1908 Report of the Governor of the Province of Batangas to the Governor-General of the Philippines - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore 1908 Report of the Governor of the Province of Batangas to the Governor-General of the Philippines - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

1908 Report of the Governor of the Province of Batangas to the Governor-General of the Philippines

This page contains the 1908 report of Batangas Governor Galicano Apacible to Governor-General at this time of the Philippine Islands. The report is part of a section of the 1908 Report of the Philippine Commission entitled “Report of the Provincial Governors.”

While the source PDF document had OCR (optical character recognition) properties, not all the text could be extracted accurately. Thus, large parts of this report had to be manually transcribed for the purposes of accuracy. The pages given in this page are as they appear in the original document, done for the benefit of researchers who may need these for citation purposes.

Family grinding corn in Luzon, American colonial era
A family grinding corn in Luzon during the American colonial era.  Image digitally extracted from the 1898 publication “Our New Possessions.”

[TRANSCRIPTION]

[p. 237]

Report of the Governor of Batangas.

[Translation.]

Office of the Governor, Province of Batangas,
Province of Batangas,
Batangas, P.I., July 6, 1908.

SIR: In compliance with the provisions of Act No. 1044, I have the honor to transmit the following report for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1908.

Having taken office only four months ago, the data corresponding to the other months of the fiscal year are taken from the records of this office and from those of the other departments of this provincial government.

provincial and municipal administration.

The provincial board has been working with regularity during the year under the provisions of the provincial organic act, holding its regular weekly sessions without interruption, except in cases of the investigation of matters requiring prompt action, when special sessions were held. Happily, such cases have been rare, only one having occurred since I have been at the head of the government, which was in March, when we had to hold two special sessions to investigate the charges made against the acting president of Bauan, which were proved to be unfounded.

During the year, 143 detention and 114 convicted prisoners have been confined in the provincial jail. No prisoners have escaped, and no disturbances, deaths, or epidemics have occurred within the jail, having a capacity of 250 prisoners, which it used to contain during the Spanish domination, when it was constructed. Since May we have been making a general repair of the cells and doors, which had become weak.

From what I have observed in the routine examination of the resolutions and ordinances of the municipal councils, which the provincial board is called upon to revise in accordance with the provisions of Act No. 1791, as well as in the personal inspection which I had to make of all the municipalities in the regular visit last May, I am able to say that in general their work is satisfactory and in some cases brilliant, and I have noted that these councils have in a few years easily assimilated the institution established by the present constituted government, so new and so different from those of the former domination. Their resolutions and ordinances are ordinarily approved in their entirety, and seldom has there been any necessity of any changes therein. The development of their administration of even the municipalities of little importance reveals with some rare exceptions in their personnel much intelligence and a feeling of responsibility worthy of mention.

I intend to create, if the municipalities respond, a statistical division, so that the annual movement of the population as well as the progress or retrogression of agriculture can be determined, and I regret that owing to the lack of such a division, I cannot give concrete data on these points.

politics.

During the year 1907, Nationalista committees were organized in 7 municipalities, but, so far as known, there was no Progresista committee, although some persons residing in the capital are considered Progresistas.

Only Nationalista candidates contended in the election of delegates to the Assembly in the three districts. In the last election for governor and third member, the contest for the first office was between a Nationalista and an independent, and for the second, between a Nationalista and a candidate considered a Progresista, the two Nationalistas having won at the polls.

For municipal offices, the contest has been rather personal and factional in the respective municipalities, without any political character, and in only a few between the candidates of the popular masses and those of the wealthy class, the popular candidates having been elected in all.

Although the contest was very spirited in nearly all the municipalities, no public disorder was reported during the campaign nor during the elections.

Protests denying the eligibility of the governor-elect on the ground of legal and bona fide residence were made, and the investigation ordered by you having been made, the allegations of the protestants were proved unfounded, the protests were overruled, and the election of the writer was confirmed.

[p. 238]

In April, a complaint was presented to the executive secretary alleging that the third member was ineligible because of having been on the day of the election a member of the local school board of Cuenca, which upon investigation proved to be unfounded and was overruled.

