“State of the Nation Address”
Message to the Batasang Pambansa
Of His Excellency Ferdinand E. Marcos
President of the Philippines
[Delivered at Batasang Pambansa, Quezon City, on July 27, 1981]
Mr. Speaker; distinguished members of this Assembly; the Batasang Pambansa; Chief Justice and members of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals and other members of the judiciary; Your Excellencies, the Diplomatic Corps, and other foreign guests; my friends and countrymen:
In keeping with our constitutional duties and responsibilities, we convene here today, this fourth Monday of July, Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-One—you to commence the Fourth Regular Session of this Assembly, and I to report on the state of the nation and on the proposed agenda of government.
The Constitution which vests, and I quote, “the legislative power in the Batasang Pambansa” and mandates it to open its regular session on the fourth Monday of July, also reposes on the President as “Head of State and Chief Executive of the Republic of the Philippines” the duty “to address the Batasang Pambansa at the opening of its regular session.”
Every meeting between the executive authority and the legislative power in our government is a moment fraught with meaning and import for the affairs of state. But we meet today at a moment of historic significance and challenge for the work of government and for the cause of peace, unity, and progress for our nation.
All of us must have the wisdom to grasp the magnitude of this moment, and the resolve to face now and in the days to come the tasks of change in the machinery and the agenda of government.
A major part of this decisive turn in national life has already been written by the historic act of terminating the period of martial law and crisis government in our country, and by the subsequent acts of the nation to amend the Constitution and elect directly a president pursuant to the new amendments.
On June 30 this year, when I was duly sworn in as the First President of the New Republic, I formally relinquished all powers and functions pertaining to the office of Prime Minister, which office we now ask the Batasan to fill.
I hereby sign in your presence this executive order establishing the formal separation of the powers of the President and the Prime Minister, the areas of responsibilities as well as the guidelines for action, and the rules of coordination of the organizations under the Office of the President and that of the Prime Minister. In your presence, I sign this executive order. [Applause]
Accordingly, I now propose for your approval and election to nominate the Honorable Cesar Virata for the position of Prime Minister. [Applause]
I also nominate for your election and approval the Honorable Jose Roño as Deputy Prime Minister. [Applause]
With these changes that we have now concretely made, the major direction for reconstruction of government has been laid. But these are only the beginning, and we must now proceed to bring to full fruition the establishment of the new government, and the adoption of a new program for that government.
We shall maintain and sustain this close collaboration and unity of mind and action between the executive and the legislative until our goals shall have been fulfilled, and until the burdens shall have been lifted from us by the sovereign will of our people.
We begin this task with the nation never more closely united under one faith, with our people never more prepared for the tasks of reconstruction and development, and with the government never more stable and strong for the prosecution of the policies and programs that must be pursued.
Three years ago, when the Batasang Pambansa was first convened on June 12, 1978, if you will remember, I said before this august body:
We must attend to the continuing normalization of our political life, and the methodical construction of a truly democratic political order … and when at last the time should come when martial law can be lifted in our land, let us install in place of crisis government a fully democratic government that will embody the efficacy of democratic discussion and deliberation as a means for the achievement of nation at purposes and aspirations.
That time has come. We have successfully hurdled the crucial passage from crisis government to a normal democratic government. We do not now note the importance of this passage but history will mark these critical times and this particular turn in our history. And now we proclaim the birth of a New Republic in our country, whose shape, whose character, whose workings we are now privileged to build.
We have lived through a period of crisis and renewal in our land, the likes of which we have not known or attempted before, which we hope we will never see again. Just as it is fact that we have brought to life a new system of government in our country, so it is also fact that the people and the nation which will raise it to maturity are now liberated, as many of us are wont to say, from the shackles of the past and the fetters and structures and trends in our national history.
To understand what this form of liberation means is to realize what the last eight-and-a-half years have meant to the nation: What they have brought in terms of recovered authority and stability to government, in terms of direction and productivity to the national economy, in terms of equity and participation to the many sectors of society, in terms of vigor, strengthening of our culture and traditions as a people, and in terms or our newfound influence and position in the councils of the world to our foreign relations. [Applause]
We look around us and we see that our institutions have grown in capabilities and resources, just as families and individuals have experienced new fulfillment in their quest for identity, dignity, and advancement.
Let us look at the record.
In the eight-and-a-half years of crisis government, we dramatically defused the dangers of subversion, sedition, rebellion, and secession in our land, which in 1972 had brought the Republic so close to ruin and collapse.
