Carlos P. Garcia (1957-1961)


    CONDITION OF THE PHILIPPINES

The Philippines agreed to numerous conditions set by the United States as a requirement for the Philippines to receive war reconstruction assistance.

The flow of imports had greatly increased making the Philippines heavily dependent of imported products. Imports coming from the United States were also allowed to enter the country without tariffs, the Philippines also promised not to change its exchange rate from $1 is to P2.

The condition of the Philippines before the administration of Garcia was the Philippines is just recovering from the after effects of World War 2, with this the Philippines experienced several economic challenges.


    PRIMARY PROBLEMS

The main problem that was facing the Garcia administration was the current economic situation during that time. Corruption was also prevalent in the country since he had just inherited the Magsaysay administration. Several cases of corruption were found within the government offices during his administration.

The imports that were coming in the country greatly outnumbered the exports that we were shipping out of the country, making the Philippines highly dependent on foreign products that required dollars to purchase.


    PROMISES DURING THE ELECTIONS AND INAUGURATION

• reorienting our national economic policies toward doing first things first
• must first produce here, by and for ourselves, enough to provide for the fundamental needs of life — food, shelter and clothing
• step up the tempo of establishing the agricultural industries to utilize with the least delay the abundant natural resources
• to generate here the machinery for the entire Philippine agro-industrial structure
• The Government will continue its low-cost housing projects and its land redistribution and resettlement program
• we shall pursue our health development activities especially in the barrios and other rural areas
• The education of our youth should henceforth lay emphasis on science, industrial, and agricultural technology.
• Together with the increasing material abundance, we need to strengthen our moral fiber


    LAWS AND PROGRAMS

Filipino First Policy
This is the law that was passed by the Garcia administration, to give local businessmen more priority over foreign investors. The government sector would help local businessmen are entering industry that was filled with foreign competitors and give them aid and sometimes financial assistance. Products of Filipino businessmen were also preferred over foreign products.

Bohlen–Serrano Agreement
The Bohlen-Serrano Agreement was the law that shortened the original 99 year lease of US bases here in the Philippines to 25 years, the agreement was renewable for periods only up to 5 years.

Austerity Program
The Austerity Program was implemented by Garcia in order to curt the rampant graft and corruption within the country. The program centered on wise spending, industry, thrift, trustworthiness, integrity and honesty. He also urged people to avoid luxury items and to live a simple life and reminded government officials and employees’ corruption destroys the peoples trust in the government.

Republic Cultural Awards
The Garcia administration also put emphasis on cultural revival, due to the colonization of many countries he felt that the revival of the Filipino culture was needed. The award was given to Filipino artists, scientist, historians and writers.


    BENEFICIARIES OF THE LAWS AND PROGRAMS

Filipino First Policy
The people that benefitted from this policy are the businessmen of the Philippines, they had an increase support and protection from the government. This enabled them to help improve our economy at that time. Foreign investors were not totally ignored they could still participate in investing in businesses in the country but there should be a 60-40 ratio of ownership within the business.

Austerity Program
The austerity program benefited the common Filipino and the Garcia administration, because of the implementation of this program the government was able to regain some of the trust that they lost due to the rampant corruption in the country. While the Filipinos were able to once again trust the government.

Republic Cultural Awards
Filipino artist could now get the recognition for their works that were left ignored. The main focus of the society at the time was improving the economy.


    HOLES AND SHORTCOMINGS OF THE LAWS

Filipino First Policy
The policy centered on the economic progress that the “masa” was not affected at all by this. This led to much criticism about his concern for the common Filipino.

Austerity Program
Even though the Austerity Program was launched in order to help eliminate the corruption within the government. The result was very unsuccessful since the problem carried over to the next administration.


    ISSUES AND CONTROVERSIES

Garcia was criticized by foreign countries, especially the United States for his anti-foreign policies. There was also corruption withing the Bureau of Internal Revenue in which he had the implement the Austerity Program.

    SUMMARY OF GOVERNANCE

The focus of the Garcia administration focused on economic independence from foreign interest. Garcia wanted the Philippines to be an industrialized, self sustaining country that would not have to heavily rely on the products of foreign companies.

Garcia also tried implanting his Austerity Program in hopes of eliminating corruption in his administration all the while bolstering moral fiber to the government leaders and employees.

At the end of his term Garcia was criticized for his lack of program for the Filipino common man which was the focus of the next president Macapagal that is why he lost the election to him.


    GRADE (DLSU SYSTEM)

We gave President Carlos Garcia a 3.5 because we believe that he was able to accomplish something most of the presidents failed to do. He helped the Philippines rise from being a victim of war to a self-sustaining country that was considered one of the richest countries during his time.

During his administration the Philippines was one of the innovators of South East Asia. He promoted the reliance of our own product and at the same time promoted our products in the global competition. He also had the Austerity Program even though it failed. It still showed how much he really wanted to improve the lives of the Filipinos.

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