The Official Month

INTENSIFYING the execution of a fundamental objective—the proper reconstruction of the national economy to measure the self-sufficiency of the nation—is the promulgation of I Executive Order No. 46, which creates an Economic Planning Board to be headed by the Honorable Manuel A. Roxas. The Board, under the order, shall formulate and prescribe policies for the Office of the Food Administrator. Closely related to Executive Order No 46 are Executive Orders Nos. 48 and 49. The first provides for a Board of Directors for the Biqasang-Bayan, a new body charged with the control of rice distribution, and successor of the National Rice and Corn Corporation; the second amends Ordinance No. 1 which deals with the control of the distribution of rice and corn in view of the approval by His Excellency, Jose P. Laurel, President of the Republic of the Philippines, of the plan recommended by the Economic Planning Board regarding the control of the supply, procurement, movement, transfer, sale and distribution of rice throughout the Philippines.

ORDINANCE No. 15 prohibits the destruction of trees bearing edible fruits growing in public or private lands and providing penalties for violations thereof.

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RESPONSIBLE for the facilitation of the distribution of rice and other prime commodities, the Food Administrator issued Order No. 29 dealing with the organization and operation of the Manila Consumers’ Cooperative Associations established by Ordinance No. 8. The Food Administrator also issued Order No. 30, the title of which follows: Rules and regulations governing the supply, procurement, movement, transfer, sale and distribution of rice, corn, mongo, peanut, and beans; prohibiting certain officials and agents of Government entities and agencies and other associations from restricting the free movement of these commodities; and prescribing the allowance of one cavan per person from May 1 to December 31, 1944. The Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Ministry Special Order No. 20 designated Eugenio de Vera to take charge of the Bureau of Agricultural Development.

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FOR the purpose of attending to the needs of the Imperial Japanese Forces for laborers to work in their various projects throughout the Philippines and at the same time of relieving unemployment, Executive Order No. 47, creates a Labor Recruitment Agency, to be placed under the direct supervision of the Minister of Health, Labor and Public Welfare. The same Minister was appointed Chairman of the Labor Day Committee, created under Administrative Order No. 20, to take charge of the celebration of Labor Day to be held on May 6, 1944. In a message read by the Honorable Arsenio N. Luz, Chairman of the Board of Information, to the Labor Institute of we Kalibapi at the opening of its sixth term, His Excellency, President Jose P. Laurel reminded the delegates to the institute that the “New Order is committed to the principle that the welfare of the community is superior to the welfare of the individual and, for this reason, the individual should find his greatest happiness in working for the welfare of all. The understanding of this principle is basic to our survival as a people. We can ill-afford to neglect it if we believe that we have a glorious destiny ahead of us.”

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MANIFESTATION of the policy to attain a simple, economical and efficient government machinery is the issuance of Executive Order No. 45 and Administrative Order No. 21. Executive Order No. 45 amends the procedure m the matter of appointments and promotions of subordinate officers and employees, while Administrative Order No. 21 lengthily dwells with the rules and regulations governing the provincial assignments of officials and employees in accordance with paragraph 6 of Administrative Order No 19 dated March 7, 1944.

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ON April 8, 1944, the President issued Ordinance No. 13, integrating all researches, organizing a Council of Scientists and a Research Advisory Board, and setting aside funds for the purpose, saying that there is an urgent necessity of establishing a national research center with a view to intensifying and coordinating all scientific researches and investigations, not only with the laudable end in view of contributing to the sum total of human knowledge, but for the more practical purpose of solving our immediate problems connected with food, clothing, shelter, medicine, industry and economic reconstruction. Expounding the role that the Filipino scientist must play in the present emergency, President Laurel declared, in a speech before Filipino scientists on April 14, 1944, that the Government is disposed to give full support to any scientific plan of solving the primordial problems of nutrition, medicine, and other essential needs of our suffering population. He added that the sum of P500,000 is already available to the Council of Scientists for whatever scientific discovery or plan it may map out to ameliorate the present conditions arising from the need of medicinal products, and that he is willing to appropriate any time an additional sum of P1,500,000 to enable the Council to fulfill its important mission.

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CONNECTED with this problem of solving the physical needs of the people is the problem of their education. In two speeches on April 17, 1944, the Chief Executive urged Filipino educators that “the primary course should be made as rich and complete as possible so as to make the primary or elementary school a real university for the masses. This should be the case because the masses have no opportunity to pursue higher education for many reasons, either because they are too poor or because they have to engage early in life in the actual pursuit of earning a living. The Filipino boy or girl who finishes these veritable universities for the masses must meet the following two-fold requirements for which the primary grades must have prepared them: (1) character education, and (2) vocational education.”

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ORDINANCE No. 14, providing for the continuance of the liquidation of the Teachers’ Retirement and Disability Fund as provided in Commonwealth Acts Nos. 187 and 237, was promulgated on April 12, 1944, in order to help many retired teachers who are in dire need of immediate financial relief.

PREOCCUPIED with the problems that attend the formation of a national language, President Laurel, in an address delivered at the former Philippine Normal School in connection with the celebration of Balagtas Day, declared that a nation aspiring to become great and strong must have only one language which can be understood by all, and enriching the language does not mean coining new words which no one can understand. “Read Florante at Laura and you will discover that its greatest worth lies in the simplicity of its language easily understood by all,” he said.