With peace and security, the consolidation of the authority of government has moved decisively into a solid position of leadership in national affairs, something that we had never known through all the years when we thought that to govern least was to govern best.
Despite the adversities of the time, we sustained our drive toward economic development at rates and levels even more impressive than those of the decade preceding it, when there was no crisis. Behind this impressive performance was the application of vigorous and responsive internal policies and enlightened economic management, which embraced the full range of economic concerns and endeavors.
When we say therefore that economic development has resulted in the improvement of incomes and living conditions for our people, we do not merely cite statistical averages of benefits and incomes. We mean that development has touched and even reshaped the lives of the great masses of our people.
We have already remarked upon the rise in incomes of the lower 50% of our population. We shall merely add here the revealing trend that income growth is seeping into all classes in society, raising the number and percentage of those earning P30,000 and more significantly.
The social gains and the overall growth of the sense of human dignity among Filipino citizens through health, education, housing, livelihood, and social security measures have been reported time and again, and may be reiterated here briefly.
Statistics, however, will never tell the full story of how our nation and our society have changed. The final measure is how our people perceive the change in their status and well-being; in the sense of security of families and individuals; in the rise of the once-bonded tenant farmer to dominion over his land and his toil; in the real share of the worker in the fruits of his labor; and in the development of local communities as authentic havens of communal life.
This perception of a people rising from stagnation and poverty is matched by a new sense of sovereignty and independence of their nation in its relations with other nations throughout the world.
This has been made possible by a foreign policy that again during this period irrevocably broke our long confinement to a vision of the world in Cold War terms, and opened us to the exploration and discovery of ties with Socialist countries, to our making’ common cause with the whole of the Third World, and to the forging of community ties with our ASEAN neighbors.
We have attained a voice and influence in the councils of nations unheard of during the time when we were habitually mistaken for a surrogate of a global power. We have advanced our interests, and we believe the interests of peace and progress in the world, by steadfastly looking to the ideals of cooperation among nations and of interdependence in the cause of meeting problems writ large on the global scene.
The momentum of reform during this critical decade of the crisis government has thrust our country irreversibly forward in its difficult journey towards national development. But however dedicated our strivings, however remarkable the gains, we have only made a beginning.
I put it to you, ladies and gentlemen of the Batasan, that in this time of general pessimism in the global economic environment, the moment is opportune for decisive action on our part; that in the uncertainty of the times, the sure road for us is one of enterprise and daring; and that in this period of beginning for our New Republic, the business of development must be the agenda of our nation now.
That agenda requires us to address the challenges of reducing further our population growth, of eliminating unemployment and underemployment, of raising productivity both in agriculture and in industry, of rectifying imbalance in regional development, of relieving our high dependence on imported oil, of raising deficient domestic resource allocations, and of resolving problems both in the public and private sectors of our national life.
Undoubtedly, for the decade of the eighties, energy will continue to be the burden of all countries with or without indigenous oil.
Despite our best efforts in the past, energy continues to be one of the most vulnerable sectors of our economy, vulnerable because it is subject to external forces over which we have no control.
It will take much political will and resolution to attain our goals on energy. As of 1980 our dependence on foreign oil was reduced from 97% to 83%. The goal for 1985 is to reduce this to 50%. This does not take into account any possible sudden breakthroughs in nonconventional sources of energy, like direct conversion of sunlight into electric energy through a cheaper method than now exists, or discovery of large deposits of oil in our country.
The Batasang Pambansa and the Cabinet must now attend to the nonconventional means of producing energy, like dendrothermal, hydroelectric (including mini-hydro), geothermal, coal, biogas, and so many others. It will be necessary for the members of the Batasang Pambansa to participate in the effort to encourage the development of these nonconventional sources of energy.
Another salient phase of our development program is the production of food, sufficient and nutritionally appropriate to feed 47.9 million Filipinos.
It cannot be denied that we have made notable breakthroughs by achieving self-sufficiency in rice and exporting surplus, distributing land transfer certificates (in 1972 we distributed land transfer certificates to only about 50 farmers) to rice and corn farmers, and cultivating cash crops, including coffee, cacao, and rubber.
At the same time the land reform program must be intensified to strengthen and broaden the mass base of our total national effort. In this direction, the following must be undertaken:
- acceleration of land valuation, land owners’ compensation and the issuance of emancipation patents to farmers who have fully paid their lands;
- stabilization of the agricultural leasehold system;
- integrated development projects in resettlement areas; and
- intensified farmer education.