After the municipal elections had been held, protests were made against two presidents-elect, that of Bauan as suffering from leprosy. The man against whom it was made had himself examined in the bureau of science, and, on learning that he was really afflicted with it, went to the San Lazaro Hospital. His office being declared vacant under the provisions of the election law, a special election was held April 20 last. Various protests were also presented against the man elected thereat, of which one of a judicial nature and all those of an administrative character have already been overruled. One is still pending in the hands of the prosecuting attorney, which it is hoped will be decided by the court of first instance of this capital at the next term. The fury with which the two factions in this municipality attack each other is notable, as they litigate in the smallest matters before the provincial board and in the court of first instance. The energies and attention of the residents, almost completely absorbed in these struggles, are withdrawn from work for the common welfare, and I purpose to end, or at least to soften, these contentions so that their energies may be directed toward work more beneficial to the community.

Protests were also made against the president-elect of Lipa, alleging that he was a member of the local school board on the day of the election. The proper municipal council, after investigation having declared the protest well founded, the former provincial board approved of the decision and appointed another president. The man removed has appealed to the court of first instance and it is probable that the appeal will be heard at the next term of that court.

The only religion in this province is the Catholic, with the exception of the Presbyterian, which has some proselytes in the towns of Lipa and Bauan. Presbyterianism has been preached for a short time in those towns, and some conversions have been made pacifically and without having produced up to the present any disturbances provoked by religious struggle.

I believe our election law is one of the most complicated regarding eligibility, the cause of so many protests in this and other provinces. I take the liberty of recommending to the Legislature that the law be amended so that public officials shall also be eligible if they possess the qualifications of an elector.

public order.

There were, during the fiscal year, 3 hold-ups in uninhabited places by persons armed with bolos, who succeeded in taking the money of the persons assaulted without any wounds or deaths being inflicted. In the entire province, 6 houses in remote places were attacked for the purpose of robbery by persons armed with bolos, and some with revolver and gun, the number of the assailants being ordinarily 3. In 4 cases, the persons assaulted were wounded, and in 1, that of Miss Hahn, death occurred, the details of which were communicated to the government at the proper time by my predecessor. The parties guilty of this assault and assassination have all been arrested and sentenced, 2 to capital punishment and 1 to fourteen years' imprisonment. At present, one party only of bandits, Castro's, is marauding in the province, and according to reports is camped in the territory of Cavite, which adjoins Talisay and Tanauan, and from time to time descends to the remote barrios of these towns to commit its misdeeds. The constabulary, which has detachments in the vicinity, and the residents of the barrios pursue the party unceasingly. Platoons of the constabulary had encounters with individuals of the party twice this year, one on January 27 and another on April 16 last, in which the constabulary killed 1, seriously wounded 2, and captured 1, and also 2 guns and 35 cartridges. According to trustworthy reports, only 3 members of this party with 2 guns remain. The constabulary, with the cooperation of the municipal authorities and residents of Tanauan and Talisay, have taken measures and propose to capture them in the shortest possible time.

According to information received from Manila on June 26, Fructuoso Vito and 3 companions escaped from Corregidor Island where they were working, and it is believed that Vito will go to Lemery, his native town, where he has a wife and children. We immediately took measures for the recapture of these escaped prisoners, the constabulary sent out troops, and the municipal authorities of the towns through which it was supposed they were going to pass gave

[p. 239]

instructions to their lieutenants of barrios to furnish information and to prepare their detectives to cooperate with the constabulary. On June 29, they were seen in Looc, of the jurisdiction of Nasugbu, and various platoons of constabulary went in pursuit of them, but up to the present, no news has been had of the result of this pursuit.

The constabulary of this province, under the command of the senior inspector, Captain Thompson, is in harmony with the municipal authorities and with the people in general. With the cooperation of the municipal police, it renders excellent and efficient services, above all in the capture of cattle thieves. Because of the damage done by them to agriculture in this as well as in other provinces, I believe that special legislation is needed to repress them.

capture of wrongdoers. Although this useful organization is becoming more nearly perfect each year since its establishment, yet I have noted a lack of tactical unity and intelligence between the bodies of the different municipalities in cooperating with each other in cases of disturbance and in the capture of criminals who easily pass from one municipality to another. To remedy this, I have outlined a plan which I believe will give good results when employed. We have already put part of it into force by the appointment of a subinspector of constabulary who constantly travels through the municipalities to inspect and instruct the policemen in discipline as well as in their duties as civil employees, while at the same time, we are unifying the manner in which they are armed. But to secure efficient policemen, we meet with the difficulties of the inconstancy of their employment, as they are at the mercy of the incoming municipal presidents, who are, by sections 18 and 26 of the municipal code, empowered to change the personnel of the municipal police. I am of the opinion that these sections should be amended so as to exclude municipal policemen from the appointive officials whom the president can remove on taking the office of president, so that we may have a select personnel, not subject to the results of electoral strife and of favoritism, which demoralizes the service.

agriculture.

