Skip to main content

Full text of "The Philippines to the end of the Commission government; a study in tropical democracy"

See other formats

.^^>^y^^% %^ v^^ 

X^^ ^c. 




4- ^ 







.. ■. 


* -'o. 


■* .•\ 








•"o 0^ 



a « 


Ov « o -^ 

£ >.3ff=5 

^ a 

a 1-3 
~ S ti " 

•^ > =— > 

OC > 

" '^ ^ 

. 5 ; 


To the End of the Commission Government 



Author of 
THE PHILIPPINES: To the End of the Military R«gime 

Former Member United States Philippine Commission, 
Secretary of Commerce and Police in the Govern- 
ment of the Philippines, Associate Justice 
of the Supreme Court of the Philip- 
pines, Associate Justice of the 
Supren-ie Court of 

Portraits in Photogravure 




Copyright 1917 


Charles Burke Elliott 

SEP fQi9t7 

pRess OF 







Former President of the University of Minnesota 


President of the University of Chicago 

*'The Song of the deed in the doing, of the 
work still hot from the hand, 
Of the yoke of man laid friendly-wise on 
the neck of a tameless land." 

"Clear the land of evil, drive the road and 

bridge the ford. 
Make ye sure to each his own 
That he reap where he has sown; 
By the peace among Our people let men know 

we serve the Lord." 


In the volume entitled The Philippines : To the End of the 
Military Regime, I endeavored to present the background of 
history against which the American treatment of the Philip- 
pines must be projected in order to be understood, to show the 
place which our Philippine policy holds in the history of coloniza- 
tion, and to state the principles upon which it rests and the rea- 
sons which actuated the American government in assuming the 
responsibility for the government of the Archipelago. The story 
of the American occupation was brought down to the inaugura- 
tion of a civil governor on the fourth of July, 1901. 

The present volume contains an account of the origin, institu- 
tion and nature of the Philippine government, the manner in 
which it has been administered, and a summary and analysis of 
what has been accomplished by the Americans and Filipinos dur- 
ing the past sixteen years. 

That a nation which maintains colonies is always on trial be- 
fore the world is true in a peculiar sense of the United States be- 
cause of the benevolent and altruistic motives which were de- 
clared to control her Philippine policy. The American people 
feel that the honor of their country is involved in the Philippine 
experiment, and it is of vital importance that they should know 
and understand what has been done in their remote dependency. 

In order properly to appreciate and value that work and judge 
of its permanency it must be remembered that the American occu- 
pation broke the continuity of Philippine history, introduced the 
Filipinos to new principles and ideals of life, and different con- 
ceptions of the essential legal and political rights of individuals. 
It is an attempt to transplant a civilization based upon principles 
and methods of government which are as different from those 


which had prevailed in' the islands as are the plants and products 
of the temperate zone which agriculturists are trying to introduce 
into the tropics. 

Some of these principles of government and ideals of life and 
conduct — and fortunately, those of the most fundamental nature 
— seem to have found congenial soil; a few, possibly, are being 
sustained artificially; while others, apparently, have found no 
nourishment. Some of the optimism of the early years has faded, 
but the statesmen, like the agriculturists, are still hopefully ex- 
perimenting. It is beginning to be realized that not everything 
that grows and prospers in the West, whether plants or govern- 
ments, can be successfully transplanted to the Far East; that the 
political system of an ancient race, the product of thousands of 
years of strenuous experience, can not simply be presented to a 
people who have had no experience in self-government. 

We have changed the face of the country, and given law, or- 
der, justice, and equal rights and opportunities to the people, 
but they are no more Americans to-day than they were two dec- 
ades ago. There should be no illusions on this score. A few 
individuals have been partially Americanized, but it is very doubt- 
ful whether we have materially changed the fundamental char- 
acter of the Filipino people. They are still Spanish in culture 
and their mental processes are those of Latins, not Anglo-Saxons. 
We have, indeed, given them better opportunities for education 
and an improved environment in which to live, and many Amer- 
icans assume that there are no differences in the members of the 
human family that can not be obliterated by education and en- 
vironment. If true it is a matter of generations. The most 
enthusiastic believer in the essential unity of the human race can 
not reasonably expect characteristics which are the result of ages 
of race experience to be permanently changed by a few years 
of training in American democratic institutions. It will require 
more than two decades of popular government to make the Fili- 
pino like unto the children of the New England town meeting. 


When, in 1898, the FiHpinos formed a constitution for the 
republic which they proposed to establish, they went to France 
and South America, not to the United States, for their models. 
Mabini, Calderon and Paterno were the intellectual children of 
the Abbe Sieyes, and followers of the a priori school of political 
philosophy. They had nothing in common, intellectually or po- 
litically, with Washington, Madison, or even Jefferson. The 
American statesmen who devised a government for the Philip- 
pines were of the latter school. They dealt with realities, 
not with abstractions. Their object was to give peace, order 
and justice to the country and prepare the natives, en masse, to 
manage their own affairs, and for that purpose they introduced 
the machinery of a modern popular government. But it was 
tentative, experimental and developable. It was expected that 
new organs would be developed as new functions appeared. The 
ultimate end was to be reached through a process of evolution, 
along lines determined by those general principles which had been 
found essential to the rule of law and the maintenance of indi- 
vidual freedom, and which are, therefore, the necessary founda- 
tions of every just and effective government. 

The popular idea, however, was that the Filipinos were to be 
promptly transmuted into Americans of the most approved type. 
But the men who formulated the Philippine policy sought no 
more than to create conditions under which all the people of the 
islands should have an opportunity to develop the best that was 
in them. Sir James Brooke, the wise Rajah of Sarawak, once 
said that his ambition was to make his people good Malays, not 
yellow Englishmen. So our ambition should be to make good 
and efficient Filipinos out of all the inhabitants of the islands. 
It is not necessary to try to make Yankees out of them. The 
Malay will never be an Anglo-Saxon ; he may be as good a man 
and some day, possibly, as efficient, but he will never be the same 
sort of a person. We must admit that race is a fact which can 


not be obliterated by sentiment, a change of government, or even 
of religion. What scientists call unit characters, such as skull 
shape, stature, eye and hair color, and nose form, are transmitted 
from generation to generation, in accordance with fixed mathe- 
matical laws. "They are," says Madison Grant, "to all intents 
and purposes immutable and do not change during the lifetime 
of a language or an empire." The skull shape of the Egyptian 
fellaheen is absolutely identical in measurement, proportions and 
capacities, with the skull of his ancestor who lived six thousand 
years ago. 

The reader should also remember that the American admin- 
istrators in the Philippines have worked under the serious and 
often embarrassing limitations and restrictions imposed by the 
political and ethical theories upon which the Philippine policy 
rests. While simple in outline and easily stated, that policy in- 
volves considerations of a very delicate and complicated nature. 
We have had to deal with forces which although subtle and in- 
tangible are very powerful. Education, health, material develop- 
ment, in fact all the external and visible work of the government 
has been subordinated to the purpose of creating in the Filipinos 
a consciousness of race unity, a sense of nationality, and capacity 
for self-government. The extent to which this purpose has been 
realized can not as yet be determined with certainty. To create 
in an unhomogeneous people an intelligent unit consciousness of 
nationality is vastly more difficult than to develop the material 
resources of their country. 

Other colonial powers, with more material and less ambitious 
aims, have used much simpler methods. They have until re- 
cently ignored as much as possible the social and political as- 
pirations and ambitions of their native subjects. Such policies 
are definite and understandable, but they are, in a manner, tem- 
porary. Great Britain has worked with large and simple tools, 
and the results are apparent. As Lord Curzon said of England's 


work in India, "It is carved in granite, it is hewn out of the 
rock of doom. . . . It is righteous, and it shall endure." It 
has taken more than a century for strong men, troubled but little 
by altruistic theories and working with the chisel of unlimited 
power, to carve that magnificent record in granite. America in 
the Philippines has worked, not with chisel on the everlasting 
granite, but with the delicate instruments of the etcher — the steel 
point of persuasion and the acid of liberalism. The lines of a 
free government, based on the principles of equal rights for all, 
have been clearly traced, and the acid is slowly giving them dis- 
tinction, definiteness and permanency. Our work, too, is right- 
eous, and we trust that it shall endure. But two decades are but 
as a moment in the life of a people, and the lines on the etcher's 
plate are easily confused, and even obliterated, by an unskilful 
although honest workman. 

Time is an essential element of the problem — time to erect 
a suitable structure on a modern foundation, to train an igno- 
rant and inexperienced people, and to test and measure their 
capacities. The uncertainty which now exists as to the future 
of the Philippines is due to the way in which the United States 
has permitted itself to be hurried in its dealings with the Fili- 
pinos. The government which was established less than two dec- 
ades ago was admirably adapted for its purposes. It was, until 
complicated by the division of legislative power, simple in de- 
sign, with parts well articulated, expandable, and capable of being 
efficiently and economically administered. It assumed that the 
natives were untrained, but capable of being trained to govern 
themselves, and that considerable time would be necessary for 
that purpose. Skilfully directed agitation has so hastened events 
that the Philippine government is now under the immediate con- 
trol of the Filipinos, and the ultimate success of our experiment 
in nation culture depends upon the wisdom and ability of Fili- 
pinos, instead of Americans. If they succeed, it will justify the 


faith in the inherent capacity of the natives upon which our Phil- 
ippine poHcy is based, and redound to the honor of the United 
States and to the credit of the men who laid the foundation upon 
which the present structure rests. 

I believe that the assumption of control over the Philippines 
could not honorably have been avoided without a shrinking from 
responsibility which would have been unworthy of a great and 
self-respecting nation. Its responsibilities have been borne with- 
out reward or hope of reward, other than that which comes from 
the faithful performance of gratuitous service for others. The 
United States is a greater and nobler nation for having lifted the 
Filipinos out of the slough in which they were floundering and 
placed them well on the road toward nationality. 

I have written of the American administration in a sympathetic 
spirit, but I have not hesitated to criticize as well as commend. 
Many mistakes have been made, but the work as a whole is good. 

I owe much to the kindness of friends who have given me the 
benefit of their criticisms and suggestions without assuming re- 
sponsibility for my errors of fact or judgment. Former Presi- 
dent William H. Taft; Doctor Victor G. Heiser, until recently 
director of health; Frank L. Crone, for many years director 
of education, and J. L. Manning, insular treasurer, have each 
read parts of this volume in the proofs. General H. H. Band- 
holtz, until recently chief of the Philippine Constabulary ; Doctor 
W. W. Folwell, and Mr. H. S. Ross, my former private secre- 
tary, each read portions of the manuscript and gave me the bene- 
fit of intelligent and expert criticism and suggestion. I am under 
great obligation to Brigadier-General Frank Mclntyre, Colonel 
C. C. \\^alcutt, Jr., and the other officials of the Bureau of In- 
sular Affairs, for valuable statistical data and other information. 
It is almost needless to say that no one other than the writer is 
responsible for the opinions expressed with reference to the Phil- 
ippine policy, the work of individuals, or the administration of 
the government. C B E 

Minneapolis, May 1, 1917. 




The New Civil Government 1 

Some Generalities — Transfer of the Executive Authority — The In- 
auguration of a Civil Governor — New Filipino Commissioners — The 
Executive Departments — Departure of General MacArthur — Bureau 
Organization — Education — The Constabulary — Agriculture — Health 
— Defective Powers of the Commission Government — Demand for j 
Congressional Legislation — Recommendations of the Commission — n 
Governor Taft's Visit to Washington — Pending Legislation — The'i 
Senate Committee Investigation — Attitude of Parties — The Civil ' 
Government Bills — The Assembly — Differing Views as to Its Value 
— The New Philippine Legislature — The Election of Delegates — Po- 
litical Parties — The Demand for Independence — Launching the As- 
sembly — The Commission Government in Its Final Form. 

The Aftermath of War 21 

The Proclamation of Peace — The Reconstruction Period — Condi- 
tions Unfavorable to Order — Ladronism — Natural Calamities — 
Threatened Famine — Death of the Carabao — Local Disturbances — 
Political or Criminal Motives — Premature Organization of Civil 
Governments — Attitude of General MacArthur — General J. F. Bell 
in Batangas — His Policy — Concentration Camps — Surrender of Mal- 
var — Balangiga — The Pulijancs — The Presidential Election — Judge 
Parker's Charges — Magtaon — The Pacification of Samar — Troubles 
in Albay— Surrender of Ola — Cavite and Laguna — Suspension of 
Writ of Habeas Corpus — Peace and Quiet — Conditions in the More 


Disentangling Church and State — The Friar Lands 37 

Church and State in Spanish Times — Misunderstanding of American 
Policy — Archbishop Chapelle and General Otis — Administration of 
Certain Trusts — The San Jose College Case — The Friar Lands — 
Their Extent and Value — Attitude of the Government — Purchase of 
the Lands— Controversy over Sales — The Mindora Estate Congres- 
sional Investigation — The Result — Aglipay and the National Church 
— Controversy over Church Property — Settled by the Courts. 




Congressional Legislation for the Philippines 61 

Delay in Assuming Control— First Legislation Confirmatory Only — 
The Spooner Law — The Civil Government Law of July 1, 1902 — Its 
Nature — Bureau of Insular Affairs — Ratification of Acts of Presi- 
dent and of the Commission — Location of Legislative Power — The 
Judicial Organization — Jurisdiction of the Courts — Resident Com- 
missioners — Citizenship — Bill of Rights — Trustee for Public Prop- 
erty — Power Granted to Provide for Needs of Commerce — Con- 
servation of Lands and Mineral Rights — To Acquire Friar Lands — 
Coinage — Bond Issues — Restrictions on Granting Franchises — Bonds 
for Port Works, Roads, etc. — The Navigation Laws — The Chinese 
Exclusion Law — The Immigration Laws — The Income Tax Law — 
The Tariff Acts— Acts of Congress Extended to Philippines — Entry 
and Clearance of Vessels — Public Health and Quarantine, Extradi- 

The Provinces and Municipalities 75 

Isolated Conditions— Local Self-governrnent — Gradual Extension of 
Native Control — Division of Country — The Provinces — Present Or- 
ganization — The Provincial Officers — The Governor and His Duties 
— The Secretary, Treasurer and Fiscal — The Provincial Board, Its 
Duties and Powers — The Municipalities — Classification — The Mu- 
nicipal Officers and Their Powers — Powers of the Council and 
Limitations Thereon — Municipal Revenues — Specially Organized 
Provinces — Local Governments for the Wild Tribes — The Moros — 
The Moro Province — Military Character of Its Government — Grad- 
ual Substitution of Civilian Officials — Creation of the Department of 
Mindanao and Sulu — The Cities of Manila and Baguio — Local Gov- 
ernments Reasonably Successful. 


The Commission Government, and Its Administration 96 

Changing Character of Government— Self-government and Inde- 
pendence — The System of Commission Government — The Respon- 
sibility of the Commission — Represented American Sovereignty — 
American Majority in Commission — Its Duties — Organization of 
Executive Departments— The Grouping of Bureaus — Rearrange- 
ment in 1907— Changes in Judicial System by Organic Law — Tenure 
of Office of Justices— The Personnel of the Supreme Court— Juris- 

CONTENTS— Continued 


diction — The Courts of First Instance — No Juries — Native Judges 
— Reorganization Law of 1914 — Injurious to Service — The Official 
Language — Spanish Retained in Courts — Spanish Used in the As- 
sembly — Probable Decline of English-»Creation of PhiHppine Legis- 
lature in 1907— •Two Distinct Legislative Bodies— 'Difficulties Result- 
ing Therefrom— 'Unit Subjects of Legislation— 'Residuum of Legis- 
lative Power in Commission— •Commission Reorganized by Wilson — 
•Majority of Members Filipinos-»Loss of Prestige— •Abolished in 
1916 — The Office of Governor-General — Sources of Authority — Spe- 
cific Powers and Duties — Delegation of Legislative Power — Appro- 
priations Subject to "Release" by Governor-General — Practise Con- 
demned — Office Magnified by President Taft — Legislative Activities 
of Governor-General — Log Rolling — Disrespect for Laws — Failure 
to Pass Current Appropriation Bills — Automatic Renewal of Appro- 
priations — Assumption of Power over Appropriations — The "Ad- 
vices" to the Treasurer — Serious Effect of Misconstruction of the 
Law — The Executive Secretary — The Insular Auditor — Independ- 
ence Largely Imaginary — Resident Commissioners — Influence of the 
Assembly — Methods of Legislation — Excessive Deference to Speaker 
— Difficulties of Administration — Certain Tendencies. 


Finance, Taxation and Trade 127 

The General Financial Policy — Control by Local Government — 
Taxation Reasonable — Financial Embarrassment — Caused by Public 
Improvements — Present Conditions — Bonded Indebtedness — Income 
and Expenditure — The Currency and Coinage — The Gold Standard 
— The Fund to Maintain Parity — Sources of Revenue — The Cus- 
toms — Illustration of Duties — The Internal Revenue — Sources of — 
The Cedula, Stamp and Privilege Taxes — Business and Occupation 
Taxes — Specific Taxes — Revenues of Provinces and Municipalities — 
The City of Manila — Gross Earnings and Franchise Taxes — Trade 


Defense and Public Safety — The Army and Navy 162 

Cooperation of Civil and Military Authorities — The Navy— j-Status 
of Army — Gradual Reduction — Cost of Military Establishment — 
Defense from External Enemies — Moral Effect of Army Presence 
— Relation with Civil Government — Detailed Army Officers — Or- 
ganization of Native Troops— The Scouts— The Constabulary— The f 
Municipal Police — Seditious Movements. 

CONTENTS— Conh'nM^d 



Sanitation and Health 184 

Interest in Tropical Medicine— Sanitation in the East— Early Con- 
ditions in Philippines— Enormdus Death Rate— Superstition and Fa- 
talism—Spanish and Filipino Doctors— Clean-up by American Army 
—New Health Regulations— First Board of Health— The Civil and 
Military Hospitals— Functions of Heahh Officers— Causes of Com- 
municable Diseases— Public Health Purchasable— Small Expenditure 
in Philippines— Attitude of Natives— Education in Sanitation— Dis- 
posal of Garbage and Waste— The New Sewer System— Public 
Laundries— Cemeteries— The Modern Markets— The Drug and Food 
Law— The Milk Supply— The Water Supply— Manila and Cebu 
Water-Works- Artesian Wells— The Bubonic Plague— Cholera— 
The Smallpox— Results of Vaccination— Leprosy and Its Treat- 
ment—Beriberi—Infant Mortality— Tuberculosis— Malaria and Dys- 
entery—Mosquitoes and Rats— An Unfinished Work— The Moro 
Hospital Ship^Present Organization. 

The Phiuppine Schools 219 

American Educational Theories— Belief in Education of Masses- 
Training a Governing Class Only— Spanish Theories— Filipino So- 
cial Organization — Education for the Select Few — The Attempt to 
Establish Public Schools — Its Partial Success — Ecclesiastical Con- 
trol — Introduction of Popular Government — Choice between Evils — 
Educational Work of the Army — The Commission Takes Charge 
— Department of Public Instruction — The General Policy — Seculari- 
zation of Schools — Religious Instruction — Adoption of the English 
Language in the Schools — Its Justification — American Teachers — 
Training Native Teachers — Classification of Schools — Secondary 
Schools in Provinces — Local Enthusiasm for Education — Division 
of School Funds — New Text-Books — Stress on Industrial Training 
— Difficulties Encountered — Prejudice against Manual Labor — Re- 
sults — Teaching Athletics — The Pensionados — Housing the Schools 
— The Courses of Study — Special Insular Schools — The University 
— Bureau Schools — The Cost of Education — Number of Pupils — 
Schools for the Wild Men — Education of the Moros — Demand for 
Compulsory Education — Dangers Ahead — Comparisons — Missionary 
and Private Schools. 


The Labor Problem 251 

Climate and Labor — The Normal Labor Conditions — Customs of the 



Country — Problems Confronting the Americans — Exclusion of the 
Chinese — Elect to Develop Filipino Labor — Encouraging Results — 
Methods Used in Other Colonies — Penalties for Breach of Labor 
Contracts — Advances Obtained with Fraudulent Intent — The Bureau 
of Labor — Increase in Wages. 


The Policy of Material Development 268 

A Land of "Projects" — Spanish Public Works — Backwardness of In- 
dustry and Agriculture — Misdirected Energies — Public Works and 
Colonial Policy — Material Development and Educational Work — 
Governor-General Wright's Announcement — Policy Inaugurated by 
Governor-General Smith — Its Characteristics — "Hustling the East" 
with Its Own Consent — Education of the People — Success of the 

Transportation and Communication : 279 

Roads and Bridges 
Primitive Transportation Methods— Road-Building DifHculties — 
Early Failures — No Provision for Maintenance — Bad Legislation — 
Forced Labor and Toll Roads — Failure of People to Adopt Laws — 
The Double Cedula Law of 1907 — Inducements to Adopt Rules and 
Regulations — Insular Appropriations — Conditions — The Road Com- 
mittee — Classification of Roads — Apportionment of Insular Appro- 
priations by Secretary of Commerce and Police — Encouragement of 
Local Efforts — Construction of Permanent Bridges — Maintenance — 
— The Caminero System — Pride in Good Roads — Road Material — 
Cost — Road Work in the Non-Christian Provinces — In the More 
Province — Permanency — The Benguet Road — Early Mistakes — Dif- 
ficulties of Construction — Policy of Government — Purpose of the 
Road — Its Cost — Practical Abandonment — Its Justification. 


Transportation and Communication 300 


Railways — Automobile Lines 

The Railway Policy — Commission Governed by Conditions, Not 

Theories — The Cooper Law — Summary of Its Provisions — Manila 

Railway Company, Limited, and Its Claims — New Concession to 

CONTENTS— Continued 


Manila Railroad Company— Terms of Original Concessionary Con- 
■ tract — Supplementary Concession of 1909— Guarantee of Interest — 
Division into Northern and Southern Lines — Concession to Visayan 
Syndicate — Progress of Constructions — Government Loans to Ma- 
nila Railroad Company — Proposed Purchase of the Manila Railroad 
Company— Street Railways— Automobile Lines— The Benguet Road 


Transportation and Communication ........... 317 

The Postal and Telegraph Service 
Its Importance — Early Methods — Gradual Expansion — An Inde- 
pendent Service — The Metric System — Money Orders — The Parcel- 
Post — Attempts to Improve the Foreign Service — Acquisition of 
Telegraph Lines from Army — Training of Telegraphers — The 
Cables — Wireless Stations Acquired — Plan for Joint Wireless Serv- 
ice — Franchise Granted the Marconi Company — Summary of Re- 

Transportation and Communication 326 

Water Transportation — Navigation 
Importance of Water Transportation — The Coast Survey — Lights 
and Lighthouses — The Weather Bureau — The Absence of Harbors 
— Harbor Construction — Iloilo — Cebu — New Manila Harbor — ^^For- 
eign Steamship Service — Effect of War and Congressional Legisla- 
tion — Interisland Transportation — Old Spanish Methods — Necessity 
for Government Ships — The New Bureau — The Coast Guard Steam- 
ers — Plan to Create New Merchant Marine — The Contract System 
— Subsidies — The Results — The Bureau of Navigation and Its 
Troubles — Abolished in 1914 — The Cable Ship — River Improve- 


Philippine Agriculture 338 

Basis of the Country's Wealth — Undeveloped State of Agriculture 
— Inherent Difficulties — Early Work of Bureau of Agriculture — 
Attempts to Introduce New Plants and Vegetables — Improving the 
Domestic Animals — Horses and Cattle — Farm Machinery — Animal 
Diseases — Rinderpest and Surra — Policy of Isolation Adopted in 

COl^TET^TS— Continued 


1910 — Its Results — Corn Culture — Native Fruits — Coffee, Tea and 
Rubber — The Fiber Industry — Hemp, Method of Cultivation — Ex- 
ports of — Government Grading — The Tobacco Industry — Its Re- 
vival — Exports — Sugar, Condition of the Industry — Table of Ex- 
ports — Cocoanuts — Development of the Business — Table of Ex- 
ports — Rice — Its Importance — Necessity for New Methods — Irriga- 
tion — Comparative Failure of the Work — The New Law of 1912 — 
Farmers' Credits — The Agricultural Bank — Summary of Results. 


Policies and Personnel 374 

Attitude of the Public — Visiting Statesmen — Misinformation — De- 
clared Republican Policy — Executive Statements — Approval Thereof 
by Congress — The Most Difficult of All Possible Policies — Time 
Necessary for Its Success — Failure to Control Local Situation — 
Changing Officials — The American Employees — Filipinization of the 

The Independence Movement and the Reorganized Government . . 404 
Early Ideas of Independence — New Conceptions — Attitude of 
American Government toward Independence — First Filipino Politi- 
cal Party — The Radicals and the New Men — Revival of Sentiment — 
New Political Parties — Growth of Anti-American Sentiment — The 
Assembly — Leadership of Osmeiia and Quezon — The Propaganda in 
the United States — Mr. Jones and His Bills — The Wilson Adminis- 
tration — Governor-General Harrison and His Policy — Defeat of 
Clarke Amendment — Passage of Jones Bill — Provisions of the Law 
— Organizing the New Government — The Future of the Independ- 
ence Movement. 

A List of Books and Articles on the Philippines, Colonization and 
Colonial Problems 457 

Appendices 477 

Appendix A. Treaty of Peace between United States and Spain . 479 
Appendix B. Instructions of the President to the Schurman Com- 
mission 484 

Appendix O Instructions of the President to the Taft Commis- 
sion 485 

Appendix D. Aguinaldo's Proclamation on His Arrival at Cavite 490 
Appendix E. Aguinaldo's Proclamation of June 18, 1898, Establish- 
ing the Dictatorial Government 491 



Appendix F. Aguinaldo's Proclamation of June 23, Establishing 
the Revolutionary Government 493 

Appendix G. The Constitution of the PhiHppine Republic ... 
List of Leading Officials of the Philippine Government 
The Philippine Government Law of 1916 .... 
The Cost of the Army in the Philippines .... 

Appendix H. 
Appendix L 
Appendix J. 

Index . . . 






The New Civil Government 

Some Generalities — Transfer of the Executive Authority — The Inauguration 
of a Civil Governor — New Filipino Commissioners — The Executive De- 
partments — Departure of General MacArthur — Bureau Organization — Educa- 
tion — The Constabulary — Agriculture — Health — Defective Powers of the 
Commission Government — Demand for Congressional Legislation — Recom- 
mendations of the Commission — Governor Taft's Visit to Washington — Pend- 
ing Legislation — The Senate Committee Investigation — Attitude of Parties — 
The Civil Government Bills — The Assembly — Differing Views as to Its 
Value — The New Philippine Legislature — The Election of Delegates — Politi- 
cal Parties — The Demand for Independence — Launching the Assembly — The 
Commission Government in Its Final Form. 

The astrologers taught a mystic relation of numbers, days, 
dates and events. Those learned in such lore claim that the Re- 
public was born under a lucky star. While the American may 
admit that the original association of the famous charter of our 
liberties with the fourth of July was fortuitous, he is impressed 
by the fact that ever since that time spectacular events in Amer- 
ican history have shown a disposition to happen on that anni- 
versary day. 

When the time came to establish a completely organized civil 
government in the Philippines^ it was hoped, as said by President 
Roosevelt, that the day dear to Americans might perhaps "be 
associated in the minds of the Filipino people with good fortune." 

The Anti-Imperialist propaganda in the United States had cre- 
ated an impression that in suppressing the Filipino revolt and 

1 For the preceding years of American occupation, see the author's volume 
entitled, The Philippines: To the End of the Military Regime (1917). 


denying the country immediate independence America was in 
some way violating the principles of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence.^ According to the views of the Americans who were 
working in the Philippines this was a complete misconception of 
the meaning of the Declaration, and of the purposes of their gov- 
ernment and people. From the day when civil government was 
instituted until the present, the fourth of July has been celebrated 
in Manila exactly as elsewhere in the United States. On each 
recurring anniversary the Declaration has been read by American 
officials, civil and military, to Filipino audiences who were invited 
to learn the lessons taught by Jefferson, Adams and Franklin. 
Their resistance to Spanish oppression has been commended be- 
cause it was justified by facts much more potent even than those 
which induced the resistance of the American colonists to parlia- 
mentary oppression. America has wished the Filipinos to learn 
the true lesson taught by that famous document — the lesson that 
all men are entitled to certain inalienable rights, among which 
tare life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Under American 
sovereignty the Filipinos are equal before the law, secure in the 
opportunity to develop their lives according to their capacities 
and natural opportunities, and free from petty interference by 
state or church. It was intended that they should enjoy liberty 
as the word was understood by the men who wrote and adopted 
the Declaration of Independence and as it has been construed 
and applied in the United States.^ The right of revolution was 

2 See "The Philippines and the Declaration of Independence," The Arena, 
XXVII, p. 538 ; "The Declaration of Independence, an Analysis by Manuel L. 
Quezon," in The Filipino People, January, 1913. 

3 "Nothing can be more misleading than a principle misapplied. Countless 
crimes have been committed by men quoting texts of scripture or maxims of 
philosophy wrested from their true content and meaning. The doctrine that 
government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed was 
applicable to the conditions for which Jefferson wrote it and to the people to 
whom he applied it. It is true wherever a people exists capable and willing 
to maintain just government, and to make free, intelligent and efficacious 
decisions as to who shall govern. But Jefferson did not apply it to Louisiana. 
He wrote to Gallatin that the people of Louisiana were as incapable of self- 
government as children, and he governed them without their consent. Lin- 
coln did not apply it to the South, and the great struggle of the Civil War 


never denied, but it is a right which must be maintained by force 
and justified by success. In that respect the rights of the Fili- 
pinos could be no greater than those of the citizens of South 
Carolina or Massachusetts. They asserted the right of revolu- 
tion against their lawful political sovereign and failed. Upon 
laying down their arms and taking the oath of allegiance they 
were pardoned for all political offenses. There is not a sentence 
in the Declaration of Independence which any informed American 
ever hesitated to read to the Filipinos. That Declaration contains 
a statement of the reasons which justified the American colonists 
in throwing off their political allegiance to their sovereign. It 
recited a long list of outrages and oppressive acts in violation of 
their rights and of certain principles deemed to be of universal 
application. No intelligent American has ever denied or will 
deny the moral right of the Filipinos to adopt a similar course 
when they can truthfully allege such a list of grievances against 
the American government. No one ever desired to deprive them 
of the inalienable rights of men. Life, liberty and the pursuit of i 
happiness were to be and have been secured to every law-abiding 
Filipino and protected under a form of government adapted to 
the local conditions and the stage of social and political develop- 
ment of the people. 

The fourth of July was therefore the most appropriate of all 
days on which to launch a civil government, complete in all its 
parts, in the pacified provinces of the Philippines. Its inaugura- 
tion was to mark the end of military rule. Since September 1, 
1900, the legislative power had been vested in a civil body. Condi- 
tions now seemed to justify a further step in the progressive nar- 
rowing of military administration by the creation of the office 

was a solemn assertion by the American people that there are other principles 
of law and liberty which limit the application of the doctrine of consent." 
Elihu Root, Military and Colonial Policy of the United States, p. 42. 

"The words 'that all men are created equal,' have since been subtly falsi- 
fied by adding the word 'free,' although no such expression is found in the 
original document, and the teachings based on these altered words in the 
American public schools of to-day would startle and amaze the men who 
formulated the Declaration." Grant, The Passing of the Great Race, p. xvi. 


of civil governor, and the transfer to him of the executive au- 

An executive order was therefore issued by the president 
directing that on and after the fourth day of July, 1901, until 
otherwise directed, the executive authority in all civil affairs in 
the government of the Philippines which had been exercised by 
the military governor should be exercised by the president of the 
Philippine Commission. Mr. Taft was named as the first civil 
governor. The power to appoint all civil officers was transferred 
from the Philippine Commission to the civil governor, with the 
advice and consent of the commission. Although the military 
governor was relieved of civil duties in the pacified territory, his 
authority was continued in districts in which insurrection against 
the authority of the United States existed and in which public 
order was not sufficiently restored to enable provincial civil gov- 
ernments to be established.* 

The continuance of military government in certain provinces 
. was necessary for another year, but it was finally terminated by 
the order of President Roosevelt, issued on July 4, 1902, which 
recited that the insurrection was ended and that civil government 
had been established throughout the entire Archipelago not inhab- 
ited by Moro tribes.^ 

General Arthur MacArthur, who had been military governor 
since the departure of General Otis, was a distinguished soldier 
with a brilliant record for achievement, but he lacked some of 
the qualities necessary for a commander who was required to 
divide his authority with civil officials. His subordination to 
the civil power in the islands made him unhappy and, while he 
obeyed the orders issued by the secretary of war, it was some- 
times done in a very ungracious spirit. 

He seems never to have really grasped the part which the com- 
mission was designed to play in the work of pacifying the country 
and organizing a permanent government and the friction between 

4 Order of Secretary Root, June 21, 1910. Report of Sec. War, 1901 (Five 
Years of the War Dept.), p. 208. 
6 Ibid., p. 257. 


him and its members proved in the end very disastrous for the 

The new civil governor was inaugurated with simple but im- 
pressive ceremonies. Across the Plaza from the Ayuntamiento 
was the great stone foundation of the unfinished governor's pal- 
ace which was to have taken the place of the one which had been 
destroyed by an earthquake. The funds for the completion of 
the structure were misappropriated and for years the foundation 
had stood as a mute testimonial to Spanish dishonesty and in- 
competence. There was a certain appropriateness in the choice 
of the platform from which to launch a new and better govern- 

The day was perfect, judged by the standard of the tropics, 
and a picturesque crowd representing many races, colors and 
creeds filled the Plaza and adjoining streets.^ There was a rea- 
sonable amount of well modulated enthusiasm as the procession 
passed from the Ayuntamiento to the extemporized platform. 
General Mac Arthur introduced his successor and Chief Justice 
Arellano administered the oath of ofiice. Governor Taft's ad- 
dress summarized what had been accomplished since the arrival 
of the commission and briefly outlined the policy of the imme- 
diate future. Most interesting to the Filipinos was the announce- 
ment that the membership of the commission had been enlarged 
and that the president had appointed Doctor T. H. Pardo de 
Tavera, Senor Don Benito Legarda and Sefior Don Jose Luzu- 
riaga, all natives of the Philippines, to fill the new positions thus 
created. Pardo de Tavera was a highly educated gentleman who 
had been a leader of the conservative, educated, wealthy Fili- 
pinos and who early recognized the folly of the revolt and sought 
to reconcile the people to American control. He was the presi- 

6 General MacArthur, soon after his return to the United States, suc- 
ceeded to the rank of lieutenant-general in the United States Army. By that 
time Mr. Taft had become secretary of war. General MacArthur was di- 
rected to report at his home in Milwaukee and await orders, which never 
came. He was never permitted to command the army and died before Mr. 
Taft ceased to be president of the United States. 

7 Mrs. Moses (Unofficial Letters of an Official's Wife, p. 157). the wife of 
one of the commissioners, gives an interesting account of the ceremonies. 


dent of the new Federal party and had been of great assistance 
to the commission in the work of organizing civil governments 
in the provinces. Sefior Legarda was a wealthy native who, 
like Sefior Tavera, had rendered important services to the Amer- 
ican government. Sefior Luzuriago had been a member of the 
independent government which was organized in the island of 
Negros and had consistently advocated cooperation with the 

It was also announced that on the first of the following Sep- 
tember the effectiveness of the insular government would be in- 
creased by the organization of four executive departments to be 
known as the Departments of the Interior, Commerce and Police, 
Finance and Justice, and Public Instruction, which would be un- 
der the control respectively of Commissioners Worcester, 
Wright, Ide and Moses. 

After the ceremonies were concluded General Mac Arthur 
drove directly from the Plaza to the landing and went aboard the 
transport which was to carry him to the United States and out of 
Philippine history. He was succeeded in the military command 
and as military governor of the unpacified provinces by General 
Adna E. Chaffee, who continued to act until relieved as military 
governor by the order issued one year later. 

The work of systematizing and developing the subordinate 
agencies of the central government proceeded as rapidly as con- 
ditions would permit. Numerous bureaus had been organized 
during the military regime and with some changes and modi- 
fications they were retained and distributed among the depart- 

The taking over of the executive authority necessitated many 
changes in personnel and some in organization. The grants of 
power in the Spooner Law had been so carefully hedged about 
with limitations and restrictions as to render them of no practical 
value to the government and it remained without authority to act 
"in some matters deemed by the commission of vital importance 
for the progress of the country, and the granting of franchises. 


the survey and sale of the public lands, and the development of 
the mining interests v^ere obliged to aw^ait the further action of 

The matters over which the commission had unquestioned au- 
thority were handled with much energy. The educational work 
was entered upon with what many believed to be excessive en- 
thusiasm. A general school law was passed and about a thousand 
American teachers were brought over from the United States and 
distributed among the nine hundred towns of the islands. The 
preservation of order was of course of the most vital importance. 
The local municipal police were of little value in this work and it 
was manifestly undesirable, unless absolutely necessary, to use 
the army in aid of the civil work of the administration. Brigand- 
age, which was an inheritance from Spanish times, had been 
given a great impetus by the war and now existed in nearly all 
the provinces. The local police were unable to suppress it, even 
had they and the people of the municipalities really desired to do 
so. The distinction between ladrones and patriots was still very 
shadowy, and it was not always easy to distinguish between vol- 
untary contributions to insurgent bands and involuntary pay- 
ments for protection against ladrones. A semi-military police 
resembling that of India and some other eastern countries was 

The Spaniards had maintained an organization known as the 
guardia civil which seems to have done about as much damage 
to the country as the ladrones.^ As a result such organizations 
were unpopular in the country, but it was believed that a body of 
Filipinos commanded by American officers and subject to strict 
discipline would be able to maintain order and serve as peace offi- 
cers under the direction of the civil officials. The history of the 
Philippine Constabulary, which was organized in 1901, has justi- 
fied the policy of the government. 

It was understood from the first that the prosperity of the 
Philippines depends upon the success of its agriculture. To the 

8 Another body called the Guardia de Honor was organized and used 
against the insurgents in 1896. 


Americans who were not familiar with the tragic history of trop- 
ical agriculture it seemed a simple matter to obtain vast wealth 
from the fertile soil. They knew nothing of that law of com- 
pensation by which nature with its storms, droughts and highly 
specialized insect life, equalizes the great productive power of the 
rich soil. 

Immediate attention was given to the organization of a Bureau 
of Agriculture and experts from the Agricultural Department at 
Washington were brought to the islands in the naive confidence 
and belief that the natives were as ready and anxious to change 
the methods of centuries as the Americans were to render them 

Much attention was given to the organization of a Department 
of Health and of bureaus charged with the work of providing 
better means of communication and transportation. The impor- 
tance of developing and conserving the forests which covered the 
mountains was fully appreciated and the Bureau of Forestry was 
made as efficient as available means would permit. 

Under the Customs Administration Bill which had been passed 
the previous year the American system of appraisement and col- 
lection had been adopted. In September, 1901, a new tariff law 
was enacted by the commission which imposed an average ad 
valorem duty of twenty-five or thirty per cent, on goods imported 
into the islands. The notable feature of the system was the re- 
versal of the Spanish method and the imposition of heavy taxes 
on luxuries and almost nominal duties on foodstuffs and other 
necessities of life.^ 

The government as thus organized was simple in form and 
well adapted for its work. But it was regarded as a temporary 
structure and the commission, embarrassed by the uncertainty as 
to its powers, urged upon Congress the necessity for providing 
something more permanent.^" 

s For the conditions prior to September, 1901, see Report of the Military 
Governor on Civil Affairs (Kept. War Dept., 1900, I, p. 79, Appendix E. E.). 

10 In its Report of October 1, 1901 (Report of the Civil Governor, 1900- 
1903, p. 272) the commission urged that Congress take some action toward 
providing a permanent civil government. It was recommended "That Con- 


In fact, the government had ample power, had it been willing to 
assume full responsibilty. The real difficulty was that it rested 
on the war powers of the president, and war had ceased. The 
duty of providing a government was imposed by the Constitution 
upon Congress but it was not ready to act. The general Philip- 
pine policy had been thoroughly threshed out during the presiden- 
tial election of 1900, and most of the members of Congress who 
visited the islands in search of information had returned to their 
duties primed with material to justify their previously formed 

In the winter of 1901, Governor Taft returned to the United 
States in order to recuperate his health and advise with reference 
to necessary legislation. When he arrived in Washington, Con- 
gress was considering bills for the modification of the tariff laws 
and the creation of a congressional as distinguished from a mili- 
tary government for the Philippines. The whole question of 
Philippine policy was thus brought before Congress and elab- 

gress be requested to confirm the legislation of the commission already en- 
acted, and vest by Congressional enactment in the civil governor and com- 
mission and their successors to be appointed by the President the authority 
heretofore exercised by them under the instructions of the President, with 
the limitations therein contained, until January 1, 1904; and that provision 
be made in such legislation for a government to begin January 1, 1904, and 
to be composed of a governor and the heads of four executive departments, 
to be appointed by the President ; of an Executive Council, to consist of the 
governor and the four heads of departments, and four others to be appointed 
by the President (the Executive Council to consist both of Americans and 
Filipinos), and of a popular assembly of not exceeding thirty representatives, 
to be elected from districts to be determined after a census of the Filipino 
population in the islands ; that in such government the members of the popu- 
lar assembly shall serve for a term of two years, and the popular assembly 
shall be limited to an annual session of three months, from the first of Janu- 
ary to the first of April, except as this may be extended by call of the gov- 
ernor for a definite period in extra session ; that the power of the popular 
assembly shall be that of a coordinate branch of the legislature, except that 
in the case of appropriation bills, if the popular assembly shall fail to vote the 
appropriations required by law during its regular session of three months the 
right to vote such necessary appropriations shall vest in the executive council ; 
that the governor shall have the power to veto the legislation of the two 
chambers unless the same shall be again passed by a two-thirds vote of both 
houses ; that Congress shall have full power to abrogate all legislation, and 
that by a joint vote of the popular assembly and the Executive Council two 
delegates, who shall be residents of the islands, shall be elected to represent 
the interests of these islands and the Filipino people before Congress and the 
Executive at Washington, their expenses and salaries to be paid from the 
insular treasury." 


orately considered in all its bearings, political, economic and 

It was with the greatest difficulty that the passage of the re- 
vised tariff law was secured. The objections to the bill which 
proposed to reduce the duties on articles coming into the United 
States from the Philippines and thus give the Filipinos access to 
the American market in exchange for the Spanish market from 
which they were excluded, were far from creditable to the coun- 
try, as they were based on the purely selfish considerations of 
individuals who feared that their business interests would be 
affected by competition with Philippine products. 

Separate bills to establish a civil government, differing in some 
material respects, were introduced in the Senate and the House 
and debated throughout the winter and spring. While these bills 
were pending the Senate Committee on the Philippines was con- 
ducting an elaborate investigation which threw much light upon 
existing conditions and past events. Senator Hoar's request for 
a special committee with power to examine and report on the con- 
duct of the war in the Philippines, the administration of the gov- 
ernment there, and the conditions and character of the inhabi- 
tants was not granted, but the Senate Standing Committee on the 
Philippines was instructed to proceed with an investigation along 
somewhat similar lines. 

This committee, of which Senator Henry Cabot Lodge of Mas- 
sachusetts was chairman, examined Governor W. H. Taft, Gen- 
eral E. S. Otis, General Arthur MacArthur, General R. P. 
Hughes and others who were supposed to possess special knowl- 
edge of conditions and to be able to speak authoritatively with 
reference to political and economic matters. The questions cov- 
ered a wide range and showed a very general desire on the part 
of the members of the committee to learn the actual conditions.^^ 

But the proceedings before the committees and debates in Con- 
gress simply accentuated the positions which had been taken by 
the Republican and Democratic parties toward the Philippine 
problem during the presidential campaign of 1900. The Republi- 

^^Sen. Doc. 331, 57th Cong., jst Sess., 3 vols. (1901-1902). 


cans, with a few notable exceptions, supported the administration 
and consistently adhered to the policy of holding the islands until 
such time as the Filipinos are prepared for self-government, con- 
serving while developing the natural resources of the country, 
and giving the people as their competency appears, a constantly 
increasing share in the work of the government. Republican sen- 
ators and representatives differed as to the details of the system 
which should be adopted but with few exceptions they supported 
the general policy of the party leaders." 

The Democrats seemed to be convinced that the Republicans 
were insincere in their expressed desire for the well-being of the 
Filipinos and that the real object of the proposed civil government 
law was to render it easier to rob the Filipinos by transferring the 
natural wealth of the country to American trusts and adven- 
turers. The leaders of the opposition pretended to believe that 
every one connected with the Philippine government, from Presi- 
dent Roosevelt, Secretary Root, Governor Taft and the commis- 
sioners, to the lowest civil service clerk, was consciously engaged 
in a vast conspiracy to rob the Filipinos and loot the Archipelago. 

It would have been wiser to continue for a few decades the 
simple form of commission government which Secretary Root 
had created. But both the Schurman and Taft Commissions had 
recommended the creation of a bicameral legislature with an ap- 
pointive upper house and a lower house composed entirely of 
members elected by Filipino constituencies. This meant accentu- 
ating the political instead of the economic factors in the local 
situation. The Filipinos were already represented in the com- 
mission, and thus in the legislature, by appointed native members 
and the local governments were entirely in their hands. It would 
seem that the place to test their capacity for self-government was 
in the provinces and municipalities. The wisdom of a policy 
under which the natives would be placed in absolute power in one 
house of the legislature was seriously questioned by many sincere 
friends of the Filipinos. Legislative bodies in which the natives 

12 See statement of Mr. Gillett, of Massachusetts, Cong. Rec, XXXV, 
Pt. 8, p. 7702. 


were represented by elected members had been tried under condi- 
tions not greatly dissimilar in some of the British colonies with 
very unsatisfactory results and the judgment of disinterested 
students of colonial government seemed to be adverse to that 
form of government/^ 

As Professor Reinsch says: "It is a difficult matter to adapt 
representative institutions to colonies in which the white element 
is small, or to which the mother country is not ready to grant 
practical autonomy with what this implies." It was generally 
conceded that the time to grant such autonomy had not arrived 
and it was certain that the creation of a native legislative body 
with real power over legislation would increase the difficulties 
of government. 

However, those who were assumed to be best informed as to 
the local situation in the Philippines were of the opinion that 
under the circumstances the probable advantages of a popular as- 
sembly would more than balance the conceded disadvantages. In 
his testimony before the Senate Committee Governor Taft said : 
"I think that a popular assembly is what the people desire, and 
I think it is the best possible means of educating their educated 
men in popular government. It will give them an opportunity to 
meet, to express their views, to take part in legislation, to propose 
and enact laws which they deem useful in the country ; it will give 
them a part in the government and will by practice teach them 
what self-government is. ... I am sure that with that 
(granted) the people will have confidence that our statement to 
them, that we desire to educate them in self-government, and 
give them a measure of self-government increasing it gradually 
as they become more fitted for it, is true." 

In reply to a question by Senator Beveridge, whether the ex- 
perience in Hawaii suggested very brilliant prospects for a pop- 
ular assembly in the Philippines, Governor Taft said: "If you 
prevent the legislative assembly from choking the government, 

13 See Annals Am. Acad. Pol. and Soc. Sci., 1899, Stipp., p. 15 et seq.; 
Reinsch, Colonial Government, Chap. XI ; also article in The Forum, June, 
1902; Lewis, Government of Dependencies (Lucas' Ed.), p. 307. 


from stopping things (by refusing to vote supplies), I think this 
will be a very useful body." 

As to the time when the assembly should be established Gov- 
ernor Taft said : "I may be frank about it. There is a good deal 
of fundamental legislation yet to be passed. Here are the criminal 
code and an internal revenue law and a number of other things 
that will require a good deal of study. We are charged with 
founding a government as distinguished from running it; we 
thought if we fixed a time within which we might pass those 
fundamental legislative provisions, that then it would be safe, 
at the end of that time. But I am sure, though I have not con- 
sulted with my colleagues, that there would be no objection to 
making it conditional upon the establishment of peace in the 
islands. That might make a leverage for bringing peace."" 

Secretary Root and many of the leading supporters of the ad- 
ministration doubted the advisability of creating the Philippine 
Assembly until the natives had shown more evidence of capacity 
and a stronger disposition to accept American sovereignty. They 
believed that the practical native control of the provincial and 
municipal governments and large participation in the executive 
work was sufficient for the time being. However, Secretary Root 
yielded to the arguments of Mr. Taft and consented to the inser- 
tion in the law of the provision for the assembly. The Senate 
struck it out of the bill which it passed, but in deference to the 
demands of the House of Representatives the provision for a 
bicameral legislature was finally adopted and the Filipinos given 
equal power in the lawmaking body." 

''■^Sen. Doc. 3^1, 57th Cong., ist Scss., Pt. I, pp. 333-5. See the letter of 
Mr. Taft to Mr. Cooper, Cong. Rec, June 25, 1902. 

1^ Act of Congress, July 1, 1902. In his address at the opening of the 
Philippine Assembly, October 11, 1907 {Kept. Phil. Com., 1907, Pt I, p. 224), 
Mr. Taft, then secretary of war, said : 

"I can well remember when that section was drafted in the private office of 
Mr. Root in his house in Washington. Only he and I were present. I urged 
the wisdom of the concession, and he yielded to my arguments and the sec- 
tion as then drafted differed but little from the form it has to-day. It was 
embodied in a bill presented to the House, and passed by the House, was 
considered by the Senate, was stricken out by the Senate, and was only re- 
stored after a conference, the Senators in the conference consenting to its 
insertion with great reluctance. I had urged its adoption upon both commit- 


The Democratic members objected not to the poHcy of pro- 
viding a native legislative assembly but to the conditions pre- 
cedent to its being established. They wished it established at 
once. To their suspicious minds it seemed that the calling of 
the election would be indefinitely postponed. Senator Patterson, 
for instance, was certain that the bill did not hold out the 
shadow of a reasonable hope of any sort of a legislative body 
even in the distant future. He had no expectation that there 
would ever be a general peace in the islands and if such a desir- 
able condition should occur he was sure that the designing people 
in charge of the government would find an excuse for denying 
it in order to prevent the assembly from being instituted. As 
Senator Culbertson expressed it, they were opposed to the bill be- 
cause it did not fix the political status of the Filipinos, and did not 
state the ultimate purpose of the United States government with 
reference to the islands, and also because under its other pro- 
visions all of the property of the people would be disposed of, 
mortgaged or pledged, long before the Filipinos would have any 
substantial share in the government.^® 

Assuming that the assembly was to be created, the conditions 
precedent to the calling of a general election were certainly rea- 
sonable and necessary precautionary measures. It was provided 
that whenever the existing insurrection had ceased and a condi- 
tion of general and complete peace had been established in the 
islands and the fact certified to the president of the United States 
by the Philippine Commission, the president upon being satisfied 
thereof, should direct the commission to take a census which 
should as far as practicable show the name, age, sex, race or 
tribe of the inhabitants, whether native or foreign bom, literate 
in Spanish, native dialect or language, or in English, the school 
attendance, ownership of homes, industrial and social statistics 
and such other information as the president and the commission 
might deem necessary.^^ 

tees, and as the then governor of the islands, had to assume a responsibility 
as guarantor in respect to it which I have never sought to disavow." 

16 Cong. Rec. XXXV, Pt. VIII, p. 77ZZ. 

i^ Act of Congress, July 1, 1902, § 6. The various proclamations and docu- 


After this census had been completed and the results published, 
two years were to elapse in which to test the genuineness of the 
peace. If the conditions which had been certified continued to 
exist during the two years in the territory not inhabited by the 
Moros or other non-Christian tribes, and that fact was certified 
to the president by the commission, the president being satisfied 
thereof, was required to direct the commission to call a general 
election for the choice of delegates to a popular assembly of the 
people. The conditions precedent were (1) a condition of gen- 
eral and complete peace established to the satisfaction of the 
president by the certificate of the Philippine Commission, (2) 
the taking and publication of a census and (3) the lapse of two 
years thereafter during which the condition of general and com- 
plete peace with recognition of the authority of the United States 
had continued. The facts had to be found by the commission and 
the president; but the president was left free to act on his own 
judgment, on the certificate and such other information as he 
might obtain. It therefore rested with the president to determine 
when the Philippine Legislature would be established and had he 
and the commissioners been the designing conspirators against 
Filipino liberty that certain congressmen imagined them to be, 
the birthday of the Philippine Assembly might have been remote 

The assembly was to consist of not less than fifty nor more 
than one hundred members to be apportioned by the commission 
among the provinces as nearly as practical according to popula- 
tion. The qualifications of electors at such election were to be the 
same as those which had already been provided by the law passed 
by the commission for electors at municipal elections. Any 
elector so qualified being twenty-five years of age, resident in 
the district, and owing allegiance to the United States, was eli- 
gible to election as a member of the assembly. It was provided 
that after the assembly convened and organized "all the legis- 

ments, and an account of the institution of the assembly as a chamber of the 
Philippine Legislature are printed in the Report of the Executive Secretary, 
Report Phil. Com., 1907, Pt. I, pp. 202-228. 


lative power heretofore conferred on the Philippine Commission 
in all that part of said islands not inhabited by Moros or other 
non-Christian tribes, shall be vested in a legislature consisting 
of two houses, — the Philippine Commission, and the Philippine 

The commission thus remained the sole legislative body for 
that part of the Archipelago which was not inhabited by Moros 
and non-Christian tribes. 

The usual powers of one branch of a legislative body were con- 
ferred upon the assembly. It was made the judge of the election 
returns and of the qualifications of its members. It could choose 
its speaker and other officers, but their salaries had to be fixed by 
law ; that is, by the action of both houses of the legislature. There 
was no provision with reference to money bills originating in the 
popular branch of the legislature and although the assembly at 
one time claimed this right on general principles it was never 
conceded by the upper house. 

Congress did not close its eyes to the possibility that the assem- 
bly might prove troublesome and as there was no intention of giv- 
ing it the power to force its will upon the upper house by refus- 
ing to make the appropriations necessary to keep the government 
alive, provision was made in such an event for the automatic 
renewal of former appropriations.^* 

The bill became a law on July 1, 1902,^^ and five years there- 
after the Philippine Legislature came into existence. On Sep- 
tember 8, 1902, the commission certified to the president that the 
insurrection, except in the Moro country, had ceased and that 
"a condition of general and complete peace has been established." 
Thereupon on September 25, President Roosevelt, . "being satis- 
fied of the facts therein stated," directed that the commission 
'should take the census in accordance with the provisions of the 
Act of Congress. It required three years to take the census and 
publish the results, the last volume being published on March 27, 

18 See Chap. VI, pp. 116-120. 

1^ For its provisions, see Chap. IV, infra. 


not inii I 

tribes, ^2\\ be vested in a legislature consi rUng 
, —the Philippine Comn^ission, and the Philippine 

amission thus remained tire soIp l<^gislative body for 

isat part of the Archipelago which w.. laliited by Moros 

' iian tribes. 

, ,....:- wers of one bra: •■ dy were con- 

upon the assembly. It \ re of the election 

" ihe qualificatioi It could choose 

■' '^ -—■■-'., \m\ I ! to be fixed by 

both hi . iature. There 

•n with reference to money bills originating in the 

; cf the legislature and although the assembly at 

'■ -■-• T34^V8D;a 54irif caiHprinciples it was never 

^e its eyes to the possibility that the assem- 

V and as there was no intention of giv- 

-.- :m ,., . v. i]jg upper house by refus- 

V to keep the government 

such an event for the automatic 


existence. Oti Sep- 

sion certified to the president that the 

Moro country, had ceased and that 

complete peace has been established." 

5, President Roosevelt, "being satis- 

;ated," directed that the commission 

- '-"ce with the provisions of the 

vcars to take the census and 

^ published on March 27 , 


1905.^° On the following day Governor-General Wright" issued 
a proclamation calling attention to the fact and to the provisions 
of the Act of Congress which required that the conditions of gen- 
eral and complete peace should continue for two years more be- 
fore the election could be called. 

Those two years were not in fact entirely peaceable, as certain 
outlaws in Cavite and Batangas and pidijancs in the mountains 
of Samar and Leyte were causing very serious disturbances. Had 
the commission been actuated by the desire to postpone the crea- 
tion of the assembly the certification of a condition of general and 
complete peace might very well have been delayed. On the con- 
trary the facts were strained a trifle in order to get the assembly 
organized. It was undoubtedly true that the majority of the peo- 
ple of the provinces in which there were still disturbances had 
taken no part therein and neither aided nor abetted the acts of the 
bandits and outlaws. 

Being satisfied that the great mass and body of the Filipino 
people had during the period of two years continued to be law- 
abiding, peaceful and loyal to the United States and had con-' 
tinued to recognize the authority and sovereignty of the United 
States, the commission certified that the conditions existed which 
justified the calling of a general election for the choice of dele- 
gates to the assembly. On the same date the president issued an 
executive order which after reciting the various resolutions and 
certifications directed the Philippine Commission to call the elec- 

The Act of Congress provided that all who were, then qualified 
to vote at municipal elections under the law which had been 

20 Census of the Philippines. Taken under the direction of the Philippine 
government in the year 1903, Gen. J. P. Sanger, U. S. A., director. Four 
volumes, Washington, 1905. These volumes are a mine of information about 
the islands. Volume I, devoted to geography, history and populations, is par- 
ticularly valuable. Act 2352, February 28, 1914, provides for the taking of a 
second census, and presumably the work is progressing. 

21 The title of the chief executive was changed from civil governor to 
governor-general soon after Governor Taft resigned, to become secretary of 
war. He was succeeded by Commissioner Wright, the vice-governor, who was 
thus the first governor-general. 


passed by the commission might vote for delegates to the assem- 
bly. But before the general election for delegates was called the 
commission had enacted a general election law which raised the 
qualifications and increased the disqualifications of voters and 
the result was that lower qualifications were required to vote for 
a delegate to the assembly than to vote for an insignificant mu- 
nicipal office. Felons, victims of the opium habit and persons 
convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude whose cases were 
pending on appeal, were ineligible under the general law to elec- 
tion to a provincial or municipal office but fully qualified to vote 
for or be elected as a delegate to the assembly. ^^ 

The election was called for July 30, 1907, and passed off with- 
out much excitement.^^ One hundred and four thousand nine 
hundred and sixty-six votes were cast. The creation of the as- 
sembly had given a tremendous impulse to the movement for in- 
dependence. Numerous political parties were organized and fac- 
tional feeling was strong. The people were taught to believe that 
the assembly would be potent in the cause of independence and 
the delegates were elected primarily upon that issue. The Fed- 
eralist party which represented the wealthy and conservative 
element and from which the government had expected so much 
assistance, had been succeeded, or rather, absorbed, by the Pro- 
gresista party, which hoped for independence at some time in 
the future and in the meantime was satisfied with American sov- 
ereignty. A political party which conceded its present incompe- 
tence to run a government could hardly expect to win a popular 
election. Its principal opponent, the Nacionalista party, adopted 
no such modest position. Its members boldly asserted their abil- 

22 Kept. Phil. Com., 1907, Pt. I, p. 49. 

23 The commission, under the spell of days, in its Report (1907, Pt. I, 
p. 48), noted that "by a strange coincidence the day of the month fixed for 
holding the election was the same as that on which the first legislative body 
in America, the House of Burgesses, met in the year 1619." There were 
some disturbances in Manila, which led to the amendment of the sedition 
law and the forbidding of the display of the Katipunan flag and other insur- 
recto emblems. 

A bill to repeal these laws was the first introduced into the new Philippine 
Legislature created under the Philippine Government Law of 1916. 


ity to govern the country now, and demanded immediate inde- 
pendence. On this issue they won control of the assembly. Of 
the other factions the Immediatistas demanded independence at 
once but the Urgentistas, under the stress of apparent necessity, 
went them one better and demanded it quicker than immediately. 
The result was that a small popular majority of those who exer- 
cised the franchise voted for candidates who favored the imme- 
diate separation of the islands from the United States.^* 

The new Philippine Legislature, composed of two houses, met 
for the first time on October 11, 1907. The secretary of war 
journeyed again to the islands in order to be present at the open- 
ing session of the experimental assembly for which he had stood 
sponsor. It was already certain that the assembly would be the 
organ of the independence movement and that it would assume 
to speak for all the people of the Philippines. The authority of 
the commission was of course thereby greatly weakened. It was 
inevitable that the Filipinos would soon come to regard the as- 
sembly as the champion and representative of their special inter- 
ests as against the commission which they assumed would look 
after the interests of the United States. 

Secretary Taft still preserved his spirit of optimism. ^^ The 
experiences of the five years which had passed since he had in- 
duced Congress to provide for the creation of the assembly which 
gave the Filipinos an equal share, theoretically, in the legislative 
power, had not shaken his faith in the wisdom of the policy. 
Probably every other American in the Philippines at that time 
felt that it was a mistake; that it was placing in the hands of the 
political class of the country an instrument which would enable it 
to cultivate a public sentiment in favor of independence which in 
time would force the hand of the United States and overthrow 

2* In the first assembly there were thirty-two Nacionalistas, four Inde- 
pendistas, seven Immediatistas, ten Progresistas, twenty Independents and one 
Centra Catolico. For accounts of the poHtical parties, see W. H. Taft's 
Political Parties in the Philippines, Annals Am. Academy of Pol. and Soc. 
Sci., XX, Sept., 1902; Millard, America and the Eastern Question, Chaps. 
XXX and XXXI, 1909. 

25 Secretary Taft's speech, October 11, 1907 (Rept. Phil. Com., Pt I, pp. 


the policy which for its success required several generations of 
American control. 

With the institution of the Philippine Legislature in 1907, with 
jurisdiction over the Christian provinces, the legislative power 
over what remained of the Archipelago continuing in the commis- 
sion, the government assumed the final form provided for by the 
law of July 1, 1902, which it retained until October, 1916, 
when a new legislature with two elective houses was instituted 
with full legislative power, subject to the veto of the governor- 
general, vested in the elected representatives of the Filipinos. 

The Aftermath of War 

The Proclamation of Peace — The Reconstruction Period — Conditions Un- 
favorable to Order — Ladronism — Natural Calamities — Threatened Famine — 
Death of the Carabao — Local Disturbances — Political or Criminal Motives — 
Premature Organization of Civil Governments — Attitude of General Mac- 
Arthur — General J. F. Bell in Batangas — His Policy — Concentration Camps 
— Surrender of Malvar — Balangiga — The Pulijanes — The Presidential Elec- 
tion — Judge Parker's Charges — Magtaon — The Pacification of Samar — 
Troubles in Albay — Surrender of Ola — Cavite and Laguna — Suspension of 
Writ of Habeas Corpus — Peace and Quiet — Conditions in the Moro Country. 

On July 4, 1902, one year after the inauguration of the insular 
civil government, President Roosevelt issued a proclamation an- 
nouncing that complete peace prevailed throughout the Archi- 
pelago and granting amnesty to all who had been engaged in 
the insurrection. The statement of fact upon which the procla- 
mation was based was strictly correct in the sense that war had 
ceased, but the country was far from being in a condition of per- 
fect order. Nearly half a decade was to pass before the last 
dying embers of the insurrection were stamped out. 

The physical nature of the islands, the character of the inhab- 
itants, and the abnormal social and political conditions made the 
task of restoring order peculiarly difficult. The country had to 
go through a period of reconstruction which presented problems 
almost as difficult of solution as those which faced the American 
people after the great Civil War. 

The insurrection had brought new men to the surface, many of 
them from obscurity and some from the ranks of the old bandits 
and cattle thieves with which the country had always been cursed. 
The remoteness and inaccessibility of the mountain regions, the 
guerrilla character of the last years of the war, the ancient custom 
of the disaffected and the criminal fleeing to the mountain fast- 
nesses and gathering about them bands of ladrones, the popular- 



ity of these leaders with the common people, the attractions 
of such a career for former insurgent leaders who were conscious 
of guilt of acts of barbarism which made it unwise to trust their 
persons to the care of the American officers, the lingering bitter- 
ness and antagonism of the sore and conquered people, their dis- 
position to follow plausible self-appointed leaders, ignorance, 
credulity and superstition which made them the easy dupes of po- 
litical and religious fakirs and silly "papas" who sold charms 
called "anting-antings," warranted to render the wearers invis- 
ible to the Americans and impenetrable by bullets, and the sincere 
desire of the government to avoid as long as possible the resort to 
harsh measures — all combined to render it inevitable that there 
would be a period of unrest and many local outbreaks and dis- 

The social and political conditions were greatly aggravated by 
a series of unusual natural calamities which befell the country in 
the early years of the occupation. Cholera, famine, locusts, rice- 
worms, rinderpest, surra, anthrax, floods, typhoons, droughts, 
and almost every misfortune and pest known to the tropics de- 
scended upon the stricken war-torn land, 

"Out of the clouds come torrents, from the earth, 
Fire and quakings, from the shrieking air 
Tempests that harry half the planet's girth. 

Death's unseen seeds are scattered everywhere." 

The Filipinos as a people are not much addicted to crimes of 
violence, but under such conditions it is not surprising that during 


1 In its Report for 1903 the commission said : 

"One of the great obstacles that this government has to contend with is 
the presence in a large majority of the towns of the Archipelago of dissolute, 
drunken and lawless Americans who are willing to associate with low Fili- 
pino women and to live upon the proceeds of their labor. They are truculent 
and dishonest. They borrow, beg and steal from the natives. Their conduct 
and mode of life are not calculated to impress the natives with the advan- 
tage of American civilization. When opportunity offers, however, they are 
loudest in denunciation of the Filipinos as an inferior, lying race." 

To get rid of this undesirable class the commission passed acts defining 
vagrancy and providing a punishment therefor. The definition of what 
constituted vagrancy was very broad and the islands were gradually relieved 
of this undesirable class. Repts. of the Phil. Com., 1900-1903, p. 495. 


the years immediately following the war there were disturbances 
and that the byways and remote regions witnessed many scenes 
of violence and bloodshed. Famine and disease drove, or at least 
encouraged, many to resort to evil ways. The organized bands 
of ladrones usually made their headquarters in the mountains and 
raided the lowlands, killing the people and carrying away their 
property. Advantage was often taken of the disturbed conditions 
to wreak private grudges^ and to take bloody vengeance for old 
wrongs and real and fancied grievances originating during or be- 
fore the war. 

The situation called for active government assistance. Until 
there was some relief from threatened famine it would be impos- 
sible to restore order. In 1903 Congress appropriated three 
million dollars for the relief of distress in the Philippines and the 
money was used to purchase food and work animals and for the 
construction of roads and other public works on which the people 
could be given work and thus earn wages.^ 

In 1902 a group of enterprising merchants attempted to corner 
the short rice crop and the commission appropriated one million 
dollars* to be used to regulate prices and with it imported rice 
from Saigon and Calcutta, which it sold to the people at a loss of 
about one hundred thousand dollars. The presidentes of the mu- 
nicipalities were directed to call their people together and urge 
them to plant quick-growing crops, such as corn and sweet po- 
tatoes, with seed furnished them at the expense of the provinces.^ 
But most of the crops which were planted with this seed withered 
and died during the drought and what threatened to mature was 
eaten by the locusts. Various measures were taken to destrov 

2 It was for a murder committed during this period that the Filipino Gen- 
eral Noriel was convicted and executed in 1915. 

3 See Kept. Phil. Com., 1904, Pt. I, Exhibit G, p. 719. This is the only direct 
financial aid ever extended to the Filipinos by the Congress of the United 
States. Mr. Freer {Philippine Experience of an American Teacher) tells 
how fifty sacks of congressional relief fund rice aided in building a school- 
house in the town of Bula. "By means of congressional relief fund rice 
more than thirty schoolhouses were constructed in many different places in 
Camarines, most of these being too poor to build unassisted." 

* Act No. 485. This operation was repeated in 1912 and 1915. 
5 Act No. 517, Nov. 12, 1902. Some of the municipal councils proceeded to 
make it a criminal offense not to accept this advice. 


the locusts, and with a portion of the congressional aid fund 
carabaos were imported from China.® The energetic measures 
taken by the medical, health and sanitary authorities were effec- 
tive and the dread diseases were brought under temporary con- 

Second only in importance to existence itself, which was threat- 
ened by the cholera and famine, was the establishment of law and 
order. Until that was done, everything else was illusory. The in- 
surrection in the sense of a general uprising ceased before July, 
1901, but internal disturbances seriously affecting public order 
continued in various parts of the Archipelago until shortly be- 
fore the general election for delegates to the assembly in 1907.'' 
The theory of the insular administration was that the real Fili- 
pino people were not involved in these uprisings ; that they were 
the work of outlaws and bandits who were influenced by the de- 
sire for excitement, plunder and revenge on their fellow country- 
men who were friendly to the Americans. The military men 
generally regarded the conditions as resulting from the prema- 
ture transfer of control from the army to the civil government. 
The irreconcilables among the natives and the opposition in the 
United States claimed that it was a continuation of the struggle 
of the Filipinos for independence. 

Looking back over the records of those years with our pres- 
ent knowledge it seems that Governor Taft and the commission 
underestimated the strength of the influences which were operat- 
ing to induce the disturbances. It may be correct, technically, to 
describe them as the work of bandits and outlaws, but the popular 
sympathy for the outlaws, whatever its cause, was much more 
general than they realized or were willing to admit. On the other 
hand, it was not a general insurrectionary movement against the 
Americans as contended by those who were seeking to discredit 

^Rept. Phil. Com., 1900-3; Rept Civil Governor, Dec. 23, 1903, p. 482; 
Rept. Phil. Com., 1904, Pt I, p. 288. 

J This sudden cessation of bandit activities showed the control of the 
political leader over the people for whose acts they refused to be held re- 


the administration and make political capital out of the unsettled 
condition of the country. Mistakes, indeed, and many of them, 
were made, and in some instances it would have been wiser not to 
have delayed so long to use the regular army to suppress the 
outlaws.^ Nevertheless, the principle upon which the government 
acted, namely, to rely upon the civil police, the constabulary and 
the scouts, who were all natives, so long as there was any reason- 
able prospect of success, was a valid one.^ But it relied upon 
them too long. The commission in its desire to avoid the use of 
adequate force seems to have fallen just short of the policy of the 
ruler of the Papal States who once made a formal treaty with 
his brigands by which they were to give themselves up as prison- 
ers for a year, after which they were to be pensioned. 

Some of the provinces had been prematurely organized. As 
we have seen, General Mac Arthur was not in entire sympathy 
with the policy of the administration and after he had formally 
acquiesced therein a difference of opinion arose between him and 
the commission as to who should say when a particular province 
was ready to be organized.^" He finally conceded that it should 
be determined by the commission and thereafter seems in all in- 
stances to have concurred, at least officially, in the decision to or- 
ganize particular provinces. There had been serious doubts by 
all parties as to whether Batangas, Cebu and Bohol were ready 

^ Regular troops were used to good advantage against the Moros and the 
pulijanes in Leyte, but in Batangas and Cavite they accomplished little. 

9 In his report to the commission, dated Nov. 15, 1903 (Repts. Phil. 
Com., 1900-1903, p. 491), Governor Taft said: "It is of the utmost political 
importance that the regular soldiery, under a command more or less inde- 
pendent of the civil government, should not be called in to suppress dis- 
orders and to maintain the authority of the civil government until all the 
forces of natives, whether Constabulary or Scouts, should be used for this 
purpose. Nothing could be further from the truth, nothing could be more 
unfounded or unfair, than the inference that the use of Scouts in association 
with the constabulary for the suppression of disorder is a reflection upon the 
military establishment or upon those who are in command thereof ; but we 
know in our own country how loth Governors of States are to call out 
militia, and how loth the President is to summon the Regular Army in the 
suppressions of domestic disorders. In this country it is politically most im- 
portant that Filipinos should suppress Filipino disturbances and arrest Fili- 
pino outlaws." 

^° Sen. Doc. 331, I, pp. 85, 86. Statement of Governor Taft 


for civil government, but General MacArthur and the commission 
finally agreed that the experiment had better be tried.^^ It proved 
a failure and in July, 1901, these provinces were returned to the 
care of the military governor. 

The civil government had been severely criticized for its soft- 
hearted efforts to suppress the disturbers of the peace without 
using the military forces. The army was now criticized for ex- 
cessive severity. Neither General J. Franklin Bell in Batangas 
nor General Jacob Smith in Samar made war with their gloves 
on. It was recognized that the time for gentleness had passed. 
The situation in Batangas was handled with great skill. While 
the methods adopted by General Bell were undoubtedly severe, 
they were strictly in conformity with the laws of war and were 
necessary under the circumstances. When the results obtained 
are compared with the actual loss of life it must be conceded that 
General Bell's Batangas campaign was from every point of view 
not only successful but merciful. 

During the autumn of 1901 the insurgent General Malvar and 
his adherents were very active in Batangas. The military author- 
ities, unlike Governor Taft and the commissioners, believed that 
practically all the natives of the province were in sympathy with 
Malvar and that those who professed friendship for the Amer- 
icans were secretly giving aid to the insurgents. General Bell 
simplified matters by dividing the natives into two classes, friends 
and enemies. According to his simple soldier philosophy there 

" H. C. Ide, North American Review, December, 1907. 

General MacArthur assumed his share of responsibility for what was 
done. In a letter February 13, 1901, he informed Governor Taft that the 
commander of the Department of Southern Luzon reported but one province 
as, ready for civil government. "I added," he wrote, "the provinces of La- 
guna, Batangas and Cavite, believing that the institution of civil government 
in all these provinces will be of assistance to the military authorities in the 
work of pacification." Mr. Worcester {The Philippines, I, p. 340), who pre- 
sumably speaks from personal knowledge, says that "Similarly, in estab- 
lishing civil government in Cebu and Bohol, the Commission acted on the 
specific recommendation of the military authorities, and rather against its 
own judgment. There seemed to be no good reason for refusing to try civil 
government, if the commanding general wanted it tried, and when it failed, 
as it promptly did, in Cebu, Bohol and Batangas, these provinces were im- 
mediately returned to the full control of the military and left there until con- 
ditions became satisfactory." 


were to be no neutrals. Everybody was to be made to "want 
peace and want it badly." Those who were friends must come 
out in the open. Thereafter, according to his statement issued on 
December ninth, "The only acceptable and convincing evidence of 
the real sentiments of either individuals or town councils should 
be such acts publicly performed as must inevitably commit them 
irrevocably to the side of Americans by arousing the animosity 
of the insurgent element. . . . Those who publicly guide 
our troops to the camps of the enemy, who publicly identify in- 
surgents, who accompany troops in operations against the enemy, 
who denounce and assist in arresting the secret enemies of the 
government, who publicly obtain and bring reliable and valuable 
information to commanding officers, those in fact who publicly 
array themselves against the insurgents and for Americans, 
should be trusted and given credit for loyalty, but no others."^^ 
But the distinguishing feature of General Bell's policy was the 
creation of concentration camps into which all the people were 
required to come or take the consequences and be without food 
and protection. Of course, the real object of the concentration 
policy was to make it impossible for the insurgents to obtain food 
by levying contributions on people who desired to be peaceful. 
The word reconcentration had acquired a sinister significance to 
the people of the United States in connection with General Wey- 
ler's proceedings in Cuba. But such camps were strictly legal 
under the laws of war." They are, when properly conducted, 
efficient and humane agencies in bringing such conditions as ex- 
isted in Batangas to an end. But all depends on how they are 
managed and how the people in the camps are cared for. In 
this instance reconcentration was a humane policy. Although the 
people suffered the loss of their crops and other property which 
they had to leave behind, in the long run they were benefited. 
Military commanders must often be cruel in order to be kind. 
The mortality in the camps was low, the people were well fed, 
furnished with proper medical attendance, and their sufferings 

^"^ Circular Order, Dec. 9, 1901. 

" See Rebellion Records, Sec. 1, XXII, Pt. II, p. 473. 


were such only as were incidental to their forcible removal from 
their homes/* 

After the people had been gathered into the concentration 
camps the plan was so to harry and harass those who were out- 
side and keep them in such a state of anxiety and apprehension 
that life would become so intolerable that they would earnestly 
desire and become active for peace. Small detachments were to 
search every ravine, valley and mountain peak for insurgents 
and food. Everything found outside of the towns was to be de- 
stroyed and all able-bodied men killed or captured.^^ All food 
supplies which could not be transported were to be destroyed. 
In order to make life less pleasant for those leading citizens who 
were aiding the insurgents while professing loyalty to the Ameri- 
cans, subordinate commanders were authorized to put them to 
\vork on the roads.^^ What the critics of the commission called 
the era of coddling had come to an end in Batangas. 

1* Testimoney of General Wagner, Sen. Doc. 331, Pt. Ill, p. 2873. 

A great deal was made of these camps in the United States. On May 23, 
1902, Senator Bacon read in the Senate a letter from an officer which re- 
ferred to "a reconcentration pen with a dead line outside, beyond which 
everything living is shot" and where "at riightfall clouds of vampire bats 
softly swirl out on their orgys over the dead." The writer was evidently 
trying to make the senatorial blood curdle. So difficult is it for one with the 
literary touch to refrain from the picturesque at the expense of truth. 

Even Mr. Blount (American Occupation of the Philippines, p. 393), who 
is a savage critic of most things done in the Philippines, says : "There were 
about 100,000 people, all told, gathered in the reconcentrado camps in Ba- 
tangas under General Bell. . . . There was no starvation in these camps. 
All the reconcentrados had to do was not to cross the deadline of the recon- 
centration zone, and to draw their rations, which were provided as religiously 
as any ordinary American, who is not a fiend and has plenty of rice on hand 
for the purpose, will give to the hungry. The reconcentrado camps and the 
people in them were daily looked after by medical officers of the American 

'^^ Circular Order No. 19, Dec. 25, 1901. 

Circular Order No. 22, same date. Sen. Doc. 33 r, p. 1623. "I expect," 
wrote General Bell, "to first clean out the wide Looboo Peninsula. I shall 
then move command to the vicinity of Lake Taal, and sweep the country 
westward to the ocean and south of Cavite, returning through Lipa. I shall 
scour and clean up the Lipa Mountains. Swinging northward, the country 
. . . will be scoured . . . which will then be thoroughly searched 
and devastated. Swinging back to the right, the same treatment will be 
given all the country, etc." 

16 "The most serious discomfort experienced by any one within the areas 
was caused to the mestizo ruling group whose members bitterly resented the 
blow to their prestige in being treated like every one else. They had been 
accustomed to have others work for them and obey them blindly. To a man 


The policy which had been outlined and followed by General 
Bell was approved by General Wheaton and by General Chaffee, 
the division commander. A campaign on these lines was com- 
menced in January, 1902, and in April Malvar, with three thou- 
sand two hundred and thirty-six of his followers, surrendered." 
Notwithstanding the severe methods adopted, the Filipino loss 
was only one hundred and sixty-three killed and two hundred and 
nine wounded. For the time Batangas was quiet. 

The system of concentration camps which had been used in 
Batangas was also applied in a much modified form in the prov- 
ince of Albay in 1903. A little later the commission passed a 
law which authorized the bringing of the people from districts 
where they were subject to the attacks of the outlaws into the 
towns where they could be properly protected and cared for at 
the government expense. ^^ Of course it was an arbitrary pro- 
ceeding and of doubtful legality during peace. But in a locally 
celebrated case which arose in 1905 the Supreme Court refused 
to discharge one of the people who was held in a concentration 
camp. The province had been declared in a state of war and 
the writ of habeas corpus had been suspended by the governor- 
general. The finding of the Executive Department that a state 
of rebellion and insurrection existed was held to be conclusive 
upon the court. ^^ 

In September, 1901, a company of the Ninth U. S. Infantry 
was attacked by outlaws under circumstances of peculiar treach- 
ery at a place called Balangiga in Samar and almost annihilated. 
Only twenty-four out of sixty-six escaped after a desperate fight 
with the bolo men. 

who could speak Spanish, and who had always been the lord of his barrio, 
the possibility of having to cultivate a field with his own hands was an un- 
speakable and scandalous thing. These men suffered and suffered acutely; 
but it was not their bodies which suffered — it was their pride." Taylor, 
Phil. Insurg. Recs. 

^■^ From eight thousand to ten thousand persons actively engaged in the 
insurrection were captured at various times and released upon taking the 
oath of allegiance. 

18 See Rept. Civil Governor, Nov. 15, 1902 (Repts. Phil. Com.. 1900-1903, 
p. 492). 

19 Barcelon v. Baker, 5 Phil. Repts. 89. 


The island of Samar was a place of evil reputation. The prov- 
ince had not been organized under the provincial government 
law and the military authorities took prompt action to avenge 
Balangiga. General Jacob Smith was sent there with orders to 
put an end to the intolerable situation. General Smith, like Gen- 
eral Bell, desired to create in the minds of the people "a burning 
desire for the war to cease," but he lacked General Bell's faculty 
for getting results while keeping within the military law. He 
simply issued an order directing his troops to lay waste the coun- 
try and kill "everything over ten years old." No one ever at- 
tempted to justify this order. The only question was whether the 
primary responsibility for it rested upon General Smith or upon 
the division commander. ^° 

Samar was reduced to temporary subjection but several years 
were to pass before it was finally pacified. 

