Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Third Republic: Roxas, Quirino and Magsaysay Administration


                Finally, freedom was in the hands of the Filipino people. The Third Republic was formed and headed by a succession of presidents. On July 4, 1946, the Republic of the Philippines was inaugurated and Philippine independence was proclaimed in Luneta, Manila.

                Philippines as a new-born republic sprang out of the ashes of war. The following were the problems:

1.       Economic rehabilitation
2.       Cultural rehabilitation
3.       Financial poverty (Annual deficit of over Php 200,000,000)
4.       Peace and order
5.       Distorted moral values of Filipinos

Moreover, of the Asian countries, Philippines was the most devastated by the Japanese and incidentally by the Americans during the World War II. The total war losses of the Philippines reached the staggering amount of $8,079,624,000 (Php 16,159,243,000). This included the monetary value of 1,111,938 human lives lost, appraising each human life as worth $2,000.[1]

Let us look back the biography, achievements and the problems encountered of Presidents Manuel Roxas, ElpidioQuirino and Ramon Magsaysay.

I. ROXAS ADMINISTRATION(Term: July 4, 1946 – April 15, 1948)

Laws and Programs:
1.       Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of War-Ravaged Philippines
2.       Adoption of pro-American Foreign Policy:
a.       Adherence to and support of the ideals and objectives of the United States
b.       Preservation of the ideals and objectives of the United States
c.        Maintenance of friendly relations with other nations of the world, except communist nations
d.       Signing of treaties and Agreements: Treaty of General Relations , War Surplus Property Agreement, Military Bases Agreement and Military Assistance Agreement
3.       Bell Trade Act
4.       General Amnesty
5.       Rehabilitation Finance Corporation
6.       Parity Rights Amendment

Although he was successful in his objective to obtain rehabilitation funds from the Americans to repair what has been destroyed in the Philippines, he was still criticized for his subjective decisions concerning policies implemented in the country.

1.       Roxas’ friendship with the Americans
2.       Graft and Corruption
3.       Failure to stop the HUKBALAHAP in the government
4.       Revisions in the Philippine Constitution

II. THE QUIRINO ADMINISTRATION(Term: April 17, 1948 – December 30, 1953)

2 Objectives of his administration:
1.       Economic reconstruction of the nation
2.       Restorationof the faith and confidence of the people in the government

Laws and Programs:
1.       President’s Action Committee on Social Amelioration (PACSA)
2.       Agricultural Credit Cooperatives Financing Administration (ACCFA)
3.       Labor Management Advisory Board
4.       Rural Banks
5.       Created the Social Security Commission
6.       Land Settlement Development Corporation (LASEDECO)
7.       Construction of farm-to-market roads
8.       Declared Quezon City as the Capital of the Philippines (July 17, 1948)

1.       Faced a serious threat in the form of the Communist led by HUKBALAHAP movement
2.       His administration was tainted by widespread graft and corruption

1.       His administration is credited with sponsoring the growth of industrial ventures, expanding irrigation, improvement of the road system and setting up of the Central Bank and rural banking and concluding peace with Japan
2.       Quirino’s presidency was marked by notable postwar reconstruction, general economic gains and increased economic aid from United States.

III. MAGSAYSAY ADMINISTRATION (Term:December 30, 1953 – March 17, 1957)

                A man of greatness of spirit, he saw his fellow human beings born with the right to live in liberty and happiness. He angered at injustice and the violation of high principles. He worked to build a nation – a world – in which all people were free and lived in honor and peace with one another.
Laws and Programs:

1.       Social Security System (SSS) and Government Service Insurance System (GSIS)
2.       Reparation Agreementwith Japan  on May 9, 1956 ($300,000,000 for 25 years)
3.       Presidential Complaints and Action Committee (PCAC)
4.       Agricultural Credit Cooperatives financing Administration (PACS,  RA No. 821)
5.       Laurel-Langley Agreement
6.       Agricultural Commodities Agreement with the US
7.       Land Tenure Law (RA No. 1400)
8.       Agricultural Tenancy Act (RA 1199)
9.       National Resettlement and Rehabilitation Administration (NARRA, RA 1160)
10.   Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) on September 8, 1954
11.   Presidential Assistance on Community Development

Works, Examples, Principles:

·         He attained fame as an able guerilla leader in World War II and was subsequently named by Macarthur as military governor of Zambales during the liberation.
·         A friend to the common tao
·         He toured the barrios, opened up Malacanang to the public, solicited and acted upon their complaints, built artesian wells and roads.
·         Popularized the use of barong tagalog
·         He had Congress pass the Agricultural Tenancy Act of 1954 providing greater protection to tenants
·         He was instrumental in having the US Congress pass the G.I. Bill of Rights which accorded benefits to the Filipino war veterans.

Issues and Controversies:
1.       Corruption among cabinet members
2.       Endless attempt to bribe the President

[1]Zaide, Gregorio F. , The Philippines A  Unique Nation, pp. 356

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