The following comparative table of the agricultural production is made up from data furnished by the municipal presidents on my request, which are approximate estimates only, as there are at present no means for obtaining exact data. Hogs, chickens, and eggs, the production of which must be considerable, judging from what is seen in the vessels sailing from these shores, which are always overstocked with them, are not included in this table, as no means are available for making even an approximate estimate of these products. This table shows the crops harvested during the fiscal year 1908 as compared with that of 1907:

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There were 3,645 work animals died during the year, as compared with 6,966 during the fiscal year 1907, a decrease of 3,321.

It is seen that the production of sugar and palay, the principal products of the province, has increased 33 per cent this year, in spite of the terrible mortality of work animals, the number of which reached 3,645 this year. If to this adverse circumstance be added the scarcity and difficulty of securing laborers

[p. 240]

for agricultural work, owing to reasons which I shall state later, and the lack of the capital necessary for the purchase of tools and machinery, the great efforts and sacrifices which these farmers make to obtain so notable an increase in production are to be appreciated and justly praised. I believe, therefore, they merit some official attention, and that they ought to be efficiently aided in their struggle against such adverse circumstances.

One of the principal plagues is the epizooty in the form of rinderpest, foot and mouth disease, and surra, which have existed in the province for ten years, and annually kill from 3,000 to 4,000 heads of cattle, the value of which, according to present prices, amounts to approximately ₱500,000. As an annual loss it is great enough, but it is even more important if the energy they represent as the principal factor in farm work, and which is annually withdrawn, be considered. The small owners who have no resources with which to replace their dead animals suffer most in this respect, and it is the cause of there being much land still uncultivated in many municipalities of the western part of the province. In my opinion, this is the most important problem to be solved in order to build up agriculture, and, as I had the honor to state to you the past month, it is not venturesome to state that in view of the efforts which these farmers are making to arise from the decadence into which they have fallen, if the rinderpest could be completely wiped out, in three years this province would attain the prosperity which it had before the revolution. This evil being almost general in all the Philippines, and of more or less importance in the different provinces, I take the liberty of suggesting that in the solution of the agricultural problem of the Philippines, the wiping out of the rinderpest should engage the earnest attention of the government.

The scarcity of laborers is due, in the first place, to their emigration in poor agricultural years to Manila and the other provinces, where they found better facilities for earning their living; and having acquired interests there, remain definitely. During this year, however, some families which had emigrated returned to their respective municipalities, but they were very few. The other cause is the continuance of the old system of aparceria for securing laborers. This system, under the present r├ęgime, with the essential laws in force, meets with many difficulties in practice, difficulties which sometimes come from the a parcero and at other times from the owner, and for that reason the latter often refrains from making contracts, even at the risk of leaving part of their plantation uncultivated. The question of a parceria as it presents itself in this province is, as I understand it, a social problem which ought to be decided by law, if it can be done. With this object in view, I shall endeavor to investigate it carefully, and if I find any solution, I shall have the pleasure of submitting it to you in my next report or in a special one.

One of the factors impeding agricultural prosperity in this as well as in other provinces is the means of communication, which become almost impassable in the rainy season and paralyze the transportation of products, or at least greatly increase the cost of such transportation. For this reason, the provincial board is constructing first-class roads and some bridges, and it is hoped that with the funds we have we shall possess some 36 kilometers of first-class roads during the next fiscal year. The writer, awake to the importance of this matter, has established a system of road menders on all the principal highways, which has been in operation since June 15 , and the regulations adopted by the provincial board for the same are annexed in this report.

Great swarms of locusts have arrived on these shores from Mindoro, as is supposed, since the end of the past month, and their number is so great that, in spite of the efforts of the people to exterminate them quickly, many have been able to settle and leave their eggs. The municipalities of Batangas, Ibaan, Bauan, Taal, Balayan, and Nasugbu have been invaded. The people of these towns, under the direction of the officials, have worked a great deal to exterminate them, voluntarily and without expense to the municipalities, but in spite of these efforts, many hoppers still remain. This plague is a serious menace to the next crop if their extermination is delayed, and to hasten its extermination, and in order that the work undertaken may be more efficient, I was obliged to request aid from the committee of the Legislature in charge of funds for relieving public calamities. It granted us ₱2,000, which is now being expended under the direction of the provincial board in the municipalities invaded; and with the desire of the people earnestly to protect their own interests, and this timely aid, I hope that the remaining hoppers will soon be exterminated.