The ignorant mountain people of the island had always suf- 
fered at the hands of the more intelligent residents of the low- 
lands. Conditions in this respect seem to have been worse in 
Samar than in any other place. They were dependent upon their 
trade with the towns along the coasts and it was customary for 
the municipal authorities who were frequently traders, to seize 
those who came down with their products, throw them into jail 
on fictitious charges and under various pretenses confiscate their 

These people, who were known as pulijanes, were inherently 
neither better nor worse than the average of the ignorant natives. 

20 General Smith was known as a humane and efficient officer. In some 
'way the story was started that he was known in the army as "hell-roaring 

Jake." I am informed by a general officer who served for many years with 
General Smith that the sobriquet was never heard until after the Samar 
campaign. It did very much to create a prejudice against him in the public 
mind which aided in forcing his retirement. 

21 When in 1904 Governor-General Wright and Commissioners Luzuriago 
and Forbes visited Samar they learned that most of the presidentes and coun- 
cilors of the coast towns were agents for the hemp buyers and that they had 
been taking advantage of the ignorant hill people. They had been "in the 
habit of practically taking their hemp at a nominal valuation, or one much 
below the market price, and turning it into the export houses at the market 
price. In many cases it was fairly evident that when a producer protested 



Their country was the home of escaped criminals and the natural 
hiding-place and headquarters of the insurrecto leaders who had 
turned outlaws. Being densely ignorant, they were susceptible 
to the influence of political impostors and religious fakirs who 
claimed to possess divine authority and supernatural powers. 
Superstitious, wronged and outraged, they became the easy dupes 
of designing leaders who themselves sought nothing but revenge 
and plunder. 

During 1903 and the spring of 1904 numerous raids were made 
on the coast towns of Samar and as the peaceful people were un- 
armed it soon became a choice of joining the pulijanes or being 
harried by them. There was no adequate police protection and 
thousands joined the movement which soon reached serious pro- 

In July, 1904, the town of Taurian was raided and twenty-six 
peaceful natives were killed. The following day at Cantaguio, 
the pulijanes captured the chief of police, who had been appointed 
by the American authorities, made" him a turban out of an Amer- 
ican flag, saturated it with kerosene and burned him as an ex- 
ample to his countrymen. The burning of villages continued dur- 
ing the summer and by September it was estimated that fifty 
thousand innocent people had been rendered homeless. Many of 
the raiders were captured by the constabulary and turned over to 
the courts for trial. The local officials urged the government to 
call for the regular troops, but this they were loath to do for fear 
it would be misunderstood and misrepresented by political ene- 
mies in the United States. A presidential election was soon to 
take place and the Democratic candidate for president was ring- 
ing the changes on "towns in ruins and provinces in revolt." In 
response to an inquiry from the secretary of war, Governor- 
General Wright cabled that except in the one province of Samar 

against this imposition he was arrested upon some trumped up charge and 
thus both despoiled and punished. With the sense of injustice and wrong 
rankling in the breasts of these ignorant people, it was an easy matter for 
shrewd and unscrupulous leaders, some of whom had been outlaws from 
Spanish times, to organize them into bands for purposes of reprisal and 
revenge against their oppressors." Kept. Phil. Com., 1905, Pt. I, p. 50. 


life and property in the Philippines was as safe as in the United 

Undoubtedly the political conditions in the United States 
caused the insular government to hesitate to call for the regular 
troops. Assistant Attorney-General Harvey, who had been sent 
to Samar to assist the local prosecutor, made a full report of con- 
ditions to Governor-General Wright. "While he did not say 
much," wrote Mr. Harvey, "what he did say convinced me that 
there would be something doing if it were not on the eve of elec- 
tion and in my opinion there will be things doing in Samar within 
thirty days.'"'^ 

This conjecture proved to be well founded. Immediately after 
the election, Governor-General Wright and Commissioners Luzu- 
riasro and Forbes visited Samar and on their return sixteen hun- 
dred regulars and about the same number of native scouts and 
constabulary were sent to the island. 

It required almost two years for even this force to capture or 
kill all the pulijanes and establish law and order in the island of 
Samar. Captain George Curry, a volunteer officer, who was 
appointed governor of the island, prosecuted the work of re- 
organizing the municipalities and opening the interior country 
by establishing towns and stations with such vigor that on No- 
vember fifth the commission, with renewed optimism reported 
that "many of the pulijanes have voluntarily surrendered, bring- 
ing in their guns, and it now looks like the worst were over in 

The provisions of the Provincial Code, designed for the civil- 
ized Filipinos, were manifestly not suitable for these ignorant 
people who needed a simple paternal government by w^hich they 
could be controlled and protected in person and property. The 
Provincial Board of Samar therefore was authorized to apply 

22 The New York Tribune, Oct. 25, 1904. 

23 Mr. Harvey to Judge Blount, Oct. 15, 1904, Cong. Rec, Feb. 25, 1908. 
The conditions in Samar before the arrival of the regulars were assumed to 
be described by a young Englishman named Hyatt, in a lurid novel called 
The Little Brown Brother. Hyatt pretended to have a grievance against 
Commissioner Forbes, who was then secretary of commerce and police, and 
attacked him very bitterly in the novel and in a book published some years 


to these new towns the provision of the law relating to local gov- 
ernments among the non-Christian tribes.^* 

In the spring of 1906 Governor Curry arranged for the sur- 
render of what remained of the outlaws. To the number of 
about three hundred, under the notorious "Pope" Otoy, they 
assembled at a place called Magtaon but, finding the constabulary 
force of fifty men with their guns unloaded, they made a sud- 
den attack and killed about one-half and wounded all the surviv- 
ors, who, however, succeeded in beating them off. Soon there- 
after the outlaws were all killed or captured and since that time 
Samar has been quiet and peaceful.-^ 

During the winter months of 1903-1904 the constabulary car- 
ried on an active campaign in Albay against one Simeon Ola and 
a large body of ladrones. Ola finally surrendered to Colonel H. 
H. Bandholtz, under circumstances which induced his friends in 
the United States to claim that he had been offered immunity 
from punishment. There never was a better illustration of the 
habit of certain good people of springing to the defense of any 
scoundrel upon whom the law has succeeded in getting its 
clutches, particularly when by so doing they can strike at the rep- 
utation of some officer. Ola turned state's evidence and cheer- 
fully aided in sending many of his associates to the scaffold but 
never made any claim that he had been promised immunity.'® 

later, in New York, under the title of The Diary of a Soldier of Fortune. 
In this book he foolishly charged Secretary Forbes with grafting and "using 
his utmost endeavor to get us killed." 

2* "It is not doubted that, with this kind of government, when schools and 
churches are established among them and they are made to appreciate the 
benefits and blessings of decent and orderly living, they will become law- 
abiding and prosperous." Rept. Phil. Com., 1905, Pt. I, p. 52. 

One finds it difficult to read this sort of optimistic matter, which is so 
common in the early reports of the commission, without a feeling of irrita- 
tion and wonder whether the writers really deceived themselves. 

25 Otoy was killed by Lieutenant Puno, a Filipino constabulary officer and 
one of the survivors of the Magtaon fight. The constabulary at Magtaon was 
under the command of Captain (now Colonel) R, W. Jones. The guns were 
unloaded at the request of Governor Curry, who desired to show confidence 
in the pulijanes. 

26 See Rept. Phil. Com., 1907, Pt. I, pp. 36-42. 

Judge Blount, before whom Ola was tried, says that neither he nor his 
counsel ever suggested that he had been promised immunity or that any paper 
such as is referred to in Willis' Our Philippine People, p. 140, existed. See 
also Governor Taft's statement, Rept. Phil. Com., 1900-3, p. 489. 


As late as 1905 there were disturbances in Cavite and Laguna, 
in the vicinity of Manila, which had more a political tinge. 
Leaders such as Sakay, Felizardo, Montalon and others, were 
ladrones but they had formerly been officers of the insurgent 
army and had the sympathy of many of their old followers. 
After even the guerrilla stage of the war was over these men 
and others like them continued to assume "the convenient cloak 
of patriotism and, under the titles of defenders of the country 
and protectors of the people, proceeded to inaugurate a reign of 
terror, devastation, and ruin." The disturbances became so 
serious that it was found necessary to suspend the writ of habeas 
corpus in Batangas and Cavite, but the situation was handled 
without using the regular army. 

Since 1906 a condition of absolute peace and order has existed 
in all parts of the Archipelago other than the southern islands in- 
habited by the Moros.^^ In 1907, as we have seen, the commis- 
sion, by resorting to what was possibly a fiction, was able to make 

27 The few ladrone leaders remaining were gradually brought in and sent 
to prison or executed. One of them, named Salvador, was not captured until 
1911, but, in the meantime, he had been quiet. After 1907 those who were 
out were merely fugitives from justice and were kept busy dodging the con- 
stabulary and local police. 

In addition to the military operations carried on against the ladrones the 
commission passed a statute designed to make it possible to convict persons 
charged with crimes of violence in the civil courts. It had been found prac- 
tically impossible to find evidence to fix guilt upon particular persons. It was 
easy to show that persons captured had been members of an armed band 
running about the country, committing or attempting to commit robberies 
and murder, but to prove that individuals were present at particular robberies 
was impossible. The act known as the Bandolerismo Statute was passed, 
which provided that whenever three or more persons conspiring together 
should form a band of robbers for the purpose of stealing carabao or other 
personal property by means of force and violence and should go out upon the 
highway or roam through the country armed with deadly weapons for that 
purpose, they should be deemed highway robbers or brigands, and that every 
person engaged in the original formation of the band or joining it thereafter 
should, upon conviction, be punished by death or imprisonment for not less 
than twenty years. To prove the crime described in this statute it was not 
necessary to adduce evidence that any member of the band had in fact com- 
mitted robbery or theft — it was sufficient to justify conviction thereunder if 
from the circumstances it could be inferred beyond a reasonable doubt that 
the accused was a member of such an armed band as that described. This 
act was very effective and for a time the courts were overwhelmed with 
cases. Many were convicted and punished, but the majority were ultimately 
pardoned. For this statute and the reasons for its enactment, see Rept. Phil. 
Com., Dec. 23, 1903 (Repts. Phil Com., 1900-1903, p. 492). 


the certificate that complete peace had existed during the preced- 
ing two years, in order to comply with the conditions precedent 
to the establishment of the Philippine Assembly. The struggle 
for order had, in fact, been long and serious. But too much im- 
portance should not be given to the disturbances which have been 
described. While they were serious enough, they were not contin- 
uous and except in Batangas and possibly Cavite, they were not 
of a political nature and were never voluntarily participated in by 
more than a small minority of the people. They were the final 
sputterings of the fire of insurrection which had swept over the 

During this period the conditions in the country inhabited by 
the Moros were bad,^"* but as no question of local self-government 
was involved the problem was comparatively simple. The Moro 
was a soldier — a fighting man — and soldiers were left to govern 
him. In 1903 the Moro country was organized as a special 
province and a quasi civil government was instituted with Gen- 
eral Leonard Wood, the commander of the Military Department 
of Mindanao and Jolo, as governor. Important military opera- 
tions had been carried on in the Lake Lanao and Cotabato re- 
gions and all organized armed resistance to the sovereignty of the 
United States had ceased. But there were still many marauding 
bands and the ambush and murder of American soldiers was fre- 
quent. The situation in Jolo was much more serious than else- 
where in the Sulu Archipelago. The authority which had been re- 
served to the sultan by the so-called Bates Treaty had been abused 
or not exercised, with unfortunate results. The sultan had been 
unwilling or at least unable to perform his part of the stipulations 
and on the recommendation of General Wood and Governor Taft 
the treaty was abrogated on March 21, 1904."^ 

The ineffectiveness of a conciliatory policy when dealing with 

28 See generally, statement of Governor-General Wright (Kept. Phil. 
Com., 1904, Pt. I, pp. 5-14). 

29 The sultan visited Manila and had a conference with Governor Taft, 
•who seems to have been satisfied that His Majesty was merely inefficient. 
When the treaty was abrogated the sultan was allowed an income of six 
thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars, gold, per year with which to main- 
tain his dignity, with the understanding that he should thereafter assist the 



the Sulu Moros had been demonstrated and for several years 
thereafter they were controlled by stern military power.^° 

government in every w^ay possible. Rept. Phil. Com., 1904, Pt. I, p. 13. For 
the reports of General Wood and his subordinates, see Rept. Phil. Com., 1903, 
Pt. I, pp. 489-542. 

In 1915 the Harrison administration negotiated a formal treaty with the 
sultan, who therein relinquished his claim to sovereignty over the country. 
(Report Phil. Com., 1915, p. 297.) It ought to be added as a sort of epilogue 
to George Ade's comic opera. The Sultan of Sulu. 

30 General Wood's report as governor for 1904 contains a summary of the 
events in the Moro country from the American occupation down to that 
time. Rept. Phil. Com., 1904, Pt. II, pp. 572-594, and app. 

For the present form of government for the Moros, see infra, p. 94, 

Disentangling Church and State — The Friar Lands 

Church and State in Spanish Times — Misunderstanding of American Policy 
— Archbishop Chapelle and General Otis — Administration of Certain Trusts — 
The San Jose College Case — The Friar Lands — Their Extent and Value — 
Attitude of the Government — Purchase of the Lands — Controversy over 
Sales — The Mindora Estate Congressional Investigation — The Result — Agli- 
pay and the National Church — Controversy over Church Property — Settled 
by the Courts. 

The close political and business relations which during the 
Spanish regime existed between the civil and ecclesiastical au- 
thorities made it inevitable that the American government would 
have to determine some very troublesome controversies with the 
Roman Catholic Church. The bitter feeling against the friars, 
the suspicious attitude of the Filipinos, and the extreme sensi- 
tiveness of the American people. Catholic and Protestant, when 
the State is called on to deal with the Church, made it necessary 
to act with great tact and judgment. Questions which were 
purely legal in their nature, under the circumstances were given 
political significance by the public and every move of the authori- 
ties was watched with intense interest. The Filipinos and a 
section of the American public demanded that the American gov- 
ernment follow the example of the Malolos Congress and con- 
fiscate the property of the monastic orders in total disregard of 
property rights which were protected not only by American stat- 
ute law but expressly by the Treaty of Peace with Spain.^ 

The new papal delegate. Archbishop Chapelle, of New Or- 

1 Article VIII. Treaty of Paris. So distinguished a divine as Doctor 
Leonard Woolsey Bacon urged the government to adopt a policy which 
amounted to simple confiscation. See his article, entitled. "A Flaw in the 
Title?" in The Outlook, LXIII, p. 689 (1899), and the adverse editorial com- 
ment thereon, p. 668. See also Lew Wallace, Jr.. "Church Property and Our 
Recent Acquisitions." The Outlook, LXIV, p. 402 ; James R. Rogers, "Religion 
in the Philippines ; A Missionary's Views," ibid. 



leans, did not make a very tactful entrance upon the scene. He 
allied himself openly with the Spanish religious orders, thus at 
once alienating native sentiment and creating disaffection among 
those who assumed that as an American he must represent the 
views of President McKinley and the insular government. Be- 
fore leaving the United States Monseigneur Chapelle gave out 
an interview in which he supported the friars, and upon arriving 
at Manila he injudiciously expressed similar views without much 
reserve. A Manila anti-friar paper. El Progresso, published an 
alleged interview in which the delegate was made to say, among 
other things, that "the four public lectures given by Father Mc- 
Kinnon caused President McKinley to realize the necessity for 
the monastic orders remaining in the Philippines. I come to 
Manila with ample authority for everything. The friars in the 
Philippines have alarmed themselves without any reason. I know 
their importance and am openly predisposed in their favor. H 
the friars occupy the parishes they will be considered as elements 
of order, and therefore as American agents."^ 

This interview was repudiated but nevertheless it seems to 
have expressed the archbishop's sentiments as they are disclosed 
in the correspondence between him and General Otis.^ It was, of 
course, reasonable that the delegate should support the friars ; no 
one really expected him to take any other position, but the at- 
tempt to convey the impression to the Filipino public that he rep- 
resented the views of President McKinley was another matter. 
The courtesies, some of them possibly a trifle overdone, shown 
the papal delegate and other ecclesiastical dignitaries by the 
American officials were construed as manifestations of official 
favor, and the fact that some of the friars who were being sent 

2 Quoted in Robinson's The Philippines, etc., p. 332. In a letter from 
Manila dated June 12, 1900, the Associated Press correspondent said : "Arch- 
bishop Chapelle_ . . . believes the policy of leniency is wasted upon 
Asiatics who fail to comprehend the motives for it. Archbishop Chapelle 
has taken no uncertain stand on the question of the friars which the Fili- 
pinos regarded as the keynote of all their troubles. The Archbishop has 
expressed his opinion freely to many officers and civilians, although he de- 
clines to give any formal interviews for publication." Harper's Pictorial 
History, p. 381 ; Le Rov, The Americans in the Philippines, II, p. 297, note. 

3 Gen. Otis' Report, 1900, p. 306. 


to the distant Batanes Islands, were assured of protection from 
violence* and that a Filipino priest named Adriano Garces, who 
was known as an enemy of the friars, was imprisoned by the 
military commander at Dagupan,^ were "generally regarded as 
proving a community of ideas and interests between the Ameri- 
cans and the friars." 

All their suspicions now seemed confirmed and the native 
papers renewed the attacks on the friars and Americans with the 
greatest violence. As one of the correspondents expressed it, 
"they let themselves loose. That which had been whispered in 
corners was shouted from the housetops." 

The difficulties of the political situation were greatly increased 
by this misunderstanding of the motives and intentions of the 
government. It would all have been cleared up if the public 
could have read the correspondence which was then being car- 
ried on between General Otis and Monseigneur Chapelle with 
reference to the friar lands and the disposition of certain prop- 
erty over which the Church assumed to have legal control. Gen- 
eral Otis made it very plain that instead of being under the 
control of the friars he was a strong and consistent opponent of 
the policy of permitting them to return to their parishes." 

The question whether the Church or the government had the 
right to administer certain charitable and educational trusts was 
raised almost immediately after the military occupation.^ Several 
institutions were ultimately involved, but the College of San Jose 
case attracted the most attention, as it was carried into the courts. 

*Sen. Doc, igoo, 56th Cong., 2nd Sess., p. 219. The letter which Arch- 
bishop Chapelle sent with these friars to the commander of the American 
troops at Aparri is printed in part in Le Roy, II, p. 301, note. 

5 The secretary of war cabled for information as to the imprisonment of 
Garces, and General MacArthur replied : "The native priest removed because 
not loyal. Removal requested by majority of communicants of parish. Ac- 
tion necessary to preserve peace." Corr. Rcl. War, p. 1238 et seq. 

■ Le Roy (II, p. 303) suggests that it was unfortunate, in view of the situa- 
tion, that Garces had a long record as an anti-friar as well as anti-American 

« Otis' Report, 1900, p. 293 et seq. 

7 In 1898 Archbishop Nozaleda (Defensa Obligada. appendix) called the 
attention of General Otis to certain obras pias, the funds of which were being 
used in the banking and loan business. 


General Otis, at the request of a local medical society, issued an 
order forbidding the use of the property belonging to the College 
of San Jose, which, in 1875, had been incorporated into the Uni- 
versity of Santo Tomas school of medicine and pharmacy, on the 
ground that it had, under the treaty with Spain, become the prop- 
erty of the United States and was held in trust for the benefit of 
the Filipino people.® The ultimate question in all the cases was 
whether the Spanish government, in its admitted right to control 
the property in question, had acted in its secular or civil capacity 
or as a mere agent of the Catholic Church under a concordat be- 
tween the Pope and the Spanish Crown. The Church claimed 
that under the Spanish law all charitable and religious founda- 
tions were presumptively pious works, obras pias, and under the 
control of the Church. There were two kinds of ohras pias, one 
under the immediate control of the ordinary or the bishop of the 
diocese, the other under the control of the king as the universal 
patron of all religious trusts. It was claimed that the popes had 
transferred most of their authority in the Philippines, and espe- 
cially their authority as patrons of religious trusts, to the king of 
Spain and that all the trusts which had originally a religious 
foundation pertained to the Roman Catholic Church down to the 
end of Spanish rule in the Philippines. 

In July, 1900, the rector of the University of Santo Tomas 
petitioned the military governor to vacate the order, which had 
been made by General Otis, and pennit the College of San Jose 
to reopen its medical school. This was strenuously opposed by 
certain leading people of Manila. General MacArthur referred 
the matter to the commission which would soon have legislative 
authority to deal with the question. A full hearing before the 
commission^ resulted in the enactment of a law which made spe- 

s Otis' Report, 1900, pp. 296, 304. A Board of Medical Examiners was 
created in order to enable the students of the suspended school to be ad- 
mitted to practise.^ Gen. Orders, Mil. Gov. Phil, 1900, April 1, 1900. 

9 The commission heard the elaborate arguments evidently on the theory 
that it intended to decide the question involved. The leading counsel for the 
government, that is for the Filipinos, was Felipe G. Calderon. The argument 
for the Church, prepared by Archbishop Nozaleda, was read by a repre- 


cial provision for the decision of the question by the Supreme 
Court of the Philippines, with an appeal to the Supreme Court of 
the United States, should Congress, on or before March 1, 1903, 
provide for appeals to that court/" The action was duly brought, 
argued and submitted, but before the decision was rendered the 
entire controversy, which had come to involve other trusts, was 
compromised by an agreement between Mr. Taft as secretary of 
war and Archbishop Harty. Under this arrangement entered 
into in 1907, the Church retained possession and control over the 
Hospicio San Jose, the Hospital of San Juan de Dios, and certain 
other small trusts, and the government obtained the valuable 
San Lazaro estate with certain deductions therefrom.^^ 

sentative. It was regarded as something of an occasion, when a Filipino 
lawyer could meet the churchman on equal terms. "Nozaleda took a position 
quite openly depreciative of the Filipinos, and was evidently nettled that he 
should be measuring swords with the young Filipino lawyer, Calderon, who 
had been in the Malolos Congress, and having a sharp tongue and quite keen 
wit was very ready to use his opportunity to express Filipino feeling toward 
Spanish friars." Le Roy, II, p. 307. For the arguments, see the statement 
by the Philippine Commission in referring the matter to the court, printed 
in a pamphlet entitled, Negotiations for the Settlement of Title to Certain 
Lands, etc., Manila, 1907. San Jose Case. Statement of His Excellency, 
The Most Reverend P. L. Chapelle, Apostolic Delegate. Petition of Arch- 
bishop Harty to President Roosevelt, 1907. Sen. Doc. igo, 56th Cong., 2nd 
Sess., pp. 26-46. 

'^^ Act No. 6g, Jan. 5, 1901. The commission in referring the case said: 
"There has been much popular and political interest in the controversy in 
which we have now stated our conclusions. The questions considered, how- 
ever, have not any political color at all. They have been purely questions of 
law and proper legal procedure, and so will they be in the court to which 
they are now sent. The decision of the right to control San Jose College 
can not legitimately be affected by the political feeling which one may have 
for or against the friars." 

11 The San Lazaro estate was valued at about one million five hundred 
thousand dollars, gold. The settlement was very favorable to the church 
authorities. However, there was a serious doubt as to the legal merits of the 
government's claim. The Supreme Court never rendered a decision, but the 
probability is that the decision would have been against the government. 
The commission in referring the case to the court expressed no opinion on 
the merits. Governor Taft and Commissioner Wright had no confidence in 
the position taken by the government and sustained by the attorney-general 
of the islands. Commissioners Ide, Worcester and Moses believed that the 
claim of the government could be sustained. However, neither Commissioner 
Worcester nor Commissioner Moses were lawyers and as the questions in- 
volved were very technical, the weight of authority on the commission was 
against the government's position. In a letter to President Roosevelt, July 2, 
1907, Secretary Taft said : "The question is a most intricate and complicated 
one, and one upon which, although I have given it some study, I am by no 


The disposition to be made of the friars and their landed es- 
tates presented much more difficult questions. The great majority 
of the Filipinos were Catholics and the most of them were sin- 
cerely attached to that church. In 1898, according to the church 
'^registers, there were over six million native communicants in 
the islands, and the history of the next decade shows that the 
feeling which existed against the friars did not extend to the 
Catholic Church or to its regular priests. These friars, about 
which the bitter controversy raged, were Spanish monks of the 
Dominican, Augustinian, Recolletos (a branch of the Augustin- 
ian) and Franciscan orders. The Jesuits, Capuchins, Benedictines 
and Paulist padres were teachers and missionaries and never hav- 

Ling interfered with political matters, were not included in the 
general native condemnation. 

As we have seen, there had been a long controversy over the 
right of the friars to act as parish priests,^^ but they had been 
so successful in asserting their claims that in 1898 they were in 
charge of all but one hundred and fifty of the seven hundred and 
forty-six parishes. So great was their power in civil as well as 
in ecclesiastical matters that the Spanish government in fact 
rested upon them. As the Provincial of the Augustinians 
said, the friars were "the pedestal and foundation of the sov- 
ereignty of Spain in the islands." This blending of ecclesiastical, 
political and economic powers and functions in the parish priests 
produced a composite which to the natives represented all that was 
oppressive and objectionable in their lives. They were unable 
to distinguish between religious and political functions when the 
authority of the one was always invoked to sustain the other. 
When the possessors of both became also oppressive landlords 
the people rose in revolt and drove out the men who represented 
the system. Before the arrival of the Americans, all but 472 of 

means clear as to the result which would be reached at the end of a long liti- 
gation." The settlement included the dispute over the charter of the Spanish- 
Filipino Bank, the majority of the stock of which was owned by the Church 
ov by the monastic orders. In Spanish times this bank had the exclusive 
right to issue notes. 

12 See C. H. Cunningham, "Origin of the Friar Land Question," ^m. Pol. 
Set. Rev., X, p. 465. 


the 1,124 friars who were in the country in 1896 had been killed 
or expelled from the country. 

The personal and political feeling against the friars was greatly 
aggravated by the fact that the orders had become great land 
owners. The Franciscans were not permitted by their rules to 
own land, but the Dominicans and Augustinians and Recolletos, 
who were not subject to such restrictions, had acquired valuable 
business property in Manila and landed estates in nearly all the 
northern and central provinces. They were also extensively en- 
gaged in banking and general business. The Dominicans held 
161,953 acres; the Augustinians, 151,742 acres, and the Recol- 
letos 93,035 acres, in all, 406,730 acres. By provinces their lands 
were distributed as follows: in Cavite, 121,747 acres; La La- 
guna, 62,172 acres; Manila, 53,162 acres; Bulacan, 39,441 acres; 
Morong, 4,940 acres; Bataan, 1,000 acres; Cagayan, 49,400 
acres; Cebu Island, 16,413 acres; and Mindora Island, 58,455 
acres. ^^ 

In the older provinces large amounts of money had been spent 
by the orders on irrigation and other improvements and the 
haciendas were very valuable. These estates were divided into 
small holdings and leased to tenants for three-year terms, but it 
had been customary to renew the leases so that land had re- 
mained in the same families for generations and the tenants came 
to believe that they had vested rights therein. Most of the estates 
had been held by the orders for more than a generation, the most 
valuable for from one to two centuries. The lands in Cagayan 
and Mindora were undeveloped and had been granted by the 
Spanish government within recent years in the hope and ex- 
pectation that they would be brought under cultivation. There 
was much said about the inability of the monastic orders to show 
titles to their lands and investigation by the Spanish govern- 
ment a century and more earlier had cast doubt on their moral 
rights, but the Spanish government had long acquiesced in their 

^3 Surveys made after the sale to the government reduced the acreage 
slightly. See Rept. on Friar Land Surveys, July 27, 1904. Rept. Phil. Com., 
1904, Pt. I, Exhibit H, p. 747. 


claims, and the investigations made by counsel for the govern- 
ment at the time of the transfers, disclosed that they had legal 
title to substantially all the lands which they claimed/* 

The annual income from the agricultural lands held by the 
orders averaged about four hundred and fifty thousand dollars, 
Mexican, of which the Dominicans received almost one-half. 

During the war and insurrection the orders made no attempt 
to collect the rents. The Malolos government promptly en- 
acted a law confiscating all of the friar lands on general prin- 
ciples but it did not live long enough to make the law effective. 
Its action showed conclusively, however, what the friars had to 
expect from a Filipino government. Upon the establishment of 
the American government the friars expected, or at least hoped, 
to return to their parishes and the enjoyment of the property, 
and the actions of Monseigneur Chapelle suggests that there was 
some justification for their confidence. 

' 1* Secretary Root informed the House Committee that there was some 
question as to the validity of their title. Governor Taft said that the friar 
titles were good in law and protected by the Treaty of Paris. Cong. Rec, 
XXXV, Pt. 8, p. 7446 (1902). Of course the treaty protected titles, not every 
claim of title. 

For the opinions of counsel on the title of each separate estate, see 
Kept. Phil. Com., 1904, Pt. I, Exhibit I, pp. 753-816. For the investigations 
of the title of the friar lands by the Spanish government during the seven- 
teenth and eighteenth centuries, see T. H. Pardo de Tavera, The Philippine 
Census, I, p. 340; Concepcion, Historia General de Philipinas, VIII, p. 192; 
Montero y Vidal, Historia General de Filipinas, I, p. 385 ; and C. H. Cun- 
ningham's "Origin of the Friar Land Question in the Philippines" in The 
American Political Science Review, X, pp. 465-480. Mr. Cunningham says: 

"The government was forced to modify its attitude because of the fear that 
the friars would cease their missionary and parochial labors. The government, 
it may be said, failed in its eflforts to maintain as a principle the right to in- 
spect periodically the land titles of the friars, though it successfully upheld 
the right to correct such abuses as were called to its attention through legal 
means. The orders were compelled to accede to the right of the civil govern- 
ment to intervene for the protection of the natives' lands in the latter case, 
and the jurisdiction of the jues subdelegado and of the audiencia was ad- 
mitted on several occasions. The friars were unable to plead ecclesiastical 
immunity when brought before the civil tribunals to answer charges of 
fraud or unjust deprivations. The right of the religious orders to the occu- 
pancy of their lands seems clearly established. The various conflicts between 
them and the civil government served to strengthen their claims, and they 
were finally confirmed in the right to hold their estates without molestation 
as long as they did not abuse the privileges which were conferred upon them. 
They were not even called upon to prove their titles after 1739 except when it 
was in their interests to do so." See supra, p. 47, n. 17. 


The work of investigating the friar land question was com- 
menced immediately after the commission arrived in the Philip- 
pines. Mr. Taft, who was an experienced lawyer, devoted a 
great deal of his personal attention to it. But it was not a mat- 
ter which could be disposed of on purely legal grounds. The 
friars had practically no friends among the native people and in- 
terested parties, in order to create disaffection, were active in 
circulating the story that the friars were to return and the old 
conditions be restored with the approval and support of the 
Americans. Few Filipinos were sufficiently educated to grasp 
the American idea of the separation of Church and State. To the 
native mind the return of the friars would have been conclusive 
evidence that the government was in sympathy with them and 
all their works. As the commission reported, it would have had 
"the same effect on them that the return of General Weyler un- 
der an American commission as Governor of Cuba would have 
had on the people of that island." Mr. Taft and his associates 
fully appreciated the fact that the Catholic Church had done 
much toward civilizing the country and that it must continue to 
be a factor in its future. Nor were they inclined to charge all 
the offenses of the monastic orders to the Church. It was not 
necessary to determine the merits of the long-standing contro- 
versy between the Filipinos and the friars. The disposition of 
the lands was, in fact, more a question of policy than of law or 
business. The new government was just entering upon the task 
of pacifying the country and leading the people along new and 
untried paths, and it was important and proper that the great 
power and influence of the Church should be on the side of ad- 
vancing civilization. 

The friars as individuals could not legally be expelled from 
or prevented from returning to the country. If they returned 
they would be entitled to the protection of the law. It was urged 
that their influence would be thrown in favor of the govern- 
ment, to which they would look for protection against the dis- 
affected people. But it would have been a purely interested sup- 
port of a government which had overthrown their former power 


and with the ideals and poHtical principles of which they had 
no sympathy. Any advantages which would have resulted from 
their support of the government would have been more than 
counterbalanced by the resulting disaffection of the mass of the 
people. It was clear that the interests of the community and, 
in the end, of the friars and the Church required that some 
amicable arrangement should be made for the acquisition of their 
lands and the withdrawal of the Spanish friars from the islands 
in order that their places could be taken by American and Fili- 
pino priests. 

The commissioners who negotiated the Treaty of Peace rec- 
ommended the purchase of the friar lands by the government, 
and the Schurman Commission, after some study of the ques- 
tion, made the same recommendation. There seemed in fact to 
be no other way to quiet the public mind and also secure justice 
for the landowners and their tenants. After considering the 
question very carefully the commission, on January 24, 1901, 
recommended that the friar lands should be acquired by the gov- 
ernment, paid for from the proceeds of a bond issue, and then 
sold in small holdings to the tenants on easy terms of payment 
and the receipts used to create a fund for educational purposes. 
A few months later this recommendation was renewed with the 
suggestion, however, that the proceeds of the sales of the lands 
should go into a sinking fund to be applied to meet the obligation 
of the bonds as they matured. 

This plan was approved by Secretary Root and when, in the 
spring of 1902, Governor Taft was called to the United States 
to advise with reference to contemplated congressional legisla- 
tion, he returned to Manila by way of Rome and held a confer- 
ence with the Pope with reference to the purchase of the lands 
and the withdrawal of the friars. As the result of this visit 
the Pope approved the plan and appointed an apostolic delegate 
with full powers to act for the Vatican.^^ 

1^ The bill providing for the purchase of the friar lands was then pending 
in Congress. Secretary Root's instructions to Governor Taft contained the 
following : 

"In view, therefore, of the critical situation of this subject in the Philip- 


On July 1, 1902, Congress enacted the law providing for the 
government of the Philippines and authorized the insular gov- 
ernment to purchase the lands in question, or to acquire them un- 
der the power of eminent domain, if in the opinion of the com- 
mission they were held in a manner injurious to the peace and 
welfare of the people. It was thus made simply a question of 
public policy. If the lands were acquired authority was given to 
issue the bonds of the Philippine government bearing interest at 
the rate of four and one-half per cent, per annum and sell the 
same to secure the necessary funds. These bonds were declared 
exempt from the payment of the taxes and duties of the United 
States, the Philippine government or any local authority of 

The apostolic delegate, Monseigneur Guidi, Archbishop of 
Staurpoli, reached Manila in the fall of 1902. The negotiations 
at once developed the fact that the various estates other than that 
of the Recolletos in Mindora had been conveyed to individuals 
and corporations and it was necessary to deal also with them and 
their representatives.^'^ The various grantees objected to the ap- 
pearance of the apostolic delegate on the ground that the orders 
no longer had any interest in the property. However, as Gover- 
nor Taft said, it went without saying that they had an interest 
and a very substantial one, and that for reasons of their own 
their interests had been made as ambiguous and as doubtful as 
possible. ^^ According to an understanding had at Rome between 

pines, and the apparent impossibility of disposing of the matter there by nego- 
tiation with the friars themselves, the president does not feel at liberty to 
lose the opportunity for eflfective action afforded by your presence in the 
West. He wishes you to take the subject up tentatively with the ecclesiastical 
superiors, who must ultimately determine the friars' course^ of conduct, and 
endeavor to reach at least a basis of negotiations along lines that will be 
satisfactory to the Philippine government, accompanied by a full understand- 
ing on both sides of the facts and of the views and purposes of the parties to 
the negotiations, so that when Congress shall have acted the business may 
proceed to a conclusion without delay." Rcpt. Secretary of War, 1902, p. 59. 

i« In 1894 the Augustinians had conveyed their lands to the Sociedad 
Agricola de Ultramar. The Imus estate of the Recolleto order had been 
transferred to the British Manila Estates Company, Limited, a Hong Kong 
Corporation. The title of the Dominican lands was found to be in the Philip- 
pine Sugar Estates Development Company, Limited. 

" At one of the hearings in Manila a representative of one of the orders 


Governor Taft and Cardinal Rampolla a demand was now made 
upon Monseigneur Guidi for a statement of the exact interest re- 
tained by the rehgious orders in the lands under consideration. 
No formal reply was made to this request, but Governor Taft was 
notified informally that they had so disposed of their interest 
that it was impossible to state what, if any, remained.^® 

It at once became evident that the interested parties had very 
different ideas as to the money value of the lands. A Filipino 
surveyor, who had been employed by the commission, placed the 
value at $6,043,000 gold. The agents of the various holding 
companies claimed that the lands were worth something more 
than $13,000,000 gold. An offer of $6,043,219.07 gold, the 
amount of the valuation taking into consideration certain fluc- 
tuations in the value of silver, was refused, but Monseigneur 
Guidi informed Governor Taft that he thought an offer of 
$10,500,000 would be accepted. Later the agents of the English 
Company intimated that $8,500,000 would be accepted. The 
government then raised its original offer by $1,500,000. There 
was considerable delay while the various owners were trying to 
agree upon how the money should be divided. Finally, after 
certain small tracts which were of no particular value for agri- 
cultural purposes had been deducted, the purchase was effected 
for the sum of $7,239,000 gold. 

It is very probable that this was more than the lands were 
worth at that time, and there was much criticism of the govern- 
ment. But the transaction was never regarded as a purely busi- 
ness one. As Governor Taft said at the time, the insular gov- 

testified : "The real reason why we conveyed our property to another party 
was to have nothing further to do with the administration of these agricul- 
tural lands, and to remove that complaint which was made against us, that 
the friars owned all the lands, and were making all the money." It was ad- 
mitted that they held stock in the corporation to which the lands were trans- 
ferred. Sen. Doc. 190, pp. 54, 61. Cong. Rec, XXXV, Pt. 8, p. 7435 (1902). 
The church lands had been alienated temporarily in 1834 and 1846, at the 
time of a quarrel between the Pope and the Spanish government. In 1851 
the Spanish government guaranteed the titles of all church property. In 
1890 the ecclesiastical corporations were authorized to dispose of their pos- 
sessions in accord with the canon law and the laws of the Indias. 

18 Report of Governor Taft to Philippine Commission, Nov. IS, 1903. See 
letter of Governor Taft to Monseigneur Guidi, July 5, 1903. 


ernment had "not entered upon the purchase of these lands 
with a view to a profitable investment but it is knowingly paying 
a considerable sum of money merely for the purpose of ridding 
the administration of the government in the islands of an issue 
dangerous to the peace and prosperity of the people." 

As a part of the settlement it was understood that a portion 
of the purchase-price received by the Church should be expended 
for the benefit of the Church in the Philippines and that the Span- 
ish friars would soon be withdrawn from the islands. It is to 
be regretted that the implied obligation to use the fund for the 
upbuilding of the Philippine church has not been recognized. The 
friars were gradually withdrawn but many returned and were 
absorbed and lost in a community that had become interested in 
other matters. 

The settlement of the friar lands question was one of the 
last acts of Governor Taft's administration. Governor-General 
Wright, in his inaugural address, February 1, 1904, said that "in 
making this settlement, the government has been just, not to say 
liberal, to the religious orders, and at the same time will confer a 
substantial benefit upon the occupants of the land. It is believed 
that the spirit which dictated this transaction will be fully ap- 
preciated by those affected." 

By this transaction the government acquired title to 386,120 
acres of agricultural land^^ which was divided into twenty-three 
disconnected tracts or estates, much of which had never been 
brought under cultivation. 

An old and bitter controversy was thus ended. It was a wise 
and statesmanlike transaction, probably the most effective and 
important act of Governor Taft's administration. With settled 
conditions the lands increased in value and it soon became evi- 
dent that with careful management the government would in 
time be reimbursed from the land sales. Reasonable progress 
has been made in the disposition of the lands. The sales prices 
are determined by the original cost, which is increased each 

^* These figures are substantially correct. 


year by the addition of the pro rata share o£ accumulated in- 
terest and the expense of administration. The occupied lands, 
all of which have been sold, were rapidly disposed of under 
leases and contracts, which gave the purchaser twenty years 
within which to pay the purchase-price. Thereafter, as the 
public lands could be acquired much cheaper, the sales were 
of course slower. On August 29, 1911, the secretary of the 
interior reported that 202,1673^ acres had been sold under 
contracts, and 10,1825^ acres leased on three-year terms. 
The total value of the land then sold and leased was $7,220,- 
398.45^. The contract income from sales and leases amounted 
to $553,522.23. On account of the unsatisfactory agricultural 
conditions many of the purchasers of these lands have fallen in 
arrears in their payments and many suits have had to be brought 
to collect the large amounts due. In 1911 there remained unsold, 
unleased and unoccupied, 173, 772 ^^ acres valued at $3,225,- 
613.71. To January 1, 1916, 246,722 acres had been sold, and 
the total receipts from sales amounted to $1,898,906.37. The 
sinking fund for the retirement of the bond then contained 

Under the authority of the Act of Congress the Philippine 
Commission enacted a law^° "providing for the administra- 
tion and temporary leasing and selling of certain haciendas and 
parcels of land commonly known as friar lands, for the purchase 
of which the government of the Philippine Islands has recently 
contracted." It was assumed that the friar lands were not "pub- 
lic lands" in the sense in which these words are used in the Pub- 
lic Lands Act, and that they could not be acquired or leased under 
the provisions of that act. However, the provision of the Public 
Lands Act with reference to the number of acres which could be 
purchased by an individual or corporation, was adopted. 

These lands had been originally selected by the friars as sep- 
arate estates which were to be developed as large haciendas. 
The Act of Congress providing for the disposition of the public 

20 Act No. 1120, April 26, 1904. 



laiids proceeded on the theory that they should be held by the 
government in trust for the people of the Philippines and disposed 
of in such manner as to create a body of small landholders who 
would be free from the exactions of landlords and free from the 
oppressive features which had marked the old system of large 
estates with numerous dependent tenants. Experience has dem- 
onstrated that the American homestead idea can not be suddenly 
transported and established among a people who have little desire 
for economic independence at the price of personal isolation. 
The Filipinos were a gregarious people, accustomed to live in 
villages, and could not at once be induced to change their habits, 
even by the gift of free land. Hence there was no rush for pub- 
lic lands and the sales were slow. The law, by limiting the 
amount which a person or corporation could acquire, effectually 
prevented speculators from securing large tracts of land; but it 
also prevented those who in good faith wished to develop the 
sugar and tobacco industries from acquiring the amount of 
land absolutely necessary in order to make the business profitable. 
The result has been to discourage capital from entering the 

Theoretically the policy is correct, but the fear of exploitation 
is largely illusory and is entertained by few intelligent Americans 
who are familiar with actual conditions in the country. It would 
have been much better had Congress left the matter in the hands 
of the commission which was familiar with local conditions. 
However, the disposition of the public lands was a matter which 
could wait. They were not a burden of expense upon the gov- 
ernment. The friar lands, which had been purchased with bor- 
rowed money which had to be repaid, presented a very different 
question. Unless these lands were promptly sold the annual in- 
terest and charge and ultimately the principal of the bonds would 
have to be paid out of the proceeds of general taxation, thus im- 
posing a very heavy burden upon the people who received no 
direct benefits therefrom. The annual interest charge alone 
amounted to more than three hundred thousand dollars gold, and 


under the method adopted for selling the lands in small tracts upon 
long payments the administration was necessarily expensive. It 
was soon found that the estates upon which there were no tenants 
could not within any reasonable time be sold in small tracts, but 
there was reason to believe that sales could be made of large 
tracts to people who were able to develop them and thus bring 
much needed capital into the country and furnish employment for 
native workmen. The land act was therefore amended by remov- 
ing the restriction upon the amount of land which could be sold 
to an individual.^^ 

When the opportunity arose to sell the large Mindora tract to 
certain Americans who contemplated developing it into a sugar 
estate with modern equipment the insular officials congratulated 
themselves on the advent of good fortune. There were no 
tenants on the estate, not an acre of the land had ever been culti- 
vated or occupied, and its location was such that generations 
might pass before it could be sold in small tracts. Apparently 
the question of the right of the government to sell the land in large 
tracts was raised as a precautionary measure by the prospective 
investors. The Philippine government had proceeded on the 
theory that the restrictions on the sale of public lands did not 
apply to the friar lands and had passed the statute which removed 
the restrictions imposed by the original land act. 

It did not seem that there could be any serious doubt about 
their legal right to do so. When the Act of July 1, 1902, was 
under consideration in Congress the democratic members had 
objected to the provision in the bill on the ground that it would 
permit exactly what the Philippine government now proposed 
to do. 

The section of the act relating to the public or "crown lands" 
which had been acquired under the Treaty with Spain, which 
provided that the public lands should not be sold in greater 
quantities than forty acres to an individual and two thousand five 
hundred acres to a corporation, had already been adopted in the 

21 Act No. 1847, June 3, 1908. 


committee. Thereafter provision was made for acquiring the 
friar lands and it was proposed : 

"That all lands acquired under authority of Section 15 of this 
act shall constitute a part and portion of the public property of 
the government of the Philippine Islands and may be held, 
granted, sold and conveyed by the government of such islands 
on such terms and conditions as it may prescribe; Provided: 
That actual settlers and occupants at the time said lands are 
acquired by the government shall have the preference over all 
others to purchase or otherwise acquire their holdings within 
such reasonable time as may be determined by such government." 

No material change was made in this provision and as enacted 
it became Section 65 of the Act of July 1, 1902. 

Mr. Jones, of Virginia, who subsequently, as chairman of the 
Committee on Insular Affairs, became prominent in connection 
with legislation for the Philippines, under the impression evi- 
dently that all the lands were occupied, moved to amend this 
language by inserting a provision that the friar lands 

"shall only be granted, sold and conveyed to actual settlers and 
occupants at the time said lands are acquired by the government, 
not exceeding forty hectares'^ to any one person, and on such 
terms and conditions as it may prescribe." 

Had this amendment been adopted the vacant lands could not 
have been sold at all. "Now this section as it stands," said Mr. 
Jones, ^^ "will enable corporations, the organization of which is 
provided for in this bill, to acquire these friar lands." 

Mr. Cochran, of Missouri, wanted the maximum fixed at sixty 
hectares. It is evident that both gentlemen understood that 
the bill made a distinction between the public lands and the pub- 
lic property of which the friar lands were to constitute a part. 

Mr. Goldfogle, of New York, objected to the section as it 
stood^* because 

"it does not provide in what quantities of land the disposition 
shall be made. It gives general and unlimited power to sell the 

22 A hectare is two and one-half acres. 

23 Cong. Rec, June 26, 1902, XXXV, Pt. VIII, p. 7443. 
2* Ibid., p. 7447. 


land on any terms and conditions that may be prescribed by the 
government of the PhiHppines. . . . It is within the power of 
the government of the PhiHppines to put up the property either 
at pubHc or private sale in such large tracts as to make it impos- 
sible for actual settlers and the poor inhabitants of the islands 
to compete for the lands with the wealthy speculators." 

Mr. Lacy,^^ of Iowa, said : 

"As to the public lands there is a provision further on in the 
bill limiting homesteads to sixteen hectares, or about forty acres, 
the idea being that in that tropical climate with that rich soil, 
most of the land requiring irrigation, a forty-acre homestead is 
ample, but when the problem of handling the four hundred 
thousand acres of the friar lands arose this bill, I think, has 
dealt wisely with the question ^3; leaving the whole matter of the 
purchase on the one hand and the disposition on the other with 
the Philippine Government. . . . The question is whether we 
shall give the local government the power of disposition of the 
lands. First, they are authorized to buy and then to sell, and 
the purpose of sale is to get money to pay the bonds. . . . The 
best plan is to leave such matters with the local government." 

Referring to Section 15, Mr. Cooper said: 

"Now this is a provision to dispose of the public lands gen- 
erally distinct from the friar lands." 

In defending the provision which left the manner of dis- 
posing of the friar lands to the Philippine government, Mr. 
Crumpacker said :^^ 

"No man need suffer on account of the administration of this 
law, and it was deemed safer and wiser to vest this discretion in 
the commission, who are on the ground, who may know the real 
conditions, than for Congress to undertake to make a law with 
hard and fast lines, absolutely providing for the method of dis- 
posing of these lands." 

The superlatively virtuous Mr. Sulzer, of New York, felt cer- 
tain, so he announced, that the real object of the law was "to 
turn the resources of the Philippines over to the tender mercies 
of the trusts and a few private looters." 

25 Ibid., p. 7444. 

26 Ibid., p. 7444. 


However, the various amendments were defeated and the bill 
was passed with the understanding that the government of the 
Philippines should have a free hand in disposing of the lands. 
It should be noted that the act of the Philippine Legislature which 
removed the restrictions upon sales which had been imposed by 
the original land act of the commission, was passed without a 
dissenting vote, by the assembly, all the members of which were 
Filipinos, duly reported to Congress and not disapproved by that 
body. It therefore, under the Organic Act, remained effective 
with the approval of Congress, 

When the opportunity arose to sell the distant Mindora estate, 
out of abundant caution the question was referred to the attor- 
ney-general of the United States, and on December 8, 1909, he 
rendered an opinion that the restrictions imposed by Section 15 
of the Act of Congress July 1, 1902, upon the sale of the public 
lands which had been acquired under the Treaty of Paris, did 
not apply to the lands acquired by purchase from the friars under 
the authority of Sections 63, 64 and 65 of the same act. Hence 
the friar lands, having been purchased under the authority of 
an Act of Congress which delegated to the government of the 
Philippines full power to determine the method of sale and to 
provide thereby a fund for the retirement of the purchase price 
bonds, could be sold in any manner authorized by the Philippine 

The Mindora tract was then sold to parties who, under very 
adverse conditions, proceeded to erect a modern sugar mill and 
to put the land under cultivation. This transaction was attacked 
with much violence by certain badly informed and ill-advised 
members of Congress.^® 

The tariff law of 1909 opened the United States market to 
Philippine sugar and encouraged the sugar growers to develop the 
industry. The American beet sugar interests, which saw competi- 
tion in their home market, joined forces with the political party 

27 Opinion Attorney-General, U. S., Dec. 18, 1909. Cong. Rcc, March 25, 

An opinion by Mr. Moorfield Storey to the contrary will be found in the 
Cong. Rec. for Feb. 16, 1910. 

28 The 53,000 acres were sold for $367,000, the original cost having been 


which seemed committed to the poHcy of questioning every act of 
the Philippine government, and a vigorous attack was made on 
the land policy which made it possible to develop the Philippine 
sugar business on a large scale. The Filipino public were excited 
by the cry of trust exploitation. Mr. Martin, of Colorado, in a 
violent partisan speech in the House of Representatives charged 
President Taft, Secretary Root, and practically all the men who 
had been connected with the government of the Philippines, with 
having been engaged in a gigantic conspiracy to turn the islands 
over to the Sugar Trust and its predatory friends. Governor- 
General Forbes, Secretary of the Interior Worcester, and Execu- 
tive Secretary Carpenter were charged with being financially 
interested in certain land transactions of the government. The 
charges were so sweeping and general that they answered them- 
selves. The political and business motives by which they were 
inspired were patent on the surface. 

But on June 25, 1910, the House directed its Committee on 
Insular Affairs to make an investigation of the conduct of the In- 
terior Department of the Philippine government touching the ad- 
ministration of the Philippine lands. Certain officials were called 
from Manila to Washington and a great deal of evidence was 
taken, much of it of a very general character. The issue other 
than the charges against officials, rested on the legal right of the 
government to sell the friar lands in large tracts. The Anti- 
Imperialist League was represented before the committee by coun- 
sel and the legal question and the charges against the individuals 
were fully investigated. The result was complete vindication of 
the Philippine officials. Mr. Martin failed miserably to sustain 
his charges. The majority of the committee sustained the right 
of the Philippine government to sell the friar lands in large tracts 
and the entire committee exonerated Mr. Forbes, Mr. Wor- 
cester and Mr. Carpenter from any intentional wrong-doing.^' 

29 The Friar Land Inquiry, reports to secretary of war by Messrs. Forbes, 
Worcester and Carpenter (Manila, 1910). 

Rajah Brooke, after passing through the fire of such an investigation, 

"Do not disgrace your public servants by inquiries generated in the fogs 


ete 1 

Notwithstanding the action of the committee and the complet 
vindication of the Phihppine officials, the secretary of war 
rected that until Congress should take some further action the' 
friar lands should be sold subject to the limitations of the Public/ 
Lands Act. The secretary of war had no power to change the Act! 
of Congress, but as he had the undoubted power to change the 
officials by which it was administered, the result was the same.' 
The Philippine Legislature, in 1914,^° after it had passed under 
Filipino control, passed a law limiting the sales to sixteen hectares' 
to an individual and 1,024 hectares to a corporation; and by 
the Philippine Government Law of 1916, all the unsold friar 
lands are placed under the control of the Philippine Legisla- 
ture, with power to act with reference thereto as it may deem 
advisable. But acts "with reference to the public domain, tim- 
ber and mining, hereafter enacted, shall not have the force of 
law until approved by the President of the United States." The 
question remains : Are the friar lands a part of the "public do- 
mains"? If not, the Philippine Legislature has full control over 
them; if so, it has the same power subject to the approval of the 

It was a short-sighted policy. Under the law the annual 
charges, including interest, must be added to the sale price and 
the expenses of administration are enormously increased by sales 
in small tracts on long time to purchasers dependent on the year's 
crop for the money to meet their payments. The report for 
1915 shows payments aggregating four hundred and twenty 
thousand dollars in default and over four thousand suits pending 
against delinquents.^^ This is the direct result of the ill-advised 
policy of limiting the sales to such small tracts. All this expense 
which must be added to the sales price and the lands must thus be 
held at prices much higher than that at which public lands of 
equal value can be purchased. The result of the policy will prob- 

of base suspicion, for remember, a wrong done is like a wound received ; the 
scar is ineffaceable. It may be covered with glittering decorations, but there 
it remains to the end." Rajah Brooke, by Sir Spencer St. John, p. 177. 

30 Act No. 2379, Feb. 28, 1914. 

31 Rept. Phil. Com.. 1914, p. 102. 


ably be that the outstanding bonds will have to be paid out of the 
treasury instead of from the proceeds of the sales of the lands. 

Any controversy which required the government to interfere 
between church factions was dangerous to the peace of the coun- 
try, and the attempt during the early days of American rule, of 
Gregario Aglipay and certain Filipinos who had left the Roman 
Catholic Church, to establish a national church under the name 
of the Independent Filipino Catholic Church, for a time threat- 
ened serious consequences. Aglipay was a regularly ordained 
Roman Catholic priest who had come into collision with Arch- 
bishop Nozaleda during the early years of the insurrection. 
While with Aguinaldo at Malolos he issued, over the latter's 
signature, a denunciatory letter to the archbishop in which he 
charp-ed that the Catholic Church had entered into close rela- 
tions with the Americans for the protection of the friars.^^ This 
letter was effective in inducing the people to believe that the suc- 
cess of the Americans meant the return of the friars with the 
powerful support of the new government. Having broken with 
the Catholic Church, Aglipay became an insurgent general and 
was active in the Ilocos provinces, being one of the last to sur- 
render. His experience as a priest had shown him how easy it 
was to influence the natives through their religious feelings and 
superstitions, and he skilfully utilized the conditions in build- 
ing a new church which should be national in character and inde- 
pendent of Rome. The Filipinos are by nature and training re- 
ligious, but many of them were dissatisfied with the Roman 
Catholic Church which had supported Spain and the hated friars. 
Conditions were ripe for such a movement. The idea of a na- 
tional church was attractive to those who had imbibed revolu- 
tionary principles, and the native priests, who had been kept in 
subordination by the Spaniards, saw in the new movement an 
opportunity for personal advancement. 

After his surrender, Aglipay and one Isabelo de Los Reyes, 
who had been editing an insurgent paper in Madrid, started an 

32 See Otis' Report, 1900, pp. 117, 118. 


active propaganda among the native priests and an organization 
was effected with AgHpay as archbishop and fifteen FiHpino 
priests as bishops. While there were reasons for beHeving that 
AgHpay's motives were primarily political, the government gave 
him and his followers the benefit of the doubt^^ and maintained 
an attitude of impartiality between the contestants. It announced 
that it would protect Aglipay and the regular Catholic priests 
and their respective adherents impartially in their constitutional 
right to worship God in their own way. 

In communities where the majority of the people joined the 
new Church they assumed that they were entitled to the use of 
the church buildings which had been constructed, often on mu- 
nicipal lands, by the voluntary contributions and labor of the peo- 
ple. As a result there was some violence and disorder. In one par- 
ish the women took possession of the church building and Aglipay 
celebrated mass therein. When reasoned with by Governor Taft 
he promised that the church should be returned to the regular 
priest, but the women had other views, and it was only after a 
lively interview with the governor that they consented to deliver 
the keys to the chief executive. Although the protection of the 
Church in its property rights was certain to be used by Aglipay 
and his followers as further evidence of an alliance between the 
American government and their old enemy, there was only one 
course to be pursued. The government simply held that which- 
ever party was in actual possession of a church building would 
be protected in its possession until the property rights were de- 
termined by the courts. As there was much excitement and con- 
stant danger of violence the commission conferred upon the 
Supreme Court original jurisdiction to hear and determine the 
question involved. In the meantime the police maintained the 
status quo}^ The decision was against the Aglipians and with the 
loss of the church property interest in the movement soon died 

33 For the quasi religious propaganda carried on by Aglipay in the Ilocos 
provinces during the period of the insurrection, see Rept. War Dept., 1901, 
Pt. VI, p. 798; Pt. VII, p. 237. 

^*Rept. Phil. Com., Nov. 1, 1902; Rept. Phil. Com., 1904, Pt. I, p. 19. 


out. The people gradually returned to the Roman Catholic 
Church, leaving Aglipay and a few irreconcilables to play at run- 
ning a Church and to flirt with subterranean sedition. 

The transfer of the control over education from the Church 
to the State was effected with very little difficulty. The delicate 
subject was handled with tact and good judgment. The higher 
places in the Church passed to American Catholics who were fa- 
miliar with the American school system, and those who did not 
sympathize with it soon recognized and bowed gracefully to the 

Congressional Legislation for the Philippines 

Delay in Assuming Control — First Legislation Confirmatory Only — The 
Spooner Law — The Civil Government Law of July 1, 1902 — Its Nature — 
Bureau of Insular Affairs — Ratification of Acts of President and of the 
Commission — Location of Legislative Power — The Judicial Organization — 
Jurisdiction of the Courts — Resident Commissioners — Citizenship — Bill of 
Rights — Trustee for Public Property — Power Granted to Provide for Needs 
of Commerce — Conservation of Lands and Mineral Rights — To Acquire Friar 
Lands — Coinage — Bond Issues — Restrictions on Granting Franchises — Bonds 
for Port Works, Roads, etc. — The Navigation Laws — The Chinese Exclusion 
Law — The Immigration Laws — The Income Tax Law — The Tariff Acts — Acts 
of Congress Extended to Philippines — Entry and Clearance of Vessels — 
Public Health and Quarantine, Extradition. 

The power and duty to govern territory acquired by and be- 
longing to the United States is granted to and imposed by the 
Constitution upon Congress, and it may create such subordi- 
nate agencies for the purpose as it deems advisable. Congress 
v^'as slow in assuming the duty of providing a form of govern- 
ment for the territory which had been acquired from Spain in 
the Far East. When it did act it merely authorized the con- 
tinuance of the government which had been framed by Secretary 
Root and established under the independent constitutional au- 
thority of the executive. Shortly thereafter it again ratified 
what had been done by the president and the government of the 
Philippines and somewhat in detail defined the powers of the 
agency through which it willed that the country should for a time 
be governed. In view of the peculiar constitutional and political 
relations which arose out of the acquisition of this territory, it 
is important to know in what manner and to what extent Con- 
gress has exercised its powers of government directly and how 
far it has delegated them to the local government which is its 
agent and creature. 



It will be remembered that before Congress passed any laws 
relating to the Philippines a fairly complete civil government 
had been estabHshed in the islands by the president under the au- 
thority derived not from Congress but directly from the Consti- 
tution. Theoretically the war powers of the president were sus- 
pended upon the conclusion of peace but considerations of a 
practical nature required that it continue operative until Congress 
assumed control. The insurrection dragged along under condi- 
tions which required the occasional exercise of military author- 
ity. It was at least convenient that the velvet glove should con- 
ceal an iron hand and civil government was permitted to rest on 
the war power until the midsummer of 1902. 

Possibly the provision attached as a rider to the Army Appro- 
priation Bill of March 2, 1901/ which delegated the power to 
govern the Philippines to the president and granted certain lim- 
ited legislative powers to the commission, changed the character 
of the local organization from a quasi-civil agency resting on 
military authority to a pure civil government created or author- 
ized by Congress in the performance of its constitutional duty 
to provide rules and regulations for the government of a new 
territory. But for another year, while Congress was considering 
Philippine affairs, the president continued to govern the islands. 

On July 1, 1902,^ Congress passed the law which, according to 
its title, was designed to provide temporarily for the administra- 
tion of civil affairs in the Philippines and under which the country 
was governed from that time until October 16, 1916. Though 
commonly called the Organic Law, the Act of July 1, 1902, was 
not a formal constitution, although it contained the essentials of 
such an instrument. It was tentative and provisional, and de- 
signed to provide for existing conditions subject to such revision 
and amendment as in the future should be deemed desirable. It 
was far from being a finished definitive instrument such as was 
turned out by Pedro Patemo for the Schurman Commission 
and by Mabini and Calderon for the Philippine Republic. It 

1 The Spooner Law, 31 Stat. L., 910. 

2 Chap. 1369, 32 Stat. L., 691. 


was a modest suit of governmental clothes prepared by an ex- 
cellent workman for a political small boy who was expected to 
grow but whose future size and proportions were undeterminable. 

The United States had no machinery for controlling and 
governing colonies and as Congress was not ready to establish 
a colonial department it followed the precedents established by 
Great Britain and other nations, and imposed the duty of admin- 
istering the affairs of the external possessions upon the secretary 
of war as the representative of the president. Secretary Root 
had organized a Division of Insular Affairs and this was retained 
under the name of the Bureau of Insular Affairs of the War De- 
partment. In the language of the statute the "business" assigned 
to this bureau embraces "all matters pertaining to civil govern- 
ment in the island possessions of the United States, subject to the 
jurisdiction of the War Department."* The original act author- 
ized the secretary of war to detail an officer of the army with the 
rank of colonel as chief of the bureau, and subsequent legislation 
provided for a chief with two assistants with the rank respectively 
of brigadier-general, colonel and major. The duties of the chief 
of this bureau resemble those of a permanent under-secretary of 
state for the colonies. 

The Spooner Act did not specifically confirm the president's acts 
under the war power and as there were a few people who doubted 
the legality of many of the things that had been done,* Congress 
now specifically approved, affirmed, ratified and confirmed the 
action of the president in creating the United States Philippine 
Commission and authorizing it to exercise the powers of govern- 
ment in the manner and form and subject to the regulations and 

3 Section 87, Act of July 1, 1902. See statement of Brig.-Gen. Mclntyre, 
Hearing before Senate Committee on Philippines, Dec. 14, 1914. 

* During the debate in Congress on the civil government bill, Mr. Jones, 
of Virginia, said : "My opinion is that the President acted without legal au- 
thority, that no warrant is to be found in the Federal Constitution for the 
appointment by the President of a civil commission vested with full legisla- 
tive authority." 

Mr. Crumpacker, of Indiana, replied : "Let me suggest to the gentleman 
that that is why we have to have them approved and confirmed by this bill to 
satisfy such opinions as the gentleman from Virginia may entertain. We 
think they are valid." Cong. Rec, June 19, 1902. 


control set forth in the president's instructions of April 7, 1900; 
in creating the offices of civil governor and vice-governor with 
the powers as defined in the executive order of June 21, 1901, 
and in establishing the four executive departments ; and by order 
of July 12, 1898, and amendments, authorizing the levy and col- 
lection of a tariff of duties and taxes in all ports and places in the 
Philippines upon their passing into the occupation and possession 
of the forces of the United States.^ 

The effect of the law was to continue the established govern- 
ment and approve the laws then on the Philippine statute books, 
including the old Spanish laws which had not been expressly or by 
implication repealed.^ 

The legislative power was left in the PhiHppine Commission. 
But provision was made for the future division of the Archi- 
pelago for governmental purposes into two sections, the lines of 
which were to be determined by the character and degree of 
civilization of the inhabitants. When certain conditions had been 
complied with there was to be created in one of these territorial 
divisions a new legislative body which should be known as the 
Philippine Legislature, to be composed of two houses, the Phil- 
ippine Commission and the Philippine Assembly. The mem- 
bers of the assembly were to be elected by popular vote, which 
meant, of course, by the Filipinos. After this legislature was 
organized it should exercise the legislative power in its defined 
territory and the commission would continue as the sole legis- 
lative body for the remaining territory.'^ 

The existing judicial organization was retained with the im- 
portant provision that the chief justice and the associate justices 

5 Provided that the act should not be held to amend or repeal the Revenue 
Act of March 8, 1902. 

6 In United States v. Bull, l6 Phil. Repts. 7, the Supreme Court said : 
"The act of July 1, 1902, made no substantial changes in the form of govern- 
ment the President had erected. Congress adopted the system which was in 
operation, and approved the action of the President in organizing the govern- 
ment. Substantially all the limitations which had been imposed on the legis- 
lative power by the President's instructions were included in the law, Con- 
gress thus extending to the islands by legislative act not the Constitution, but 
all its provisions for the protection of the rights and privileges of individuals 
which were appropriate under the conditions." 

7 See infra. Chap. VI, pp. 107-110. 


of the Supreme Court should thereafter be appointed by the 
president with the advice and consent of the Senate, and that 
they should receive the compensation which had already been pre- 
scribed by the commission until otherwise provided by Congress.' 

The judges of the courts of first instance were to be appointed 
by the civil governor with the consent of the commission, and 
their compensation was left to be determined by the legislative 
authority of the islands. 

The Supreme Court and the courts of first instance were to 
exercise the jurisdiction which had been conferred upon them 
by the commission "and such additional jurisdiction as shall 
hereafter be prescribed by the government of said islands, subject 
to the power of said government to change the practise and method 
of procedure," provided, that the admiralty jurisdiction of said 
courts could not be changed except by Act of Congress. The 
municipal courts were to exercise the jurisdiction which had been 
conferred upon them by the commission, "subject in all matters 
to such alterations and amendments as may be hereafter enacted 
by law." The Supreme Court of the United States was author- 
ized to review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm the final judg- 
ments and decrees of the Supreme Court of the Philippines in all 
cases and proceedings in which the Constitution or any statute, 
treaty, title, right, or privilege of the United States is involved 
and in cases in which the value in controversy exceeds twenty- 
five thousand dollars or in which the title or possession of real 
estate exceeding in value the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars 
is involved, or brought in question. The procedure was to be the 
same as far as applicable as that provided for reviewing the 
judgments and decrees of the circuit courts of the United States.^ 
No change was made in the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court by 
the Philippine Government Law of 1916. 

® The Act of March 6, 1905, authorized the government of the Philippines 
to fix the compensation of the members of the Supreme Court provided that 
the pay of the chief justice should not exceed $10,500.00 per annum and of 
each associate justice $10,000 per annum. By the Act of August 29, 1916, the 
salary of the chief justice was reduced to $7,500, and that of the associate 
justice to $7,000. 

8 Sections 9 and 10, Act of July 1, 1902. 


After the Philippine Legislature had been organized it was 
directed to elect two resident commissioners to the United States 
who "shall be entitled to an official recognition as such by all 
departments upon presentation to the president of a certificate of 
election by the civil governor of said islands." The salaries of 
these commissioners, payable by the United States, were fixed at 
five thousand dollars per annum and two thousand dollars addi- 
tional for expenses, but this was subsequently increased and is 
now the same as that of a member of Congress. 

All inhabitants of the islands who were Spanish subjects on 
April 11, 1899, and who had not, as authorized by the Treaty of 
Paris, elected to preserve their allegiance to the crown of Spam, 
and their children born subsequent thereto, were declared to be 
citizens of the Philippine Islands and as such entitled to the pro- 
tection of the United States.^" 

The provisions of President McKinley's Instructions," which 
constituted a bill of rights and restrictions for the Filipinos, were 
somewhat extended. For the protection of individuals from op- 
pressive acts of the government, it was provided that : 

(a) No law shall be passed which shall deprive any person of 
life, liberty, or property without due process of law or deny to 
any person therein the equal protection of the laws. 

(b) In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the 
right to be heard by himself and counsel, to demand the nature 
and cause of the accusation against him, to have a speedy and 
public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and to have com- 
pulsory process to compel the attendance of witnesses in his be- 
half. . , ^ 

(c) No person shall be held to answer for a crimmal offense 
without due process of law ; and no person for the same offense 
shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment, nor shall be com- 
pelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself. 

(d) All persons shall before conviction be bailable by sufficient 
sureties, except for capital offenses. 

(e) No person shall be imprisoned for debt. 

ioThe Act of Congress of March 23, 1912, authorized the Philippine Legis- j 
lature to provide for PhiHppine citizenship in certain cases. 2)7 Stat. L. 77. j 
See infra, p. 348. . . 

11 See Elliott, The Philippines: To the End of the Military Regime, p. 5UJ.j 



(f) The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be 
suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion, insurrection, or in- 
vasion, the public safety may require it, in either of which events 
the same may be suspended by the president, or by the governor, 
with the approval of the Philippine Commission," wherever dur- 
ing such period the necessity for such suspension shall exist. 

(g) Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines 
imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted. 

(h) The right to be secure against unreasonable searches and 
seizures shall not be violated. 

(i) Neither slavery, nor involuntary servitude except as a pun- 
ishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly con- 
victed, shall exist in said islands. 

(j) No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech 
or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble 
and petition the government for redress of grievances. 

(k) No law shall be made respecting an establishment of re- 
ligion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, and the free ex- 
ercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, with- 
out discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. 

(1) No warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, supported 
by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to 
be searched and the person or things to be seized. 

(m) No person in the islands shall under the authority of 
the United States be convicted of treason by any tribunal, civil 
or military, unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same 
overt act or on confession in open court." 

Legislative and executive action was restricted by the follow- 
ing general provisions : 

(a) No money shall be paid out of the treasury except in pur- 
suance of an appropriation by law. 

(b) No law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be en- 

(c) The rule of taxation in the islands shall be uniform. 

(d) No private or local bill which may be enacted into law 
shall embrace more than one subject, and that subject shall be 
expressed in the title of the bill. 

(e) All money collected on any tax levied or assessed for a 

12 The present statute confers this power upon the governor-general alone. 

13 32 Stat. L. 55 (Act March 8, 1902). This provision is not in the orig- 
inal bill of rights. 


special purpose shall be treated as a special fund in the treasury 
and paid out for such purpose only. 

(f) No law granting a title of nobility shall be enacted and no 
person holding any office of profit or trust in said islands, shall, 
without the consent of the Congress of the United States, accept 
any present, emolument, office, or title of any kind whatever from 
any king, queen, prince, or foreign state. 

(g) No ex post facto law, or bill of attainder, shall be enacted. 

All the property and rights which the United States had ac- 
quired in the Philippine Islands by virtue of the treaty with 
Spain, except such land or other property as should be desig- 
nated for military and other government reservations, were 
"placed under the control of the government of said islands to be 
administered for the benefit of the inhabitants thereof, except 
as provided in this act." The government of the Philippines 
thus became a gwa^yj trustee of the public domain and other public 
property which had been acquired from Spain. 

Specific authority was given the insular government to provide 
for the needs of commerce by improving harbors and navigable 
waters and constructing lighthouses, piers and other such struc- 
tures, including bonded warehouses. Great care was taken to 
provide for the conservation of the public lands, forests, and 
mineral resources of the country. Their sale was in fact so care- 
fully hedged about by restrictions that the development of the 
country has been seriously retarded. In order to develop a class 
of small landowners the sales of public lands were limited to forty 
acres to one person and twenty-five hundred acres to a corpora- 
tion. The insular government was authorized to provide by law 
for the disposition of the public lands subject to the restrictions 
of the Act of Congress and the approval of its rules and regula- 
tions by the president, who was required to submit the same to 
Congress for its approval or disapproval.^* Special provision was 
made for the protection of actual occupants and settlers. The 
sale of the timber lands was carefully guarded. 
■ All public lands valuable for minerals were reserved from sale 

1* Section 13, Act July 1, 1902. See House Doc. 422, 64th Cong, ist Sess. 


except as specifically directed by law. Mineral deposits in the 
public lands were declared open to exploration, occupation and 
purchase by citizens of the United States or of the Philippines. 
The Act of Congress contained detailed provisions for the locat- 
ing and marking of mineral claims. The holder of a claim was 
declared entitled to all minerals which might lie within the verti- 
cal boundary-lines of his claim. Under a mistaken restrictive 
policy no person was allowed to hold, directly or indirectly, more 
than one mineral claim on the same vein or lode.^^ 

After granting power to the government of the Philippines to 
acquire title to real and personal property for public uses by the 
exercise of the right of eminent domain, specific authority was 
given to exercise such power in reference to any lands which on 
August 13, 1898, were owned or held by religious orders, com- 
munities or associations in such large tracts or parcels and in such 
manner as in the opinion of the commission injuriously to affect 
the peace and welfare of the people of the Philippines, and to 
issue bonds, on terms and conditions carefully prescribed, for the 
purpose of paying therefor.^^ 

The Philippine government was authorized to establish a mint 
and coin money and in 1903 Congress provided that the unit of 
value in the Philippine Islands should be the gold peso, consisting 
of twelve and nine-tenths grains of gold, nine-tenths fine, and 
authorized the coinage of seventy-five million silver pesos in ad- 
dition to the minor coins which had been previously authorized. ^^ 

The power to issue bonds was carefully guarded by Congress. 
The Philippine government was authorized when current taxa- 
tion was inadequate for the purpose, under such limitations, terms 

15 Sections 20-62, Act July 1, 1902. The provisions with reference to pub- 
lic lands and various mineral claims were detailed in the Act of Congress, 
and very little discretion was left to the government of the Philippines. 
Each annual report of the commission recommended changes in the line of a 
more liberal policy, but the law remained unchanged until 1916. when some- 
what enlarged power was granted to the local legislature, subject to the ap- 
proval of the president. 

i«This authority was given in order to enable the insular government to 
acquire the so-called friar lands. See Chap. III. 

17 Chap. 980, 32 Stat. L., 952 (March 2, 1903). For subsequent legislation 
relating to the currency and coinage, see Act of June 23, 1906, Stat. L., 453, 
and Chapter VII, infra. 


and conditions as might be prescribed by legislation, approved 
by the president, to permit municipalities to incur indebtedness, 
borrow money, and issue and sell bonds for the purpose of pro- 
viding funds for necessary sewer and drainage facilities, to secure 
a sufficient supply of water, and provide necessary buildings for 
primary public schools. But the entire indebtedness of any mu- 
nicipality should not exceed five per cent, of the valuation of the 
real estate in the municipality and any obligations in excess 
thereof were declared to be null and void. For the purpose of 
providing funds to construct sewers and provide a water supply, 
the government might, with the approval of the president of the 
United States, permit the city of Manila to incur indebtedness and 
to issue bonds to an amount not exceeding four million dollars 

The Philippine government was also authorized to grant fran- 
chises, privileges and concessions for the construction and opera- 
tion of works of public utility and service and to adopt rules and 
regulations under which the provincial and municipal govern- 
ments may authorize the use and occupation of their streets, 
highways, squares, reservations and other similar property. But 
no franchise, privilege or concession could be granted to any cor- 
poration except under the condition that it be subject to amend- 
ment, alteration, or repeal by Congress and that lands or rights 
of use and occupation of lands thus granted should revert to the 
government by which they were respectively granted upon the ter- 
mination of the franchise and concession. AH such concessions 
should forbid the issuance of stock or bonds except in exchange 
for actual cash or for property for a fair valuation equal to the 
stock or bonds so issued; forbid the declaring of stock or bond 
dividends and in the case of public service corporations, provide 
for the efifective regulation of the charges thereof, for official 
inspection and regulation of the books and accounts of such cor- 
porations, and for the payment of a reasonable gross earnings tax 
to the government. ^^ All these matters which were regulated in 

18 To the same effect, Act Aug. 29, 1916. 


detail by Congress show the extreme care exercised for the pro- 
tection of the public. 

The Cooper Law of February 6, 1905, empowered the Phihp- 
pine government, with the approval of the president of the 
United States, to issue bonds to provide funds for the construc- 
tion of port and harbor works, bridges, roads, buildings for 
provincial and municipal schools, court-houses, penal institutions 
and other public improvements. It was also authorized under 
certain conditions and subject to carefully devised safeguards and 
limitations, to guarantee the payment of the interest on bonds 
to a designated amount issued by private corporations for the 
construction of railroads in the Philippines.^" 

After a good deal of hesitation and legislative fumbling it was 
decided that it would be bad policy to extend the United States 
navigation laws which confined the coastwise traffic to American 
vessels, to the Philippines. As early as 1902 Congress provided 
that after July 1, 1904, foreign vessels should be prohibited from 
carrying passengers and merchandise between the ports of the 
United States and the ports of the Archipelago, but as there were 
not sufficient American vessels to handle the business, the time 
when the law should go into effect was postponed from time 
to time and it was finally repealed.^" Hence, foreign vessels 
may transport merchandise and passengers between the ports of 
the United States and the Philippines and between the various 
ports of the Philippines. Until Congress shall have authorized 
the registry as vessels of the United States of the vessels owned 
in the Philippines the Philippine government may adopt and en- 
force regulations governing the transportation of passengers and 
merchandise between the ports of the Archipelago. The same 

19 Section 66, Act of July 1, 1902, as amended by Sec. 2, Act February 6, 
1905. Chap. 453, 33 Stat. L., 689. The statute now simply authorizes the gov- 
ernment to issue bonds subject to the restrictions as to the total amount. 
Sec. 11, Act Aug. 29, 1916. See Chap. XIX, infra. 

20 See the Acts of March 8, 1902 ; March IS, 1904, and April 20, 1906, re- 
pealed by Act of March 26, 1908. The secretary of war and the Philippine 
Commission from the first opposed the policy of bringing the Philippine 
Islands within the scope of the coastwise navigation laws. Rept. Phil. Com. 
J907, Pt. Ill, p. 83. 


tonnage fees are collected on all foreign vessels coming from 
the Philippines to the United States as on vessels coming from 
foreign countries,^^ but the Philippine government imposes no 
tonnage tax on vessels arriving in its ports from any foreign 

In 1902 Congress extended the Chinese exclusion laws to the 
island territory under the jurisdiction of Congress and directed 
the Philippine Commission to make the necessary regulations to 
render the law effective. ^^ The immigration laws of the United 
States were put into effect in the islands by executive order and 
the Act of Congress of March 3, 1903, regulating the immigra- 
tion of aliens into the United States, defined the United States 
as meaning "the United States and any water, territory or other 
place now subject to the jurisdiction thereof.""^ The Act of 
February 20, 1907, provided that it should be construed to mean 
the United States and any water, territory, or property subject 
to the jurisdiction thereof, except the canal zone. In the Pure 
Food Law of June 30, 1906, the word territory is made to in- 
clude the insular possessions. 

^ The Federal Income Tax Statute is in force in the Philippines, 
although the proceeds of the tax go into the insular treasury.^* 

The tariff relations between the United States and its insular 
possessions are determined by Congress. Prior to 1909 the then 
tariff law of the United States was enforced against articles com- 
ing from the Philippines to the continental ports of the United 
States. The Payne Law of 1909 provided for free trade with the 
islands under certain restrictions, which were removed by the Un- 
derwood Law of 1913.^^ The tariff laws enacted by the Philippine 
government under its delegated authority, imposing duties on 
articles imported into the islands from countries other than the 

21 Chap. 152, 57 Stat. L., 70. (Act April 29, 1908.) 

22 Chap. 641, 32 Stat. L., 176. (Act of April 22, 1902.) The exclusion 
laws were already in force there under military orders. 

23 The Appropriation Bill of March 12, 1904, contained a provision that 
the immigration laws of the United States in force in the Philippines should 
continue to be administered by the officers of the Philippine government. 

■ 24 Act of Oct. 3, 1913. 
25 See Chapter VII, infra. 


United States, have all been passed by Congress also and thus 
made United States laws. The Philippine Government Law of 
1916 authorizes the Philippine government to enact tariff laws 
applicable to all countries but the United States, subject to the 
approval of the president. 

The laws of Congress are not effective in the Philippines unless 
expressly made so by Congress. 

The Act of July 1, 1902, declared that the section of the Re- 
vised Statutes of the United States^^ which extends the laws of 
the United States to the territories shall not apply to the Philip- 
pines, and then specifically extends certain enumerated statutes 
over the islands. Thus it provides that the laws relating to entry, 
clearance and manifests of steamships and other vessels arriving 
from or going to foreign ports shall apply to voyages each way 
between the Philippine Islands and the United States and its 
possessions; that the provisions of Chapters 6 and 7, Title 48, 
Revised Statutes, so far as in force, and amendments thereof, 
shall apply to vessels making voyages either way between ports 
of the United States or its possessions and ports of the islands; 
that the provisions of the law relating to public health and quar- 
antine shall apply in the case of all vessels entering a port of the 
United States or its possessions, from the islands; that the cus- 
toms officers at the port of departure in the Philippines shall per- 
form the duties required by law of consular officers in foreign 
ports ; that the laws relating to the transit of merchandise through 
the United States shall apply to merchandise arriving at any port 
of the United States destined for any of its insular and continental 
possessions or destined from any of them to foreign countries; 
that the laws relating to seamen on foreign voyages shall apply 
to seamen on voyages going from the United States and its pos- 
sessions to the islands, the customs officers there being substi- 
tuted for consular officers in foreign ports. 