Of course it must be taken into account that we have now reached the point where we must develop both production and marketing cooperatives. We must attend to food production as if we were just starting this program.
It will be necessary now to move into the period for the consolidation of resources in land reform.
Our infrastructure development program will be made more responsive to efficiency, economy, broader coverage, and livelihood development. Towards this end, a reorientation of the content of programs, project design, and mode of execution will be undertaken.
The emphasis of the infrastructure program will continue to be power and electrification, of course, but we must also take into account irrigation, transport, and all social infrastructure projects, especially the farm-to-market roads.
In terms of design, the program will propagate the use of construction materials indigenous to specific regions and locations, thereby encouraging local raw material production. In school buildings, for instance, we will make use of coconut lumber and brick materials wherever they are needed.
A major restructuring program for industry has been started with the implementation of the following interrelated measures:
- accelerated implementation of the major industrial projects;
- rationalization and restructuring of existing key industry sectors;
- a focused and organized export development program;
- accelerated dispersal of industries and the promotion of employment-generating projects;
- increased emphasis on the promotion of small- and medium-scale industries;
- continued encouragement of foreign investments in selected areas; and
- stronger cooperation and coordination between the government and private sector in the planning and implementation of industrial policies and programs.
In the encouragement of the countryside industries, I will have more to say about the Kilusang Kabuhayan.
Measures have also been undertaken to improve the efficiency of manufacturing industries to accelerate employment generation and to further stimulate the growth of industry outside Metropolitan Manila.
Highlighting the long-term industrialization program is the accelerated implementation of the 11 major industrial projects. These projects are expected to intensify the technological component of the industrial structure and the development of an efficient domestic intermediate goods industry.
The success of industrialization, however, will rely a great deal on our capacity to export our products.
We are strengthening the growth prospects of our exports through the establishment of more export processing zones throughout the country. I will have more to say on the matter of the creation of teams that will be sent to other countries to negotiate trade arrangements. We have already established three export zones, namely: Bataan, Baguio, and Mactan. In the future, we will continue to establish such zones in other parts of the country.
The basic reforms and programs affecting industry exports, financial system, and energy are expected to have positive effects on the payment imbalance in the next few years. Our credit lines to the international financial markets remain open and favorable. Just recently, we reviewed with the International Monetary Fund the status of our financial program on which we have made some adjustments to accommodate additional credit needs, and they committed more than $1 billion in support of our projects. In fact, the World Bank has already invested several million dollars in one of the 11 industrial projects.
In this major thrust towards economic development, we shall seek as ever to enlist the assistance of the international community, wherever necessary and appropriate.
In our bilateral economic relations, our basic thrust will be trade and economic diversification. We witnessed in recent years a gradual diversification of our markets as we successfully tapped several nontraditional outlets such as the Middle East, the European Economic Community, the Socialist countries and the ASEAN.
With regard to our perennial trade deficits with the oil-producing countries of the Middle East, we have been trying to offset this imbalance through the employment of Filipino manpower in various development projects in those countries. At the same time, we have been supporting the efforts of the private sector in obtaining contracts in infrastructure and services in those countries.
While we venture into the accelerated development of industry, agriculture, trade, and the other sectors of the economy, we shall continue to gear a major part of our programs to more equitable access by our people to social opportunities and to fuller development and utilization of our human resources.
In our family planning program, we shall continue to pursue the choice of conscience method, which grants each individual the choice between artificial birth control and the natural rhythm method of family planning. So far, this has been accepted by our people as successful in bringing our population growth rate down from 3.01% to 2.4%, but we now aim to bring this further down to 2%.
Expanding medical services alone will not satisfy the growing health needs of our population, especially with the onset of inflation and resulting increases in the cost of food and other basic commodities. Thus, we have initiated a new approach to health care, the primary health care concept (PHC), which seeks the improvement and maintenance of the health status of the community through the active local participation of both the public and private sectors. The centerpiece of our current efforts is a barangay-based health and nutrition program.
In nutrition, the integrated food and nutrition plan will see to it that selected nutritious foods are available to our malnourished population, particularly the “at-risk” groups.
We shall and must continue to democratize access to education at all levels in both the formal and nonformal education sectors. This is something which is equally addressed to the members of the Batasan as it is addressed to the Cabinet and the new Prime Minister.
