Sunday, January 24, 2010

Elpidio Quirino

Early Life and Career

He was born in Vigan, Ilocos Sur to Don Mariano Quirino of Caoayan, Ilocos Sur and Dona Gregoria Mendoza Rivera of Aringay, La Union. Quirino spent his early years in Aringay, La Union. He studied and graduated his elementary education to his native, Caoayan, Ilocos Sur and were he became a barrio teacher. He received secondary education at Vigan High School, then went to Manila where he worked as junior computer in the Bureau of Lands and as property clerk in the Manila police department. He graduated from Manila High School in 1911 and also passed the civil service examination, first-grade. Quirino attended the University of the Philippines. In 1915, he earned his law degree from the university's College of Law. He was engaged in the private practice of law until he was elected as member of the Philippine House of Representatives from 1919 to 1925, then as Senator from 1925 to 1931.
In 1934, Quirino was a member of the Philippine Independence mission to Washington D.C., headed by Manuel L. Quezon that secured the passage in the United States Congress of the Tydings-McDuffie Act. This legislation set the date for Philippine independence by 1945. Official declaration came on July 4, 1946. During the Battle of Manila in World War II, his wife, Alicia Syquia, and three of his five children were killed as they were fleeing their home. After the war, Quirino continued public service, becoming president pro tempore of the Senate.Vice-Presidency and PresidencyIn 1946, he was elected first vice president of the independent Republic of the Philippines, serving under Manuel Roxas. He also served as secretary of state.

Elpidio Quirino's six years as president were marked by notable postwar reconstruction, general economic gains, and increased economic aid from the United States. Basic social problems, however, particularly in the rural areas, remained unsolved, and his administration was tainted by widespread graft and corruption.
First Term (1948-1949) Taking his oath of office two days after the death of Manuel Roxas. His first official act as the President was the proclamation of a state mourning throughout the country for Roxas' death. Since Quirino was a widower, his surviving daughter Vicky would serve as the official hostess and perform the functions traditionally ascribed to the First Lady.

Quirino announced two main objectives of his administration: first, the economic reconstruction of the nation and second, the restoration of the faith and confidence of the people in the government. In connection to the first agenda, he created the President's Action Committee on Social Amelioration or PACSA to mitigate the sufferings of indigent families, the Labor Management Advisory Board to advise him on labor matters, the Agricultural Credit Cooperatives Financing Administration or ACCFA to help the farmers market their crops and save them from loan sharks, and the Rural Banks of the Philippines to facilitate credit utilities in rural areas.
Second Term (1949-1953)
HUKBALAHAP- Quirino's administration faced a serious threat in the form of the communist Hukbalahap movement. Though the Huks originally had been an anti-Japanese guerrilla army in Luzon, communists steadily gained control over the leadership, and when Quirino's negotiation with Huk commander Luis Taruc broke down in 1948, Taruc openly declared himself a Communist and called for the overthrow of the government.International Relations
He impresed foreign heads of states and world statesmen by his intelligence and culture. In his official travels to the United States, European countries, and Southeast Asia, he represented the country Philippines with flying colors. During his six years of administration, he was able to negotiate treaties and agreements with other nations of the Free World. Two Asian heads of state visited Philippines–President Chiang Kai-shek of Nationalist China (Formosa) in July 1949 and President Achmed Sukarno of Indonesia in January 1951.

On May 26-30, 1950, upon Quirino's invitation seven free Asian nations held the Baguio Conference of 1950 to discuss common problems of Asian peace and security. In 1950, the administration of president Quirino was beginning the Korean War and over 7,450 Filipino soldiers were sent to Korea under the designation of the Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea or PEFTOK.

Economy of the Philippines under
President Elpidio Quirino

1948 \approx 19.23 million
Gross Domestic Product
1948 Php 99,628 million
1953 Php 146,070 million
Growth rate, 1948-53 9.43 %
Per capita income
1948 Php 5,180
1953 Php 7,596
Total exports
1948 Php 35,921 million
1953 Php 34, 432
Exchange rates
1 US $ = Php 2.00
1 Php = US $ 0.50
Sources: Philippine Presidency Project
Malaya, Jonathan; Eduardo Malaya. So Help Us God... The Inaugurals of the Presidents of the Philippines. Anvil Publishing, Inc..


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