For the application of the statute conferring authority on offi- 
cers the Philippines are deemed a territory of the United States."^ 

26 Sec. 1891. Rev. Stat. U. S., 1878. 

27 Revised Statutes, U. S., Sees. 5278, 5279, pp. 1022, 1023. 


The extradition laws of the United States, so far as applicable, 
have been extended to the Philippines,^^ and the Act of February 
6, 1905, makes certain provisions of the Revised Statutes of the 
United States applicable when the government of the Philippines 
seeks for the arrest and removal of any fugitive from justice 
charged with the commission within the jurisdiction of any for- 
eign government of any of the crimes provided for by tteaty be- 
tween the United States and such government. The order and 
warrant for the delivery of a person committed for extradition 
must be signed by the governor-general of the Philippines and 
not by the secretary of state. 

The foregoing brief summary will give the reader a fair idea 
of the manner in which Congress has performed its duty of pro- 
viding a government for the distant territory under its control. 
Before considering the administration of the commission govern- 
ment and the radical changes in the form of the government 
which were made by the Philippine Government Law of 1916, it 
is necessary to describe the local governments in the provinces 
and municipalities where the Filipinos have largely governed 
themselves under the supervision of American officials. 

28 Acts of Feb. 8, 1903, and Feb. 9, 1905, U. S. Comp. Stats. (1916), Vol. 
10, sees. 10124-10126. 



The Provinces and Municipalities 

Isolated Conditions — Local Self-government — Gradual Extension of Native 
Control — Division of Country — The Provinces — Present Organization — The 
Provincial Officers — The Governor and His Duties — The Secretary, Treas- 
urer and Fiscal — The Provincial Board, Its Duties and Powers — The Munici- 
palities — Classification — The Municipal Officers and Their Powers — Powers 
of the Council and Limitations Thereon — Municipal Revenues — Specially Or- 
ganized Provinces — Local Governments for the Wild Tribes — The Moros — 
The Moro Province — Military Character of Its Government — Gradual Substi- 
tution of Civilian Officials — Creation of the Department of Mindanao and 
Sulu — The Cities of Manila and Baguio — Local Governments Reasonably 

It is chiefly in the subordinate governmental units that the 
qualifications of the Filipinos for self-government are being 
tested. The economic, political and social life of the people is 
localized in the provinces, municipalities and pueblos to a degree 
unknown in western states. Few of the common people have 
ever seen the capital city or been brought into personal relations 
with the officials of the central government. Their knowledge 
of Americans and their characteristics is derived from inter- 
course with the few teachers, engineers and constabulary officers 
who are stationed in their midst and from respectful observa- 
tion of the high officials who at intervals make their rounds of 
inspection. The American papers are seldom read by the Fili- 
pinos. The native papers printed in the Spanish language or in 
some local dialect furnish the perverted data upon which they 
form their opinions of the American government and its work. 
The laws, decisions of the courts, and executive orders are 
printed in the Official Gazette which is sent to the more impor- 
tant officials, but of course it constitutes constructive notice only 
to the ordinary citizen of what the government is doing. 

President McKinley directed that the people should be given 
every opportunity to control their own affairs in the smaller 



political units. The work of organizing local governments which 
had been commenced by the military authorities before the ar- 
rival of the commission was pushed rapidly forward/ The law 
under which the provinces and municipalities were organized 
granted a large measure of control to the provincial governments 
and almost complete local autonomy to the municipalities. All 
the municipal officers but the treasurer were made elective. Orig- 
inally the provincial board was composed of an elected governor, 
an appointed treasurer and a provincial school supervisor. This 
was found unsatisfactory, and in pursuance of the general policy 
of extending power to the natives the people were authorized to 
elect a third member of the board, the treasurer only remaining 
appointive. The provincial treasurer was the particular bete 
noire of the provincial governor and in time he was regarded 
as the malign influence on the board to which every evil of the 
province might safely be attributed. Remedies which it was 
sought to apply to abuses in the local government lost much of 
their effect by being attributed to the influence of the Amer- 
ican member of the board. The Provincial Government Act 
was finally amended so as to permit the election of the governor 
and a third member by direct vote of the people. The treasurer 
only remained appointive and responsibility for conditions was 
placed on the local electorate. The elected officers realized that 
they were on trial and friction between them and the treasurer 
soon disappeared. The central government thus kept its hand on 
the finances and through the executive secretary exercised gen- 
eral supervision over the local administrations. The governor- 
general has always had the power to remove any official, whether 
elected or appointed, who neglected his duty or was guilty of offi- 
cial misconduct, and the effect of the existence of this power in 
the chief executive has had a very steadying effect upon the local 
officials. Under the Administration Code of 1916 the entire 
membership, of the provincial board is now elected by the people. 
President Wilson's reorganization of the Philippine Commis- 

1 See Elliott, The Philippines: To the End of the Military Regime, p. 519. 


sion gave the Filipinos a majority of the members, thus giving 
them control of both legislative bodies.^ Legislation enacted by 
the Filipino Legislature before Congress passed the Jones Bill 
had also placed the Filipinos in full control of the executive and 
legislative power in all the local governments, subject, of course, 
to the control of the governor-general. 

The local governments are thus entering upon a new phase of 
their history with increased powers and responsibilities. Whether 
they will be administered successfully will depend, as in the past, 
almost entirely upon the way in which the supervising power of 
the central government is exercised. 

The importance that Americans attach to the principle of de- 
centralization in government and the general feeling that the 
people of a locality have an inherent right to control the affairs 
which affect that locality alone, as well as President McKinley's 
instructions that these privileges should be extended as rapidly 
as possible to the Filipinos, require a somewhat detailed descrip- 
tion of the provincial and municipal organizations. 

Probably there has not been an American official in any mu- 
nicipality in the Philippines during the past five years. ^ Hun- 
dreds of thousands of Filipinos have there elected their officials 
and governed themselves. How well have they discharged the 
duties imposed upon them? 

For governmental purposes the islands are divided into prov- 
inces and subprovinces, and the provinces into municipalities. 
The so-called Department of Mindanao and Sulu is merely a 
larger name for the old Moro Province. In some remote sections 
the people are grouped into settlements under special govern- 
ments adapted to their simple requirements. 

Although some new provinces have been created and many 

2 However, the reader will not lose sight of the fact that President Wilson 
retained the power to remove the Filipino members of the commission if they 
refused to obey orders. 

•'' Possibly there have been a few treasurers appointed for the purpose of 
training some Filipinos for the position. Manila and Baguio are not classed 
as municipalities. 


boundaries have been changed the large divisions of the country 
are not very different from what they were in Spanish times. 
As now organized the Archipelago comprises thirty-six principal 
provinces,* the city of Manila,^ and the Department of Minda- 
nao and Sulu with its seven subprovinces.^ 

A province bears a relation to the insular government sug- 
gestive, although not very much like, that of a state to the United 
States government. Some of the provinces have a population 
greater than that of many states of the Union. They have in 
some instances interests and industries of a purely local nature 
v/hich require special treatment. They constitute what Presi- 
dent McKinley's Instructions referred to as those "larger admin- 
istrative divisions corresponding to counties, departments or 
provinces, in which the common interests of many or several 
municipalities falling within the tribal lines or geographical limits 
may best be subserved by a common administration." 

They are public corporations with the usual powers, capacities 
and liabilities of such bodies, resembling in this respect the 
counties of an American state.'^ The chief officers of a province 
are the provincial governor, the treasurer, and the members of 
the provincial board, all of whom except the treasurer are elected 
for definite terms by the qualified electors of the province. They 
are thus independent local officers who hold office by fixed tenure 
subject, however, to the rather important provision of the law 
that should the governor-general have reason to believe that any 
provincial officer or any lieutenant of a subprovince is guilty of 

*AIbay, Ambos Camarines, Antique, Bataan, Batanes, Batangas, Bohol, 
Bulacan, Cagayan, Capiz, Cavite, Cebu, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Iloilo, 
Isabela, Laguna, La Union, Leyte, Mindoro, Misamis, Mountain Province, 
Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Occidental Negros, Oriental Negros, Palawan, 
Pampanga, Pangasinan, Rizal, Samar, Sorsogon, Surigao, Tarlac, Tayabas 
and Zambales. 

^ The city of Manila constitutes a separate jurisdiction and is not included 
within the territory of any province. In the absence of a special provision, 
the term "province" may be construed to include the city of Manila for the 
purpose of giving effect to laws of general application. 

^ Agusan, Bukidnon, Cotabato, Davao, Lanao, Sulu and Zamboanga. 

7 Administrative Code, Book III, Title XI, Chap. 46. This law repeals the 
old provincial law and municipal code. 


disloyalty, dishonesty, oppression or misconduct in office he 
may suspend him from the discharge of the duties of his office 
and after investigation, with the consent of the upper house of 
the legislature, remove him from office. 

The governor of a province is the most important officer 
elected by the direct vote of the Filipinos. The office is one of 
dignity and responsibility and is much sought for by the leading 
men. A candidate for governor need not be a resident of the 
province at the time of the election but if elected he must reside 
at the provincial capital during the term of his office. He re- 
ports annually through the executive secretary to the governor- 
general. Subject to the general law he controls the local police 
and may call upon the constabulary to apprehend criminals and 
suppress disorder. At least once in every six months he must 
inspect every municipality in his province and advise the local 
authorities in matters connected with the performance of their 
duties and investigate complaints regarding official misconduct. 
He must also keep the governor-general infonned as to condi- 
tions in his province and recommend such measures as he deems 
advisable for the improvement of conditions. 

A provincial governor receives a salary of from fifteen hun- 
dred to three thousand dollars per year depending upon the im- 
portance of his province. 

The provincial treasurer is the financial officer of the province. 
He collects the insular, provincial and municipal taxes and has 
the custody of all funds and property of the province. The insu- 
lar auditor exercises direct supervision over the treasurers and 
has the power, when he deems it proper, to supersede the treas- 
urer and take possession of his office for the purpose of check- 
ing up his accounts. The salary of the treasurer is the same as 
that of the governor. In each province wherein is located real 
property subject to the land tax the executive secretary, on the 
nomination of the provincial board, appoints from the residents 
of the province a provincial assessor and deputy assessor to ap- 
praise the real property subject to taxation. 


There is also a provincial fiscal who is the local legal adviser 
of the provincial government and its officers and who acts also as 
register of deeds. The fiscals are under the general supervision 
of the attorney-general of the islands. In each province there is 
a district engineer who has charge of the construction, repair and 
maintenance of all roads, bridges and ferries not within the in- 
habited portions of the municipalities. The engineer is assigned 
to the provinces from the Bureau of Public Works and is subject 
to the general supervision of the director of that bureau. The 
engineer acts as the adviser of the provincial board in all matters 
relating to public works. 

The provincial board must meet weekly in public sessions at 
the provincial capitol for the consideration of business. The 
elective members may, by resolution of the board approved by 
the governor-general, be required to perform the duties of any 
other provincial officer or any ministerial duty required by the 
board. Records of the meetings of the board must be kept by 
its secretary and copies of the minutes of all executive orders, 
resolutions and ordinances must be furnished to the executive 
secretary at Manila. 

Certain specific duties are imposed on the provincial board. 
Thus, each board must provide a seal for the province, a jail, 
offices for the officials and for the division superintendent of 
schools, and accommodations for the courts. It must bring or 
defend suits by or against the province, provide for the con- 
struction and maintenance of roads and bridges and other public 
works, and conduct a systematic campaign against dangerous 
communicable diseases, agricultural pests, and epidemics of 
cattle diseases. 

The powers of the board fall into two classes. 

It may, without the approval of the governor-general, appro- 
priate the general funds of the province to pay its lawful debts 
and carry on its lawful activities ; to purchase* draft animals for 
breeding purposes; to organize, equip and maintain schools in 
any municipality or other district where local funds are insuffi- 
cient; to pay for property destroyed by the health authorities; 


or to make loans to municipalities, townships and settlements to 
enable them to combat diseases or pests. 

It may also establish toll roads and ferries, but no tolls may 
be collected from any person in the service of the United States 
government or from any foot passenger on any road or bridge. 
The provincial board may also establish and maintain provincial 
schools to be conducted as a part of the public school system. It 
may also, with the public money, maintain two professional stu- 
dents at the university or some other government institution. 

With the approval of the governor-general the provincial board 
may appropriate money for loans to municipalities for purposes 
other than combating diseases; fix or change the salary of the 
lieutenant-governor of any subprovince; authorize municipal 
councils to fix the salaries of their officers in excess of the amount 
fixed by law; exercise the power of eminent domain in aid of 
the construction of roads, public buildings and other enumerated 
purposes, and appropriate money "for purposes not specified by 
law, having in view the general welfare of the province and its 
inhabitants." Under this clause the governor-general and pro- 
vincial board may appropriate money for almost any imaginable 

All regularly organized provinces are required to maintain 
a special road and bridge fund which may be appropriated by the 
board for the following purposes only : 

( 1 ) To repair, maintain and improve, and construct roads and 
bridges in the provinces, priority to be given to maintenance of 
existing roads and bridges. 

(2) With the approval of the governor-general to provide 
and maintain wharves, piers and docks, and to remove obstruc- 
tions to navigation. 

(3) With the approval of the governor-general to acquire, 
operate and maintain, or subsidize means of water transporta- 
tion within the province. 

All specially organized provinces must maintain a road and 
bridge fund which may be used to maintain and construct roads 
and bridges, and with the approval of the secretary of the in- 


terior, to subsidize or acquire an improved means of water trans- 

In all provinces where there are non-Christians a special fund 
must be maintained to be used for their benefit under the direc- 
tion of the secretary of the interior. In the regularly organized 
provinces the provincial board may in its discretion create and 
maintain a special fund to be used for local fairs or for the Phil- 
ippine Industrial Exposition. 

It will be noted that the system of loans by one government 
unit to another is in general use. The insular government loans 
money from special funds to the provinces or municipalities. The 
provincial boards make loans to municipalities, townships and 
settlements for many purposes, and the provincial treasurers are 
authorized to loan not to exceed twenty per cent, of the munici- 
pal funds deposited with them and held in reserve, to municipal- 
ities to be used in the construction of permanent public works, 
for the purchase of land for school purposes, and for the erec- 
tion of substantial school buildings. 

The Municipal Code which was enacted soon after American 
occupation was recently repealed and municipalities are now gov- 
erned by the Administrative Code of 1916.^ The power to 
organize new municipalities is by the new law vested in the pro- 
vincial board with the approval of the provincial governor. 

Prior to the Maura Law of 1893, the pueblos were governed 
by a body called the principalia. That law converted the pueblos 
into municipalities and the principalias into municipal councils 
with the officers required by the new conditions.^ The Munici- 
pal Code simply took the pueblos with their names, boundaries 
and property and made them municipalities with the usual pow- 
ers of such public corporations. A municipality in the Philip- 
pines resembles an American township or New England town 
and not a city. It frequently embraces many square miles of 
territory in which there are a number of cities and villages. This 

8 For the present municipal law, see the Administrative Code, Title XII, 
Chap. 47, Sees. 2110-2270. 

s See Elliott, The Philippines: To the End of the Military Regime, p. 231. 


territory is divided into barrios or wards which for administra- 
tive purposes are grouped into districts. 

There are four classes of municipalities, determined by popu- 
lation, which also determines the size of the governing body. 
The first class, with not less than twenty-five thousand inhabi- 
tants, has eighteen councilors. The second class, with eighteen 
thousand and less than twenty-five thousand inhabitants, has 
fourteen councilors. The third class, with ten thousand and less 
than eighteen thousand, has ten, and the fourth class, with less 
than ten thousand inhabitants, has eight councilors. A municipal- 
ity passes from one class to another as its population increases or 

The councilors, with the president, vice-president and treas- 
urer, are the chief officials and all but the treasurer are elected by 
the qualified electors of the municipality. Ecclesiastics, soldiers 
in active service, persons receiving salaries or compensations 
from provincial or insular funds and contractors for local public 
works, are ineligible to municipal office. The salaries of the 
president, secretary and treasurer are fixed by the council subject 
to the provision that they may not exceed in the different classes 
of municipalities, for the president, $600, $500, $400 and $300 ; 
secretary;, $300, $250, $200 and $150; treasurer, $400, $300, 
$200 and $150. The offices of vice-president and councilors are 
honorary and the incumbents receive no compensation. The 
president, commonly called the president e, is the chief executive 
of the local government and exercises general supervision over 
the affairs of the municipality. He is charged with the duty of 
seeing that his subordinates perform their duties properly and 
that the laws and ordinances are enforced. He presides at the 
meetings of the council and assists the treasurer in collecting the 
taxes and the health officers in enforcing the sanitary laws. In 
the absence of the justice of the peace he may hold preliminary 
investigations in criminal cases. Subject to the approval of the 
council he appoints, and may remove, all the non-elective officers. 
Each year he renders to the provincial governor a report of the 
most important events which have occurred in the municipality 


during the year and quarterly he sends to the Bureau of Agricul- 
ture a detailed report on the condition of agriculture, live stock 
and other such matters. 

The vice-president is ex officio a member of the council and has 
all the rights and duties of a councilor. The municipal treasurer 
is appointed by the provincial treasurer with the approval of the 
provincial board and subject to the provision of the civil service 
law. His authority thus comes from an outside source, Thp 
secretary in addition to the ordinary functions of such an officer, 
collects and preserves vital statistics relative to marriages, births 
and deaths. 

The councilor is an important person in the community and the 
fact that the office is honorary seems to add to its dignity.^*' Each 
councilor is given charge of a particular barrio, or district con- 
taining more than one barrio, and he acts as a special representa- 
tive of the people of his barrio or district and must keep them 
fully informed of what occurs in the council and of all other mat- 
ters which directly concern them by suitable notices posted in 
conspicuous places. He must also promptly notify the president 
of "any unusual or disturbing events occurring in his district." 
He may also appoint a lieutenant in each barrio or district under 
his immediate supervision, who shall assist him in the perform- 
ance of his duties. 

The municipal council is a legislative and administrative body. 
It has very important powers which, however, it must exercise 
in some cases under the supervision of the provincial board, the 
corresponding body of the higher governmental unit. The pow- 
ers granted to the councils by general law are divided into two 
classes. It is required to : 

"establish and fix the salaries of municipal officers and employes 

10 Following the Spanish custom the municipal officers and the provincial 
governors are authorized to carry official canes. The governor may carry a 
"white walking stick of white india cane with gold head and gold cord and 
tassel." The municipal president is authorized to use as a symbol of office a 
''black cylindrical cane with gold head and silver cord and tassels." The vice- 
president may use a "gilt ferule with black cord and tassels" and councilors 
may carry a "cane with a silver head, gilt ferule, and black cord and tassels." 
In Spanish times the governor-general carried a cane as a badge of office. 


except the treasurer and public-school teachers ; make appropria- 
tions for proper municipal expenses; erect suitable buildings; 
regulate the construction, care, and use, of streets, sidewalks and 
piers ; declare and abate nuisances ; prohibit the throwing of waste 
into the streets; provide for the disposition of garbage; regulate 
the keeping and use of animals in so far as the same affects public 
health and the health of domestic animals; require private prem- 
ises to be kept in sanitary condition at the expense of the owner; 
construct and maintain sewers and drains and regulate the con- 
struction and use of closets and drains; regulate the burial of the 
dead ; establish or authorize the establishment of and regulate the 
inspection of articles of food; adopt measures to prevent the in- 
troduction and spread of disease; establish and maintain a police 
department; prohibit gambling, disorderly houses and opium 
joints; provide for the punishment of prostitutes and habitual 
disturbers of the peace, intoxication, and disorderly conduct; 
provide for the regulation and suppression of vagrancy; restrain 
riots and public disturbances ; suppress and punish cruelty to ani- 
mals; provide by ordinance for the levying of taxes for municipal 
purposes; and regulate the sale of intoxicating malt and fer- 
mented liquors at retail."^^ 

In addition the council is authorised to : 

"suspend or remove appointive officers and employes ; provide for 
the care of the sick and the insane ; establish fire limits and make 
building regulations; provide for the naming of streets, the num- 
bering of houses, lighting and sprinkling of streets; establish 
roads, streets, canals and parks; provide a building for a post- 
office ; regulate the keeping and impounding of dogs and the run- 
ning at large of cattle ; regulate cockpits and the keeping of game 
cocks; regulate stables and garages and the keeping of vehicles 
for hire; designate stands for public vehicles; regulate cafes, 
hotels, inns, and lodging houses; regulate or prohibit public 
dance houses and horse races ; regulate and provide for the in- 
spection of steam boilers; regulate the use of water courses; pro- 
vide for the impounding and sale of animals at large contrary 
to law; and regulate any business or occupation subject to a 
municipal license tax." 

11 No attempt is made to state in detail all the powers of the municipal 
council, but this enumeration is necessary to show what the American super- 
vision requires the local Filipino officials to do. 


Persons engaged in certain occupations or exercising certain 
designated callings may be required to procure licenses at rates 
fixed by ordinance. 

Certain granted powers may be exercised only with the ap- 
proval of the governor-general. On that condition a municipal 
council may exercise the power of eminent domain for certain 
purposes. It may also appropriate money in aid of any insular 
and provincial charitable, beneficial or educational institution 
which might be maintained by the municipality. The duty of 
providing elementary schools is imposed on the municipalities^'' 
and after that duty has been performed they may establish and 
maintain night schools in English and even special or professional 

The duty of maintaining law and order is imposed on the mu- 
nicipality and for that purpose it must maintain the necessary 
police force. For a number of years the municipal police were 
practically useless. Neglect and abuses rendered it necessary to 
restrict the powers of the president and council and in 1911 the 
legislature required the chief of constabulary to prepare rules 
and regulations under which policemen are now selected from a 
list of applicants who have qualified by passing a special examina- 
tion. The president still appoints the members of the force with 
the approval of the council, but the chief of police in each mu- 
nicipality is appointed by the provincial governor on the rec- 
ommendation of the president and with the approval of the 

Each municipality must provide the necessary equipment for 
fire protection and where there is no paid fire department the 
police act as firemen. 

The habit of excessive indulgence in holidays rendered it nec- 
essary to restrict the municipal fiestas to one a year. Restrictions 
are also placed on cock fighting which now may take place only 
in licensed cockpits and on legal holidays, and for a period not 
exceeding three days during the celebration of the local fiesta. 

" See Chapter X. 
13 See Chapter XIII. 


However, when the provincial board decides that a fair, carnival 
or agricultural or industrial exhibit, "or any other act which may 
redound to the promotion of the general interest" shall be held 
the municipal council may authorize the cock fighting permitted 
at a local fiesta to take place at such celebration if held at a time 
other than that of the local fiesta. 

The municipalities have ample power to raise the necessary 
revenue. Their incomes are derived from an ad valorem tax on 
real estate and from license taxes and fees for various services 
and the proceeds and income from the sale, use and management 
of the property held by the corporation/* It is held to be a fun- 
damental principle that the revenues obtained from taxation shall 
be derived from such sources only as are expressly authorized 
by law. Taxation must be just and in each municipality uni- 
form. No taxes in any form may be imposed on goods carried 
into or out of a municipality. The collection of taxes can not 
be farmed out. The municipal funds must be collected by the 
proper officers and when collected they must be devoted exclu- 
sively to local public purposes. The taxes are collected by the 
provincial treasurer, who may use the municipal treasurers as 
his deputies. 

The money collected for school purposes is required to be 
kept as a special fund and certain other special funds are also 
authorized for such purposes as the aid of provincial indus- 
trial exhibitions, but the money may be appropriated for such 
purposes only with the approval of the governor-general. 

Early in January of each year the municipal treasurer is re- 
quired to prepare and present to the council a detailed state- 
ment of the municipal receipts and disbursements during the 
preceding year. With this as a guide the council must then make 
a careful estimate of the probable income for the current year 
and upon that basis make its allotments for the year. The ap- 
propriations so made constitute the municipal budget which, 
after the allotment for school purposes has been approved by 
the division superintendent of schools, must be submitted to and 

" See Chapter VII. 


approved by the provincial treasurer before it becomes effective. 
If that official disapproves of any particular item or items the 
council may appeal from his action to the provincial board and 
its action thereon is final. 

The old custom of absorbing the revenues in payment of offi- 
cers and employees made it necessary to limit the amount which 
may be used for salaries and wages, other than teachers', to a 
fixed proportion of the income ranging according to the class of 
the municipality from fifty to eighty per cent. Detailed pro- 
visions are made for the disbursements of public funds. 

The municipality may own, conduct or provide for the conduct- 
ing and operation of public utilities such as water-works, ferries, 
wharves, markets and slaughter-houses. 

The regularly organized provinces were supposed to be in- 
habited by civilized Filipinos who were able, under reasonable 
supervision, to conduct a modern local government. The coun- 
try inhabited by the Moros and wild tribes required radically 
different treatment. Lying between these extremes there were 
provinces in which the people were in an intermediate stage of 
development and for them special governments were created. 
In the more advanced, the form of provincial government dif- 
fered but little from that of the regularly organized provinces 
except that the officers were appointed by the governor-general 
and control was in the commission instead of the legislature. 
The Filipinos who resided in these provinces were active in the 
work of bringing them fully under the jurisdiction of the legis- 
lature and this seems to have been effected by the Administrative 
Code of 1916, which contains a number of provisions applica- 
ble only in specially organized provinces under the departmental 
control of the secretary of the interior. The special provisions 
applicable to these provinces are a little confusing and are of 
general interest only in so far as they illustrate the practise of 
passing the natives through different stages and granting them 
additional powers of local government as they become more 
capable of exercising them. 


President McKinley instructed the commission to adopt, in 
dealing with the wild tribes, the general policy which had been 
followed by Congress with reference to the American Indians 
and to permit them to retain their tribal organizations while 
subjecting them to a firm but not an irritating control. 

As the provincial and municipal governments provided for the 
civilized people were not suitable for the wild men, special laws 
were passed as particular provinces in the non-Christian terri- 
tory were organized. The province of Benguet was thus organ- 
ized as early as 1900^^ and soon thereafter the special provinces 
of Nueva Vizcaya, Lepanto, Bantoc, Palawan and Mindora 
were created. Gradually a form of government suitable for 
these people was worked out and in 1902 a general law was en- 
acted under which special provinces and townships were there- 
after organized. This act provided for a provincial governor, 
treasurer, supervisor and attorney, with a provincial board com- 
posed of the governor, treasurer and supervisor.^® The governor 
was required to see that the laws were made known to the peo- 
ple and faithfully observed, to visit each township and settlement 
in his province once in six months, to control the local police, 
to act as sheriff in the courts of first instance, and to care for the 
prisoners. The secretary performed the usual duties pertaining 
to such an office. The treasurer collected the property tax, fines 
and license fees and supervised the assessment of taxes. Once 
a month a committee consisting of the governor, supervisor and 
district superintendent of schools counted the money in the pos- 
session of the treasurer and reported the results to the insular 
auditor. The supervisor was charged with the construction, 
repair and maintenance of the roads, bridges and ferries of the 
province, and of the public buildings of which he was custodian. 
The provincial board was the real governing body of the province 
and upon it were imposed many ministerial duties. It was au- 
thorized to pass ordinances for designated purposes, to approve 

" Rept. Phil. Com., 1900-1903, p. 60. 

^^ Some of the provinces were divided into subprovinces in which there 
were lieutenant-governors and other officers. 


or disapprove of acts of the township councils of the province, 
and to require the council of any township to pass suitable or- 
dinances and upon their neglecting to do so to issue written 
orders for securing the ends in view which should have the effect 
of laws subject to disapproval by the secretary of the interior. 

The provincial officers were informed that their aim should 
be to aid the people of the several townships of the province to 
acquire the knowledge and experience necessary for successful 
local popular government and that their supervision and control 
should be confined within the narrowest limits consistent with 
the requirements that the powers of government in the townships 
be honestly and effectively exercised and law and order and indi- 
vidual freedom protected and maintained. 

The board was also required to provide necessary school build- 
ings for the province where instruction might be given in aca- 
demic and commercial subjects, manual training and agriculture, 
and normal-school work, and to provide for the maintenance of 
such schools subject to the general supervision of the division 
superintendent and the director of education. It was also author- 
ized out of provincial funds to make loans to townships for school 
purposes not, however, to exceed ten per cent, of the gross in- 
come of the province. 

When in its opinion the inhabitants of any township or settle- 
ment had advanced sufficiently in civilization to make such a 
course practicable, the board might, with the approval of the 
secretary of the interior, provide that the people shall no longer 
be exempt from the payment of the cedula tax and that other 
provisions of the general law relative to taxation shall be applica- 
ble to said township or settlement. 

An annual tax of two pesos is imposed on every male inhabi- 
tant over eighteen and under sixty years of age, with certain ex- 
ceptions, to create a fund for the purpose of protecting and im- 
proving roads and trails in the province and to construct public 
works. A person delinquent in the payment of this tax is re- 
quired, in person or by substitute, to work for ten days on the 
roads, trails or public works under the direction of the super 


visor. The inhabitants of any township or settlement who have 
not, in the opinion of the provincial board, advanced sufficiently 
to make the collection of the tax practicable or advisable in the 
public interest, may, with the approval of the secretary of the 
interior, be exempt from the payment of this tax. 

All provincial officers in these provinces were subject to re- 
moval by the governor-general with the consent of the com- 

There were many provisions which related to particular prov- 
inces only. The secretary of the interior was required to visit 
and inspect each province at least once each fiscal year, but under 
recent legislation the supervision of the secretary is exercised 
through an officer entitled "Delegate of the Secretary of the 
Interior for the non-Christian people." 

Going still further down in the system we find the township, 
the government of which is vested in a president, vice-president, 
and council composed of one resident from each barrio. There 
are also a secretary, treasurer, and such non-elective officers and 
employees as the council deems necessary and the provincial 
board authorizes. 

It will be observed that the duties of the provincial board and 
of the provincial officers in these provinces are largely super^ 
visory and controlling. The government of the non-Christian 
provinces was from the first under the immediate supervision of 
the secretary of the interior subject, however, to the control of 
the commission. With various changes of detail this form of 
government is still in force and under it the wild men have de- 
veloped considerably. Schools have been established and many 
hundreds of miles of roads and trails constructed through the 

Until within very recent years it was recognized that the 
existence of the Moros in the southern islands created peculiar 
conditions which required special governmental treatment. It 

17 The reorganization of the central government under the Act of August 
29, 1916, which abolished the commission, will necessitate many changes in 
the statutes relating to the special provinces. 


was admitted that there was a racial and religious antagonism 
between the Moros and the Filipinos which made it impossible 
to associate them together for purposes of government. It was 
not pretended that the Moros were sufficiently advanced in the 
ways of civilization to justify granting them any substantial 
part in the work of operating a modern government. But the 
Filipino political leaders soon adopted a theory of racial unity 
and claimed that the Moros were merely backward Filipinos who 
should be treated as wards of the more advanced Filipino peo- 
ple.^* This theory seems to have been adopted by the Harrison 
administration and to have found recognition in the Philippine 
Government Bill of 1916. 

What has been accomplished in the way of civilizing the Moros 
and bettering the condition of their lives was done under a form 
of government which has just been abolished. What can be 
done under the new plan is necessarily problematical. 

The Act of Congress of July 1, 1902, recognized the long- 
established distinction, based on religion and different stages of 
development, between the Filipinos, and the non-Christian tribes 
and Moros, and the consequent necessity for providing different 
forms of government for the different groups of people. On 
July 1, 1903, that part of the Archipelago inhabited by the 
Moros was by the commission organized as a separate province 
under the name of the Moro Province, with a form of local 
government which had been worked out by Brigadier-General 
Davis while in command of the military department. Prior to 
that time the government was purely military and thereafter 
military influence was continued by the detail and appointment of 
army officers to the civil offices. From the organization of the 
province until the reorganization in 1913 Generals Wood, Bliss 
and Pershing in turn were in command of the military depart- 
ment while occupying the civil office of governor of the province. 
During that time nearly all of the subordinate civil offices were 
also held by army officers. The number, however, was grad- 
ually reduced until in December, 1913, when General Pershing 

^^ For an account of the feeling among the Moros, see the Special Report 
of Secretary of War Dickinson after his visit to the Philippines in 1910, p. 8. ' 


ind religious antagonism 

.OS which made it impossible 

ifises of government. It was 

'^ sufficiently advanced in the 

. granting them any substantial 

i operating a modem government. But the 

- ' " 1 .r» J ^ .- _^. y^ racial unity 

rci Filipinos who 

vanced Filipino peo- 

by the Harrison 

w i.a»- " ''••" "^''"''ppine 

' 1916, 

led in the way of civilizing the Moros 

if their lives was done under a form 

'• ' ^^.en abolished. What can be 

rtly problematical. 

gniriaigq .{ xirfol K)2, recognized the long- 

.1 o:i religion and different stages of 

_. ,. ,.;. . .- .... -ilipinos. i-^' ilse non-Christian tribes 

and Morns, and the consequent ne^ r providing different 

■overnment for the different groups of people. On 

. nX)3. that ' '^ - ^ . .. . . . . .,. ^j^^ 

was bv the . ^ vince 

orm of local 
)Ut by "-General 

;ii cuijitu.- ■■" ''" L. Prior to 

he covenirii . . -^ thereafter 

as continued by the detail and appointment of 

e civil < ::ation of the 

-—'■' ..,. Wood, Bliss 

military depart- 

mor of the province. 

civil offices wen* 

ever, was grad 

General Pershinj, 

s see the Special Re par 
' ■ lUppines in 1910, p. x 


resigned, only the position of health officer was held by an 
officer of the United States Army, 

The Moro Province which was thus governed directly or in- 
directly by military officers during fifteen years" included 
nearly all of the island of Mindanao, the Sulu Archipelago, the 
Tawi Tawi group, and the other islands south of the eighth par- 
allel except Palawan, Balabac, and certain small islands adjacent 
thereto. The territory was divided into five districts with sub- 
ordinate local governments in each. The legislative power was 
vested in a legislative council composed of the provincial gov- 
ernor, secretary, treasurer and attorney. This council was, for 
legislative purposes, the agent of the Philippine Commission 
in which the primary legislative power was vested. It raised rev- 
enues by the imposition of taxes and in its discretion provided 
for the maintenance of a school system, a system of public works, 
and tribal courts for the determination of cases in which the 
Moros were interested. With certain reservations it exercised 
the general legislative power for the province. Its laws had 
to be reported immediately to the Philippine Commission and 
by it approved before they became effective. With the exception 
of the customs receipts collected at its ports, which were turned 
over by the insular government to the provincial government, it 
was dependent upon its own revenues. It received nothing from 
the insular government for public works, or the support of its 

The provincial governor, secretary, treasurer and attorney, 
were appointed by the governor-general with the consent of the 
commission. The governor and secretary might be, and in fact 
always were, officers of the army detailed by the commanding 
general at the request of the commission. The offices of en- 
gineer and superintendent of schools were created by the legis- 
lative council and the incumbents were appointed by the provincial 
governor with the approval of the council. The district officers 
were all appointed in the same way. 

^9 It is only in a restricted sense that the Moro Province was under mili- 
tary government. The control was in the Philippine Commission and the 


The jurisdiction of the insular courts extended over the Moro 
Province but it was subject to certain restrictions imposed by- 
legislation enacted by the commission. 

During the life of the Moro Province there was a continuous 
agitation by the Filipinos for the abolition of military rule and 
the organization of the Moro country under the general pro- 
vincial and municipal laws. Control by the Philippine Legisla- 
ture, what they really desired, was impossible under the terms of 
the Act of Congress. 

During the latter years of Governor-General Forbes' admin- 
istration considerable progress was made toward the substitu- 
tion of civilian for military officers and General Pershing rec- 
ommended that the provincial government be reorganized and 
turned over to full civilian control. Soon after the change 
of administration the newly-constituted Philippine Commission 
changed the name of the Moro Province to that of the Depart- 
ment of Mindanao and Sulu^° and transferred the authority 
theretofore exercised by the secretary of the interior in connec- 
tion with the province of Agusan and its subprovince of Bukid- 
non, to the government of the new department. These provi- 
sions became effective January 3, 1914, and Mr. Frank W. 
Carpenter, who for several years had held the office of executive 
secretary, became the first civilian governor for the Moros. 

Pursuant to another act of the commissions^ a general re- 
organization of the department was made and special forms of 
government were provided for the provincial or local municipal 
units.s^ The administration program as then announced had 
for its object the rapid extension of the regular provincial and 
municipal codes to all parts of the Archipelago.^^ 

20 Act No. 2309, December 20, 1913. 

21 Act No. 2408, July 23, 1914. See the first report of the provincial gov- 
ernor, February 10, 1915, in Rept. Phil. Com., 1915, pp. 324 et seq. 

22 See the Administrative Code, Title XIV, Sees. 2560-2617. 

23 The purposes of this legislation are thus stated in the preamble of the 
act, which is entitled, The Organic Act for the Department of Mindanao and 

"Whereas the change of government in the Department of Mindanao and 
Sulu, effected in January last, necessitates certain reforms, and not only is 



The legislative control formerly exercised by the Philippine 
Commission over Moroland has now, under the Philippine Gov- 
ernment Law of 1916, passed to the new Philippine Legislature 
but the government is still a special one differing from that in 
force in other parts of the Archipelago. As Secretary of War 
Dickinson, after his visit to the islands in 1910, said, the Moros 
will have "to be essentially recreated to make them an integral 
governing part of a republican government reuniting them with 
the Filipinos." The form of rudimentary government provided 
for the subprovinces of the Department of Mindanao and Sulu 
requires no special consideration. 

The cities of Manila and Baguio are governed under special 
charters. Baguio has always been governed by Americans. The 
government of Manila has passed rapidly from American to 
Filipino control. At first the members of the Municipal Board 
were appointed by the governor-general. A certain number were 
then made elective and under recent legislation the entire mem- 
bership is elective. The results have not been very satisfactory. 

The provincial and municipal governments have been reason- 
ably efficient. 

the time ripe for these reforms, but they are insistently demanded by present 
conditions in said department ; and 

"Whereas it is the desire of the people of the islands to promote the most 
rapid moral, social, and political development of the inhabitants of said de- 
partment in order to accomplish their complete unification with the inhabi- 
tants of other provinces of the archipelago; and 

"Whereas for the accomplishment of this purpose the extension thereto of 
the general laws of the country and of the general forms and procedures of 
government followed in other provinces under certain limitations in harmony 
with the special conditions now prevailing in said department, is among other 
measures advisable and necessary, but always with the understanding that 
such limitations are temporary and that it is the firm and decided purpose of 
the Philippine Commission to abolish such limitations, together with the de- 
partmental government, as soon as the several districts of said region shall 
have been converted into regularly organized provinces : Now, therefore." etc. 

This, in substance and tone, is a Filipino document expressing the "aspira- 
tions" of the Filipinos rather than the desires of the Moros or the judgment 
of wise Americans. 

The Commission Government, and Its Administration 

Changing Character of Government — Self-government and Independence — 
The System of Commission Government — The ResponsibiHty of the Commis- 
sion — Represented American Sovereignty — American Majority in Commission 
— Its Duties — Organization of Executive Departments — The Grouping of 
Bureaus — Rearrangement in 1907 — Changes in Judicial System by Organic 
Law — Tenure of Office of Justices — The Personnel of the Supreme Court — 
Jurisdiction — The Courts of First Instance — No Juries — Native Judges — Re- 
organization Law of 1914 — Injurious to Service — The Official Language — 
Spanish Retained in Courts — Spanish Used in the Assembly — Probable De- 
cline of English — Creation of Philippine Legislature in 1907 — Two Distinct 
Legislative Bodies — Difficulties Resulting Therefrom — Unit Subjects of Legis- 
lation — Residuum of Legislative Power in Commission — Commission Reor- 
ganized by Wilson — Majority of Members Filipinos — Loss of Prestige — Abol- 
ished in 1916 — ^The Office of Governor-General — Sources of Authority — Spe- 
cific Powers and Duties — Delegation of Legislative Power — Appropriations 
Subject to "Release" by Governor-General — Practise Condemned — Office 
Magnified by President Taft — Legislative Activities of Governor-General — 
Log Rolling — Disrepect for Laws — Failure to Pass Current Appropriation 
Bills — Automatic Renewal of Appropriations — Assumption of Power over 
Appropriations — ^The "Advices" to the Treasurer — Serious Effect of Mis- 
construction of the Law — The Executive Secretary — The Insular Auditor — 
Independence Largely Imaginary — Resident Commissioners — Influence of the 
Assembly — Methods of Legislation — Excessive Deference to Speaker — Dif- 
ficulties of Administration — Certain Tendencies. 

On October 16, 1916, a government by trained Americans 
with the assistance of Filipinos was replaced by a government 
of Filipinos with the advice and assistance of Americans. After 
little more than a decade of preparation for self-government, the 
country, under the Philippine Government Law of 1916, is en- 
tering upon a new period which may be characterized as one of 
preparation for absolute independence. The slow processes of 
evolution and growth through training and experience are being 
hastened by congressional legislation based upon assumptions of 
very doubtful validity. 



For fifteen years the Philippines had a system of commission 
government very similar to that of many progressive American 
cities. During the greater part of that formative and con- 
structive period the United States Philippine Commission was, 
under the president, responsible to Congress and the American 
people for the success of the rather unique experiment in nation 
building which was being tried in the Far East. It was the sole 
legislative body for all parts of the country inhabited by non- 
Christians and Moros, and without its consent no legislation 
could be enacted by the Philippine Legislature, of which it was 
the upper house. As the original possessor of all legislative 
power in the islands, it in law if not in fact retained for the en- 
tire Archipelago, exclusive legislative control over all subjects 
which, in their nature^ere not capable of division by territorial 
lines. (' 6^' '^^ -.M.'^ (i w 

The original Instructions to the commission, which had the 
force of law, vested it with executive powers, some of which it 
retained to the end. Even after the creation of the office of 
governor-general, it was the sole agency through which the 
insular government communicated with Congress. The secre- 
taries of the several executive departments and the governor- 
general, made their annual reports to the commission, which re- 
ported to the secretary of war as the immediate representative 
of the president.^ But in practise, after the creation of the as- 
sembly, the power and prestige of the commission steadily de- 
clined until, during the closing years of its existence, there were 
few so poor in spirit as to do it reverence. 

The Schurman Commission, which was sent out by the State 
Department in the spring of 1899, before the insurrection, was 
an investigating body ; its functions were inquisitorial and recom- 
mendatory. The second, the so-called Taft Commission, was 
directed by President McKinley to proceed to Manila and or- 
ganize a government on the lines laid down in his Instructions. 

1 The Administrative Code, enacted Feb. 24. 1916. requires the secretaries 
of departments to make annual reports to the governor-general. The execu- 
tive secretary is required to make an annual report "in representation of the 
governor-general." The law does not say to whom this report shall be made. 

. \ 


The form which the central government should take was deter- 
mined by these Instructions and the commission was charged with 
the duty of working out the details of the government in accord- 
ance with certain declared principles, and subject to the restraints 
of a group of prohibitory and limiting rules which were the 
equivalent of a bill of rights in an American constitution. 

On September 1, 1900, the commission, as directed by its In- 
structions, assumed legislative authority over the Archipelago. 
On July 4, 1901, the executive power of the military governor 
in the pacified provinces passed to the president of the commis- 
sion, with the title of civil governor.^ In the meantime pro- 
vincial and municipal governments had been established and spe- 
cial governments authorized for the Moros and the wild men. At 
the time of the inauguration of the civil governor the member- 
ship of the commission was increased from five to seven, by the 
appointment of two Filipinos.^ Soon thereafter the work of the 
executive was apportioned among four newly created executive 
departments, designated as the Departments of the Interior, Com- 
merce and Police, Finance and Justice, and Public Instruction, 
each with its group of bureaus.* Each American commissioner 
became secretary or head of one of these departments. The 
Bureaus of Audits, Civil Service, the city of Manila, and the 
Executive Bureau, were left outside of the departmental organi- 
zation and placed under the immediate supervision of the civil 

The institution and inauguration of the new legislature has 
been already described. As its members were all Filipinos and 
there was a majority of but one American in the commission, 
which constituted the upper house, and the governor-general did 
not have the veto power, the American control of legislation in 

2 The military governor retained control of the unpacified provinces until 
July 4, 1902. 

3 Subsequently the number of commissions was increased to nine, includ- 
ing the governor-general, who was president of the commission. 

^Congress subsequently authorized the creation of another department, 
but it was never established. 

^ The title of civil governor was changed to that of governor-general by 
Act of Congress. 



the Christian provinces rested on a very delicate foundation.^ 
Because of the membership of the assembly, it was thus impos- 
sible for the legislature to pass a law without the consent of the 

The judicial system had been reorganized and new judges and 
justices appointed by the commission before the executive power 
passed to the civil governor. As thus organized the insular gov- 
ernment continued until the enactment by Congress of the so- 
called Organic Law of July 1, 1902, in which Congress wisely 
contented itself with approving and ratifying what had been done 
and resolving doubts and ambiguities through prohibitions, limi- 
tations, and grants of specific powers. 

This Act of Congress made very material changes in the execu- 
tive department. The appointing of justices of the Supreme 
Court was taken from the civil governor, and vested in the presi- 
dent of the United States, with the advice and consent of the 
Senate, As the government had been instituted on the theory 
that the Filipinos should be given the greatest possible part in 
the administration of which they were capable of taking advan- 
tage. Congress took the radical step of providing for the early 
creation of a legislature, one house of which should be com- 
posed entirely of delegates elected by Filipino constituencies. 

It was recognized that for some years the Moros and wild men 
would have to be governed under special laws, and they were left 
under the control of the commission. In 1907 jurisdiction over 
all parts of the Archipelago not inhabited by these people was 
transferred to the new legislature and from that date until 1916 
there were theoretically two distinct, independent legislative 
bodies in the islands. 

We find, thus, that from July 4, 1901, to October 16, 1916. 
there was a fairly well-organized central government at Manila, 
with the usual organs of a free popular government. The execu- 
tive power was vested in a governor-general with the usual sub- 
ordinates; the judicial power in a system of courts organized 

6 The president could of course control the Filipino members of the com- 
mission, who were subject to removal. 


on the model of American courts; and the legislative power in 
two bodies, one of which constituted the upper house of the other. 
The country was divided into provinces in which there were 
many municipalities and other local governmental bodies. 
The Moro country was organized as the Moro Province with 
its own legislative council and executive officials appointed 
by the governor-general, but subject to the commission, which 
existed until 1914, when it was reorganized as the Department of 
Mindanao and Sulu. The laws passed by the legislative council 
of the Moro Province did not go into effect until approved by 
the commission. 

The administrative work of the insjular government was 
conducted through bureaus, grouped into four departments, each 
under a secretary who was also a member of the commission. 
Three bureaus remained under the immediate supervision of the 
governor-general. There was a vice-governor appointed by the 
president from among the secretaries, who became acting gover- 
nor-general during the absence or disability of the governor- 
general. The members of the commission, the governor-general, 
the vice-governor, the secretaries of the departments, the insular 
auditor, the insular treasurer and the justices of the Supreme 
Court, were appointed by the president of the United States, by 
and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and held office at 
the will of the president. All other officials were appointed by 
the governor-general with the advice and consent of the com- 

Although the secretaries of the departments were selected from 
the membership of the commission, the offices were distinct, dif- 
ferent salaries being attached to each office. The vice-governor 
received no additional compensation. Under this organization, 
the heads of the executive departments, that is, the members of 
the cabinet of the governor-general, had seats in both of the 
legislative bodies. 

The military government had created an unnecessarily elab- 
orate bureau organization and this, to some extent, continued 
through the whole of the period under consideration. When 


the civil government was formed many of these bureaus were 
abolished or consolidated, and in 1907, as the result of the work 
of what was known as the head-hunting committee, a general 
reorganization was effected. Thereafter no material changes 
were made until the Harrison administration came into power 
and abolished the Bureau of Navigation. The original distribu- 
tion of bureaus among the departments was not very logical, 
having been made apparently more with reference to the desires 
and qualifications of the men who were to be the secretaries than 
according to any natural method of grouping correlated subjects. 

Comparatively few changes were made by the Administrative 
Code which became effective in July, 1916.'^ It designated the 
governor-general as the department head of the Executive Bu- 
reau, the Bureau of Audits, the Bureau of Civil Service, and all 
other unattached offices and administrative branches of the gov- 
ernment. The speaker of the assembly was made "the depart- 
ment head of the permanent force of employees of the assembly 
and employees of committees of the assembly acting during 

As organized at the end of the commission regime the Depart- 
ment of the Interior had executive control and supervision over 
the Philippine Health Service, the Philippine General Hospital, 
the Bureaus of Quarantine Service, Science, Weather, Lands, and 
Forestry, the supervision of Fisheries, and general supervision 
over the non-Christian inhabitants except in the Department of 
Mindanao and Sulu. The administrative supervision vested in 
the secretary of the interior over the non-Christians was to be 
exercised through an officer known as the delegate of the secre- 
tary of the interior for the non-Christian people.^ 

The Department of Commerce and Police controlled the Philip- 
pine Constabulary, the Bureaus of Public Works, Posts, Labor, 
Coast and Geodetic Survey, with supervision over all corpora- 

7 Administrative Code, Chap. VI. For the changes made by the PhiHppine 
Government Law of 1916, see Chap. XIX, infra. 

8 This is a new office. Previously the secretary of the interior devoted a 
great part of his personal attention to the non-Christian tribes. 


tions except as otherwise provided.^ The Department of Finance 
and Justice controlled the Bureaus of Justice, Customs, Internal 
Revenue, and the Treasury, with general supervision of banks, 
banking, coinage and currency. The Department of Public 
Instruction controlled the Bureaus of Education, Agriculture, 
Supply, Prisons and Printing. 

The judicial system, established by the military government 
and reorganized by the commission, was but slightly changed by 
the Act of July 1, 1902. The Supreme Court, the courts of first 
instance, the municipal courts, and the justice courts, were re- 
tained, and the legislature was authorized to create other inferior 
courts, a power which it subsequently exercised in the creation 
of the court of land registration. The jurisdiction of the Supreme 
Court was fixed by the Act of Congress and the independence 
of the justices was secured by vesting the appointing power in 
the president. The Supreme Court was composed of seven jus- 
tices and the original arrangement of four Americans and three 
Filipinos, one of whom was chief justice, has been retained to 
the present time. It is the only governmental body in the gov- 
ernment at the present time in which the Filipinos do not have 
a majority. 

The law is silent as to the tenure of office of the justices, and 
consequently they hold during good behavior, as that phrase is 
understood in legal nomenclature. Although appointed by the 
president, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, 
they are not federal judges in the technical sense and are not 
entitled to the benefits of the federal retiring law. Probably 
they are removable from office at the will of the president, al- 
though custom has made their tenure permanent. This court has 
always enjoyed the deserved confidence and respect of the coun- 
try. It is a tribunal of great power and dignity with jurisdiction 
equivalent approximately to that of the Supreme Court of a state 
and of a United States circuit court of appeals combined. 

There have been but few changes in the membership of the 

^ This includes all corporations except those engaged in banking. Until 
abolished the Bureau of Navigation was in this department 


court. Chief Justice Arellano and Mr. Justice Torres have 
served since 1901, when the present court was instituted. Mr. 
Justice Mapa, also one of the original judges, served until 1914, 
when he resigned to become secretary of finance and justice and 
was succeeded by Manuel Araullo, who had been a judge of the 
court of first instance in Manila. The Filipino members of the 
court are all learned lawyers with the judicial outlook and 
breadth of view that comes with a knowledge of different sys- 
tems of jurisprudence. 

The retention of the Spanish law, with its background of old 
Spanish codes and the imposition thereon of the results of the 
legislative activities of the commission and the Philippine Legis- 
lature, soon produced a rather confusing body of law which it 
would have been extremely difficult for a court composed ex- 
clusively of Americans or Filipinos to deal with. This composite 
law required a composite court and had there been no personal 
and political reasons for so constituting the court, that alone 
would have been sufficient. The members of the court have 
worked harmoniously together and never, apparently, except in 
one instance, have the justices differed on racial lines, and then 
upon the question whether a Filipino should suffer life imprison- 
ment or death, the Filipinos voting for death, and the Americans 
for the lesser penalty. Three of the present American justices 
had served an apprenticeship in the lower courts of the islands 
and came to the appellate court with full knowledge of the Span- 
ish laws and local conditions. 

For judicial purposes the islands are divided into districts, in 
each of which there is a court of first instance with one or more 
judges. These courts correspond to the ordinary district or cir- 
cuit courts of the states of the Union, with substantially the 
same jurisdiction plus the admiralty, customs, patent, bankruptcy, 
and other such special jurisdictions of the United States district 
courts." As there are no juries," the trial judges bear great re- 

10 No federal courts were ever organized in the Philippines. On the title 
page of Blounts' The American Occupation of the Philippines, the author is 
described as former judge of the United States District Court in the Philip- 


sponsibilities, relieved to some extent, however, by the law which 
requires that the record of every criminal case in which the death 
penalty is imposed, shall be forwarded to the Supreme Court and 
there approved before the sentence is actually executed. On or- 
dinary appeals by the defendant, in criminal cases, the Supreme 
Court may affirm, reverse, reduce or increase the sentence im- 
posed by the trial court, and even impose the death sentence when 
the defendant has appealed from a sentence of imprisonment 
only. The judges of these courts are appointed by the governor- 
general subject to confirmation by the commission and hold office 
during good behavior, subject to removal by the governor-general 
with the consent of the commission. During the Taft regime 
great care was taken to divide the judicial offices as nearly as 
possible equally between American and Filipino lawyers, and a 
judge who did reasonably well was secure in his place. While 
there have been charges of executive pressure being brought to 
bear upon judges to influence their official actions, there was 
little, if any, justification therefor. The judges of first instance 
are assigned to districts at the will of the governor-general and, 
as the salaries vary in different districts, to say nothing of the 
desirability of living and working in the large cities, the chief 
executive has it in his power to express his discontent with a 
judge and, in effect, reduce his salary by transferring him to a 
less desirable field of activity. The power is a dangerous one 
but it has been seldom abused. 

There are some features connected with the recent reorganiza- 
tion of the judiciary which are of doubtful propriety. Shortly 
after Mr. Harrison became governor-general the entire judicial 
system was revised. The law under which this was done, which 
was drafted by a commission that, for several years, has been 
engaged in the arduous task of codifying the laws of the islands, 
redistricted the country, provided for a number of additional 
judges, abolished the court of land registration, and made its 

pines. As no such court ever existed the statement is evidently a misprint. 
The author was one of the judges of the court of first instance. 
^^ The assessors, authorized by law, are seldom, if ever, utilized. 



judges members of the court of first instance and retired all 
judges at the age of sixty-five without a pension. It seems to 
have created an unnecessary number of judges, thus burdening 
the country with additional expense. 

A very unusual and indefensible provision, effecting the per- 
sonnel of the court, resulted disastrously to some of the older and 
more experienced American judges, and the charge was freely 
made that back of the legislation was the sinister motive of dis- 
placing American judges and providing additional offices for 
aspiring Filipino lawyers. The law simply legislated all the 
judges of the courts of first instance out of office by providing 
that they should be commissioned anew by the governor-general. 
A number of the American judges resigned and there was much 
dissatisfaction.^" Governor-General Harrison reported that all 
the judges who did not resign were in fact reappointed, but 
the assignment to districts was such as to induce some forced 
resignations, thus creating vacancies to be filled by Filipinos. 
The effect was to increase the already great unrest among the 
Americans, to the serious injury of the service. The vacating, 
by an act of the legislature, of the commissions of the entire ju- 
diciary of the islands below the Supreme Court and leaving the 
question of their reappointment to a new governor-general who 
had just arrived in the islands and who was supposed to receive 
his information with reference to qualifications from Filipino 
sources only, was a serious blow to the principle of the independ- 
ence of the judiciary, upon which the system had been built. 

Great care had been taken to secure honest and efficient jus- 
tices of the peace. Their jurisdiction is practically the same as 
that of similar officers in the United States. Justices and auxil- 
iary justices are all appointed by the governor-general for each 
municipality and district and the cities of Manila and Baguio, and 
hold office during good behavior, under the present law.^^ No 
person is eligible to appointment unless he is ( 1 ) at least twenty- 

^2 See the letters of Judge J. C. Jenkins in New York Tribune, July 21 
and Aug. 8. 1916; also letter of Secretary of War Baker, New York Times, 
July 31, 1916. 

^3 Administration Code, Chap. II, Art. I, Sec. 239. 


three years of age, (2) a citizen of the Philippine Islands or of 
the United States, (3) of good moral character, and (4) ad- 
mitted by the Supreme Court to practise law, or have completed 
the course of study in a recognized law school, passed the civil 
service examination for clerk of court, or passed the examina- 
tion which is held in each province by a board composed of a 
judge of the court of first instance, the provincial fiscal and a prac- 
tising lawyer appointed by the judge. Only a member of the 
bar is eligible to appointment in Manila or in any provincial 
capital/* The examination requirements are not enforced when 
the appointee is an officer of the United States Army,^^ or when 
no one having the necessary qualifications is willing to accept the 
office. In such cases temporary appointments are made. 

Justices of the peace unless otherwise provided, receive sal- 
aries of from three hundred to four hundred eighty dollars 
per year. All fees are paid into the treasury. In Manila the 
justice is paid a salary of one thousand eight hundred dollars and 
in the provincial capitals amounts running from five hundred dol- 
lars to one thousand two hundred dollars. The judges of the 
courts of first instance exercise certain administrative control 
over the justices of the peace. 

Immediately after the civil government was established Eng- 
lish was made the official language, but for reasons which seemed 
satisfactory to the commission, Spanish was retained as the offi- 
cial language of the courts until the year 1906. There was bitter 
opposition on the part of the American members of the bar, to 
this concession, but it was a very just and reasonable law as, to 
have made English the official language of the courts at that time 
would have practically eliminated the Filipino lawyers and ne- 
cessitated the appointing of Americans only as judges. There 
were not enough natives who spoke and read English to fill the 
various executive and clerical positions connected with the courts 
and it seemed but fair to retain the Spanish language until the 

1* The justice courts in Manila, Iloilo and Cebu are allowed two clerks, 
who receive salaries from the cities. 

^^ In the remote islands it has occasionally been found necessary to make 
such appointments. 


native lawyers could learn English and the public schools could 
train young men for clerical and other minor positions. 

The opposition to the English language has always been much 
more active than is popularly supposed, and under strong pres- 
sure the time when it should become the official language of the 
courts was extended until 1912. By that time the assembly, then, 
as always, dominated by the party which was maneuvering for 
independence, was opposing everything that suggested further 
Americanization of the country, and as there could be no legis- 
lation without the consent of the assembly, the controversy ended 
in a compromise under which both languages are used. 

In the executive departments English has been used from the 
first and of course it has been the language of the commission 
although certain Filipino members were never able to speak it. 
In the assembly there probably never was a word of English 
spoken. The proceedings have always been in Spanish and the 
elaborate Diario de Sessiones which corresponds to the Congres- 
sional Record, is printed in the Spanish language only. How- 
ever, under the law the English translations of the statutes are 
the official copies, and as the translators are Americans, the laws, 
in their official form, take the phraseology of, and thus read like, 
American statutes. ^^ One result of the creation of the new legis- 
lature under the 1916 law, with a membership solely Filipino, will 
be that the laws will be Spanish in form and substance as well as 
language, and that the English language will be ignored by the 
legislative department of the government. 

The peculiar division of the legislative power between the 
Philippine Commission and the Philippine Legislature resulted 
in considerable friction between the Americans and the Filipinos. 
The commission has been criticized by certain members of Con- 
gress who had no just conception of its nature, for lack of 
deference to the assembly. In fact it was the excessive deference 
shown the assembly which led to the elimination of the commis- 
sion. The jurisdiction of each body was determined by territo- 

16 The statutes and also the decisions of the Supreme Court are published 
in both English and Spanish, in separate volumes. 


rial limits and not by the subject-matter of legislation. Each 
was supposed to have exclusive control over all subjects of legis- 
lation within the territory where certain conditions existed. Con- 
gress defined the conditions but left the determination of the fact 
of their existence to the commission which, at the time, was the 
sole legislative body. As was to be expected, the Philippine Legis- 
lature, or, rather, the lower house thereof, the assembly, was, 
from the day of its institution, jealous of the authority exercised 
by the commission, and constantly maneuvered to increase its 
powers and prestige at the expense of the commission. 

But legally the commission retained all the power of which it 
was not deprived by the Act of Congress. The president had 
transferred that part of the military power which was legislative 
in its character from the military governor to the commission, 
which was thereby vested with all the legislative power necessary 
and proper for the government of the islands, subject to certain 
express and implied restrictions. The Act of July 1, 1902, re- 
quired the commission to prepare the way for the new Philippine 
Legislature, and declared that, after it was convened and or- 
ganized, "all the legislative power heretofore conferred on the 
Philippine Commission in that part of the islands not inhabited 
by Moros or other non-Christian tribes shall be vested in a legis- 
lature consisting of two houses, the Philippine Commission and 
the Philippine Assembly." The effect was to carve out of the 
territory over which the commission then had general jurisdic- 
tion, certain parts thereof and to transfer to the newly created 
body the legislative power which had previously been exercised 
by the commission within that particular territory. The division 
of power was territorial, no direct reference being made to any 
subject-matter of legislation. 

The commission continued as originally created, with the exec- 
utive power transferred to the governor-general to be exercised 
in certain instances with the advice and consent of the commis- 
sion, but deprived of that part of its legislative power which it 
had formerly exercised within the so-called Christian provinces. 
It retained all its original legislative power which had not been 


transferred to the Philippine Legislature. The jurisdiction of 
the new legislature was limited to the part which had been carved 
out of the whole and that part was determined territorially and 
not according to subject-matter. The residuum of power re- 
mained with the original possessor of the entirety and when, for 
any reason, the legislature could not act because of want of 
power the legal right to act was reserved to the commission. 

There are certain subjects of legislation which are incapable 
of division upon territorial lines. They are unit subjects. Laws 
relating to the currency and coinage, and the gold standard fund, 
which exists for the maintenance of the parity of the silver 
coinage with the gold standard necessarily affect the entire coun- 
try. The care, custody, investment and handling of the gold 
standard fund was a proper subject of legislation but it had no 
relation to particular territory as determined by the presence or 
absence of either Christians or non-Christians. If the com- 
mission as a legislative body had no power to enact laws with 
reference to it then the legislature, as the legislative body for a 
certain defined territory, certainly had no power. Neither could 
the cooperation of two distinct legislative bodies increase the 
powers of either. The enactments of each body had to find their 
validity in the sources of their legislative authority. For illus- 
tration, as the legislature of a state in the Union has no power to 
enact a law regulating interstate commerce, the enactment of an 
identic law on the same subject by every state legislature in the 
Union would not legalize such an act. As in numbers, so in 
jurisdiction, nothing added to nothing ad infinitum produces 

It was contended that the commission could not properly ap- 
propriate money for use in the non-Christian territory which had 
been raised in part by taxation within the territory under the 
jurisdiction of the legislature. But participation by the legisla- 
ture in making appropriations for the non-Christian provinces 
would have been to extend its legislative power over such prov- 
inces in violation of the express provisions of the Act of Congress. 
If the commission could not appropriate money out of the insular 


treasury which was created by Congress for the entire Archi- 
pelago, for use in the non-Christian provinces, it could not govern 
such provinces as Congress requires it to do. It was no answer 
to say that the commission as the upper house of the legislature 
could prevent an undue proportion of the money in the treasury 
from being appropriated for use in the Christian provinces leav- 
ing nothing for the territory under its control. It certainly could 
have done that, but the assembly could, by the same token, have 
prevented the appropriation of any money for the use of the 
non-Christian provinces. It would have been in the power of 
the assembly to stop the wheels of government unless the com- 
mission was willing, in the interests of peace and harmony, to 
accede to its demands. The result would have been a complete 
deadlock and necessarily an appeal to Congress. So long as the 
Filipinos were in a condition of pupilage it was proper and es- 
sential that the commission, as the real representative of Ameri- 
can sovereignty and responsibility, should have the ultimate word 
on questions affecting that sovereignty. 

In 1908 the commission was enlarged by the appointment of 
two additional Filipino members, thus leaving the Americans 
with but one majority. Under President Taft the Filipino mem- 
bers of the commission, with one exception, were members of the 
political party which was in favor of, and in sympathy with, 
present American control. But President Wilson promptly re- 
vised the entire commission and reconstituted the body with four 
American and five Filipino members, all of whom were openly 
opposed to American sovereignty and in favor of immediate 
independence.^'^ As thus constituted, the commission was worse 
than useless for the purpose for which it was originally created 
and it was very properly abolished by the Philippine Government 
Law of 1916. The unfortunate loss of prestige by the commis- 
sion began before Mr. Taft ceased to be president and was due, 
partly at least, to his disposition to regard the governor-general 

''■'^ The Report of the Philippine Commission for the Year, 1915, is signed 
by Francis Burton Harrison, president, and Rafael Palma, Victorino Mapa, 
Jaime C. de Veyra, V. Ilustre and V. Singson Encarnacion, members. 


as the government of the Phihppines and the members of the 
commission as merely conveniences to have about when a divided 
responsibihty was desired. 

The powers of the governor-general during the commission 
regime were conferred in very general terms or left to be implied 
from the nature of the office. The executive order of July 1, 
1901, directed that the president of the Philippine Commission, 
who was appointed civil governor, should exercise the executive 
authority in all civil affairs in the government theretofore exer- 
cised by the military government. The latter, as the representa- 
tive of the president under his war powers, had been vested with 
all the executive authority which was necessary for the govern^ 
ment of the country while it was subject to military control. 
This authority was to be exercised in conformity to the Instruc- 
tions to the Philippine Commission of April 7, 1900, and subject 
to the approval and control of the secretary of war as the im- 
mediate representative of the president. ^^ 

The president of the commission was appointed civil governor 
and this practise was continued although there was no law which 
required the two positions to be filled by the same person.^® 

The Act of July 1, 1902, ratified the acts of the president in 
creating these offices with authority "to exercise the powers of 
government to the extent and in the manner and form set forth 
in the executive order of June 21, 1901" — that is, to exercise 
the powers previously vested in the military governor. Congress 
conferred no other powers upon the governor-general"" until it 

18 This order, according to its strict terms, vested the executive power in 
the president of the commission as such and not in the civil governor. The 
latter was authorized merely to exercise the power to appoint, which had 
been vested in the commission and the military governor. 

18 The office of vice-governor was created by an executive order dated 
October 29, 1901. Subsequently Congress changed the title of the chief 
executive from civil governor to governor-general, but evidently by over- 
sight left the title of vice-governor unchanged. Act of February 6, 1905, 
Sec. 8. Air. Wright was the first to bear tlie title of governor-general. Mr. 
Taft was civil governor. 

20 By ratifying the act of the commission creating the four executive de- 
partments. Congress conferred general supervision over the heads of those 
departments on the governor-general and approved the powers which had 
already been conferred on the governor-general by the various acts of the 


passed the Philippine Government Law of 1916. His authority 
had therefore to be exercised in conformity with certain specific 
instructions of the president and subject to the approval and con- 
trol of the secretary of war who, however, could confer no new 

The powers and duties which have been imposed by the local 
legislative bodies are exceedingly numerous and often inconse- 
quential. His express approval is required of innumerable acts, 
ranging from those of the greatest importance to matters of pet- 
tiest detail. It became the common practise to insert in a pro- 
posed law to which there was reason to expect opposition in the 
assembly, a provision that it should not go into effect, or that 
something authorized thereby should not be done, without the 
express approval of the governor-general. Masses of unim- 
portant details were thrown into the executive office where the 
approval of His Excellency was generally expressed by his sec- 
retary or a clerk. 

Another practise which, while plausible on its face, was viola- 
tive of the foundation principles of legislative law and pro- 
cedure grew up in the legislature and produced unfortunate re- 
sults in connection with the finances. Appropriations can only 
be legally made by the legislature, and the Organic Law provides 
that no money shall be expended except in pursuance of an ap- 
propriation previously made. When the Payne Tariff Law went 
into effect in 1909, it was feared that it might temporarily re- 
duce the revenues of the Philippine government and thus inter- 
fere with the policy of internal improvement which was just being 
launched. If the revenues should fall off it would be necessary 
to retrench; if not, the work could proceed as planned. As a 
precautionary measure, there was attached to the Public Works 
Appropriation Bill a provision that certain money appropriated 
should not be expended until "released" by the governor-general. 
Fortunately, the tariff law did not appreciably reduce the revenues 
and the money thus appropriated was made available and ex- 
pended. It was a proper enough thing to do in the face of an 
emergency, but thereafter the legislature continued to make all 


sorts of appropriations with the proviso that the money should 
not be expended until released by the governor-general, thus 
transferring to the executive the power to appropriate as well as 
expend the public funds. The expenditure of an appropriation 
was already under the control of the executive. The money was 
in law appropriated regardless of the proviso and was no longer 
in the treasury and "not otherwise appropriated." The result was 
to confuse the legislature and the public and lead to the making 
of appropriations which would not otherwise have been made. 

One result of this method of making appropriations was de- 
scribed by Mr. Warwick Greene, the director of public works : 
"We have been left in doubt even after the permanent improve- 
ments appropriations have been made because of the proviso that 
they were subject to release by the governor-general. These ap- 
propriations, in accordance with the intent of this provision, have 
been released only after it was fully assured that the revenues 
would provide ample funds. As a consequence the bureau is 
kept in doubt from month to month in any given year as to the 
exact funds that will be available for expenditure. It results that 
at times the organization of the bureau is too large for the work 
in hand, and at other times the work crowds on the bureau too 
fast and we find the organization too small to handle it to ad- 
vantage. Our technical personnel are largely civil service em- 
ployes, who can not be laid off when the work is slack, nor would 
it be desirable to do so. On the other hand, it is absolutely im- 
possible to increase our technical personnel at short notice, as for 
the most part they must be secured from the United States, and 
are generally of little service to us until they have had at least 
six months' experience in the islands. Often, too, the bureau is 
comparatively idle during the part of the dry season when work 
can be most economically carried on; later, funds are made 
available and strong pressure is brought to bear on the bureau 
to start work at once, with the consequence that construction is 
often prolonged into the rainy season, and as a result the cost is 

It was desirable that the office of governor-general should 


loom very large in the eyes of the public and that the prestige of 
the office should be maintained. But it was not necessary that 
the governor-general of the Philippines should be made more 
powerful and independent than the governor-general of India, 
who is required to exercise his power in connection with an exec- 
utive council. In the beginning under military government the 
governor was in a very real sense the representative of the 
president of the United States and wielded an indefinite and 
almost despotic power. Mr. Taft, as civil governor and subse- 
quently as secretary of war and president, gradually magnified 
the office and minimized the importance of the commission. He 
also seems in practise to have allowed the governor-general to 
appoint and remove the other members of the commission, ^^ on 
the entirely erroneous theory, it is respectfully submitted, that 
the commissioners, although holding under independent appoint- 
ments by the president, constituted the cabinet of the governor- 
general, thus delegating to the governor-general the power of 
appointment which Congress declared should be exercised by the 
president himself with the advice and consent of the Senate. A 
governor-general was thus in practise able to secure the removal 
from office, without notice and an opportunity to be heard, of 
members of the commission and heads of departments, on his 
mere representation that they differed from him on matters of 
public policy. ^^ Had it been the intention of the law to vest this 
power in a governor-general it is probable that he would have 
been authorized to appoint the commissioners or at least the heads 
of the departments who served in an executive capacity under 

21 It seems that there was a good precedent for this, as President McKin- 
ley pei-mitted Mr. Taft to select the other members of the first commission. 
Olcott's Life of McKinley, II, p. 178. _ _ 

22 There are certain things which inhere in our conceptions of justice, and 
one is that no man shall be condemned unheard. In a celebrated case Mr. 
Justice Fortesque, whose sense of justice seems to have been more highly 
developed than that of the president, said : "The laws of God and man both 
give a party an opportunity to make defense if he has any. I remember to 
have heard it observed by a very learned man upon such an action that even 
God himself did not pass sentence upon Adam before he was called on to 
make his defense. 'Adam,' says God, 'Where art thou? Hast thou not eaten 
of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou should not eat?' And the 
same question was put to Eve also." Bentleys Case, 2 Ld. Raymond 1334. 


him, and constituted his actual cabinet, as the president does at 
Washington. A commissioner with a portfoHo received a salary 
in excess of that paid a member of the president's cabinet and it 
would seem to have been the intention that the president should 
select for the office a man of a type who would be expected and 
entitled to form and express an independent judgment upon pub- 
lic questions without fear of losing his position through secret 
representations conveyed to the ear of the president, that he was 
not working harmoniously with the governor-general. The presi- 
dent's theory of the relation between the commissioners and the 
governor-general tended to cultivate subserviency and to con- 
vert the holders of great offices into timid clerks. The secretary 
of a department and member of the cabinet was of course en- 
tirely subject to the orders of the governor-general as the chief 
executive, but as a commissioner with legislative duties only to 
perform he should have been regarded as entitled to exercise an 
independent judgment and act accordingly. 

The prestige of office is an important factor in the East where 
the people are accustomed to see high officials vested with real 
personal power. It was necessary to vest great power in and im- 
pose great responsibility upon the governor-general but it was 
neither safe nor consistent with American theories of govern- 
ment to make an autocrat of him. And it was at least ques- 
tionable policy to trust the success of the American experiment 
in colonial government to one man and then deprive him of the 
disinterested and independent advice of his associates. 

Nevertheless, there were comparatively few instances in which 
the governors-general appointed by McKinley, Roosevelt and 
Taft abused their great powers to the injury of individuals. 

Under the commission government the governor-general had 
no veto power but he was an active working member of both leg- 
islative bodies. Naturally his influence there was great and far- 
reaching. But it is probable that it was seriously damaged by 
the hand-to-hand contests with the politicians of the assembly 
with whom he was brought into close personal relations. The 
trading, dickering and dealing, which was rendered necessary 


by the hostile or passive attitude of the assembly, might better 
have been left to any one other than the governor-general. Pos- 
sibly such experiences in securing desirable legislation tended to 
cultivate a lack of reverence for the laws and a willingness to 
ignore them whenever possible. 

The disposition of all executive officers to minimize the force 
of legislative restrictions on the expenditure of money was well 
illustrated in the Philippines where the executive has felt re- 
sponsible for the making as well as the execution of the laws. 
It was always possible that there might be an energetic governor- 
general, with no knowledge of the law, little appreciation of gov- 
ernment as a science, and a vaguely concealed contempt for an 
amateur legislative body which had the power and disposition 
to obstruct, who would be inclined to treat such restrictions with 
slight respect. Where there was room for the construction of 
a statute such an executive would jump at any theory, however 
attenuated, which would give him the greatest liberty of action. 
-, The appropriation of money is the most important of all legis- 
lative powers, and Congress provided that in the Philippines no 
money should be expended except in pursuance of a legal appro- 
priation. So long as the Philippine Commission was the sole 
legislative body, and the governor-general and the heads of the 
executive departments under him were members of and con- 
stituted a majority of that body, there was no difficulty in 
apportioning the revenues in a satisfactory manner. But the 
institution of the assembly injected a disturbing element into the 
situation. Congress realized that this body would be composed 
entirely of Filipinos who might attempt to enforce their wishes 
by refusing to make the appropriations necessary for the support 
of the government. To guard against such a contingency it 
provided that : 

"If at the termination of any session the appropriations nec- 
essary for the support of government shall not have been made, 
an amount equal to the sums appropriated in the last appropria- 
tion bills for such purposes, shall be deemed to be appropriated ; 
and until the legislature shall act in such behalf the treasurer may, 


with the advice of the governor-general, make the payments nec- 
essary for the purposes aforesaid." 

By the year 1911 the antagonism between the assembly and the 
commission had become so great that the former refused to con- 
cur in the appropriation bills and as the commission felt it nec- 
essary to adhere to its position, the current appropriation bill 
failed to pass. The effect was to continue automatically the ap- 
propriations which had been passed for the fiscal year ending 
June 30, 1911. 

It would seem that the above quoted language of the Act of 
Congress could not well be misunderstood. In his speech at 
the opening of the first session of the Philippine Legislature in 
1907, Secretary Taft said: *'If there is not an agreement as to 
appropriations between the commission and the assembly, then 
the appropriations of the previous year will be continued."^' 

As Secretary Root^* has said: 

"The intention was to continue the former appropriation just 
as if the former appropriation bill had been re-enacted and there 
was no intention to put into the hands of the executive a gross 
sum equal to the gross appropriation, leaving him to appropriate 
it as he saw fit." 

However, Governor-General Forbes had other views and as- 
sumed control over a sum of money equal to the gross amount 

23 Address at the opening of the first Philippine legislature. Rcpt. Phi!. 
Com., 1907, Pt. I. p. 224. 

2* On November 6, 1913, Senator Root wrote with reference to an opinion 
I prepared for the Insular-Auditor (printed in Congressional Record, Feb- 
ruary. 1913), "I have examined carefully the opinion which you rendered 
regarding the meaning and effect of the provision in the Philippine Act 
. . . I can not very well dispossess myself of the intention that^ we 
had when the bill was drafted as I knew it. The intention was to continue 
the former appropriation just as if tlie former appropriation bill had been 
re-enacted and there was no intention to put into the hands of the executive 
a gross sum equal to the gross amount of the former appropriation, leaving 
him to appropriate it as he saw fit. I do not myself think that the language 
of the act expresses such an idea and I agree with the view which you state 
in your very clear and comprehensive opinion." 

If there ever was any question as to this being the correct construction of 
the statute, it has been resolved by the Philippine Government Act of August 
29, 1916. See infra, p. 439. 


appropriated by the former appropriation bill and reapportioned 
and distributed it for the support of the government in such 
manner as he thought proper. As he subsequently stated, '7 exer- 
cised my will and judgment in the application of the $8,/ij,8p4/' 
Incidentally he took advantage of the occasion to create over a 
hundred new offices to which he affixed such salaries as he 
thought proper.^^ It was without doubt a gross usurpation of 
legislative power. A complacent nisi prius judge in Porto Rico, 
after holding that his court had no jurisdiction, had expressed the 
opinion that the governor of Porto Rico had such power under a 
similar provision of the Act of Congress relating to that island. 
This was seized on as authority. The idea appealed to the gover- 
nor-general because it enabled him to apportion the money free 
from legislative restriction. It also impressed certain of his sub- 
ordinates who felt confident that their departments or bureaus 
would receive more favorable consideration by the governor-gen- 
eral than they had received by the legislature. Refusing to ask 
for the opinion of his constitutional legal adviser, the attorney- 
general, and with the approval of certain subordinates in the 
War Department, although against the advice of lawyers in his 
cabinet, the governor-general proceeded to rewrite the former ap- 
propriation bill into what he called his "Advice" to the treasurer, 
thus practically enacting a new appropriation bill according to his 
own ideas. 

1^ The motives which actuated the governor-general in this mat- 
ter need not be questioned. He undoubtedly believed that he 
could take the $8,713,894 and use it to better advantage than 
could the legislature. But the result was very unfortunate for 
him and for his administration. The assembly passed a resolu- 
tion of censure practically charging the misuse of public funds, 

25 After his action had been criticized the governor-general appointed a 
committee of three, of which the executive secretary was one, to study the 
legal question. This committee made the interesting discovery that the new 
jobs were employments, not offices, because offices could be created by the 
legislature only. Having been created, they must be something. The legis- 
lature only could create offices. They had not been created by the legisla- 
ture ; they must therefore be employments. Hence as they were merely em- 
ployments they could be legally created by the governor-general. 


which it cabled to Washington, thus further compHcating the 
relations of the executive with the Filipino delegates. It was all 
important that the American officials who were assuming to train 
an undeveloped people in the art of government, should act in a 
spirit of strict legality. A strained construction of the law which 
resulted in the transfer of such important power of a legislative 
nature from the legislature to the chief executive, in violation of 
established principles of constitutional government, was certain 
to, and certainly did, leave a very bad impression. 

In 1912 the legislature again failed to pass the appropriation 
bill for current expenses. The governor-general was then on 
leave of absence and acting Governor-General Gilbert prepared 
another appropriation bill under the title of "Advice" on the prin- 
ciples which had been applied by Governor-General Forbes. 
There never was any justification for these rather high-handed 
proceedings. They were unnecessary and did much to injure the 
administration and to induce Governor-General Forbes' rather 
peremptory removal from office by President Wilson.^'' Soon 
after Harrison became governor-general the legislature passed an 

26 Mr. Forbes was seriously ill for several months before he left the 
islands on leave and it is charitable to assume that his naturally good judg- 
ment was somewhat affected by his troubles. Shortly before retiring from 
office he issued and circulated an ill-advised pamphlet in defense of his ad- 
ministration. In it he attempted to throw the responsibiUty for his miscon- 
struction of the Act of Congress relating to appropriations upon Secretary of 
War Dickinson. 