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commerce.

With the increase in agricultural production, commerce also increased. This progress is evidenced by the increase in the means of transportation, by the opening of new stores of foreign merchandise, and by the visits of dealers. During the sugar season, 3 steamers and some sailing ships were added to the mercantile fleet which carries the ordinary traffic. New stores dealing in cloth and foreign articles have been opened in some municipalities, and rice and sugar machinery has been sold therein. An agent for an American house which exports farm machinery, who ordinarily resides here, has assured me that he has had more orders for farming tools this year than any other since he came to this province. This year, some more Chinese sugar dealers have come, and more commercial development is hoped for, especially in the non-coast municipalities, when the railway line to Batangas is in operation. The facility for the transportation of their products' which this line will furnish them will develop in the municipalities through which it runs not only agriculture, but also commerce. Possessed by this hope, the inhabitants of those municipalities have heard with regret the news of the suspension of work on the Batangas line.

If there was not such great mortality among work animals, the financial condition of the province would be prosperous, owing to the increase in agricultural production, but with this mortality, which not only represents an annual loss of ₱500,000, but paralyzes or at least disturbs agricultural work, the financial conditions of Batangas are at present unsatisfactory. For instance, in Balayan, the rinderpest claimed so many victims that the value of its agricultural production this year scarcely covered the value of the animals it had lost. Happily, this terrifying balance prevailed in only two municipalities, as all the others have had somewhat more favorable balances.

The eastern towns have had an abundant harvest of palay, which it is hoped will be sufficient to last until the next crop. Those of the west, which are sugar-producing towns and produce little palay, have, since May, been importing rice from Manila for their consumption.

finances.

The receipts and expenditures for the fiscal year corresponding to this report are, according to the memorandum furnished by our provincial treasurer, the following:a

With relatively large receipts, the provincial board has, in the past months, been able to give an impulse to public works, especially to the construction of roads and bridges which are so much needed, and to this end there has been constructed a first-class highway from Batangas to Bauan, and there has been ordered the construction of highways, also of the first class, from Tanauan to Santo Tomas, which will be finished about the middle of this month, and from Santo Tomas to Biga, which is under contract to be finished August 30 next, and of the Dacanlao and other bridges and of the Ibaan-Rosario road. At the same time, necessary repair work has been commenced on the provincial building, the provincial school building, and the provincial jail.

The provincial board has adopted the ₱2 personal cedula and the land tax for this year, and it is worthy of note for the satisfaction of the department of finance that, in spite of the cost of the cedula, having been doubled from January 1 to April 25, 1,733 more cedulas were sold than during the entire year of 1907, including delinquents. For this reason, when the provincial board was consulted by the executive secretary in regard to the necessity of granting an extension for delinquents in this tax this year, we answered that we did not believe it necessary for this province, believing, in view of such increase, that nearly all had already paid their cedulas.

Reports from the treasurer show that, according to estimates, up to the end of June nearly one-half the land tax for this year had been paid, and as there are still three months for paying it without penalty we hope by that time to have very few delinquents.

a This table has been omitted, and is on file in the Bureau of Insular Affairs, War Department.

[p. 242]

In view of this splendid condition of the provincial treasury and of having sufficient general funds, we decided to pay, under the provisions of Act. No. 1815, the debt of ₱49,364.47 contracted by this province with the insular treasury in former years, of which ₱30,000 were allotted for the construction of a first-class highway and ₱19,000.47 for the repair and enlargement of the provincial school building and for the construction of an agricultural school and of an industrial school.

Estimated revenue of the province of Batangas during the fiscal year 1909.

02.webp

Work under way.

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Road and Bridge Fund.

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The financial condition of the municipalities is also satisfactory, and for this reason Lemery, Lipa, Batangas, and Bauan were able to appropriate funds for the construction of their respective municipal buildings, and some which already have them transferred amounts from the general funds for the construction of public school buildings. These municipalities are only waiting to comply with the requirements of law to begin work.

There has been no defalcation by any municipal treasurer, nor has any irregularity been discovered in their accounts.

