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One is to be inserted in page 13 of the amendatory bill, line 2, and the purpose of this amendment is to lend some semblance of reality to the idea of a higher standard of living for the Filipinos. I quote:
Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding paragraph no article shipped from the Philippines to the United States on or after July 1, 1940, shall be admitted to entry in the United States until the importer of such article shall have presented to the United States collector of customs a certificate, signed by a competent authority of the Philippine government, attesting that every laborer or person engaged or intervening in the production, manufacture, packing, or transportation of such article received as wages or compensation for his or her services an amount not less than 1 peso and 50 cents, Philippine currency, for 8 continuous hours thus engaged and 40 cents for every hour thus engaged in excess of 8 hours when the compensation is based on an 8-hour day; or not less than 25 cents per hour when paid by the hour; or not less than 1 peso and 50 cents for 8 hours' continuous work when compensated on the basis of piece work.
Senator HAYDEN. How do those rates compare with present wages in the Philippines?
Mr. CONCEPCION. The present wages in the Philippines, Senator, as I have had occasion to learn personally in the sugarcane fields, are from 30 to 40 centavos a day, and that includes from sunrise to sunset. I was present on more than one occasion when a contractor was engaging laborers for work in the fields. In many instances workers do not receive any money but tokens or orders for supplies that can only be used in stores which have some sort of an arrangement either with the farm or with the mill.
Senator HAYDEN. And the rate which you propose would be about four times the present rate?
Mr. CONCEPCION. Well, I am figuring it out on the basis of what you consider in here a decent standard of living, taking into account the situation in the Philippines. Take for instance now, they get 30 or 40 centavos a day
Senator HAYDEN (interposing). That is the going wage?
Mr. CONCEPCION. That is for the field work on the farms. I don't include there the mill workers. They get a trifle higher salary than that. We have no fresh milk there in abundance. The poor people have to depend, to feed their children, on the American imported condensed milk or evaporated milk. The evaporated milk there costs 22 centavos, or the equivalent of 11 cents per can. Now a man that has a family, and usually they do have families and pretty large families out there, well, it takes nearly one-half of the laborer's daily wages to buy one can of milk, and he doesn't have any recreation at all because it is not known in any field in the Philippines except in the government and some commercial houses, the idea of compensating the laborers for 1 week's vacation a year; and naturally these people, no matter how cheaply they could obtain the food there, they certainly cannot live as human beings should on that basis.
Senator HAYDEN. How do the wages in the Philippines compare with similar wages paid to labor in Cuba and Puerto Rico?
Mr. CONCEPCION. Well, I do think that Cuba and Puerto Rico pay higher wages.
Senator HAYDEN. How much higher?
Mr. CONCEPCION. I understand it is about double in Cuba, and naturally now with the wages-and-hours law applicable to Puerto Rico, it is more than double there,
Senator HAYDEN. But the wages-and-hour law does not apply to agricultural labor. Labor in the cane fields would be agricultural labor.
Mr. CONCEPCION. Yes; well, I can't give you the exact difference between those countries.
Senator HAYDEN. Well, if the Cuban wage is twice as high as the Philippine wage, your proposal would make the Filipino farm labor receive twice as much as they receive in Cuba.
Mr. CONCEPCION. No; I mean this would represent about half of what the Cubans are getting now; and that is to compensate for their higher cost of production in spite of the advantage of their nearness to your shores, as compared to the distance between the United States and the Philippines.
And besides, Senator, I don't think that there is any justification for any industry to exist if its existence is going to depend upon the exploitation of human misery. If these wages cannot be paid by the industries that are taking advantage of the free tariffs granted Philippine products, they have no business existing at all. And I propose this as a part of the bill under consideration because several attempts have been made there in the Philippines to legislate on this very question. But the great majority of the members of the legislature there come from these farming sections. They are the most populated parts of the islands and they have a compelling majority in the legislature; and as their election depends on the money and influence of these farmers, naturally they cannot be persuaded to enact legislation for the purpose of protecting the interests of these workers.
And on the other hand, the whole economic policy that has been laid out here by Dr. Sayre is based on the idea of protecting the workers from being thrown out of employment and from a lowering of their standard of living in the event of any disruption in the industries there.