The records show that on October 11, 1911, Governor-General Forbes 
called Secretaries Gilbert, Worcester, Araneta and EUiott together and re- 
quested their opinions as to whether he had the power to redistribute the 
amount of the previous appropriation bill. Had a ruling been made before 
that time by the secretary of war the question would have been closed. Mr. 
Forbes then produced the letter from the auditor written in response to his 
own request, to which he refers in his pamphlet. There was a difference of 
opinion among the secretaries and the question of asking for instructions 
from the secretary of war was fully considered. Mr. Forbes was then re- 
quested to ask for the opinion of the attorney-general, which he declined to 
do. On the following day the matter was submitted to Washington by cable 
and the chief of the Bureau of Insular Affairs (a general, not a lawyer) 
promptly replied that "the Porto Rico case governs." Judge Dickinson in- 
forms me that he has no recollection of advising the governor-general with 
reference to the construction of the provision, and as he ceased to be secre- 
tary of war several months before the question was raised at the consultation 
of October 11, it is reasonably certain that Mr. Forbes was mistaken. 


appropriation bill appropriating $7,351,662.88 "in compensation 
for the services of the insular government" for the fiscal year 
ending December 31, 1914." The inference from the peculiar 
language is that the assembly had by that time convinced itself 
that the insular government was its employee and that the laborer 
was worthy of his hire. 

Very close relations existed between the office of the governor- 
general in charge of the private secretary, and later of the secre- 
tary to the governor-general, and the executive bureau. During 
the latter years of the commission regime the distinction between 
the two offices seems almost to have disappeared. The executive 
bureau had jurisdiction over matters relating to patents, copy- 
rights and trade-marks and was charged with the care of the 
archives and records of the government, the custody of the Great 
Seal and, most important of all, with the general supervision of 
the provincial and mimicipal governments and their officers. 
( He also does the work which, in an independent government, 
falls to a foreign office. He conducts the correspondence with the 
secretary of war, and with foreign governments and foreign offi- 
cers in connection with extradition and other matters in which 
the Philippine government is interested. Subject to the civil serv- 
ice law and the supervising power of the governor-general, the 
executive secretary controls the personnel of the government 
other than such as are appointed by the president of the United 
States. Because of his close relations with the governor-general 
the executive secretary is always one of the most important sub- 
ordinate officers of the government. He is also in closer personal 
touch with the Filipino officials and employees than any other in- 
sular officer and during the decade preceding the advent of the 
Harrison administration the executive secretary was largely re- 
sponsible for the nature of the relations which existed between 
the Filipinos and the administration. He was the faithful, effi- 
cient eliminator of friction and adjuster of difficulties of a 
personal nature. It is very probable that but for the tact and 
knowledge of native character possessed by Executive Secretary 

27 Act No. 2319. 



Carpenter the assembly and the commission would more fre- 
quently have been in a condition of deadlock. 

The insular auditor and the insular treasurer were appointed by 
'the president with the approval of the commission and through 
these officers the secretary of war was supposed to exercise an 
independent control over the finances. In the case of the treas- 
urer it amounted to little, as his powers were mostly ministerial 
and were exercised under the direction of the secretary of finance 
and justice who was responsible to the governor-general. The 
office of treasurer has been well administered. 
y The insular auditor was, by the Act of Congress, given final 
jurisdiction over all matters of accounting and his decisions 
thereon were made final and conclusive. He corresponded freely 
with the secretary of war to whom he was required to make fre- 
quent reports on financial conditions. In addition to control over 
the accounting system the auditor had the power of a comptroller 
of the treasury. However, the independence of the auditor was 
in practise largely a matter of theory. As the head of the Bu- 
reau of Audits he was subject to the general control of the 
governor-general and when any serious controversy arose be- 
tween the auditor and the governor-general Washington gen- 
erally sustained the latter. One auditor who clashed with the 
chief executive was removed from office and his successor who 
criticized the financial policy of Governor-General Forbes was 
effectively suppressed by the action of the president in practically 
delegating the power of removal to the governor-general, upon 
whose actions the auditor was by law required to exercise a 
check. It is needless to say that thereafter the particular auditor 
felt no independent responsibility for the financial conditions. 
Of course the auditor was generally unpopular with the other offi- 
cers of the government with whose operations his duties required 
him frequently to interfere. 

X It has been said that "the mysteries of accounting, like the 
mysteries of religion, must be handled by the uninitiated with 
reverence." With all due and proper reverence it may be re- 
corded that while the accounting system of the Bureau of Audits 



was praised by the experts it was frequently damned by those 
who were seeking accurate information as to the condition of ap- 
propriations in which they were interested. The system was so 
scientifically perfect that at one time accounting threatened to 
>, become the principal occupation of the government. 

It was entirely proper for Congress to provide for Filipino 
resident commissioners at Washington. It is doubtful, however, 
whether it fully realized that it was establishing quite so efficient 
an agency through which the assembly and the anti-expansionists 
in the United States could accelerate the independence movement 
and throw the insular government machine out of gear. The po- 
litically disaffected Filipinos were thus enabled to maintain their 
own agents at Washington. As it has worked out, Aguinaldo 
might as well have been accorded the right to maintain diplomatic 
representatives near the American government. The delegates 
were accepted as quasi members of the House of Representatives 
and from that position were able to set fires in the rear of the 
Americans and Filipinos whom the president and Senate had 
selected and made responsible for the success of the local admin- 
istration. Although elected by the Philippine Legislature they had 
little if any real connection with the insular government. They 
represented the dominant party in the assembly, which was always 
antagonistic to the commission and to the American government, 
the opposition in the Philippines and the anti-imperialist element 
in the United States. It is probable that Mr. Quezon had as many 
articulate constituents in New England as in the Philippines and 
he represented them all with great skill and ability. The Organic 
Law required that each house of the legislature should designate 
a resident commissioner but that both commissioners should be 
elected by the two houses. With the growing confidence in its 
power which came to the assembly, it soon claimed the right to 
select both commissioners on the theory that they were to repre- 
sent not the insular government but the Filipino people and that 
the assembly was the special guardian of the interests of the peo- 
ple. But for the intervention of President Taft it is probable that 
this claim would have been conceded by the commission, and 



Sencr Legarda, one of the sincerest friends the Americans ever 
had, sacrificed to the exigencies of some imaginary poHtical neces- 
sity. The deadlock which resulted was broken by Congress by 
a joint resolution extending the terms of the incumbents until 
their successors should be elected. ^^ 

The institution of the assembly and the division of the legis- 
lative power greatly increased the difficulties of administration. 
Nevertheless, for a time the commission and the assembly man- 
aged to get along together fairly well. While the delegates to the 
assembly were familiarizing themselves with their duties the two 
bodies worked in harmony, but as the assembly gained confidence 
in its own powers it began to assert itself until it finally claimed 
the right to the final word on all matters which were supposed to 
affect the Filipino people. 

The laws enacted by the Philippine Legislature compare very 
favorably with those of the average state legislature, but the en- 
comiums which have been so freely passed on it take no account 
of the existence of an upper house or of the influence and work of 
the American members of the commission. The legislative work 
of the assembly was subject to constant supervision and direction 
without which many foolish bills would have become laws. Some 
at least of the best statutes for which the assembly has been 
given credit were prepared for introduction into the assembly by 
the American commissioners or by American lawyers in the attor- 
ney-general's office. It must not be forgotten that, regardless of 
the forms, the assembly, like the entire Filipino element, was in a 
state of pupilage. It was in training. 

Although the commission was one of the independent chambers 
of the legislature it really acted as a sort of advisory body shaping 
legislation and as far as possible keeping the legislature out of 
trouble. The assembly held its public sessions in the marble hall 
of the Ayuntamiento and devoted much time to speech-making 
and the other ornamental parts of legislative work. The commis- 

28 The assembly published a pamphlet in which the arguments in favor of 
its views were elaborated. See Eleccion dc Comisionados Rcsidcntes en los 
Estados UnidoSj etc. (Manila, 1911). 


sion met behind closed doors in the office of the governor-general 
and the public was admitted only when hearings were had on cer- 
tain proposed measures. Although laws were passed according 
to the usual legislative procedure, its sessions were rather consul- 
tative than deliberative. No speeches were ever made in the 
commission. The Diario de Sesiones contained the proceedings 
of the assembly only. It was as though the Congressional Record 
should contain nothing of what occurred in the Senate. ^^ The 
legislative meetings of the commission were very informal. Prior 
to 1911, when a large table was installed, the commissioners occu- 
pied primitive rocking chairs which were drawn up in an intimate 
fashion about the governor-general's desk. 

Great deference was always shown the assembly and all its 
constituent elements. It was part of the general policy. The 
office of speaker was magnified out of all proportion to the im- 
portance of its functions. Mr. Taft when secretary of war de- 
scribed the speaker as the second person in rank in the islands 
to the great disgust of the vice-governor and the major-general 
commanding the army, and their respective ladies. The speaker 
was given the permanent use of the spacious and ornate room in 
the Ayuntamiento formerly occupied by the Spanish governors- 
general while the American governor-general occupied modest 
offices elsewhere in the crowded building. For presiding over 
the lower house of the legislature during ninety days in each year 
the speaker was paid an annual salary of eight thousand dollars 
and given control of a large contingent fund which he might use 
for purely political purposes. The appropriations asked by the 
assembly for its own use were freely passed by the commission. 
A committee of the legislature, the members of which were ap- 
pointed by the speaker and who received fifteen dollars per day, 
were authorized to sit while the legislature was not in session, for 
the purpose of considering desirable legislation. Although it was 
a form of graft, the commission joined in appropriating the 
money because the situation was beyond its control and it did not 
deem it policy to quarrel with the assembly. 

23 An outline of the proceedings of the commission was published annually 
under the name of The Journal of the Commission. 


After an equal power in legislation had been granted to the Fili- 
pinos it was absolutely necessary to get along with them and the 
only way to get legislation and keep the governmental machine 
going was to cater to their wishes. During the later years of 
the Forbes administration legislation became largely a matter of 
private arrangement between the governor-general and the 
speaker. The governor-general was, of course, anxious to secure 
the passage of necessary laws. Mr. Osmena, the speaker and 
leader of his political party, was greatly interested in his party 
and his own position and in legislation which would bring nearer 
the day of independence. He generally maneuvered so that every 
important law, or the conditions of its enactment, was in some 
subtle way made to strengthen native influence in the government. 
The influence exercised by Osmena was often insidious but none 
the less real and effective. The Filipinos regarded him as the real 
head of the government. The situation was very difficult and 
probably the governor-general can not properly be criticized for 
showing excessive deference to the speaker and his party. It 
was necessary in order to secure legislation which was required 
to carry out the policy of the administration. 

It will be apparent to the most casual reader that after the 
institution of the assembly the government was not an easy one 
to administer. It was complicated by conflicting legal theories 
and impeded by diverse racial interests. The American admin- 
istrators were charged with the duty of satisfying the political 
aspirations of the Filipinos to a certain indefinite point only. It 
was an impossible task; the balance was too delicately adjusted. 
The grant of either more or less power to the Filipinos would 
have made the work easier. After giving due consideration to 
the peculiar conditions which existed from the institution of the 
assembly to the end of the Forbes administration the student of 
Philippine affairs must admit that the government was admin- 
istered with sincere regard for the interests of the Filipinos and 
the credit of the United States. The results, other than possibly 
the political ones, were all to the credit of the American govern- 
ment and the Filipinos who worked in harmony with it. 


The administrative organism never hardened into a bureau- 
cracy although it had some of the faults and also the virtues of a 
bureaucratic government. The civil service lacked the education, 
special training and esprit de corps which makes that of India so 
remarkably efficient. The policy v^hich required the constant 
weeding out of Americans after they had been trained for the 
service to make places for qualified or potentially qualified Fili- 
pinos necessarily affected the efficiency of the service. It was 
the price paid for the popular government which is supposed to 
furnish compensation in other forms. 

The fifteen years of commission government were experimental 
but constructive. The officials, from the governor-general to the 
lowest clerk had to be trained for the special work in hand. Cer- 
tain tendencies very soon became apparent and persistent through- 
out the period under consideration. It was inevitable that the 
power of the executive should steadily grow. The commission 
gradually declined in importance until during the years immedi- 
ately preceding its abolition by Congress it was without any real 
authority. Filipino influence in the legislature increased steadily 
until during the latter part of the Forbes administration the as- 
sembly was boldly withholding the necessary appropriations for 
the support of the government and asserting the overlordship in 
the government which was finally conceded to it by the adminis- 
tration of Governor-General Harrison. 


Finance, Taxation and Trade 

The General Financial Policy — Control by Local Government — Taxation Rea- 
sonable — Financial Embarrassment — Caused by Public Improvements — Pres- 
ent Conditions — Bonded Indebtedness — Income and Expenditure — The Cur- 
rency and Coinage — The Gold Standard — The Fund to Maintain Parity — 
Sources of Revenue — The Customs — Illustration of Duties — The Internal 
Revenue — Sources of — The Cedilla, Stamp and Privilege Taxes — Business and 
Occupation Taxes — Specific Taxes — Revenues of Provinces and Municipali- 
ties — The City of Manila — Gross Earnings and Franchise Taxes — Trade 

The financial policy of the Philippine government has been a 
very simple one. The country was taken over from Spain free 
from debt. There was no occasion for complicated refunding 
operations or for heavy taxes to pay for the extravagance of 
former rulers. The United States imposes no taxes for its bene- 
fit on the Filipinos and receives no financial return for the services 
rendered in supervising the government and protecting the coun- 
try. Subject to the reserve power of Congress to annul laws, and 
the approval of the president of tariff legislation, the local gov- 
ernment is free to impose taxes other than that on incomes, and 
to expend the proceeds thereof in the ways deemed by it most for 
the advantage of the people of the islands. During its time the 
commission was required to report annually to the secretary of 
war who thus, and through the reports of the auditor, was able 
to keep informed as to the condition of the finances.^ 

Congress has legislated directly with reference to certain mat- 
ters, such as export and import duties and the coinage and cur- 

1 The statement in Hepburn's History of the Currency of the United 
States, p. 471, that the fiscal affairs of the Philippines are administered by the 
United States is true only in a very general sense. They are administered by 
the government of the Philippines under the authority of Congress, the ex- 
ecutive only being subject to the direct supervision of the secretary of war as 
the representative of the president. 



rency, but ordinarily it has in general terms simply authorized the 
government of the Philippines to exercise certain powers subject 
in some cases to definite limitations but generally in the manner 
deemed by it proper and advisable. With these exceptions the 
local government has been left practically free to determine its 
financial policy. 

Congress has refused to authorize the Issue of bonds on a large 
scale for public works, as recommended by the commission and 
in this it has probably shown a wise although extreme conserva- 
tism. In a fiinancial sense the United States has not been so lib- 
eral with the Philippines as other countries have been with their 
colonies,^ and by refusing to trust the judgment of the men on the 
ground it has imposed the entire burden of constructing necessary 
public works upon the present generation.^ 

The revenues of the central and local governments have been 
raised without unreasonable taxation and the money has been ex- 
pended honestly and for purposes deemed necessary and proper. 
Whether the finances have always been handled with skill as well 
as honesty is a question on which there may be a difference of 

The controlling idea has been to raise as much money as pos- 
sible without imposing an excessive burden of taxation, to 
conduct the government as economically as is consistent with 
reasonable efficiency, to maintain the necessary sinking funds and 
expend the annual balance on education and public works. In the 
absence of extensive borrowing the development of the country 
has necessarily been measured by the amount of its current in- 
come and that income is determined by the business of the islands. 

2 As, for instance, Great Britain in South Africa. 

3 The Phihppine Government Law of 1916 authorized the issue of addi- 
tional bonds. General Mclntyre's suggestion (Special Report, Dec. 1, 1915) 
that, had the local government possessed greater borrowing powers, it could 
not have withstood the temptation to contract excessive debts for public 
works, ignores the fact that it could issue no bonds without the approval of 
the secretary of war, who represents the president, and under legislation 
which may be annulled by Congress. It should not be forgotten that every 
important action of the Philippine government is approved by Washington. 
The daily cablegram from Washington arrives as regularly at Manila as the 
morning paper. 



The government has therefore striven by every means under its 
control to increase the volume of trade and business. 

Tariff duties have been imposed for the purpose of revenue 
without much reference to protection for infant industries, and 
the skill or want of skill of the administrators has been shown 
principally in the methods and purposes of expenditure. Natu- 
rally in this respect there have been illustrations of extreme con- 
servatism and iridescent optimism — the personal equation. Dur- 
ing recent years there has been criticism, much of it of a partisan 
character, of the way in which the finances were handled during 
the latter years of the Taft regime. Undoubtedly mistakes have 
been made in the Philippines as well as at Washington and in the 
states, and some money has been wasted, but the most serious mis- 
takes were recognized and the remedy applied during the closing 
years of the administration of Governor-General Forbes. If 
there ever was a "headlong rush of the insular government to- 
ward bankruptcy" as was alleged by Governor-General Harri- 
son,* it was checked during the spring of 1912, a year before Mr. 
Harrison assumed office, when effective measures were taken to 
place the government again in sound financial condition. 

It is a fact that from 1909 to 1913 there was an annual excess 
of expenditure over income. As the chief of the Bureau of Insu- 
lar Affairs very justly says : "Unless one has clearly in mind the 
very large portion of expenditure . . . that has been made for 
permanent public improvements one would get the impression 
that since the end of the fiscal year 1910 the financial condition 
of the Philippine government had grown steadily worse." How- 
ever, he adds: "If one gives proper value to the public works 
constructed and now in beneficial use, the resulting condition be- 
comes one of only temporary difficulty, to be justified or not ac- 
cording to one's judgment of the timeliness or value of the work 
accomplished. "° 

Governor-General Forbes and the commission came to a real- 

* Message of Oct. 16, 1915. Cong. Rec, June 4, 1916. 

6 Special Report of Brig.-Gen. Frank Mclntyre to the Secretary of War, 
Dec. 1, 1915. 


izing sense of the fact that in their zeal for the development of 
the country they were traveling more rapidly than conditions 
justified and a halt v^as called. Fully a year before the change of 
administration numerous economies were instituted, construction 
work was largely suspended, and the government entered upon a 
period of waiting which was to continue until the accumulating 
revenues would justify further expenditure. The policy thus 
instituted was continued by Governor-General Harrison and as 
a result he was able to inform the legislature at the opening of 
the October, 1915, session, that by the exercise of patience and 
self-denial the treasury had been placed on a sound financial 
basis and that at the end of the year there would be an actual 
cash balance on hand. His reference to the "overwhelming bur- 
den of expenditure raised by carelessness and extravagance" dur- 
ing the administration of Mr. Forbes may be attributed to the 
spirit of partisanship which had been injected into the Philippine 

Whatever one may think of Governor-General Forbes' admin- 
istration of Philippine finances, it is absurd to charge that its 
effect was to impose an "overwhelming burden of expenditure" 
on the country. Taxation was not increased during his adminis- 
tration and no floating debt was created. The mere suspension 
for a time of the operations of the Bureau of Public Works while 
funds to cover the over appropriations accumulated in the treas- 
ury, was sufficient to restore normal conditions. 

In the meantime the roads, bridges, harbors and markets were 
in beneficial use. At most, as General Mclntyre says, if the work 
was valuable, and as to that there can be no serious question, the 
only question is as to the timeliness of the construction and as to 
that men may entertain different opinions. 

A great deal more money was wasted on ill-advised public 
works during the first few years of American occupation than 
during the Forbes administration. But Governors-General Taft, 
Wright, Ide and Smith were careful to see that there was a rea- 
sonable surplus in the treasury at the end of each fiscal year. Mr. 
Forbes was a financier of a well-known type rather than a states- 


man, and large figures, even in the form of threatened deficits, 
seemed to have no terror for him. He had the entire confidence 
of the president, who apparently closed his ears to all suggestions 
that the financial machinery was being operated at too great a 
speed, and the policy was continued until the administration 
found itself facing a crisis. 

Mr. Forbes became acting governor-general May 7, 1909, and 
in his report to the commission for the fiscal year ending June 30, 
1909, he said : "The insular government began the year with 
$1,745,500 available for appropriation. There was an additional 
surplus of $4,368,000, which had been appropriated but not yet 

On June 30, 1910, the surplus stood at $1,935,229.26, and in his 
report for that year the governor-general, after noting the fact, 
said : "As $2,000,000 is the reserve which it is estimated should 
be held in the insular treasury against contingencies, it will be 
seen that the present figures are eminently satisfactory and prove 
that the treasury is in a safe financial condition."^ Although 
there was no decrease in revenue and the proceeds of the sale of 
$1,500,000 of bonds had been paid into the treasury, the surplus 
on June 30, 1911, had fallen to $223,666.18, and on June 30, 
1912, there would have been a deficit of nearly $2,000,000 had 
not certain appropriations been reverted and $1,698,513.82 been 
taken from the gold standard fund and placed in the general fund 
available for appropriations. But it must be remembered that this 
situation had been created solely by the large appropriations for 
public works and that a large part of the money had been appro- 
priated by the legislature with a proviso that it should not be ex- 
pended until released by the governor-general. This very objec- 
tionable method of making appropriations which originated at the 
time of the passage of the Payne Tariff Law was found so con- 
venient for executive purposes that it was continued in all future 
public works bills with the evil result that the legislature became 
willing to appropriate almost any amount asked for on thus being 

6 Kept. Phil. Com., 1909, p. 57. 

7 Rept. Phil. Com., 1910, p. 24. 


assured that the money would not be spent unless it was there to 
spend. The appropriations became excessive and the surplus and 
a part of the gold standard fund was used up but no indebtedness 
in excess of the money in the treasury was ever actually con- 
tracted. These financial methods which might have been per- 
fectly proper in dealing with a private business were dubious 
ones for a government and would have led to serious trouble had 
not a halt been called. "WTiat criticism is due must be shared by 
the secretary of war and the president, who were fully informed 
and approved all that was done and also by Congress which ap- 
proved the legislation by not annulling it when submitted for its 

The Philippine government seems to have been placed again in 
sound financial condition by the simple expedient of increasing 
direct taxation. Mr. Harrison became governor-general, with a 
majority of Filipino members in both houses of the legislature, in 
September, 1913. The net income of the insular government for 
the fiscal year ending June 30, 1914, was approximately $10,400,- 
000 and it received from the liquidation of assets an additional 
$1,000,000, making a total of $11,400,000. The expenses of 
operation for that year were approximately $8,000,000 which, 
with the $800,000 fixed charges, makes a total of $8,800,000 
expended for the operation and support of the government. On 
the face of these figures there was an excess of revenue of $2,700,- 
000. But during the year $1,300,000 was expended for perma- 
nent improvements and $2,700,000 was given in aid to the pro- 
vincial and municipal governments, with the result of a deficit of 

The revenue from customs dues fell from $8,908,123.64 for 
the fiscal year ending June 30, 1912, to $7,774,944.74 for the 
year ending June 30, 1913. This was the last year of the Forbes 

s In the report of the secretary of war for 1913 Secretary Garrison said 
that the plan of public works pursued contemplated a grant of authority to 
issue additional bonds and the receipt of funds as a consequence thereof, and 
that "very largely as a result of this the available cash balance for general 
purposes in the Philippine treasury was, at the end of the fiscal year 1913, 
somewhat lower than it had been in any year since 1905." It is a mistake to 
assume that the expectation of a bond issue had any influence on the appro- 


administration and a year before the European war commenced. 
The fixed charges had been reduced from $1,389,931.47 during 
1912 to $654,473.93 in 1913. Governor-General Harrison saved 
a few thousand dollars by reducing the salaries and discharging 
American employees but the difference between the receipts and 
demands was too great to be met by such methods. It was a 
choice between restricting the construction of public work, stop- 
ping the constant flow of money from the insular to the provin- 
cial and municipal treasuries, or increasing direct taxation. 

The pressure from the local governments for financial aid is 
very great and rather than withstand it the administration elected 
to. impose additional taxes. During the session of 1914-15 the 
legislature passed a new internal revenue bill which greatly in- 
creased the burden of direct taxation. By its terms this law was 
to continue in force only until the end of the calendar year 1915, 
but the policy thus adopted required that the increase should be 
made permanent, and this was done by a revised internal revenue 
law which was passed early in the year 1916. 

So far as bonded indebtedness is concerned, the islands are in 
good condition. At the present time the insular government has 
outstanding the following bonds : 


Land-purchase bonds, 4% $7,000,000 

Public works and improvement bonds, 4% 2,500,000 

Public works and improvement bonds, 4% 1,000,000 

Public works and improvement bonds, 4%.... 1,500,000 1919 1939 









Total $12,000,0009 

An additional four million dollars of bonds are now being 
offered for sale under authority given by the Philippine Govern- 
ment Law of 1916, to provide funds to pay for the stock of a 
railway company — which needs the money. 

The friar land bonds are supposed to be provided for by the 
sale of the land upon which they are in effect a lien. 

^ There is also the contingent liability for the interest on the bonds issued 
by the Philippine Railway Company and the Manila Railroad Company and 
the practical assumption of about $10,000,000 of tlie bonds of the latter com- 
pany involved in the proposed purchase of the road. 


The provinces and municipalities, other than Manila and Cebu, 
have no bonded indebtedness. Manila has outstanding four per 
cent, sewer and water-works bonds amounting to $3,000,000; 
Cebu, $125,000 of bonds of the same character. All other debts 
of provinces and municipalities are owing to the insular govern- 
ment. The total debts of the provincial governments of this 
character amount to approximately $2,000,000. The total pro- 
vincial revenues are about $2,500,000 and those of the munici- 
palities, including townships and settlements, $3,755,000. The 
revenues of the city of Manila amount to approximately $1,500,- 
000, which is supplemented by contributions from the insular 
government which may not exceed $625,000 a year. The total 
amount of taxes collected in the islands is approximately 

The table on the opposite page shows the receipts and disburse- 
ments of the insular government for each year since 1906. 

The condition of the circulating medium for some time after 
the occupation probably justified the statement that 

"all the artificial eccentricities of the place and people are con- 
centrated in the currency. It was bad enough in the old days, and 
it seemed that it could not be worse, but now, for our sins, we are 
given practical proof that it could be worse, for it is. Under the 
Spanish rule Philippine currency was an extremely mixed-up 
affair, so mixed up that it constituted the study of a lifetime, and 
various people who devoted their lives to the study of it used to 
make money out of it at the expense of the people whose time 
was otherwise occupied. Sometimes a peso was a peso, and some- 
times it was a problem in fractional equations ; sometimes a Fili- 
pino dollar was a Mexican, and sometimes a Spanish dollar was 
a Filipino; sometimes there was a gold currency without any 
gold, but at all times and under all circumstances the banks, ex- 
change brokers, and a few clever Chinese and others, managed 
to juggle with the fluctuations in change and currency legisla- 
tion so as to score always."" 

I*' For the amounts collected and expended during the latter years of the 
Spanish rule, see Elliott, The Philippines: To the End of the Military 
Regime, pp. 266-269. 

^^ From an article in the Manila Times, sent by Secretary Gage to Sec- 
retary Root, July 27, 1899. Extracts from this article and correspondence 

a - 

















»o — -o-o 





O— 1 





00^ u: 

















S a™ 











CJ T>l 00 •»_ 

















oa OS ^H .-4 











^ kftO^ 





e>> ci o 'ra 




Ci -r S 

a> bC^^H 



oc ^r^ 


^.S - 

■^Oi_cD O 

















03 a "^ 











-^OO CM Tt* 


(O lOOO o 








oo ^ 

PI — 






to CD to OO 







co-<r CO 


03 ^ 

••— ' 

lOOcO — 




kO o-* 

5 m2 









C^ lO 5DCO 







CC>0>0 05 





CO Tj* 05 00 



«r C35 00-H 

05 00 CS 


xW o 


'^-'^ w 








.S <i> 

CC ci 
















-r c>co 

U. 2 


t^^ oo 




oo— 1 o 

— 1 

c3 05 



od in CO us 




CO»-" I^CO 










00 -^"»f: 








COM — 







-^ t^ CO CM 




00 ^ ■<»* o 



■S CO o 


l-f ^ 







S m2 





cricC-J lO 







iT' I^COtCi 




>-'.g - 


^t^Tt* to 





— "c? S 




oo— 'O5-0<" 



03 a M 






fe 3 


OS t^ CM CO 

CO CO co^— 







oo"-*" i-« 


05 i-T 



CO oT— 













OOl — o 



s s 






»CCO O "f^ 


COO — 


r^ to CO 




— C^ oioj 


00 — CO 

<U Mi, 



»^ COCT)C5 




t- s - 


cooc -*_ 



O C-l_CO_(M 



— ^s 


CM -"i^ira 





CO oo 05 co" 


CO »oo 


c3 a« 





— -HO-J 



co»n W5 

JW g 






OO Tt« 



oo -H 




i^ 3 










cc cvtcs 









oqci CO 



C^ CO C -; 




rt s 


r^o CM 



CO -'j'cr^o 





« sci-i 


oo OiO 








>^.g - 




oco -^o 





— ^s 









03 a" 




t^CS t^O 






.a« § 





C< 00 C-)_-( 





oo" — 


ti( 3 











CO t— -rr r- O c- 



i3 g 

CO cc oq 



o pco <?5»o cc 




t-^CO CM 



COCM ^ t^ t^ C 



<i> Mi, 








>i a . 



O t^O Oi-* CS 












g a" 
fe 3 











O rt o .-*_ c^ 








^ T-Tc^ 











O '^ o 



cocii^'tt* Od 



c3 C5 



!>; c^i lo CM c:; -t* 





CM CC5 -*j5 CM *C IJ- 




oj tcX* 

o^ ^ 





CMOO 00 00 OSC 













t-^co cm" 








03 qCO 





O-^coco t^ cc 


oo CM 





^__00 4CCO p- 



fe 3 










s g 





Oi »o t- CO q cc 



CO -^ c^ 


en -.aJ CM lO CD -^ 




^QJ Mii 





CI m "^ 




O oo t^ CJ CM C- 




H!— O 

CO ■*3-'"'— ^ 








rt :i CO 


05 00 •— 











O O_00 CO »- 








fct. 3 









t^l^ t^r^ 







oo O t^co 





CO lO t^ 









£ 3 


CM C5 '— ' 



CO-* coo 






<M oo O 00 

ot-oc — 
























S o £ 

3"E 1 










- fc- 








1 i 

Q C 






•a D. 
a S « 








' 1 















The task of finding a remedy was rendered peculiarly difficult 
by the proximity of the islands to China and the other Oriental 
countries which were on a silver basis. 

Prior to 1857 the Philippine government had no currency of 
its own ; that in use being brought from Spain, Mexico, the South 
American republics and the near-by countries of Asia, All sorts 
of coins were in use. The official accounts were kept in pesos, 
reales, quartos, ounces, grams or maravades, at the will of the 
accountants. In 1861 a mint was established at Manila and for a 
time gold and silver coins were abundant, but under the law of 
1876 it soon became profitable to exchange Mexican dollars for 
gold, and by 1884 the latter had all disappeared. 

At the time of the American occupation the money in use was 
principally the Mexican silver dollar supplemented by the Span- 
ish-Filipino peso, silver and paper, and fractional silver and 
copper coins. As the local banks, Spanish and English, were in- 
clined to adopt an extremely selfish policy, both the Schurman 
and Taft Commissions recommended the establishment of Amer- 
ican banks, which would be more in sympathy with American 
ways of doing business. ^^ 

For some years the importing of Mexican currency had been 
unlawful, although it had constantly been done with the con- 
nivance of the officials. The influx of American money and the 
presentation of sterling letters of exchange for which Mexican 
dollars were demanded, required more of this currency and on 
August 19, 1898, the request of the banks for permission to im- 
port Mexican dollars was granted by the military governor on 
their specific agreement to maintain a rate of exchange of not 
less than two Mexican dollars for one gold dollar. 

between the officials in Manila and Washington are printed in a pamphlet 
entitled Memorandum on Currency and Exchange in the Philippines, by 
Lieutenant-Colonel Clarence R. Edwards, Washington, 1900. 

12 "It is the opinion of the commission that the banks have not co-operated 
to the extent that they legally and morally ought to have done in maintaining 
a ratio of 2 to 1, in pursuance of the guaranty of August 19, 1898, and that 
their refusal to receive deposits in United States money subject to check is a 
direct discrimination against United States money and has been one of the 
effective causes of the difficulty of the situation." Rept. Phil. Com., 1901, 
p. 106. 


Under this agreement the banks imported Mexican currency 
and exchanged it for American money, or the reverse, with a good 
profit for each exchange. Until some time in July of that year 
the market price of silver had been such that the banks could 
maintain their guaranty and make a profit on the transactions, 
but a rise in the price of silver in the markets of the world and 
the increased demand for Mexican dollars for the payment of 
troops and the purchase of supplies due to the military operations 
in northern China, rendered these banking operations unprofit- 
able. Thereupon the banks, regardless of their agreement, estab- 
lished a rate of one dollar and ninety-eight cents Mexican for 
one dollar American money. Learning thus that it was possible 
for American money to fall in value the small traders cut it as 
low as one dollar and fifty cents Mexican and business was 
greatly disturbed. 

The banks now proposed to introduce the Straits dollar, but 
fortunately this was forbidden by the government, as the effect 
would have been to allow them to deposit it in their vaults in place 
of the four million dollars Mexican they held for the government, 
and export the latter to China at a large profit to themselves. 

To relieve the situation the military governor directed the col- 
lectors of the customs and internal revenue to receive United 
States currency in payment of customs dues and taxes at the rate 
of two to one. An agreement was also made with the banks in 
which the government deposits were kept by which they were to 
purchase from the public over the counter United States gold, 
silver and notes at the rate of two for one, and upon their render- 
ing weekly to the treasurer a statement of the amount of such 
transactions, the later would transfer an equivalent amount from 
the insular currency to the balance held by the United States 
treasurer in his gold deposit account, at the same rate. This ar- 
rangement enabled the public to obtain at the banks two Mexican 
dollars for one American dollar and as a result American money 
was freely accepted in business transactions. However, this was 
merely a temporary expedient, as the government's balance in 
Mexican money was certain soon to be exhausted and it could be 


maintained only by purchasing and importing Mexican dollars 
at a loss. 

In order to increase its use the appropriations were made in 
and all salaries were made payable in American money, and an 
export tax of ten per cent, imposed on Mexican silver effectually 
prevented the banks from sending the government silver to 

The poHcy of the local banks is illustrated by their requirement 
that all deposits should be made and all checks drawn on them in 
Mexican currency. When a large check was drawn by a gov- 
ernment ofificial on a government gold deposit the person receiv- 
ing the check had first to exchange it for Mexican money at the 
market price, or exchange the gold realized upon the check for 
Mexican money from the government's deposit. In practise, of 
course, the holder of a check would obtain the silver from the 
government deposit and then deposit it in the bank to his indi- 
vidual credit and the Mexican money would thus never leave the 

Soon after the legislative power was vested in the commission 
a law was passed which required the local banks to receive de- 
posits in United States money subject to check, on the same terms 
as those accorded to deposits of Mexican money.^^ 

These various expedients and the fall in the price of silver due 
to the decreased demand in China, resulted in a large accumula- 
tion of silver and Mexican currency in the government deposit. 
As there was now no inducement to export silver, the ten per 
cent, export tax was repealed. After August, 1900, Mexican 
and United States money was maintained at two to one, although 
the government continued to sustain a loss by receiving the taxes 
in local currency at that rate when intrinsically the Mexican 
money was worth 2.02 or 2.04 to 1. 

As long as the principal currency of the islands was Mexican 

13 The banks protested against this law to the secretary of war, but the 
action of the commission was approved as a proper regulation of banking 
institutions. It simply deprived them of a kind of profit which it was unjust 
for them to reap, in view of the fact that they were getting it by a discrimina- 
tion against the money of the sovereign power in the islands. 


money the ratio of exchange would be subject to constant fluctua- 
tion due to the changing market vakie of silver and the demands 
of the near-by Chinese markets. An entire new currency for the 
country was necessary. In 1902 Congress authorized the Philip- 
pine government to establish a mint and to issue a coin of the de- 
nomination of fifty centavos of a weight of 192.9 grains, a coin 
of the denomination of twenty centavos and weight of 77.16 
grains and a coin of the denomination of ten centavos and weight 
of 38.58 grains, the standard to be such that of 1,000 parts by 
weight 900 would be pure metal and 100 of copper alloy." 

The amount of this subsidiary silver currency to be coined 
from silver bullion to be purchased was left to the discretion of 
the government subject to the approval of the secretary of war. 
The Spanish-Filipino dollars and subsidiary silver coins might be 
re-coined at discretion. Authority was also given to issue minor 
coins of denomination of one-half centavo, one centavo and five 
centavos of designated weight and alloy.^^ 

It was generally agreed that the introduction of American 
gold currency as the exclusive money of the Philippines would 
produce serious disturbances in prices and wages, and the experts 
and almost all the local business men concurred in the opinion 
that it would be injurious to business to place the country im- 
mediately upon a gold basis. After a careful study of the situa- 
tion the commission recommended that a definite relation should 
be fixed by law between the standard silver coins of the country 
and the United States gold dollar. The plan, which was sim- 
ilar to that which had been successful in Japan, and India, in- 
volved the adoption as the standard of value of a theoretical gold 
peso of the value of a half United States dollar, and the coinage 
of a silver Philippine peso containing a smaller percentage of 
silver than the Mexican dollar, which would pass as the equivalent 
of fifty cents United States money. The shortage of silver in the 
peso would not be sufficient to encourage its export, and its con- 

it The Act of March 2, 1903, changed the weight of the 50 centavo coin to 
208 grains, the 20 centavo coin to 83.1 grains and the 10 centavo coin to 41.55 

15 Act of July 1, 1902, 12 Stat. L., 710. 


vertibility into American money at uniform fixed rates would 
insure its becoming the ordinary currency for business purposes. 
It was believed that all the benefits of a gold standard could thus 
be secured without any sudden shock to business. ^^ 

The Act of Congress which authorized the coinage of subsidi- 
ary and minor coins for the use of the Philippines provided no 
standard unit and did not make it clear whether such coins should 
be legal tender in large amounts.^^ If after the new authorized 
coins were issued Congress should make the Philippine peso equal 
in value to fifty cents gold, they would have greater value than 
if Congress should declare them to be only fractional parts of a 
free silver peso coined under free coinage principles, or of the 
Mexican peso in general circulation. The Manila banks were of 
the opinion that the coins would be fractional parts of a peso 
worth fifty cents gold and were ready to accept and hoard them. 
In view of the uncertainty the commission decided to coin no 
money until Congress should establish a unit of value. 

This was done by the Act of March 3, 1903,^^ which provided 
that the unit of value in the Philippines should be a gold peso 
consisting of 12.90 grains of gold, .90 fine and that this peso 
should become the unit of value when the government of the 
Philippines had coined and had ready for use five million dollars 
of the new pesos. 

In addition to the coinage authorized by the Act of July 1, 
1902, authority was now given to coin in an amount not exceed- 
ing seventy-five million pesos a silver coin of the denomination 
of one peso and of the weight of four hundred sixteen grains, the 
standard being such that of one thousand parts by weight nine 
hundred should be pure metal and one hundred copper alloy. The 
gold coins of the United States, at the rate of one dollar for two 
pesos, were made legal tender for all debts, public and private, 
and the silver coins legal tender for all debts contracted after 

1^ See the Special Report on Coinage and Banking, by Charles A. Conant, 
November 25, 1901, and the Repts. of the Secretary of Finance and Justice, 
in Repts. Phil Com.. 1900-1903. 

" Act of July 1, 1902, 32 Stat. L., 691. 

18 Chap. 1903, Z2, Stat. L., 952. 


December 31, 1903, unless otherwise specifically provided by 
contract. The subsidiary coins were made legal tender to the 
amount of ten dollars. 

But the price of silver continued to rise and at the end of 1905 
the Philippine peso was worth more as bullion than as coin. The 
commission again prohibited the exportation from the islands 
of Philippine silver coins or bullion but, notwithstanding the 
heavy penalties, large quantities were surreptitiously exported 
and it became clear that the value of the coins would have to be 
reduced. ^^ Accordingly, on June 23, 1906, Congress authorized 
the insular government to reduce the weight and fineness of the 
Philippine peso to not less than 700 parts of pure silver and 
300 parts of alloy, and the weight and fineness of subsidiary 
coins in proportion. Under this authority the commission, in 
December, 1906, provided for the present silver coinage as fol- 
lows: one peso of 20 grams of silver .800; a fifty-centavo piece 
of 10 grams of silver .750; a twenty-centavo piece of 4 grams of 
silver .750, and a ten-centavo piece of 2 grams of silver .750 
fine. The silver coins then in circulation were to be recoined at 
the new weight and fineness and this was immediately com- 
menced.^" The alloy must be copper. 

Having fixed the standard, Congress authorized the Philippine 
government to adopt such measures as it deemed proper to pro- 
tect its currency. For that purpose it was authorized to issue 
and sell short-time certificates of indebtedness to create a fund 
to be used solely for the purpose of maintaining the parity of the 
gold and silver pesos. Under this authorization the Philippine 
government provided for the creation of what is now known as 
the Gold Standard Fund. Mr. C. A. Conant, the expert em- 
ployed by the government, had expressed the opinion that if the 
new peso contained 83.10 grains of silver, the seigniorage de- 
rived from the coinage would soon provide a fund sufficient for 
the purpose. But the commission added to the profits of seignior- 

"See Report of Secretary H. C. Idc, Kept. Phil. Com., 1905, Pt. I, 
pp, 68-70. 

20 See Administrative Code of 1916, Sec. 1769. 


age, the proceeds of the sale of the certificates, the profits re- 
sulting from the issue of the silver pesos and subsidiary and 
minor coins, the sale of exchange by the government between 
the Philippines and the United States, and all other receipts 
which might inure to the government in the exercise of its func- 
tion of furnishing a convenient currency. To this was sub- 
sequently added the interest or other profits from investments 
or loans made from the Gold Standard Fund and premiums from 
the sale of inter-island telegraphic transfers and demand drafts 
sold in Manila on provincial treasurers. ^^ The trust fund thus 
created should be used "for the purpose of maintaining the 
parity of the silver Philippine peso with the gold standard peso 
provided in the Act of Congress." 

For that purpose and also to keep the currency equal in vol- 
ume only to the demands of trade, the insular treasurer was 
authorized, among other things, (a) to exchange on demand at 
the treasury for Philippine currency offered in sums of not less 
than five thousand dollars, drafts on the Gold Standard Fund de- 
posited in the United States or elsewhere, charging for the same 
a premium of three-fourths of one per cent, for demand drafts 
and one and one-eighths per cent, for telegraphic transfers, and 
required to direct the depositories of the funds of the Philippine 
government in the United States to sell exchange against the 
Gold Standard Fund in the Philippine Islands at fixed rates, (b) 
to exchange at par United States money for Philippine currency 
and Philippine currency for United States money, and (c) to 
exchange in sums of not less than five thousand dollars United 
States gold for Philippine currency, and (d) to withdraw the 
United States money or the Philippine currency thus received 
from circulation. 

The operations under this law have been profitable as well as 
successful. The certificates, from the sale of which the original 
fund was established, were soon retired. By the end of 1911 
the fund had become unnecessarily large and it was determined 
that it should thereafter be maintained at thirty-five per cent. 

21 Administrative Code, Art II, Sec. 1781. 


of the money of the government of the Phihppines in circulation 
and available for circulation, exclusive of the silver certificates 
in circulation protected by a gold reserve, and that the excess 
should be turned into the treasury and become available for 

On June 30, 1912, after the sum of $1,698,513.82 had been 
transferred to the general fund, the Gold Standard Fund stood 
at $9,135,470.38. 

The amount at that time reverted aided materially in reliev- 
ing the financial situation which was then threatening to become 
acute. Experience seemed to show that there was no necessity 
for holding all this money in the treasury, or in depositories where 
it drew but a low rate of interest, and after consulting with finan- 
cial experts and with the approval of the secretary of war, the 
legislature authorized the loaning of fifty per cent, of the fund to 
provinces and municipalities for investment in productive public 
works, and temporarily, that one-half of such fifty per cent, 
might be loaned to the Manila Railroad Company to assist it in 
extending its authorized lines. 

The loanable proportion was subsequently increased to eighty 
per cent, of the fund and the purposes for which it might be 
loaned were extended so as to include ordinary real estate mort- 
gages as well as (1) the provincial and municipal share of the 
cost of cadastral surveys, (2) the construction of insular build- 
ings "or other realizable public works and improvements in the 
form and under the terms and conditions that the legislature 
might authorize and impose by law," (3) the mortgage bonds of 
corporations organized to erect and operate sugar centrals, manu- 
facturing copra and cocoanut oil, manufacturing hemp and prod- 
ucts derived therefrom, (4) "or any and all of these products un- 
der such terms and conditions as maybe authorized or required by 
law," under regulations prescribed by the auditor, for the estab- 
lishing of agricultural colonies, (5) to corporations organized for 
the purpose of building, maintaining and improving irrigation 

22 Act 2083, Dec. 8. 1911. See Kept. Phil. Com., 1912, pp. 9, 207, and Adm. 
Code, Sees. 1781-1785. 


systems, (6) in loans to the Manila Railroad Company not to ex- 
ceed $2,313,500.00, (7) in the opening of a credit for the Manila 
Railroad Company in the sum of $1,250,000.00 to be used in 
equipment and construction work, such credit to be opened with 
the prior approval of the governor-general and upon such terms 
as he may fix and with such security as he may require, and (8) 
temporarily to purchase fifty-one per cent, of the outstanding 
stock of the Manila Railroad Company.^^ 

The phraseology of this law as well as some of the purposes 
for which the money is to be used, suggests that it originated in 
the assembly. The investment of such a large proportion of the 
money in loans to commercial and manufacturing enterprises, is 
of doubtful propriety. Its investment in the stock of an embar- 
rassed railroad corporation was dangerous and unjustifiable. 

The total silver coinage of the original issue amounted to 
$16,389,640.90. Of this amount, on January 1, 1915, all but 
$1,209,339.20 had been withdrawn from circulation and re- 
coined. On that date there had been received from the mint 
silver coinage of the present weight and fineness amounting to 

Until recently the Bank of the Philippines, the former Spanish- 
Filipino Bank, was the only institution in the islands authorized 
to issue notes. To July 1, 1915, $2,663,746.25 of its notes had 
been issued. 

The Act of March 2, 1903, authorized the insular treasurer 
to receive deposits of the standard silver peso in sums of not less 
than twenty pesos and to issue silver certificates therefor in de- 
nominations of not less than two or more than five hundred 
pesos, the coin to be held for the redemption of this paper cur- 
rency on demand. These silver certificates were made receivable 
for customs, taxes and all public dues in the Philippines. On Jan- 
uary 1, 1914, $15,022,785.00 of these certificates were in circula- 
tion. Originally only silver was receivable; but Congress later 
authorized the acceptance of gold as a reserve and the issue of 
certificates against that also. This gold reserve is gradually be- 

23 Kept. Phil. Com., 1914, p. 246. 


ing increased and will probably in time render the gold standard 
fund unnecessary. 

The total money in actual circulation in the islands on January 
1, 1915, was $26,287,553.87, which on the basis of population 
shown by the census of 1903, makes a per capita circulation of 

An institution known as the Philippine National Bank has re- 
cently been organized, with a capital of ten million dollars, of 
which the government is to own a majority of the shares.^* It is 
to be a government institution with a minority of the shares of 
stock held by individuals. This bank is authorized to issue its 
circulating notes in an amount not exceeding seventy-five per 
cent, of the securities held by it, subject to the limitation that the 
total amount of notes outstanding shall not at any time ex- 
ceed sixty per cent, of its capital and surplus. In addition thereto 
it may issue notes against gold coin of the United States to the 
full value thereof. All these notes are made receivable for taxes 
and other dues of the government. 

The income of the insular government is derived from cus- 
toms dues and certain impositions, fees and charges which are 
known as internal revenue taxes, including charges for forest 
products and the part of the United States income tax collected 
in the Philippines.^^ The interest arising from special funds and 
certain treasury operations now constitutes a material addition 
to the income of the government. 

The proceeds of the land tax go into the provincial and mu- 
nicipal treasuries, certain of which also share in the taxes paid 
on the gross earnings by railway and other corporations operat- 
ing under franchise. The municipalities raise their revenue by 

24 Act 2612, February 4, 1916. 

25 "The administration of the law and the collection of the taxes imposed 
in Porto Rico and the Philippine Islands shall be by the appropriate internal 
revenue officers of those governments, and all revenues collected in Porto 
Rico and the Philippine Islands thereunder shall accrue intact to the general 
governments thereof, respectively." Federal Income Law of October 3, 1913, 
Sec. 3176 M. This is the only tax imposed in the Philippines by the direct 
action of Congress. 


taxation and license fee imposed under the authority of the gen- 
eral government about as do similar public corporations in the 
United States. The provincial and municipal governments have 
never been entirely self-supporting, as they should be, and have 
contracted the chronic habit of relying upon the central govern- 
ment for assistance, particularly for loans which they hope never 
to be called on to repay. The only requirement imposed by the 
Organic Law is that taxation shall be uniform. 

For purposes of tariff legislation the Philippines have been 
treated very much as foreign territory. The laws imposing du- 
ties on goods imported into the United States never applied to 
importations from foreign countries into the islands. For a 
time, under military occupation, the duties imposed by the old 
Spanish customs laws were collected. These duties were modi- 
fied and new rates fixed by the executive order of the president, 
Df July 12, 1898, which was confirmed by the Act of July 1, 
1902. But the way in which the duties were imposed was not 
satisfactory and on September 17, 1901, the commission passed 
an act to amend and revise the tariff laws and Congress, by the 
Act of March 8, 1902,"^ re-enacted the commission law, thus mak- 
ing it a federal statute. After much discussion and considera- 
tion the entire tariff was again revised by the congressional act 
of March 3, 1905, which, as amended in minor respects in 1906, 
continued in force until the passage of the Col ton Law of Au- 
gust 5, 1909. The rates collected under the Dingley Act on 
Philippine products entering the United States were practically 
prohibitive and not until 1909 was any material concession made 
to the islands. The Payne Act, passed the same day as the 
Colton Act, provided for free trade between the United States 
and the Philippines, subject to certain restrictions which were 
finally removed by the Underwood Tariff Law of October 3, 
1913. At the present time there is complete free trade between 
the United States and the Philippines." 

2^ Chap. 140, Z2 Stat. L. 54. 

27 The Underwood Tariff Law (Sec. IV C, 38 Stat. L., 114, Ann. Stat. Sup. 


It was anticipated that for a few years the Colton Law would 
greatly reduce the revenue of the Philippine government but it 
was hoped that the development of new markets in the United 
States would more than compensate the islands for such loss. In 
fact, however, it did not have that effect, as there were increased 
importations from other countries and the net revenue from the 
customs during the fiscal year following the passage of the law 
amounted to $7,809,659.06, as against $7,652,054.57 for the pre- 
vious year. 

The effect of the Payne tariff on trade with the United States 
was instantaneous and the importations from the Philippines into 
the United States during that year amounted to $10,776,128.00 
as against $4,693,831.00 for the previous year. 

The duties imposed by the existing law upon importations 
are very moderate and there is a very liberal free list. It is, with 
very few exceptions, a tariff for revenue only. The average duty 
imposed is about twenty-five per cent, ad valorem. For illus- 
tration the ad valorem rate is, on porcelain and earthenware, from 
ten to fifty per cent. ; precious stones and imitations thereof, 
fifteen per cent, to seventy per cent. ; cutlery, twenty per cent, 
to thirty per cent. ; fire arms, forty per cent. ; copper and alloys 
and other metals, ten per cent, to twenty-five per cent. ; drugs 
and chemicals in some cases specific, but not less than twenty-five 
per cent. ; paints, dyes and varnish, ten per cent, to twenty per 
cent. ; opium for medical use, thirty-five per cent. ; proprietary 
medicines, fifty per cent, to seventy per cent. ; vegetable oils, 

1914, p. 125) provides that "all articles, the growth or product of or manu- 
factured in the Philippine Islands from material the growth or product of 
the Philippine Islands, or of the United States, of or both, or which do not 
contain foreign materials of the value of more than 20% of their total value, 
upon which no drawback of customs duties has been allowed therein, coming 
into the United States from the Philippine Islands, shall hereafter be ad- 
mitted free of duty . . . and all articles the growth, product or manu- 
facture of the United States, upon which no drawback of customs duties has 
been allowed therein, shall be admitted to the Philippine Islands from the 
United States free of duty." Such free admission is conditioned upon the 
shipments being direct, under a through bill of lading from the country of 
origin to the country of destination and the payment in each country of a tax 
equal to the internal revenue there imposed on like articles of domestic 
manufacture. For the present powers of the Philippine Legislature to change 
the tariff laws, see infra, p. 439. " 


fifteen per cent, to twenty-five per cent. ; perfumery, etc., forty per 
cent. ; cotton waste, ten per cent. ; yarns, threads and cordage, 
ten per cent, to forty per cent. ; textiles specific by weight, but not 
less than the equivalent of from twenty-five per cent, to forty 
per cent. ; printing paper, ten per cent. ; books, etchings and other 
such things not classed as works of art, which are free, thirty per 
cent. ; common wood logs, $1.00 each, when cut to size, fifteen per 
cent. ; fine woods, twenty per cent, to twenty-five per cent ; live 
animals, horses and mules, $10.00 each; bovine animals, $2.00 
each; swine, $1.00 each; birds, including poultry, ten cents each; 
undercloths, forty per cent. ; other cloths, twenty-five per cent ; 
boots and shoes, fifteen per cent, to twenty per cent. ; musical in- 
struments, twenty-five to thirty per cent. ; typewriters, fifteen per 
cent. ; electrical machinery, ten per cent. ; engines, fifteen per cent, 
to twenty per cent. ; wagons and carts, fifteen per cent. ; automo- 
biles, fifteen per cent, to twenty-five per cent. ; boats, including 
cost of repair in foreign ports, for which adequate facilities are 
not afforded in the Philippines, fifty per cent. ; rice, prior to May 
1, 1910, unhusked, fifty per cent, and husked, $1.00 per hun- 
dred kilos; rice flour, $2.00 per hundred kilos, after that date, 
unhusked eighty cents, and husked $1.20 per hundred kilos ;^* 
spirits, wines, malt and other beverages pay specific rates, not less 
than the equivalent of forty per cent, ad valorem. In a number 
of instances specific rates are fixed with a proviso that it must 
be the equivalent of a named ad valorem rate. Thus gold and 
silver wares pay a specific duty, not less, however, than twenty- 
five per cent, ad valorem; wrought iron and steel, a specific rate 
not less than fifteen per cent, ad valorem. 

This will give a fair idea of the rates imposed on imports. The 
Colton Law imposed an export tax upon abaca (hemp), sugar, 
copra and tobacco when exported to any country other than the 
United States, and from this source the government secured a 

28 Provided that the governor-general with the consent of the commission 
may keep the higher rate in force until, in his judgment, conditions in the 
islands warrant the imposition of the lower rate and provided further that 
the governor-general, with the consent of the commission, may suspend afl 
duties on rice when local conditions so require. 


much needed addition to the income of about five hundred thou- 
sand dollars per year, but in 1913 the provision was repealed by 
the Underwood Tariff Law and at present there are no export 

With certain changes the Spanish revenue laws were continued 
in force for about five years after the American occupation.^' 
The changes which were made from time to time resulted in de- 
creasing the income of the insular government. The lottery, the 
mint charges and the contract for the sale of opium were sus- 
pended. The tax on rentals of urban property was repealed and 
a tax imposed on the market value of real estate. The personal 
cedula was reduced from an average of five pesos to one peso on 
each adult male, thus reducing the revenue from that source, 
by about five million pesos. The various changes made in the 
documentary stamp tax alone reduced the revenue from ap- 
proximately eight hundred seventy thousand pesos in 1896-7 to 
about two hundred forty thousand pesos for the fiscal year 
1902-3. There was a slight increase in collections from the 
industria taxes and the royalties on forestry products, but the 
loss resulting from the decrease of cedula taxes greatly exceeded 
the increase from other sources. 

During the fiscal year 1896-7 the Spaniards collected yearly 
twelve million pesos from the internal tax sources, which in 
1902-3 produced a trifle less than four and one-half million pesos. 

Under the Spanish system the internal taxes accrued to the 
insular and the surtaxes to the provincial and municipal treas- 
uries. As our government abolished the surtaxes and appropri- 
ated the internal taxes, as well as the new land taxes, to the uses 
of the provincial and municipal governments, the central govern- 
ment was left dependent for support on the customs dues. The 
Dingley Tariff Law rates against imports from the Philippines 

2!>See Rcpt. Phil. Com., 1900-1903, pp. 116, 120: hitcrnal Ta.vatioyx in the 
Philippines, by John S. Hord, J. H. Univ. Studies, Series XXV, No. 1 (1907). 
This is a very valuable paper by the Collector of Internal Revenue, who, with 
Secretary Ide, prepared the law of 1904. 


practically closed the American markets^" to the leading Philip- 
pine products, and it was necessary to find other sources of rev- 
enue for the insular government. The Spanish law had many 
good features but it imposed no proper tax on objects generally 
regarded as luxuries, such as tobacco and alcohol. The subject 
of excise taxation was given careful study. It seemed, as Sec- 
retary H. C. Ide said, that "a reasonable system of internal rev- 
enue taxes by which large industries, corporations and the manu- 
facturers of liquors, tobaccos and cigars contribute a reasonable 
sum for the protection which they receive from the government 
and for the franchises that are secured to them, ought to provide 
a material addition to the available resources and to prevent fur- 
ther deficits." 

The original draft of what became the Internal Revenue Law 
of 1904 was prepared by Secretary Ide and Mr. John S. Hord. 
For several months it was subjected to much general as well as 
technical criticism.^^ After most of the proposed rates had been 
materially reduced and the provisions for taxing corporations, 

30 The Act of March 8, 1902, even required the PhiHppine government to 
refund all export duties imposed on articles exported from the islands and 
consumed in the United States. By 1904 $1,060,460 had been thus collected in 
the Philippines for the benefit principally of American manufacturers of 
hemp products. It was simply a bounty paid to American manufacturers out 
of the Philippine treasury. 

31 "During several days, at morning and afternoon sessions, the Philippine 
Commission heard debates in which no one had a good word to say for the 
bill. The tenor of the remarks was that the measure was in principle rank 
economic heresy and if enacted would in practice result in an iniquitous con- 
fiscation of vested rights. ... It was recommended that the imposition 
of internal taxes be postponed indefinitely because the burden would be more 
than the already languishing liquor industry could survive, and that neither 
could such taxes be imposed on the tobacco industry because that would mean 
the ruination of the only thriving industry in the islands. 

"The internal taxes to which the people of the Philippine Islands had be- 
come accustomed in the past had nearly all been taxes of direct payment. It 
was not therefore a matter for surprise that they should fail to grasp the 
meaning of indirect taxes such as were contained in the proposed law. The 
shifting of tax payments they could not understand, — it was to their way of 
reasoning a new and dangerous departure. . . . 

"The few who came to understand that the consumers were the ones who 
really paid the tax, still remained hostile. They claimed that the increase in 
price, due to the tax, would put the poor man's cigarette and vino — a popular 
native liquor — entirely beyond his reach. Cigarettes and vino, they claimed, 
were in the Philippines not luxuries but, on the contrary, absolute necessi- 
ties." Hord, Internal Taxation of the Philippines, pp. 21, 22. 


legacies and inheritances omitted, the bill was passed and went 
into effect January 1, 1905. For some time the business men, 
almost without exception, continued antagonistic to the law. 
They were unanimous in condemning many features of the old 
law, but they preferred its known evils to the uncertainties of the 
new system which they could not understand. In time, however, 
they learned that their fears were groundless and became well 
satisfied with the new system. 

The Internal Revenue Law of 1904 was revised in 1914,^^ 
amended in 1915,^^ and incorporated in the new Administrative 
Code of 1916, which is now in force.^* 

At present the sources of internal revenue for the insular gov- 
ernment are (a) the ccdiila tax, (b) the documentary tax, (c) 
the privilege tax on business or occupation and on signs, (d) 
specific taxes on manufactured products, (e) taxes on resources 
of banks, receipts of insurance companies and receipts of cor- 
porations paying a franchise tax; (f) charges for forest prod- 
ucts, (g) fees for testing and sealing weights and measures, (h) 
internal revenue, including the income tax collected in the Phil- 
ippine Islands under laws enacted by the Congress of the United 
States, and (i) ad valorem tax on the output of mines. 

The cedilla, which is simply a poll tax of one peso, must be paid 
each year by all male inhabitants over eighteen and under sixty 
years of age, except commissioned officers and enlisted soldiers, 
sailors and marines of the army and navy, civilian employees of 
the military or naval branches of the United States government 
who have come to the Philippine Islands under orders of the gov- 
ernment of the United States, diplomatic and consular repre- 
sentatives and officials of foreign powers, paupers, insane per- 
sons, imbeciles and persons serving a sentence of more than one 
year in a public prison.^^ Delinquents must pay a surtax of from 

32 Act No. 2339, February 26. 1914. 

33 Act No. 2541, December 21. 1915. This was a temporary act declared to 
be in force only from January 1. 1916, to December 31. 1917. 

3* Enacted February 24, 1916. This Code repeals Act No. 2339, subject to 
certain qualifications stated in Sec. 1744. 

35 Non-Christians residing elsewhere than in the Provinces of Mindanao 
and Sulu may be exempted by resolution of the provincial board. 


fifty per cent, to one hundred per cent., but liberal provision is 
made for the extension of time for payment of the cedulas. In 
the city of Manila and in the provinces other than the Mountain 
Province and Nueva Vizcaya, the cedula may be doubled by 
resolution of the provincial or municipal board and a resolution 
when passed remains in force until the governor-general agrees 
to its revocation. The extra amount thus raised goes into the 
road and bridge fund. 

A certificate showing payment of the cedula tax must be ex- 
hibited when any ofHcial business is transacted, such as taking an 
oath of office, registration as a voter, acknowledging a document 
before a notary, or executing any instrument which is required to 
be recorded. 

The stamp tax must be paid by affixing and canceling the stamp 
upon documents, instruments and papers and upon acceptances, 
assignments, sales and transfers of the obligation, right, or prop- 
erty incident thereto, by the person making, signing, issuing or 
transferring the same. The tax is very moderate, but produces 
a substantial income for the government. For illustration, bank 
checks, drafts and certificates of deposit not drawing interest, 
require a two-centavo stamp; promissory notes, bills of ex- 
change, and certificates of deposit drawing interest require a two- 
centavo stamp for each two hundred pesos or fractional part 
thereof of their face value. Insurance policies require ten cen- 
tavos for each two hundred pesos of the amount insured; indem- 
nity bonds, one centavo for each four pesos of premium charged ; 
warehouse receipts, twenty centavos ; bills of lading for goods to 
be exported, ten centavos ; for goods to be shipped to another local 
port, four centavos ; each passenger ticket for travel on other than 
a government vessel, from one to three pesos, depending on the 
cost of the ticket. A mortgage on real or personal property and 
an assignment or renewal thereof requires a fifty-centavo stamp 
where the amount is from one thousand to three thousand pesos, 
and fifty centavos extra on each additional three thousand pesos 
or fractional part thereof. A charter party, contract, or agree- 
ment for the charter of a ship requires from six to twenty pesos 


in stamps according to the tonnage of the ship. Bonds and cer- 
tificates of indebtedness of the insular or any provincial or mu- 
nicipal government, checks, drafts, warrants and bills of exchange 
drawn by the United States on the insular or local government, 
policies of insurance issued by fraternal and beneficial societies 
operated on the lodge system or local cooperative plan and all 
certificates, acknowledgments and other papers required from the 
government officials in the exercise of their official duties are 
exempt from the documentary tax. 

A privilege tax on businesses and occupations is imposed in 
addition to the percentage tax on the volume of sales by a mer- 
chant. The privilege tax must be paid before any designated 
business or occupation can be lawfully begun or pursued and the 
tax is payable on each separate or distinct establishment or place 
where the business is conducted and for each occupation or line 
of business although combined with some other for which a tax 
has been paid. The occupation tax must be paid by each individ- 
ual engaged in a calling subject thereto and the tax on a business 
by the person, firm or company conducting the same. 

Every person — except pedlers, fruit-stand keepers and those 
engaged in certain minor occupations, in which the volume of 
business is very small — engaged in a business on which a per- 
centage tax is imposed must pay an annual tax of two pesos; 
but if his receipts do not reach the minimum established for the 
percentage tax, he pays only the two pesos for that year. 

A distinction is thus made between a business and an occupa- 
tion tax. Fixed taxes on business are imposed as follows: (a) 
distillers of spirits, two hundred pesos; (b) brewers, two hundred 
pesos; (c) rectifiers of distilled spirits, two hundred pesos; (d) 
manufacturers of tobacco, twenty pesos; (e) manufacturers of 
cigars, twenty pesos; (f) wholesale liquor dealers in the city of 
Manila, two hundred pesos, and in any other place, sixty pesos ; 
(g) retail liquor dealers, forty-eight pesos; (h) retail zino deal- 
ers, eight pesos; (i) wholesale dealers in fermented liquors, sixty 
pesos; (j) retail dealers in fermented liquors, twenty pesos; (k) 
retail dealers in tuba, basi, and tapuy, ten pesos; (1) tobacco deal- 


ers, eight pesos; (m) retail leaf tobacco dealers, twenty pesos; 
(n) wholesale pedlers of manufactured tobacco, or of distilled, 
manufactured, or fermented liquor, or both, eighty pesos; (o) 
retail pedlers of manufactured tobacco, or of distilled manu- 
factured, or fermented Hquor, or both, sixteen pesos; (p) 
pedlers of merchandise traveling from place to place, except 
pedlers of foodstuffs and those whose stock in trade amounts 
to less than fifty pesos in value, eight pesos, to be refunded if 
thereafter they shall pay the merchants' tax for the quarter in 
a sum in excess of eight pesos; (q) proprietors of cockpits, two 
hundred pesos, and for each cock-fight (soltada) , a tax of twenty- 
five centavos; (r) proprietors of theaters, museums, cinemato- 
graphs and concert halls, in the city of Manila, two hundred 
pesos, and in any other place, one hundred pesos, or in this case, 
by the month, ten pesos; (s) proprietors of circuses giving ex- 
hibitions in one or more places or provinces, two hundred pesos ; 
(t) proprietors of billiard rooms, for each table, ten pesos; (u) 
owners of race tracks, for each day on which races are run on 
any track, sixty pesos; (v) pawnbrokers, four hundred pesos; 
(w) stockbrokers, eighty pesos; (x) moneylenders, eighty pesos; 
(y) real estate brokers, eighty pesos; (z) merchandise brokers, 
eighty pesos. 

On occupations the following privilege taxes must be paid an- 
nually: (a) customs and emigration brokers, eighty pesos; (b) 
lawyers, medical practitioners, land surveyors, architects, public 
accountants, and civil, electrical, mechanical or mining engineers, 
fifty pesos; (c) dental surgeons, opticians, photographers, lithog- 
raphers, engravers and professional appraisers or connoisseurs 
of tobacco and other domestic or foreign products, forty pesos; 
(d) procuradors judicales, agents de negocios, insurance agents 
and sub-agents, and veterinarians, forty pesos; (e) pharmacists, 
farriers, chiropodists, manicurists, tattooers and masseurs, twenty 
pesos; (f) mid-wives and cirujanos ministrantes in medicine or 
dentistry, ten pesos. 

For the privilege of maintaining outdoor signs and bill-boards 


a privilege tax of from one to two pesos per square meter or frac- 
tion thereof, must be paid. 

All merchants not specifically exempted because of the insig- 
nificance of their business, must pay a tax of one per cent, on the 
gross value in money of the commodities, goods, wares and mer- 
chandise sold, bartered, exchanged or consigned abroad by them, 
such tax being based on the actual selling price or value at which 
the goods in question are disposed of or consigned, whether con- 
sisting of raw material or of manufactured or partially manu- 
factured products, and whether of domestic or foreign origin.^* 
Things subject to a specific tax and agricultural products when 
sold by the producer or owner of the land where grown or by any 
other person than a merchant or commission merchant, are ex- 
cluded from this percentage tax on merchants' sales. 

The specific internal revenue taxes apply to goods manufac- 
tured or produced in the Philippine Islands for domestic sale or 
consumption and the things imported from the United States or 
foreign countries, but not to anything produced or manufactured 
in the islands which shall be removed for exportation and which 
is actually exported without returning to the islands, whether so 
exported in its original state or as an ingredient or part of any 
manufactured article or product. In case of importations the 
internal revenue tax is added to the customs duties. No specific 
tax is collected on any articles sold and delivered directly to the 
United States Army or Navy for actual use or issue by the army 
or navy, or on any article sold to the Bureau of Coast and Geo- 
detic Survey purchased with funds furnished by the government 
of the United States. 

Specific taxes on domestic products must be paid by the manu- 
facturer, purchaser, owner or person having possession of the 

36 "Merchants" as here used means a person engaged in the sale, barter or 
exchange of personal property of whatever character. It includes manufac- 
turers who sell articles of their own production and commission merchants 
having establishments of their own for the keeping and disposal of goods of 
which sales and exchanges are effected, but does not include merchandise 
brokers, who are required to pay a percentage tax equivalent to 4% of the 
gross compensation received by them in excess of 500 pesos per quarter. 


same, and, except as otherwise specifically allowed, such taxes 
must be paid immediately before removal from the place of pro- 

The principal specific taxes are those imposed on liquors and 
cigars. Upon distilled spirits there is collected, with certain ex- 
ceptions, specific taxes as follows: (a) if produced from sap 
of the nipa, cocoanut or buri palm or from the juice or sirup or 
sugar of the cane, per proof liter, twenty-five centavos; (b) if 
produced from any other material, per proof liter, seventy cen- 
tavos. Medicinal and toilet preparations, flavoring extracts and 
all other preparations of which, excluding the water, distilled 
spirits form the chief ingredient, are subject to the same tax as 
such chief ingredient. 

Domestic alcohol of not less than one hundred eighty degrees 
proof when denatured, is exempt from a specific tax, when with- 
drawn for use for fuel, light, power, or in the arts and indus- 

On wines and imitation wines there is collected per liter of 
volume capacity, regardless of proof, the following tax: (a) 
sparkling wines, one peso; (b) still wines containing fourteen 
per cent, of alcohol or less, eight centavos; (c) still wines con- 
taining more than fourteen per cent, of alcohol, fifteen centavos. 
Imitation wines containing more than twenty-five per cent, of 
alcohol are taxed as distilled spirits. Beer, ale, porter and other 
fermented liquors pay four centavos per liter of volume capacity. 

Manufactured products of tobacco, except cigars, cigarettes 
and tobacco specially prepared for chewing so as to be unsuitable 
for consumption in any other manner, but including all other 
tobacco twisted by hand or reduced into condition to be consumed 
in any manner other than the ordinary method of drying and 
curing, and all tobacco prepared or apparently prepared for sale 
or consumption, and all fine cut shorts, and refuse, scraps, cut- 
tings, clippings and sweepings of tobacco, pay forty-eight cen- 
tavos on each kilogram. Tobacco products intended for indus- 
trial use are exempt from the tax. 

Cigars and cigarettes, except hand-made cigars and cigarettes 


prepared by a consumer for his own consumption and so used, 
pay the full tax: (a) when a manufacturer's usual wholesale 
value, less the amount of the tax, is twenty pesos per thousand 
or less, on each thousand, two pesos ; when it is more than twenty 
pesos but not more than fifty pesos per thousand, on each thou- 
sand, four pesos; when it exceeds fifty pesos per thousand, on 
each thousand, six pesos; (b) cigarettes, weighing not more than 
two kilograms per thousand, on each thousand, one peso ; weigh- 
ing more than two kilograms, two pesos per thousand. Matches 
pay on each gross of boxes containing not more than one hundred 
twenty sticks to the box, forty centavos; when containing more, 
a proportionate additional tax. 

Condensed skimmed milk, and all skimmed milk, in whatever 
form, sold in the islands, pays twenty centavos for each kilogram 
of gross weight of the milk containers. Refined and manufac- 
tured mineral oils pay (1) naphtha, gasoline and all other later 
products of distillation, three centavos; (2) kerosene or pe- 
troleum, one and one-half centavos; (3) and lubricating oils, two 
centavos, per liter of volume capacity. 

Coal and coke pay fifty centavos per meter ton. Cinemato- 
graphic films imported or manufactured in the islands pay three 
centavos per lineal meter. Playing cards, containing not more 
than fifty-eight cards per pack, pay each twenty centavos. 

Banks pay a tax of one twenty-fourth of one per cent, upon the 
capital employed (not including money borrowed in the usual 
course of business from persons not interested in the bank) for 
each month, one-eighteenth of one per cent, for each month upon 
the average deposits subject to check or represented by certifi- 
cates of deposit, one-twelfth of one per cent, on the average ac- 
tual circulation, and one per cent, for each month additional on 
the average amount of such circulation in excess of the amount 
of the paid-in capital. Foreign banks pay on the proportion of 
their total capital that the net earnings from business in the 
Philippines bears to the total net earnings of the institution. 
Savings institutions are exempt from the tax on all deposits not 
exceeding four thousand pesos made in the name of one person, 


and on all their deposits which are invested in securities satis- 
factory to the insular treasurer. 

Persons and corporations transacting an insurance business 
(except purely cooperative associations) pay one per cent, on the 
total premiums collected each year. Gross earnings taxes are 
provided for in the charters of all railroad and other corporations 
to which franchises are granted. 

Fixed charges are made for each cubic meter of lumber, fire- 
wood, stone and earth, cut or taken from any public forest or 
forest reserve. The fees charged for inspecting and sealing 
weights and measures are classed as Internal revenue. An ad 
valorem tax equal to one and one-half per cent, of the market 
value is collected on the gross output of each mine. 

The provincial and municipal governments also exercise the 
taxing power under grants of authority from the legislature. A 
land tax levied by the provincial board, furnishes the chief rev- 
enue of the provinces, which, however, share in the internal 
revenue receipts of the central government. In addition to a land 
tax levied for school purposes, the municipalities exact license 
fees for privileges, occupations, and grants of fishery rights, and 
receive profits from certain business enterprises such as public 
markets in which they are authorized to engage. Like the prov- 
inces, they receive a substantial portion of the internal revenue. 

The city of Manila is practically a province as well as a mu- 
nicipality. Its principal revenues are derived from the land tax, 
licenses, and other impositions such as are ordinarily collected by 
municipal governments. Real estate is assessed by the city as- 
sessor and collector, subject to an appeal to a board of tax appeals 
composed of seven members appointed annually by the governor- 
general, and on the valuation thus fixed an annual tax of one and 
one-half per cent, is levied. 

Machines, mechanical contrivances, and appliances used for 
industrial, agricultural or manufacturing purposes, whether or 
not technically fixtures, are excluded from the value of the land. 
Lands owned by government, burial grounds, churches and their 
adjacent parsonages and conventos, and lands and buildings used 


exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific and educational 
purposes, and not for profit, are exempt ; but the exemption does 
not include lands or buildings held for investment, the income of 
which is devoted to religious, charitable, scientific, or educational 
purposes. The exemptions are excessive. 

In the face of strong opposition, and after years of urging, 
the legislature recently authorized the city of Manila to levy spe- 
cial assessments for benefits on real estate to the extent of sixty 
per cent, of the cost of contemplated public improvement. Only 
land owned by the United States or the government of the Philip- 
pines is exempt from this special assessment tax. 

The provinces and municipalities receive forty per centum of 
the proceeds of the internal revenue tax levied and collected by 
the insular government, ten per cent, being set aside as a pro- 
vincial, ten per cent, as a road and bridge, and twenty per cent, 
as a municipal allotment. ^^ For purposes of allotment, which are 
made on the basis of population, a chartered city, township, or 
other local governmental division not constituting a part of a 
municipality proper, is deemed a municipality. The city of Ma- 
nila receives the share which it would receive both as a munici- 
pality and a regularly organized province. The cedula tax all 
goes into the provincial treasuries although in provinces where 
the regular one-peso charge is doubled the extra peso goes into 
the road and bridge fund or the road and public works funds. 

The proceeds of fees for sealing weights and measures and all 
license taxes on theaters, museums, cockpits, concert halls, bond 
brokers, billiard rooms, and retail dealers in tiiba, basi, tapuy, 
or like domestic liquors, go to the municipality where collected. 

Franchise taxes paid by a grantee which has outstanding bonds 
the interest on which is guaranteed by the government, and by 

37 These allotments, however, can not exceed the amount allotted for the 
same purpose during the fiscal year 1909. The provincial allotment is appor- 
tioned to the treasuries of the provinces and accrues to their general funds. 
The road and bridge allotments are apportioned among the provinces wherein 
the road tax continues in force and other provinces wherein the annual cedula 
tax is maintained at two pesos. The municipal allotments, the Administrative 
Code declares, "shall be for the benefit of the inhabitants of the islands, in 
the purview of their community requirements," being available for municipal 
or other designated uses. 



the grantee of a submarine telegraph cable, go in their entirety 
to the insular treasury. Where the franchise is for a steam rail- 
road, a marine railroad, an electric or tramway line, or a public 
service plant, the proceeds of the tax are divided in fixed propor- 
tion between the insular government and the provinces and mu- 
nicipalities interested — the insular government receiving from 
one-half, in the case of an ordinary railroad, to one-fifth in the 
case of a public service plant. 

The foregoing summary statement will give the reader a fair 
idea of the system of taxation and the extent of the burden im- 
posed on the people. The burden is cast upon those members of 
the community who are, presumptively, at least, most able to 
bear it. There is no personal property tax and the documentary 
stamp tax only is imposed on mortgages and such securities for 
debt. The administrative machinery by which the revenues are 
collected now seems to be working with very little friction. 

Under this system the revenues of the government, other than 
from the cedula and a few other items, are determined by the 
volume of business transacted in the islands and with foreign 
countries. The table which shows the annual income of the gov- 
ernment shows also that there has been a steady improvement of 
business conditions. The foreign commerce of the country, as 
shown by the following tables, continued to grow steadily until 
interfered with by the European war. 

The imports for the years 1906-1914, exclusive of gold and 
silver, were as follows : 

From — 

Twelve months ending December — 












































The exports for the years 1906-1914, exclusive of gold and 
silver, were as follows; 

Twelve months ending December — 









The total foreign trade for the year 1915 was larger than in 
any previous year in the history of the islands.^^ The imports 
amounted to $49,312,188, and the exports to $53,863,004, mak- 
ing a total of $102,675,292. The exports to the United States 
amounted to $50,034,560. 

3»Rept. Phil. Com., 1915, p. 192 (Rept. Secretary of Finance and Justice, 
dated May 2. 1916). 

Defense and Public Safety — The Army and Navy 

Cooperation of Civil and Military Authorities — The Navy — Status of Army 
— Gradual Reduction — Cost of Military Establishment — Defense from Ex- 
ternal Enemies — Moral Effect of Army Presence — Relation with Civil Gov- 
ernment — Detailed Army Officers — Organization of Native Troops — The 
Scouts — The Constabulary — The Municipal Police — Seditious Movements. 

At a dinner in Cairo the talk was of what had been accom- 
pHshed under British rule for the regeneration of Egypt. After 
generous praise had been given to the diplomats, army officers 
and engineers, an elderly civilian remarked, "But do not forget, 
gentlemen, that this all rests on the work of one man, Mr. 
Tommy Atkins." After the excitement of war times has sub- 
sided and men are absorbed with commerce, trade and the mul- 
tifarious problems of civil government and administration, it is 
very easy to forget the work of the soldier and sailor who made 
it all possible. 

Since the fall of Manila the navy has had no direct connec- 
tion with the government of the Philippines, but the constant 
presence of some part of the Asiatic fleet in Manila Bay and the 
location of the naval stations at Cavite and Olongapo have re- 
quired the careful coordination of the work of the civil, military 
and naval authorities. Admiral Dewey stands out as the con- 
spicuous figure of the first few months of American control, but 
from the nature of their duties naval officers have had little con- 
nection with the administrative work of the insular government. 

The control of the army ceased in 1902, and since that time 
it has borne the same relation legally to the insular government 
that it does to a state government when occupying a military 
reservation in the United States. The commanding general of 
the department of the Philippines has had no more control over 
the civil government than, for instance, the commander of the 
department of the East has over the government of the state of 



New York. Nevertheless, the peculiar local conditions and the 
direct control of the secretary of war over the military and civil 
authorities have necessitated active, and in recent years, very cor- 
dial cooperation. The governor-general is the ranking official 
in the islands,^ and his relation with the administration at Wash- 
ington is always such that on questions of general policy his 
word is usually final, with the result that on matters not purely 
military the commanding general must work in harmony with 
the governor-general. 

