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Commonwealth and


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  • 1. The government established by the americans inthe Philippines was Democratic and Republican in form;a government that was patterned after the United states. Nevertheless, the short period of apprenticeship in governance was a testimony not only to the liberal tradition and tolerance, but also to the Filipino talent in learning the complex process of running a government. As President of the Commonwealth, Manuel L. Quezon ably steered a country that was beseigned by internal problems while it tried to survive a government in transition to independence.
  • 2. In his inaugural speech as the First President of the Commonwealth, Manuel L. Quezon said in part: ... We shall build a government that will be just, honest, efficient,and strong so that the foundations of the coming Republic may be firm and enduring—a government,indeed, that must satisfy not only the passing needs of the hour but also the exacting demands of the future.
  • 3. Soon after the american occupation of the Philippines, some American statesmen felt that the Philippines was Difficult to defend. When World War II broke out, the U.S which was hesitant about joining it at first, was not prepared to defend the Philippines as their colony. Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt, for example, believed that to avoid war with Japan, the U.S should given the Philippines it’s independence. In the succeding years, Japan invaded Korea, Manchuria, and finally China. Because there was not enough money to finance the construction of costly battleships, cruisers, and destroyers, MacArthur thought of the so called “Mosquito fleet.” this was composed of small, fast, and well armed boats. Filipino pilots were trained in aor warfare and prepared for possible war. These were the preparations made by Quezon to secure the military defense of the country againts any foreign invader.
  • 4. The agrarian problems that Quezon faced during the Commonwealth period could be traced to the Spanish period. The Filipino masses, particularly the peasants, had been exploited on the issue of friar estates by the few influential peoplein the community. This dire condition of the masses led many to rise in revolt, as noted in the various agrarian uprising under Spanish rule. In Central and Southern Luzon and in the Visayas, the peasants also rose in revolt in the 1920’s and 1930’s. In particular, the uprising in Tayug Pangasinan in 1931 was a reaction to the oppresion of some landlords. It attacked graft and corruption in the government. It fought for immediate independence and, therefore, againts the Tydings Mcduffie Act. On May 23,1935, the members Sakdalitas or members of the sakdal organization revolted againts the government. Through unions and associations, they worked for reforms beneficial to their class. But because the government did not have enough money with which to purchase landed estates, Quezon tried to implement laws to improve the welfare of the rural population. However the big and powerful landlords and Quezon’s private circle of friends anf supporters resisted these social legislations. Thus, Quezon’s social justice program failed
  • 5. Other economis problems occupied Quezon’s attention. Since the Spanish period, the Chinese had been dominating the retail trade industry in the country. When free trade between the Philippines and the United States began in 1909, Philippine products like sugar, coconut oil, abaca fiber, copra, and others, entered the American market free of duty. This led to artificial prosperity because those products had ready market in the United States . The committee studied the economic problems of the Commonwealth. It recommend that Philippine-American free trade relations be extended so that the Philippines could have enough time adjust its economy before independence. Some Philippine products would be allow to enter the United States in limited quantities, while others would enter without export duties.
  • 6. Quezon also realized the serious Language Problems. The Philippine s has more than a hundred languanges and dialects. Filipinos had to use a foreign languange to communicate with one another. To solve this problem, Quezon asked the National Assembly to pass the law providing for the creation of the national languange institute which would study the languange problem. The National Languang, composed of representatives from the different regions, Quezon proclaimed that Tagalog would would be used as the basis of national languange.
  • 7. In a span of five years, from the 1935,to the outbreak of the war in 1941, the Commonwealth government had achieved progress in commerce and industry, transportation and communication, public welfare, and art and literature. Foreign trade was made possible through the orts of Manila, Mindanao, and Southern Luzon.
  • 8. Quezon improved the country’s Transportation And Communication Facilities. Inter-Island shipping was encouraged and the railways lines were improved and extended to La Union and Legazpi, Albay. The number of buses, cars, vessels,and taxicabs increased a great deal, thus making tranportation and communication accessible at relatively cheap fares. The Telephone and Wireless services were improved and radio broadcasting was inaugurated in Manila.