We shall intensify efforts to further improve the quality of education. This we must also attend to. The most comprehensive improvement program of the entire education system is scheduled to begin in 1982.
The realignment of educational output with the demands of the labor market is now a major focus of our concern. We have stressed the training of middle- and high-level technical manpower. I have ordered the conversion of public high schools into technical, vocational, and technological or agricultural high schools. The development of scientific courses is being encouraged to serve our technology requirements.
The upgrading and renewal of blighted urban communities and the acceleration of construction of new housing units have been, and will continue to be, our major undertakings. I ask the Batasan to support these efforts. We shall encourage low-cost housing designs and the more effective utilization of local materials for housing construction to reach as many beneficiaries as possible—a project that has been started by the Ministry of Human Settlements. And talking about this ministry, the policy thrust is the total development of communities, and such development must move along the central core of livelihood, self-reliance, income generation, or in general, production by every person within the village.
The orientation of the New Society made it possible for us to evolve wise and appropriate labor and social policies which sought development based on social justice. The New Republic can do no less. We shall begin our efforts in this area with the passage of the long-awaited right-to-strike bill. Our adherence to the full application of labor standards will, however, remain, to assure industrial peace which we need urgently and politically during this period.
In instituting reforms for the benefit of the greater masses of our people, our main concerns have been the visible disparities in our society and the lack of equal opportunities for the dispossessed, the deprived, and the disadvantaged to rise above their marginal existence. We have sought to promote social justice through the strengthening of social services for the poor, the disadvantaged, and the needy.
These are the highlights of our national development program in the economic and social spheres, and these we shall now endeavor to fulfill with the complete leadership and dedication of the government and the participation of our people.
Our work in reorganizing the government must begin with the sweeping reform of the very institutions which must lead our struggle for development. We have today the rare opportunity, consequent to the establishment of our New Republic, to conduct a thorough reorganization of the government in order to enable it to serve the people more efficiently, more effectively, and more economically.
The numbers of ministries and similar agencies have been considerably lessened through reclassification and integration in order that, among others, the extent of control and supervision is made more manageable.
This does not mean, however, that we shall depart from our goal of regionalization. On the contrary, regionalization may continue on a selective basis.
The most immediately visible manifestations of the realignment of the government machinery would, of course, be in the national, ministerial level. As already announced, we have reduced the number of cabinet portfolios to 18 through the merger of some and the conversion of others into staff agencies.
I have decided to combine these ministries upon the recommendation of the Reorganization Committee for many reasons, among which is efficiency, economy, and effectiveness:
The Ministry of Public Works with the Ministry of Public Highways; and the Ministry of Industry with the Ministry of Trade. It is to the credit of Minister Alfredo Juinio, Minister of Public Works, that he himself recommended the merger of the ministry that he headed with the Ministry of Public Highways to achieve a higher level of efficiency and bring down the cost of operation. At the same time, he requested that he be allowed to retire, having spent 42 years in the government.
I propose that we commend Minister Juinio for this self-abnegation. [Applause]
The same self-abnegation and concern for the public interest has prompted Minister Luis Villafuerte to urge strongly that the Ministry of Trade be likewise joined again with the Ministry of Industry, as it used to be some years ago. While accepting his recommendation, I have, however, asked him to manage our continuing and expanding international trade negotiations, of which there are 31 negotiations going on.
I again commend to you the self-sacrifice by one of your members, Assemblyman Luis Villafuerte. [Applause]
In order that the Cabinet members may be able to take their oath of office, and in accordance with the recommendation of the Reorganization Committee, I have the honor to sign before you the Executive Order which merges the ministries that I have already indicated: the Ministry of Public Works with the Ministry of Public Highways, and the Ministry of Industry with the Ministry of Trade.
In your presence, I sign this executive order; subject of course to detailed amplifying legislation or orders by the Batasang Pambansa under the guidance of the Cabinet and the Prime Minister. [Applause]
Upon the recommendation of the minister in office, Minister Jose Leido, I am also effecting certain organizational changes in the Ministry of Natural Resources. Minister Leido has suggested such internal reorganization and has asked that he be permitted to stand full-time with this august body for which he was elected.