In 1901, when Taft became civil governor, there were approx- 
imately 23,000 United States troops scattered throughout the 
Archipelago from Jolo to northern Luzon.^ As the country be- 
came quiet and the ability of the constabulary to maintain order 
in most localities was demonstrated, the number of regular troops 
was reduced and concentrated in posts near the larger cities I 
like Manila, Batangas, Iloilo, Cebu and Zamboanga, and at dan- I, 
ger points like Jolo and Camp Keithley. In 1912 the number 
had been reduced to 16,702, of which 5,732 were scouts. The 
withdrawal of the regulars continued until at present^ there are 
11,884. All but the scouts are now stationed in the vicinity of 
Manila or near by in the island of Luzon. As now organized, 
these units constitute a colonial army with permanent stations 
in the Far East, the officers and men being relieved after com- 
pleting fixed tours and replaced by others transferred from the 
United States. 

The cost of maintaining the army in the Philippines since the 
close of the insurrection has often been greatly exaggerated. 
Nevertheless, it is considerable. Including the scouts, it has av- 
eraged about $9,000,000 per annum.* The scouts alone cost 

^ A governor-general is entitled to 17 guns, a vice-governor to 15 guns, 
and a major-general to 13 guns. In the British Crown colonies the governor 
is also commander of the military forces, but in recent years the position is 
merely nominal. 

2 The United States Volunteers enlisted under the Act of March 2, 1899, 
were returned to San Francisco between January and June, 1901, and mus- 
tered out. 

3 June 3, 1916. 

* There have been various estimates of the expenses properly chargeable 
to the Philippine situation. The above figures are from the statement pre- 
pared by the War Department, Appendix J, p. 523, infra. 


about $1,000,000 a year and they exist only because of the 
American occupation of the islands. But the remainder of the 
army must be maintained somewhere, and only the excess cost 
of keeping them in the islands is properly chargeable to the Phil- 
ippine situation. This was made up principally of transporta- 
tion charges, increased cost of supplies and extra pay for foreign 

To the credit side should be placed the creation of an efficient 
transport system, the improvement of the quartermaster and 
commissary departments, and the greatly increased effectiveness 
of both officers and men. 

Why are these troops kept in the Philippines at the expense 
of the United States instead of being made a charge on the in- 
sular government ? The Philippines are American territory, and 
the duty to defend its territory from external aggression rests 
upon the nation. For that purpose, at the national expense, mod- 
ern fortifications have been erected on Corregidor and other small 
islands which guard the entrance to Manila Bay and on Isle 
Grande in Subig Bay, behind which lies the Olongapo Naval Sta- 
tion. There has always been a difference of opinion among ex- 
perts as to the value of these expensive works. Corregidor is 
probably impregnable from naval attack, but it could easily be 
reduced by great guns placed in the mountains back of Mari vales. 
The placing of such guns there could be prevented only by a 
mobile army such as the United States will never be willing to 
maintain in the Philippines. Manila, which lies at the foot of 
the bay twenty-five miles from Corregidor, could easily be cap- 
tured by a large army which could, in the absence of naval pro- 

5 In ordinary times the Spaniards maintained about 15,000 soldiers in the 
islands. The budget of 1888 provided for 9,470 infantry, artillery and engi- 
neers, 407 cavalry, 630 disciplinary troops (convicts), 3,342 civil guards (con- 
stabulary), and 400 civil guards corps. This establishment cost approximately 
$2,000,000 (gold) per year. The civil guards were very unpopular with the 
people. See Appendix J. 

Some of the towns maintained at their own expense guards called Qua- 
rilleros. They were enlisted from the worst element of the population and 
not infrequently were closely identified with the bandits against whom they 
were supposed to protect the public. 


tection, be landed on the shores of Lingayen Bay about one hun- 
dred miles to the north. The march south would be over 
perfectly level country, but a comparatively small army, in even 
hastily constructed trenches, could at least delay it very con- 
siderably. The city itself has no defensive works. But after 
capturing the city the invading army would find itself bot- 
tled up in Manila. The victory would be a barren one so long 
as Corregidor controlled the entrance from the sea; and before 
the forts could be reduced the issue would be determined on the 
high seas or on the coasts of continental America. 

It is often said that the Philippines are a source of military 
weakness, but it is true only in the sense that any remote valuable 
possession offers attractions to the predatory. If made the main 
object of attack by a first-class near-by power the islands could 
not, of course, be successfully defended. But the Philippine 
Islands will never be the cause of a war between the United 
States and any other power; nor even in the event of such a war 
would their temporary possession be of much importance to 
either contestant. 

The American naval base is now at Hawaii, and in the event 
of a war with Japan the Philippines would doubtless be blockaded 
and the small American force there neutralized while the issue 
was being determined elsewhere. The islands would remain with 
or go to the victor, and the determining battles would be fought 
far from their shores. 

While the nation has been at peace the army has been the 
power in reserve back of the civil government — the guaranty 
of internal quiet and order. The sight of its marching columns 
has dampened the enthusiasm of many a would-be insurgent. 

For several years there was considerable friction between the 
military and the civil authorities, but the old feeling of antag- 
onism has long since disappeared. The dissatisfaction which 
existed in the early days is easily understood and was to some 
extent justified by facts. After the installation of civil govern- 
ment many of the ex-generals of the insurrecto armies were 
elected provincial governors or held other important civil [xjsts. 


As some of them with whom the army was brought into close 
official relations had acquired unenviable military reputations 
during the war for deeds of cruelty and barbarism, and as they 
openly boasted of the numbers of American soldiers they had 
killed, their occupancy of high civil posts did nothing to decrease 
the bitterness of the army. 

A writer who assumes to express the army view asserts that 
"from the beginning there was a systematic belittling, on the part 
of the Taft Commission, of the work of the army, incidentally, 
too, belittling the reality and unanimity of the opposition which 
was daily calling it forth."® 

Such statements are entirely without justification. Certainl)' 
the president and the secretary of war gave the army full credit 
for its admirable work. In his general amnesty proclamation 
of July 4, 1902, President Roosevelt spoke words of generous 
praise. When the army was accused of wholesale cruelty in re- 
taliation against a treacherous and barbarous people and maligned 
and lied about in the press and on the floors of Congress,'' Sec- 
retary Root, in a public address, said :^ 

"In the Philippines . . . the army has put down an insur- 
rection of seven millions of people. . . . And with the sword 
it has carried the school-book, the blessings of peace and self- 
government and individual liberty, . . . Our soldiers have 
been criticized, and some of them have been accused, but however 
ready men at ease here may be to believe, to repeat, to rejoice 
in accusations against their brethren who are fighting under the 
American flag in support of American sovereignty, let me tell 
you that . . . these men shall not be condemned unheard. 
. . . When the record comes to be made up in the cool judg- 
ment of the American people and of mankind, after Cuba with 
its brilliant page, after China with its glorious achievement, will 

^ Blount, The American Occupation of the Philippines, p. 299. 

"^ See Sen. Doc. 205, 57th Cong, ist Sess. 

A senator from Tennessee stigmatized the lamented Funston as a "blath- 
erskite brigadier." A senator from Idaho said : "I do not know who 
General Wheaton is, but I imagine he is a charity boy who was appointed to 
West Point by some representative or senator and who was educated by the 
government." These are but samples of the abuse showered on distinguished 
officers by senators who were unworthy to stand in their presence. 

8 Address at West Point, June 11, 1902. 


be written another page, equally glorious, on which will be re- 
corded the achievements in war and in peace of the American 
army in the Philippines." 

And so the record has been made up and the judgment entered. 

Under the circumstances misunderstandings between the civil 
and military officials were inevitable. The army expected not 
only to conquer the country, but in the natural course of events 
to govern it for a good many years. This could not be per- 
mitted. The policy of the Washington administration was based 
on principles which are the very antithesis of those which influ- 
ence military men when dealing with matters within the scope 
of their profession. These antagonistic theories and methods 
of administration caused much trouble, dissatisfaction and sore- 
ness, but by the judicious adjusting of conflicting forces an 
equilibrium was finally established and time and loyalty did the 

The volunteer soldier is a citizen of the republic who for a 
time is released from the common restraints of every-day life 
and subjected to a new set of restrictions which greatly gall his 
somewhat exaggerated ego. The regular soldier is simply a vol- 
unteer who has found himself and recognizes the wisdom of 
surrendering a little of his individualism for the common good. 
Both retain what they regard as the natural right to form their 
own opinions on questions of public policy. Each has his own 
independent and breezy methods. 

". . . illogical, elate. 
He greets th' embarrassed Gods, nor fears 

To shake the iron hand of Fate 
Or match with Destiny for beers." 

The military theory was "that the army was there to put down 
an insurrection, not to have a symposium with its leaders on the 
rights of men." It did not at all approve President McKinley's 
policy of benevolence. In a general way the soldier accepted the 
theory of the old army, that the only good Indian was a dead 
Indian, and he embodied the idea in a marching song which was 


once as well known in the Philippines as was Tipperary some- 
where in northern France : 

"Underneath the starry flag 
Civilize him with a Krag 
And return us to our own beloved homes." 

He already had a superabundance of black brothers at home 
and objected to adopting a few millions more of the brown sort. 
As to the Filipino, he was willing to admit that 

"He may be a brother of WiUiam H. Taft" 

but felt certain that 

"He ain't no brother of mine." 

The undeniable fact is that the soldiers, almost without ex- 
ception, from commanding general to private, were out of sym- 
pathy with the altruistic policy of the McKinley administration. 
A few indeed had vision and could grasp the meaning of the 
great experiment, but even they believed that the work of Fili- 
pinization was pushed forward too rapidly. 

While it is true, as John Hay said, that there never was an 
army that could be trusted as an army to govern a conquered 
country, it is certain that army officers when detached and as- 
signed to civil work make highly efficient and faithful adminis- 
trators. Some of the very best service rendered in the Philip- 
pines has been by officers who were detailed and appointed to 
civil office, and it is to be regretted that more of them were not 
utilized for such work. Leonard Wood, Tasker H. Bliss and 
John J. Pershing did remarkable work as civil governors of the 
Moro Province while performing also their military duties as 
department commanders. Allen, Bandholtz, Baker, Rivers, 
Hershey, Hall, Bennett, Nolan, Kilboume and other officers de- 
tailed from the regular army were largely responsible for mak- 
ing the Philippine Constabulary one of the most efficient bodies 
of native military police in the world. The army trains admin- 


istrators, and colonial administrative work develops soldiers. 
Lord Cromer was a major of artillery when detailed for civil 
service in India and later in Egypt. Sir Reginald Wingate, the 
governor-general of the Soudan, is a general in the army. Most 
of the great leaders of the French and British armies of to-day 
were trained in civil colonial administration. Lord Kitchener 
spent a great part of his life in colonial civil and military admin- 
istrative work. Joffre built railroads on the West African coast 
and organized and managed an Industrial Exposition in Tonkin. 
Gallieni was a successful civil administrator in West Africa, 
Tonkin and Madagascar. Roque and Lyautey, his successor at 
the French War Office, had many years of such service. 

All colonial powers maintained native troops as auxiliary to 
their regular military establishments, and the organization of 
Filipino regiments, which would permit the withdrawal of many 
of the American troops and thus reduce expenses, was given 
early consideration by both the military and civil authorities. 
There seems to have been a general consensus of opinion that 
native regiments to serve with the regular army and also a 
native constabulary to serve under the civil governor should 
be organized. It was believed that they would be faithful, effi- 
cient and loyal if properly commanded, and the belief has been 
justified by experience. In its first report the commission ad- 
vised the organization of ten regiments of native troops of in- 
fantry and cavalry, the field officers and company commanders 
to be Americans and the lieutenants to be Filipinos.^ 

"Much thought," said Secretary Root, "has been given both 
by the War Department and by the commanding officers in the 
Philippines to the question of organizing native troops for the 
performance of this duty. I have no doubt that this is practica- 
ble. The experiments which we have already made demonstrate 
its practicability. We have already organized several different 
bodies of native scouts under American officers.^" . . . All 

9 Kept. Phil. Com. 1900, p. 93. 

10 At that time there was one company under Lieutenant Batson, com- 


these have proved faithful, courageous and responsive to dis- 
cipHne when under the immediate control of American officers. 
The main trouble has been to restrain them to the usages of 
civilized warfare." 

It would be economical as well as safe. Secretary Root said : 

"There would be no difficulty in securing from among the 
natives the entire number of troops necessary for the Philippines 
if we wish to do so. Neither the needs of the native troops nor 
the customary wages in the islands would justify giving them 
the same pay, allowances and subsistence which we give to our 
American soldiers. One-half the cost of the American soldiers 
in all these respects will be ample and satisfactory. ... It can 
properly proceed only so rapidly as the officers available for the 
purpose are able not only to organize and train the new soldiers, 
but to cultivate in them the habit of subordination, respect for 
authority, self-control and regard for the usages of civilized 
warfare. The military requirements of the Philippines may 
accordingly be summed up as follows : We need there for the 
immediate future about sixty thousand men. We may expect 
this number to be progressively decreased. . . ."" 

It was then contemplated that a portion of the expense of the 
scouts should be paid out of the income of the insular govern- 
ment as "the great wealth and rapidly increasing revenues of 
the islands make it evident that at no distant day the islands 
themselves will be able to pay whatever they justly should for 
the support of their own police protection."^^ 

In 1901 Congress authorized the president to enlist a body of 
scouts which in due time should become a part of the regular 
army of the United States. The original organizations were 
mustered out as employees of the insular government and re- 
enlisted and organized as companies constituting a part of the 

posed of Macabebes; one under Lieutenant Castner, composed of Tagalogs ; 
others of Visayans in Samar and Negros; and a squadron of Filipino cavalry 
under the command of Lieutenant Batson as Major of Volunteers. 

11 Rept. Secretary of War, 1902, p. 249. 
' 12 Rgpf_ Secretary of War, 1900 {Annual Repts. of the Secretary of War, 
1900-1903, p. 136). 


regular establishment. The experience of the year was encourag- 
ing and the secretary advised that :" 

"The Philippine scouts should be continued. They enable us 
to reduce the force of American troops in the Philippines more 
rapidly than we could without them, and their knowledge of the 
country, language and the ways of the people make them espe- 
cially valuable in hunting down ladrones, which for a good while 
to come will be an urgent business." 

The relation between the scouts maintained at the expense of 
the United States and the constabulary, which has been created 
and was being maintained by the insular government, was left 
to be worked out in the light of future experience. 

The scouts are excellent soldiers. In 1907 Brigadier-General 
A. L. Mills said : 

"The discipline of these companies is very good, and hard 
work in the field has shown these soldiers to be loyal, patient and 
efficient. . . . They are good material of which to form an 
insular army to be used in maintaining peace and order in the 
archipelago, and in time of war, when associated with American 
troops, in repelling hostile attacks from without." 

"After serving nearly two years with the Philippine scouts," 
wrote Major C. R. Elliott, "it is my honest opinion that they 
are the best soldiers in the islands to-day. I do not bar any 
regiment over here. You understand, I mean for scnnce in this 
country. They are more willing to work, can outmarch either 
the infantry or cavalry, will work day and night if necessary 
without growling, can work in the mud and water better than 
white troops, and if necessary can construct their own quarters 
from native material where white troops could or would not. 
They are more contented in the field or outlying stations, can 
shoot as well as the average white troops, are far more amenable 
to discipline, and are not so liable to tropical sickness, 

" Kept. Secretary of War, 1901, p. 176. 

Various plans have been proposed for consolidating the scouts and con- 
stabulary into one native force under the control of the Philippine govern- 
ment, but it has so far been found impossible to adjust the conflicting 


But they would be of little value under Filipino officers, whom 
they obey with ill grace."" 

I believe this expresses the general feeling of regular army 
officers who have commanded the scouts. They are good soldiers 
when under American officers. There is not much question as 
to their loyalty to such officers. 

During recent years the scouts have numbered about 6,000. 
In 1903 there were 99 officers and 4,805 men. In 1916 there 
were 182 officers and 5,733 enlisted men, not including thirteen 
captains of the line detailed with the scouts as majors of bat- 
talions.^^ At present six of the officers are natives of the Philip- 
pines, and of these three are graduates of West Point.^^ 

But there was work to be done for which the American 
soldiers were not particularly well qualified. As they were to 
be withdrawn from the small stations and concentrated in larger 
garrisons, it was necessary for the civil government to provide 
for the maintenance of order in the scattered towns and villages 
of the provinces. The charter of the city of Manila provided 
for a regular police force and the municipal code required each 
municipality to establish and maintain a police force, but the mu- 
nicipal police were notoriously unreliable and inefficient. It was 
therefore necessary to organize a body of police on military 
lines which would be under the control of the insular govern- 
ment and available for use in all parts of the islands. Policy as 
well as economy required that it be composed of natives.^^ The 

i^The method of selecting company officers from old non-commissioned 
officers is bad. They should be selected as constabulary officers are, from 
young college graduates. 

15 The scouts have no regimental organization. 

IS The Philippine government is allowed to keep two Filipino cadets at the 
Military Academy. 

1^ Secretary Root, in his Report for 1903, said : 

"In the beginning the employment of natives for such a purpose was re- 
garded as a dubious experiment. There were prophets of evil who did not 
hesitate to foretell disaster as the result of such a course of procedure. It 
was asserted both by friendly and unfriendly critics that the natives would 
prove cruel, inefficient, and disloyal. A careful study, however, of oriental 
peoples and especially of the Filipino people, caused the commission to con- 
clude that these fears were groundless and that under American direction and 
leadership they would not only prove reliable but in addition could be made 


experience of the military authorities had already demonstrated 
that Filipino soldiers, when properly commanded, could be 
trusted, and this "put at rest the only practical question that 
ever arose as to their availability." 

On July 18, 1901,^^ the commission provided for an armed, 
equipped and disciplined force, to be called the Philippine Con- 
stabulary, to consist of not exceeding one hundred and fifty men 
for each province, the whole to be under a chief and four assist- 
ant chiefs. For administrative purposes the islands were divided 
into four departments with an assistant chief in charge of each. 
The constabulary were declared to be peace officers and were 
charged particularly with the duty to prevent and suppress brig- 
andage, insurrection, unlawful assemblies and breach of peace. 

The plan contemplated : 

1. That Americans should, as a general rule, be in command 
of the forces to be organized in the provinces and that the non- 
commissioned officers and privates should be Filipinos. 

2. That each province should furnish its quota of men, whose 
operations ordinarily were to be confined to their own province. 

The policy of the British and Spanish had been to utilize na- 
tive troops as constabulary in districts other than that from 
which they were drawn, thereby taking advantage of tribal an- 
tagonism and avoiding the embarrassment incident to dealing 
with their immediate friends and neighbors. But the commis- 
sion thought that as against the disadvantages there were sub- 
stantial benefits to be derived from pursuing the opposite course. 
It was believed that if properly officered and trained there need 
be no fear of treachery, and that there were in fact many ad- 

far more eflfective for service to be performed than even a greater number of 
American soldiers. It seemed plain to the commission that the .A.merican 
people would be adverse to a policy which eliminated the native Filipinos as 
a factor in maintaining order. Not only did the consideration of expense cut 
a most important figure but in addition continued occupancy of the islands 
under a purely military regime in which the Filipinos were to have no part 
seemed wholly opposed to American ideas. In short, it was believed that 
unless the Filipinos thus could be largely utilized in this and other branches 
of the government, American administration must prove an expensive and 
mortifying failure." 
18 Act No. 175. 


vantages in having the poHce famihar with the terrain and the 
people of the province in which they were operating. 

The constabulary was organized in 1901 with Captain Henry 
T. Allen as chief and Captain D. J. Baker as first assistant chief. 
The other assistant chiefs were selected from non-commissioned 
officers and soldiers then serving in the Philippines. Subse- 
quently Congress provided that officers of the United States 
Army might be detailed for service as chiefs and assistant chiefs 
of constabulary, and that during the continuance of such de- 
tails the officer serving as chief should have the rank and al- 
lowance of a brigadier-general, and an officer serving as assist- 
ant chief that of colonel. ^^ 

The Philippine government was required to pay the difference 
in salaries due to such increase in rank. It was customary to 
detail regular army officers as inspectors of constabulary and 
thus place them in training for appointment as assistant chiefs. 

It was far from easy to secure qualified officers and trustworthy 
enlisted men, but by the end of the year 1901 about one thou- 
sand had been secured, and the commission reported that the 
constabulary had rendered good service in breaking up bands 
of ladrones and eliminating notorious criminals. It was inevi- 
table that there would be friction with the native authorities, 
and there was much criticism of the work of the constabulary. 
That there were abuses of power on the part of both officers 
and men is certain, but they were frequently exaggerated for 
political effect.^" 

19 Act of January 30, 1903. 

20 "Of course," said Governor Taft, "the abuses of the Constabulary are 
very grossly exaggerated by deliberate misrepresentations by persons whose 
sympathy and profit are with the Ladrones and who do not welcome the 
presence of the Constabulary on any ground. Another difficulty has been the 
lack of tact on the part of some of the American inspectors engaged in 
the provinces. The authority which they exercise over the constabulary of the 
province, which generally is the only effective police body, is apt to make 
them feel independent of the government of the province, especially if they 
are young and inexperienced; and when they think that they do not find in the 
native governor the active, energetic assistance to which they are entitled, they 
conduct themselves in a manner not calculated to conciliate the governor or 
to secure any useful cooperation with him. It has been my steady effort to 
convince these inspectors that next to dishonesty and cruelty a failure to 
show proper respect to the governor of the province and to accord him the 


The constabulary exists to-day about as it was originally or- 
ganized."^ It has averaged about five thousand enlisted men. 
The unit is the company, there being neither battalions nor regi- 
ments. The company is frequently broken into smaller bodies, 
which, under non-commissioned officers, are scattered through- 
out the remotest parts of the country. The nature of their work 
and the conditions under which it is done render it impossible 
to train and discipline them like regular soldiers. ^^ Nor is it 
necessary or desirable. They are trained for their special du- 
ties. The men are enlisted from all the provinces from among 
the civilized people and the uncivilized tribes. There are fifteen 
or twenty companies of Moros from the South and several of 
wild men from the Mountain Province. The former are fight- 
ing men by virtue of their religion and take readily to military 
life, but it is doubtful whether in endurance, skill and discipline 
they are superior to the non-Mohammedans and Filipinos. 

The companies of mountain men, the head-hunters of former 
days, are remarkably efficient in dealing with their own people 
in their native habitats. They follow the criminal through the 
mountain fastnesses with marvelous skill and persistence. Clear- 
eyed and without nerves, they, like the Moros, are unsurpassed 
as marksmen. 

There is no better way of civilizing the wild man than en- 
listing him in the constabulary, and pictures of the Igorot before 
and after taking the constabulary treatment are always produced 
when proof of progress in the Philippines is called for. 

As was to be expected, many of the officers first appointed 
proved unsatisfactory and it was necessary to replace them by 
others of better quality. For several years past the selections 
have been made from graduates of colleges and military schools 
in the United States, and as a class they are equal to the average 

courtesy which the dignity of his office requires will be considered the great- 
est dereliction of duty of which they can be gnailty and will be cause for in- 
stant dismissal." Kept. Civil Governor, Nov. 1, 1902. 

21 See Adm. Code, Sees. 1038-1119. 

22 The companies at the larger stations are well drilled and make a very 
soldierly appearance. 


young men who receive commissions as lieutenants in the regular 
army. After reaching the islands they are sent to the constabu- 
lary school at Baguio for three months' intensive training in the 
work of a constabulary officer. After graduation they are ap- 
pointed third lieutenants and sent out to work. This excellent 
school was maintained by the constabulary out of its general 
appropriations, but recently it has been enlarged and now exists 
as the "Academy for Officers of the Philippine Constabulary," 
The purpose of the enlarged institution is to educate and train 
officers for the constabulary or any other similar institution which 
may be created. Of course, this law^^ is designed to provide a 
sort of West Point for the training of officers for the armies 
of the independent republic of the Philippines when it shall 

The institution is under the charge of a superintendent, who 
must be a constabulary officer, and other officers and instructors 
appointed by the chief of constabulary with the approval of the 
secretary of commerce and police. There is to be appointed 
annually not to exceed sixty cadets, to be selected after an ex- 
amination, from among nominees, three by the governor-general, 
three by the speaker of the Philippine Assembly, two by each 
member of the upper house of the Philippine Legislature, and one 
by each member of the Philippine Assembly.^* The cadets must 
for a period of two years pursue a course of study determined 
by the chief of constabulary with the approval of the secretary 
of commerce and police. The course must include military art, 
the constabulary manual, the criminal law of the Philippines, 
military law, international law, topography, equitation, athletics 
and the municipal, provincial and insular governments. Upon 
the completion of the course cadets will be appointed to fill va- 
cancies in the grade of third lieutenant of the constabulary or 
in the same grade in any similar organization which may here- 
after be created. ^^ 

" Act No. 2605, February 4, 1916. 

2* This law was passed before the reorganization of the legislative depart- 
ment under the act of August 29, 1916. 

25 This provision looks to the future national guard. 


The constabulary school, as maintained for a number of years, 
was an excellent institution and prepared constabulary officers 
very well for their duties. The new academy which is its suc- 
cessor is a much more ambitious institution. 

The duties imposed upon the constabulary are multifarious and 
onerous. The scouts live in comfortable quarters, receive good 
pay, are equipped like regular United States soldiers; and dur- 
ing recent years, except when detailed to assist the constabulary 
in rinderpest quarantine work, they have had nothing much to do 
but to keep fit. Among his own people the scout is a sort of 
military aristocrat who is believed to keep his own tniichacho. 
The constabulary soldier is a military working man who is busy 
every day of the year. His pay is less than that of a scout. For 
him there are few fine barracks — he is generally moving, chasing 
criminals, enforcing quarantine regulations and performing other 
duties too numerous to be mentioned in detail.^^ He looks upon 
the scout as a favored individual, and occasionally when his en- 
listment expires takes on with the scouts in the hope of there- 
after enjoying peace, quiet and plenty.^'' 

The military authorities were slow to recognize the real value 
of the constabulary. At first there was a disposition to regard 
the officers as policemen — of a sublimated sort, possibly, but po- 
licemen nevertheless — and entitled to official and social recog- 
nition as such only. The fact that the chief and assistant chiefs 
were regular army officers made the situation a trifle difficult, 
and when Congress made the chief a brigadier-general and his 
assistants colonels it became even more complicated. Their rank 
was real, not "Mex" ; regular, not constabulary. Allen and his 
successor, Bandholtz,^^ were chiefs of constabulary in the civil 
government — itself a sort of a war department agency — and 
therefore, under the Act of Congress, brigadier-generals in the 

26 In the early days the constabulary controlled the telegraph lines and 
maintained a commissary for the convenience of civil government employees. 
See Kept, of Gen. Allen, Kept. Phil. Com. 1902. Exhibit G. 

27 This is not so common as formerly. The seven-year period of en- 
listment in the scouts has made the constabulary service with its three-year 
period somewhat more attractive. 

28 The present chief is Brigadier-General Herman Hall. 


United States Army. The fact that the higher rank was tem- 
porary did not affect its reahty. 

There was at first some difficulty about the constabulary uni- 
form, and great pains were taken to prevent a constabulary officer 
from being mistaken by the uninitiated for an army officer. But 
the constabulary officers soon proved their metal in the field and 
their right to recognition as officers and gentlemen, and they were 
accepted as such personally and officially. The rather fantastic 
collar and shoulder strap insignia which was understandable by 
the initiated only was, with the approval of the commanding 
general, made to conform to those of officers of the same rank 
in the army.^^ Finally a constabulary officer was made aide to 
the governor-general in the place of a captain of regulars. The 
recognition of the constabulary was due to the positive merits 
of the organization, the personal qualities of the officers, and 
the fact that the majority of the higher officers also held com- 
missions in the regular army. 

The arrangement under which these details were made from 
the army was not entirely satisfactory to the constabulary officers, 
who felt that they were thereby excluded from the higher com- 
mands. There was some slight justification for the feeling, but 
Taylor, Mair, White, Griffith and others who had been appointed 
from the volunteers or from civil life reached the rank of assist- 
ant chief on their merits. The army men brought into the con- 
stabulary an element essential for its highest efficiency, and the 
results obtained fully justified the policy. 

In the early days scout officers objected to serving under con- 
stabulary officers of higher rank. Regardless of theories and 
names, the constabulary was and still is a military organization, 
created to relieve the American soldiers and scouts from the 
performance of a portion of their regular duties. There was a 
common reason for the existence of both organizations. The 
scouts were subject to the orders of the department commander, 

29 The initials "I. C." (insular constabulary) at first worn on the collar, 
had to be changed to "P. C." It was found that the former among the regu- 
lars stood for "inspected and condemned." This would never do. 


the constabulary to those of the governor-general; but both the 
commanding general and the governor-general received their 
orders from the president through the secretary of war, who was 
immediately responsible for the management of the entire Phil- 
ippine situation. 

It was inevitable that two such bodies of natives serving in 
the same territory under such conditions would occasionally be 
required to act together. Congress therefore authorized the 
placing of the scouts under the command of the regular army 
officers who were serving as chief and assistant chiefs of con- 
stabulary. During the year 1903 from three to five thousand 
scouts were thus detailed for service under the civil government 
and the practise has been continued down to the present time. 
Governor Taft reported that General Wood and General Davis 
had responded promptly to the calls for scouts and that the ar- 
rangement had worked very well, as it enabled the civil govern- 
ment to suppress disorder with native troops.^" But it presented 
some anomalies which seemed serious to those trained in the 
niceties of military administration. "It is greatly regretted," 
wrote General Davis, "that political considerations seem to re- 
quire the captains, field officers and generals of the forces here 
to occupy the mortifying position which the execution of the 
law involves; viz., to be forbidden to lead into action the troops 
of their command whom they have organized, instructed for 
years, and whose material wants under other leadership they 
must still supply." 

Such views and feelings evidenced a complete failure to un- 
derstand the situation or to appreciate the purpose for which 
the scouts existed. As Governor Taft said: "Nothing could 
be further from the truth, nothing could be more unfounded or 
unfair than the inference that the use of the scouts in associa- 
tion with the constabulary for the suppression of disorder is a 
reflection upon the military establishment or upon those who are 
in command thereof." 

The chief and assistant chiefs of constabulary were regular 

30 Report, November 15, 1903. 


army officers of mature age and much senior in rank to the offi- 
cers immediately in command of the scout companies. It was 
in fact merely the temporary transfer of command from one 
regular officer to another. 

The local municipal police had always been the source of much 
trouble. They were appointed by the presidentes and were gen- 
erally little more than his personal servants. In the early days 
the municipal elections were very lively affairs. There was little 
violence, but the political workers could have given an old-time 
American caucus manipulator cards and spades and beaten him 
at his own game. The police represented the presidente's pat- 
ronage and after their appointment they were his henchmen, 
ready to fetch and carry for their boss. As guardians of the 
peace they were practically useless. Discipline was unknown. 
Without arms, they were useless against the ladrones who in- 
fested the surrounding country. In the small towns, with arms, 
they were merely a tempting bait — an invitation for the raiders, 
who came, tied up the frightened policemen, and carried away 
the coveted firearms. When the constabulary was first organ- 
ized it was contemplated that the provincial inspectors should 
devote much of their time to getting the municipal police into 
some sort of shape; but for several years they were kept so busy 
with ladrones that little was done. As the country quieted down 
more attention was given the matter and some improvement 
was effected. The root of the trouble was in the method of ap- 
pointment, control and removal of the policemen. Finally, early 
in 1912, an act was passed which provided for their reorganiza- 
tion. The chief of the constabulary, with the approval of the 
secretary of commerce and police, was required to prepare regu- 
lations for their government, discipline and inspection which 
should be binding on all the municipalities. A board, composed 
of the senior inspector of constabulary, the third member of the 
provincial board, and a presidente named by the provincial board, 
was created in each province and charged with the duty of de- 
termining the qualifications of those who would be policemen. 
Examinations were directed to be held each year. In order to 


be eligible a candidate was required to be a native of the Phil- 
ippines, from twenty-one to forty years of age, of good habits, 
in good condition physically, have no criminal record, be able 
to read and write English or Spanish, have a perfect reading 
and writing knowledge of the vernacular, and not have been dis- 
honorably discharged from any civil or military organization. 
A different examination was required for those who aspired to 
the office of chief of police. The list of residents of a munici- 
pality deemed by this board to be qualified was furnished to the 
municipal authorities and from it only appointments could be 
made. The police force was appointed from this list by the 
presidente with the consent of the municipal council. The chief 
of police was appointed by the provincial governor upon the rec- 
ommendation of the presidente by and with the consent of the 
municipal council. 

Enlistments in the local police are for four years and removals 
can be made only after a public hearing and for the causes stated 
in the statute. The chief of constabulary prescribes the uniform 
insignia and equipment of the municipal police, but it must not 
resemble that of the army or constabulary. The arms are fur- 
nished by the municipality. A policeman can not act as an elec- 
tion officer, be a candidate for office or solicit votes for any can- 

It was always a question whether it was necessary or advisable 
to keep so large a force of American soldiers in the islands. Ten 
or fifteen thousand men would be of no particular use in the 
event of war with Japan. As many scouts and constabulary 
additional, assuming that they were all loyal, would have con- 
stituted merely an invitation to the Japanese — as the armed mu- 
nicipal police were to the ladrones — to come and get their equip- 
ment. It was convenient, in view of our treaty obligations, to 
have troops near in the event of disturbances in China, as was 
demonstrated at the time of the attack on the legations. Unques- 
tionably the primary reason for maintaining United States troops 
in the Philippines was to guard against another uprising of the 
natives. Just how serious the danger was can never be known. 


The military always exaggerated and the civil authorities mini- 
mized it; neither neglected to take reasonable precautions. The 
Intelligence Department of the Army and the Secret Service Divi- 
sion of the Constabulary kept in close touch with what was going 
on under the surface. Conditions occasionally became suffi- 
ciently serious to justify conveying to the leaders some of the 
information in the possession of the government. On one oc- 
casion a certain party was quietly handed a list of the men who 
I were said to be marked to stand against the wall. Nothing in- 
■ surrectionary occurred. On another occasion eight thousand 
troops marched through the streets of Manila a few days before 
the reported date set for an uprising. A review at that particu- 
lar time may have been a mere coincidence, but Sefior Juan de la 
Cruz, who had somewhere among his possessions a fine new com- 
mission as colonel in the "Army of Liberation," could never feel 
absolutely certain about it. 

It must be remembered that the Filipinos are a conquered peo- 
ple. Practically all of them acquiesced in, if they did not at 
heart accept, American sovereignty; but a few irreconcilables, 
from a position of safety in Hong Kong, continued to plot sedi- 
tion and insurrection. These men kept up a connection with 
a remnant of the old insurrectos, who remained in the islands, 
took the oath of allegiance and maintained outwardly the attitude 
of loyalty to the government. Certain seditiously inclined jour- 
nalists also were constantly striving to excite the people against 
the Americans, and there was always danger that they might in- 
duce them to engage in some mad attempt to start another revolt. 
Aside from the serious efforts of some of our friends in Hong 
Kong and Japan, paper organizations were occasionally effected 
by knaves who, by false promises or threats, induced their dupes 
to contribute small amounts to pay the expenses of a proposed 
insurrection. Of course the money always went into the pockets 
of the organizers. In one province the people were told that 
there was war between the United States and Japan and that 
Japan was soon to land an army which would drive out the 
Americans and aid the Filipinos in setting up their own gov- 


ernment. Many ignorant people were induced to pay fifteen 
cents each for a duly signed paper which certified that the bearer 
was a friend of Japan and should not be molested. In many 
instances commissions as officers in an imaginary insurrectionary 
army were sold for cash to aspirants for fame and glory. It 
is needless to say that the money went no farther than the pock- 
ets of the leaders. For a number of years a few men earned a 
dishonest living by such methods. 

Manila finally became accustomed to uprisings which never 
arose and refused to take the rumors seriously. Acts merely 
criminal were often magnified into insurrections by the papers in 
the United States. In 1911 a Filipino provincial governor who 
had killed a prisoner confined in the provincial jail was convicted 
of the offense. Pending an appeal, he jumped his bail and 
induced his friends in a small village in the foothills to aid him 
in robbing a provincial treasurer, and then, following the good 
old ladrone custom, escaped to the mountains. He was soon 
captured by a detachment of the constabulary and was ultimately 
hanged for the murder. The newspapers in the United States, 
in glaring head-lines, described the incident as a serious uprising 
on the part of the Filipinos. Disturbances in the winter of 1913, 
which the Harrison administration reported as local riots orig- 
inating with a band of Christmas enthusiasts, were claimed by 
military and non-ofificial observers to have been serious attempts 
at a new insurrection. 

After making due allowance for false alarms, exaggerations 
and the reports of those who were prone to see spooks, it is rea- 
sonably certain that but for the presence in the islands of a con- 
siderable body of American troops on several occasions formid- 
able movements would have been started, with results serious to 
Americans residing in the islands, and even more serious to the 
ignorant and easily misled people. Native troops alone, even 
under American officers, could not have been relied upon. 


Sanitation and Health 

Interest in Tropical Medicine — Sanitation in the East — Early Conditions in 
Philippines — Enormous Death Rate — Superstitution and Fatalism — Spanish 
and Filipino Doctors — Clean-up by American Army — New Health Regula- 
tions — First Board of Health — The Civil and Military Hospitals — Functions 
of Health Officers — Causes of Communicable Diseases — Public Health Pur- 
chasable — Small Expenditure in Philippines — Attitude of Natives — Education 
in Sanitation — Disposal of Garbage and Waste — The New Sewer System — 
Public Laundries — Cemeteries — The Modern Markets — The Drug and Food 
Law — The Milk Supply — The Water Supply — Manila and Cebu Water- 
Works — Artesian Wells — The Bubonic Plague — Cholera — The Smallpox — ■ 
Results of Vaccination— Leprosy and Its Treatment — Beriberi — Infant Mor- 
tality — Tuberculosis — Malaria and Dysentery — Mosquitoes and Rats — An Un- 
finished Work — The Moro Hospital Ship — Present Organization. 

The American occupation of the Philippines, Cuba and Porto 
Rico came at a time when the study of the diseases peculiar to 
the tropics was engaging the serious attention of governments as 
well as the medical profession. Recent discoveries had suggested 
the possibility that cholera, plague, yellow fever and malaria 
might not only be controlled, but almost, if not entirely, prevented 
and the tropics made safe places of residence for white men. 
The possibility of saving the thousands of lives which were being 
destroyed annually by these dread diseases appealed strongly to 
the humanitarian instincts of the world. 

The governments which were engaged in the development of 
tropical countries had purely business reasons also for desiring 
the reduction of the ravages of disease. They were to some ex- 
tent directly responsible for the manner in which contagious and 
infectious diseases had spread throughout the Orient and for the 
economic losses incident thereto. The frequent destructive epi- 
demics were closely connected with the efforts to equalize the 



labor supply of the world by the transfer of laborers from con- 
gested to poorly supplied regions. Wherever these migratory 
workers went they carried the diseases peculiar to their native 
lands. The interchange of products between countries is always 
a distinct source of danger, necessitating the strictest quarantine 
and inspection laws. The bubonic plague is supposed to have 
been carried into the Philippines by rats concealed in shipments 
of merchandise imported from China. Breaking the virgin soil 
in connection with railroad construction or for agriculture always 
causes an increase of malaria. Other less definitely understood 
factors enter into the situation and the opening up of a new 
country is invariably followed by an increase in disease and a 
higher death rate even among the natives. 

Imported labor is expensive and an epidemic of cholera or 
plague among workmen brought from a distant country means 
heavy financial loss to their employers and sometimes the failure 
of great commercial enterprises. It is possible that the realiza- 
tion of the economic facts tended even more effectively to arouse 
interest in the study of tropical medicine than the humanitarian 
desire to preserve the lives of the natives of the tropics for their 
own sakes. 

Long before the days of Lister and the bacilli, Lord Beacons- 
field told the colonists that sanitas sanitatum omnia sanitas 
should be their guiding principle. It was a good principle but 
more was required than a formula. The modem campaign 
against tropical diseases was initiated in England in 1897 by Sir 
Patrick Manson in an address delivered at St. George's Hos- 
pital, in which he urged the importance of the special training of 
students in the science of tropical medicine. Fortunately this 
address attracted the attention of Joseph Chamberlain, then 
secretary of state for the colonies, and through his influence 
schools of tropical medicine were soon thereafter established 
in London and Liverpool. IMajor Ross, who had discovered the 
part played by the mosquito in the carriage of malaria, was sent 
by the Liverpool school to Africa to continue his investigations. 
Shortly thereafter the American investigators in Cuba identified 


the mosquito which carries the yellow fever parasite. The cam- 
paign against the diseases of the tropics was thus well under way 
when Manila was taken over from the Spaniards. 

There seems to exist between the Oriental and the earth a 
natural affinit3^ which renders him partial to dirt and indifferent 
to squalor. The traveler who visits the interior of China or 
views Canton on his way to the Five Towered Pagoda will be 
able to form an excellent idea of sanitary conditions as they were 
in the Philippines before and at the time of the American occu- 

The Filipinos realized nothing of the importance of sanitation 
and the Spanish officials paid little attention to such matters. 
There was one notable exception. General Juan Arolas seems 
to have been gazetted governor of the plague-infected city of Jolo 
with the implied understanding that he would show his apprecia- 
tion of the honor by personally utilizing the unusual facilities 
offered by the place for the contraction of deadly diseases. But 
Arolas cheated his superiors by renovating Jolo and making it 
one of the healthiest towns in the Archipelago. He is said to 
have taken so much pride in the work that he bore a lasting 
grudge against any unfortunate who should inconsiderately die 
at Jolo through any other agency than the bolo or kampilan. 

Superstition had much to do with the way in which both Span- 
iards and Filipinos lived. The belief that the night air contained 
some poisonous miasma productive of malarial fever prevailed 
generally and the natives closed both doors and windows to ex- 
clude the asuang, the devil spirits which flew abroad only at 
night. The climate and the physical environment were unfavor- 
able to the maintenance of health. That efficient ally of the sani- 
tarian, cold weather, was unknown. Bacteria and parasites flour- 
ished throughout the entire year. The alternating heat and 
moisture bred mosquitoes and other insects innumerable. Where 
science, skill and well directed energy were so badly needed they 
were all unknown. 

For many years the death rate in the Philippines had been so 
high that the population was at a standstill. There are no com- 
plete records of deaths but it is estimated that the rate must have 


been at least fifty in the thousand. Probably forty thousand peo- 
ple died each year of smallpox and even a greater number from 
tuberculosis. Cholera, the plague, malaria, beriberi and other 
diseases killed vast numbers and the people in their ignorance 
and blindness continued to do the very things which were most 
certain to bring death. They drank the water from the streams 
in which they and their work animals bathed and from shallow 
open wells into which streets and cemeteries drained. Artesian 
wells were unknown. The water supply for the city of Manila, 
with its quarter of a million inhabitants, was drawn from the 
Maraquina River at a point below where it was used by at least 
ten thousand people for every purpose for which a water supply 
should not be used. 

The city, situated on Manila Bay and along the low banks of 
the often-overflowing Pasig River, was always partially sub- 
merged at high tide. There was no sewer system. All garbage, 
household waste and night-soil, when not simply thrown into the 
streets and alleys with the hope that it would be disposed of by 
hogs and other animals, was handled in the crudest possible man- 
ner. The twenty-five miles of esteros, the narrow tidal canals 
which intersected the city, were open, sluggish, filthy water 
courses into which all sorts of refuse found its way to be stirred 
up at intervals by lighters and other craft. The moats without 
the ancient city walls were festering masses of disease-breeding 
corruption. Quinine was in great demand but it was scarce and 
imitation pills of the precious drug were sold at exhorbitant 
prices to the people in the provinces. The part played by the 
mosquito in carrying malaria was unknown. 

There were no food laws, no animal inspection, no proper 
slaughter-houses, and the numerous markets were filthy beyond 
description. Fruit and provisions were commonly sold from 
the ground and, covered with dust and dirt, were eaten without 
being washed or cooked. 

There were no building restrictions and in sections of Manila 
inhabited by from ten to twenty thousand people there were 
neither streets nor alleys and the people reached their habitations, 
which were built on posts, by passing under those of their neigh- 


bors. It was not uncommon for half a dozen persons to sleep in a 
room measuring six by eight feet, with all the doors and windows 
securely closed against the imaginary night-flying spirits, in bliss- 
ful disregard of the millions of very real microbes in their midst. 

As suitable ground for burial places was limited, a single grave 
would often be used several times. What remained of the dis- 
possessed tenants was scattered about or thrown ignominiously 
on a pile at the foot of a cross erected in the center of the ceme- 

Leprosy was common and sufferers wandered almost at will 
about the country. The insane were ignored or at times chained 
to posts under the houses and often burned during the conflagra- 
tions which so frequently swept away the flimsy bamboo and nipa 
structures. A thousand deaths a day in the city of Manila from 
epidemic diseases was not unusual during one of the frequent 
pestilential visitations. In the provinces entire villages were 
sometimes depopulated. Bubonic plague had found its way into 
the islands. The dreaded amoebic dysentery, for which no rem- 
edy was known, destroyed its hundreds each year. 

The maritime quarantine was entirely inadequate, being merely 
an instrument of graft, and dangerous communicable diseases 
were constantly being introduced from the cities of the China 
coast, where no attempts whatever were made to control epi- 
demics. The Chinese Emperor Tung Chin once issued a decree 
informing his people that, "We have had the good fortune this 
month to contract smallpox."^ Although the Filipinos may not 
have regarded a case of smallpox as a stroke of good fortune, 
they did consider the disease as one of the common incidents 
of life, as we regard measles and whooping-cough. The statue 
of Charles IX which stands in front of the Ayuntamiento in 
Manila was erected in honor of the introduction of vaccination 
into the Philippines, but only an infinitesimal portion of the popu- 
lace had ever been vaccinated. Through ignorance and indiffer- 
ence little effort was made to avoid contaeion.^ Persons cov- 

1 Bland & Blackhouse, China Under the Empress Dowager, p. 120. 

2 Parents often intentionally exposed their children to smallpox on the 


ered with the eruptions went freely about the streets and rode 
in public conveyances. The clothing of those who died was 
passed on without disinfection for use by other members of the 

Because of infection at birth, improper food and lack of care, 
it is said that more than one-half of the children bom in the 
islands never lived to see the second anniversary of their birth- 

The common people applied their remedies with due regard 
to theological considerations. A good wife explained to the friar 
that she had done everything reasonable to cure her husband of 
congestion of the lungs. She had "prepared and applied a poul- 
tice of three heads of garlic in honor of the Three Persons of the 
Blessed Trinity; this not producing the desired effect, she then 
made a poultice of five heads of garlic in honor of the Five 
Wounds of our Blessed Savior, and successively of seven heads 
in honor of the Seven Pains of the Blessed Virgin; twelve in 
honor of the Twelve Apostles, and last of all a poultice of thirty- 
three heads of garlic in honor of the thirty-three years our 
Blessed Savior remained on earth." The priest nodded approval 
as she went on, but as she stopped he asked, "And then?" to 
which the lady replied, "Well, then he died." 

Many died each year from ills which would have been cured 
in any western country. The hospitals were inadequate and 
badly equipped. The members of the medical profession, includ- 
ing the Spanish, were, to state it mildly, behind the times. Most 
of them were ignorant, indifferent and little more efficient than 
the herb-brewers and witch-doctors of the lower classes. Like 
the ancient practitioner of the poem, their philosophy was simple : 

"I physicks, bleeds and sweats 'em. 

If after that they choose to die, why — I lets 'em." 

A French surgeon named Paul de la Gironiere.^ when urged by 

theory that as they would certainly have it at some time the sooner it was 
over the better. 

3 A medical practitioner in the Philippines from 1814 to 1834. See his 
Vingt Annees aux Philippines, Paris, 1853. An Enghsh translation of this 
book was published in New York in 1854. 


a Spanish doctor to establish himself in Manila, pleaded lack of 
the necessary professional outfit. "That is of no consequence," 
replied the Spaniard, "I have all that you would require, a coat 
almost new, and six capital lancets !" It is said that as late as 
1892 there was not a surgeon in the Philippines who would ven- 
ture to open the human abdomen.* 

The physicians and surgeons, with their modern hospital equip- 
ment, who came with the American Army in 1898, found an ample 
field for their energies and they were in immediate demand, as, 
"the soldiers promptly contracted about all the different ailments 
to be found in the islands." Prompt and efficient work was nec- 
essary for their protection and within a short time Manila had re- 
ceived such a scrubbing and cleaning as had never before been 
experienced by any city east of Suez. 

The work of sanitation fell naturally to the medical corps of 
the army. A provisional board of health was immediately organ- 
ized, and rules and regulations published. The city was divided 
into districts and a municipal physician appointed for each. This 
board continued In existence until August 26, 1899, when It was 
reorganized with Doctor Guy L, Edie as commissioner of public 
health. A bacteriological department was added to the Munici- 
pal Laboratory, a Municipal dispensary organized, a Plague 
Hospital established and provist^ made,.for'the registration of 
births, marriages and deaths, which previously had been in charge 
of the parochial priests. 

After the legislative power was vested in the commission the 
provost marshal-general was authorized to promulgate health 
ordinances for the "city and the rules and regulations were 
embodied in an ordinance which was enforced by the military 
authorities. This ordinance covered nearly every phase of mu- 
nicipal sanitation and was the foundation of the sanitary codes 
which were subsequently enacted. It provided among other 

* Harvey, P. F., "Native Medical Practice," New York Medical Journal, 
LXXIV, p. 203, August 3, 1901 ; Doherty, "Medicine and Disease in Philip- 
pines," Journal American Medical Association, June 16, 1900; Flexner and 
Barker, "Report Special Committee for Johns Hopkins University," in Jour- 
nal Military Service Institution, XXVI (May, 1900), pp. 421-433. 


things that a physician who visited or examined any case of in- 
fectious or contagious disease should immediately cause such 
patient to be isolated and notice given to the health authorities. 
The term "infectious and contagious disease" as defined in the 
ordinance included not only the well-known diseases of that char- 
acter, but all diseases declared by the board to be dangerous to 
the public health. It was made the duty of every person in 
Manila to be successfully vaccinated at intervals of one year and 
a person who had been exposed to smallpox was required to be 
successfully vaccinated or revaccinated a sufficient number of 
times, at intervals of two weeks, to render it evident that suc- 
cessful vaccination was impossible.^ 

This code has been frequently amended and many special ordi- 
nances relating to sanitation have been enacted. In the provinces 
reliance had to be placed on local municipal ordinances and rules 
and regulations made by the Bureau of Health and as a result 
there was much diversity and dissatisfaction. The legislature 
could not be induced to pass a sanitary code for the entire islands. 

After the civil government was fully organized the subject of 
health and sanitation was transferred from the Board of Health 
for the City of Manila, to the Board of Health for the Philippine 
Islands which, in 1905, became the Bureau of Health in the De- 
partment of the Interior. It was required to act also as a board 
of health for the city of Manila. The service was finally reor- 
ganized in the present form by the Health Service Reorganization 
Act which became efifective July 1, 1915.^ 

The first commissioner of health under the new organization 
was Major Louis L. Maus, M. C, U. S. A., who in August, 1902, 
was succeeded by Major E. L. Carter, M. C, U. S. A., who 
served until April, 1905, when, upon the reorganization of the 
government bureaus Doctor Victor G. Heiser of the United 
States Public Health and Quarantine Hospital Service^ became 
director of the new bureau. Doctor Heiser remained in charge 

5 Act No. 62. 

« Act No. 2468. 

T Now called the United States Public Health Service. 


until February, 1915, when he resigned and was succeeded by 
Doctor John D. Long of the same service. 

After the organization of the Bureau of Health, the army 
continued to maintain its own hospitals for the care of the sol- 
diers and its medical corps has worked in harmonious relation 
with the civil health authorities. The War Department created 
and has maintained a board for the study of tropical diseases as 
they exist in the Philippines, and some of the most elaborate 
special studies of diseases and local conditions have been made 
by members of this board working often in connection with the 
civil health authorities with the facilities afforded by the Bureau 
of Science and the Bureau of Health.* 

In addition to a good administrative organization a successful 
fight against the diseases which prevailed in the Philippines re- 
quired expert physicians, scientific students and the best possible 
hospital accommodations. None of these was at first available.* 
The necessary physicians and surgeons were supplied by importa- 
tions from the United States and Europe and by the slow proc- 
ess of educating young Filipinos. A College of Medicine and Sur- 
gery with a modern laboratory and the latest equipment for 
teaching by instructors who are specialists in their respective 
branches, was established in 1906 and is now graduating doctors 
after a five-year course of study. The entrance requirements, 
courses of study and practical hospital training, are claimed to be 
higher than the average in the United States. Second only to 
that for physicians and surgeons was the demand for trained 
nurses, and this want is being supplied as rapidly as possible by 
the Nurses' School, which has at present about three hundred 
young women students. It is universally conceded that the grad- 
uates of this school make excellent nurses. 

The hospital facilities are now far superior to those of any 
other far-eastern country. The Philippine General Hospital, 

8 See Woodruff, The Effect of Tropical Light on White Men and same 
author's Expansion of Races, New York, 1909. 

^ The Spaniards established hospitals soon after their occupation of the 
country, but they had never been modernized. 


with a capacity of three hundred and fifty beds, costing three- 
fourths of a milHon dollars, was opened in 1910, and is unques- 
tionably the most modem and best equipped hospital in the Far 
East, and compares favorably with the leading hospitals in 
Europe and America. In the outpatient clinic more than eighty 
thousand persons are treated each year, which means "that thou- 
sands upon thousands are receiving relief and are free from pain, 
amongst whom agony and distress existed before."" The pres- 
ent policy of elimination has resulted in placing a Filipino at the 
head of this great hospital. 

Smaller hospitals are now maintained by the government at 
Cebu and in the mountains at Baguio and Bontoc, the latter in 
the center of the wild man's country. The reformed head hunt- 
ers who formerly sacrificed their domestic animals and their 
neighbors to propitiate the evil spirits, now put their trust in the 
surgeon who by the use of anesthetics can, as they understand it, 
kill men painlessly and bring them to life again. 

Communicable diseases and a few insane are cared for at the 
San Lazaro Hospital in Manila, and lepers are sent to Culion. 
The University Hospital, St. Paul's Hospital and the Mary J. 
Johnson Hospital, are modern private institutions supported re- 
spectively by the Protestant Episcopal, Catholic and Methodist 
churches. The old San Juan de Dios Hospital, which was estab- 
lished centuries ago, has been modernized and is fairly well 
equipped. Notwithstanding these modern facilities there are still 
great sections of the islands which are entirely without hospitals 
and their necessities can not be supplied until the government can 
find the necessary funds from its always inadequate income. Ar- 
rangements are now being made to send a hospital ship to cruise 
among the islands of the Sulu Archipelago, which will bring re- 
lief to the suffering Moros. 

It has been said that the three main functions of a hospital are 

10 For a full description, see Historv and Description of the Philip f'^e 
General Hospital, by Dr. John E. Snodgrass, Manila, 1911. The hospital has 
recently been placed under the control of a Filipino physician. See infra, 
p. 420. 


the care of the sick, the education of the people and the advance- 
ment of science, and that those of the health officials are the care 
for the well, the education of the people with regard to conditions 
of health, and the advancement of life through sanitary science. 
The preservation of public health is almost entirely a mat- 
ter of education and finance. If people were as much afraid of 
the concealed but well-known dangers to health as they are of 
the mechanical dangers by which they are threatened, the problem 
of the health officer would be greatly simplified. But timid per- 
sons who make every effort to avoid the dangers of the street, 
and always lock their doors against thieves, live bravely in the 
same house with a tubercular patient and take no precaution 
against the germs of malaria, dysentery and other diseases. 

It is now known that all dangerous communicable diseases 
are due, not to climate or bad odors, but to definite preventable 
causes, and that they are caused by agents that attack from with- 
out and against which defense is possible. The public health 
official is charged with the duty to wage war against these causes 
and educate the public in ways and means of self-defense. As- 
suming intelligence and activity, his success will be measured by 
the funds available for the work. In other words, public health is 
a purchasable commodity and obtainable by any community that 
is willing to pay the price. This has been demonstrated in the 
Philippines, where a reduction of sixty thousand deaths per year 
has been effected by an expenditure of about ten cents per capita 
of the population, under a civil regime where administration 
has been expensive because the many obstacles have had to be 
overcome by persuasion or fought through the courts. It is un- 
questionably true that if the government would spend as much 
money for health purposes as for public works and public protec- 
tion the lives of many thousands now sacrificed through igno- 
rance and poverty could be saved. A committee appointed to 
study the cause of the excessive infant mortality reported to the 
Philippine Legislature that an additional one-centavo (half -cent) 
stamp placed upon every letter mailed in the Philippines would 


furnish money to save the Hves of twenty-five thousand babies a 
year and increase enormously the health efficiency and earning 
capacity of the community.^^ 

The early institution of civil governments in some ways inter- 
fered with the work of the health officers. In judging of what 
has been accomplished it should be remembered that they are 
civil officials, subject to the restraints of the civil law and not 
possessed of the arbitrary power and unlimited funds which en- 
abled the military authorities on the Isthmus of Panama and in 
Cuba to effect so much in so short a space of time. Conditions 
were entirely different. It is difficult enough to enforce stringent 
health ordinances in the cities of the United States where the 
people do not ordinarily regard health inspectors as their natural 
enemies ; it was more than difficult in the Philippines. Neverthe- 
less the results in the Philippines compare favorably with those 
in Panama. In the Philippines there was spent less than twenty 
cents per capita for health purposes ; in Panama, about three dol- 
lars and fifty cents. The death rate in Manila, Colon and Pan- 
ama cities was approximately forty-three per thousand. This 
was reduced to about twenty-five in Panama. In Manila in 1914 
it reached twenty-three and a fraction per thousand. The death 
rate among ten thousand employees in Panama and the same num- 
ber in the Philippine Civil Service was about the same; usually 
less than five per cent, per thousand. 

The natives seemed satisfied with conditions as they were and 
objected strenuously to having their families and personal lives 
supervised by any one. Rather than be put to so much trouble 
they preferred to take the chances of life and death under the 
conditions to which they were accustomed. If half of their 
children died it must be the will of the good God or it would not 
have happened. The resistance which was offered to the health 

ii There has, of course, been a difference of opinion between the engineers 
and the doctors as to the proper apportionment of the always inadequate 
funds between pubHc works and public health. By using the money for the 
protection of the latter the population is increased, but left in unsatisfactory 
economic conditions. 


authorities was seldom active; it was generally of that passive 
and subtle nature which is more difficult to overcome than active 

It must be remembered that the American government was 
attempting to do much more than had been customary in tropical 
colonies. The movement to include the natives within the scope 
of sanitary and health regulations was in its infancy. The ordi- 
nary plan was to protect the white officers and residents and 
permit the natives to live as they had been accustomed. The at- 
tempt to clean up the Orient for the benefit of its own people 
was regarded by most medical men in the East as additional evi- 
dence of the Quixotic impracticability of the Americans as col- 

A great deal has been written about the opposition of the Fili- 
pinos to the sanitary and health measures established by the 
Americans. It is true that they were often unreasonable, but 
when their ignorance and experience with such matters are con- 
sidered, they should not be too severely condemned. Under civil 
government, the education of the people is the most important 
function of the sanitary officer and the first principle for his guid- 
ance should be that public sanitation, to be effective, must rest 
upon public sentiment. In the Philippines this sentiment had to 
be created. As Doctor Heiser says: "It was but natural that a 
people should resist measures which they in their inmost hearts 
believed were being enforced by the governing power for the ex- 
press purpose of making them miserable, unhappy and uncom- 
fortable. As soon as the better class of Filipinos observed, how- 
ever, that no cases of cholera occurred among the Americans 
who drank water that had been boiled and ate only food that 
had been cooked and was served hot, this simple plan had many 
imitators and much of the success that was obtained in later chol- 
era campaigns may be attributed to the measures that the Filipino 
people invoked." With reference to the fight against cholera, he 
says: "On the whole it may be said that the campaign waged 
against cholera in the begining was not as successful as could 
have been hoped for, but the experience gained paved the way for 


attacking future outbreaks with considerable more success. It 
was soon learned that there was nothing to be gained by using ac- 
tual force. The opposition which was engendered caused far 
more difficulty than the good which was accomplished in an indi- 
vidual case in which it was used. The early efforts to combat 
plague resulted in a similar lack of success. . . . The lack 
of success in these efforts soon made it apparent that before much 
could be accomplished in the islands a set of laws would have to 
be prepared in which considerable deference should be given to 
local prejudices. ... In other words, it became apparent 
that the sanitary regeneration of the Philippine Islands had to be 
brought about not in spite of the Filipino people, but with their 
assistance. "^^ 

The defense against microbes has been compared to a trident 
with the three points of (1) the extermination of vermin, (2) 
pure food and drink and (3) vaccination. Now dirt, in what we 

12 "Sanitation in the Philippine Islands," Journal of Race Development, 
Oct., 1912, reprinted in Cong. Rcc. for July, 1913. The general attitude of 
the radical element of the Filipino public is very well shown by an editorial 
in a leading Manila paper, El Ideal, Feb. 4, 1915, when Doctor Heiser re- 
signed from the service. 

"Men may diflfer in their opinions as to the methods used by Doctor 
Heiser in the fulfilment of his duty to look after and improve the public 
health, and they are indeed conflicting ; there are many who sincerely believe 
that Doctor Reiser's success would have been greater had he been able to win 
the support and confidence of the people, and there is no mistaking the fact 
that they are right; there may be others who, not without reason, criticize 
Doctor Heiser for his conspicuous proneness to forget the native element and 
to minimize the merits deserved by his Filipino assistants ; but when his work 
is reviewed as a whole, when results are taken together, when we overlook 
the serious shortcomings of his temperament, and see naught but the im- 
movable, severe executive officer, one who is constitutionally unadaptable to 
our local surroundings and who is even tyrannical, then we must perforce 
own that Doctor Heiser is and has been a valuable factor of progress and of 
the material development of these islands. 

"In the name of the people it represents. El Ideal — which has many times 
criticized him sharply, but with conviction and honesty — is glad to express to 
him its highest tribute and its most cordial esteem. Let us all wish that m 
his future enterprises he may not be forsaken by the courage, the industry 
and the spirit of loyalty to duty which have marked his long and brilliant 
administrative career as Director of Health." 

I am inclined to believe that the ingrained antagonism of the native papers 
toward the secretary of the interior accounted for many of the attacks on the 
director of the Bureau of Health, which was in the Department of the Inte- 
rior. A side light is thrown on Filipino political methods by tlie custom of 
the editors to warn Doctor Heiser of an impending onslaught and assure him 
that nothing personal was intended. 


may call the natural state, is not in itself unhealthy, but it is the 
home of the bacilli and of the vermin-bearing animals. Cleanli- 
ness is therefore the primary object of the sanitarian. Manila 
is to-day the cleanest city in the Far East, but this result has not 
been reached without many neart-breaking experiences. Great 
progress has been made in teaching the people how to dispose of 
and care for human waste. ^^ The collection and disposition of 
garbage and waste is a difficult problem in any city, one requiring 
much scientific consideration ; in the tropics it is peculiarly troub- 
lesome. Until recently in Manila each householder was required 
to provide himself with a garbage can of approved design and 
construction and the collection was made by the city. But many 
of the people were too poor to purchase the receptacles and either 
appropriated those of their prosperous neighbors or used such 
boxes, cans and baskets as were available. The system was so 
unsatisfactory that the city finally adopted the plan of furnishing 
the receptacle at a small yearly rental and letting the contract 
to collect and dispose of the garbage to a private concern which 
uses modem appliances and converts the refuse into something 
of value. 

At a cost of approximately two million dollars a modern sani- 
tary sewer system has been installed in Manila, but prior to 1914 
its general use was delayed by short-sighted householders who 
contested the right of the government to compel them to make the 
necessary connections.^* Supplemented by a pail system, the 
new sewer has solved the difficult problem of the disposal of 
human waste. The filthy latrines and cesspools have been re- 
placed by modern flush closets and public rest and comfort sta- 
tions are being installed as rapidly as possible. The public dance 
halls which have been important factors in the spread of com- 
municable diseases are now subject to the control and inspection 
of the health officers. 

13 The objectionable custom of using human waste as a surface fertilizer 
for vegetables, resulting formerly in the increase of the death rate by several 
thousand each year, has been made illegal. 

i*The system was completed in 1909. The injunction obtained in 1910 
was finally dissolved by the Supreme Court in 1913. 


The private washerwoman has always been a prohfic carrier of 
germs and many a case of troublesome clobe itch and even worse 
disease has been due to the picturesque but unsanitary custom of 
using the river shore for a laundry as well as a swimming place 
for men and beasts/^ Public laundries are now being established. 
The jails and prisons which, under the old regime, were vile 
beyond description have been cleaned up, sanitary equipment 
installed, and the loathsome skin diseases formerly prevalent 
among prisoners have disappeared. Most of the jails in the 
provinces are now inspected a number of times each year by the 
director of health. Systematic exercise by the prisoners is en- 
forced in all provincial jails as well as in the central Bilibid 
prison. The death rate among the Bilibid prisoners has been 
reduced from seventy-eight to thirteen per thousand. In July, 
1910, the old cemeteries of Manila were closed and all bodies 
not cremated must be buried in the modem Del Norte Cemetery 
or in the adjoining new Catholic cemetery of Lalomboy. Streets 
and alleys have been cut through the congested sections of the 
city so that all houses may be approached from the front and the 
low-lying poorer sections of the city are slowly being filled to 
an established level and rebuilt with small model houses. Thou- 
sands of small houses have been removed from low disease- 
infected to sanitary sites. In the sections of the city where 
housing conditions have been improved there has been a marked 
improvement in the general health of the people. 

The old markets were an abomination. Constructed generally 
of wood and bamboo with thatched roofs and dirt floors, they 
were prolific breeding places of vermin and insects. Under such 
conditions it was impossible to enforce sanitary rules. In most 
of the larger towns reinforced concrete public market buildings 
with concrete floors and stands have now been constructed. Early 
in 1912 the legislature authorized the loaning of a certain por- 
tion of the Gold Standard Fund to provinces and municipalities 

^5 Private steam laundries have been established in Manila, but most 
American families maintain a lavendara, among the other numerous house- 
hold servants. 


for the construction of public works of a remunerative character 
and the markets built with the proceeds of these loans have proved 
extremely profitable, in some instances earning four hundred per 
cent, per annum without any increase in the unit space rental 
price. In order to secure such a loan standard conditions as to 
location and construction must be complied with. The market 
site must contain not less than two and one-half acres of land 
with distinct boundaries and be convenient of access. The main 
central building must be from thirty-six to ninety feet in width 
with length in proportion, with the required stores and stalls so 
arranged that they can be securely closed and locked. The tables 
from which foodstuffs are sold must be of concrete and the con- 
tents always visible to inspectors. Most of the new buildings 
are roofed with tiling and present an attractive appearance. 

In Manila all the markets have been modernized. Only fresh 
meat, fish, poultry and green stuff may be sold. The meat must 
be kept in screened cages made of copper wire to which only the 
vender has access. 

The public markets are vastly important factors in the lives of 
the people and their maintenance in a cleanly sanitary condition 
is of vital importance to the health of the community. 

The esteros have been cleaned and put in reasonably good 
condition. The ancient moats of unsavory memory have been 
converted into beautiful parks and attractive playgrounds for 
school children. 

The extent to which adulterated drugs and articles of food 
were formerly sold to the Filipinos is almost inconceivable^^ and 
it is certain that much of the illness that has commonly been at- 
tributed to the climate was caused by the chemicals in the food 
products prepared by foreign manufacturers for the use of the 
residents of tropical countries. Conditions are being revolution- 
ized under the Pure Food and Drugs Law which is now strictly 
enforced. The Act of Congress of June 30, 1906," which is in 

^•5 See an article by Doctor E. C. Hill on "Colorado Medicine," quoted in 
Rept. Bureau of Health, 1908. 

" 34 Stat. L. 768, Fed. Stat. Ann., Supp., 1909, p. 136. 


force in the insular possessions, makes it a crime to manufacture 
within any state or territory any article of food or drug which is 
adulterated or misbranded, or to introduce the same from any 
foreign country or to ship or receive the same from any state or 
territory. As the act did not provide all the machinery necessary 
for its proper enforcement in the Philippines, the commission 
enacted a law which embodies all the provisions of the congres- 
sional statute, with such additions as were required by the local 
situations/^ This law is administered by the director of health 
with the advice of a Board of Food and Drug Inspection, the 
members of which are selected from other interested bureaus. 

Probably nowhere else has so much injury been done by the 
sale of fake nostrums as in the Orient, where the people are very 
credulous and susceptible to the influence of advertising. 

It has so far been found impossible to provide an adequate 
safe milk supply for Manila. The natives ordinarily use the milk 
of the goat and carahalla, the water buffalo, and the cows from 
which milk is furnished to Americans and Europeans are gen- 
erally kept beyond the city limits under conditions which make 
proper inspection almost impossible. The Jersey cows kept and 
petted by the fortunate few are great luxuries. Americans use 
the various brands of canned milk which is imported in vast 
quantities. But it is the poorer class of Filipinos, particularly 
the children, who suffer from unhealthy milk. The milk of the 
carahalla is rich in fats and is often diluted with bad water, the 
proportion of proteids being secured by the addition of rice, 
flour and cocoanut oil, resulting in a most unsanitary mixture. 
One specimen examined contained 62,391,600 bacteria per cubic 
centimeter. In 1906 a voluntary society of ladies, organized to 
supply pure milk for infants, known as the Gota de Leche, which 
had existed for several years, was, at the instance of the Woman's 
Association of Manila, incorporated as La Proteccion de la Infan- 
cia and it now receives some financial aid from the government. 
But such organizations can affect conditions but little and until 
the situation is such as to justify the government in forbidding 

18 Act No. 1651. 


absolutely the sale of any but sterilized milk it is certain that 
many hundreds of the people of Manila will find the seeds of 
disease in the milk supply. 

Recently Mr. Nathan Straus of New York donated a milk ster- 
ilizing outfit to the Gota de Leche and the legislature appropriated 
the money necessary for its installation. Here again we find 
an illustration of the rule that public health is a purchasable com- 
modity. By the expenditure of a definite sum of money a definite 
lowering of the death rate can be produced. 

The drinking of bad water has caused more illness in the Phil- 
ippines than all other acts combined. The natives, rendered 
measurably immune by generations of experience, drink what is 
called unpolluted water with comparative safety, but very few 
wells and streams are unpolluted. There is no water in the 
islands that an American can drink with safety in its natural 
state. Even the cool gushing mountain springs are liable to con- 
tain the germs of the amoebic dysentery which, probably more 
than any other disease, has been the greatest obstacle in the path 
of the white man in the tropics. 

The Americans soon learned to drink only distilled or boiled 
water, but a long and strenuous campaign of education was nec- 
essary to convince the common Filipino people that most of the 
diseases from which they suffered were due to drinking bad 
water. In the provinces good w^ater could seldom be secured, 
but it could always be boiled. Manila had a fairly good but in- 
adequate and unsafe water system. In the eighteenth century 
a Spanish philanthropist named Carriedo left a sum of money 
with directions that it should be allowed to accumulate until it 
was sufficient to provide a system of water-works for the city of 
Manila. The system was installed in 1884 and thereafter the 
city was supplied with water taken from the Mariquina River 
at Santolan. But as the supply was insufficient for the new city 
and the source was subject to pollution, an entirely new system 
was installed by the American government and opened in 1908. 
The water is now taken from the Mariquina River at a point 
sixteen miles above Santolan and about twenty-five miles from * 


Manila, where, at an elevation of two hundred and twelve feet 
above sea level, the river has been dammed and a reservoir 
with a capacity of two billion gallons created. From there 
the water is carried by gravity into a distributing reservoir 
from which it flows by means of the old system and its 
extensions throughout the city. The old reservoir, the San 
Juan Deposito, with a capacity of sixteen million gallons, 
has been retained as a reserve. The first year after the 
water from the new reservoir was. used the deaths in Manila 
from gastro-intestinal diseases were reduced by about one thou- 
sand. In the spring of 1912 a break in the dam necessitated the 
temporary use of the water from the old deposito (which had 
been taken from the river at the old intake near Santolan) and 
the deaths from such diseases immediately increased but de- 
creased at once when the new system was again in operation. 
But unfortunately, owing to hasty construction, the new system 
has proved inadequate and every year Manila is threatened with 
a shortage of water which makes it necessary to use the auxiliary 
Santolan pumping station, with a resulting increase of the death 
rate varying from one hundred and fifty to two hundred per 
month. It appears that there are fissures in the bottom and in 
the cliffs which form the sides of the new reserv'oir, which should 
have been discovered by the construction engineers, through which 
probably one-half of the accumulated water escapes." This has 
been partially remedied by the construction of a flume which car- 
ries the water from a point above the leaks to the main pipe 

A modern system of water supply has also been installed in 
the city of Cebu and less elaborate systems in other places. In 
some towns good water is now brought down from the mountains 
through simple bamboo pipes. 

But the great and future supply of pure water is the artesian 
wells which are being opened in all parts of the islands. These 

^9 The Spanish engineers were always too slow, the American too anxious 
to complete their work. If proper preliminary investigation had been made 
the cracks and fissures would have been discovered. 


wells have been probably the most efficient single agency in the 
health campaign. Fortunately it is possible at a reasonable cost 
to find pure artesian water almost anywhere in the lowlands by 
sinking a well to a moderate depth. Some are flowing wells, others 
require pumping. In 1905- two artesian wells were in use ; now 
more than one thousand are in operation and the work of con- 
struction continues as rapidly as money for the purpose can be 
obtained. Wherever an artesian well is installed the death rate 
is immediately reduced.^" 

Any water can be rendered safe by boiling, and as fire and a 
kettle are always available, there is no excuse for illness con- 
tracted by drinking polluted water. The utmost care has been 
taken to teach the native this simple method, but the effect of 
boiling is frequently nullified by some such act of stupidity as 
cooling the sterilized water with additions from the well. It has 
been found very difficult to enforce the ordinance which requires 
the use of sterilized water only in restaurants, soft drink estab- 
lishments and other public places. At present licenses are granted 
only to places that have apparatus for boiling water, or use water 
obtained from the government ice plant. 

Until recently the government has sold distilled water for 
drinking to the public and those using it have been free from 
amoebic dysentery. But owing to the fact that distilled water 
does not contain the salts found in ordinary water its continuous 
use was found inadvisable and artesian well water has been sub- 

By the most strenuous efforts the ravages of cholera, smallpox 
and plague have been reduced to a minimum, but all except pos- 
sibly the plague are endemic in the islands. The bubonic plague 
appeared in Manila in 1899 and between that time and 1906 there 
were 744 deaths. There were fifty-nine deaths in Manila in 1913. 
Since that time sporadic cases have appeared, but no cases have 

20 In 1911 it was found that some of these wells were infected with 
amcebae. It was probably due to the pump having been carelessly primed 
with contaminated water, thus again illustrating the fact that in the East 
eternal vigilance is the price of safety. 


appeared anywhere in the islands since 1914. It is believed that 
the disease has been completely obliterated, although it is liable to 
reappear at any time.-^ Epidemics of cholera had been frequent 
before the arrival of the Americans.^^ Between 1902 and 1904 a 
serious epidemic taxed all the resources of the government, the 
deaths between March, 1902, and April, 1904, amounting to 
4,386 in Manila and 105,075 in the provinces. It was only by the 
strictest enforcement of quarantine and sanitary regulations in 
the face of much opposition that the epidemic was finally sup- 
pressed."^ About a year later it broke out anew. It was impos- 
sible to determine whether it had been reintroduced from Asia 
or whether it had remained latent in some form during the year 
and a half in which no cases were detected. During the outbreak 
of 1902 the natives showed a fatalistic indifference to the meas- 
ures taken for their protection, preferring to rely on nightly re- 
ligious processions. But the campaign of education then con- 
ducted convinced the more intelligent that they could avoid the 
disease by cleaning their habitations, eating only hot food and 
drinking water that had been boiled. They learned that the 
germs could be taken into the system through the mouth only 
and that they were easily killed. By the time of the second epi- 
demic the health authorities as well as the people had been edu- 
cated in methods of attack and defense and it was finally sup- 
pressed, after there had been 22,938 deaths out of 34.238 cases. 
Again, in 1908, there were 18,811; in 1909, 7.306; in 1910. 
6,940; and in 1911, 203 deaths. From 1911 until 1913 there 
seems to have been no cholera in the islands. In the latter year it 
reappeared and in 1914 and 1915 there were many cases. The 
fact is that cholera is generally, if not always, present in the 

21 For a description of plague in the Philippines, see an article by Doctor 
Heiser in the Philippine Journal of Science. Feb., 1914. See also Rcpt. Bu- 
reau of Health, 1906, p. 30: Kept. Bureau of Health, 1912. pp. 68-71. 

22 The Spaniards and Filipinos accepted the dangerous theory that cholera 
is an air-born disease. A circular of instructions issued by tlie Spanish gov- 
ernment in 1888 will be found in the Annual Report of the Comwission of 
Public Health, Sept. 15, 1904. 

23 Rept. Com. Pub. Health, Sept. 15, 1904, pp. 44-69. For a history of this 
outbreak and the methods used by the health authorities, see Worcester, His- 
tory of Asiatic Cholera in the Philippine Islands (1908). 


islands and it is only by the exercise of the utmost vigilance that 
it can be prevented from becoming epidemic."* 

Smallpox has been practically eradicated by the thorough and 
systematic vaccination of the entire population. "It seems almost 
incredible," says Doctor Heiser, "that in spite of the absolute 
proof that effective vaccination practically makes smallpox im- 
possible, there should still be dissenters." An idea of the magni- 
tude of the work of vaccination is conveyed by the fact that dur- 
ing the year 1908, 1,686,767 persons were vaccinated. During 
the first nine months of 1914, 1,540,913 persons were vaccinated 
in the provinces and 79,640 in Manila. Since 1898 a total of 
20,000,000 vaccinations have been performed. At first much 
of the work was done by local native health officers, but satis- 
factory results were not obtained until it was placed under the 
direct control of the director of health. The disease still occurs 
among unvaccinated children and other unprotected persons, due 
generally to neglect to carry out the regulations of the health 
authorities. Before the American occupation the deaths from 
smallpox averaged forty thousand a year. Six thousand were 
dying annually in the provinces near Manila ! The year after the 
inhabitants were vaccinated there were no deaths from smallpox. 
No case has occurred in Manila since 1910, and but few in the 
provinces. ^^ 

The manner in which leprosy has been handled in the Phil- 
ippines is of special interest. 

The first international conference on leprosy, which was held 
at Berne in 1897, reported that the system- of isolation which had 
been introduced in Norway was the only known method of check- 
ing its spread. The second conference, held at Bergen two 
years later, admitted that none of the numerous remedies and 
methods of treatment which had been tried had been success- 
ful, and again approved the policy of isolation which then had 

2* The Report of the Philippine Health Service for the third quarter, 1915, 
shows 2,391 deaths from cholera in the islands during the previous year. 

25 See "Smallpox and Vaccination in the Philippine Islands," Public 
Health Reports, XXVI, No. 10 (1911) ; "Notes on Smallpox and Vaccination 
in the Philippines," Public Health Reports, XXVI, No. 15 (1911). 


been introduced into Germany, Sweden and Iceland, as well as 
Norway. The resolutions which were adopted made no refer- 
ence to what had been done in the Philippines, although Sir 
Allan Perry, the principal medical officer of Ceylon, stated in an 
address delivered in Manila in 1910 that it had been his privilege 
two years before, "to see some of Dr. Reiser's work in the man- 
agement of leprosy in the Philippine Islands, and after attending 
the Bergen Conference last year I was impressed by the fact 
that the government of the Philippines had anticipated the meas- 
ures recommended by the members of that conference by some 

The disease is said to have been introduced into the Philip- 
pines by a sort of Trojan horse performance which has its amus- 
ing as well as tragic elements. The Spanish missionaries were 
endeavoring to extend their work into Japan and the shogun 
either out of good will or with malice aforethought loaded a ship 
with lepers who could well be spared from his abundance and 
sent them wnth his compliments to the friars at Manila. They 
were of course accepted and cared for, but as no precautions were 
taken to prevent the disease from spreading, it was soon comfnon 
in all parts of the Archipelago. The new field thus created for 
charitable w^ork w^as assigned to the Franciscans and during the 
entire Spanish period they were in charge of the work of car- 
ing for the lepers. For a time the afflicted were admitted to a 
hospital in Manila, but upon the expulsion of the Jesuits after the 
departure of the British in 1763, their estate at San Lazaro was 
sequestrated and turned over to the Franciscans with the under- 
standing that they should maintain thereon a leper hospital. In 
addition to the San Lazaro Hospital the Franciscans in later 
times maintained smaller establishments of a similar nature in 
Cebu and Nueva Caceres. Some of the larger municipalities also 
established leper camps in their suburbs. All of this work was 
charitable in character and the effect of the partial segregation 
on the public health was merely incidental. The friars were car- 

26 Philippine Journal of Science, section B, Aug., 1910. 


ing for the lepers merely as unfortunates who were entitled to 
their kindly ministrations.^^ 

Leprosy spreads by contact, and by the time of the American 
occupation it had become common in all parts of the islands. 
San Lazaro is near Manila and during the exciting times just 
prior to the capture of the city the friars abandoned their charges, 
who wandered away and concealed themselves in various places 
throughout the city. The provost-marshal placed an official in 
charge of the hospital and most of the lepers were soon gathered 
up and returned to their quarters. 

