Written 10:30 AM.
February 13, 1971
on Feb. 12th
I attach the subjects of the merienda conference with Ray Goodman of the World Bank who felt as usual that there should be more taxes, and continued fiscal restraint.
I also attach the report of Sec. Romulo on the directive I issued to him during the cabinet on the Japanese copper smelters and buyers note to our copper producers to reduce their production by 20% because the new mines in such areas like Zambia are flooding the Japanese market with copper ore (the Philippine copper producers should be given priority as they have always accommodated Japanese requests before this); I have also ordered Romulo to see how we can join the Japanese cartel in buying crude oil at better prices for our refineries.
Also attached is the report of Ambassador Nolan on the sugar situation which is turning worse because of the demand for sugar quotas of the Latin American countries, Florida and Texas.
I attach the petition of the Solicitor General to the Supreme Court for the remand of the electric rates case of Meralco back to the Public Service Commission because the government was not given an opportunity to present evidence against the rates which were hurriedly approved by Com. Medina before his retirement on July 2nd, 1970 even before the Auditor General had finished its audit of the books of Meralco to determine the
value of investment and the rate of profit – and even before the government could present its expert witnesses (all these a denial of the right to due process of the people of the Philippines).
The petition is very well written and is a complete review of my own personal views of the problem of “fair rate determination” and the rejection of the “trending or reproduction” theory of the rate base as embodied in the dissenting opinion of Justice Brandeis in the Massouri and Southeastern Bell Tel. Co. vs. Public Service Commission and ultimately adopted in the Supreme Court Case of the U.S. – Federal Power Commission vs. Hope Natural Gas.
Imelda has discovered a new world. And she seems happy, deliriously so. For we are now unquestioning partners again, against all our enemies.
So now I concentrate on government and can devote myself and my life to the Republic.
We talked about our lives seriously this morning in bed. Casually but candidly. And we are both walking on air.
This morning I devoted to the rice and corn situation. The price of corn has doubled if not trebled because it just does not exist in the market. The typhoons laid the folds to waste.
And rice production was also reduced by the calamities (21 typhoons). So even in Greater Manila IR-8 and Macau if any are selling at ₱2.11 a ganta. The traders are buying from the millers at ₱24 a cavan and the millers are holding out.
So I called the RCA manager, Peding Montelibano and the Sec. of Agriculture, Sec. Bung Tanco and Tony Roxas Chua of the Federation of Filipino …..
With Tony were most of the traders of the Visavas and Mindanao whom we convinced to keep prices at present levels.
RCA will issue a press release clearly stating that there is no rice shortage but recommending the forceful implementation of the price control commission price level of ₱1.85 a ganta of Macau and IR-8, the commandeering of hoarded, concealed and surplus stocks as well as stocks held to create an artificial shortage, of producers, millers and traders.
RCA also recommends that if these measures are not enough, we accept a loan or borrow from Japan, 300,000 tons payable in 30 years with 10 years grace at 3% in rice or in cash.
These will stop the speculations. But there will be a hue and cry about my having failed in the rice-sufficiency program.
I attach my papers, samples of my work of the day.
Saw the Israeli film on the demonstration of their Gabriel weapons system (a surface to surface missile with an optical and radar guidance system with a range from five kilometers to twenty kilometers).
Three systems are recommended, each system costing $3,244,000. I have asked the Navy (FOIC Papa) to submit a recommendation.urabe
But what we really need is not a missile system for the Navy but airfields for our jet fighters in Zamboanga, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, and Laoag and Legaspi in Luzon. Our fighters are now armed with missiles.
I am playing golf with Ambassador Urabe tomorrow on the copper, oil and rice matters.