I also ask that he be commended for this action. [Applause]
Also, on his request, therefore, I have permitted Minister Leido to retire from the ministry so that he could devote more time to his functions as member of this august body, and in his place, another member from Region IV, Assemblyman Teodoro Peña, has been appointed. [Applause]
Another member of the Cabinet, Mr. Magno, has also asked that he be allowed to devote his time to full-time research which is his first love. Accordingly, I have appointed the Chancellor of the University of the Philippines in Los Baños, Dr. Emil Javier, as the new Chairman of the National Science Development Board. [Applause]
With the savings that will be generated from the government reorganization and cost control estimated at about P1 billion, we shall be able to fund our national development effort.
Now, let me talk about what I consider, and what may become, the most important strand in our strategy for development. This is the third strand and it involves a massive effort to awaken the sense of economic enterprise in our local communities. This is the essence of what we announced during the caucus of the ruling political party as the Kilusang Kabuhayan. It was referred to initially as Kilusang Bayanihan but people might think it is all devoted to dancing and culture, so now it is called Kilusang Kabuhayan. This program seeks to re-create presently depressed and unprogressive communities and villages into vital and active production units.
The Kilusang Kabuhayan probably should be not just an umbrella program for the livelihood projects but should be a national movement to spearhead the spiritual awakening of the countryside for self-reliance, self-help, and self-determination, as well as the increase in the production of goods and services.
As the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan is the political party for the New Republic, the Kilusang Kabuhayan shall be its fundamental concept and platform of national development.
Economic production is the core of this community enterprise. It is therefore logical to direct and contain the initial implementation of the movement in key program or project prototypes. These prototypes should be in strategic sectors and should be replicable across municipalities and provinces to establish a mass move for development. These prototypes are as follows:
- Agro-forestry―The prototype is on tree farming. The first module shall involve, perhaps, ipil-ipil (100-hectare farm at project cost of P125,000 with income per beneficiary of P5,000, for each of the 100 beneficiaries); the second within this prototype shall be fruit tree orchards (100 square meters to 10 hectares, at a project cost of P50,000 to P70,000, with income per beneficiary of P65 to P5,560); and the third (you will note that these are all in the uplands and we will go down towards the seas as we develop the prototype), integrated mountainside development (including water improvement schemes).
- Agro-livestock―The prototypes take off from the crop and livestock programs of the Ministry of Agriculture. On the backward linkages, integrated livestock feed mills shall be established in strategic areas utilizing not only ipil-ipil but root crops and other farm products.
- Aqua-marine―The prototypes cover both coastal and inland fishing. Coastal marine estates shall be established to develop the 100,000 hectares of mangroves or swamps which should be handled with the highest priority. Communal hatcheries for golden tilapia, prawns, mussels, and clams and similar marine products provide backward linkages. Perhaps I should inform the members of the Batasan that human settlements have already models that need to be replicated for this prototype. (Applause)
- Waste utilization―This prototype involves the utilization of bio-waste derived from the agro-forestry, agro-livestock, and agro-marine projects as organic fertilizers or as raw materials for briquetting, cubing, and pelletizing.
- Cottage and light industries―The prototypes cover garments (50 machine levels at a project cost of P250,000 for an income per beneficiary of P6,000, for 60 beneficiaries); bakery and food processing (project cost of P5,000 for an income per beneficiary of P4,500, for 3 beneficiaries); and bamboo craft and rattan craft (project cost of P60,000 for an income per beneficiary of P6,000, for 5 beneficiaries).
- Shelter and shelter components―This involves land development at the flat lands or lowlands other than farmlands, and home improvement loan on either commodity or credit basis, rural homes construction and urban homes construction, .and multistory condominium construction.
- Services―This consists of construction of standardized public markets as well as establishment of financial delivery system and technology delivery systems.
Why do I speak of public markets? Because if we are to increase the production of sterile and stagnant villages at present, we will discover that 108 of our municipalities have no public markets. And it will be necessary to develop not only public markets but also warehouses and depositories for our products.
In short, the National Food Authority, which is now operating on a partial basis, will have to be supported in its effort to move the products from production areas to the market. This is the reason the administrator of the National Food Authority, Mr. Jesus Tanchanco, has been elevated to Cabinet rank. [Applause]
The public market construction program should make available P70 million per year to construct 200 markets over a seven-year period in standard prototypes costing between P400,000 and P10 million.
A program therefore of public market and storage construction and upgrading services becomes critical as a major component of the Kilusang Kabuhayan program.
Since the Kilusang Kabuhayan is to be developed as a national movement, the element of training, not only for human resource mobilization but for social reorganization, becomes critical. It is proposed that a training network be established at the University of Life to cover local government officials and Kilusang Kabuhayan leaders.