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IMPORTANT appointments for this month include those of Dr. Camilo Osias as Vice-President and Director General of the Kapisanan sa Paglilingkod sa Bagong Pilipinas (Association for Service to the New Philippines); of Manuel A. Roxas as Chairman and Rafael R. Alunan, Jose G. Sanvictores, Jose Paez, and Vicente Singson Encarnacion as Members of the Board of Directors of the Bigasang Bayan (Biba); and of the Honorable, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court as Chairman, and Generals Juan Cailles, Mateo Capinpin, and Jose de los Reyes, and the Honorable, the Chairman of the Council of State as members of the Board of Awards and Decorations. The Board of Awards and Decorations was created by Ordinance No. 16 which also created the Order of Tirad Pass and prescribes rules and regulations for its award. This ordinance provides that the Order of Tirad Pass is to be awarded by the President to “any member of the Philippine Constabulary who has or had performed acts of extraordinary heroism or meritorious services of exceptional character in the line of duty and who has or had proved himself to be a model of gallantry, courage, bravery and devotion to duty in the defense of the integrity of the Philippines, the existence of the Government, the honor and dignity of the Republic, in the maintenance of peace and order, and in the preservation of the unity of the Filipino people.”

This appeal for the preservation of national unity was also repeated in a message of the President to the Convention of Provincial Governors, Constabulary Inspectors, Municipal Mayors and Kalibapi leaders in the City of Cebu. “I ask each and all members of the convention and those under them,” said the President, “to help their Government in uniting our people, in restoring peace and order, and in producing all foodstuffs our country needs. Let us all be one in our national aspiration and endeavor whatever political differences we may have had or now have.”

A message of the same tenor was also read before the graduates of the Commissioned Officers’ Class of the Philippine Constabulary on April 12, 1944.

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THREE days later, the Philippine Gratitude Mission, headed by Honorable Benigno S. Aquino, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of the Philippines to the Empire of Japan, was feted at Malacañan. The purpose of the mission, it was explained, was two-fold: “First, to express to His August Majesty the Emperor of Japan as well as to the Government of His August Majesty and to the great people of Japan, the undying gratitude of eighteen million Filipinos for everything that Japan has done for the Philippines—particularly for the grant of the coveted boon of political freedom, which has been the supreme aspiration of the Filipinos for centuries. Second, to enable the Filipinos, through this mission, to get in closer contact with the Japanese Government and people, through their leaders. By getting together and developing mutual understanding, the people of Greater East

Asia can make of the Hemispheric Bloc an end instrument of world peace and progress.”

The record of the special mission can be followed in the different speeches of Ambassador Aquino who, after having been granted an audience and awarded the First Class Order of the Rising Sun by His Majesty the Emperor of Japan on April 21, 1944, stated that “It was truly a rare privilege for us to be bearers of the message of good will from His Excellency, the President of the Republic of the Philippines, and to be the agents of the Filipino people in expressing their profound gratitude for the recognition of the independence of our country and the conclusion of the Pact of Alliance between the magnanimous Empire of Dai Nippon and the Republic of the Philippines.”

At the banquet he gave welcoming the mission His Excellency, General Hideki Tozyo, Premier of Japan, reviewed the concerted efforts of Filipino leaders from the first days when Japan unfurled “its banner of crusade for the liberation of the peoples of East Asia” to the present, and expressed the hope that as Japan marches steadily onward to effect a complete victory in the war of liberation, “the people of the Philippines will on their part render even greater efforts to cooperate with Nippon for the purpose of winning this war and building Greater East Asia.”

In reply, Ambassador Aquino reiterated “the unshakable loyalty of our people to the cause of Japan which is the common cause of all East Asians.” Said he: “Our loyalty, illustrious Premier, is not founded on any design of aggrandizement or enrichment, nor on any interest in the realization of our sacred ideals of liberty and independence, because they have already been attained. It is founded on the conviction that our independence would be ‘only for a day’ if the Japanese Empire did not obtain in this war a complete and final victory. Only with that victory can our Co-Existence and Co-Prosperity Sphere be consolidated, a consolidation which shall serve as the impregnable wall for the preservation of the independence of all the nations which it protects. What is of importance to the Filipinos as well as to all East Asians is not ephemeral independence but one that is lasting and real.”

The following day, he said that what matters to the Philippines and “to all her sister nations in the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere is an enduring independence and this cannot be attained without the complete and final victory of Japan in this war, because only that victory can cement, strengthen, and solidify, until they become impregnable, the bulwarks of our Sphere.”

INCLUDED in the Foreign Affairs section of this Gazette are speeches by Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jorge B. Vargas delivered in the month of March. In his speech before the Federation of South Seas Associations, Ambassador Vargas reviewed the events in the Philippines before and after the fall of Manila, and explained that “the Filipinos are only too willing to do their part in promoting mutual understanding and goodwill. If the Republic of the Philippines has entered into a firm and fast and all-inclusive alliance with Nippon, it has been due not only to a natural sentiment of gratitude for the boon of independence, but also to a sincere enthusiasm for the ideals which Nippon pursues in the present war, the ideals which found such eloquent expression in the Greater East Asia Declaration last year.” In the address he delivered before the Seiwaki on March 20, 1944, he outlined the three requirements of economic cooperation between Philippines and Japan, while his address before the Philippine Society of Japan stressed a Nippon-Philippine collaboration based justice and understanding.

Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library