It was recognized that better means must be provided for iso- 
lating these unhappy people. Although the number of lepers 
in the country was indeed greatly exaggerated, the disease con- 
stituted a serious menace to public health. The idea of a col- 
ony was entertained from the beginning. In the first report of 
the Board of Health it was said : "The desirability of establishing 
a colony where persons in the early stages of leprosy can have 
a home, cultivate the soil and in general lead a free out-of-doors 
life instead of being practically in prisons and compelled to pass 
their days in company with fellow-unfortunates in the last stages 
of this horrible disease, has long been appreciated by both mili- 
tary and civil authorities." The search for an island suitable for 
such a colony resulted in the recommendation by a military board 
of Caygayan de Sulu, but it was soon evident that the estimates 
submitted of the number of Moro inhabitants on the island was 
erroneous and also that the water supply was inadequate. A 
new board appointed by the commission after a careful examina- 
tion recommended the island of Culion in the Calimianes group, 
about two hundred miles southwest of Manila, "on account of 
its healthful climate, rich soil, extensive cattle ranges, abundance 
of water supply, good harbors and small population." This re- 
port was approved and fifty thousand dollars were appropriated 
by the commission for the purpose of erecting warehouses and 
suitable buildings for hospital purposes at a place called Halsey 

27 Manuel Rogel Lebras, Lepra en Bisayas, Manila, 1897. 


Because of the prevalence of plague and cholera in the islands 
it was found impossible to commence construction work until 
late in the following year and then, after several thousand dollars 
had been expended, it was found necessary to abandon the Hal- 
sey Harbor site because of the inadequate water supply, and to 
locate the colony on the site of the old town of Culion.^'' The 
property of the few inhabitants of the town was then purchased 
and a new town site was laid out. By May, 1906, accommodations 
had been provided for six hundred persons. It was estimated 
that there were then five thousand lepers in the island and 
to maintain that number at Culion would cost the government 
about four hundred thousand dollars annually. Funds for such 
an elaborate project were not available and the work of collect- 
ing the colonists progressed slowly. 

As the work, to be effective, required the arbitrary disregard 
of ordinary personal rights, the commission enacted a law which 
authorized the apprehension, detention, segregation and compul- 
sory treatment of lepers and made it the duty of insular, pro- 
vincial and municipal officers to cause any person believed to 
be a leper to be arrested and turned over to the health officers. 
To conceal a leper was made a crime. As there was great danger 
that such a law would be abused, it was provided that mere sus- 
pects should not be taken away from their homes until their 
cases had been carefully considered and the diagnosis confirmed 
by bacteriological methods. It was found that in some instances 
individuals and communities were inclined to take advantage of 
the facilities thus afforded to dispose of their insane, blind, crip- 
pled and other incurable dependents, as well as lepers.^'' 

As the work of collection progressed it appeared that the num- 
ber of lepers in the islands had been greatly overestimated, as 
not more than one-half of those reported as lepers were found to 

28 Doctor Mercado, one of the leading Filipino officers of the Bureau of 
Health, has recently asserted that after all that has been done, Culion is 
unsuite'd to the purposes of a leper colon^^ El Ideal. June 14, 1916. 

29 Ex-Secretary Worcester says that the natives were inclined to fear the 
Filipino examiners and to ask for the services of Americans. It is sometimes 
impossible to determine whether a suspected person is a leper. See Doctor 
Heiser's article in The World's Work, Jan., 1916. 


be suffering from the disease. Notwithstanding the inadequacy 
of funds available, by 1910 Doctor Heiser was able to report that 
with the exception of a few isolated cases practically all the lepers 
outside of the Moro country had been segregated, but that new 
cases must be expected to develop for some years to come. As 
795 lepers were admitted in 1913, and 837 in 1914, it seems that 
the new cases developed more rapidly even than was expected. 
In 1914 the records of the colony showed that 8,502 persons had 
been admitted, that 5,204 had died, and that 3,298 remained.^" 

This leper colony is the largest of its kind in the world and 
is interesting as a sociological as well as a medical experiment. 
The town is laid out with regular streets, blocks and squares, and 
is organized with a simple municipal, form of government in 
which the colonists have as large a part as possible. It is situated 
on high ground and looks out over the sea. Good water is sup- 
plied from a reservoir into which it is pumped from a spring and 
from which it is carried by pipes to all parts of the town. Ample 
bathrooms and modern flush closets are supplied. A complete 
sewerage system carries all waste through septic tanks to the 
sea. The buildings, many being of reinforced concrete construc- 
tion, are substantial and comfortable and adapted to the climatic 
conditions. There is a good church building, town hall and suit- 
able residences for the presidente and councilmen. A police 
force selected by the presidente from among the colonists main- 
tains order and sees that the ordinances and sanitary regulations 
are obeyed. The American superintendent has the powers of a 
justice of the peace. The colonists elect their principal officers 
and thus practically govern themselves. 

It was at first thought that some form of industry could be de- 
veloped which would provide the colonists with occupation and 
make them at least partially self-supporting, but this idea had 
to be abandoned. The most that the people are able to do is to 
raise a few chickens and pigs and cultivate small gardens. They 
traffic among themselves and for their accommodation a special 
coinage of aluminum has been struck which represents actual 

30 A few had been discharged as apparently cured. 


value, being redeemable in real money. Everything possible is 
done to make life pleasant for the people who seem marked by 
fate for death. They have their social amusements and live the 
life of an ordinary Filipino community. A brass band com- 
posed entirely of lepers furnishes the musical element so neces- 
sary to the happiness of the Filipino. 

The segregation of lepers protects the general community 
from contagion and instead of living as beggars and outcasts the 
unfortunates are protected and cared for by the state. The con- 
tinuance of the present policy for another decade should free 
the Philippines from one of its ancient scourges. But it will take 
longer than was expected, as the new cases continue to develop 
in surprising numbers. No certain remedy for leprosy has been 
discovered, but the treatment by a hypodermic injection of a mix- 
ture of chaulmoogra oil has given encouraging results, and experi- 
ments wath it are being conducted at Manila and by the United 
States Leprosy Investigation Commission in Hawaii. ^^ 

The present stage of the chaulmoogra oil treatment "does not 
warrant the belief that anything like a specific for leprosy has 
been found, but experience does show that it gives more con- 
sistently favorable results than any other that has come to our 
attention and it holds out the hope of further improvement. The 
situation may be summed up as follows: it produces apparent 
cures in some cases, causes great improvement in others, and ar- 
rests the progress of the disease in every instance in which we 
have tried it."^" 

31 In 1908 the Bureau of Science succeeded in cultivating the leper bacilli 
in artificial media and it was hoped that it would lead to the discovery of a 
serum or vaccine. See "Experiment in the Cultivation of Bacilli Leprae," by 
M. C. Clegg, Philippine Journal of Science, Section B, April, 1909, and Dec, 
1909, and Reports Bureau of Health, 1910 and 1913. It was thought for a 
time that the X-ray treatment would be effective, but this, too, proved to be 
a disappointment. Chaulmoogra oil is obtained from a tree which is in- 
digenous to India. The people of the East have always claimed that this oil 
would cure leprosy. The difficulty was that after a time it produced nausea 
to such an extent that the patient could not take it. It is now mixed with 
camphorated oil and resorcin and given hypodermically, and all the progress 
is due to this change of method. See United States Public Health Reports. 
Supp. No. 20, Oct. 16, 1914: American Journal of Tropical Diseases for Nov., 
1914; The World's Work, Jan., 1916. p. 310. . ,, 

32 Doctor V. G. Heiser, "Fighting Leprosy in the Philippines, The 
World's Work for Jan., 1916. 


Recent investigations show that beriberi, which has been one 
of the worst diseases of the East, is caused by the excessive use 
of poHshed rice, and little else, as food. It has been thought that 
the disease is peculiar to the tropics, but it now appears that it 
prevails there simply because the people live almost exclusively 
on rice from which certain elements essential to health have been 
removed. Europeans who use a diversified diet, of which polished 
rice forms a reasonable part, never suffer from beriberi. The 
disease has prevailed in the rice-eating East for centuries. Dur- 
ing the Chino- Japanese war of 1894, nearly one-half of the Jap- 
anese soldiers had beriberi, and in the Russo-Japanese war 
eighty-five thousand cases were reported. 

The experiments of Eraser and Stanton in the Straits Settle- 
ments, and Arons and others in the Philippines, demonstrate that 
beriberi may be prevented by the substitution of unpolished for 
polished rice,^^ or by a diversified diet which supplies the element 
which is absent in polished rice. The people are slow to recognize 
this fact, but they are being educated to the use of the more nu- 
tritious article. Before the unpolished rice was issued, and the 
government now issues no other, there were nearly a thousand 
cases of beriberi each 5^ear among the United States Scouts, and 
from sixty to eighty deaths per month at the Culion Leper Col- 
ony. Now beriberi has disappeared from Culion and the army 
is free from it. The practical eradication of this disease is one 
of the greatest triumphs of medical science in the Orient. 

The appalling mortality of children under five years of age 
is not peculiar to the Philippines. Conditions there are not much 
worse relatively than in many other parts of the world. Never- 
theless at present more infants die out of every hundred bom in 
the Philippines than out of a thousand born in Australia. The lives 
of a large proportion of these children could be saved if the neces- 
sary money was available. There is at present an active world- 

^^ Rept. Bureau of Health, 1913, pp. 105-110. The government at one time 
contemplated legislation regulating the importation of polished rice, but this 
■will probably be unnecessary. It is not the polished rice, but its excessive 
use, to the exclusion of other articles, that causes the disease. See Graham 
Lusk, The Fundamental Basis of Nutrition, New Haven, 1915. 


wide movement for the protection of children, and the government 
of the Philippines is doing all it can with the money at its disposal. 
Some progress has been made and the mortality has been greatly 
decreased. The recent rather discouraging report to the legis- 
lature by a special committee, composed of some of the most ex- 
perienced medical men in the Orient, shows that not until the 
conditions of life among the poor are materially improved can 
the evil be remedied. According to this committee, "seventy-five 
thousand babies are to-day nursing poor quality of milk from 
under-nourished and sick mothers, and another fifty thousand 
are eating dangerous and poisonous mixtures given in the name 
of food. Many of these babies, even in the city of Manila, are 
being fed mixtures so badly contaminated that ten drops of the 
food injected into a Guinea pig causes the death of the animal 
from blood poisoning within forty-eight hours. "^* 

It is evident that the work of the American health authorities 
in the Philippines is not yet completed. 

Notwithstanding all that has been done, health conditions 
among the Filipinos, when compared with what they should be, 
are far from satisfactory. But little has been done to eradicate 
the hook-worm, with which great numbers of the natives are af- 
fected and which is doubtless the cause of much of their indolence 
and lack of ambition.^^ Tuberculosis, malaria, beriberi and in- 
testinal diseases are still responsible for many deaths annually. 
Americans suffer much from dengue fever.^® Recent outbreaks 
of bacillary dysentery are due entirely to the use of bad water, 
uncooked vegetables and uncleanliness in the preparation of food. 
The dread amoebic dysentery is now being treated successfully. 
Very little provision has been made for the care of the insane. 
The fight against tuberculosis has been begun by private organ- 

34 This committee was composed of Doctor W. E. Musgrave. chairman; 
Doctor Luis Guerro; Doctor Proceso Gabriel; Doctor Joaquin Quintos and 
Doctor Jose Albert. For the report, see Rept. Bureau of Health, 1914. p. 10. 

35 For a description of this disease, see Rept. Bureau of Health, 1908, pp. 

3« A very troublesome but not deadly fever. See Phil. Journal of Science, 
Sec. B, May, 1907, p. 93. For an account of dengue fever in Indo-China, see 
Phil.- Journal of Science, Sec. B, Feb., 1909. 


izations with some government aid, but little can be accomplished 
without the expenditure of much money. This is also true of 
typhoid. The suppression of malaria is merely a matter of kill- 
ing mosquitoes, and the campaign against them and the almost 
equally dangerous house fly is being energetically conducted.^'' 

The death rate in Manila has been greatly reduced by draining 
the lowlands, spraying the places where mosquitoes breed, and 
supplying the people with quinine. Towns formerly notorious 
for malaria are now almost entirely free from it. By lectures, 
pictures and circulars the public is slowly being made to under- 
stand the deadly character of these pests and the necessity for 
sleeping under mosquito nets. To the best of their ability they 
are cooperating with the authorities in the work of destroying 
the breeding places of the mosquitoes. But constant pressure is 
necessary to keep the people from neglecting the most ordinary 
precautions. By systematic work myriads of plague-bearing rats 
have been destroyed,^® and the construction of rat-proof build- 
ings only is now permitted in Manila, The discovery by Doctor 
Richard P. Strong that salvarsan is a specific for the yaws, a 
disease resembling syphilis which has been very prevalent among 
the mountain people, has relieved many sufferers. ^^ 

The Filipinos are an underfed and insufficiently nourished 
race. It was found in Manila that thousands of children came to 
school without breakfast. A system of school lunches was pro- 
vided in connection with the teaching of hygiene and domestic 
science, and for two cents a child was given a bowl of hot soup 
or stew, a buttered sandwich and a piece of cake or a dish of ice- 
cream. For the most of them it was the most wholesome meal 
of the day. During 1912, twelve thousand of these lunches were 
served daily in the primary and intermediate schools, and at the 
end of the year the medical inspector reported an improvement of 

37 The yellow fever has never appeared in the Philippines, although the 
mosquito which carried it is present. It has been feared that the opening of 
the Panama Canal might bring the disease to Manila. 

38 In Manila during the fourth quarter, 1914, 21,772 rats were caught by- 
traps and poison. The third quarter, 1915, yielded 171,184. After years of 
active work the rats still seem to be numerous. 

39 See Phil. Journal of Science, Sec. B, Oct., 1907. 


ninety per cent, in the health of the children. Improved material 
conditions, physical exercise and a diversified diet have already 
produced an improvement in the physique of the new generation. 
The death rate has been very materially reduced, that among 
white men in Manila being about the same as in such cities as 

What has been accomplished has been in the face of many 
serious difficulties. We have noted the health and sanitary situ- 
ation which existed at the time of the American occupation, due 
to ignorance, indifference and conditions inherent in a tropical 
environment. The prejudices, superstitions and ignorance of 
the people were formidable obstacles to the introduction of mod- 
ern methods. It was a fertile field for the medicine man, the 
fake healer and the vender of nostrums. 

Sanitary rules are useless unless backed by the power and will to 
compel their enforcement, and punish their breach, which means 
infringement on the assumed rights of men to do as they please 
on their own premises. A health officer is necessarily something 
of an autocrat if not even a tyrant. He sometimes abuses the 
power with which it is necessary to invest him. The temptation 
to do so is peculiarly strong when white men are dealing with an 
inferior and less informed race of people. The mere fact of the 
superiority of the governors is irritating to the governed and 
when arbitrary power is absent infinite tact and judgment are 
necessary to secure results. 

The Filipinos regarded many of the strict rules established by 
the health officers as unnecessary and devised merely to render 
them unhappy. The native papers took the same attitude and de- 
manded that the enforcement of health regulations should be 
left more to the local native officials. Whenever that was done 
the rules were not enforced. It was of course necessary, under 
the circumstances, to use native officials, particularly in the prov- 
inces, and some of them proved willing and efficient. Generally, 
however, they could not, and can not at present, be trusted to 
brave public sentiment at the expense of personal unpopularity. 
It requires more nerve than the average native officer possesses 



to order a Filipino provincial governor to clean up his premises, 
A number of skilful Filipino health officers have been trained, but 
the experience of nearly two decades has shown that only with 
strict American supervision can what has been gained be held 
and further advance be made. 

The Moros have been even more difficult to reach than the 
head-hunting tribes of northern Luzon. They sufifer from mal- 
nutrition and the diseases which are fostered by filth and negli- 
gence. Malaria, hook-worm, dysentery and various skin diseases 
are very common. Dispensaries have been established in Min- 
danao and Jolo, but the people who are scattered over the small 
islands of the Sulu Archipelago can only be reached by a hos- 
pital ship. Through the influence of Doctor Heiser, who is now 
director for the Far East of the International Health Board of 
the Rockefeller Foundation, funds were obtained to provide such 
a ship, and arrangements have been made for its equipment and 
operation at the joint expense of the board and the Philippine 
government. The ship will visit the principal towns at regular 
intervals, give out patient treatment and general instructions to 
the people. The seriously affected will be transferred to the base 
hospitals at Zamboanga and Jolo.**^ This work will undoubtedly 
greatly influence the attitude of the Moros toward the Americans. 

The new Public Health Law,^^ under which the service has 

40 Annual Report, The Rockefeller Foundation, 1915, p. 77. 

In commenting on this project the American press has shown a disposition 
to underestimate the work done for the Moros by the civil and military au- 
thorities. For the last ten years the majority of the Moros in the great 
island of Mindanao have been peaceful and orderly. They should be distin- 
guished from the Moros of Jolo (which is a small island) and the islands to 
the southward. 

In a private letter of December 2, 1916, Dr. Heiser says : "The effort 
which it is proposed to make is in the nature of a new departure in dealing 
with the Moro situation. Several years ago dispensaries were established 
throughout the main island of Mindanao and their success was so very great 
that it was deemed desirable to come in more direct touch with the 300 or 
more islands which make up the Sulu Archipelago. As you know, these 
islands have had practically no contact with the outside world and they are 
inhabited largely by Moros who are more or less of a piratical character. It 
was thought that by the hospital ship ... a point of contact might be 
established with these people which would eventually lead to the opening of 
schools and thus bring them gradually to the ways of peace and civilization." 

41 Administrative Code, Title VII, Sections 746-942 (1916), 


been reorganized, has many good features, but it has some pro- 
visions of doubtful value. Under it the chief, who is now called 
the director of health, may be invested with emergency powers in 
localities threatened with an epidemic, by an order of the gover- 
nor-general, and authorized to prescribe such regulations as are 
necessary, which shall have the force of law. 

The service is administered by the director under the super- 
vision of the secretary of the interior and with the advice and 
assistance of a council of hygiene composed of a professor of the 
College of Medicine and Surgery of the University, a professor 
of the medical faculty of the University of Santo Tomas, a mem- 
ber of the Colegio Medico-Farmaceutico, a senior officer of the 
Philippine Health Service, one attorney-at-law and one other 
person who shall be an owner of real estate in the islands, — all 
appointed by the governor-general on the nomination of the sec- 
retary of the interior. The president of this body receives a 
salary and the appointed members who are not government em- 
ployees receive ten dollars for each meeting attended. 

This formidable body, so suggestive of Spanish times, is au- 
thorized to conduct investigations, prepare drafts of laws, meas- 
ures relating to a long list of subjects, and perform certain serv- 
ices with the approval of the director of health. It is merely 
an advising body with no real authority.*^ 

The Public Health Service, as it is called, is given a sort of 
military form, and all the officers whose duties require profes- 
sional skill in medical science, are graded in a commissioned and 
uniformed service, as senior medical inspectors, medical inspect- 
ors, senior surgeons and surgeons. 

The islands are divided into health districts designed each to 
include a province, in each of which there is a health officer who 
represents the service, under whom such additional officers as 
are necessary may be assigned. Provision is made for a munici- 

*2This council is intended to operate as a check on the director of health, 
and his efficiency will be impaired exactly in proportion to his fear of adverse 
local sentiment as expressed by that body. The statement by the director 
in the report for the first quarter of 1916, that he devotes a paragraph to its 
work "with the previous consent of the president of the council" suggests a 
degree of deference which is not reassuring. 


pal board of health in each municipality, composed of a regis- 
tered physician as president, a school-teacher appointed by the 
division superintendent of public instruction, the municipal sec- 
retary, and a member chosen by the municipal council. If there 
is a resident pharmacist, he must be appointed an honorary mem- 
ber by the president, but without a vote. 

Municipalities may be combined into sanitary divisions with 
a president appointed by the director of health, who exercises 
general supervision over the hygienic and sanitary conditions 
of the division. Each district shall have one or more sanitary 
inspectors appointed by the provincial board. 

Each provincial board and each municipality embraced in a 
sanitary division is required to set aside from five to ten per cent, 
of its general funds for a "health fund," which shall be de- 
posited with the provincial treasurer and used to pay the sal- 
aries and expenses of officers and employees of the sanitary dis- 
tricts, the purchase of medicines and supplies, and other expenses 
incurred in carrying out the law. 

The director of health is required to draft health ordinances 
on subjects designated in the law, for the city of Manila, which 
the Municipal Board is required to enact voluntarily or when di- 
rected to do so by the governor-general. 

The organization is an excellent one, but its effectiveness will 
depend upon the firmness of the men by whom it is administered. 


The Philippine Schools 

American Educational Theories — Belief in Education of Masses — Training a 
Governing Class Only — Spanish Theories — Filipino Social Organization — 
Education for the Select Few — The Attempt to Establish Public Schools — 
Its Partial Success — Ecclesiastical Control — Introduction of Popular Govern- 
ment — Choice between Evils — Educational Work of the Army — The Com- 
mission Takes Charge — Department of Public Instruction — The General Pol- 
icy — Secularization of Schools — Religious Instruction — Adoption of the Eng- 
lish Language in the Schools — Its Justification — American Teachers — Train- 
ing Native Teachers — Classification of Schools — Secondary Schools in Prov- 
inces — Local Enthusiasm for Education — Division of School Funds — New 
Text-Books — Stress on Industrial Training — Difficulties Encountered — Preju- 
dice Against Manual Labor — Results — Teaching Athletics — The Pcnsionados 
— Housing the Schools — The Courses of Study — Special Insular Schools — 
The University — Bureau Schools — The Cost of Education — Number of 
Pupils — Schools for the Wild Men — Education of the Moros — Demand for 
Compulsory Education — Dangers Ahead — Comparisons. 

There were many scoffers in lolcus when the Argo, with Jason 
and his fifty heroes, sailed for Colchos in search of the Golden 
Fleece; so the cynics smiled when the United States Transport 
Thomas, with its load of school-teachers, passed through the 
Golden Gate and sailed for Manila. Soldiers, sailors, colonists, 
convicts, adventurers, merchandise, arms, rum and missionaries 
had often been sent to colonies; never before a full cargo of 
school-teachers. But the Argonauts brought back the fleece in 
spite of the fire-breathing bulls and the crop of armed men, and 
the teachers, under conditions as difficult though less romantic, 
bid fair to destroy the dragons of ignorance and superstition 
which for so long have flourished in the East. 

A country reflects its national ideals in its methods of col- 
onization. The American policy rests on the principle that the 
solution of economic and political problems will be found in the 
general education of the mass of the people. We have out- 



lived the conviction that a repubhcan form of government is 
necessarily the best for all people at all times, without reference 
to their experience, characteristics and intelligence. It may be 
something to be labored for, an inspiration, a goal. But an 
ignorant people will always be an incapable, inefficient and 
an oppressed people. The higher education of the select few 
will never save a democracy. The history of all the republics 
founded on the old Spanish colonies proves conclusively that the 
education of the masses is essential for a self-governing people. 

In dealing with dependent and backward people the liberal 
monarchial states in which representative government exists as- 
sume that the primary object of public education is to train the 
men who are to govern the masses. This idea has dominated the 
educational work of England in India, Egypt, and in the Crown 
colonies. Writing of education in Egypt, Lord Milner said:^ 
"The Government is still far from being in a position to offer 
a decent education to the majority of the inhabitants. . . . 
Egypt has yet to create a native professional class. She has yet 
to educate the men who are destined to fill the government service. 
When these urgent needs have been supplied, if will he time 
enough to think of general public instruction"^ The stress is thus 
placed on higher education for the few and primary education 
for the masses is either neglected or postponed until law, .order 
and material prosperity have been established. 

The Spanish ecclesiastical methods accentuated the worst 
feature of an aristocratic as distinguished from a democratic 
system of education. The friars regarded the education of the 
common people as not only unnecessary for their salvation, but 
as positively dangerous to the established order of things. The 

'^England in Egypt (1892), p. ZZZ. 

2 The importance of elementary education is beginning to be appreciated. 
In a resolution by the governor-general (Lord Curzon) in council it is said: 
"The Government of India fully accepts the proposition that active extension 
of primary education is one of the most important duties of the state." 
Indian Educational Policy, p. 15 (Calcutta, 1904). It is, however, a question 
of priority. The same resolution states that "there are more than 18,000,000 
boys who ought now to be in school, but of these only a little more than one- 
sixth are actually receiving primary instruction." 


course of events in the Philippines was such as to render the 
condition of the lower orders almost hopeless. The economic 
improvement which followed the opening of the country to com- 
merce increased the wealth and the power of the native aristoc- 
racy at the expense of the common people. The efforts of the 
Spanish Liberal party to introduce reforms in the Philippines 
encouraged ideas which were certain to result in reforms or 
revolution. But the Spanish Republic fell and the efforts of the 
friars and the reactionary party to suppress the spirit of mod- 
ernism, led to insurrection, war and the downfall of Spanish 

There is no doubt but that there had grown up a strong de- 
mand on the part of certain native leaders, such as Rizal, for pop- 
ular education; but very few if any of the gentes illustradas ever 
sympathized with it. The social and economic system was 
aristocratic and feudal. In a district with twenty-five thousand 
inhabitants there were ordinarily about a dozen families of 
wealthy educated people who spoke Spanish, lived in beautiful 
houses and possessed the charm and cultivation of Spanish 
civilization. They sent their daughters to be educated in con- 
vents and their sons to the university at Manila, or to Europe. 
There was no middle class. The rest of the people were petty 
tradesmen, servants or agricultural laborers, taos, dependent 
upon their rather contemptuous lords and masters, and sub- 
missive and subservient to their commands. Occasionally, as 
elsewhere, an individual of unusual capacity and energy se- 
cured an education and forced his way into the upper class, but 
the great mass of the people remained grossly ignorant and super- 

The ability to read and write a native dialect was not unusual ; 
it was, in fact, very common ; but there was little in the dialect 
worth reading and no particular object in writing it. The Span- 
ish collegiate institutions in the Philippines were designed to 
educate the children of Spaniards and the mestizos. Occa- 
sionally a few Indians, as they were called, were received as 


pupils.' Such institutions as the College of San Jose, the Afeneo 
de Manila, and the University of Santo Tomas, furnished an 
education of a scholastic character to the members of the Spanish 
community and the Filipino aristocracy. What passed for edu- 
cation in the parishes was left to the village friar, who taught the 
children of the poor the catechism and the duties of humility and 
obedience to superiors. 

In 1863, by royal decree, a system of public primary education 
was established in the Philippines under the supervision of a Su- 
perior Council of Education composed of the governor-general, 
the archbishop and seven members appointed by the governor- 
general.* This very liberal law required the maintenance of a 
primary school for boys and one for girls in every pueblo, in 
which the instruction was to be given in the Spanish language. 
The regulations issued by the minister for the colonies show the 
character of the instruction to be given and the means provided 
for making the law efifective.^ 

The plan was put into effect very slowly, but by the end of 
the Spanish regime practically every pueblo in the Philippines 
had its two public schools with Filipino teachers who could speak 
Spanish and teach elementary subjects. In every little plaza or 
town square there stood, along with the tribunal, the jail and the 
more pretentious church and convent, a public building of some 
sort for the use of the school. 

3 There has been much discussion of the question whether the Spaniards 
made any serious effort to educate the natives. In 1634 PhiHp IV directed the 
ecclesiastical authorities to provide for the education of the Indians in the 
Spanish language and the principles of reHgion. In 1686 he directed that 
this decree must be observed. In 1792 provision was made for Spanish 
schools for FiHpinos. One of the rules of the College of San Filipe, founded 
in 1641, provided : "The college students shall be of influential Pampango 
families, and they shall be taught to read and write in the Spanish language, 
and shall be given clerkships if they show aptitude therefor." Blair and Rob- 
inson, The Philippines, XLV, p. 175. See also Census of Phil. (1905), III, 
p. 576, and Rept. Commission of Education (U. S.) for 1897-98. 

*For the decree, see Census of Phil. (1905), III, p. 578. For a description 
of the Spanish educational system, see the Report of the Schurman Commis- 
sion (1900), II, Pt. III. 

5 Printed in Census of Philippines (1905), III, pp. 583-590, as a part of 
Judge Rosario's article on Education Under Spanish Rule. Although the 
law required instruction in Spanish, it was seldom given in the primary 
schools. This was one pf the serious grounds for complaint against the 


However, it is easy to infer too much from these facts. A 
pueblo was a district sometimes many square miles in extent and 
containing numerous villages, scattered at considerable distance 
from the center of population. The school buildings were small 
and, as the attendance did not average over sixty in pueblos of 
from eight thousand to twenty thousand people, it is evident that 
only children of the rich and the dwellers in the large towns had 
the opportunity for even elementary instruction. 

Although supported by the government, the school system 
was never secular. The friars were always the inspectors of 
schools and they determined the subjects included in the narrow 
and exclusive curriculum. The pupils, ordinarily from seven 
to ten years of age, were taught reading, writing, sacred his- 
tory and the catechism. The girls studied needlework and em- 
broidery. Occasionally a book on geography was used as a 
reader, and in the typical provincial school a religious primer 
was read in the native dialect. The methods of teaching were 
very primitive. The compensation of the teachers was so small 
that they were without standing or social importance.*^ The lan- 
guage of the text-books had to be learned by heart and the pupil 
recited to the teacher while his companions memorized their les- 
sons aloud. The bright ones became perfect little phonographs, 
repeating exactly what had been talked into them. 

During the insurrectionary period the most of these schools 
were broken up and abandoned. The new government under 
American direction had thus a clean slate on which to write its 
educational history. Church and State were now separated. The 
scholasticism of the Middle Ages which had dominated the Span- 

« "What contributed greatly, also, to the general backwardness of primary 
instruction was the very small salary paid teachers, as it was impossible for 
them to live on what was paid them. . . . The small salary paralyzed any 
good will and ambition to work." Rosario, Census of Phil, III, p. 595 (1905). 

Jagor {Reisen in den Philippinen, 1873), says: "The teacher receives a 
salary from the Government averaging $2 per month without board. In large 
towns the salary is as much as $2.50 per month, but an assistant must be 
paid. The schools are under the supervision of the parish priest. Reading 
and writing are taught therein, the text being in Spanish. It is true that the 
teacher is required to teach Spanish to his pupils, but he himself does not 
understand it. . . . Indians who have been in the service of Europeans 
are the only ones who speak Spanish." Quoted by Rosario. 


ish educational system had no longer any defenders. Obscurant- 
ism was dead and a new spirit was born in the land of Rizal. 
Many, although far from all, of the Philippine people were in 
sympathy with American educational theories and anxious for 

Having decided to establish a popular form of government in 
the Philippines, with a free and independent democratic state as 
the ultimate goal, America was, by all her political traditions and 
theories, committed to the task of educating, not a few leaders, 
but the entire mass of common people. Such a thing had never 
been attempted in the Orient. Almost without exception the men 
of widest experience in eastern affairs predicted that education 
would unfit the Filipinos for agricultural and other practical pur- 
suits and inspire them with the ambition to be clerks, officials and 
professional men. There was force in the assertion. It was, 
in fact, a serious question whether, in view of their history, 
training and racial qualities, the Filipinos possessed the moral 
fiber necessary for the proper use of the conventional education. 
The experience of England with the youth of India and Egypt 
had convinced many well-disposed persons that western education 
was detrimental to the Oriental. 

That harm might result from a little or from too much of that 
sort of education could not be denied. Either often induces dis- 
content in the West as well as in the East. But this possible evil 
was insignificant when compared with the certain dangers result- 
ing from the presence in the country of a mass of ignorant people 
of an excitable disposition and easily misled into lawless violence 
by unscrupulous leaders.^ On political grounds alone, without ref- 
erence to general humanitarian considerations, the new govern- 
ment felt justified in taking the chances involved in giving the 
Filipino people a common-school education which would render 

■^ "It is neither wise nor just that the people should be left intellectually 
defenseless in the presence of the hare-brained and empirical projects which 
the political charlatan, himself but half educated, will not fail to pour into 
their credulous ears." Cromer, Modern Egypt, II, p. 534. In 1868 Lord 
Lawrence said that "among all the sources of difficulty in our administration 
and of possible danger to the stability of our government there are few so 
serious as the ignorance of the people." Indian Educational Policy, p. IS. 


them less liable to be led by political leaders into insurrectionary 

The work of teaching was commenced by the military authori- 
ties, and schools were opened wherever possible, with officers and 
soldiers as voluntary teachers.^ When possible, the old Filipino 
teachers were encouraged to return to their work, but most of 
the pueblos were too poor to pay even their petty salaries. Gen- 
eral Otis did everything within his power, but necessarily, under 
the circumstances, the work was unsystematic, and little was ac- 
complished other than to arouse an interest in the study of the 
English language and convince some of the Filipinos of the good 
will of the Americans. It was difficult for them to retain bitter 
resentful feelings against soldiers who, without pay, were teach- 
ing their little children. It was an object lesson in the policy of 

Prior to September 1, 1900, when the legislative power passed 
to the Philippine Commission, forty-one thousand dollars had 
been expended for American text-books translated into Spanish, 
and for stationery for the schools. The commission immediately 
established a Department of Public Instruction in charge of a gen- 
eral superintendent, eighteen division superintendents, a superior 
advisory board, and local school boards in the municipalities.^ 
Doctor Fred W. Atkinson was made general superintendent, 
and the work of organization was commenced. The general 

8 President McKinley, in his Instructions to the commission, said : "It will 
be the duty of the commission to promote and extend and, as they find occa- 
sion, to improve the system of education already inaugurated by the military 
authorities. In doing this they should regard as of first importance the ex- 
tension of a system of primary education which shall be free to all. and ^yhich 
shall tend to fit the people for the duties of citizenship and for the ordinary 
avocations of a civilized community." A few schools were opened in Manila 
immediately after the occupation of the city, under the direction of Chaplain 
W. D. McKinnon. June 1, 1899. Lieutenant George P. Anderson, a volunteer 
officer, became superintendent of Manila schools, and within a month twenty- 
four English teachers were at work with four thousand five hundred pupils. 
About one thousand schools were opened by the military government. On 
March 30, 1900, Captain Albert Todd, Sixth U. S. Artillery, was placed in 
temporary charge of public school instruction. In a report made Aug. 17, 
1900, he recommended a system of education substantially such as was after- 
ward adopted by the commission. Census of Phil., Ill, p. 690 (1905). 

» Act No. 74, Jan. 21, 1901. This law authorized the superintendent to 
secure one thousand teachers from the United States. 


policy was a very simple one. Common schools were to be 
established everywhere and every child was to be taught arithme- 
tic and to read and write the English language. The schools were 
to be public and secular, adequate for the population, and open to 
all on a purely democratic basis. Secondary and higher educa- 
tion was to follow in due course. 

It is remarkable that so little difficulty was experienced in 
secularizing the schools in the Philippines. The great majority 
of the people were Roman Catholics and the Church deemed the 
control by it of education, particularly when dealing with a back- 
ward people, as of vital importance. That there was general 
acquiescence in the new order of things is probably due to the 
fact that the Vatican put in charge American trained bishops 
who were familiar with the American school system. The so- 
called Faribault plan for the teaching of religion in the schools 
was adopted. The law provided that : 

"No teacher or other person shall teach or criticise the doc- 
trines of any church, religious sect or denomination, or shall at- 
tempt to influence the pupils for or against any church or re- 
ligious sect in any public school established under this act. If 
any teacher shall intentionally violate this section, he or she shall, 
after due hearing, be dismissed from public service." 

No public-school teacher was permitted to conduct religious 
services or teach religion in a school building or to require any 
pupil to attend and receive religious instruction. But the priest 
or minister of any church established in the pueblo might in per- 
son or by a representative teach religion in an orderly manner in 
the school building for one-half hour three times a week to those 
pupils whose parents in writing requested it.^** It was found nec- 
essary to discipline a few teachers under this act, but the agita- 
tion soon subsided and the plan has been accepted as a satisfac- 
tory solution of what might have been a very serious difficulty. 

The proposed adoption of the English language as a medium 

■ ^ 10 Act No. 74. See Kept. Phil. Com., 1900-3, p. 258. Very few priests or 
ministers ever availed themselves of this opportunity. 


of instruction in the public schools raised a question worthy of 
the most serious consideration." To most Americans it seemed 
absurd to propose that any other language than English should 
be used in schools over which their flag floated. But in the schools 
of India and other British dependencies and colonies and, gen- 
erally, in all colonies, it was and still is customary to use the ver- 
nacular in the elementary schools, and the immediate adoption 
of English in the Philippine schools subjected America to the 
charge of forcing the language of the conquerors upon a defense- 
less people. 

There would have been some justification for the charge had 
the Filipinos possessed a common language. Various dialects 
were in use in the civilized parts of the Archipelago, but there 
was no vernacular tongue common to the country or to the whole 
of any one of the large islands. The Visayans of the central 
islands, and the Tagalogs and Ilocanos of central and northern 
Luzon possessed fairly well developed dialects in which there 
were a few printed books and newspapers which circulated in re- 
stricted districts. Manifestly it was impracticable to conduct the 
schools of each district in the dialect there prevalent, and no 
dialect was sufficiently dominant over its rivals to justify its 
adoption as a national language. William von Humboldt wrote 
that the Tagalog dialect was the richest and most perfect lan- 
guage of the Malayo-Polynesean family, but it was spoken by 
only about one- fourth of the Christian inhabitants of the islands 
and it had shown no capacity for growth. After being used for 
hundreds of years in the same locality, it remained thin and life- 
less. It had shown no disposition to expand by absorbing its 
neighbors nor were the Tagalogs, like the Visayans and Ilo- 
canos, disposed to spread into the surrounding islands. It had 
no vitality and little literature worthy of the name. Short-sighted 
Tagalog writers, with Chauvinistic tendencies in their efforts 

" In his Instructions to the commission President McKinley directed that 
instruction should be given in the first instance "in the language of the 
people," but that if possible English be established as "a common medium of 
communication." That the question is still an open one, see General Mc- 
Intyre's Special Report of Dec. 1, 1915, p. 9. 


to "purify" the language, had tried to eliminate from it all 
words of foreign origin, thus destroying the sources of growth. 
Some of them, such as the Tagalog poet, Baltazar, resorted to 
all manner of awkward forms to avoid using words of other 
than pure Tagalog origin. Any attempt to impose the Tagalog 
dialect upon the other races to the exclusion of their own would 
have met with violent opposition. 

But a common language was a necessity, not only for social 
and business purposes but for the growth of national feeling and 
the creation of a homogeneous people. Spanish had been the 
official language of the government and was used in the colleges 
and by the upper classes, but it was unknown to the mass of the 
people. Probably not more than ten per cent, of the inhabitants 
of the Philippines were ever able to speak and write it. Prior to 
the introduction of the public school system in the years follow- 
ing 1863, no serious attempt had been made to teach Spanish to 
the common people. In fact, it had, like Dutch in Java, been re- 
served as the language of the governing class. There certainly 
was no reason why the American government should adopt Span- 
ish as the official language or as the medium of instruction in 
the public schools. Although elegant and beautiful, it was, in a 
commercial sense, a decadent language, while English had al- 
ready become the lingua franca of the Far East. It was spoken 
in every port from Japan to Australia and was rapidly becom- 
ing the common language of commerce, science and diplomacy. 
The intelligent Filipinos realized this and the adoption of Eng- 
lish as the medium of instruction in the schools met with general 

Of course, such a system of education as the Americans con- 
templated establishing could be successful only under the direc- 
tion of American teachers, as the Filipino teachers who had 
been trained in Spanish methods were ignorant of the English 
language and were generally without the necessary knowledge 
of the subjects to be taught. 
. Arrangements were promptly made for enlisting a small army 

^2 The future of the English language in the Philippines is still uncertain. 


of teachers in the United States. At first they came in com- 
panies, but soon in battalions. The transport Thomas was fitted 
up for their accommodation and in July, 1901, it sailed from 
San Francisco with six hundred teachers — a second army of 
occupation — surely the most remarkable cargo ever carried to an 
Oriental colony. 

On August twenty-third the Thomas discharged its passengers 
at the foot of the Anda monument. The hotels and boarding- 
houses of Manila were inadequate for their accommodation, and 
it was found necessary to quarter them in the public buildings on 
the Exposition grounds. Here they were cared for until such 
time as it was possible to send them to their various stations 
throughout the islands. 

These American teachers were mostly young, vigorous and full 
of enthusiasm for the work. They had been gathered hurriedly 
from all walks of American life. A fair proportion were college 
graduates and most of them had had some experience in teach- 
ing. Many were young women; a few were middle-aged men 
who had brought their families with them. One unfortunate man 
died soon after reaching Manila, leaving a wife and five small 
children. There were some among them who had not realized 
their anticipations of fame and fortune in the home land and who 
were seeking a new start in life. A few were mere adventurers 
attracted by the good pay, and the opportunity to see the world 
under novel conditions. The undesirables were soon eliminated. 
There were also many who had neither the physical nor the 
mental strength to endure the climate and the strain of the life, 
and their places were taken by others selected with more de- 

Great care was exercised in assigning the new teachers to 
their stations. Where husband and wife were both teachers, 
they were sent to the same town, and friends and acquaintances 
were kept together when practicable, thus guarding as much as 
possible against the home-sickness and discontent which the fu- 
ture would inevitably bring. The fortunate few who were con- 
nected with the administrative work or were stationed in the 


large cities found life pleasant and interesting, but the most of 
the young men and women who were sent to the provinces and 
scattered among the villages had to live practically alone with 
the Filipinos. Except in the larger towns the conditions of life 
were rarely suitable for single women. To the larger places, 
such as the provincial capitals, where several teachers were re- 
quired, both men and women were sent, and the presence of the 
American engineer, a constabulary officer and an American treas- 
urer made the life endurable and generally pleasant and inter- 

Not the least of the troubles of the teachers was the difficulty 
in getting proper food and good water. The latter was never 
possible until artesian wells were dug, and reliance had to be 
placed on boiled water and bottled mineral waters. As it was 
impossible for Americans to live on the food procurable in the 
ordinary small town, the government established stores in Manila 
and in the provinces, from which the teachers could order their 

In the distant barrios it was not uncommon for an American 
teacher to pass many months without seeing a white face. More 
than any other Americans, they reached the hearts of the humble 
people and convinced them of the disinterestedness of the Ameri- 
can policy. They soon became the centers of the community life, 
respected by every one and loved by the children with an abound- 
ing love. When the cholera was raging, they stood to their posts, 
did what they could to help their stricken people, and in many 
instances died with them. They were the advisers and the friends 
of the common people, and during the entire insurrectionary 
period there was not a single instance of intentional injury to an 
American school-teacher.^^ 

It was neither possible nor desirable that all the teachers should 
be Americans. The task of providing Filipino instructors was 
one of great difficulty. It was necessary to educate and train a 

13 For an interesting description of the life of an American teacher, see 
A 'Woman's Impressions of the Philippines, by Mary H. Fee (1910). 

Freer's Philippine Experiences of an American Teacher (1906) gives a 
very full account of the life of a teacher during the early years. 


new generation of teachers from the pupils of the new schools. 
A few of the younger Spanish trained teachers could be utilized 
as soon as they acquired the English language and the elements 
of the new knowledge which was to be taught in the primary 
schools." Immediate steps were taken to gather together for in- 
struction those who desired to become teachers. 

Early in 1901 a normal school was established in Manila, and 
the announcement of a preliminary session was sent broadcast 
throughout the islands. The transportation companies gen- 
erously furnished free transportation for teachers, and on the 
opening day four hundred and fifty Filipino young men and 
women were present, of whom about ten per cent, could speak 
some English. The attendance increased and five hundred and 
seventy completed a short course and received their certificates. 

The first regular session of the normal school opened Septem- 
ber 1, 1901, with two hundred and fifty pupils in attendance. 
But the expense and the difificulties of transportation made at- 
tendance at Manila impossible for many who aspired to become 
teachers, and special normal sessions were arranged for in the 
various school divisions. During the long vacations many of 
the teachers, American and Filipino, were brought together at 
Manila for instruction and social intercourse, and finally these 
meetings developed into the regular teachers' assembly, which is 
held every year at Manila. Since 1908 an assembly for American 
and high-class Filipino teachers has been held each year at 

Teachers were also developed in the primary schools by train- 
ing the brighter pupils to teach their less advanced companions. 
This work was so successful that in 1910 there were seven thou- 
sand six hundred and ninety-five Filipino teachers on duty, the 

i*A normal school for the training of male "teachers for primary in- 
struction" had been established in Manila in 1863 under the charge of the 
Jesuits. From 1865 to 1882 the number of pupils enrolled in the school was 
3,102, of which 28.5% completed the course. For the Regulations of the 
Normal School, see Census of Phil., Ill (1905), p. 605. 

^5 Beautiful grounds and buildings have been provided for the teachers' 
meetings at Baguio. Distinguished educators from the United States give 
courses of lectures. A daily paper is published. 


most of whom were giving general satisfaction. Almost all the 
primary and, to a considerable extent, the secondary instruction, 
was by that time being given by native teachers under the gen- 
eral supervision of Americans. At present about two-thirds of 
the intermediate teaching force are Filipinos. As Filipino teach- 
ers were thus developed, the number of American teachers was 
gradually reduced until in 1910 there were but six hundred and 
fifty in the service, the greater number of whom were in the 
higher schools or acting as inspectors or supervisors.^® 

The system as originally adopted contemplated primary schools 
supported by the municipalities, secondary schools by the pro- 
vincial authority, and special schools and a university supported 
and controlled by the insular government. 

16 "It has been the policy of the Bureau of Education to lay an increasing 
amount of responsibility upon the Filipino teachei". As a result, where seven 
years ago there were 70 Filipino and 380 American supervising teachers, 
there are to-day 102 Filipino and 138 American supervising teachers. . . . 
There are now 9 Filipino provincial industrial supervisors and 194 inter- 
mediate schools with Filipino principals. In 1908-9 there were 252 Filipino 
and 366 American teachers engaged in intermediate instruction. At the pres- 
ent time there are 841 Filipinos and 105 Americans. Primary instruction, 
except in a very few classes where special work is being carried on, is entirely 
in the hands of Filipinos." 

Kept. Dir. of Education (1914), pp. 23-26. At present about 15% of the 
positions open for American teachers become vacant each year. Their suc- 
cessors are selected in the United States by a representative of the Bureau of 
Education. After their arrival at Manila, they are given a special short 
course of instruction before being assigned to duty. 

It must not be inferred that the training of native teachers was a simple 
operation. An American teacher in Panay thus described what happened to 
his school during a few days of enforced absence. "When I returned on 
Wednesday morning," he wrote, "only two of my six teachers were present 
and my attendance had dropped from 140, when I left, to 25 when I returned. 
During my six days' absence scarcely any work had been done. Thursday 
and Friday there was a big fiesta here, and consequently it was impossible to 
hold school. This morning I attempted to collect the pupils and get started 
once more. I find my teachers are fully as badly demoralized as I expected 
they would be. Maria Garingales was the only one that came on time ; Maria 
Girago came half an hour late and then wanted to get excused for the day. 
Francisco Girado came in an hour and a half late, and then only because I 
sent for him. Norberto Girado was at his home asleep and would not come 
at all, although I sent for him twice. He did not come to the school, but 
went to the cock fight instead, and as there is another cock fight to-morrow 
I have no reason to expect him at that time. All of my teachers, with the 
exception of Maria Garingales, who is always on time, have of late grown 
very slack in regard to their attendance. Norberto is an old offender and 
does not seem to improve. I have done everything in my power to impress 
upon him some sense of his obligation as a teacher, but during this month 
it is safe to say that he has been absent half the time." (Rett. Phil. Com., 
1900-3, p. 404.) 


At first the time and money were devoted to creating an or- 
ganization, training teachers and estabHshing primary schools in 
which the elements of an English education could be obtained. ^'^ 
But many of the pupils made rapid progress and were soon look- 
ing forward to a higher education. They were learning English 
but no Spanish in the public schools, and instruction in the pri- 
vate colleges and universities was conducted entirely in the lat- 
ter language. Unless higher American schools were established 
at once these ambitious pupils would have to return to the private 
church schools where only they could prepare for college. It 
was thus necessary to meet the demand for schools to which chil- 
dren could be advanced on the completion of their primary edu- 
cation, and in the spring of 1902 the organization of secondary, 
or high, schools was authorized. As these provincial secondary 
schools were to be the peoples' colleges and the final sources of 
education for all but the favored few who might be able to go to 
the university at Manila, it was deemed advisable to make the 
course of study as broad as possible. Hence, in addition to the 
ordinary academic and commercial high-school studies, provision 
was made for teaching manual training and agriculture and for 
a preliminary two years' course for teachers to be completed in 
the normal school at Manila. The Spanish language was to be 
taught simply as any other subject. 

During that year secondary schools were established in twenty- 
three of the provinces. The insular government was already 
conducting, at its own expense, a normal school, trade school, and 
nautical schooP* at Manila, and planning for an agricultural 
school in Negros. 

Authority was given the provincial boards and municipal coun- 
cils to levy taxes for school purposes, but neither body was able, 
at the time, to provide the necessary funds, and a large part of 

1''^ Night schools were opened in Manila and elsewhere that were attended 
by many people of all classes and ages. So great was the demand for in- 
struction in English that at one time there were about ten thousand adults in 
these schools. 

^8 A nautical school had been established in 1820. In 1899 it was reorgan- 
ized and placed under an American naval officer. After a short and unprofit- 
able career it was closed until recently, when it was reopened. 


their school expenses have always been paid from the general ap- 
propriation of the Bureau of Education. The provincial boards 
did very well and showed a good spirit, but so much can not be 
said for the municipal authorities. While fully ninety per cent, 
of the municipalities, wrote Secretary Smith,^^ "take a deep and 
abiding interest in education, their lively sympathy does not al- 
ways go to the extent of providing necessary means to pay the 
expenses." The Filipino teacher who looked to the municipal 
treasury for his small salary sometimes found it empty. "By 
law," wrote Governor Taft, "the council of a municipality is 
obliged to devote a certain part of the income of the town to 
schools, but in too many instances it has developed that, in the 
anxiety to secure his own salary, a presidente has induced the 
council and the municipal treasurer to appropriate from what are 
properly school funds to pay the salaries of municipal officials."^** 

The educational work would have progressed more rapidly 
had the insular government used more freely the forces and 
money at its disposal. But the policy of throwing the burden 
along with the privileges of local government upon the smaller 
units was strictly adhered to and, in the end, may justify itself. 

The success of the Bureau of Education in dealing with indus- 
trial education is remarkable in view of the conditions under 
which the work was commenced. As originally planned, the 
course of study provided for industrial instruction in the primary 
and secondary schools and in the special trade and agricultural 
schools. For several years there was much uninformed and ill- 
natured criticism of the authorities for their alleged failure to 
develop vocational work in the schools, and it is commonly 
asserted that this resulted in a change of policy. The fact is 
that great stress was placed on manual training and industrial 

-^^Rept. Phil. Com., 1903, Pt. Ill, p. 677. 

20 "The truth is that the municipal governments have not been as satis- 
factory in their operations as could be wished. By the misuse of the school 
fund already referred to, the native school teachers have been compelled to 
go without their salaries. The municipal police have also gone unpaid and 
'in many instances have not been made efficient because they were used as the 
personal servants of the municipal presidentes." Report Civil Governor, 
Nov. 15, 1903; (^Rept. Phil. Com., 1903, Pt. I, p. 84). 


education from the beginning, and that it was developed as rap- 
idly as possible under the circumstances.^^ The original course 
of study in the primary schools included manual training for 
boys and girls. The Manila Trade School was established in 
1901. The commission in its report for that year commented on 
the demand from the provinces for teachers capable of giving in- 
struction in manual training and the trades, and remarked that 
trade schools "if established in sufficient numbers and properly 
organized and conducted, will do more than almost any other 
agency to put them in the possession of those qualities or powers 
which tend most directly to modernize them and raising their 
standard of civilization," Secretary Moses, in his first report, 
discussed very fully the necessity for industrial education. In 
1903, Secretary Smith said : "Next in importance after the crea- 
tion of a supply of native teachers comes instruction in useful 
trades and the mechanical arts and sciences necessary for the 
industrial development of the country. . . . This branch of 
instruction is, as has been already stated, in its infancy, and while 
no great progress has been made, it is confidently believed that 
besides giving to the islands a supply of educated Filipino artisans 
and mechanics, it will compel a due regard and respect for the 
dignity of labor." In his report for 1907, Secretary Shuster said : 
"During the past year the dominant note of the policy of this 
department has been the expansion throughout the islands of 
facilities for giving education along the most practical lines of 
industrial, agricultural, and domestic science training. A large 
proportion of the funds appropriated from the Insular treasury 
for school construction has been expended for schools of arts 
and trades, and the proportion so expended in future will be even 
greater."^' This policy was continued by the succeeding secre- 
taries of public instruction. 

21 The recommendations submitted hy Captain Todd in Aug.. 1900, in- 
cluded industrial schools for manual training. 

22 "The spectacle of the pupils of a school of arts and trades at work, 
under the direction of their American teacher, in constructing a permanent 
and substantial industrial school of cement blocks, molded and laid by the 
pupils themselves, all without cost to the Government other than for the 
necessary materials, is to some extent a refutation of the ill-founded state- 


A good many Americans in Manila were not in favor of edu- 
cating the natives for anything higher than servants and common 
laborers. ^^ Most of the criticism, however, was due to ignorance 
of what was being done and the failure to recognize difficulties 
inherent in the situation. At that time industrial teaching in the 
public schools of the United States was largely experimental, 
and even at present competent critics are not satisfied with the 
methods of teaching or the results obtained."* There can be no 
question of the sincerity of the effort made by the government 
of the Philippines to train the Filipinos for industrial occupations. 
Mr. Barrows, who was director of the Bureau of Education 
from 1903 to 1910, was an earnest supporter of the policy, al- 
though he was not in favor of permitting manual-training work 
to supersede instruction in the ordinary branches of an ele- 
mentary English education. ^^ 

ment which has not infrequently been heard to the effect that the educational 
work in these islands is of an impractical and visionary character. The fre- 
quent suggestions which have appeared in the public press to the effect that 
manual training should be installed in the schools seems to take no account 
of the fact that this practical form of education has been one of the keynotes 
of the Government's policy since the establishment of the public school sys- 
tem." Kept. Phil. Com., 1907, Pt. Ill, p. 162. Ibid., p. 163. 

23 "It is unfortunate that the attitude of much of the American community 
and of the American press is outspokenly hostile to public instruction. The 
cry is the common one, that the public schools interfere with the availability 
of labor, train boys away from the fields, and expend large sums of money 
which would better be devoted to industrial and commercial development. 
The Manila Times in recent months has engaged in a vigorous campaign with 
the professed object of beating down the insular appropriations for educa- 
tion. It was also represented that the present educational policy neglects the 
practical training for life or industrial efficiency; that the money devoted to 
public instruction is in large part wasted ; and that a radical change in the 
amount and character of instruction should be made. ... So far as 
opposition to Philippine education is a reflection of that ungenerous and 
illiberal opposition to native enlightenment which too often takes possession 
of Americans domiciled in these islands, I believe it to be recreant to every 
principle of our national policy and to a due regard for justice." Rept. 
Director of Education, Aug. 1, 1908 {Rept. Phil. Com., 1908, Pt. II, p. 805). 

2* "The manual training high schools are too elaborate," says Doctor 
Draper {Our Children, Our Schools, and Our hidustries, 1908, p. 7), "too ex- 
pensive, in a way too dilettante to lead to anything other than one of the 
industrial professions ; often they do not even prepare for training in one of 
these. They are much more like schools than shops, where they should be 
more like shops than schools. . . . They are managed by men who are 
more teachers than workmen, when they should be managed by men who are 
at least quite as much workmen as teachers." 

25 See Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, 
XXX, No. 1, July, 1907. 

In his report for 1908, Mr. Barrows said : "The main purpose of the pri- 


Industrial training, to be of any value, requires shops, ma- 
chinery and suitable apparatus, as well as specially trained teach- 
ers. It is much more complicated and difficult than ordinary 
academic instruction which requires only the teacher, a few text- 
books and a blackboard. 

It must also be remembered that the Filipinos had not been 
taught to look upon manual labor as dignified and honorable. 
In some respects the society resembled that of the South during 
slavery days. There was no place for the theory of the dignity 
of labor in the political and social system developed under Span- 
ish rule. No one labored with his hands unless compelled thereto 
by dire necessity. Education was regarded as a means for escap- 
ing from manual labor, of becoming a clerk, lawyer, doctor, 
priest or government employee. The last thing a Filipino boy or 
girl desired to be taught was how to perform manual labor, 
skilfully or in any other way. Such work was supposed to be for 
the tao and the miichacho. This ancient prejudice against man- 
ual labor had to be broken down before any real progress could 
be made in industrial education. 

It is remarkable that so many young men and women were 
able to rise above this popular feeling against manual labor. 
When the Manila Trade School was opened in 1901 it was very 
difficult to find students. They had to be coaxed to enter the 
trade school and after being there were retained with difficulty. 
When Mehemet Ali established his European schools in Egypt 
he sent press gangs out to secure pupils, as sailors were formerly 

mary schools is to give children a knowledge of letters ; it is to make the 
common people literate in the English tongue. To those who advocate 'prac- 
tical instruction,' I reply that the most practical thing obtainable for men is 
a civilized community, and their most desirable acquisition is literacy. In 
civilized communities an illiterate class suffers a grievous handicap in the 
social competition. Civilized communities are civilized because they are 
literate. The achievement of letters marks the transition from barbarism to 
civilization. . . . However numerous may become the otlier duties placed 
upon the schools, the duty of caring for the physical development of the 
children, the duty of providing for their moral training, the duty of con- 
tributing to their industrial efficiency, however much these may come to be 
accepted as necessary functions of the school, the training in letters must 
always remain its first and fundamental office." (Rcpt. Phil. Com., 1908, 
Pt. II, p. 807). See the interesting remarks of Mr. Lecky on primary educa- 
tion {Democracy and Liberty, II, p. 6). 


secured for His Majesty's navy.^" This rather crude but effec- 
tive method of securing a large enrollment was not available in 
the Philippines. Nevertheless, in 1904, instruction was being 
given in the trade school to two hundred and seventy pupils, and 
there was a large waiting list. The old prejudice against man- 
ual labor has been weakened, but it is still strong and is a for- 
midable obstacle in the way of the industrial development of the 
country. Ambitious Filipino youth crowd into the learned pro- 
fessions just as they do in the United States. ^'^ The great educa- 
tional problem is to induce all but the select few to believe that 
business, industrial and especially agricultural life offers careers 
as honorable, as dignified and as profitable as the learned pro- 

At present very great stress is being laid on the utilitarian idea 
in education. Industrial training is commenced in the primary 
and continued throughout the intermediate grades. The high- 
school course is more conventional and is designed to prepare 
students for collegiate work and three- fourths of the graduates 
proceed to a college or university. The course of study now re- 
quires eleven years for completion, four in the primary, three in 
the intermediate, and four in the high-school grades. In the in- 
termediate grade six courses are given : a general course, a course 
for teachers, a course in farming, a trade course, a course in 
housekeeping and household arts, and a business course. All the 
intermediate schools are not yet equipped to teach all these 
courses. In some only one, in others, two, three or all six are 

26 So unpopular was education that mothers actually blinded their children 
to keep them from school. Senior, Conversations, etc., p. 130. Small boys 
were taken to school in chains, others were paid to go. Fyfe's The New 
Spirit in Egypt, p. 94. 

^'^ Americans are not unfamiliar with similar aspirations. "No boy in an 
American school looks forward to digging and delving for hire as a means 
of a livelihood nor does any girl contemplate domestic service as her future 
work in life." Mosley, Educational Commission Reports, p. 102. 

28 Some industrial instruction is given in the private schools, but they are 
generally without proper equipment. There are some exceptions to this state- 
ment. The Silliman Institute, at Dumaguete, and the Industrial School Re- 
public at Jaro give excellent courses in agriculture and wood-working, and 
the schools of the Belgian Sisters in Manila, Tagudin, Bontoc and Baguio 
give excellent instruction in lace-making. 



given. The high-school course is similar to that of the same 
type of school in the United States.'" 

On entering a primary school the pupil must take as a part of 
each clay's work certain manual-training exercises beginning as 
play but leading to the regular courses provided in the advanced 
primary and intermediate grades. In 1912, 216,218 boys and 
125,203 girls, representing ninety-one per cent, of the enrollment, 
were engaged in industrial work such as regular manual-training 
and trade work, school gardening and farming, housekeeping, the 
making of hats and mats and the study of basketry. Close touch 
is kept on the work by means of provincial industrial supervisors 
who frequently visit the schools in their territory, and inspectors 
and instructors attached to the general office are constantly travel- 
ing throughout the islands. The articles made by the children 
of the public schools are remarkable both for their quality and 
diversity. The exhibit made by the Bureau of Education in con- 
nection with the Philippine Industrial Exhibition in 1912 was a 
very interesting one, and great quantities of dainty laces and em- 
broideries, beautiful baskets, hats, pottery, furniture and other 
articles were sold to the public. In 1911 the schoolboys in one 
hundred towns were wearing hats made by themselves. In that 
year the Philippines exported 621,475 hats; in 1912, 1,025,596, 
and the increase was due very largely to school influence. More 
than half of the desks and tables in use in the primary schools of 
the Philippines were made by the pupils. The primary schools of 
Albay are able to deliver one thousand salable baskets on a 
month's notice. 

The Igorot girls weave the cloth and make the clothing which 
they wear in school. The industrial school at Capiz has developed 
the slipper-making industry in that community so that two thou- 
sand dollars' worth of slippers were sold in one year. Through 
school influence 1,072 gardens were established during the year 
1911 at the homes of pupils in La Union Province. In the prov- 
ince of x\lbay 470 school and home gardens were developed in 

23 For the course of study, see the Report Director of Education for 
1914, pp. 58-64. 


one year and many vegetables introduced which formerly were 
unknown in the community. In the non-Christian province of 
Bukidnon each school has ten acres of land enclosed and under 
cultivation. The provincial schools of Pampanga exhibited at 
the 1912 carnival six hundred samples of jellies, jams and pre- 
serves made from Philippine fruits. Many other illustrations 
might be given of the results of the extremely practical training 
being given in the public schools. 

The remarkable showing made by the Philippine school sys- 
tem at the Panama-Pacific Exposition of 1914 is evidenced by 
the four grand and seventy-three other prizes awarded it. 

The new system of education required text-books prepared 
specially for the Philippines. Few of those in use in the primary 
schools in the United States were suitable. Nothing better illus- 
trates the isolated condition in which the people of the country 
had lived. The primers and readers brought from the United 
States had much to say of the change of seasons which were un- 
known, and of fruits and flowers and birds which had never been 
seen or heard of in the Philippines; of a home life and social 
customs which were beyond the experience and comprehension 
of the children of the tropics. The arithmetic texts dealt with 
weights and measures unknown in the Orient ; the problems were 
based on the buying and selling of products of which the Filipino 
children had never heard ; the geographies contained descriptions 
of Europe, North America and the states of the Union ; they ig- 
nored the home of the Filipinos and gave scant treatment to the 
Orient in general. The histories dealt with America and Europe, 
making no mention of the Philippines and little of China, Japan 
and Malaysia. The texts on nature study and plant and animal 
life told the children of vegetation and fauna as strange to the 
Filipino as is German script to a boy or girl in an American pri- 
mary school.^" 

To meet the requirements new text-books were prepared from 
local material by teachers and others familiar with conditions 

, ^^ Report of the Director of the Bureau of Education (Rept. Phil. Com., 
1910, p. 173). 


and published by the government or by private concerns. The 
books on ordinary topics such as arithmetic required but shght 
changes. Special texts were prepared, such as a Short History of 
the Philippines, the Civil Goz'ernment of the Philippines, Philip- 
pine Geography, Philippine Folk Lore, A Nature Study Reader, 
Lessons on Familiar Philippine Animals, School and Home Gar- 
dening, Housekeeping, Economic Conditions in the Philippines, 
Embroidery and Lace Making, Materials for Commerce for the 
Philippines, Commercial Geography, An Athletic Handbook, and 
Introduction to the Study of Colonial History. Ninety per cent, 
of the texts now in use were prepared especially for the Philip- 
pines. Many of the bulletins published by the Bureau of Educa- 
tion contain material which is used as the basis of instruction. A 
monthly magazine, called The Philippine Craftsman, is devoted 
entirely to the advancement of industrial instruction. 

During recent years athletic instruction has constituted an im- 
portant part of the school work. In the olden times the most vio- 
lent exercise ever taken by a Filipino boy or girl was by partici- 
pation in a solemn processional march under the chaperonage of 
a dignified teacher. The sporting instinct found its gratification 
at the cockpit. Physical activity was considered not only unpleas- 
ant but very undignified. All that has been changed. To-day the 
boys are as devoted to baseball and track as their contemporaries 
in America and the girls are skilful at tennis and basket-ball. A 
very large proportion of the public-school pupils participate, 
under careful instruction, in some form of organized athletics 
and the beneficial effects, both mental and physical, are already 
very evident. It may be that when the final account is made up 
it will be found that baseball has had a more beneficial effect 
upon the new generation than even the more orthodox subjects of 
the school course.^^ 

3^ Governor-General Forbes was greatly interested in athletics and did 
more than any other American official to encourage the Filipinos to train 
their bodies as well as their minds. A regular interprovincial athletic-school 
league is maintained. In connection with the Philippine Carnival in Feb., 
1913, the far eastern Olympiad was held in Manila. Both China and Japan 
sent a number of young men, and the athletic contests lasted for several days. 
Almost all the contestants representing the Philippines were schoolboys. 


Prior to 1910 the government encouraged young men and 
women to secure, whenever possible, a higher education in Amer- 
ican colleges. Immediately after the American occupation 
wealthy Filipinos commenced sending their sons to the United 
States to be educated, and provinces and towns arranged to main- 
tain boys abroad at public expense. In 1903 the commission de- 
cided to send to the United States for education one hundred 
boys and girls of high-school age and educate them to become 
teachers, engineers, doctors and lawyers, on condition that for 
five years after their return they should be at the call of the 
government for public service. One-third of these pensionados 
were selected at large by the governor-general and the others by 
the provincial authorities. Between 1903 and 1912, 209 young 
men and women were educated in American institutions at a total 
expense of $479,940. As a whole it Is probable that the money 
was well expended, but many people believe that the effect of 
sending Immature boys abroad for their education under condi- 
tions so different from that of their native land is generally detri- 
mental to their characters. Most of these pensionados are now 
useful citizens of the Philippines, and a few are serving the gov- 
ernment as teachers, engineers and officials. However, It Is 
doubtful whether many of them acquired any affection for Amer- 
ica or admiration for her Institutions by reason of the years spent 
at her colleges and universities, and It Is certain that some of them 
returned with a feeling of restlessness and dissatisfaction which 
threw them into the ranks of the agitators. After the University 
of the Philippines was established there was no necessity for 
sending boys out of the country for a higher education and at 
present only a few graduates who have shown unusual ability 
are sent abroad for special work of a scientific character. 

The university, the normal school, and most of the other 
schools supported by direct appropriations are now well housed in 

Japan won the baseball championship, but in track, field and general sports 
the Filipinos were victors. 

The various private schools are beginning to realize the importance of 
physical training, and even the schools under the control of the religious 
orders maintain baseball, football and basket-ball teams. But few of the pri- 
vate schools have specially trained teachers for athletics, or suitable grounds. 


modern buildings and fairly well supplied with facilities for in- 
struction.^" Many of the elementary schools still occupy rented 
buildings or temporary bamboo structures. Prior to 1907, al- 
though by law the burden of providing buildings for elementary 
and secondary schools was imposed on the provinces and munici- 
palities, the commission had assisted them to the extent of 
$500,000, of which $175,000 came from the congressional relief 
fund. In that year the legislature appropriated $500,000, of 
which $125,000 was to be available each year for the purpose of 
paying not to exceed two-thirds of the cost of the construction of 
school buildings in barrios where not less than sixty pupils were 
in daily attendance. At its expiration this law was renewed upon 
the same conditions, and three other appropriations of approxi- 
mately one hundred thousand dollars each have been made to aid 
municipalities to construct buildings on such conditions as should 
be prescribed by the secretary of public instruction. Substantial 
school buildings of reinforced concrete, built according to stand- 
ard plans, are slowly replacing the old structures, and if the 
policy is adhered to it is only a question of time until all the 
schools will be properly housed. 

The University of the Philippines, with colleges of liberal arts, 
engineering, medicine and surgery, veterinary science, schools of 
fine arts, pharmacy, dentistry, education, agriculture and law, and 
now organized like an American state university, was established 
in 1911 with a former American Episcopalian minister as presi- 
dent and the Roman Catholic archbishop a member of the board 
of regents. Certain of the colleges had been in operation for 
several years as separate schools. 

At the present time more than two thousand students are en- 
rolled in the university. The College of Medicine and Surgery, 
which offers special facilities for the study of tropical medicine, 
graduated its first class in 1912. At present the president of the 
university and a large proportion of the faculty are Filipinos, and 

32 Expensive buildings have been constructed in Manila for the university, 
the normal school, the girls' dormitory, and the School of Arts and Trades. 


their number will undoubtedly increase as the graduates who are 
pursuing advanced courses in American and European universi- 
ties return to the islands. There is reason to believe that if the 
standard is maintained the University of the Philippines will in 
time draw many students from China and other parts of the Far 

In 1914 the insular government was maintaining also a nor- 
mal school with nearly 1,500 students, a school of arts and trades 
with 762 students, a school of commerce with 411 students, a 
school for the deaf and blind with 53 students, a school for house- 
hold industries with 179 students, and a nautical school with 
30 students. The school of household industries was established 
in 1912 for the purpose of teaching adult women to make lace, 
embroidery and other household products. The students of this 
school are brought to Manila from the provinces and maintained 
at government expense under an agreement to return to their 
homes and establish centers for instruction in the various house- 
hold crafts. 

The Philippine Nurses' Training School, which originated sev- 
eral years ago at the normal school, is now conducted at the Phil- 
ippine General Hospital under the supervision of the Public 
Health Service. The students, to the maximum number of 106, 
are supported by the government. The Filipino young women 
seem to possess in a high degree the qualities which fit them for 
professional nurses and they have won the unqualified approval 
of their instructors and the gratitude and appreciation of the pa- 
tients for whom they have rendered such faithful and skilful 

A number of the government bureaus conduct special schools 
for the training of their employees and educational work is car- 
ried on in all the prisons. The Bureau of Printing has been par- 
ticularly successful in training printers and bookbinders. The 
convicts at Bilidid prison conduct a school and receive practical 
instruction in manual training. The Iwahig penal colony is 

33 It was a mistake to place a Filipino at the head of the university, and 
there is at present a regrettable tendency toward lowering the standard orig- 
inally established. 


simply a school for the reformation of prisoners where they are 
given instruction in agriculture and other kinds of manual train- 
ing which will fit them to become useful and self-supporting 
members of society after their discharge. The excellent school 
at Baguio, conducted by the constabulary for the training of of- 
ficers, has recently been expanded into a sort of Filipino West 

The educational work is gradually being extended among the 
inhabitants of the non-Christian provinces which until 1916 
were under the exclusive control of the Philippine Commission. 
Prior to January 1, 1914, all the funds available for educational 
work in the non-Christian provinces were appropriated by the 
commission, but since that date the schools have been supported 
from the regular appropriations for the Bureau of Education. 
In 1913, $126,850 was expended for school work among the wild 
tribes, exclusive of the amount expended for buildings. During 
1913-1914, fifty schools were conducted for non-Christians in 
the Christian provinces, with an attendance of 1,640, and eighty- 
nine in the non-Christian provinces, with an attendance of 3,506 
students. The instruction is necessarily of a very simple char- 
acter. The people are being taught how to live decently and 
honestly and earn a living by the cultivation of the soil and the 
manufacture of simple, characteristic articles for which there is 
a demand. Particular attention is given to industrial instruction, 
A trade school has been established at Baguio and the cabinet 
work there done by the Igorot boys is of a high quality. In Qui- 
angan the schoolboys erected a beautiful school building out of 
stone found in the immediate neighborhood. 

Until January, 1915, the Moro Province was treated as a sep- 
arate unit for educational as well as for governmental purposes. 
The province received no financial assistance for its schools from 
the Philippine Legislature or the commission and yet under very 
adverse conditions considerable progress was made in the educa- 
tion of the natives. In addition to the ordinary elementary schools 
it maintained a summer normal school, agricultural and industrial 
schools and a school for Moro girls where they were taught per- 


sonal cleanliness, housekeeping, sewing, cooking, embroidery and 
reading and writing English. In 1913 there were fifteen Amer- 
ican teachers on duty in the province and 101 native teachers, of 
whom 33 were women — 83 being Christian Filipinos, 17 Moros, 
and one a Babogo girl. In that year the province spent $52,255 
for educational work. The total enrollment in the schools was 
7,568, of which 68 per cent, were boys. The average daily at- 
tendance was 4,535. In parts of the province private Moro 
schools are conducted by Moro priests who teach the Koran and 
writing the native dialects in Arabic characters. But the more 
intelligent Moros are calling for American teachers and as rap- 
idly as money will permit the pandita schools are being super- 
seded by public schools.^* Soon after the Department of Min- 
danao and Sulu was created the schools were placed under the 
control of the Bureau of Education of the insular government. 
In 1914 a total of $235,088 was provided for educational work 
in that department. 

In view of the fact that with the money available it is still 
impossible properly to house and teach all of the Filipino children, 
it has been deemed inadvisable to enact a compulsory education 
law. There are in the Philippines approximately one million 
two hundred thousand children of school age, of which less than 
one-half are receiving instruction at any one time. The frequent 
appeals to Congress for financial assistance for the educational 
work have fallen upon deaf ears and the Filipinos have been left 
to pay all the bills for the education of their children. ^^ For that 

34 "The Moros or Pagans who have come in close contact with our civili- 
zation, in the pubHc schools or otherwise, are frequently found to be anxious 
to improve their standards of living and, to a certain extent, are inclined also 
to adopt our manners and customs. . . . On this fact may justly be based 
the belief that through our common schools an impetus may be given which, 
if followed up by other civilizing forces, may lead eventually to the social 
evolution of these wards." Annual Rept. Gov. of the Moro Province, 1913, 
p. 2,Z. ^ ^ 

35 A distinguished American educator began an address at the Lake Mo- 
hawk Conference, Oct., 1911, with the statement that "Our Government in 
Washington is caring for schools in the Philippines." In fact, the govern- 
ment at Washington has done nothing for education in the Philippines other 
than permit certain Americans to labor there in the service of the insular 
government and spend the money which the Filipinos and residents are able 
to furnish. 



purpose the government of the PhiHppines had, to July 1, 1913, 
expended $21,376,000. The following table shows the annual 
expenditures for schools, exclusive of buildings :^^ 

Fiscal year. 






>No figures available. Expenditures from military sources. 


Small sums 

No record. 
No record. 



During the year 1912, 529,655 pupils were enrolled in the 
3,367 primary, 208 intermediate and 38 secondary schools.^^ At 
present as nearly as can be learned there are 4,400 schools, 10,250 
teachers, of whom 500 are Americans, and an enrollment of about 

In 1913 the enrollment fell to 440,050 and the number of pri- 
mary schools to 2,595. It was conceded that there had also been a 
falling off in the efficiency of the schools and that it was due to the 

2^ It will be remembered that a peso is worth fifty cents gold. 

3T In his report for 1914 the director of the Bureau of Education said: "In 
practically every line of work substantial progress is to be reported. The 
attendance during the school year 1913-14 and during the present school year 
1914-15 has reached the highest figure in the history of this bureau. The 
annual enrollment for 1913-14 was 621,030 as compared with 440,050 for the 
previous school year. The average monthly enrollment for 1913-14 was 
489,070, as compared with 329,756 for the previous school year. The average 
daily attendance was 428,552 as compared with 287,995 for 1912-13. The 
percentage of attendance was 88. The high percentage of attendance is par- 
ticularly significant, since regularity of attendance is one of tlie chief factors 
of efficiency in instruction. The number of schools for the school year 
1913-14 was 4,235, as compared with 2,934 for 1912-13. The number of 
schools for the present school year remains practically the same. The num- 
ber of teachers for 1913-14 was 9.462, as compared with 7,671 for 1912-13. 

38 November 1, 1916. The figures are furnished me by Mr. Crone, Director 
of the Bureau of Education. 


attempt to accomplish more than was justified by the amount of 
money available. In view of the general decrease of the income 
of the government it was certain that the appropriations for edu- 
cational work could not be increased, and it became necessary 
either to abandon the building program, restrict industrial edu- 
cation, reduce salaries or the number of American teachers, or 
close many of the schools. The director of education reached the 
surprising conclusion that it was best to limit the amount of pri- 
mary education by closing many of the barrio schools.^^ This 
was a yielding of the sound principle upon which the educational 
structure had been erected, to the pressure of the Filipinos for 
higher education for the few at the expense of a common-school 
education for the many. But Secretary Gilbert was not willing 
to abandon the theory that the first duty of a government is to 
give all children a primary education; that while advanced edu- 
cation is desirable for some, it is not essential for all.^" It is to 
be hoped that the educational authorities will not yield to this 
pressure. The salvation of the Philippines is in a system of edu- 
cation which rests securely upon a broad foundation of common 
schools for the masses. 

While no religious instruction is given in the public schools 
by the teachers, education has not been divorced from religion 
and morals. It has been recognized that the mere possession of 

39 The reason given was that "the country needed a large number of well- 
trained young men and women as teachers and workers along similar lines. 
The schools to date have not been able to produce a sufficient number of this 
class. Moreover, the people who have had a voice in affairs have always 
been much more interested in intermediate and secondary instruction than in 
the extension of primary schools to the barrios. The Director of Education 
and his official superiors are constantly in receipt of letters protesting against 
the closing or demanding the opening of intermediate schools. During the 
past three years this Bureau has received more than six times as many com- 
munications asking for extension of intermediate instruction as for an ex- 
tension of primary instruction. , . . Their attention is very rarely, indeed, 
called to the desirability of extending primary instruction." Rept. Phil. Com., 

I am assured that this recommendation was designed merely to force the 
hand of the governor-general and compel him to find the money to continue 
the primary work and that it was successful. The educational authorities 
always claimed that Governor-General Forbes was securing funds for unnec- 
essary public work that should have been devoted to education. 

^oRept. Phil. Com., 1913, p. 246. 


knowledge without moral principles to guide its use may be worse 
than ignorance. The teachers by example and precept have 
sought to instil into the minds of the pupils those principles of 
right conduct which make for character building. The degree 
of success obtained will determine the value of the education im- 
parted to the Filipinos. 

The results of the educational work are undoubtedly to the 
credit of the government and the people. Everywhere in the 
Far East, from Egypt and India to the Philippines, special atten- 
tion is being given to the education of the native people. We 
have no monopoly of this altruistic work and our methods differ 
from those of England only in the special attention given to ele- 
mentary instruction and possibly the spirit in which the work is 
being done. 

From India, particularly, we may learn what to avoid. As 
Lord Cromer has said :*^ "The intellectual phase through which 
India is now passing stands before the world as a warning that it 
is unwise, even if it be not dangerous, to create too wide a gap be- 
tween the state of education in the higher and the lower classes in 
an Oriental country governed under the inspiration of a western 
democracy." It is conceded by most disinterested observers that 
the comparative failure of the educational system of India has 
been due to the character of the instruction given and the stress 
laid on higher education, academic and technical. In both India 
and Egypt primary education is left largely to the private schools 
where the instruction is in the vernacular and under the control 
of the native religious teachers.*" 

The religion of Islam closes the door to western education for 

*^ Modern Egypt, II, p. 534. "Signs of the Times in India," Edinburgh 
Reviezv, Oct., 1907. 

*- Many of these private schools receive grants in aid from the govern- 
ment. The policy of the Egyptian government has been to develop higher 
institutions of learning to the point where they will become self-sustaining 
and then devote the government money to primarv education. Lord Cromer's 
Report, Egvpt, No. 1 (1906), pp. 82-89; Sir El'den Gorst's Report, Egypt, 
No. 1 (1908), p. 31. 

For a review of the educational work in Egypt, see Sir Elden Gorst's 
Report, Egypt, No. 1 (1909), pp. 38 et seq. 


children,*^ particularly girls, and the caste system of India pre- 
sents almost insuperable difficulties to the educator. There are 
to-day in British India alone more than six million wives, many 
of them mothers, who are under sixteen years of age. The edu- 
cation of girls in a country where such customs exist seems al- 
most a hopeless task. However, the conditions differ so radi- 
cally that comparisons between the educational work in the Phil- 
ippines, India, Egypt and Japan are of very little value. 

