Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Bard from Bohol III

First | Second | Third | Last

Garcia’s administration is most remembered by its adherence to a comprehensive nationalist policy known as the Filipino First Policy, by its pursuance of an austerity program, and for its role in reviving Filipino cultural arts.

Garcia popularized economic nationalism by the adoption of the Filipino First Policy. On March 3, 1960, he affirmed the need for complete economic freedom and added that the government no longer would tolerate the dominance of foreign interests, especially American, in the national economy. He promised to shake off "the yoke of alien domination in business, trade, commerce and industry."
Only those can remain free who are worthy of it. Freedom must be constantly deserved.”
The Filipino First Policy was intended to complete and guarantee Philippine economic independence and sovereignty. It gave priority or preference to Filipinos over foreigners in the acquisition of land and capital and in the operation of business, trade and industry. This encouraged Filipino businessmen and entrepreneurs to engage in economic activities within the country while not totally excluding foreigners as they were still allowed to participate in a 60 to 40 equity.

Garcia also signed the Bohlen Serrano Agreement which shortened the term of the lease for the US Bases in the Philippines from 99 years to 25 years renewable for periods of only five (5) years. This set the stage for the historic of rejection of the renewal of the US Bases in 1991.

The Garcia administration also embarked on an austerity program in order to curb graft and corruption in government. He asked the people to lead simple lives and to do away with luxurious lifestyle. He also stressed the values of wise spending, industry, thrift, trustworthiness, integrity, and honesty. He reminded government officials and employees that a public office is a public trust and that graft and corruption destroy the people’s trust in government.

Garcia encouraged the revival of Filipino culture. He gave out annual Republic Cultural Awards to artists, scientists, historians, and writers. He helped send the Bayanihan Dance Troupe and other folklore groups to tours around the world. He wore the Barong Tagalog during important occasions.

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