President Sergio Osmeña’s State of the Nation Address - Part 5

CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal (The Freeman) - September 30, 2020 - 12:00am

This State of the Nation Address was delivered on June 9, 1945 when the country was about to rise from the damage of World War II. This speech should be integrated in our school curriculum so the youth will understand our war history.

“While our Government in Washington did its utmost to present before the American people the political aspect of the struggle in the Philippines, it did not neglect the economic phase, fully aware that the war would produce serious dislocations in the economic life of our country. President Quezon initiated personally the negotiations with the Federal Government to obtain the necessary economic assistance after the war. He did not stop negotiating directly with that Government until, because of his health, he had to retire temporarily from active labor. To proceed with the work already commenced, he created a Post War Planning Board. This Board held sessions continuously and completed its preliminary work. This served as the basis for a program which was finally submitted by the representatives of our Government on the Filipino Rehabilitation Commission presided over by Senator Tydings. I am presenting to you with this message the reports which have been submitted to me by the Filipino group of this Commission. Upon their examination you will find that the program of relief and rehabilitation, as prepared by our representatives in Washington, is very comprehensive. I wish on this occasion to praise the work done by our group. Our men there accomplished a difficult task within very limited means. Now that there is available to me a wealth of human material, it is my purpose to appoint to this Commission new representatives, among whom will be members of this Congress.

“When I assumed office as President of the Philippines, I considered it my duty to exert every possible effort to obtain the active personal interest of the President of the United States in our problems. But when I was prepared to confer with President Roosevelt on his return from Quebec last October, I received an urgent request from General MacArthur, to join him and the forces of liberation that were poised to retake the Philippines. Because of this urgent request, I was able to have only a short conference with President Roosevelt, but I promised him that I would return to the United States as soon as possible to continue our conversations.

“After the reestablishment of the Commonwealth Government in Leyte, I returned to the United States. President Roosevelt being then out of Washington and, on the other hand, finding myself in urgent need of submitting to a physical examination, I went to Jacksonville, Florida. Everything was in readiness for my hospitalization there when I received another telegram from General Macarthur urging me to join him in Luzon immediately. Reaching Lingayen on the very day I was expected, I rejoined General MacArthur in his headquarters and with him I entered Manila.

“Upon resuming my functions in this Capital, I endeavored to convene the Congress, but due to the military situation, it was not possible to do so. I then decided to return to the United States to renew my conferences with President Roosevelt. We met on April 5th and reached an agreement on some of our basic problems. We further agreed to meet again in Washington. Unfortunately, the President died on the 12th.” (To be continued)

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