  • 9. The National Assembly, upon the recommendation of Quezon created the National Economic Council whose primary duty was to “advise the government on economic matters.” It also established government companies such as the National Food Products Corporation, the National Rice and Corn Corporation, and ohters, whose main duty was to protect the people from being exploited by unscrupulous producers or merchants.
  • 10. Public welfare was given priority as the government strengthened certain agencies like the bureau of public welfare, the Associated Charities, and the National Relief Administration in order to improve and extend the scope of service to the people, especially to the poor. Likewise, the jobless were given full or part time jobs by the National Relief Administration, which also distributed food to victims of natural calamities like flood, earthquakes, fires, and the like.
  • 11. The arts and literature were encouraged by the government through contest and competitions for Artist And Writers. A contest in painting was held under Government Auspices in 1936. A National contest on writing the biography of Rizal was conducted by the government in 1938. The contest included writings for Biographies, History, Poetry, Short Stories, Novel, Dramas And Essays.
  • 12. The preparations of the commonwealth for an independent Philippines was interrupted when the war in the Pacific broke out in 1941. On Dec. 7, 1941, Hawaiian time , Japanese bombers attacked the American fleet in Pearl Harbor , Hawaii. Provoked by the attack, President Franklin Roosevelt spoke before the joint session of the American Congress and urged it to declare war againts Japan. On Dec. 8 British time, england also declare war againts Japan and the war in the Pacific was on.
  • 13. The Japanese naval, military and air forces took the offensive againts the United States, Britain, and Holland . On Dec. 8 and the succeding days, the Japanese bombed many places, including Manila and the order to save Manila from destruction, General Douglas MacArthur declared it an Open City. All guns and other defenses were withdrawn from Manila.
  • 14. Quezon was very sick when the war broke out. His illness became serious when he learned that thousands of Filipinos died as a result of Japanese bombing in Bataan and Other places. Realizing that Bataan would soon to fall, Pres. Roosevelt ordered Quezon to be transferred to Australia. Having suffered not only from hunger and diseases but also from the enemy bombs and cannon fire. Hundred were killed during the transit of Filipino and few American prisoners of war to Capas, Tarlac. This atrocious event was referred to as the “Death March”.
  • 15. Shortly after the occupation of Manila by the Japanese forces, General Masaharu Homma, the Japanese commander-inchief, ordered the reorganization of the central government . This was renamed Central Administrative Organization composed of six executive departments, Interior, Finance, Justice, Agriculture, And Commerce,education,health, And Public Welfare, And Public Works And Communications.
  • 16. To gain the sympathy of the Filipinos, the Japanese Military authorities declared that Japanese educational policy would be based on the Spiritual rejuvenation of the Filipinos; the propagation of Filipino culture; the propagation of Japanese Language and culture; the encouragement of vocational and Elementary Education; the promotion of Love of Labor. To implement this policy, the Japanese military authorities ordered the opening of schools, especially those giving courses in agriculture, fisheries, medicene, and engineering.
  • 17. To win the trust of the Filipinos, the Japanese authorities in Japan decided that the Philippines should given its Independence. Consequently, a commision created for the purpose of framing a constitution was headed by Jose P. Laurel as president. On Sep. 4 1943, the constitution prepared by the Commision was approved by a convention. On Sept. 25, the National Assembly elected Jose P. Laurel as President of the Second Republic.
  • 18. Throughout the Philippines,guerilla outfit sprang like a mushrooms. These in turn sent the reports to General MacArthur in Australia. Among the moat famous guerilla leaders Were Governor Tomas Confesor Of Ilo-ilo, Colonel Macario Peralta Of Panay, Colonel Ruperto Kanleon Of Leyte; Tomas Cabili, Salipada Pendatun,and Wendell Fertig Of Mindanao ; Wenceslao Q. Vinzons Of Camarines Norte; Miguel Ver And Eleuterio Adevoso, Who Headed The Marking’s Guerilla; And Luis Taruc Who Led The HUKBALAHAP.