The work of the missionaries of the Protestant churches is so 
closely identified with education that it may well be referred to 
in this connection.** Some of them maintain secondary schools 
such as the Silliman Institute at Dumaguete, for the training of 
young Filipinos for work among their own people. The Prot- 
estant Episcopal Church, under the direction of the famous mis- 
sionary bishop, Charles H. Brent, has worked principally among 
the non-Christians— that is, the non-Catholic element of the 
population. Several years ago Bishop Brent established endowed 
schools at Baguio where American boys and girls can prepare for 
college. There are also certain private schools which receive 
some government aid such as Miss Kelley's School at Baguio, 
where Igorot girls are taught household industries and the rules 
of civilized life. These various schools supplement the work of 
the public schools. 

Our educational problems in the Philippines are comparatively 
simple ; in fact, they are mostly financial. There is still much to 
do and little to do it with. If the educational authorities are able 
to resist the pressure from a certain element for higher educa- 
tion at the expense of elementary and industrial instruction the 
Filipinos will in due time be in possession of all that education 
can do for any people. 

*3 See Hughes' Dictionary of Islam, p. 106 ; Roy, Century Magazine, Sept., 

■** For a description of the work of the missionaries, see particularly, The 
Progressing Philippines, by Charles W. Briggs, a missionary in Panay and 
Negros (1913), and The Philippines and the Far East, by Homer C. Stuntz 

The Labor Problem 

Climate and Labor — The Normal Labor Conditions — Customs of the Country 
— Problems Confronting the Americans — Exclusion of the Chinese — Elect to 
Develop Filipino Labor — Encouraging Results — Methods Used in Other Colo- 
nies — Penalties for Breach of Labor Contracts — Advances Obtained with 
Fraudulent Intent — The Bureau of Labor — Increase in Wages. 

It has been said that an atom more or less added to or taken 
from the atmosphere which envelops us might change the course 
of history. With an excess of nitrogen we might become very 
torpid and gravitate toward final extinction. A different pro- 
portion of oxygen might mean a continuous debauch of violence. 
After making due allowance for ordinary racial characteristics, 
it is certain that the degree of heat and humidity in which men 
live affect appreciably their physical characteristics, ambitions, 
desires, and their outlook on life. Things which in temperate 
climes seem sufficiently desirable to induce men to strive mightily 
and wrestle with their limitations, have little attraction for the 
dwellers in the tropics. Great physical exertion seems to them 
too high a price to pay for any rewards it will bring. The doc- 
trine of the strenuous life makes no appeal. To them the one 
blighting curse M^hich rests on humanity is the apparent neces- 
sity for labor; their ideal life is one long siesta. 

In what we may call its normal state, the tropics knows no real 
labor question. It is only when the white man comes and under- 
takes to "hustle the Aryan brown" and make the land produce 
more than is necessary for bare existence according to the local 
standard, that the indisposition of the native to work seriously 
becomes a matter of consequence. 

Before the American occupation of the Philippines, the native 
employers of labor handled the situation in their own crude 
way, usually tying their laborers to the soil under a system of 



peonage. The plans of the Americans for the development of 
the natural resources of the country required a different type of 
laborer. We were confronted with the usual problems which 
have caused so much trouble in other Oriental colonies. The Eng- 
lish, Dutch, French and Germans in their colonies deal with peo- 
ple who differ greatly from the Filipinos, but the difficulties of 
the labor problem are to some extent the same in all tropical 
countries. The dominant factors are a great body of fertile land, 
capable of producing an almost unlimited supply of products, and 
an abundance of able-bodied men with some capacity but no in- 
clination to perform the labor necessary to translate possibilities 
into realities. There is always plenty of man power but it is of 
low quality. Those who desired quick returns urged the Ameri- 
can government to adopt the methods for securing and regulating 
a supply of labor which prevailed in neighboring tropical coun- 

The Chinese exclusion laws had been extended to the Philip- 
pines, and the first demand of the contractors and large employers 
of labor was that it be so changed as to allow them to import at 
least a limited number of laborers from China. A delegation of 
business men visited Washington and urged the suspension of the 
law, but Filipino sentiment was overwhelmingly opposed to such 
a course and the commission finally reached the conclusion that, 
while it would be temporarily advantageous, it would in the end 
prove prejudicial to all concerned. If the country was to be de- 
veloped it would have to be by its own people, under the direction 
and supervision of Americans. 

There were serious questions of large public policy connected 
with the matter. The administration was urging Congress to 
open the markets of the United States to the Philippines and if 
the Chinese exclusion laws were modified the cry of competition 
with cheap Asiatic labor would be raised in the United States and 
the political influence of the labor organizations be added to that 
of the home manufacturers. Experience had demonstrated that 
the Filipinos were not able to compete successfully with the Chi- 


nese,* and it did not seem to be a proper occasion for the appli- 
cation of the law of the survival of the fittest.^ 

The early experiences of American employers with Filipino 
workmen were rather discouraging. Labor was difficult to secure 
and when secured it was expensive and, when measured by Amer- 
ican standards, of very poor quality. But as conditions became 
more settled, the labor situation improved and many employers 
became convinced that with patience and tact they could develop 
Filipinos into efficient laborers. The construction of extensive 
public works and railways required thousands of laborers who 
had first to be induced to work and then taught how to work. 
After considerable experience, the contractor engaged in building 
the Manila port works, wrote thus to Governor Taft :^ 

"We believe that Filipino labor can successfully be used. We 
are employing about one thousand Filipinos, which is a practical 
demonstration that this statement is not a theory. 

*'To successfully employ Filipino labor is, to the American 
employer of labor, a new business, which has to be learned. If 
he can not learn it he can not do business in the Philippine 

"In general, the Filipinos have to be taught how to work. This 
requires a considerable proportion of intelligent high-grade 
American foremen and mechanics. 

"The way to keep the Filipino laborer permanently in one's 
employ is to so arrange his surroundings that he is better off and 
more contented there than anywhere else. This we have attained 
by means of providing homes for the Filipinos and their families; 
also amusements, including Sunday fiestas, and schools where 
their children may be educated. 

"We are opposed to the introduction of the Chinese. The only 
argument that we can see in its favor is that it may somewhat 
expedite the development of the resources of the islands. This 
temporary advantage is, we believe, overbalanced and over- 
whelmed by the ultimate injury to both the Americans and na- 
tives in the islands." 

1 For the Chinese as laborers in the Philippines, see Elliott, The Philip- 
pines: To the End of the Military Regime, pp. 281-284. 

^Rept. Phil. Com., Dec. 23, 1900 (.Repts. Phil. Com. 1900-1903, p. 512). 

3 The Atlantic Gulf & Pacific Company. Repts. Phil. Com. 1903, p. 55. 
For the early experiences of other employers, see ibid, Exhibits N, O, and P. 


With such encouraging reports of actual results the govern- 
ment, against the protest of many employers, decided to adhere 
to the policy of developing the capacity of the native workmen.* 

It was a wise policy. The ancient theory that if you desire 
any one to become rich you must decrease his wants, is no longer 
accepted; it would destroy the civilization which rests upon the 
assumption that men should want many things. As the Philip- 
pine government could not adopt the arbitrary methods which had 
prevailed in many tropical colonies, it determined to educate and 
train the Filipino laborers and trust to time for results. The 
experience of less than two decades encourages the belief that 
when the Filipino working man has acquired a knowledge of and 
a desire for the things that make life worth while to an American 
or European, he will perform the labor necessary to enable him 
to obtain them. With proper and reasonable regulations, it is 
believed that an ample supply of efficient free labor may be de- 

But this result will require time and many people in the Phil- 
ippines are not content to wait for the development of the instinct 
and capacity for sustained labor. Many bills designed to compel 
Filipino laborers to work whether they wish to or not have been 
introduced into the legislature at the request of the native plant- 
ers. It must, however, be conceded that the time has passed when 
a native who has committed no crime can be compelled by law to 
work for some other man or even for himself. That being true, 
the solution of the labor problems of the Philippines must be 
found in education and training under regulations which indi- 
rectly put an amount of pressure on the individual workman 
sufficient to overcome his natural or acquired indolence. 

. ■* As a distinguished publicist has said : "There are two ways of making a 
man work, — by pressure from above, disguised slavery, — and by stimulus 
from within, the higher wages of a highly organized, free, industrial system. 
The last the tropics have never yet had. . . . Give the stimulus of a market 
and of higher wages and all men will work. Deprive them of either and con- 
tract labor laws are needed. The American may yet solve the tropical indus- 
trial problem as he has quadrupled the cotton crop in the face of all the argu- 
ments marshalled by Mr. Ireland, all made thirty-three years ago, not by laws 
making it harder for a man to be idle, but by an industrial system making it 
more profitable for a man to labor." Talcott Williams, Annals Am. Acad- 
emy of Pol. and Soc. Sci. (1899) Supp., p. 68. 


The problem is as old as the attempts of the active Occident 
to develop the languid Orient, the land where nature has been so 
prolific of raw material, and niggardly of men with the desire or 
capacity to utilize her gifts. Slavery, corvee, indented labor, 
deportation of criminals, assisted immigration, irregular taxa- 
tion, vagrancy laws, imported contract labor, forced labor, and 
insidiously-framed labor contracts, have all been tried by differ- 
ent countries with indifferent success or complete failure. 

The indirect methods designed to make men work who are 
free not to work and desire not to work have been numerous and 
ingenious.^ Slavery in its crude forms is no longer advocated, 
but numerous devices which in their essence are little, if any, 
short of slavery, have been and still are in force in many coun- 
tries. They are very interesting and instructive. In Rhodesia 
and Natal a hut or poll tax is levied on the natives, which must be 
paid in money or in working for some white employer. This so- 
called tax of from ten dollars a head upward is merely an indirect 
way of compelling labor under the guise of taxation. In South 
Africa adults who are not landowners are required to pay a tax 
of ten dollars a year unless they have spent three months out- 
side of their reservations engaged in regular service or employ- 
ment. This imposition continues until thirty-six months' work 
has been performed when the laborer may retire and be hence- 
forth exempt. Another indirect way of forcing the slothful 
to work has been by the application of a misnamed vagrancy law. 
After slavery was abolished in the French colonies, the supply 
of labor almost entirely failed. The new freedmen, after their 
years of enforced toil, wished apparently to get thoroughly rested 
before engaging in voluntary labor. A law was passed which de- 
clared all persons vagrants who were not landowners or artisans 
regularly employed at their trades, unless they could prove that 
they were engaged on a labor contract for at least a year or car- 
ried a book showing a continuous labor engagement. 

The Germans introduced similar vagrancy laws in some of 

5 See generally Reinsch, Colonial Administration, p. 376, et seq.; Edgerton, 
Origin and Growth of English Colonies, Chap. VII; Ireland, Tropical Colonic 
zation, pp. 128-216; Bruce, The Broad Stone of Empire, I, Chap. X. 


their East African colonies. In both instances the attempt was 
unsuccessful. In the French Antilles the people dodged the law 
by securing diminutive tracts of land and thereafter raising only 
what was necessary for their modest livelihood. In the Dutch 
colony of Surinam this reversion to what Reinsch calls "a banana- 
patch civilization," was foreseen and guarded against. Emanci- 
pated slaves were forbidden to cultivate banana trees and the ex- 
isting trees were destroyed in large numbers. In German East 
Africa a heavy tax was imposed upon the transportation of goods 
by wagon or pack animal. By thus placing the carrier at a disad- 
vantage, it was hoped to force him to seek employment in agri- 

The importation of contract labor has been resorted to in many 
countries. China and India have been the principal sources for 
this kind of labor. Laborers have been sent from India to Eng- 
lish and French colonies ever since the abolition of slavery. East 
Indians have also been sent into parts of Africa. The system 
has proved advantageous to the colonies and the contract em- 
ployees have carried back to their native countries large sums 
of money. In the year 1900 it is said that laborers returning 
to India from British Guiana carried with them a hundred and 
fifty thousand rupees. The recruiting of Indian coolies is con- 
ducted under the supervision of the government of India. Emi- 
gration is permitted from the ports of Calcutta, Madras, Bom- 
bay, and such others as may be specifically designated, to certain 
designated and authorized colonies which are required to have 
immigration agents to act as protectors of the laborers and gen- 
erally look after their interests. It is claimed that under this 
legislation the laborers have been well cared for, but the system 
is not regarded as an unqualified success. 

The exportation of Chinese coolies is by treaty made subject 
to the supervision of consular officials at the various ports of 
China and the colonies are required to provide a protective serv- 
ice for the Chinese. It has been applied chiefly in the Straits 
Settlements, in Sumatra, British Guiana and South Africa. The 
Straits Settlements and the Federated Malay States have through 


this means been rapidly developed. The government there has 
established a very interesting method of dealing with the im- 
ported laborers, a sort of protectorate, the protector being an in- 
dividual through whom the government deals in all matters refer- 
ring to the Chinese laborers. The attempt to introduce Chinese 
contract labor into the Transvaal States invoked great opposition 
from a section of the British public and after the system had been 
tried for a short time it was abandoned. It can not of course 
be applied in countries in which there exists already a high class 
of intelligent laborers. "In general," says Reinsch,*^ "it may be 
said that though the administrative control of imported con- 
tract labor in the British colonies has been very careful and effi- 
cient, the system has a number of very great defects. The im- 
portation of coolies constitutes a serious discouragement to the 
immigration of free labor. It is therefore inadvisable in coun- 
tries which can be peopled by European working men, as it is im- 
possible for the latter to compete with the cheap Oriental labor 
supply, and they are consequently kept from the regions invaded 
by it. The moral effects of the system, too, are undesirable. 
. . . The system has therefore not always been found eco- 
nomically profitable. Nevertheless, its temporary use will in 
certain cases be advisable in colonies with very large natural re- 
sources which the native population can not be induced to de- 
velop. It is, however, not a system that commends itself as a 
normal and final method of solving the labor question in the 
tropics, and it certainly calls for the strictest safeguards for the 
protection both of the contract laborers and the local native popu- 

White labor will never be used to any great extent in the Phil- 
ippines, and conditions are such that were the country under the 
control of any of the colonizing powers other than the United 
States, the system would undoubtedly be as applicable there as 
in Netherlands Indies or South Africa. At present the importa- 
tion of contract labor is forbidden by the Act of Congress, and 

" Colonial Administration, p. 374. 


even if that law were repealed or modified it is very doubtful 
whether it would be wise to introduce it even in a modified form. 

In fact, the very reverse of the system is now in operation in 
the Philippines where laborers are being recruited under gov- 
ernment supervision for service under contracts in Hawaii. 
Many countries, in order to preserve their own labor supply, 
have forbidden the exportation of laborers except under very 
special conditions. In the Congo Free State and the French 
colonies of West Africa the recruiting of native laborers requires 
a special permit from the government and if they are to be ex- 
ported from the colony the license is temporary only. In the 
Ivory Coast colony a tax of twenty-five francs a head is levied 
upon each laborer exported and in the French Congo the govern- 
ment imposes a passport tax of one hundred francs a head. In the 
British African colonies no native laborer can be engaged for 
service out of the British Dominions without the express consent 
of a designated government official. 

For a time no restrictions were imposed upon the exportation 
of contract laborers from the Philippines, the government pro- 
ceeding on the theory that the men were free to go and return 
at their pleasure. It is claimed that a term of voluntary service 
in Hawaii, under the strict supervision and discipline imposed 
by the contract system, will train the laborers in habits of work 
and upon their return to the Philippines at the termination of 
their period of contract service the training will be of service in 
the local field. Whether this will be the result is more than doubt- 
ful. There is no reason to believe that the privilege of enlisting 
laborers in the Philippines has been abused to any considerable 
extent. After the Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Association had sent 
more than nineteen thousand persons to the Hawaiian Island the 
legislature decided to discourage the system and imposed an an- 
nual tax of three thousand dollars on every person engaged in 
recruiting laborers for service abroad and in addition a tax of 
two hundred and fifty dollars on each province in which such 
person operates.'' 

7 Act No. 2486, February 5, 1915. 


The reader will understand that the labor problem as under- 
stood in the Far East relates primarily to the common workmen 
— the taos and the class known in China as coolies. Those of a 
little higher position in life, house servants and office employees, 
are reasonably efficient and require no special consideration. The 
common workmen under consideration range from those of con- 
siderable intelligence employed on plantations, to the ignorant 
mountain people who are brought down to the lowlands for 
temporary work during the harvest season; also, the men em- 
ployed on public works, including railway construction, and those 
employed in various capacities by street railway and other public 
franchise concerns. 

The Filipino is not normally a hard-working person, and yet he 
has been much maligned. Like many persons of wider experience 
and judgment, he will work only when he must or when he can 
see that it is clearly to his advantage. He knows nothing of the 
restlessness which keeps the American active for the sake of the 
activity. In India the natives say that "only the devils and the 
Englishmen walk to and fro without reason," and I presume the 
same thought has entered the minds of some of the natives of 
the Philippines. 

Experience has already shown that when properly handled and 
fairly treated the Filipino will work very well. However, the 
rough and ready methods of the American foreman with his gang 
of European laborers will not do. When illy treated or bullied, 
the Filipino quits. He knows that he really does not have to work 
very hard. Nature has provided him and his family with the 
real necessities of life and he feels that he works for the lux- 
uries only and that they are not indispensable to him. In a land 
where it is always summer, where no clothing in particular is 
necessary, where a few banana and cocoanut trees which grow by 
nature will support a family, the native easily accepts the ortho- 
dox doctrine that labor is a curse imposed upon men for their 
sins. Humboldt, when traveling in South America, found the 
opinion prevalent that the people there would not amount to any- 
thing until all the banana trees were destroyed. This was merely 


a graphic way of stating that where the means of subsistence 
is too easy, it is almost useless to expect much energy from the 

Under such conditions, it requires other arguments than that 
of necessity to induce the dweller in the tropics to engage in hard 
and strenuous labor. If his scale of expenditure is established 
at two dollars a week and he has employment at fifty cents a day 
he can see no good reason why he should not stop work on Thurs- 
day evening and begin again Monday morning. 

The Filipino laborer must be treated gently and taught the art 
of working. Like most problems in the Philippines, this is merely 
one of education and training. He must be treated kindly and 
patiently and due allowance must be made for his physical weak- 
ness, his ignorance and his racial characteristics. When properly 
treated, he in time becomes a good laborer of moderate efficiency, 
earning fully the wages paid him. The broad statement so fre- 
quently heard that the Filipino is lazy and will not work is un- 
just, and has already been refuted by experience. In Manila a 
modem electric railway was constructed and is being successfully 
operated by Filipino labor under the direction of white super- 
intendents. Under the same kind of direction Filipino laborers 
have built the commercial railways, harbors, docks, lighthouses, 
bridges and highways. Much has been done within the past few 
years by Filipino labor and it is confidently asserted that no busi- 
ness enterprise need fail for lack of labor if the employers use 
a little common sense and patience in the beginning and handle 
their employees intelligently and carefully. One of the largest 
employers of labor in the Philippines recently said : 

"We have completed for the various branches of the insular 
government during the period intervening between 1901 and 1911 
many contracts, varied in character, all of which we have accom- 
plished with Filipino labor under intelligent American super- 
vision. Never at any time since we have been in the Islands have 
we had quite such satisfactory results from Filipino labor as at 
the present time, due unquestionably to the fact that the natives 
who are now serving us best, and giving good account of them- 
selves, have been going to school with us for the last ten years." 


While not yet the equal of the Chinese or Japanese, as he lacks 
the strong physical and mental fiber of either, the Filipino is as 
a laborer the equal of the Javanese and the superior of any other 
of the Malay races. 

The Moros and mountain people are required to work on the 
roads and trails for a fixed number of days each year. No other 
kind of forced labor is required.^ There is a strong sentiment 
among both Filipino and American employers of labor in favor 
of legislation which will compel the laborers to perform contracts 

^ Some form of forced labor, particularly for the public, has existed in all 
countries. Solomon builded with the bond service of his people. In the sev- 
enteenth century every English parish w^as bound to repair the highways 
which passed through it, and the peasantry were forced to give their gratui- 
tous labor therefore. A Scotch law to a similar eflfect was passed in 1719, and 
corvee (assistance compulsorily rendered) is still used in France for the 
maintenance of rural roads and in Egypt, for the care of the canals. It is a 
form of taxation. Cromer, Modern Egypt II, p. 407. The best known appli- 
cation of the claim that it is proper to make a man work for his own good 
and that of his employer and the country generally, was by the Dutch in Java 
during the middle part of the last century. The famous culture system pulled 
the country out of a financial slough, cleared up the land, built highways, and 
put much money into the pockets of — the Dutch. The Spanish government 
established the system of forced culture in the Philippines in 1780. It was 
at first applied to tobacco, indigo, and silk, but was finally restricted to to- 
bacco. The natives were forced under penalty of severe punishment to grow 
tobacco and deliver it to the government at an arbitrary and inadequate price. 
As in Java, it resulted in the abuse of the natives, the discouragement of pri- 
vate enterprise, and such a deterioration in the quality of the product that 
much of it was unsalable at any price. The people of the rich Cagayan valley 
were reduced to misery, and in the end the system proved an economic as 
well as a social failure. It was based on selfishness alone. It ignored the 
human element, and sacrificed ruthlessly the permanent interests of the peo- 
ple and country for present financial gain. Elliott, The Philippines: To the 
End of the Military Regime, pp. 264, 265. 

Nevertheless, it may be contended with reason that while it may be con- 
trary to the abstract theory of a man's natural right to loaf, it is for the good 
of society and the laborer that he be forced to do his share. Vagabondage is 
a disease in the body politic, and drones, whether white or black, should not 
be tolerated. Labor is the basis of all advanced civilization ; its absence, the 
sign of backwardness or decadence. Only by forcing in the thin edge of the 
wedge can the way to a higher civilization be opened. The most valuable 
service you can render an undeveloped people is to force them as children 
are forced and by similar means to meet the requirements of the next stage of 
their growth. But this argument does not appeal to the conscience of the 
modern world. Those who have no compunction about forcing up industry 
at home raise a great cry when a hand is raised to compel the languid natives 
of some distant colony to perform their fair share of the world's work. The 
reason is not far to see. While the theory is sound, it is necessarily applied in 
the colonies under conditions which present temptations for abuse, which ex- 
perience shows that men removed from the restraints which ordinarily sur- 
round them, and free from the control of public opinion, are not able to resist. 


voluntarily entered into. An act was passed by the legislative 
council of the Moro Province which imposed a penalty for the 
violation of a labor contract and it was approved by the commis- 
sion as an experimental project. 

Under American law the courts can not compel the specific 
performance of a labor contract or imprison one for a breach of 
such a contract. Nevertheless, regulations which might not be 
considered necessary or even constitutional in the United States 
may, with perfect propriety and fairness, be provided and en- 
forced where peculiar conditions exist, without depriving 
any one of his constitutional rights. The recognition of 
the binding obligation of a contract is not inconsistent with 
individual liberty. Whenever the laborer is permitted freely to 
choose his employer and contract with reference to wages, time 
of service and kind of work to be performed, the state may prop- 
erly attach a reasonable penalty of some sort for a breach of the 
contract. Nor need the penalty be the same in all countries or 
applicable equally to all sorts of people. A thousand Igorot 
workmen brought down from the mountains and employed in 
the construction of a railroad require different regulations and 
rules than an equal number of workmen of an entirely different 

In western countries it has long been settled that the only pen- 
alty which can be imposed for a breach of a civil contract is 
civil liability for damages. In nearly all cases this is an inade- 
quate remedy from the standpoint of the employer, as the laborer 
is unable to respond in damages. To the laborer who is dis- 
charged in violation of his contract of employment, his remedy 
in damages is generally adequate, as a judgment against the em- 
ployer can usually be collected. Some states of the Union make 
it a crime punishable by a fine and imprisonment for an employer 
to fail, without cause, to pay wages due laborers ; and in one state 
it is now a criminal offense for a contractor to fail to pay for 
material purchased and used in a building. These laws show the 
tendency to break away from the old rule which limits the remedy 
for breach of contract to civil damages. 


In the United States this rule works fairly well because there 
is a developed moral sense in the better class of workmen which 
prevents them from wantonly breaking their contracts. Eco- 
nomic conditions also make it inadvisable for a workman so to 
conduct himself as to render it difficult to obtain new employ- 
ment. But in the tropics the ordinary laboring man has not de- 
veloped that sense which will make him keep his contracts and 
he does not feel any compelling necessity for continuous labor. 
Employment sufficient to enable him to gain the minimum neces- 
sary to sustain existence is always at hand. Under such condi- 
tions the employer's remedy in damages for a breach of the con- 
tract is farcical and the employers have demanded protection 
by some sort of penal sanction. In nearly all tropical colonies 
they have obtained legislation which provides that if a laborer 
fails to perform his part of a contract or performs it in a care- 
less or inefficient manner, he may be punished as for the com- 
mission of a misdemeanor or crime. 

The pernicious custom of advances prevails in the Philippines 
as in nearly every eastern country. It is as old as the original 
native organizations. The Dutch found it in Java and still main- 
tain it in a modified way. There, as in almost all eastern colonies 
other than the Philippines, so long as the native laborer is in debt 
to the employer, he can not break his contract and depart without 
subjecting himself to liability for imprisonment. When local 
conditions are taken into consideration, the system seems on the 
surface to be fair and reasonable, but in practise it has resulted in 
a kind of bondage little better than slavery. The workman is 
never permitted to get out of debt, the employer being diligent to 
see that as one debt is paid another is incurred. However, it is 
almost impossible to secure laborers on the plantations without 
advancing a sum of money at the time of the employment. 

The custom is a bad one, but it is so well established that it is 
almost hopeless to attempt to destroy it. It is as prevalent in the 
Philippines as in Java. The unregulated workman who can 
always secure work from some labor-starved planter, regards 


these advances as heaven-sent contributions to the worthy to be 
gathered as frequently as possible. The penalty of a judgment in 
civil damages does not seem very terrifying to him, so he makes a 
contract to labor for a definite period, receives his advance of 
five or ten pesos, and at the first convenient time disappears, to 
repeat the safe and profitable transaction on a neighboring haci- 
enda. The planters employ all applicants, regardless of their 
shady contractual history. Inevitably in a country where such 
customs prevail and the laborers are unorganized the conditions 
are very unsatisfactory. 

It is apparent that some method ought to be devised by which 
either such advances should be forbidden or persons receiving 
them punished effectually for failure to perform the contract 
or return the money advanced. 

Where the mere breach of the contract is made a penal offense, 
the question of intention does not enter into the matter. The 
punishment is imposed for the breach of the contract, regardless 
of the intention at the time the contract was made. 

There is no reason why a Filipino laborer should be exempt 
from liability for his fraudulent acts. Obtaining money under 
false pretenses is a crime in all countries. The situation would 
be very much improved by the enactment and enforcement of a 
law making it a crime to secure an advance on a labor contract 
with the intention not to render the service. The Supreme Court 
of the United States held^ that a statute which made the refusal 
to perform a labor contract or return the money advanced prima 
facie evidence of intent to defraud was in violation of the Thir- 
teenth Amendment and the Acts of Congress authorized thereby, 
and therefore unconstitutional, because the natural and inevitable 
effect of the particular statute was to expose to conviction for 
crime those who simply fail or refuse to perform contracts for 
personal service. It was held that the statutory presumption es- 
tablished by the statute would operate to subject the accused to 
punishment for conduct which the legislature was powerless to 
make a crime. 

9 Bailey vs. Alabama, 219 U. S. 219. 


This decision does not prevent a legislature from providing 
for the punishment of a person who obtains an advance of money 
upon an agreement to render services with the intention then 
entertained of not rendering the services, leaving the fact of 
intent to be established by competent evidence. The obtaining 
of money in this manner clearly comes within the definition of 
the ordinary crime of obtaining money under false pretenses. 
The debt is merged in the crime, and imprisonment for the crime 
of obtaining money by inducing the employer to consent to the 
creation of the debt is no more imprisonment for debt than where 
one is imprisoned for obtaining money on a forged check. In 
1911 the Philippine Legislature passed such a statute, but it was 
repealed after the Harrison administration came into power, 
evidently because it was not understood. 

The Philippine government should provide for the punishment 
criminally of any one who with fraudulent intent then had, se- 
cures an advance of money as wages on a labor contract, or as a 
gift by way of inducement to enter into the contract, and breaks 
such contract without restoring the money thus received. The 
intent to defraud would be deducible from the circumstances, 
and the court should take the previous conduct of the offender 
into consideration in reaching a conclusion. It would not be pos- 
sible under such a law to secure convictions in all cases, but it 
would reach the most flagrant cases, and exercise a general re- 
straining effect. 

There should also be legislation regulating the manner of en- 
tering into labor contracts, and determining the rights and duties 
of parties thereunder. The form of the contract should be pre- 
scribed by law, and it should be executed before some public offi- 
cial, and a copy recorded with the Bureau of Labor. The con- 
tract should be in writing, and determine the number of hours' 
work per day, the wages, pay for overtime work, place where the 
labor is to be performed, and possibly other such matters. The 
employer should be required to furnish proper food, medicines 
and medical attendance in case of serious illness of laborers. A 



register of laborers should be kept by every employer and changes 
therein reported to the Bureau of Labor." 

The Bureau of Labor, which was established in 1909, is re- 
quired to see that laws relating to labor are enforced and gen- 
erally look after the interests of working men. It is doing good 
work in collecting data relating to labor conditions, and par- 
ticularly in adjusting controversies between employers and em- 
ployees and in colonizing laborers from congested districts in 
other islands and communities where they are badly needed. ^^ 
Liberal appropriations have been made to aid this work. 

The attempt to unionize labor has not been very successful. In 
the beginning it was in the hands of agitators who were not la- 
borers, but they seem to have been eliminated and certain trades 
and employments are now fairly well organized. 

Wages have greatly increased during recent years. The pre- 
vailing rate for comnion labor is from forty to fifty cents gold per 
day as against about eight cents gold and a small ration of rice 
worth three or four cents during Spanish times. House servants 
then received from one dollar and fifty cents to two dollars per 
month. They now receive from eight to fifteen dollars per month. 
Skilled labor is much better paid.^^ The cost of living has greatly 
increased, but the Filipino laboring man was never so well off as 
at present. ^^ 

^° It is possible that some of these matters are covered by recent legisla- 

11 Adm. Code of 1916, Sees. 1272-1275. 

12 The wages paid by the Manila Electric Railroad and Lighting Corpora- 
tion, and by its predecessor prior to 1901, appear by the following table : 




Front platform men 


Cleaners and assistant cleaners. 
Ordinary laborers 

. per month 



. .. .per day 







Hearing Senate Committee, 1915, p. 600. Testimony of Charles M. Swift xi(^o. 
Other such corporations pay about the same wages. 'j^iX , - 

13 In my report as secretary of commerce and police for 1911, it was said: r ' 
' "The information at hand, however, indicates that a statement to the L^y 
effect that wages paid to-day for the following classes of labor average 
throughout the islands 100 per cent, more than those paid prior to 1898 is 


justified: Masons, boatmen, copra workers, caulkers, overseers, carriers, car- 
penters, teamsters, slipper makers, cigar makers, drivers, cooks, seamstresses, 
saltmakers, blacksmiths, farm hands, gatherers of firewood, master carpenters, 
seamen, nipa workers, day laborers, fishermen, tailors, hatmakers, shoe 

"During the same time there has been a considerable rise in the prices 
of the necessities of life, but so far as the increase affects Filipino laborers 
it is not at all proportionate to the increased wage paid. The Filipino laborer 
to-daj'^ is better treated by his emploj'ers, receives more pay, lives better, and 
is more contented than he ever was under Spanish rule. It is also true that 
after thirteen years of contact with Americans he works better and is worthy 
of the increased pay." 


The Policy of Material Development 

A Land of "Projects" — Spanish Public Works — Backwardness of Industry 
and Agriculture — Misdirected Energies — Public Works and Colonial Policy 
— Material Development and Educational Work — Governor-General Wright's 
Announcement — Policy Inaugurated by Governor-General Smith — Its Char- 
acteristics — "Hustling the East" with Its Own Consent — Education of the 
People — Success of the Policy. 

In one of his political novels Rizal satirizes that combination 
of personal ambition, weakness of will and general impractica- 
bility, of which there are so many illustrations in Philippine 
history. The worthy Don Custodio had held many offices, and 
the records of the things which he hoped would keep his mem- 
ory green had been preserved with the care characteristic of 
Spanish officialdom. 

Taking from an old desk a formidable bundle of note-books, the 
first of which, fat, inflated and plethoric, bore the title "Projects 
in Project," he murmured, "No, there are excellent things there, 
but it would take a year to read them over." The second book, 
also voluminous, was entitled, "Projects in Course of Study." 
"Not that, either." Then came "Projects in Maturity," "Proj- 
ects Presented," "Projects Rejected," "Projects Approved" and 
"Projects Suspended." These contained very little, but the last 
book of all, entitled "Projects Being Carried Out," contained the 
very least. 

Alas, there were no records of "Projects Completed." 

Rizal understood the character of his countrymen and the 
genius of the government under which they lived. While appre- 
ciating their virtues and potential powers, he had no illusions as 
to their weaknesses and limitations. They were, by nature's 
decree, citizens of the land of manana, and their Spanish rulers 
were, of all Europeans, the people least qualified to cultivate in 




them the qualities necessary for iitiHzing the natural resources of 
a country. Initiative, energy, persistence — all were wanting in 
Spaniards and Filipinos. The ambition of occasional individuals 
flickered and died amidst uncongenial surroundings, exhausted 
itself in the organization of societies with high-sounding names, 
or in preparing, docketing and filing elaborate "projects." 

The Spanish government constructed a few good public works 
in the Philippines. They built some substantial roads, and then 
permitted them to decay. They never grasped the fact that, in 
the tropics particularly, maintenance is more important, although 
possibly less interesting, than construction. Hence their highways 
soon washed away and their ornate bridges became picturesque 
ruins. Some of their lighthouses were well constructed and 
equipped, but they were insufficient in number and the labyrinth- 
ine coasts were never properly lighted. The west coast was fairly 
well charted, and a skipper who was aware of the fact that the 
entire group of islands was some forty miles out of reckoning 
could find his way about with reasonable safety. Nevertheless, 
in Spanish times every marine insurance policy contained a clause 
suspending its operation while the insured vessel was in Philip- 
pine waters. 

The means of transportation and communication were pain- 
fully inadequate. There were few roads worthy of the name and 
during the rainy months, from June to October, travel of any 
kind was almost impossible. There were no harbors, merely open 
roadways and short rivers guarded by shifting sandbars. Com- 
munication between the islands was uncertain, expensive and 
often dangerous. The inter-island transportation system, con- 
trolled by the exporting mercantile houses of Manila, was inade- 
quate and also an instrument of graft and extortion. There was 
one railroad which extended from Manila to Dagupan, over 
which diminutive asthmatic engines leisurely and at irregular 
intervals dragged most remarkable trains. The postal and tele- 
graph systems also were leisurely affairs. 

Of manufacturing there was very little; of mining even less. 
It was an agricultural country. The chief products were hemp, 


sugar and tobacco, the production of all of which was capable of 
almost indefinite extension. Agriculture was carried on in a 
primitive and wasteful manner without proper machinery or 
tools and the output, when compared with the possibilities, was 

The people had not been trained to meet new conditions. 
When the synthetic indigo of Germany rendered the indigo in- 
dustry of the Ilocos provinces unprofitable the people were help- 
less. The insects which destroyed the rich coffee fields of Batan- 
gas met with no opposition. It was the will of God! Instead of 
the energy, skill and scientific knowledge which were required to 
cope with such economic. calamities, there were general ignorance 
and shiftlessness. 

The result was that the country, endowed by nature with great 
natural wealth and possessing almost boundless possibilities of de- 
velopment, remained in a primitive condition. The mass of the 
people, when measured by any modern standard, were miserably 
poor in the midst of natural abundance, while the government 
was a financial burden on the home country. 

During the latter years of the Spanish regime the energies of 
the new native leaders and most of the intelligent people were 
directed to political ends. Then came war and the destruction of 
much of the wealth of the country. The Americans thus took 
charge of an unhappy land inhabited by a people who had never 
shown much initiative or any great ambition for wealth, and who 
were untrained in modern industrial methods. Their minds were 
seething with political ideas and ambitions. They had no Frank- 
lin to teach the lesson that it is as hard for an individual or a na- 
tion with empty pockets to be truly independent as for an empty 
bag to stand alone. 

It is only within recent years that the construction of public 
works has come to be recognized as one of the duties of colonial 
administration. As late as 1830 Sir Charles Metcalfe, a very en- 
lightened Indian statesman, maintained that India needed no 
roads. Prior to the time of Lord Dalhousie the East India Com- 
pany did not regard the building of public works as a necessary 



part of its policy. According to Sir George Chesney, "the con- 
struction of a road or canal was regarded by them, in their 
earlier days, much in the same light that a war would be, — as an 
unavoidable evil, to be undertaken only when it could not be 
postponed any longer, and not, if possible, to be repeated." 

But during the last decade of the East India Company's gov- 
ernment a policy of public improvements was entered upon. Lord 
Dalhousie inaugurated the railway system, the great Ganges 
Canal was opened in 1854, and in certain provinces many metaled 
roads and other public works of a permanent character were 

It came to be the accepted theory among colonizing people that 
a colony should be made materially prosperous before much atten- 
tion was given to educating the people and preparing them for a 
part in the government. But the conditions under which America 
entered the Philippines seemed to require that stress should be 
placed on education, and a shipload cf school-teachers preceded 
the railway material and the new agricultural machinery. Never- 
theless, it was always clearly understood by the Americans that 
nothing very substantial, other than the establishment of order 
and justice, could be accomplished, until the country was made 
economically prosperous and the common people w^ere relieved 
from the poverty in w^hich they lived. Under such conditions, the 
individualistic theories which prevailed in the United States were 
inapplicable. The country was in the stage described by John 
Stuart Mill, when there "is scarcely anything really important to 
the general interest which it may not be desirable or even nec- 
essary that the government should take upon itself, not because 
private individuals can not effectually perform it. but because 
they will not."^ 

1 Strachey, India, Its Administration and Progress, p. 233. 

2 "At some times and places there will be no roads, docks, harbors, canals, 
works of irrigation, hospitals, schools, colleges, printing presses, unless the 
government establishes them ; the public being either too poor to command 
the necessary resources or too little advanced in intelligence to appreciate the 
need, or not sufficiently practised in conjoint action to be capable of the 
means. This is true, more or less, of all countries inured to despotism, and 
particularly of those in which there is a wide distance in civilization between 
the people and the Government, as in those which have been conquered and 


During Mr. Taft's administration the commission was busy 
establishing order, organizing a government and enacting legis- 
lation rendered necessary by the change of sovereignty. Im- 
portant public works were projected and commenced during that 
period, but no definite plan for the systematic development of the 
natural resources of the country was worked out and adopted. 

Governor-General Wright, in his inaugural address struck a 
new note when he announced that the preliminary work of clear- 
ing the ground had been completed and that henceforth the de- 
velopment of the natural resources of the islands would be the 
first care of the government. "I do not," he said, "underestimate 
the value of schools and other agencies of modern civilization 
which lead the masses of the people to higher levels of thinking; 
but to my mind, so far as concerns these people, nothing is of so 
much moment to them as railroads." 

Unfortunately during his administration there was a recru- 
descence of insurrection. The institution of the assembly with 
the attendant elections kept political issues uppermost in the 
minds of the people, and the policy of internal improvement was 
left to be formulated and inaugurated by Governor-General 
Smith and carried into effect with great vigor during the first 
years of the administration of Governor-General Forbes. 

This policy was not designed to displace the educational work 
which had been so much in the foreground. It did, however, aim 
to subordinate it for a time to matters which were deemed of even 
greater immediate importance.^ The appropriations for educa- 
tional work were not to be reduced, but those for public works 
were to be increased even though it meant an increase of taxa- 

In his inaugural address Mr. Forbes said : "The resources of 

are retained in subjection by a more energetic and more cultivated people." 
Mill, Principles of Political Economy, II, p. 551. 

3 On June 22, 1906, Mr. Taft, then secretary of war, wrote to Secretary 
of State Root : "Your familiarity with conditions in the Philippines makes 
you aware that no real prosperity can come to the islands, and no real im- 
■ provement in the welfare and education and uplifting of the people unless 
the means of intercommunication between the islands and between various 
towns in each island shall be greatly increased." MSS. War Department. 


the islands have not developed to a point where I feel that we are 
justified in largely increasing the appropriation for education. 
. . . The amount of education we shall be able to accomplish 
in ten years will be very much greater if we devote our first 
money to increasing the wealth of the people and later use the 
resulting increase of revenue for extending our educational fa- 

It must be conceded that there was at that time no general 
native sentiment in favor of such a policy. It required an amount 
of energy and sacrifice of which the Filipinos were incapable 
except under the pressure of extraneous forces. The manner in 
which the policy was launched and carried forward illustrates 
the principles which controlled the McKinley, Roosevelt and Taft 
administrations. The intention was to "hustle the East" within 
reasonable limits, but to do it with the least possible friction and 
injury to native sensibilities. Their wishes and desires were to 
receive due consideration, but the final determination of what 
was for their best interests was to rest with the American gov- 
ernment. It was the adoption in essence of the well-understood 
British colonial policy expressed by Lord Cromer in the words : 
"We need not always inquire too closely into what these people, 
who are all nationally speaking in statu pupillari, themselves 
think best for their own interests, although this is a point which 
deserves serious consideration. It is essential that each special 
issue should be decided mainly with reference to what by the 
light of western knowledge and experience, tempered by local 
considerations, we conscientiously think it best for the subject 

It was upon such a theor}^ only that the existence of an Amer- 
ican government in the Philippines could be justified. If the 
Filipinos were competent to determine such questions they were 
entitled to manage their own affairs. The Harrison administra- 
tion by conceding such capacity destroyed the reason for its 
own existence. One of the new commissioners sent out by Presi- 
dent Wilson, in a formal address delivered soon after his arrival, 

* Cromer's Political and Literary Essays, p. 12. 


asked : "Why should we insist upon hustling the East against 
its will and at its expense if the East itself wishes to lie placid 
murmuring 'manana'?'' He found no reason satisfactory to him 
and therefore announced that : "In whatever part I have to play 
in the administration of the affairs of this people I purpose to 
consult their wishes to the utmost extent and to spend none of 
their money in any way which they are not willing to vote that 
it should be spent."^ His presence in the Orient seemed there- 
after superfluous. The Taft government did intend to "hustle" 
the Filipinos to a reasonable extent, but it made the task very 
difficult by the early grant of important political powers to the 

The people were not being heavily taxed under the American 
government and it was believed that a reasonable increase would 
be borne cheerfully if it was known that the money would be 
honestly expended for good roads and other public works which 
in time would return the money, increased many fold, into the 
pockets of the taxpayers. 

It was thought that increased production and higher prices 
which would result from better harbors, transportation facilities 
and means of communication would soon pay for the improve- 
ments. The proceeds of increased taxation expended for such 
purposes would enhance the value of the taxable property, the ex- 
ports, the imports, and increase the consuming power of the peo- 
ple. With peace, order and civil liberty, all this would mean a 
prosperous and contented, instead of an unprosperous and dis- 
contented, community. 

It was determined, therefore, that every dollar that could be 
saved, after paying the current expenses of the government 
and making liberal appropriations for education and health, 
should be devoted to the construction of harbors, lighthouses, 
roads, bridges, markets and other public works of a remunerative 
character. Congress had authorized a limited issue of insular 
and municipal bonds, but most of the proceeds of the bonds had 

^ "Democracy's Mission in the Philippines," an address by Winfred T. 
Denison, Secretary of the Interior, El Ideal, March 30, 1914. 


been expended for such special projects as the harbor, water- 
works and sewer system of Manila. These enterprises were 
purely American in their origin and execution and, except in the 
most general sense, were not a part of a systematic plan such 
as was now contemplated. But no more insular bonds could 
be issued and Congress continued unresponsive to the appeals of 
the commission for authority for further issues. As Congress 
refused to appropriate any money for the support of the Philip- 
pine government, the education of its new wards, or the develop- 
ment of the country, it was necessary to rely on the income from 
current taxation. 

After the institution of the assembly in 1907 appropriations 
for public works in other than the non-Christian provinces re- 
quired the consent of the Filipino representatives and it was to 
be inferred that their native constituents would be no more enam- 
ored of increased taxes than the citizens of more mature political 
communities. A campaign of education was therefore inaugu- 
rated and everywhere throughout the islands the governor-gen- 
eral and commissioners told the people of the prosperity which 
would come to them from good roads and other such public im- 
provements. The members of the American business community 
were enthusiastically in favor of a policy which meant better 
business and promised the prosperity which seemed to have been 
unduly deferred. Filipino political leaders accepted it with mis- 
givings because any great material development involved the in- 
troduction of foreign capital, which they were quick to see would 
prejudice the policy of early independence.*^ But the gospel of 
good roads, bridges, markets, artesian wells and the like appealed 
to the common people and the delegates to the assembly soon dis- 
covered that their popularity with their constituents was in exact 
proportion to the amount of public money they could induce the 
secretary of commerce and police to allot for expenditure within 
their respective districts. Thereafter there was no trouble in 

8 After the Harrison administration came into power in 1913 all franchises 
were granted on condition that the grantees would not obstruct the "policy 
of the government" and the "aspirations of the Filipino people" with refer- 
ence to independence. See Act No. 2384. 


securing appropriations; the difficulty was in finding the money 
to appropriate. 

Governor-General Forbes, who, as secretary of commerce and 
police, had been an earnest advocate of public works, had many of 
the characteristics necessary for the head of an administration 
charged with the execution of such a policy, and the degree of 
success which attended it was due very largely to his initiative 
and energy. He had some capacity for constructive work and 
a strong desire to build up the 'Philippines, but many of his 
projects were as fanciful as those of Don Custodio, and in the 
excess of his zeal he led the government into financial troubles 
from which it has been with difficulty extricated. 

There was some justification for the charge of extravagance 
in the expenditure of money for public works. Some of the 
projects were unwise and there were defects in the administrative 
system which made its operation unnecessarily expensive. 

Nevertheless, the public works constructed in the Philippines 
during the latter years of the Taft regime are a monument to the 
enterprise and skill of the American government and the capacity 
of the Filipinos to appreciate new conditions and their willingness 
to furnish the money necessary for modem improvements. 

Really remarkable results were achieved without the impo- 
sition of any serious financial burdens upon the people. The pro- 
ceeds of the five-million-dollar bond issue were practically all ex- 
pended prior to the year 1908 on special projects, and thereafter 
all public works were paid for out of the current income of the 
government derived from customs duties, internal revenue and 
other special taxes. Approximately ten per cent, of the total 
receipts was saved and invested in public works of a permanent 
and often of a highly productive nature. The following table 
shows approximately the total expenditures of the government 
of the Philippines during the decade following the year 1905 and 
the portion thereof devoted to permanent public works. ^ 

''Hearings Before Senate Committee on Philippines, p. 168 (1915). 


Public Works 


For All Other 


June 30 — 

















Reduced to U. S. money.. 




It should be noted that this money belonged to the Filipinos, 
was appropriated by them and was expended with their consent, 
in most instances, for things for which Oriental people have been 
supposed not greatly to care. 

This policy of material development included much more than 
the building of public works. The markets of the world were 
waiting for the timber, the sugar, the copra and particularly for 
the kind of hemp that grows only in the Philippines. Of the 
one hundred million acres of arable land, less than ten per cent, 
was productive. The soil was to be awakened from its sleep of 
centuries. The cultivation of more land, the cadastral survey 
necessary to enable titles to be registered, the creation of an agri- 
cultural bank from which the small farmers could borrow money 
at reasonable rates with which to purchase the work animals nec- 
essary for cultivating more land, the control of waters and the 
irrigation of waste land, the opening of mines, the search for the 
much-needed coal, the teaching of scientific agriculture and the 
use of modem farm machinery, the establishment of a postal 
savings-bank, the introduction of foreign capital, the organiza- 
tion of industry on modem lines, the construction of suitable 
public buildings, hospitals and markets, water-works and sewers 
necessary for the protection of the public health and comfort, and 


the highways and other appliances for communication by post and 
wire and the transportation of persons and products — all were 
but the means to an end, the relief of the people of the country 
from the bondage of poverty in order that they might have a fair 
opportunity to develop into an independent, self-respecting and 
self-supporting community. 

Sewer systems, water-works and artesian wells are designed 
primarily to preserve health and administer to the comfort and 
convenience of existence. But they are also intimately connected 
with the economic and commercial development of a country, 
as it is useless to expect an anemic race, subject to constant at- 
tacks of cholera, malaria, plague and other dire diseases, to per- 
form much hard physical labor. The parks, public gardens, 
boulevards and playgrounds of Manila and the new city of 
Baguio, where the cool and invigorating mountains breezes could 
be enjoyed, were all agencies for preserving the general health 
and generating the physical strength which the native people so 
badly needed. 


Transportation and Communication 


Primitive Transportation Methods — Road-Building Difficulties — Early Fail- 
ures — No Provision for Maintenance — Bad Legislation — Forced Labor and 
Toll Roads — Failure of People to Adopt Laws — The Double Cedula Law 
of 1907 — Inducements to Adopt Rules and Regulations — Insular Appro- 
priations — Conditions — The Road Committee — Classification of Roads — Ap- 
portionment of Insular Appropriations by Secretary of Commerce and Po- 
lice — Encouragement of Local Efforts — Construction of Permanent Bridges 
— Maintenance — The Caminero System — Pride in Good Roads — Road Mate- 
rial — Cost — Road Work in the Non-Christian Provinces — In the Moro Prov- 
ince — Permanency — The Benguet Road — Early Mistakes — Difficulties of Con- 
struction — Policy of Government — Purpose of the Road — Its Cost — Practical 
Abandonment — Its Justification. 

A traveler who visits every part of the Philippine Archipelago 
will at some stages of his journey use about every instrumentality 
of transportation known to primitive and civilized man. He will 
find the ocean steamer, sailboat, railway train, automobile, car- 
riage, carromata, carabao cart, raft, pack animal, cargador, 'rick- 
shaw, sedan chair and hammock in use, and will, if of reason- 
able weight, ride from boat to dry land astride the neck of a 
sturdy native. But the primitive is rapidly making way for the 
modern as roads and railways replace the ancient paths and 

For transportation purposes the ordinary highways and bridges 
must always be of primary importance, and the extent and con- 
dition of the roads is a fair index of the intelligence and enter- 

^ For an interesting account of transportation methods, see an article by 
Mr. O. G. Jones in Far Eastern Review, April, 1915. 



prise of the people of a community. However, as Americans in 
their own country are but just beginning to reahze the money 
value of good roads, it is not surprising that the Filipinos were 
found somewhat indifferent to such matters. But they were, in 
this respect, not much behind the average rural community in the 
United States and they had much more to contend with in the 
way of climate, poverty and tropical lethargy. 

The problem of roads has always been one of great difficulty 
in all tropical colonies. In temperate climates it is possible to 
traverse even a bad road at all times of the year. In the tropics 
it is an impossibility, not merely a difficulty. During the rainy 
season the bottom of a road simply falls out. 

The roads are difficult to construct and more difficult to main- 
tain after they are built. Torrential rains wreck the most scien- 
tifically built highways and scatter the bridges over the country. 
Slides and washouts are of constant occurrence. A puddle on 
the surface soon becomes a sink and in an astonishingly short 
time the weak spots in a road become bottomless pits. Vegeta- 
tion encroaches with marvelous speed and unless constantly at- 
tacked soon smothers the road. 

Every colonial government has struggled with the road ques- 
tion and each colony can show a few good highways. The Dutch 
in Java, the French in Indo-China and elsewhere, and the English 
in all their colonies, have built expensive highways, but they are 
generally trunk lines without proper feeders penetrating the in- 
terior. In the Philippines we have worked out a comprehensive 
scheme of road building in which every mile of road built forms 
a part of a system which when completed will reach into every 
part of the islands. 

The work has been rendered more difficult than it would other- 
wise have been by the self-imposed necessity of securing the co- 
operation and consent of the natives as a condition precedent to 
doing anything. This fact must never be lost sight of when con- 
sidering what has been accomplished. A central government 
such as that of India and Java, with unrestricted control and 
ample funds, can easily build highways, railways and other 



public works. The necessity for securing the cooperation of an 
uneducated and uninstructed native population adds immeasur- 
ably to the difficulties. 

The construction work done in the islands prior to 1908 was 
sporadic and without system. Roads were built here and there as 
required by military considerations or the necessity for providing 
work for the inhabitants. Previous to that year insular appro- 
priations were made for specific projects in various parts of the 
islands and no conditions were attached whereby the provinces 
were required to raise funds on their own account and to main- 
tain the roads. About two million dollars were spent in this 
haphazard way.^ The fact that nothing permanent was being 
accomplished was fully realized. In his annual report for 1907 
Secretary Forbes said that the construction done by the Ameri- 
cans had been allowed to deteriorate until, "with few exceptions, 
the condition of the roads throughout the archipelago is lament- 
able and is growing worse from day to day. What were good 
and passable roads three years ago are now quagmires in the 
rainy season, and throughout the past year it has become evident 
that to avoid a paralysis of industry in many districts a drastic 
change of policy is needed in regard to road construction and 
maintenance. Failure of the road law brought the commission 
face to face with this serious problem. . . ."' 

The legislative part of the road work had been sadly muddled. 
The commission seems to have left the preparation of the neces- 
sary laws to Commissioner Forbes,* who as secretary of com- 
merce and police was in charge of public works, but Mr. Forbes' 
knowledge and experience in legislative matters were in inverse 
proportion to his zeal for good roads. Although the importance 
of maintenance was fully appreciated, no provision for insuring 
it was embodied in the first laws. 

2 Kept. Phil. Com., 1908. Pt. II, p. 341. 

^ Kept. Phil. Com., 1907, Pt. II, p. 276. Governor-General Smith, in his 
report as acting secretary of commerce and police for 1908 {Rept. Phil. Com., 
1908, Pt. II, p. 340) said : "The disastrous effects of this policy are only too 
evident in the present condition of most of these roads, many of which have 
become impassable for lack of maintenance." 

* See an article on Mr. Forbes' "Remarkable Achievements" in the Boston 
Transcript, June 6, 1912. 


The proceeds of some special tax such as the export tax on 
hemp, might well have been set aside for road work.^ It was 
within the power of the commission to make direct appropria- 
tions for road construction and maintenance and to place both 
under the control of the insular engineers. The provinces might 
have been required to appropriate a reasonable amount for the 
maintenance of the roads constructed with the proceeds of gen- 
eral taxation. Instead of adopting some such simple and effective 
procedure, the commission resorted to the most antiquated and 
objectionable of all devices, forced labor and toll roads.^ 

The original road law'^ provided for five days' labor of eight 
hours each per year or an optional equivalent cash payment for 
such labor, computed at a rate of from twelve and one-half cents 
to one dollar per day. This labor or money was to be expended 
under the supervision of the municipal president, upon the public 
highways, bridges, wharves and trails, within the municipality 
where it was collected. But the act was not to be effective in any 
province until adopted by a convention. of municipal presidents and 
councilmen. The law was subsequently amended* to allow it to be 
adopted by single municipalities.^ Not a single province or mu- 

s An export duty on some special product to raise a fund for road build- 
ing has often been used by British colonies. See Bruce, The Broad Stone of 
Empire, II, Chap. XXII. 

The export duty on hemp was repealed by Congress in 1912. out of defer- 
ence to abstract theory and uninstructed sentiment, and the Philippine gov- 
ernment was deprived of five hundred thousand dollars per year without in- 
creasing the price received by the hemp producers. The building of a single 
good highway into a hemp-producing district would have meant more to the 
producers than did the repeal of the law. 

6 The expectation that the Filipinos would voluntarily adopt the system of 
forced labor suggests an inadequate knowledge of their history and a degree 
of confidence hardly justified by its consideration. Of course it failed. As 
Governor-General Smith said : "The deep distrust of the labor system is 
attributable to many causes, among others the alleged great abuses which 
arose out of the system in the latter part of the Spanish regime." (Rept. 
Phil. Com., 1908, Pt. II, p. 343.) 

Foreman (The Philippine Islands, p. 218) says: "Every male adult in- 
habitant, with certain specific exceptions, had to give the State fifteen days' 
labor per annum or redeem that labor by payment. Of course thousands of 
the needy class preferred to give their fifteen days. This labor and redemp- 
tion money was only theoretically employed in local improvements." 
■ 7 Act No. 1511, July 13. 1906. 

8 Act No. 1617, March 20, 1907. 

» Act No. 1653, May 18, 1907. 


nicipality adopted the law. The commission also authorized any 
province with the approval of the governor-general to declare cer- 
tain roads toll roads for a period not to exceed five years and to 
use the income for the maintenance of the roads. Apparently but 
one province availed itself of this privilege. Toll roads were no 
more popular in the Philippines than in the United States.^" 

Finally, in May, 1907, the commission passed what became 
known as the Double Cedula Law,^^ on which a successful road 
policy was founded. The forced labor system was abandoned. 
It was recognized that while the people of the provinces desired 
good roads, the longing was not strong enough to induce a volun- 
tary imposition of the necessary financial burden. They pre- 
ferred to have the insular government build and pay for the high- 

The general policy of the government required that the grant 
of local self-government should include the assumption of local 
burdens. It was determined, therefore, that the provinces should 
bear their fair share of the cost of construction of the roads and 
bridges, which would be their property. But the objectionable 
local option provision was retained. The new law authorized the 
provincial board of an}^ province in its discretion annually to 
double the cedula (poll tax), and add the extra sum thus raised 
to its road and bridge fund. As an inducement to the boards to 
act it was provided that ten per cent, of the total internal rev- 
enue receipts should be apportioned according to population and 
added to the road funds of the provinces which doubled the 
cedida. They were also given an additional five per cent, for 
their local school fund.^^ 

Appropriations for specific projects were thereafter to be con- 
ditioned on the adoption of the double cedula by the province in 
which the money was to be expended. ^^ In 1908, in addition to 
the ten per cent, of the internal revenue, the legislature appro- 

10 Report Director of Public Works. {Report Phil. Com., 1908, Pt. II, 
p. 449.) 

11 Act No. 1652, May 18, 1907. 

12 Act No. 1695, Aug. 20, 1907. 

13 This device, which was commonly called the "bale of hay" (suggested 


priated three hundred and fifty thousand dollars for roads and 
bridges to be apportioned among the provinces in the discretion 
of the secretary of commerce and police. The insular govern- 
ment thus appropriated for roads and bridges for that year the 
substantial sum of $1,046,605.11. 

In 1909 no appropriations for specific projects were made, but 
in addition to the ten per cent, of the internal revenue, seven hun- 
dred and fifty thousand dollars was appropriated for roads and 
bridges in those provinces which should accept the provisions of 
the general law and by resolution of the provincial board, guaran- 
tee, by continuing annual appropriations, the establishment on all 
first-class roads thereafter constructed of a conservation system 
approved by the director of public works. This fund was made 
allottable in the discretion of the secretary of commerce and 

Secretary Forbes thereupon prepared rules and regulations for 
carrying the law into effect, which provided :^* 

1. The order of importance in road work is maintenance of 
existing roads and bridges, repair and reconstruction of existing 
structures, and the application of the remaining funds to nevr 

2. The allotment of funds only to provinces doubling the 
cedula, in proportion to the population. 

3. The adoption by the provincial board, prior to receiving 
the funds, of a prescribed resolution providing that : 

(1) The money should be expended on first-class roads se- 
lected by the provincial board with the approval of the director 
of public works. 

(2) Such roads should be maintained under a system of con- 
tinuing maintenance prescribed by the director, which should in- 
clude : 

(a) The employment during the wet season of at least one 

by the old scheme of fastening a bunch of hay permanently a few inches in 
front of a lazy mule's nose), was the work of Governor-General Smith. 
Without it the law, like its predecessors, would have been a failure. 

1* See also a "Letter to the Provincial and Municipal Offices," dated June 
16, 1908, Kept. Phil, Com.. 1908, Pt. II, pp. 478-484. 



caminero for each kilometer, and during the rest of the year "on 
an average" of one caminero for each two kilometers of first-class 

(b) The deposit, in prescribed places along each first-class 
road, of not less than fifty cubic meters of broken stone for each 
kilometer of stone road, and not less than forty cubic meters for 
each kilometer of gravel surface road. The receptacles were to 
be kept constantly replenished. 

(c) The making of a continuing annual appropriation by the 
province of one hundred and seventy-five dollars for each kilo- 
meter of first-class road. 

It was also required that the province should stipulate that 
when any section of a first-class road was allowed to deteriorate 
it might, after due notice, be taken over by the district engineer 
and maintained at the expense of the province. 

Soon after the enactment of the double cedula law a road com- 
mittee was appointed to plan a system of roads for the islands.^' 
This committee visited the provinces and, after consultation with 
the provincial officials and others, recommended that, with ref- 
erence to their importance, the highways be classified as insular, 
provincial and municipal. The insular roads, which were to be 
built by the central government, included the main highways nec- 
essary for interprovincial communication to which the provincial 
roads were to be feeders. Roads and trails of mere local im- 
portance were classified as municipal. It was estimated that the 
system could be completed within ten years. 

Roads possessing substantial foundations and drainage, a dura- 
ble and continuous surfacing, and permanent types of bridges and 
culverts sufficient to accommodate heavy traffic throughout the 
year were to be known as first class. 

Those partially surfaced and surfaced roads of such width 
and light grade as would permit the passage of light traffic 
throughout their entire length were to be known as second class. 

Those roads and trails over established routes varying from 

15 Of course, for this purpose each island had to be treated as a unit. 


narrow roads passable with difficulty for light traffic to trails 
passable only for ponies, were called third class. 

By making the general appropriation for roads and bridges 
allottable by the secretary of commerce and police, the govern- 
ment was able to adopt and pursue a systematic course of con- 
struction, while encouraging and assisting the local authorities 
to bear a reasonable part of the financial burden. The system 
also secured centralized control with the power to make it effect- 
ive. Secretary Forbes adopted the plan of apportioning one-half 
of the total insular appropriation among the provinces accord- 
ing to population and of allotting the balance to insular roads 
and projects and the purchase of road machinery and equipment. 
Some of the money was used very effectively for prizes to prov- 
inces for the best road work, and to individual camineros for the 
best road maintenance. The expenses of administration, such 
as the printing of manuals and circular instructions, the purchase 
of books and maps, the salaries of special engineers and drafts- 
men, and the expenses of the road committee, were provided for 
out of the same fund. 

This policy was adhered to during my administration of the 
department, and seems to be still in force, although the legisla- 
ture, in 1914, made the allotment of the entire appropriation ac- 
cording to population compulsory.^'' Under the influence of the 
aggressive good roads propaganda all the provinces doubled the 
cedula and were able to secure the benefits of the law.^'^ 

The new policy resulted in a tremendous improvement in con- 
ditions. Already, on June 20, 1908, two hundred and sixty miles 
of first-class road were under the system of maintenance pre- 
scribed by the law. Very substantial sums of money were found 
for the work. During the fiscal year 1912 there was expended 

If' Act No. 2378. The allotment of funds apportioned for the provinces, 
organized under the Special Government Act, was left discretionary. 

1'^ In 1910 the unsatisfactory provision v^^hich required the provincial 
boards to renew their action each year was removed by an act which provided 
that the action of the board should stand permanently unless repealed with 
the approval of the governor-general. This public-spirited "joker" was care- 
fully hidden in the law and was adopted by the assembly without appreciating 
its importance. 


for the construction, maintenance and improvement of roads 
and bridges, $2,193,523.21, of which $1,003,298.56 were insular 
funds, $1,142,900.24 provincial funds, and $47,324.42 municipal 
funds. At the close of the fiscal year 1912 there were in the 
islands, exclusive of those in Manila and the Moro Province, 
1,839.7 kilometers of first-class roads, 2,159.9 of second-class 
roads, and 3,216.7 of third-class roads. ^* During that and 
the succeeding years there was a shortage of money, and it be- 
came necessary to stop work on many public projects, but the 
road work was kept active by loans from the Gold Standard Fund 
to the provinces and municipalities. 

Torrential rains, which are so frequent in the country, make 
the matter of culverts and bridges of prime importance. Early 
in the campaign it was determined that no more money should be 
expended on cheap bridge work. Until funds sufficient to build 
permanent structures were available, the old temporary bamboo 
bridges and rafts must do. The result of this wise policy was 
that many of the creeks and rivers are now spanned by rein- 
forced concrete structures of an unsurpassed type which nothing 
short of a flood or earthquake can destroy. 

The Philippine road policy has been successful. In no part 
of the development work have better results been obtained for the 
money expended. Since 1908 very little money has been wasted 
on roads or bridges." The people had to be educated, coerced 
and bribed into active cooperation in the work, but they soon 
learned to appreciate the value of good roads. The building of 
a first-class highway into a region meant easy access to markets 
which before had been inaccessible. Products which had rotted 
in the fields were transmuted into money. Land values often 
doubled. The stupidest countryman could appreciate such ele- 
mental facts. The people were very naturally eager for allot- 
ments of insular funds in aid of local roads and other projects, 
but they soon learned that the money could be obtained only 

IS Report of Secretary of Commerce and Police, 1912, p. 148. 
^9 The Benguet road may be regarded as a possible exception. - 


by those who were wilHng to bear a share of the burdens in pro- 
portion to their abihties. There was to be no manna falling 
from a government heaven at Manila. It was a matter of assist- 
ance, not of bounty. The allotments rested with the secretary of 
commerce and police, and under the law his judgment was final. 

Delegations were constantly calling on the secretary soliciting 
funds. If the project was one deserving encouragement they 
were informed that it would be investigated. If the engineer 
reported that it was desirable and the cost reasonable, the local 
authorities were again consulted and the limit of their financial 
capacity ascertained. Often they had little cash, but were will- 
ing to contribute material and labor. After stretching their re- 
sources in money, material and labor to the limit, and making 
the regular provision for future maintenance, the balance of the 
required amount was allotted to the locality and the road built. 
When completed, it meant something to the locality. It was not 
the result of the charity of a distant government. It represented 
the sacrifices and labors of the citizens and they felt responsible 
for its care and preservation. It is safe to say that nowhere in 
the tropics are the highways so carefully guarded and main- 

When a road was completed and delivered to the province for 
maintenance it was thereafter regarded as property, and the pro- 
vincial treasurer was required to account for it as such, and any 
neglect which results in its loss or depreciation was followed by 
swift punishment. 

Provinces, municipalities and individual camineros were en- 
couraged to compete in the race for good roads. Local pride was 
cultivated and appealed to. Substantial prizes were offered for the 
province doing the most construction work and showing the 
best maintenance. A prize of five thousand dollars, awarded to 
one province, was immediately invested in a much-needed bridge, 
which was dedicated with a great display of local pride. The 
camineros, the common workmen in charge of road mainte- 
nance, competed for the individual prizes. Ornamented with 
suitable badges of authority, these lowly members of the hier- 


archy often developed a pride in their work not always shown by 
their more highly placed brother government officials. 

As one passed through the country he saw the camineros 
everywhere with wheelbarrow and shovel replacing the scattered 
gravel, or with a pair of shears clipping the grassy lawns which 
line the road. As his automobile rushed along a beautiful high- 
way bordered with palms and feathery bamboo, the caminero 
would often stand at attention and salute with military pre- 
cision as he swelled with pride in his kilometer of highway.^" 

The cost of road construction alone has not been very high, 
but the permanent type of bridges are expensive, and when they 
are included the average cost per mile of the heavily surfaced 
roads has been about $8,250. While labor is much cheaper than 
in the United States, more of it is required to get the same re- 
sults. In determining the type of road to be constructed the 
government has not been bound by any abstract or theoretical 
considerations. The finances, the climatic conditions, and the 
available materials have been the determining factors. Concrete, 
because of its cost, has been out of the question. Good rock for 
macadam roads is difficult to find and to bring it from distant 
quarries is very expensive. On certain roads various kinds of 
asphalt and oil binders have been used wath good success. Gravel 
for surfacing is abundant and cheap, and, where the volume of 
traffic is reasonable, a heavy gravel surface on a permanent 
foundation makes a good road which can be maintained with a 
reasonable expenditure. The rapid increase of automobile traffic, 
particularly in the direction of auto-truck lines serving as feeders 
to the railways, will necessitate the resurfacing of many of the 
roads with broken rock. The expense, however, will not be great, 
as the foundations, structures, drainage, etc., are already pro- 

The system of road construction and maintenance which has 
been described applied to the territory within the legislative juris- 
diction of the Philippine Legislature. It will be remembered that 

20 When the Duke of Edinburg visited Japan in 1868, prayers were offered 
for his safety to the God of Roads. Lord Redesdale's Memories, II, p. 497. 


the country was, for legislative purposes, divided into two parts : 
one under the Philippine Legislature, the other under the control 
of the Philippine Commission, which included the non-Christian 
provinces, the Moro Province, now known as the Department 
of Mindanao and Sulu,^^ and a third group, occupying an inter- 
mediate state, organized under the Special Provincial Govern- 
ment Acts. The Moro Province had its independent legislative 
body, subordinate, however, to the Philippine Commission. The 
provinces organized under the Special Provincial Acts were in 
a sort of intermediate stage, control being divided between the 
legislature and the commission. ^^ 

The general road law, which has been considered, did not 
apply to the non-Christian provinces or the Moro Province. Re- 
cently the legislature authorized the distribution of a portion of 
the general road fund to the special provinces and the non- 
Christian provinces which are governed by special road laws. 
The latter provinces are mostly mountainous and inhabited by 
the so-called wild people, and are not yet sufficiently advanced 
to require first-class roads. The people are natural trail builders, 
and, under the direction of American officials, many hundreds 
of miles of good trails have been economically constructed. 
Every part of their territory is now accessible. 

The Moro Province, with its special form of local government, 
levied its own taxes and built its roads without the assistance of 
the insular government. In 1912 its legislative council enacted 
a law similar to that in force in the northern non-Christian prov- 
inces, and it seems to be working very well. Every male non- 
Christian between the ages of eighteen and sixty years is required 
to pay a cedula tax of three pesos annually, two for the road and 
bridge fund and one for the general fund. Those who pay the 
internal revenue cedula are required to pay only the two pesos 
annual road tax. Delinquents must furnish fifteen days' labor. 

General J. J. Pershing, the governor of the province, in his 

21 Act No. 2309, Dec. 20, 1913. 

22 The new Philippine Legislature has jurisdiction over the entire Archi- 


report for 1912 said: "Moros and other non-Christians have 
learned the benefits of good roads, as is shown by the decreasing 
difficulty of obtaining road labor. Hundreds of days of labor 
have been given to the provinces during the year by Moros anx- 
ious to have roads through their part of the country." 

Road building was commenced in the Moro Province about 
1909 and by 1912 there had been completed 80 kilometers of 
first-class road at a cost of $105,686.80, 153.6 kilometers of sec- 
ond-class roads costing $76,462.82, 106 kilometers of third-class 
roads costing $4,844.87, and 453 kilometers of trails built by a 
road tax or by free labor. When it is realized that the total in- 
come of the province for the fiscal year 1913 was only $367,- 
654.09, the extent of the investment in goods roads will be ap- 

In addition to the work thus done by the local authorities with 
money furnished by the natives, the military authorities have 
built a first-class road from Camp Overton, on Iligan Bay, to 
Camp Keithley on Lake Lanao in the interior, and a good road 
beyond there to Malabang, on the south coast. 

Of the highways constructed by the insular government with- 
out the assistance of the provinces, the famous Benguet road is 
by far the most important. Such serious mistakes were made in 
the designing and construction of this road that it became a fair 
subject for criticism and the opportunity was taken advantage of 
to the limit. It was in fact made a political issue and the policy 
of the administration was so grossly misrepresented that it has 
been difficult to secure consideration for the enterprise on its 
merits. ^^ 

The highway was a by-product of the plan to construct a rail- 
road into the mountains, to a point where a sanitarium had been 
located. The Spaniards were familiar with the advantages of 
the region and appreciated its importance as a resort for Euro- 
peans who were suffering from the effects of the tropical climate. 

23 For the grounds of the opposition as stated by Mr. Quezon, see Hear- 
ings Before House Com. on Insular Affairs, on H. B. 20049, Feb., 1912, pp. 53 
et seq. 


In 1892 Spanish engineers opened a trail into the country from 
San Fernando, on the west coast, by way of Naguilian, and sur- 
veyed other possible road routes. Secretary Root seems to have 
directed the Taft Commission to open up the Benguet country 
if it was found practicable; and, early in 1900, the various routes 
were investigated by members of the commission and its engi- 

The commission was then thinking of a railroad and Captain 
C. W. Meade was directed to make a survey in order to ascertain 
the most practicable route and the probable cost of such a road. 
He reported that it was possible to build a railroad up the valley 
of the Bued River, but recommended that the line be first opened 
as a wagon road. Captain Meade thought that the road could be 
constructed for the modest sum of seventy-five thousand dollars, 
and on December 21, 1900, the commission, apparently without 
having his estimate checked and verified, appropriated that 
amount and authorized the building of a highway from Pozo- 
rubio, in the province of Pangasinan, to Baguio, "under the gen- 
eral supervision of the Military Governor and the immediate 
direction of Captain Charles W. Meade, 36th Infantry, U. S. 
Volunteers, who has been detailed by the Military Governor for 
that purpose, along the general line of survey recently made by 
Captain Meade for a railway between said towns." 

The distance from Pozorubio to Baguio is thirty-eight kilo- 
meters, the first six of which are across a low level plain to a 
point where the Bued River flows out of its canyon. From there 
the road was to follow the river to its source on the mountain 
plateau near Baguio. It was soon discovered that Captain Meade 
had entirely underestimated the difficulties and that his survey 
had been very superficial. It is surprising that the commission, 
with the knowledge of the conditions which it then possessed, 
should have proceeded without further investigation.^* 

It was really about as difficult a route for a railway as could 

2'* Mr. H. L. Higgins, an experienced railroad engineer who visited Baguio 
with members of the commission, made an unsuccessful attempt to find his 
way down the gorge, but expressed the opinion that, with proper equipment, 
a party could get through. 


be imagined. From Baguio to where the river reached the plains, 
a distance of about twenty miles, there is a descent of approxi- 
mately five thousand feet. Most of the way the river flows be- 
tween precipitous mountain walls that rise at some places to a 
height of from three to four thousand feet, with occasional 
peaks reaching six or seven thousand feet. At intervals the dark 
and narrow canyon expanded into basins reeking with rank vege- 
tation. The dense forests were festooned with vines and dank 
mosses. On the upper waters of the river there is a fall of 
almost a thousand feet in a distance of about a mile in a direct 
line. Thereafter the narrow stream rushed and boiled its way 
around and over huge boulders, some of which were as large as 
a farm-house. Nevertheless, there was nothing in the general 
outward appearance of the country to discourage absolutely an 
enterprising engineer familiar with mountain railway construc- 
tion. But the appearances were deceitful. 

No adequate preliminary investigation was made as to the 
nature of the rock and it proved impossible to find any solid 
foundation for the road. Cuts in the mountain sides resulted in 
innumerable landslides.^' All sorts of difficulties were encoun- 

25 Mr. J. W. Beardsley, in his report in Dec, 1903, said : "The topograph- 
ical and geological features of the Bued River Valley are remarkable. The 
elevated peaks are generally connected by ridges too narrow for a roadway. 
The slopes from these ridges to the peaks and the side slopes of both ridges 
and peaks are too steep for practical use. Frequently the connecting ridge is 
entirely washed away, and no feasible method of reaching the lower level 
exists. The construction of an intermediate trail along the mountain sides is 
impracticable on account of the remarkably steep slopes and the frequency of 
slides, which can not be avoided. These slides suggest that nature has not 
yet reached a state of equilibrium. Normal slopes for loose earth and rock 
vary from 30 to 35° ; slopes for similar material in this valley are occasionally 
over 45°, and the material is held in place principally by its covering of vege- 
tation. These slopes, with their resulting slides, are due to (a) seismic dis- 
turbances, (b) chemical formation of rock, and (c) climatic conditions. 
. . . Slides frequently occur during the rainy season on portions of the 
slopes apparently well protected by vegetation, and during the dry season 
these slides are of occasional occurrence over portions not so protected. No 
construction can withstand the effects of these large landslides. The material 
is angular and disintegrated broken rock. The rock outcroppings show a 
hard conglomerate in the lower portion of the valley, consisting of water- 
worn pebbles and boulders cemented together with volcanic rock. . . . 
Where the rock appears fairly solid it is not uncommon to have a slide of 
several hundred tons occur after a cut has exposed the rock to weathering 
effects for a few months." Rept. Phil. Com., 1905, Pt. Ill, pp. 363-367. 


tered. Labor was scarce, unwilling and untrained. An amount 
of money equal to the entire first appropriation was expended in 
making a road-bed along the cliff at the entrance of the first 

Progress was very slow. In August, 1901, Captain Meade 
was succeeded as engineer by Mr. N. M. Holmes. In October, 
1901, the commission reported to Secretary Root that the con- 
struction had "been much delayed by the difficulty of procuring 
the labor requisite for its early completion, and several months 
will yet elapse before it is finished." It was finally borne in upon 
the commission that there was a strong probability that the en- 
tire project would have to be abandoned, to the very great dis- 
credit of the government. In September, 1902, Mr. J. W. 
Beardsley, the consulting engineer to the commission, was di- 
rected to visit the scene and make a thorough investigation. In 
December he reported that it was possible to build the road, but 
that it would cost an additional one million dollars.^*' 

The commission was now facing a serious situation. The 
Benguet road was not an ordinary highway project. The de- 
velopment of Baguio seemed to be required by political and social 
as well as economic considerations. Governor Taft intended that 
it should become the future political capital of the countr3^ It 
was deemed necessary for the health and happiness of American 
soldiers and officials, and the white men who would in the future 
come to live in the islands, and Baguio could not be made avail- 
able unless the road was completed. It was then assumed that 
any railroad which might be built would have to follow this 
river road and the failure of the road meant that the entire 
scheme of building a capital city on the healthy table-land would 
have to be abandoned. 

After thorough investigation and careful consideration of 
every feature of the situation, it was determined to complete the 

26Rept. Secretary of Com. and Pol. (Kept. Phil. Com., 1903, Pt. Ill, 
p. 18). 

Mr. Beardsley's report had evidently not been received when, on Nov. 1, 
1902, Governor Taft wrote in his annual report that "it was doubtful whether 
the total cost of the road would be less than three hundred thousand dollars." 



road regardless of expense. Therefore on Januar}'' 1, 1903, a 
resolution was adopted which declared the policy of the commis- 
sion to be to make the town of Baguio the summer capital of the 
Archipelago and to provide suitable communication therewith. 
In his report dated November 15, 1903, Governor Taft, after 
referring to the serious engineering mistakes which had been 
made and the unexpected cost of the work, said :^' 

"One of the things essential to progress in the islands is the 
coming of more Americans and Europeans who shall make this 
their business home. If there can be brought within twelve 
hours' travel of Manila a place with a climate not unlike that of 
the Adirondacks, or of Wyoming in summer, it will add greatly 
to the possibility of living in Manila for ten months of the year 
without risk. It will take away the necessity for long vacations 
spent in America; will reduce the number who go invalided 
home, and will be a saving to the Insular government of many 
thousands of dollars a year. It will lengthen the period during 
which the American soldiers who are stationed here may remain 
without injury to their health and will thus reduce largely the 
expense of transportation of troops between the islands and the 
United States. More than this, Filipinos of the wealthier class 
frequently visit Japan or China for the purpose of recuperating. 
People of this class are much interested in the establishment of 
Baguio as a summer capital, and when the road is completed a 
town will spring up, made up of comfortable residences, of a 
fine, extensive army post, and sanitariums for the relief of per- 
sons suffering from diseases prevalent in the lowlands. 
It is the settled purpose of the commission to see this improve- 
ment through, no matter what the cost, because eventually the 
expenditure must redound to the benefit of the government and 
people of the islands." 

In pursuance of this policy, arrangements were made for push- 
ing the work to completion, and Major L. W. V. Kennon was 
placed in charge as engineer. The one hundred and seventy- 
three employees with which he commenced work were soon in- 
creased to four thousand. New surveys were made in order to 
comply with the instructions of the commission that the road 

27 Kept. Phil. Com., 1903, Pt. I, p. 58 ; Rept. Phil. Com., 1900-1903, p. 516. 


should be of such a kind as to be later available for a railroad. 
The surveys, plans and specifications were in part remade in or- 
der to provide for an electric railroad bed with a width of four- 
teen feet.^^ 

Notwithstanding the natural obstacles and occasional tropical 
rains which did great damage, the road was finally built and 
opened for traffic on March 27, 1905. On November 1, there- 
after, the total cost had been $1,966,874.05,'^ but much of the 
work was of a temporary nature which later had to be reenforced 
or replaced. The numerous wooden and suspension bridges 
which carried the road back and forth across the river had to be 
replaced by steel constructions which also in time required 
strengthening in order to carry the unexpected volume of heavy 
freight. In fact, the road never was really completed. 