So this becomes an essential part of the whole economic program.
The other amendment I propose is suggested by the experience we have had with the first independence legislation passed by Congress. At the time that the Jones bill was enacted I had the privilege of being the secretary of Commissioner Quezon, and he and everybody else, including Members of Congress, thought that that would be the last' legislation about the Philippines that Congress would have to enact, because it expressly declared that the Philippines would be set free as soon a stable government was established therein. That was, of course, not a part of the body of the law itself, but it was a solemn declaration made by the United States Congress, more so, perhaps, than any declaration made in a treaty, for the reason that both Houses of Congress participated in that declaration.
And yet that intent of Congress was defeated by completely ignoring the recommendation of the Governor General of the Philippines who had certified that there was a stable government already existing, and this certification of the Governor General as the representative of the United States Government in the Philippines was transmitted by the President to Congress, but nothing came out of it. Now, we would like to have a repetition of that experience barred from this law by amending section 10, paragraph (a), of the act.
Senator HAYDEN. What page?
Mr. CONCEPCION. That is in the law itself, Senator; section 10 of the law itself. This is not touched by the amendment of the joint preparatory committee. It is section 10 of the Tydings-McDuffie Act.
Senator PITTMAN. There is a proposed amendment, on page 13, section 3 to section 10, of the act of March 24:
"Section 10 of the said act of March 24, 1934, is hereby amended by adding the following subsection thereto.“
And so forth. That refers to section 10 of the original act.
Mr. CONCEPCION. I am referring to an amendment of section 10, paragraph (a), of the original act that:
On the 4th day of July of the year 1946 all right of possession, supervision, jurisdiction, control, or sovereignty then existing and exercised by the United States in and over the territory and people of the Philippine Islands, including all military and other reservations of the Government of the United States in the Philippines (except such naval reservations and fueling stations as are reserved under section 5), shall be deemed withdrawn and surrendered to the government of the Commonwealth of the Philippine Islands, and the President of the United States shall by proclamation recognize on behalf of the United States the independence of the Philippine Islands as a separate and self-governing nation and acknowledge the authority and control over the same of the government instituted by the people thereof, under the constitution then in force.
The effect of this amendment is not to make the independence of the islands dependent on the proclamation of the President of the United States; the intent of this law anyway is to give that independence on that day; but to avoid the experience we had with the preamble of the Jones Act, which rendered the culmination of the intent of Congress dependent on one single person. My amendment seeks the removal of that intervention by making the grant of independence just as Congress intended it to be.
Now, one other amendment I would suggest in case the committee, of course, decides to recommend this bill of the Joint Preparatory Committee, and that is not to make the economic program for the Philippines depend on the realization of the trade agreement that is provided in here, because, after all, this has no binding effect upon future Congresses; and, on the other hand, it is permissive; it is merely an authority granted to the President. The President can, if he so wishes, arrange for a trade agreement with the Philippines on the basis of the provisions of this amendatory bill, or he can throw it overboard if he wants to.
Senator PITTMAN. How would you remedy that?
Mr. CONCEPCION. The remedy that I propose is the amendment of the original act, paragraph 9 of section 2, where it says, “Acts affecting currency, coinage, imports, exports, and immigration shall not become law until approved by the President of the United States."
My idea was to simply strike out the words “imports" and "exports" in order to give the Philippines complete autonomy in the matter of legislating on tariffs, because it stands to reason that, even if this law is approved, we have no certainty that the additional period of readjustment provided here is ever going to come.
In the meanwhile, we are completely helpless as to preparing other markets for such products of the Philippines that could be sold elsewhere than the United States.
At the end of this period, in 1946, if the agreement for the preferential customs duties herein provided is not made you will find the Philippines without any preparation at all to face the situation.
Philippine products will have to pay full tariffs right then and there, without having made any preparations at all for their disposal elsewhere. It is just like telling a man who is employed, “Well, I will give you notice that you are going to be fired within 60 days, but I warn you not to go out and try to look for another job.”
And that is exactly the situation in which we would be placed if we are not given a certain amount of autonomy in the matter of drafting our own tariff laws.
Senator PITTMAN. Well, of course, if you had that autonomy you could do what you pleased, couldn't you, with regard to exports and imports?
Mr. CONCEPCION. That is true.
