Message to Congress
His Excellency Carlos P. Garcia
President of the Philippines
[January 26, 1959]
Mr. Senate President, Mr. Speaker, Members of Congress:
I address you today to sound a call for vital and bold decisions on the future of our national economy. The eyes of our people are on us in this hall and their ears are cupped toward this lectern on which I stand, in anxious anticipation of what the national leadership, which you and I share by their will under the Constitution, will say and do in the way of meeting and overcoming the obstacles and difficulties of a trying situation and keeping the nation on an even keel. I say, first of all, that I have full faith in the Filipino people’s capacity to emerge with flying colors out of any and all crises. We went through the hell of it under a ruthless military occupation government for four years and survived with a more sturdy and rugged national spirit. Once again with the determination of a united people deriving inspiration from our heroic past and our dream of a glorious tomorrow and with divine guidance and help we shall emerge triumphant out of the present predicament. But we must keep our equanimity. I am confident we shall be equal to the task. There is absolutely no cause for despair. At any rate, whatever problems may beset us—whether the national economy or any other—the can be solved only with calmness even as we have to deliberate, determines, and decisive in action. We cannot afford to indulge in defeatism or in negative or divisive thinking. I shall be forthright. The need for fiscal and economic stabilization is urgent and must be met by the Government with the full support of all elements comprising the nation. On the part of the Government, the executive and legislative branches are especially called upon to formulate wisely and, more than that, to implement determinedly, once and for all, the most effective courses of action. On the part of the people, the most productive efforts, thrift, and consistently sustained willingness to contribute to the common weal must become a reality. As head of the Executive Department, I hereby pledge that all its efforts shall be directed at conducting government affairs on the basis of strict economy, of worth public endeavors, and of sagacious utilization of the people’s assets and contributions to undertakings that will pay back dividends to them in terms of service and steady progress. THE ECONOMIC PROBLEM
Problem of Development.—Indeed, we have progressed. The difficulties with which we are confronted today are a paradox. They arose precisely because of the strides we have made in industry, agriculture, and other phases of the economy speeded up during the past five years. Substantial progress has been made in production. For the first time since the war, we have such a bumper rice crop this year. The production of corn and other agricultural products has shown much significant gains that warrant the claim that we have attained self-sufficiency in food. Unquestionably, industrial output has been on the rise. Deficit Financing.—In my report on the state of the nation a year ago, I pointed out that the threat of Communism as well as the natural desire of our people to improve their lot prompted the administration of my late predecessor to accelerate economic development, to the extent of taking a calculated risk inherent in the liberal use of national credit. Faced with limited savings characteristic of an undeveloped economy, the nation had to resort to credit creation. This was in order to cover the inevitable gap between the growth of needed investments and voluntary savings to finance the public works and power projects necessary in launching the momentum of development. The alternative would have been not to undertake development projects at all. This, in turn, would have consigned our economy to stagnation, our people to poverty, and the nation to frustration. The...