January 15, 1944

The situation is getting more and more alarming. For a month now, we haven’t received our ration of rice which the NARIC had been distributing in small quantities. It is either because there is no rice or because of certain reasons enumerated by Pres. Laurel in a recent speech, namely:

  1. The anomalies of the NARIC. The President himself expressed his intention of dissolving the NARIC. It is common knowledge that thousands of sacks of rice have been disappearing from the bodegas through clandestine operations of Filipino and Japanese officials who are presently detained by the Military Police at Fort Santiago.
  2. The subversive and recalcitrant elements who are called by the generic term “guerrillas.” Some of them refuse to plant, while others prevent the harvest of rice. Others attack transport trucks loaded with rice, claiming that they are destined for Japanese provisions. In Nueva Ecija, where rice abounds, the guerrillas are encamped, to their greater advantage.
  3. The lack of transportation. Vehicles are either rotting or breaking down. A small spare part costs more than the price of a new car before the war. The Army has commandeered all the supply of alcohol which is already running out due to reduced plantation activities, and is not selling the scarce supply to private individuals. The experiment of using charcoal which had caused so much furor in the beginning is now unpopular because of its damaging effects on the engine. There are no boats or barges available since all of them have been commandeered by the Navy. The railroad is unable to cope with the transportation needed. Thousands of daily commuters wait to buy tickets at the Tutuban station, and after waiting for three days and nights, they end up not being able to buy them unless they are willing to pay five or ten times the price from scalpers. Passengers are inside and outside the trains, on the roof-top, hanging by the windows or piled up on the engines, almost covering the whole train.
  4. The buy-and-sell of controlled commodities—rice, sugar, soap, oil, clothes, cigarettes, matches—is prohibited. The government is supposed to take over it. But since this is very seldom done and if ever, only in small quantities, people have to buy the commodities from the The SIBA, which has replaced the NARIC, has started distributing daily rations of 120 grams of rice per person, which is what a beggar would eat for breakfast. And this comes after a month of fasting, since it is not given on a daily basis. The PRMICO, a sister organization, is not doing any better in distributing other prime commodities. In three months’ time, it has distributed only once.

The New Order publicly condemns the blackmarket, but if people cannot procure these commodities elsewhere, would they rather die of hunger?

  1. There are general complaints on the venalities committed by the Constabulary and other agencies of the government. They are being accused of extorting goods or money from businessmen, or of impeding the transport of goods into the city. The President issued a decree imposing the death penalty or the life sentence on extorting government agents. Public morale is dwindling below zero. Robbery is the order of the day, and business malpractice has become acceptable.

The degenerating morale cannot but contaminate even the responsible and honorable people.


June 23, 1942

People do not seem to understand how to organize a neighborhood association. They don’t read the instructions carefully. When they don’t get their rice, they complain.

The heads of families in a certain neighborhood may formally organize themselves into a Neighborhood Association. An association generally consists of 23 heads of families. Membership, however, could be more or less, provided that the total number of dependents will be at least 92 persons.

These are the steps:

1. A group of about 92 persons or more living close together may unite themselves to form an association, to be considered later as a “Neighborhood Association.”

2. The members of an association will be composed of the heads of the different families who will select a leader.

3. The members will certify to the Naric their chosen leader.

4. Every head of the family will be requested to present his residence certificate or his ration card to the chosen leader in order to be filed with the Naric.

5. The chosen leader will prepare all the necessary papers to be submitted to the Naric.

6. Every head of the family will certify as to the number of his dependents, such certification to be countersigned and certified correct by the leader of the association.

7. As soon as all the papers are completed and prepared, the same will be presented to the Naric for necessary investigation and final approval.

8. If the application is approved by the Naric, the association is legitimately formed and is entitled to receive ration.

The ideal Neighborhood Association is that which consists of 23 heads of families with four persons in each family, or a total of 92 persons.

On the basis of 300 grams per person per day, those 92 persons will be an ideal number to share equally one cavan of rice, since one cavan contains 23 gantas or more, and one ganta weighs 2.4 kilos.

If 300 grams will be allowed each person daily, a family of four persons will receive a ration of 1,200 grams or 1.2 kilos daily, or 2.4 kilos every other day.

Saw Japanese troops feeding their horses with rice.

 


June 16, 1942

Talked to Fukada regarding Mr. Inada. I told Fukada that Inada must be told to change his arrogant ways. He cannot treat Filipinos like dogs. Personally, he has not been rude to me. But I resent his rudeness to fellow Filipinos.

Fukada asked me to be patient.

The Japanese are thinking of introducing Hori rice. They are excited about it. Hori rice seems more glutinous.

Walked home. Walking is a good exercise.

 


May 27, 1942

Monthly consumption of tiki-tiki by Japanese Army is 6,000 sacks according to Mr. Kobatake.

Monthly quota to be covered by Naric in the provinces: Nueva Ecija—3,000 sacks; Bulacan—2,000 sacks; Tarlac—500 sacks.

Price of Tiki-tiki in Manila: Tiki-tiki No. 1 is ₱2.50 per sack of 48 kilos gross excluding sack; Tiki-tiki No. 2 is ₱2.00 per sack of 45 kilos excluding sack; Tiki-tiki No. 3 ₱1.50 per sack of 45 kilos excluding sack.

Mata-mata is ₱2.00 per sack of 45 kilos gross excluding sack. Binlid is ₱3.50 per sack of 50 kilos gross excluding sack.

Price in the provinces in 10 per cent less than the price in Manila without sack.