Senator PITTMAN. Well, now, on the other hand, would not any Congress have a right to repeal this act in any year, this proposed act?
Mr. CONCEPCION. Yes, sir. Senator PITTMAN. Is there anything that could bind the islands after they became a sovereign government?
Mr. CONCEPCION. Well, that is just exactly, I think, the point I am making, because if Congress should choose to repeal this act and take away all of these benefits from the Philippines, the Philippine government is certainly left entirely at sea, without any means of protecting the country's economy from a situation such as that.
Senator PITTMAN. You don't want anything then binding upon the independent sovereign government of the Philippines after 1946?
Mr. CONCEPCION. I don't mean that, Senator; the thing that concerns me is that we should have some means of overcoming the situation that we would have to face in 1946 if Congress at that time should not see fit to give its confirmation to an agreement made by the President under the terms of this law.
Senator PITTMAN. I am interested because that problem has been in my mind all the time.
Mr. CONCEPCION. Of course, the wording of this amendment could be so perfected as to really meet that emergency, without being as drastic as I have just offhand proposed.
Senator VANDENBERG. Did you present these views to the preparatory committee?
Mr. CONCEPCION. No, sir.
Mr. CONCEPCION. For the reason that I was not in town when they were holding their meetings.
Senator PITTMAN. Do you think that the agreement at this time between the United States Government and the present government of the Philippine Islands to enter into a treaty after the full sovereignty of the Philippine Islands occurs, would be binding?
Mr. CONCEPCION. No, sir; and that is exactly the reason why I would like to give the Philippine government some sort of a protection against any such contingency.
Senator PITTMAN. Well, I think the bill attempts to provide for that, does it not?
Mr. CONCEPCION. Yes, it does attempt, but there is no physical way by which, if such an emergency should present itself, we could take care of our economy.
That is all I have to say, and thank you, gentlemen.
Senator PITTMAN. Who is the next witness that desires to go on? Mr. LEUTERIO. Gervasio J. Leuterio is my name.
Senator PITTMAN. You may proceed. STATEMENT OF GERVASIO J. LEUTERIO, SPOKESMAN FOR THE
FILIPINO CLASSIFIED CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYEES
Mr. LEUTERIO. I am a classified civil-service employee, now employed as an auditor in the
General Accounting Office. I am speaking for the Filipino classified civil-service employees of the United States Government.
Mr. Chairman, your committee is considering a proposed amendment to the Philippine Independence Act. In part, it provides that pending the final and complete withdrawal of the sovereignty of the United States over the Philippine Islands, citizens and corporations of the Philippine Islands shall enjoy in the United States and all places subject to its jurisdiction all of the rights and privileges which they respectively shall have enjoyed therein under the laws of the United States in force at the time of the inauguration of the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippine Islands.
It will not, however provide a definite guarantee of security for our positions after 1946; neither will it guarantee our present positions, most of us think, if Congress were to pass public acts limiting the benefits to be derived therefrom to citizens of the United States, which seems to be the present tendency in Congress.
In order to remedy this condition, therefore, we Filipinos in the classified civil service, who owe allegiance to the United States, come to respectfully ask of you a measure of protection—the privilege of naturalization.
But before dealing with this appeal, it may be well to consider how it happened that certain Filipinos are entitled to civil-service status. We quote from a letter under date of February 11, 1938, signed by the Hon. Harry B. Mitchell, President of the Civil Service Commission:
The dril-service rules promulgated by the President of the United States provide that for admission to the open competitive examinations held by the Commission only persons who are citizens of or owe allegiance to the United States may be admitted. Filipinos are admitted to these examinations on the basis of the "allegiance” clause.
Since the initial publication of those rules, Filipinos have availed themselves of the opportunity. Most of us began our public service with modest appointments. But there are now among us some who hold positions of more responsibility.
There are approximately 3,000 Filipino civil-service employees. And, according to information we have received, about one-half of them have already been naturalized for having served in the armed forces and the merchant marine of the United States. The remaining one-half, however, stand united in their desire to become American citizens, if the opportunity is afforded them.
The question we should like to present to you, therefore, is should the Congress of the United States give ample protection to these Filipinos by making adequate provision for their naturalization as United States citizens?