While we are in the process of saving large distressed industries, it should be the policy of government to continue to extend total support to the small entrepreneurs.
In the current and coming year’s appropriations acts, we have identified close to a billion pesos in the budgets of various offices. Lump sum savings may bring in another billion or two. I intend to propose to you that we utilize the amount to implement the Kilusang Kabuhayan; and thus, it will have an initial appropriation of anywhere from P1 billion to P3 billion. [Applause]
Finally, our program of government requires the strategic participation and support of this legislative assembly, so that enabling legislation can set programs in motion, define guidelines for areas of activity, and gather together the whole of our efforts into a coherent code of law and policy.
It is true that many of the measures pending before this body require further refinement of the provisions to adjust to the new needs and to respond to new realities. But action must be taken not later but sooner.
We must review our basic policies from the viewpoint of the democratic revolution, the quiet revolution, which sought to radically restructure our system, our entire society without bloodshed. We must assess the means that were utilized to attain this objective.
The economic ideology is private enterprise with an egalitarian base that encourages the private sector to assume the initiative of development with the government setting up the inducements, the rewards, and the general atmosphere of encouragement. But at the same time, while we encourage private investment, it must now be agreed that we should regulate wealth so that it is not utilized to brutalize or degrade our people. This is a principle of faith with the New Republic. [Applause]
The growing participation of labor in the profits of development should be maintained.
The agrarian reform program must now proceed towards its logical next step, which involves, as I said, establishment of production and marketing cooperatives as well as the pooling of resources and facilities in the consolidation program of small farm units.
The New Republic draws its vitality from its roots in the villages. Barangay participatory democracy must continue.
Now, through the first three years of this Assembly, it has been its historic role to work in close concert with the President/Prime Minister in laying the course for political normalization.
Today, with the birth of the New Republic, that role has fatefully passed from being a transitional parliament to practically, and de facto, the regular National Assembly. [Applause]
To this new charge and this new responsibility, the Batasan must now return the readiness, the probity, and the wisdom of an authentic seat of legislative power in our new government. [Applause]
Having watched the conduct of the members of the Batasang Pambansa, I personally have no doubt that this Assembly shall live true to the high expectations of our people. [Applause]
Our faith is firm that this Assembly which was born in the womb of crisis, challenge, and reform will be equal to this charge and challenge, and will rise as a pillar of strength, of newfound strength, in our New Republic.
In this spirit and in that faith, I now reiterate and formally submit to you the nominations of those who shall be the leaders of the Batasang Pambansa: the Honorable Cesar E.A. Virata for Prime Minister [Applause]; and for Deputy Prime Minister, the Honorable Jose A. Rono. [Applause]
It is understood that the Prime Minister will concurrently be the Minister of Finance; and the Deputy Prime Minister will concurrently be the Minister of Local Government.
I have already announced the members of the Cabinet which I have reorganized.
With reference to the Executive Committee, I wish to announce to you the following membership, based on the decision of the majority party: the Honorable Cesar Virata as Chairman [Applause]; the Honorable Jose Rono as Vice Chairman [Applause]; and the following as members: Minister Roberto Ongpin of Industry [Applause]; Minister Juan Ponce Enrile of Defense [Applause]; Minister Manuel Alba of the Budget [Applause]; a Representative from the south, especially in Mindanao, the former Vice President and now Assemblyman, Emmanuel Pelaez [Applause]; and the representative of the local executives, the Governor of the Province of Cebu, Governor Eduardo Gullas. [Applause]
While we shall maintain for the time being the membership of the Executive Committee at this level of seven members, it is my intention to slowly bring up its membership to 15 as provided for by our fundamental law and upon determination of the mechanics of adding to this body through consultation with the majority party and the Cabinet, as well as the members of the Batasan. We shall move in that direction.
Ladies and gentlemen of the Batasang Pambansa, it is now my honor to say that on this site now, during your meeting and upon your confirmation of my nominations, we start the new government of our land, and then shall begin the necessary and historic dialogue between the executive and the legislative authorities of government which shall define the modes, the ethics, the code, the policy, the rules of coordination and cooperation between these two bodies which in a parliamentary form of government are one and the same and are not separate.
Finally, I ask for your support for our program of government, as I freely give mine to the work of this Assembly, and let us now, God willing, consecrate ourselves to the long life and vitality of our New Republic.
To all of you, thank you and good day. [Applause]