The NARIC will purchase rice in Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and Pampanga. I am worried about the unsettled conditions, the lack of peace and order, the dislocation of transportation, (the) shortage of fuel and the spirit of non-cooperation. But we have to succeed; otherwise, there will be no rice for Manilans.
The Army has reduced the 25 trucks requested by the office to 20, five run by alcohol and fifteen by gasoline. Only 60 tins of gasoline will be issued per week. This is the basis of the Army’s calculation: for trucks, one liter for every three kilometers; for cars, one liter for every five or six kilometers. In war, gasoline is like blood.
On or after February 18th, the Army will allow the NARIC to transport 200 tons of rice by freight cars. Two hundred tons is equivalent to about 3,600 bags of rice or 6 NBB cars and 1 J car. So far, the railroad is strictly for Army use.
Must make plans according to stations: what mills, what towns, (what) quantities of palay or rice, beginning February 18th. There must be no hitches, no delays. The use of the railroad will be a great help. We must make the most out of the privilege.
The Japanese supervisor said that we must have ready daily 3,600 cavans of rice or palay, preferably rice, to be loaded in freight cars. If we cannot fill the cars, the Army must be notified two or three days in advance. Every available space must be utilized. The Army does not want to waste even one inch of baggage or cargo space.
At present, the Army alone can procure the rice and palay in Nueva Ecija and Tarlac. They take 3,000 sacks daily. We are trying to negotiate whether we can take the rest after the Army has taken its quota. We are not sure whether the Army will agree. In war, it is always “Army first!”
The Japanese Army will be a major cause of the food shortage. At present, this fact is not yet felt. But as the months pass by, there will be less food on every table. In some, there will be no food at all. Then people will ask: “Where is the food going?” And they will know that it goes to the Army.
Can’t speak of these things publicly nowadays. It is strange, but the meaning of freedom can only be understood when one no longer has it.