayan, Assistant to the Ministry, as General Manager of the National Food Production Campaign, and in Ministry Special Order No. 21, made a special assignment of personnel for the National Food Production Office.

These designations are in line with the avowed intention of the Government to increase food production. Minister of Agriculture and Commerce Rafael K. Alunan, in fact, timed a speech of his when in conjunction with the 53rd anniversary of the birthday of His Excellency, the President, he said: “. . . let us hail the significance of our President’s birthday by dedicating ourselves to the enhancement of the well-being of our people and the progress of our Republic towards its destiny. Let us cooperate with the President in his endeavor to save us from hunger and starvation. Our pressing problem today is food. With a cooperative spirit and united efforts, we will produce what we need, and produce it in abundance.”

SPEAKING same occasion, which keynoted the nationwide observance of his birthday anniversary, President Laurel placed squarely before the Filipino people the immediate problem of the country, to survive the present supreme test in the production of foodstuffs, and appealed to each and every citizen to be true and loyal and to do his best to carry out the greater food production campaign.

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FOUR days later, he issued Ordinance No. 8, which creates the Consumers’ Cooperative Associations in the City of Manila because of the “urgent necessity to supply rice and other prime commodities to the people of the City of Manila.”

IN Order No. 42, the Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources made a detailed explanation of the rules and regulations governing the recruitment of able-bodied persons for civilian emergency service in food production, while in Order No. 44, he created an advisory committee on food production. Related to these acts are the promulgation by the Food Administrator of Order No. 22, fixing the maximum selling prices of brown and washed sugar in Manila; Order No. 23-A, fixing the maximum selling prices of imported cigarettes; Order No. 24, designating bodies to handle cases involving violations of control measures; Order No. 25, fixing the official maximum prices of live animals and the wholesale and retail prices of meat; Order No. 26, fixing the maximum prices for fishing equipment, supplies and materials in the City of Manila; and Order No. 28, fixing the maximum selling prices of salt in Manila. In connection with Food Administration Order No. 25, there is published in this issue Ordinance No. 5, prohibiting the slaughter or killing of carabaos.

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Two decrees elaborating Act No. 18, providing for the issue of bonds of the Republic of the Philippines the proceeds of which will be used in the restoration and maintenance of public peace and order, and for such other purposes as may be authorized by law, are Executive Order No. 40 and Ordinance No. 10. The first prescribes rules and regulations in connection with the issuance and sale of the bonds; while the second authorizes building and loan associations to invest their funds in bonds issued or guaranteed by the Republic of the Philippines.

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THE reasons set forth in the promulgation of Executive Order No. 44, prescribing certain principles of higher education, are that: (1) higher education should serve as an instrument of Philippine nationalism by nurturing thorough knowledge and true appreciation of Philippine history and culture; (2) the Filipino youth should examine the innumerable questions raised by the present war; namely, international relations, economics, political science, sociology, and other subjects; (3) the need for coordination of functions and elimination of duplication of activities of higher institutions of learning; (4) the necessity to familiarize (5) teachers, particularly elementary school teachers, with the ideals and objectives of the nation and to imbue them with the declared policies of the State; and (5) the renewal of the sense of confidence and the atmosphere of normalcy among the people.

ACT NO. 64 provides that ₱250,000 be set aside for the reconstruction and repair of primary, intermediate, and high-school buildings.

ON March 1, 1944, Administrative Order No. 18, creating a Pensionado Selection Committee to take charge of the selection of government pensionados to study in Japan, was promulgated. As the Training Institute for Government Pensionados to Japan got under way, President Laurel addressed the pensionados, first on March 29, 1944, when they called on him at Malacañan, and second on March 30, 1944, at their opening exercises. On the first occasion the President declared: “The great need of the Philippines and of the Filipinos is the comprehension of the fundamental objectives of the world conflict which is going on. When two people meet, there is likely to be smoke of some kind of misunderstanding. And the misunderstanding is due to the fact that they have not known each other very closely. . . .

“IT is necessary for young Filipinos to go to Japan in order that they may understand the whole background of this world movement now taking place all over the world; to understand not only Japan but also her culture, her great mission, and her lofty ideals. If the peoples of Greater East Asia could understand one another and realize that they have their own role to play in the history of human civilization; if they could realize that they are not destined by God to remain always under the exploitation and domination of Occidental powers; if they could realize they have a right to be happy and prosperous and to live their own way of life; if they could realize that there is no Japanese, no Chinese, no Burmese, no Indian and no Manchoukuan, but only Orientals,—if they realize these essential and significant truths, then every one of them would resist any attempt on the part of outsiders to dominate this part of the world God has reserved for us.”

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On the second occasion, he told the pensionados that in their preliminary training, they must 0nly think of one loyalty, a supreme one, the loyalty to the motherland. “I would have you remember at all times that you are the receivers of a priceless heritage the rich tradition of heroism and service to the motherland, and that it is your primary duty to be worthy of your heritage as you prepare yourselves for the continuation of the great work started by our fathers.”

OTHER important decrees formulated this month are Act No. 63, which deals with the condonation of unpaid taxes on real property; Act No. 66, increasing the share of the Government in wager funds from the sale of betting tickets in horse races and Jai-Alai; Executive Order No. 38, creating a Central Housing Committee to take charge of requests of the Imperial Japanese Forces for housing accommodations in the City of Manila and to establish procedures thereof; Executive Order No. 42, prescribing rules and regulations requiring compulsory savings from salaries of persons in excess of what is necessary for their living expenses and of those of their dependents; Executive Order No. 43, prescribing the office hours to be observed in the different bureaus and offices of the Government, including provincial, city, and municipal governments; Ordinance No. 12, prohibiting the manufacture, sale and other disposition of rank insignias, ornaments, buttons, medals, pins, belts, buckles, brassards, chevrons and other distinctive insignias officially adopted for use in different government offices and instrumentalities without contract or permit to do so from proper authority, and penalizing violations thereof.

Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library