I recommend that the respective provincial boards be empowered to determine without the necessity of the intervention of the insular government, the period for collecting the road and land taxes in their provinces. I base my recommendation on the facts that the revenues produced by said taxes are applied exclusively to provincial and municipal expenses and that the necessity for expending them and the periods of easy collection differ in the different provinces.

industry, manufactures.

During the year, new mills for manufacturing cane sugar and for hulling palay, which were needed because of the notable increase in their production, were erected, but it is impossible for me to state the exact number thereof, which must be considerable. In Lipa alone, 3 rice-hulling mills have been erected this year in addition to the 3 there already.

The weaving industry continues to be individual, no companies being formed to better exploit it. The looms are run by women, and weaving constitutes an exclusive domestic industry for them. These textiles, especially those of sinamay and jusi, are of domestic consumption and are also exported to Manila and other provinces. With the competition of the textiles of other provinces, their manufacture is becoming more and more perfect in quality and above all in color, those manufactured in Lipa andTaal being noted in this respect. It is probable that the cultivation of silk, which has been commenced in Nasugbu, and which, as I am informed, promises flattering production, will have much influence on the development of this industry in the future.

Other industries, such as the manufacture of hats, buli sacks, rattan chairs, etc., are on a small scale, and in just about the same condition as during last year.

public instruction.
According to our division superintendent of schools, the number of pupils was 9,865 in March, 1908, and in the same month of 1907 only 9,169, an increase of 696 for the fiscal year 1908. Last year, ₱4,266.28 were expended for the construction and repair of municipal school buildings.

The increase in the number of pupils last year was not so large as was desired, owing, in my opinion, to the fact that many children attended the Catholic and private Latin schools. The Catholic schools are progressing greatly, as in all the municipalities, the convents have their schools with numerous pupils, and in some, such as Lipa, the Centro Catolico establishes schools in the barrios also. On the other hand, the private Latin schools are well attended, and in some of them, as those of Taal and Balayan, the attendance is so large that the number of professors has not been adequate.

Various municipalities plan to construct new schoolhouses during the present fiscal year with the school funds increased by two-eighths of the land tax imposed this year. The provincial board also allots this year ₱19,364.47 for the repair of the provincial school building and for the construction of an industrial school and of an agricultural school. We believe that we can, with these appropriations, meet the most urgent needs of our provincial schools and give better facilities to studuents desiring proper instruction in agriculture and industry, very important branches to the inhabitants of these municipalities.

public health.

No epidemic has been reported in the province during the year, and although some isolated cases of smallpox appeared, yet owing to the timely measures taken and to extended vaccination, the disease did not spread. As always, malaria affections broke out anew in January, February, and March, although there were not so many victims as in years past. It is observed that pulmonary tuberculosis is spreading in this province, and that it has many victims annually, which is, in my opinion, due rather to contagion than to climatic and

[p. 244]

other exterior conditions, which are healthful. Contagion is due in most cases to ignorance of the rules of hygiene on the part of the sick as well as of those about them.

After the lepers and those suspected of leprosy had been collected from the municipalities in a suitable place on the beach of this capital, 65, after clinical and microscopical examination by employees of the bureau of science, were transported to Culion January 17 last on the coast-guard cutter Basilian.

Not having received returns of births and deaths from the municipal secretaries, I regret that I can not include herein a report thereof. I am at present taking steps to regulate this service. Based upon the statements from the municipality of Lipa, which has sent complete monthly reports, we can deduce the approximate figures for the whole province. During the year, Lipa had 2,359 births and 920 deaths, and of the latter, 608 were children and 312 adults. The births were more than double the deaths, and of the latter almost twice as many were children as adults; there is, therefore, a notable increase in population, but the infant mortality is terrible.

Of the 17 municipalities, only 5 —- Lemery, Taal, Bauan, Batangas, and Lipa —- have physicians who are university graduates for presidents of their municipal boards of health, while the others have only practitioners, or persons not in the medical profession.

I would recommend to the bureau of health to impose upon municipal physicians, if they have duly graduated, the giving of two hours per day to free consultations with the poor and, when giving prescriptions, to explain, when there is occasion for it, sanitary measures against contagion from tuberculosis and the proper manner of caring for children.

Respectfully submitted.

G. Apacible,
Governor of the Province of Batangas.
The Governor-General.

Notes and references:
1 “Report of the Governor of Batangas,” by Galicano Apacible, part of the “Report of the Philippine Commission to the Secretary of War 1908, Part I,” published 1909 by the Bureau of Insular Affairs, War Department, in Washington D.C. by the Government Printing Office.
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