By Floro Mercene
Most of the laws, decrees, proclamations, and executive orders that President Marcos wrote and issued are still in effect today. Notable of these is Presidential Decree No. 27 “decreeing the emancipation of tenants from the bondage of the soil” which he wrote by hand.
In the field of diplomacy, Marcos initiated the formation of ASEAN in 1966 – together with the heads of state of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore – to combat the threat of communism in the region. The country also hosted a summit of seven countries (US, South Korea, South Vietnam, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines) to discuss the worsening problem in Vietnam and the containment of communism in Southeast Asia.
His vision of a New Society (Bagong Lipunan) was founded on his objectives to improve the economy, increase agricultural productivity, and dismantle the oligarchy. In his book, “Notes on the New Society,” he referred to it as a movement urging the poor and the privileged to work as one for the common goals of society, and to achieve the liberation of the Filipino people through self-realization.
It is also noteworthy to recall that the Philippines attained self-sufficiency in rice in 1968 for the first time since the American period by promoting the cultivation of IR-8 hybrid rice. Then, too, one of the most important economic programs in the 1980s was the Kilusang Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran (KKK) which encouraged barangay residents to engage in their own livelihood projects and resulted in the increase of the nation’s economic growth rate to an average of 6 to 7 from 1970 to 1980.
Too bad that many of his legacies were either destroyed or left to the elements to rot.
The list of his achievements is too long to ingest in one sitting, and Ferdinand Edralin Marcos might mean different things to different people, but one thing that even his critics will admit is the fact that he was a true visionary.