…Telephone calls, visitors, tiki-tiki, darak, mata-mata, binlid, rice rations, “Oh sir, the rice is brown,” “How do you arrange rice rations?”, “How about giving this voter a job for old time’s sake?”, Inada’s arrogance, Japanese suspiciousness, inability to understand each other’s language, threats, “You’re a pro-Japanese!”, “Why didn’t you open the bodegas?”, more war prisoners dying, send medicine for camp, so-and-so was slapped by Nakashima, boxed by Inada, that Filipino is an informer so be careful of him, Pagulayan, Unson, Fort Santiago, “I resign!”, “That’s hostile act, no you can’t resign!”… Life is a bloody nightmare!


May 14, 1942

Two more men assigned to Naric by Col. Uzaki “in view of the increasing activities and the consequent enormous volume of auditing and accounting.” They are Messrs. R. Ishibashi and T. Tegai. Ishibashi will be Chief Auditor and Tegai will assist him.

Pertinent points of Executive Order No. 40 signed by Chairman Jorge Vargas of the Executive Commission initiating “a national campaign for the cultivation of idle lands to produce food crops in view of an impending food shortage, difficulty of importation and the need to avert hunger and “forestall famine throughout the land”:

“1. That a nationwide campaign for the cultivation of rice, corn, camote, cassava, gabi, cowpeas, soybeans, mongo and other short-time food crops suited to local conditions, be started at once under the joint sponsorship of the DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR and the DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND COMMERCE;

“2. That it shall be the duty of all city and municipal mayors to distribute uncultivated public lands within their respective jurisdictions among the citizens thereof preferably to those who are unemployed in order to enable them to plant food crops therein for a period of one agricultural year;

“3. That if for any reason the owner or the one in possession of any such private land is unable to cultivate the same, it shall be the duty of the mayor of the city or municipality where such land is located to turn it over to the citizens of such city or municipality, preferably to those who are unemployed, for the same purposes and under the same conditions prescribed in the next preceding paragraph;

“That it shall be the duty of all provincial governors personally or through the agricultural supervisors, to inspect the activities of the mayors in this food production campaign. The governors and city mayors shall also submit a monthly report to the Commissioner of the Interior and the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce on the progress of the Campaign in their respective provinces and cities;

“That any person who neglects or fails to perform any duty enjoined by this Order or who performs any act which defeats or tends to defeat its purposes, or who otherwise violates any provision thereof, shall upon conviction be punished with imprisonment not exceeding six months, or by fine not exceeding ₱200, or by both such fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court.”

I hope Commissioners Laurel and Alunan will thoroughly execute the responsibility imposed upon them by this Executive Order. Our production is not enough to supply our consumption. Consequently, every effort must be exerted towards increasing food production. Contrary to the general public opinion, the Naric has nothing to do with production. It has never had anything to do with it in the past and it still has nothing to do with it. Naric merely takes care of procurement, price-fixing and distribution.


April 28, 1942

According to the Tribune, the Department of Agriculture and Commerce is forming the necessary organization with which to carry out the out the plan to increase and stabilize rice production. The different steps to be taken in this respect, according to information, will be embodied in an Executive Order to be issued by Chairman Jorge Vargas of the Executive Commission, to whom the plan outlined by the Department regarding this matter has been referred for approval.

The Tribune this morning also reported that the Director of Plant Industry and experts of the Military Administration have come to an understanding as to how the Philippines can be made to produce enough rice to meet her own needs.

I’m glad our officials are taking a deep interest in the rice situation. I only hope the plans will not remain plans. Action not plans will stave off impending hunger.


April 24, 1942

Made a guide on how to apply for rice ration for provinces short of supply.

1. Take an accurate census of your provinces.

2. Based on 300 grams milled rice (uncooked) per person per day, make an estimate of the needs of the provinces per day, per month and for the whole period of scarcity. Indicate deduction that can be made for any local harvests.

3. Have the provincial governor and the provincial commander (army) recommend the ration requested.

4. The request for rice ration will have to be approved by the Military Administration (Manila) at the former Department of Agriculture building. (At present, approval is made by Col. Uzaki). Said office will also determine the quantity and method of rationing for the provinces.

5. Once approved, take to the NARIC, 732 Evangelista, corner Azcarraga.

6. Present price: 117.50 per cavan, no sack, ex bodega. Deposit for sacks: 40¢ each. No checks accepted. Prices subject to revisions

Mr. Inada is getting more despotic, day by day, he slapped another employee.

The newspapers are filled with stories on the kindness of the Japanese. Pictures of Japanese soldiers playing with Filipino children and pictures of Japanese soldiers giving food to Filipino war prisoners.

The Japanese indulge in self-deception.


April 13, 1942

The city administration has started issuing ration cards to holders of 1942 residence tax certificates preparatory to carrying out the new plan of selling rice to the public of Greater Manila.

The rice ration cards are good for 90 days, the holders are entitled to purchase one ganta every other day, the cards to be punched every time a purchase of one ganta is made.

Justice Abad Santos captured in Cebu by the Japanese, according to the Tribune.

Picture of American prisoners with their hands up. The Americans had long beards, weary faces and tattered clothes. One young fellow lay sprawled on the sand. He was wearing an air-corps uniform.

The Red Cross was not able to obtain permission to help Filipino and American war prisoners.

Met a Japanese soldier who had three watches on each wrist and several fountain pens sticking out of his shirt.


April 5, 1942

Easter Sunday, but no celebration.

Ration cards for rice will soon be issued to the public. Rice will be distributed through 19 public markets. This system is in preparation for the releases of the increased quantity of rice for sale daily to the public.

Under the new plan, a ration card which will be good for at least three months, Will be issued against a new residence tax certificate obtained for 1942. The ration card will be punched every other day to correspond to a ganta of rice purchased.

Saw a Japanese officer walking with boots that were too big for him. They reached above his knees. He also had two watches on his wrist.

“This is co-prosperity,” said a friend.