The heartbreaking feature of the situation was that any part 
of the work, however well done, was liable at any time to dis- 

ss First Rept. of Major Kennon, Sept. 1, 1904 (Kept. Phil. Com., 1904, Pt. 
Ill, p. 160). 

29 See Rept. Secretary Com. and Police, Nov. 3, 1905 (Rept. Phil. Com., 
1905, Pt. Ill, p. 25). The following table, prepared by the Bureau of Insular 
Affairs, shows the expenditures and the sources from which the money came. 
Hearings House Committee on Insular Affairs, on H. R. 20049, Feb., 1912, 
p. 64: 
Fiscal year — 

1902. Construction from insular revenues $142,113.01 

1903. Construction from insular revenues 152,800.56 

1904. Construction from insular revenues 459,386.94 

1904. Construction from Congressional relief fund 366,260.505 

1905. Construction from insular revenues 376,367.99 

1905. Construction from Congressional relief fund 228,310.73 

1905. Construction from public works bonds 204,173.24 

1906. Maintenance and repair from insular revenues 45,025.695 

1906. Sale of equipment (refund to revenues) 53,621.69 

1906. Construction from Congressional relief fund 55,246.765 

1907. Maintenance and improvements from insular revenues 9,620.37 

1907. Improvements from Congressional relief fund 102.52 

1908. Maintenance and improvements from insular revenues 15,887.095 

1909. Maintenance and improvements from insular revenues 2,894.645 

1910. Maintenance and improvements from insular revenues 47,718.26 

1911. Maintenance and improvements from insular revenues 26,848.46 

Total $2,186,378,475 

Cost of Benguet Road, 1901-1905 .$1,929,412,975 

Improvements and repairs thereto, 1906-1911 149,722.12 


appear beneath a landslide or be swept away by a flood. The 
mountains seemed to be quivering masses of shale rock eager to 
disintegrate and slide on the slightest provocation. The rain- 
fall in that region is phenomenal. Storms sweeping up from the 
China Sea break against the mountains and are precipitated in 
a concentrated mass about the head waters of the Bued River. 
On June 30, 1905, seventeen inches of water fell within twenty- 
four hours. On October 17, 1906, within the same period of 
time, there was a fall of twenty-six inches and the Bued River 
rose fifty feet in its bed and carried away four of the largest 
bridges. During the twenty- four hours following the noon of 
July 14, 1911, there was a fall of 4^.pp inches of water at Ba- 
guio.^'^ At one place the side of the mountain fell into the gorge 
and covered the road to a depth of one hundred and fifty feet 
with boulders, gravel and huge trees. 

The engineers reported that it would cost five hundred thou- 
sand dollars to dig the road out and the money was not available. 
It seemed that the problem of future maintenance of the Benguet 
road was settled for all time. While matters were at a stand- 
still, kind Providence brought another typhoon and the rushing 
waters carried away much of the debris. It was now possible 
to rebuild the road, but even if the necessary funds could be ob- 
tained, experience showed that it would be folly to continue the 
unequal struggle with nature.^^ The government now entered into 
arrangements with the Manila Railroad Company which it was 
hoped would result in the construction of a railroad over an- 
other route into Bagnio within about three years.^" It was then 
determined that the road should be put into condition for tem- 

'" The average rainfall in the Philippines is 2A00mm. The extremes are 
Zamboanga .900wwi, Baguio 4.500niwj. 

31 On Feb. 22, 1912, General Edwards, Chief of the Bureau of Insular Af- 
fairs, told the Committee on Insular Affairs that "The Benguet wagon road 
has been washed out. They find, after thirty-six inches of rain in one day 
which they got there, that it is not a practical road, and so I don't think they 
would be wise in spending more money on the wagon road. . . ." Hear- 
ings on H. R. 20049, p. 43. 

32 The railway company, under its contract, was entitled to use the Ben- 
guet road for its line, but declined with thanks. 


porary use until the railroad was completed, and this was done 
with an expenditure of fifty thousand dollars. At the same time 
the Naguilian trail from the coast was improved to a point where 
in good weather it could be used by small automobiles. Baguio 
was thus saved from the danger of isolation, and the question of 
the ultimate disposition of the Benguet road was postponed for 
future consideration. The attempt to build the railroad was not 
successful and the policy now seems to be to make the Naguilian 
road a permanent one.®^ 

By May 1, 1913, the Benguet road had cost, including improve- 
ments and maintenance, $2,754,281.05, an amount out of all pro- 
portion to its value as a highway.^* Nevertheless, the men re- 
sponsible for its construction, while regretting the early mistakes, 
have never doubted the wisdom of the final policy that was pur- 
sued. If the Philippines remain an American possession, the 
future will show that they were right ; otherwise their work will 
be thrown away. The money invested should be charged to the 
expense of building a capital city and resort in the health-giving 
atmosphere of the mountains, where white men can live and 
thrive, free from the debilitating effects of the heat of the low- 
lands. It should become the great health resort of the Far 
East. But the Filipinos have never liked Baguio and the political 
element has always bitterly opposed its development. The Phil- 
ippine Legislature could never be induced to appropriate money 
for the city, or for the Benguet road, and funds for the construc- 
tion of the road and the government buildings at Baguio, which 
is in a non-Christian province, were appropriated by the commis- 
sion or provided under a complicated system of transfers. From 
1910 until the advent of the Harrison administration, the gov- 
ernment moved over the Benguet road to Baguio for the months 
of March, April and May of each year. But the new adminis- 
tration consented to the passage of a law which forbids the an- 

33 Rept. Phil. Com., 1914. 

3* The average annual cost of the road for the five years prior to 1913 was 
about one hundred and twenty thousand dollars. (Rept. Bu. of Pub. Works, 
1912, p. 154.) 



nual exodus of the government, to the great delight of the FiH- 
pino clerks, who detest being separated from the delights of life 
in Manila and subjected to the isolation and cool weather of the 
mountains. But the governor-general and commissioners soon 
fell under the spell of the place and, like their predecessors, found 
their way to the cool table-land in the mountains of Benguet. 


Transportation and Communication 



The Railway Policy — Commission Governed by Conditions, Not Theories — 
The Cooper Law — Summary of Its Provisions — Manila Railway Company, 
Limited, and Its Claims — New Concession to Manila Railroad Company — 
Terms of Original Concessionary Contract — Supplementary Concession of 
1909 — Guarantee of Interest — Division into Northern and Southern Lines — 
Concession to Visayan Syndicate — Progress of Constructions — Government 
Loans to Manila Railroad Company — Purchase of the Manila Railroad Com- 
pany — Street Railways — Automobile Lines — The Benguet Road Line. 

The problem of railway construction occupied the attention 
of the members of the commission almost from the day of their 
arrival in the islands. They found that the Manila Railway 
Company, Limited, an English corporation which had received a 
concession from the Spanish government in 1887, had been, 
since 1892, operating about one hundred and twenty miles of 
"oriental gauge" railroad between Manila and Dagupan on Lin- 
gayen Bay. The line traversed a fertile, low-lying, densely pop- 
ulated country, but because of its excessive original cost and the 
expense of maintenance, due to the constantly recurring floods, 
its owners had not found it a profitable investment. The road 
had been seriously damaged by the Filipinos during the insur- 
rection and one of the most promising assets of the company 
was a claim for a large sum against the United States based on 
the Spanish government guaranty and the use of the road by the 
military authorities. 

Acting under instructions from Secretary Root, the commis- 
sion formulated a policy for railway construction.^ It was an- 

^Rept. Phil. Com.. 1901 (Kept. Phil. Com., 1900-1903, p. 184). 



ticipated that American public opinion would require that the con- 
struction of railways in the Philippines should be left to private 
persons or corporations, and that the necessary safeguards 
would be provided to prevent them from absorbing the public 
lands or otherwise gaining undue profit by the exploitation of 
the country. The history of railroad building in the United 
States had given the policy of land grants, railroad aid bonds and 
subsidized projects generally, a bad name. The system of gov- 
ernment aid had been discredited by the abuses which grew up 
under it, and the public easily forgot the beneficial part the rail- 
roads have played in the rapid building up of the country. 

But conditions in the Philippines were not such as to induce 
capitalists to invest money there without some government en- 
couragement. The islands were remote and Americans were 
not, like the British, accustomed to investments in distant col- 
onies. The political future of the country was and would remain 
uncertain as long as one of the great political parties continued 
to advocate the early withdrawal of American control. Under 
the circumstances there was only one feasible plan to follow, 
and that was to adopt the system under which Spain had encour- 
aged railway construction in the Philippines and under which 
Lord Dalhousie had constructed the original railroad system 
in India. ^ The commission therefore recommended that it be 
vested with authority to designate the lines to be constructed and 
to enter into arrangements with private persons or corporations 
for their construction, equipment and operation, and to guarantee 
the payment of interest on the investment. 

The way was cleared for serious railway construction by the 

2 The three principal Indian lines, the East India Railway, Great Eastern 
Peninsula Railway and the Madras Railway, were originally constructed by 
private concerns with a government guarantee of five per cent, interest on 
the capital expended. As railway prospects improved the rate of interest 
guaranteed for other companies was reduced to four per cent. The Indian 
government subsequently entered the railway field and built additional lines. 
It now owns three-fourths of the entire system. Most of the guaranteed 
lines were purchased by the government and are leased to operating com- 
panies under an arrangement by which the government guarantees the inter- 
est on their working capital. In 1913 India had 32.398 miles of railway, over 
which were carried three hundred and thirty-eight million passengers and 
eighty thousand tons of freight. Freight is carried for an average of two- 


Cooper Law of February 6, 1905,^ by which Congress approved 
the general policy recommended by the commission.* Under this 
law the rights of the public were guarded with extreme care. 

The Philippine government was authorized to enter into con- 
tracts with American railroad corporations organized to con- 
struct and operate railroads in the Philippines and to guarantee 
the interest, at not exceeding four per cent, per annum, upon 
their first lien construction bonds secured by mortgage upon the 
roads and other property of the corporations. Any such con- 
tract of guaranty was required to provide that the total amount 
of bonds, the interest of which was guaranteed, should not ex- 
ceed the amount actually invested in cash in the construction and 
equipment of the road ; that the bonds should be kept a first lien ; 
and that the road should be constructed within the time limited. 
After operation was commenced the gross earnings of the rail- 
way should be applied (1) to the necessary operating expenses, 
including the reasonable expenses of the corporation; (2) to the 
necessary and ordinary repairs of the road and its equipment; 
(3) to such betterments and extraordinary repairs as may be 
first in writing authorized by the governor-general, and (4) to 
the payment of the guaranteed interest on the bonds. 

To enable the company to sell bonds as the work of construc- 
tion progressed the guarantee contract might be executed on the 
completion of the road in sections of not less than twenty contin- 
uous miles each and in such proportions, fixed from time to time 
by the government, as the actual capital invested in completed 
road and equipment should bear to the capital required for the 
completion and equipment of the entire road. The guarantee was 
limited to thirty years and in no event could the total annual con- 

fifths of a penny per mile, and one penny carries a third-class passenger five 
miles. The Indian railways at present are all paying dividends. Fuller, 
India, p. 315. 

3 Chap. 453, 33 Stat. L. 689. 

* Several minor concessions for railway extensions had been made under 
the authority conferred on the commission by the Organic Law of 1902 and the 
Spooner Law. Both these laws were restrictive and limited the power to 
grant franchises which the commission had possessed under the authoriza- 
tions contained in President McKinley's Instructions. 


tingent liability of the government exceed one million two hun- 
dred thousand dollars. 

The sum paid as interest by the government under its guaranty 
was made a lien on the property of the company, second only to 
that of the trust deed securing the bonds; and at the termination 
of the guaranty period, the total sum of such interest advanced 
became payable to the government on demand and the lien en- 
forceable. The government was required to make rules for as- 
certaining the cash capital actually invested in the railroads and 
the net income received on the capital so invested, and to provide 
for the proper supervision of the conduct of the finances of the 
road and of its location, construction, operation and mainte- 
nance. Two members of the board of directors of the undertak- 
ing company should be appointed by the government. Out of 
deference to the lack of confidence felt by foreign investors in 
the inferior judicial tribunals, the law conferred upon the Su- 
preme Court of the Philippines original and exclusive jurisdic- 
tion in all actions or suits brought by the government against any 
person or corporation involving the construction of this particular 
statute or any contract made in pursuance of it. 

Immediately after the passage of this law the secretary of war 
attempted to interest American capital in the question of rail- 
way construction in the PhiHppines. The island of Luzon, as 
the most densely populated and generally cultivated, presented the 
most attractive field. The Manila Railway Company, Limited, 
was already in possession of the most highly developed section of 
the island, but the terms of its Spanish franchise were not entirely 
clear. The validity of a claim for $1,515,000 gold against the 
United States for the use of the road by the military authorities, 
which the British ambassador had presented to the state de- 
partment, was denied.^ It was within the power of the govern- 

^ By the terms of the concession, the Spanish government guaranteed to 
the English company net earnings equal to eight per cent, of the capital, 
which was fixed in the concession at $4,964,473.65, but increased with the con- 
sent of the government to $5,556,700, Mexican. One-half of the gross earn- 
ings were to be taken as net earnings. The amount due under this guarantee 
was payable quarterly by the government, which reserved the right to charge 


ment practically to destroy the railway company's property by 
refusing the privilege of making further extensions and granting 
a concession to a new company which would parallel the existing 
line. The old company was British owned and managed and was 

two-thirds of the amount to the provinces through which the road passed. 
When one-half of the gross earnings exceeded eight per cent, of the fixed 
capital, the excess was to be divided between the government and the con- 
cessionaire. Upon the expiration of ninety-nine years from Jan. 21, 1887, the 
government was to become the owner of the property. Rates were subject to 
regulation under a general law which was by reference incorporated into the 
concession. The arrangement was, in legal effect, a partnership contract be- 
tween the government of Spain and the concessionaire by which, in considera- 
tion of the guarantee by the government of eight per cent, on the fixed capital 
of $5,553,700, Mexican, the government was to share equally in all earnings 
over and above the eight per cent, guaranteed, and to become the owner of 
the road at the expiration of the life of the franchise. 

The Spanish government made the guaranteed payments until the Amer- 
ican forces took possession of the road in 1898. An unsuccessful attempt was 
made to have inserted in the Treaty of Paris a provision to the effect that the 
new government should succeed to the rights and obligations of the Spanish 
government under this and certain other concessions. In July, 1899, a claim 
was presented to the secretary of war for the payment of the guaranteed 
interest to that date, and was renewed from time to time until at the end of 
the year 1900 it amounted to $421,000, Mexican. The law officer of the Bureau 
of Insular Affairs and the attorney-general of the United States held that the 
contract of guarantee was a personal contract between the government of 
Spain and the concessionaire, the obligations of which did not pass to the 
new government by the change of sovereignty and cession of the territory. 
Opinions of Attorney-General, Vol. XXIII, p. 121, The attorney-general 
conceded, however, that an obligation existed in favor of the railway com- 
pany commensurate with the benefits received by the islands from the con- 
struction of the road, two-thirds of which was properly chargeable against 
the provinces. No attempt was ever made to reduce this vague obligation to 
figures. The railway company thereafter changed the nature of its claim to 
one for damages, and use and occupation of the property by the military au- 
thorities from Feb. 10, 1899, to April, 20, 1900. 

The opinion of the attorney-general eliminated not only the obligation to 
pay the guaranteed interest, but also the consideration therefor, the right of 
the government to one-half of the profits over and above eight per cent, and 
to acquire ownership of the road at the termination of the concession. As a 
result the Manila Railway Company found itself with simply a franchise to 
operate the road until 1906, subject to the regulative features of the con- 

In order to obtain money to rehabilitate the property it made a new mort- 
gage for seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars, which, with the consent 
of the bondholders, was established as a lien prior to that of the original 
bonds. With the money thus obtained and the earnings, amounting in all to 
about twelve million dollars, the road was put in fairly good condition. With 
the revival of business the company, somewhat to the surprise of all, became 
suddenly prosperous, and had the personal contract of the concession been 
assumed by the government of the United States it would, for the ten years 
after 1901, have received an annual profit of more than one hundred thousand 
dollars and ultimately become the owner of the road. For the circumstances 
under which the road was acquired, see p. 310 et seq., infra. 


not known to be in entire sympathy with the methods of the new 
regime. The terms of the Spanish concession were not such as 
an American government would grant, and it was in every way 
desirable that the slate should be cleaned and a new start made." 
This the government was able to accomplish on terms satisfac- 
tory to all parties, 

A new corporation known as the Manila Railroad Company 
was organized in the United States. The proposal of Speyer & 
Company, of New York, to construct the proposed lines in Lu- 
zon was accepted on condition that the concession should at once 
be transferred to the new corporation which would receive a per- 
petual franchise from the government of the Philippines on the 
terms and conditions prescribed in the grant. No land grant or 
government guarantee of interest was asked on these original 
concessions. In consideration of the grant the old corporation 
waived all claims against the United States, the government of 
the Philippines and the provinces and municipalities, as well as 
those growing out of the use of its line by the military authori- 
ties of the United States. 

The concessionary contract between the government of the 
Philippines and the Manila Railroad Company was thereupon 
embodied in an Act of the Philippine Commission^ and subse- 
quently duly executed by the parties. It was exceedingly favora- 
ble to the government and also advantageous to the grantee. All 
pending controversies were settled and the government secured 
the construction of new lines under proper supervision and con- 
trol without assuming any financial obligations. The concession 
included the existing line of the Manila Railway Company, Lim- 
ited, and the construction of approximately four hundred and 

6 "The change was really from the Spanish to the American system, that 
is, from a business enterprise of the government for profit, to a project, the 
sole motive of which is to furnish a great civilizing and prosperity-giving 
instrumentality to the people and to increase and expand its benefits to the 
public by offering a reasonable compensation to the private capital employed, 
proportioned to the risk, and without hope or expectation of substantial profit 
to the treasury." Secretary of War Taft to Secretary of State Root, June 22, 
1906. MSS. letter. 

^ Act No. 1510, July 7, 1906. 


twenty-eight miles of new road,^ of which one hundred and 
fifty miles were to be ready for operation within two years. 
Construction was to proceed at the rate of not less than 
seventy-five miles each year thereafter until all were com- 
pleted. The gauge was to be three feet, six inches, sub- 
ject to change with the approval of the governor-general. A 
right of way one hundred feet in width was granted across the 
public domain, together with the use of such additional land 
therefrom for terminals, yards, shops and other necessary build- 
ings, as the governor-general should approve. The grantee 
might also, with the written approval of the governor-general, 
take from the public lands gravel, earth, stone, timber and other 
materials for use in the construction of the railway.® The right 
to cross and use streets and public squares, and to acquire title 
to lands owned by provinces and municipalities was carefully 
guarded against abuse. All material required for the construc- 
tion and equipment of the road was to be admitted to the islands 
free of duty. 

The detailed provisions of this and the other railroad conces- 
sion contracts are important because they show the policy of 
the government and the great care taken to guard against ex- 
ploitation and the over-issue of construction bonds. The plans, 
surveys and specifications were required to be submitted to and 
approved by the governor-general, who was authorized there- 
after to fix the exact routes. Freight and passenger rates were 
to be subject to regulation,^^ and the government was entitled to 
certain preferences for military purposes. Preference was to be 
given to laborers found along the lines. The grantee was en- 
titled to maintain a telegraph and telephone system for its own 
use and the use of the public, subject to the approval of the 

^Rept. Phil. Com., 1906, Pt. II, p. 206. 

® This applied only to the public lands available for homestead settlement 
and sale under the Public Lands Act, and timber lands of the Philippine 
government. It did not include the friar lands, which were not part of the 
public lands. 

i^A Board of Railroad Rate Regulation consisting of the governor- 
general, the secretary of commerce and police and one appointed member 
was created by Act No. 1779, Oct. 12, 1907. In 1913 it was succeeded by the 
Board of Public Utility Commissioners. 


secretary of war, on condition that space be reserved on the 
poles for the government to place wires for its own use. 

In Heu of all other taxes, the grantee should, during the first 
thirty years, pay into the public treasury one-half of one per cent, 
of its gross earnings, for the succeeding twenty years one and 
one-half per cent., and after eighty years from the time of the 
original grant, such rate as the government should determine. 
No stocks or bonds should be issued except for cash or property 
at a fair valuation, and no stock or bond dividends should be de- 
clared. All the provisions of the Acts of Congress of July 1, 
1902, and of February 6, 1905, were, by reference, incorporated 
into the contract, and the franchise, while perpetual in form, was 
at all times subject to amendment, alteration, and repeal, by Con- 
gress. ^^ 

This contract was executed on August 28, 1906, and work 
thereunder was immediately commenced. Three years later the 
Manila Railroad Company was granted a supplementary conces- 
sionary contract for additional lines which were to be constructed 
under a government guarantee of interest.^^ The new construc- 
tion thus provided for was designed to connect the existing line 
which ended north of the Pasig River in Manila with the new 
port works south of the river, secure connection with the new 
capital city of Baguio in the Benguet Mountains to the north, and 
south one hundred and thirty-five miles through Ambos Cama- 
rines, with the section already provided for in the province of 

Most of the provisions of the original concessionary contract 
were made applicable to the new grant. Much of the new con- 
struction would be expensive and less likely to prove immediately 
profitable than the original lines. The road through Ambos 
Camarines would pass through very rough country. The exten- 
sion to the port of Manila would require the construction of an 
expensive bridge over the Pasig River, and the line to Baguio 

^1 In a message of Jan. 10, 1816, Governor-General Harrison refers to tliis 
as "a gift to a private company of a perpetual franchise." 
12 Act No. 1905, May 19, 1909. 


would have to reach an elevation of about five thousand feet and 
would not be remunerative for some years. In order to secure 
these extensions, it was deemed good policy to guarantee the in- 
terest on the construction bonds as authorized by the Cooper 

This supplementary concessionary contract divided the Manila 
Railroad Company's property into two separate and distinct sys- 
tems, capable of separate maintenance and operation, one to be 
known as the Northern Lines and the other as the Southern Lines. 
Each was to have its separate and distinct books and accounts, 
embracing construction, maintenance, operation, earnings and ex- 
penses, so that although owned by the same company the two 
systems should be as distinct as though owned and operated by 
separate and independent companies. 

The lines covered by the original concession, with some excep- 
tions, were to be known as the Northern Lines and those of the 
supplementary concession as the Southern Lines.^^ The main 
terminal at Tondo and the shops at Caloocan, near Manila, were 
to be maintained and operated jointly by the two systems and the 
expenses distributed equitably between them. 

The company was authorized to issue bonds for the amount of 
the actual cost of construction and equipment of the railways of 
the Southern Lines and also for the amounts which had already 
been actually expended for the construction and equipment of 
that part of the original lines which were to be included in the 
Southern Lines, excluding the contractor's profits. These bonds, 
which were authorized to be issued to ninety-five per cent, of 
the total cost, constituted a first lien on all the property of the 
Southern Lines. They were to mature in thirty years, and the 
Philippine government guaranteed the payment of interest 
thereon at four per cent, per annum. As the Act of Congress 
limited the amount of annual contingent liability which the gov- 
ernment could assume to one million two hundred thousand dol- 
lars, and a similar guarantee of the Philippine Railway Company 
bonds had been made, the contract with the Manila Railroad 

^3 The line to Baguio, far north, was thus in the Southern Lines' system. 



Company provided that, unless this authority were extended, the 
amount of the annual contingent liability should at no time ex- 
ceed the amount available under the Act of Congress. That is, 
the guarantee was to the amount of the difference between one 
million two hundred thousand dollars and the amount which had 
been guaranteed to the Philippine Railway Company. The com- 
pany covenanted to pay the interest on the bonds to the extent 
of the earnings of the Southern Lines after paying operating ex- 
penses, necessary repairs, and betterments, approved by the gov- 
ernor-general. The United States government assumed no lia- 
bility and the government of the Philippines guaranteed only the 
interest on the bonds. 

The concession for the lines in the south central islands was 
granted to the White Syndicate,^* and by it assigned to a cor- 
poration called the Philippine Railway Company. The contract, 
signed July 10, 1906, required the construction of two hundred 
and ninety-five miles of road on the islands of Panay, Cebu and 
Negros. The conditions were substantially the same as those im- 
posed on the Manila Railroad Company.^^ 

Construction work was commenced promptly by both the 
Manila Railroad Company and the Philippine Railway Company, 
and proceeded under government supervision as rapidly as condi- 
tions and money justified.^® The Manila Railroad Company 
pushed forward the lines provided for under the first concession 
and was progressing with its guaranteed lines as rapidly as re- 

1* This syndicate was composed of William Salomon & Co., Cornelius 
Vanderbilt, J. G. White & Co. of New York, and Charles M. Swift of De- 
troit, with whom were associated the International Banking Corporation, 
H. R. Wilson and Heidelbach & Co. of New York. Mr. Swift was the mov- 
ing spirit and the president of the Philippine Railway Company. 

15 Act No. 1497. For a summary, see Kept. Phil. Com., 1906, Pt. II, p. 198. 

18 Act No. 1507 provided for the appointment of a supervising railway 
expert, and Mr. F. A. Molitor was appointed to the position. This officer was 
attached to the office of Secretary of Commerce and Police, which had gen- 
eral supervision over corporations other than those engaged in banking. He 
was in 1907 succeeded by Mr. L. F. Goodale, who was in office during the 
period of active construction. However, the terms of the concessionary con- 
tract placed the responsibility for seeing that the roads were properly and 
economically constructed upon the governor-general personally. In 1914 the 
office of Supervising Railway Expert was abolished (Act No. 2320) and its 
duties imposed upon the Public Utilities Commissioners. 


quired by the contract. Naturally it exercised its privilege of 
determining the order of the extensions, and intended to leave 
the line to Baguio, which was not expected to be immediately 
profitable, for the last. 

Circumstances, economic and political, made it seem desirable, 
from the standpoint of the government, that railway communica- 
tion be opened to Baguio, the mountain capital, at the earliest 
possible date. With its available capital, the railway company 
was able to work on but one twenty-mile section at a time. In 
December, 1911, the legislature authorized the loaning of a cer- 
tain per cent, of the Gold Standard Fund^^ to provinces and 
municipalities, and specifically to the Manila Railroad Company, 
to aid in the construction of certain of its authorized extensions. 
By this means the government expected to secure the construction 
of the line to Baguio by loaning the company the money to enable 
it to push the work on more than one section at the same time.^* 

The hastening of construction by the Manila Railroad Com- 
pany under the government spur threatens to prove disastrous to 
the government. The comparatively small loan from the Gold 
Standard Fund, made by the Forbes administration, was a mis- 
take, but it was expected to be temporary. For some unaccount- 
able reason the Harrison administration increased the loan until 
in January, 1916, it amounted to over three million dollars, for 
which the government had no real security. By that time the 
Manila Railroad Company seems to have become practically in- 

" Act No. 2083, Dec. 21, 1911. 

18 This ill-advised and unfortunate act of the Philippine Legislature au- 
thorized the loaning of a certain percentage of the Gold Standard Fund to the 
Manila Railroad Company to enable it to continue the work on certain desig- 
nated extensions. The loan was intended to be temporary, and to be repaid 
from the proceeds of the bonds issued on the particular twenty-mile section. 
The commission, as the exclusive legislative body for the non-Christian 
provinces, re-enacted that law in substance as Act No. 2088, but without des- 
ignating the extensions by name. The legislature could not have been in- 
duced to authorize a loan to be used to build a road to Baguio, as the Filipino 
members of the lower house were almost without exception opposed to the 
entire Baguio proposition. However, by loaning the company money to work 
on the designated extensions, it was able to use its own funds to build the 
Baguio line. The way in which the matter was handled illustrates the 
maneuvering which was rendered necessary by the Filipino control over 


solvent, and Governor-General Harrison induced the legislature 
to authorize the purchase by the government of all the stock of 
the corporation, A measure more unjust to the Filipino people 
and disastrous to the treasury could not have been conceived by 
their worst enemies. Of all the schemes and projects devised 
for the Philippines, this proposed purchase of the Manila Rail- 
road Company and the assumption of ten million dollars of its 
bonded indebtedness, is probably the only one which suggests 
bad faith on the part of the men who urged it upon the Philip- 
pine Legislature. And it was done by the administration which 
was posing as the special friend of the Filipinos while urging 
upon Congress the passage of the bill granting independence to 
the islands within the short period of four years. 

At that time the total bonded debt of the insular government, 
exclusive of the seven million dollars of friar-land bonds, the 
payment of which is supposed to be secured by a sinking fund 
created by the sale of the lands, amounted to but five million dol- 
lars. ^^ Extreme care had been exercised by Congress to prevent 
the loading of the islands with a large bonded debt. The Philip- 
pine government had guaranteed only the interest on the bonds 
issued, under its careful supervision, by the Manila Railroad Com- 
pany. It had not guaranteed the principal of the bonds, and it 
had been called upon to pay only $41,450 on its interest guaran- 
tee.^** The railroad company had outstanding bonds amounting 
to $22,671,000, consisting of $4,330,000 six per cent, gold mort- 
gage bonds, and $7,766,000 seven per cent, second mortgage gold 
bonds, maturing in 1956, and $10,575,000 four per cent, first 
mortgage gold bonds (Southern Lines), maturing in 1939. The 
government had guaranteed the interest on these Southern Lines 
bonds only. That was the extent of its obligation. 

19 On December 31, 1914, there was $1,927,980.50 in the sinking fund for 
the payment of these friar lands purchase bonds, and $855,832.58 in the pubhc 
works and improvement bonds sinking fund. 

. 20 In the Special Report of General Mclntyre, chief of the Bureau of In- 
sular Affairs, of Dec. 1. 1915, it is stated that to Dec. 31, 1914, on its con- 
tingent liability for the interest on railway bonds, the government had ad- 
vanced "a total of $1,317,448.50, practically all of which was on account of the 
Philippine Railway Company. The Manila Railroad Company has generally 
earned the interest on its interest-guaranteed bonds." 


The entire capital stock of the Manila Railroad Company, 
amounting to $5,783,500, was owned by an English corporation 
known as the Manila Railway Company, Limited, and had been 
pledged with the Merchants' Trust, Limited, of London. This 
stock, under the conditions stated by Mr. Harrison, evidently 
had no market value, and it is safe to say that it was worthless. 
In his message to the legislature, of January 10, 1916, Governor- 
General Harrison gave several disingenuous reasons why it was 
in his opinion desirable for the government to purchase this stock 
and pay therefor the sum of four million dollars gold. The only 
one entitled to any serious consideration was that the situation 
required "the Philippine government, for the protection of its 
investments in the Manila Railroad Company, to assume the 
ownership of the road." He therefore recommended that the 
legislature authorize the payment of the sum of four million dol- 
lars gold (to be taken from the Gold Standard and other special 
funds) to the English company for the worthless stock, that the 
payment of the $10,575,000 issue of bonds on the Southern 
Lines be assumed by the government, and that the road, after 
being thus acquired, should be operated by government em- 

The three million dollars owed by the railroad company to 
the government was not even to be deducted from the amount to 
be paid for the stock. On the contrary, the law provides that the 
"time for payment of the loan made by the government to the 
railroad company from the Gold Standard Fund of the Philippine 

21 The assumption of the bonds was concealed from the public by provid- 
ing that the government-owned corporation should be continued and that it 
should establish a sinking fund "from funds available for such purposes, if 
any," with which to retire the bonds. But included in the law and contract 
was the provision that "the government by a continuing annual appropriation 
or in any other lawful manner as may hereafter be agreed upon, will loan to 
the railroad company [i. e., to itself] an amount sufficient to maintain the 
sinking fund at the required figure." Paragraph 4 of Act No. 2574, passed 
Feb. 4, 1916. 

Immediately after the enactment of the Philippine Government Law of 
Aug. 29, 1916, the government issued $4,000,000 of bond to secure money to 
pay for this railway stock. Governor-General Harrison's message and the 
contract of purchase are printed in the Report Phil. Com., 1915, p. 49. 


Islands shall be extended for as long a time as the governor-gen~ 
eral may lawfully extend the same." 

The law authorizing the purchase of the entire stock of the cor- 
poration was rushed through the legislature as an administration 
measure without consideration by any but a few of the leaders.^^ 

Mr. Horace L. Higgins, an experienced engineer and railroad 
manager, financially backed by the Speyer banking house of New 
York and London, had been unable to make the Manila Railroad 
Company pay expenses and interest, and the Harrison adminis- 
tration proposed to transfer their burden to the shoulders of the 
Philippine government with the hope that under the management 
of Filipino politicians the property would become profitable. It 
was a pretty present, indeed, to hand to the Filipinos along with 
immediate independence. The execution of the contract meant 

22 The proposed purchase was condemned by the American and a portion 
of the native press, including La Democracia. The Far Eastern Review for 
Feb., 1916, quotes the following from an editorial in The Bulletin, one of the 
leading papers of Manila : 

"Some day the islands are going to need all their credit in order to borrow 
money on their bonds to acquire these things, only to find that credit has 
been exhausted to purchase a railroad, which the country needs about as much 
as a cat needs two tails. The country will have the railroad, but will be un- 
able to trade it for real needs. The only advantage that will accrue to the 
people will be the privilege of raising several additional millions of pesos in 
taxes to pay the interest on the indebtedness incurred by the purchase. 

"The most essential factor in the future as well as present prosperity of 
the islands is the coming of capital for the development of its natural re- 
sources, industries, and public utilities. The largest investment of capital in 
the islands up to the present is that invested by the Manila railway. Is the 
government to announce now to the financial world that the government is 
to be the means of sending this capital out of the country? Will such action 
encourage other capital to enter the country? 

"We do not know what political benefit is to be derived by the purchase 
of this railroad. One thing is certain ; there will be no economic benefit de- 
rived from it. The only expert opinion available of the value of the road is 
that of the government itself. In a decision by the public utilities board, 
seven months ago, that body said : That the company's income is not suf- 
ficient to provide adequately for the protection of its property devoted to 
public use, to pay its fixed charges, and to pay a reasonable return upon its 
investment, is shown by the following comparative statement of its income 
account for all lines for the years 1910 to 1914, inclusive. Is the credit of the 
country to be mortgaged for generations, in order that the government may 
acquire a property of this kind? Will government ownership and manage- 
ment get better result than experienced and competent railroad officials have 
accomplished? If they are then the people should have some knowledge of 
why and how it is to be done." 


handing over four million dollars gold to the owners of the stock 
and an increase in the market value of the bonds of probably five 
million dollars — all, in effect, a present to the London stock and 
bond holders at the expense of the Filipinos. 

It is difficult to understand why the Manila Railroad Company 
has not, since 1912, been able to earn sufficient to pay its fixed 
charges. It is located on the cultivated island of Luzon and 
reaches the capital city and chief port of the country. It was in 
the hands of experienced railroad men, and prior to that time 
was operated successfully and economically. The extensions 
were made into well-developed country. The alleged inability to 
sell bonds for future construction does not explain the failure of 
the road to continue earning money by the operation of the exist- 
ing lines. The difficulties in which the road became involved 
were undoubtedly due to the unfortunate attempt of the govern- 
ment to force the hasty construction of disconnected and unprofit- 
able extensions. 

It is a lamentable fact that the Filipinos have not shown much 
energy in availing themselves of the opportunities offered by the 
construction of railways and some other public improvements. 
They delight to travel on the trains and, contrary to the rule in 
the United States, more than half of the income of the roads 
comes from passenger traffic. That fact alone discloses unsatis- 
factory conditions. The railroads will never pay until the peo- 
ple have energy enough to provide them with freight and the 
ability to do that can only be developed after the lapse of con- 
siderable time. The immediate benefits anticipated by men like 
Governor Taft and Governor Wright have not been realized. 
Nevertheless, their theories were sound, although more time will 
be required for securing results than was anticipated. Land 
values have materially increased and the new country which has 
been opened up is being slowly occupied and brought under cul- 
tivation, but it will take many years to produce the freight which 
is essential for the profitable operation of the railways. 

The Philippine Railway Company constructed its lines in 
Panay and Cebu, but the prospects for remunerative business 


were not such as to justify it in building on the island of Negros, 
and the government was very willing to extend the time for the 
construction of that line indefinitely.^^ 

The Philippine Railway Company is a purely American con- 
cern, and its managers have worked according to American 
methods. Its lines cost much more to construct than was ex- 
pected, and there has been some criticism of the government for 
failure to exercise its supervisory powers with sufficient vigor. 
So far, the interest on its construction bonds has been paid by 
the government, and the prospects for any relief within the thirty- 
year period are not good. It is probable that neither the Cebu 
nor the Panay lines can be made to pay under present conditions. 
The former has not sufficient territory tributary to it, and prob- 
ably will never pay. The Panay line, extending from the city 
of Iloilo to Capiz, may become profitable after the country has 
been developed. A system of short highways extending at right 
angles to the railroad and into the rich valleys should double the 
marketable products. Unless energetic measures are taken to 
create freight and traffic, it is very probable that the bonds of 
the company will ultimately have to be protected by the govern- 

The Spanish government granted a franchise for a tramway 
line in the city of Manila and a dilapidated system was in opera- 
tion at the time of the American occupation. A new franchise, 
which included lighting for the city, was granted to Mr. Charles 
M. Swift, who organized the Manila Electric Railroad and Light 
Company, which purchased the property of the old concern and 
installed a street railway system which is modern in all respects.^* 
A subsidiary company, the Manila Suburban Railways Company, 
which also carried some freight, has extended the system to Fort 
McKinley and Pasig. 

The construction of good roads in various parts of the islands 
has made possible the extensive use of automobiles for passen- 

23 Resolution of March 13, 1912. 

"* In 1912 this company owned 114 cars and carried 15,878,821 passengers. 
See Kept. Phil. Com., 1913. 


ger and freight traffic. In certain provinces passenger cars and 
freight trucks make regular trips between the towns and vil- 
lages and serve many communities which have not yet been 
reached by the railways. The system is susceptible of almost in- 
definite expansion. 

An automobile line from the terminus of the Manila Railroad 
line at Camp One to Baguio, over the Benguet road, which has 
been operated by the government since 1909, has carried thou- 
sands of travelers and vast quantities of freight to and from the 
summer capital. This traffic was originally handled by mule 
teams and ox carts, but these were gradually replaced by various 
types of automobiles. The service was improved from time to 
time until, in 1912, by means of specially constructed De Dion 
Bouton passenger cars and freight trucks, the line, operated in 
all respects like a railroad, with a regular block system of gates 
and gate-keepers, and a telephone line, carried over 19,000 pas- 
sengers and 5,161 tons of freight without accident or injury to 
any one, at an expense of $109,500, and with total receipts of 
$110,500. It will, of course, be discontinued when the railway 
reaches Baguio. 


Transportation and Communication 



Its Importance — Early Methods — Gradual Expansion — An Independent Serv- 
ice — The Metric System — Money Orders — The Parcel-Post — Attempts to Im- 
prove the Foreign Service — Acquisition of Telegraph Lines from Army — 
Training of Telegraphers — The Cables — Wireless Stations Acquired — Plan 
for Joint Wireless Service — Franchise Granted the Marconi Company — Sum- 
mary of Results — Postal Savings Bank. 

When John Stanhope was Master of the Posts for Queen 
Elizabeth, his duties were confined to forwarding government 
despatches. His official descendant not only forwards the cor- 
respondence of his government, but carries the farmers' eggs and 
chickens to market and returns the required groceries and dry- 
goods to the farm-house gate. 

The social, as well as commercial, importance of the modern 
post-office can not well be overestimated. Few, if any govern- 
mental activities exercise so wide and penetrating an influence 
upon national life and character. The field of operation of the 
postal service has been constantly expanding until it now carries 
great quantities of goods, wares and merchandise, in competition 
with the railway and express companies. 

Nevertheless, the primary purpose of a department of posts 
is the transmission of intelligence in the physical form of the 
written word or in its sound equivalents. 

In a country like the Philippines, where the people are isolated 
on their several islands, separated by narrow dangerous seas or 
inaccessible mountain ranges, an efficient postal service is very 
desirable. It means the breaking down of intangible as well as 



physical barriers to intercourse, and a resultant birth of intel- 
lectual curiosity and interest in public affairs. The service which 
the American government has given the Filipinos has already 
had an appreciable influence upon their lives and characters. 

For some time after the occupation of Manila the handling of 
the soldiers' mail occupied most of the time of the clerks who had 
been sent with the troops by the Post-Oflice Department. An en- 
terprising representative of the mail service managed to enter 
Manila ahead of schedule, and when the troops arrived they 
found him in charge of the old Spanish post-office on the Es- 
colta and ready for business. Thereafter, as rapidly as towns 
were occupied by the army, post-offices were opened. Soldiers 
were detailed for the clerical work, and many of them took their 
discharges and entered the postal service as civilian employees. 
The old Spanish regulations, which required all steamers author- 
ized to engage in interisland traffic to carry the mails without 
charge, were continued in force, and postal communication was 
thus gradually resumed, along with the restoration of commerce. 
No attempt was made to open post-offices in territory not occu- 
pied by the American troops. The Municipal Code authorized 
newly-organized municipalities to reestablish the former Spanish 
service and maintain postal communication with one another until 
such time as the central government should assume control. The 
extension of the service throughout the islands was thus grad- 
ually secured. 

On May 1, 1900, the postal service was turned over to the gov- 
ernment of the Philippines, which has ever since received the 
revenues and borne all the expenses connected therewith. As a 
matter of convenience, however, the United States postal laws 
have been treated as in force in the islands, except when super- 
seded by local legislation. The Philippine government became a 
member of the International Postal Union, and the Bureau of 
Posts is, in all respects, conducted as an independent service. 

The antiquated system of weights and measures, to which the 
United States government still adheres, made it difficult to extend 
the use of the metric system to the Philippine postal service until 


long after it was in use in all other bureaus of that govern- 

On July 1, 1901, the money-order service was also made inde- 
pendent of the United States government. The Spanish govern- 
ment had no such- service and it was necessary to educate the 
Filipinos in its use. They are not yet absolutely confident that 
it is safer to transmit money by a post-office money order than to 
send the currency or money by mail. In 1903 the postmaster- 
general arranged that the parcels-post conventions between the 
United States and other countries should include the Philippines, 
but the arrangement was cumbersome and very little such busi- 
ness was done. 

Upon assuming charge of the Department of Commerce and 
Police, in February, 1910, I found a mass of correspondence 
with the postmaster-general of the United States and with 
the postal authorities of Japan, with reference to money-or- 
der and parcels-post arrangements between the Philippines and 
the Empire of Japan. Although the correspondence had ex- 
tended over ten years, nothing of importance had been accom- 
plished. The money-order service between the United States and 
the Philippines was satisfactory, but there was no direct service 
to any other country. The Manila merchant who desired to send 
a few dollars to Hong Kong, Singapore, Batavia or Japan, had 
to buy an order on San Francisco and send it there, where it 
would be reissued and a new one mailed to the country where 
the remittance was to go. Soon after the American occupation 
the Japanese postal department expressed a desire for direct 
money-order communication with the Philippines. Its oflfer was 
at first declined because of the unsettled condition of afifairs. Sub- 
sequently renewed on the initiative of Japan, it resulted in the 
preparation of a convention which was satisfactory to both gov- 
ernments. Governor-General Smith then became fearful that 
he was assuming the powers of a ruler of an independent gov- 
ernment and declined to sign, on the ground that the agreement 
was in effect a treaty which the government of the Philippines 
had no power to enter into. The War Department approved 


his action and the entire matter was referred back to the post- 
master-general, who opened negotiations through the Japanese 
ambassador at Washington. The matter dragged along until Mr. 
Forbes became governor-general. He was a man who was not 
afraid to assume authority when the result would be to accom- 
plish something manifestly desirable for the islands. It was easy 
to satisfy him that the Philippine government had authority to 
enter into business contracts with the postal authorities of other 
countries, and a reconsideration of the matter was secured, with 
the result that Secretary of War Dickinson reversed the former 
rulings of the department and authorized the Philippine govern- 
ment to make its own postal arrangements. Negotiations were 
thereupon opened with Japan, China, Hong Kong, the Straits 
Settlements, Australia, Netherlands, India and British India. A 
convention was promptly signed with the colony of Hong Kong, 
and matters were progressing as rapidly with the other countries 
as tropical lethargy would permit, when in the spring of 1912 
the department passed from under my control. Thereafter a 
new policy seems to have been adopted. 

During 1912 a parcels-post service was inaugurated within 
the islands by executive action, before it was introduced into the 
United States. For reasons of an extremely technical character, 
the postmaster-general of the United States refused to sign an 
agreement providing for parcels-post service between the United 
States and the Philippines after the same had been prepared in 
his office, and it was not established until 1913, when it was 
specifically provided for by Congress.^ 

The Philippine government operates an interisland telegraph 
and cable system in connection with the postal service. Orig- 
inally it controlled also the telephone lines, but these were either 
converted into telegraph lines or transferred to the various pro- 
vincial governments. Prior to July, 1900, the signal corps of the 

1 On March 29, 1912, nearly two years after the writer, under Secretary 
Dickinson's ruling, was engaged in negotiating money-order and parcels-post 
conventions with Japan and other countries, the attorney-general of the 
United States rendered an opinion fully sustaining the power of the Philip- 
pine government. See Opinions Attorney-General, XXIX, p. 380. 

Hon J. M. Dickinson 


fus action and the entire matter was referred back to the post- 
master-general, who opened negotiations through the Japanese 
ambassador at Washington. The matter dragged along until Mr. 
Forbes became governor-general. He was a man who was not 
afraid to assume authority when the result would be to accom- 
plish something manifestly desirable for the islands. It was easy 
to satisfy him that the Philippine government had authority to 
enter into business contracts with the postal authorities of other 
countries, and a reconsideration of the matter was secured, with 
the result that Secretary of War Dickinson reversed the former 
rulings of the department and authorized the Philippine govern- 
ment to make its own postal arrangements. Negotiations were 
thereupon opened with Japan, China, Hong ' he Straits 

Settlements, Australia, Netherlands, India and • India. A 

convention was promptly signed with the colony of Hong Kong, 
and matters were progressing as rapidly with the other countries 
as tropical let" — -'^«?a<8(ia?pM'Efti^o^hen in the spring of 1912 
the '''»!'?. rfr^t' *'rom under my control. Thereafter a 

>een adopted. 

s inaugurated within 

,,• ,. ',,r,^ri into the 


o sign an 

4i;. 'w L-ciAccii the United 

Su... ^-. . . , , ..„..;_ had been prepared in 

his office, anc not established until 1913, when it was 

specifically provided for by Congress.^ 

The Philippine operates an interisland telegraph 

and cable system jri with the postal service. Orig- 

inally it controlled also the telephone lines, but these were either 
converted into telegraph lines or transferred to the various pro- 
vincial government ' '■ ■ ' July, 1900, the signal corps of the 

1 On March 29, 19i-, vr-'ny ^-^o years after the writer, under Secretary 
Dickinson's ruiirig, was engaRed in negotiating money-order and parcels-post 
conventions with Japan ai^d other countries, the attorney-general of the 
United States revidered an opinion fully sustaining the power of the Philip- 
pine government. See Opinions Attorney-General, XXIX, p. 380. 


army had constructed and operated 2,931 miles of joint telegraph 
and telephone lines, and 210 miles of cable. Some further ex- 
tensions of the telegraph service were made, but as order was 
restored in the country the necessity for its control by the army 
ceased, and the superfluous lines were transferred to the civil 
government under an arrangement by which the military authori- 
ties received free service for official business. This was con- 
tinued until the reorganization of the bureaus in 1905, after 
which full payment for services rendered was made by the army 
as well as the insular government bureaus and officials. Ulti- 
mately all the telegraph lines were transferred, and since 1909 
the service has been controlled and supported entirely by the 
government of the Philippines.^ 

The Bureau of Posts probably contains a greater percentage 
of Filipino employees than any other large bureau. Filipinos 
make good telegraph and postal employees. Nearly all the post- 
offices, which include the telegraph service, are under the direct 
control of Filipinos who have been trained and prepared for the 
work in a school maintained and conducted by the Bureau of 
Posts at Manila.^ 

Most of the military telegraph lines and cables had been 
hastily constructed with such material as was available. The 
cables, particularly, were not always well located. During the 
years 1910-1911 many of them were taken up and laid on more 
economical and commercially advantageous routes. The currents 
and the peculiar formation of the bottom of the ocean in that 
part of the world make cable maintenance very expensive.* The 
lines were often out of order and an expensive cable ship had to 

2 They were first administered by the telegraph division of the Bureau of 
Constabulary, which was created by Act No. 461, Sept. 15, 1902, for the pur- 

The reorganization law of Oct. 26, 1905 (Act No. 1407), which became 
effective Jan. 1, 1906, provided for the transfer of the telegraph business to 
the Bureau of Posts of the Department of Commerce and Police. It took 
over 2,574 miles of land telegraph wires, 199 miles of cable, 2,160 miles of 
telegraph line, 96 telegraph offices, 4.S0 telephone stations, and 307 district 

3 January 1, 1916, there were 103 American and 2,231 Filipino employees in 
the postal service. 

* It cost, on an average, one thousand dollars per mile to lay new cable. 


be maintained for the work of repair and reconstruction.^ The 
government was subject to constant criticism by the commercial 
communities^ for its failure to maintain the cable service in good 
condition. It seemed that a solution of the vexatious problem of 
interisland telegraph communication could be found in the in- 
stallation of wireless telegraphy, which had then reached the stage 
of reasonable efficiency. It was comparatively cheap and was 
capable of indefinite expansion. It was an opportunity to do for 
the islands of the Archipelago what the author of the Penny Post 
hoped to do for the British Empire — "make intercourse between 
their severed coasts as easy as speech, as free as air." 

"You would call a friend from half across the world ? 

If you'll let us have his name and town and state, 
You shall see and hear your crackling questions hurled 

Across the Arch of Heaven while you wait." 

A system of wireless stations would provide not only communi- 
cation between the islands, but also with the cities of the China 
coast and Japan. 

The subject had for several years engaged the attention of the 
civil and military authorities and various sites had been reserved 
for wireless stations. The army stations at Malabang and Zambo- 
anga in Mindanao, and Jolo on the island of Jolo, had been trans- 
ferred to the insular government along with the telegraph lines 
and cables. In the light of experience in the United States it 
was believed to be wise to reserve the entire wireless field for 
the government, and until the policy was definitely determined, 
deny to private persons the privilege of installing wireless plants. 

In the spring of 1911 President Taft, at the request of the 
governor-general, appointed a board to study and make recom- 
mendations relative to the construction, operation, maintenance 

5 The Spanish ship Rita, which was captured by the Yale near Habana, 
was made into a cable ship, and, under the name of the Burnside, laid the 
cables in the southern islands. For an interesting account of the work, see 
A Woman's Journey Through the Philippines, by F. K. Russell (1907). In 
1910 the Philippine government acquired the cable ship Risal and took over 
the work. 

•5 See Cable News-American, July 23 and 24, 1910 ; Manila Times, July 20, 


and management of a system of wireless telegraphy for the joint 
use of the civil government, the army and the navy. This board 
consisted of Commissioner Charles B. Elliott, Secretary of Com- 
merce and Police of the Philippine Islands; Lieutenant-Colonel 
George P. Scriven, Signal Corps, U. S. Army, and Commander 
Chester M. Knepper, U. S. Navy. The object was to secure a 
single and economical system for the three services without 
duplication. An exhaustive study of the subject was made and 
in February, 1912, the board made a preliminary report to the 
secretary of war'' in which it was recommended that a system of 
fourteen stations be established in conjunction with the existing 
land lines and cables for the administrative purposes of the gov- 
ernment of the Philippines and the army and navy ; the transmis- 
sion of information as to weather conditions for the benefit of 
the government, the merchant marine and exposed communities ; 
the requirements of the business interests in time of peace and 
the strategic and technical interests of the army and navy in 
time of war. The stations recommended for immediate construc- 
tion were divided into two groups, the first consisting of six 
high power stations, and the second of eight stations of inter- 
mediate power capable of maintaining communication with the 
nearest high power station. A third group of twenty-eight low 
power stations was recommended for construction in the future 
as money for the purpose became available. 

It was estimated that the fourteen stations could be constructed 
for three hundred thousand dollars, and it was recommended that 
the United States government, for the use by the army and 
navy, should pay one hundred and sixty-five thousand dollars and 
the government of the Philippines one hundred and thirty-five 
thousand dollars.^ It was provided that in time of peace the 
stations should be operated by the government of the Philippines 
through the Bureau of Posts, and that all of its departments, and 
the army and navy, should pay a reasonable charge for services 
rendered. In time of war or threatened disturbance of the peace 

"^Preliminary Report of the Joint Wireless Board (Manila, 1912). 
8 The Reviewing Board at Washington recommended that the expense be 
divided equally between the two governments. 


of the islands, the entire plant should be turned over to the 
military authorities. A board appointed by President Taft to re- 
view the report of the joint board approved the same with a few 
minor changes and recommended that Congress be asked to ap- 
propriate one-half of the amount necessary for construction and 
that the sum, with an equal amount to be provided by the insular 
government, "should be placed to the credit of the executive head 
of a Board of Control which shall be convened in the Philippines, 
to consist of the Secretary of Commerce and Police of the Insular 
government or his representative; the admiral commanding the 
station or his representative; and the general commanding the 
division or his representative ; and that the executive head of the 
Board shall be the Secretary of Commerce and Police of the 
Philippine Islands." The money was to be expended by the ex- 
ecutive head of this board under the direction of the board and 
with the approval of the president of the United States. 

President Taft, on February 8, 1912, sent these reports to 
Congress with his approval and recommendation of the necessary 
appropriation. The government of the Philippines set aside its 
share of the money but owing to a change of party control in the 
House of Representatives, no action was taken by Congress. The 
committee on insular affairs refused to recommend an appropria- 
tion of money for expenditure in the islands apparently because 
the Democratic party intended to withdraw the American control 
and grant independence to the islands. The effect was to render 
useless for the time being all the work that had been done on a 
plan which met with the approval of all persons competent to 
speak on the subject and which would have been of the greatest 
value to the islands and the government of the United States. 
The entire cost of construction of the wireless plants would not 
have equaled the cost of repairs and maintenance of the cables 
during a very few years; and the service rendered would have 
been infinitely superior. 

These special efforts made to improve the postal telegraph, and 
other facilities for communication between the islands and with 
foreign countries was a part of the general policy of material 


and commercial development of the Taft regime, and although 
but partially successful, they must be given due weight in deter- 
mining the nature of the work of the American government. 

The Harrison administration abandoned the policy of govern- 
ment control of wireless stations and granted a franchise to the 
Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company, subject to the approval 
of the secretary of war, with the absurd condition that the com- 
pany should admit in writing information of a certain message 
of President Wilson and the "reply message of the Philippine 
Assembly of October 16, 1913," and agree "not to do anything 
by means of contributions in cash or otherwise, against the policy 
of the government of the United States and the aspirations of 
the Filipino people set forth in said messages whether under the 
pretext of vested interests or any other pretext." If the company 
avails itself of this arrangement it will, of course, be necessary 
for the army and navy to construct and maintain independent sys- 
tems and the government of the Philippines and the commercial 
interests will be deprived of the advantages which would accrue 
from a single joint system. Even increased and improved means 
of communication were thus subordinated to the exigencies of 
party policy. 

Statistics showing the number of letters and packages handled 
by a postal department convey no clear idea of the extent and 
importance of the service. It is sufficient to say that the Philip- 
pine service is very efficient, has been economically administered, 
is constantly growing and has been already extended until it 
reaches almost every barrio in the islands. 

The Bureau of Posts has also handled the Postal Savings- 
Bank, which has proved of very great value to the Philippine 
people. On January 1, 1916, the deposits amounted to $1,601,- 
794.66, and about eighty-six per cent, of the depositors were Fili- 


Transportation and Communication 



Importance of Water Transportation — The Coast Survey — Lights and Light- 
houses — The Weather Bureau — The Absence of Harbors — Harbor Construc- 
tion — Iloilo — Cebu — New Manila Harbor — Foreign Steamship Service — Effect 
of War and Congressional Legislation — Interisland Transportation — Old 
Spanish Methods — Necessity for Government Ships — The New Bureau — The 
Coast Guard Steamers — Plan to Create New Merchant Marine — The Con- 
tract System — Subsidies-r-The Results — The Bureau of Navigation and Its 
Troubles — ^Abolished in 1914 — The Cable Ship — River Improvements. 

For the Philippines, water transportation will always be of 
even greater importance than land transportation. The Archipel- 
ago is separated from the American continents by the broad 
Pacific and from the coasts of Asia by the turbulent waters of the 
China Sea. It is a maritime country in the strictest sense of the 
word. The straits and channels which separate its islands and 
the rivers which penetrate its lands, are the arteries and veins 
through which flow the lifeblood of its commerce. Their ob- 
struction means commercial stagnation, isolation and death. 
Under such conditions, the provisions for a merchant marine 
and for the safety of navigation are of primary importance. 

An inspection of the map suggests that the Philippine Archi- 
pelago is situated at the crossing of the natural ocean highways 
and that Manila is one of the most accessible of the Far East 
ports. In fact, however, the political and commercial development 
of the world was such as to throw the Philippines far to one side 
of the lines of trade. For many years prior to the American occu- 
pation ordinary communication with the outside world was by 



means of two cable lines and a monthly steamer from Spain and 
occasional small ships from Hong Kong. The Spanish mail boats 
were slow, unsanitary and impossible from the standpoint of 
the traveler. Those which traversed the monsoon-cursed sea 
between Hong Kong and Manila were generally of draft shallow 
enough to allow them to enter the Pasig River. The monsoons 
blow for six months from the southwest and the rest of the year 
from the northwest. From one direction or the other, they are 
always coming, and the ship's route either way lies aslant the toss- 
ing seas. The narratives of travelers of that period are filled 
with accounts of doleful experiences. One unhappy visitor to 
the islands wrote that his ship developed such a corkscrew motion 
on the way to Manila that he feared it would take a return trip 
against the other monsoon, to untwist the feelings of her passen- 
gers. The inaccurate charts and insufficient lights on the coasts 
rendered navigation very unsafe. The western coast and chan- 
nels had been charted by the Spaniards and English, but, generally 
speaking, the Philippine waters were unsafe for shipping. 

Marine surveys are of general as well as local importance, and 
it was only reasonable that the United States government should 
bear a portion of the expense of a complete coast and geodetic 
survey. An arrangement was therefore made under which the 
coast waters were to be resurveyed and recharted. The work was 
placed under the general control of the superintendent of the 
Coast and Geodetic Survey at Washington, who detailed an offi- 
cer to act as director of a bureau of the Philippine government. 
Under this arrangement, which has proved very satisfactory, the 
United States government has paid about fifty-five per cent, and 
the Philippine government forty-five per cent, of the cost of the 
work. At the present time approximately ninety per cent, of the 
survey has been completed and if it proceeds without interrup- 
tion the coast will soon be completely resurveyed and charted. 
In addition to the new charts, which have no superior, the bureau 
has issued several volumes of sailing instructions which are kept 
up-to-date, and has furnished much other information of the 
greatest value to the maritime world. 


Ships avoid an unlighted coast as men avoid a pestilence. 
When the insurrection broke out in 1896 the Spaniards had in 
operation twenty-eight lights, one-half of which were flashing 
and the other fixed minor lights. The American government 
took over their uncompleted structures and carried the work for- 
ward with so much energy and skill that now few coasts are bet- 
ter protected by lights than those of the Philippines. 

In the year 1902 there were fifty-seven lighthouses in operation 
and these had, by the end of the year 1912, been increased to one 
hundred and forty-five. This, of course, does not include the 
innumerable small lights and thousands of buoys and other de- 
vices for the safety of navigation. 

For many years the Jesuit Fathers maintained a weather serv- 
ice at Manila which was noted for its efficiency. Its forecasts 
of weather conditions had been of great value to the shipping in- 
terests of the East. Special attention had been given to the 
study of the destructive typhoons which, during certain seasons 
of the year, frequent that part of the world. Father Jose Algue 
had invented an instrument, a sort of barometer, which enables 
navigators to receive warning of the approach and general direc- 
tion of the storms. This service was taken over and Father 
Algue was made director of a government weather bureau. It is 
safe to say that many thousands of lives and millions of dollars' 
worth of property have been saved by the timely warnings fur- 
nished by this bureau. In connection with the telegraph and 
wireless service, it is now always possible to give two or three 
days' notice of the approach of a typhoon, and this is generally 
sufficient to enable ships to be safely in port or far enough out at 
sea to be comparatively safe. 

Attention has been called to the fact that the Filipinos and 
Spaniards, in building their cities, located them as far as possible 
from the natural harbors which were available to raiding Moro 
pirates. Manila Bay is not a harbor, being twenty-five miles 
across, and the city at the mouth of the Pasig River faces what is 
really the open sea. Zamboanga also is located on an open road- 
stead, although there are good natural harbors within a few 


miles of it. Capiz is within twenty miles of a splendid natural 
harbor at Batan. Dagupan, located on a river behind shifting 
sandbars, is but a few miles from Sual, where there is a perfectly 
protected natural harbor. Batangas, Catbalogan, Legaspi, and 
other towns, illustrate the same practise. 

The absence of harbors, and suitable docks and wharves, was 
not only a serious menace to the safety of shipping but a positive 
restriction upon commercial development. Where there is a well- 
protected harbor, as at Hong Kong, it is possible, under favorable 
weather conditions, to handle and land passengers and freight by 
means of launches, lighters, cascos and sampans, and this was 
the universal custom in all eastern ports. In fact, Manila is the 
only port, even now, where ocean steamers land passengers and 
freight upon modern piers. 

Prior to 1900 there was not a single good harbor in use in the 
whole Philippine Archipelago. At present the ports of Manila, 
Cebu and Iloilo are equal, if not superior, to any in the Orient, 
and great improvement has been made in many of the less im- 
portant ports. At the sugar shipping port of Bais, a stone cause- 
way a mile and a half in length has been constructed on the end 
of which there is a warehouse for the temporary storage of sugar. 
The port of Pandan, in Ilocos Sur, has been materially improved. 
At Paracale, in the mining district of Ambos Camarines, a re- 
enforced concrete pier about five hundred feet in length reaches 
fifteen feet of water. Channels have been blasted in the reefs 
which surround certain of the islands of the Batanes group, which 
has rendered their approach reasonably safe. An expensive self- 
driving combination snag boat, pile driver and dredge has for 
some time been maintained on the Cagayan River. Many surveys 
of minor ports have been made and work of this character is be- 
ing done as rapidly as money for the purpose can be obtained. 
Considerable has been done in the way of river improvement for 
the purpose of improving navigation and protecting the country 
from the effects of inundations. 

Cebu, the second city in size in the islands, is situated on an 
open channel and the port works there consist of a sea wall nearly 


three thousand feet long on water dredged to depths averaging 
about twenty feet at low water. A wharf eight hundred and 
twelve feet in length is in process of construction and, as ships 
of the largest size come to Cebu, it will be necessary ultimately to 
dredge the harbor to a depth of at least thirty feet. In construct- 
ing the sea wall, the material dredged from the sea was used to 
reclaim the adjoining lowlands, and about ten acres of land was 
built up and is now occupied by streets and substantial buildings. 

The city of Iloilo is located at the mouth of a river which has 
been used for harbor purposes. Seven hundred and eighty feet 
of river wall and thirteen hundred feet of reenforced concrete 
wharf to accommodate vessels of eighteen feet draft at low 
water have been built along the south bank of the river. The 
lower part of the river has been dredged to twenty feet at low 
water, a middle space to eighteen feet, and the upper part to fif- 
teen feet. 

Here, as at Cebu, the material taken from the river was utilized 
to reclaim the adjacent lowland. 

The development of the port of Manila has been on a scale of 
great magnitude. As already stated, we found the city located 
on an open roadstead with harbor facilities only for such small 
steamers as were able to go up the Pasig River. The Spaniards 
had made elaborate preliminary plans for the construction of a 
breakwater, and the western part of the present breakwater was 
about half completed but no dredging had been done. 

The Spanish plans were considerably changed by the American 
engineers. In 1905 contracts were let for the completion of 
the breakwater, the excavation of the harbor, and the deposit 
of the material taken therefrom behind a bulkhead so as to re- 
claim the land along the water front.^ The work, including the 
dredging of the Pasig River, which constitutes a sort of inner 
harbor, was substantially completed by 1907 at a cost of approxi- 
mately four million five hundred thousand dollars. The result 
is a deep-water harbor enclosed by two breakwaters, having a 

^ The valuable land thus created is owned by the insular government and 
leased to parties who will construct suitable buildings for warehouses and 
wholesale purposes. 


total length of almost twelve thousand feet, a great part of which 
is dredged to a uniform depth of thirty feet. Two steel and con- 
crete piers, one six hundred and fifty feet long and one hundred 
and ten feet wide, the other six hundred feet long and seventy 
feet wide, with a total covered area of ninety-two thousand 
square feet, extend from the shore into the harbor. The largest 
steamers in the Pacific unload their freight directly upon these 
piers. Another pier, of similar character and dimensions, was 
constructed by the military authorities for the use of the army 
transports and other such vessels. 

The business of the port has grown so rapidly that additional 
piers are badly needed and within a few years the entire space 
within the breakwater will have to be dredged to accommodate 
large steamers. 

During and for some time after the close of the war com- 
munication with the coasts of Asia and America was maintained 
by vessels under the control of the United States. As soon as 
possible after the return of peace, the government transports 
were replaced by commercial vessels, but the War Department 
continued to operate at least one transport per month each way 
between San Francisco and Manila. Through the active efforts 
of the Philippine government the service had been so greatly im- 
proved that when the European war commenced American, Ger- 
man, Spanish and Japanese ships were making regular trips to 
Manila. Fine new steamers were making regular bi-weekly trips 
between Manila and Hong Kong. The Pacific Mail Company had 
for some time been running its great ships from Nagasaki to Hong 
Kong by way of Manila, thus giving direct communication from 
San Francisco by way of Honolulu and Japan to the Philippines 
by ships flying the American flag. Easy connection at Hong Kong 
was made with the British lines from Europe and Canada and 
with the ships of the Great Northern Railway Company, sailing 
from Seattle. So important had Manila become as a port that it 
was not unusual to see, at one time, half a hundred ocean-going 
passenger and freight steamers in the harbor. The European war 
resulted in the elimination of the German ships and the with- 


drawal for government use of many of the British vessels, thus 
leaving the Philippines without adequate transportation to 
Europe. About the same time Congress adopted the fatuous 
Merchant Marine Law which forced all ships flying the American 
flag out of the Pacific trade and placed the traffic in the hands 
of the Japanese. 

The war and insurrection had left the interisland transporta- 
tion system greatly demoralized. In order to appreciate what was 
finally accomplished it is necessary to bear in mind the conditions 
prior to the war. The natives carried on their small interisland 
trade by means of primitive sailing crafts and the Spaniards sent 
their crazy little steamers wandering in and out among the 
islands, picking up the products of the country as opportunity 
offered and carrying them to Manila, Cebu and Iloilo, where they 
were turned over to the exporting houses. Neither the ships nor 
their methods of doing business were subject to any form of ef- 
fective government inspection or control. They were tramps, go- 
ing when and where they pleased, buying hemp, copra and other 
products at their own prices. The abuses of the system were not 
an unconsidered factor in arousing the spirit of resentment and 
dissatisfaction which led to the insurrection. During the war, 
many of these boats were utilized by the government for the 
transport of troops and supplies, and the very high rates paid for 
their charter or for carrying freight enabled their owners to gain 
abnormal profits. Practically none of these earnings were used 
for maintenance and when the brief period of prosperity ended 
but few of the ships were in a seaworthy condition. Under the 
new government the old business methods could no longer be re- 
sorted to. New ships, new men and new methods were required. 
A new merchant marine had to be created. 

It was necessary to keep in close touch with all the outlying 
districts. The new local governments in the provinces and mu- 
nicipalities required the closest inspection and supervision. The 
protection of the revenue necessitated the careful guarding of 
the coasts against smugglers and dealers in contraband articles 
such as opium and arms. The public safety, as well as the re- 


quirements of the postal and revenue service, and the general ad- 
ministrative work of the insular government, required the gov- 
ernment to maintain its own ships. 

A new bureau was created and charged with the duty of 
guarding the coasts, operating all government ships, the construc- 
tion and maintenance of harbors, lighthouses, and the other agen- 
cies for securing the safety of navigation, and assisting the other 
bureaus by carrying the mails, constabulary soldiers, revenue ojffi- 
cers, officials and government freight. 

For administrative purposes the coast was divided into twenty- 
one circuits, each averaging about six hundred and fifty miles, 
determined with reference to communication between the provin- 
cial capitals and the coast towns of the several provinces ; and pro- 
vision was made for the assigning of one government vessel to 
each of the circuits. As suitable boats could not be purchased, 
contracts were entered into with a shipbuilding concern at Shang- 
hai for the construction of ten ocean-going coast guard ves- 
sels, and these were built in due time. A contract with a Japa- 
nese company at Yokohama for the construction of five boats of 
substantially the same kind proved unfortunate and the govern- 
ment, after suffering a substantial loss, relet the contract to the 
Shanghai company. The fifteen boats cost $1,570,000 and were 
for some time thereafter operated at an annual expense of ap- 
proximately half a million dollars. In 1903 Governor-General 
Wright was able to report that all these vessels had been delivered 
and were being operated along routes and upon schedules so ar- 
ranged as to give regular service at short intervals, to all parts of 
the Archipelago, and that "through their instrumentality, the 
Insular government and the various bureaus thereof are able to 
keep in fairly close touch with all points of the islands." 

During the year 1904 these coast guard boats, operating on 
eleven routes, traveled 350,000 miles, visited over 4,000 ports, 
carried 5,000 passengers, and over 5,000 tons of freight. 

Very naturally, the commercial ship owners complained of 
the loss of the business which they had abused and appealed to 
the government for assistance. Although the government had 


been forced to provide transportation for itself because of the in- 
adequacy of the privately owned ships and the unscrupulous 
methods of their owners, it had no desire to compete unneces- 
sarily with private enterprise, if any such thing could be found. 
It was more than willing to give way if any method could be 
devised by which it and the general public could be assured of 
regular and adequate service at reasonable and uniform rates. A 
plan was finally worked out which seemed to assure this and em- 
bodied in a law which contemplated the withdrawal of the gov- 
ernment ships from the trade routes and the substitution of com- 
mercial vessels operating under contracts with the government 
which should fix the routes, the standard of shipping, the sche- 
dules of sailings, and the rates which should be charged for pas- 
sengers and freight, which should be the same for the government 
and the general public. The law also created a superintendent of 
interisland transporatation who was charged with the duty of 
seeing that the shipping concerns lived up to their contracts, main- 
tained their vessels according to the required specifications, and 
rendered good service to the government and the public.^ 

The law contemplated the payment of small subsidies varying 
according to the commercial importance of the routes, in return 
for which the contractees were required to carry the mails free, 
arrange their ships to conform to designated plans and specifica- 
tions, maintain them in sanitary condition and observe strictly 
the established schedules of sailings to and from the named ports. 
They were given a monopoly of all government transportation 
business on the routes, at reasonable rates, to be agreed upon 
subject to the approval of a board of rate regulation. Effective 
government control was secured by a provision that violations of 
the contract should be punished by a fine, to be deducted from 
the monthly payments due on the subsidies. 

The first difficulty was to find parties who were willing to 
assume these obligations for a reasonable subsidy. Bids upon 
twenty-one designated routes were advertised for in the United 
States and the Philippines, and early in 1906 five-year contracts 

2 Act No. 1310, March 23, 1905. 


were let on thirteen of the most important routes, on terms which 
required the payment of subsidies of from five to twenty thou- 
sand dollars per year on the different routes, making an aggregate 
charge of $101,678 per year. 

The government then retired from the transportation business 
on the contracted routes, but continued to operate the coast guard 
boats upon the commercially undesirable routes, for the purpose 
of serving the isolated ports and developing the business to a 
point where a commercial company could be induced to take it 

The plan worked very successfully. A number of new ships 
were built and the old ones were greatly improved and main- 
tained in what, to their owners, seemed an exaggerated sanitary 
condition. After a few rather bitter experiences, they learned 
that schedules of sailings must be adhered to,^ and the interisland 
commerce was soon flowing peacefully along its natural channels. 

When the contracts expired, in 191 1, there was no money with 
which to renew them as the legislature had failed to make the 
necessary appropriation. To avoid the demoralizing effect of 
a return to the old system, temporary contracts were made with 
the steamship companies under which the old contracts, without 
the provision for fines, were continued until such time as an ap- 
propriation should be secured. The companies thus assumed the 
risk, should no appropriation be made, of operating for a time 
without a subsidy. This temporary arrangement continued until 
the spring of 1912 when an appropriation of one hundred thou- 
sand dollars a year for two years was made. The routes were 
then rearranged to conform to existing conditions and contracts 
entered into with five shipping companies for service over nine 
routes, upon which subsidies aggregating $61,772 a year were 
paid. By 1914 conditions had so improved that it was possible 
to renew the contracts over a number of routes without payment 
of any subsidies. 

3 In one instance, a fine of two thousand five hundred dollars was imposed 
upon a ship as penalty for not stopping at the schedule ports. Thereafter it 
never missed a port. 


Under the reorganization act of 1905 the Bureau of Coast 
Guard and Transportation became the Bureau of Navigation, 
and as such continued until 1914, when it was abolished and its 
work distributed between the Bureaus of Public Works and Cus- 
toms. The work of the Bureau of Navigation had been very far- 
reaching in its effects, but its operation was always rather un- 
satisfactory. There was a tendency, at least during the latter 
years of its life, to see large and spend more money than was nec- 
essary. The director was seldom able to live within the appro- 
priations and was constantly being charged with extravagance. 
The purchase of the twenty-seven-hundred-ton ship Rij::al to serve 
as a cable ship was a serious mistake in judgment for which 
Secretary Forbes was probably more to blame than the director 
of the bureau. The attempt to make a ship serve the dual purpose 
of a cable ship and an official yacht was predestined to failure. 
The uses conflicted. When a cable broke the Risal was reason- 
ably certain to be somewhere at sea on other duties and expensive 
delays resulted. The expense of operating so large a boat was 
out of proportion to the benefits, and the Risal could always be 
relied upon by the director as an excuse for his deficits. In 1912 
an unsuccessful attempt was made to sell the boat. The last re- 
ports show her as partially earning a living by carrying rice and 
cement from the China coast to Manila, and it may be assumed 
that when the cable breaks the Risal will be on the wrong side of 
the China Sea. However, war freights may have redeemed her 

The organization of local unions the sailors of Manila 
and the consequent strikes caused uneasiness among the sailors 
on the government boats. The coast guard boats each carried a 
gatling gun, two one-pound Hotchkiss guns and a complement of 
small arms, and the fleet constituted what Governor Taft called 
a "civil navy." Finally the legislature provided for "a commis- 
sioned and enlisted service within the bureau," to be governed 
under miltary law. The service was thereby greatly improved, 
but it was never possible to raise it to the same plane as the con- 
stabulary, which performed somewhat similar services on land. 
For some reason the director, although a former naval officer, was 


never able to instil the proper spirit of discipline into his subordi- 
nates. The bureau was also unfortunate in being unpopular with 
the Filipinos. The merchants regarded it as a formidable busi- 
ness competitor and the development of a large machine-shop at 
Engineer's Island aroused bitter antagonism on the part of own- 
ers of private shipyards. For a while unpleasant rumors of graft 
were floating about and at one time the director had to be placed 
on trial on charges preferred by one of his assistants. While 
these charges were not sustained, they were generally credited by 
that part of the public which is always anxious to believe ill of 
public officials. The native papers were constantly demanding 
that the bureau should be abolished and this was finally done soon 
after the departure of Governor-General Forbes. 

Nevertheless, much of the work of the Bureau of Navigation 
was essentially fine. The officers, with a few exceptions, were 
efficient and devoted to the service. The sturdy coast guard 
steamers penetrated into all kinds of waters and some of them 
left their bones to bleach on the treacherous reefs with which 
the waters abound. Their short history is illuminated by numer- 
ous acts of personal courage, daring and heroism on the part of 
their commanders and seamen. 

With the expenditure of a reasonable outlay, hundreds of the 
rivers which meander across the Philippine lowlands can be made 
navigable. The heavy rainfall in the mountains scours many of 
these rivers to a great depth but forms bars at their mouths which 
render access from the ocean difficult. In some instances, where 
the obstruction is formed by coral reefs, they have been removed 
and the rivers made accessible; but the shifting sandbars require 
port works which are beyond the present financial ability of the 
government. The time may come when the rivers of the Philip- 
pines will be of greater commercial importance than even the 


Philippine Agriculture 

Basis of the Country's Wealth — Undeveloped State of Agriculture — Inherent 
Difficulties — Early Work of Bureau of Agriculture — Attempts to Introduce 
New Plants and Vegetables — Improving the Domestic Animals — Horses and 
Cattle — Farm Machinery — Animal Diseases — Rinderpest and Surra — Policy of 
Isolation Adopted in 1910 — Its Results — Corn Culture — Native Fruits — Cof- 
fee, Tea and Rubber — The Fiber Industry — Hemp, Method of Cultivation — 
Exports of — Government Grading — The Tobacco Industry — Its Revival — Ex- 
ports — Sugar, Condition of the Industry — Table of Exports — Cocoanuts — 
Development of the Business — Table of Exports — Rice — Its Importance — 
Necessity for New Methods — Irrigation — Comparative Failure of the Work 
— The New Law of 1912 — Farmers' Credits — The Agricultural Bank — Sum- 
mary of Results. 

The Spaniards and Filipinos made earnest eiiforts to develop 
the agricultural resources of the Philippines. They organized 
numerous societies and associations to advance the work and es- 
tablished several experimental farms. Some very substantial re- 
sults were obtained in certain directions and whatever wealth the 
country possessed had been produced by the agriculturists. As a 
whole, however, Philippine agriculture was a very primitive af- 

In the tropics the soil, the plants, the animal life, even the in- 
habitants, and the characteristics of each, are determined by 
something over which even the energetic newcomers from tem- 
perate climates have little control. Nearness to the equator ex- 
plains most things. Climate is a fixed and determining factor in 
the situation. The soil consists mainly of decomposed rock en- 

1 For the conditions of agriculture at various periods, see Agriculture in 
the Philippines, by Governor Joseph Basca y Vargas (1784), B. & R., L, 
p. 292. For conditions in 1880, see Jagor's Risen, p. 300 ; B. & R., L, p. 
302. For the work of the Economic Society of Friends of the Country, which 
was founded in 1781 on the advice of Governor Basca y Vargas, and was 
active after 1822, see B. & R., L, pp. 307-322. 



riched with decayed organic matter, and when sufficiently watered 
it is extremely fertile. It produces luxuriantly the trees, plants 
and vegetables for which its elements provide food. The great 
heat and excessive moisture stimulate rapid and abundant growth 
and quick decay. The same conditions produce the characteristic 
animal life of the tropics — abundant, diverse, increasing in vari- 
ety and numbers as it approaches the lower forms. It is parasitic 
and destructive to an almost incredible degree. But nature es- 
tablishes a sort of equilibrium between the constructive and de- 
structive forces, and both animal and vegetable life flourish in 
abundance. But against an alien, whether man, animal, or plant, 
all the destructive forces unite and only the most scientific weap- 
ons will serve for defense. 

It is difficult for a visitor from temperate climes to realize that 
a soil that produces so luxuriantly the vegetation of the jungle 
will not necessarily produce all the desirable plants of his home 
land.^ If the camofe will grow, why not the reliable Irish potato ; 
if the mango, why not the peach; if the scraggy pony can find 
sustenance in native grasses, why not the stalwart American 

The American government entered upon the work of rehabili- 
tating and stimulating agriculture with great enthusiasm but the 
results of fifteen years' labor have not been very satisfactory. 
The comparative failure has been due in part to bad administra- 
tion, but principally to the inherent difficulties of the situation. 
In the early days the Bureau of Agriculture misjudged the prob- 
lem and by the time it learned that the natives must be taught to 
produce more of the staple products of the country by the use 
of modern machinery and better methods of cultivation and that 
this can be accomplished only by actual demonstration on the 

2 "Many exaggerated statements have been made about the inexhaustible 
fertility and wonderful resources of the soils of the Philippines by persons 
doubtless misled by the luxurious tropical vegetation. While it is true that 
vast areas of fertile soils are found that will respond abundantly to modern 
cultural methods, there are, also, many localities where agricultural advance- 
ment can only be made by considerable expenditure of time and money." 
Dorsey, Soil Conditions in the Philippines (1903), Bu. of Agri., Bulletin No. s. 


ground, it was engaged in a struggle with animal diseases which 
absorbed much of its funds and energies. 

In the autumn of 1901 Mr. F. Lamson-Scribner, who, on the 
recommendation of the secretary of agriculture, had been ap- 
pointed chief of the bureau which was to be created, was in- 
structed "to secure agricultural machinery, farming tools, and 
seeds of American vegetables and field crops, and to visit places 
in the United States where practical information likely to be of 
value to him in his future work could be obtained, before sailing 
for the islands." Having thus qualified himself and been fur- 
nished by the Department of Agriculture "with a large and valu- 
able consignment of seeds for experimentation and distribution, 
together with a fine set of lantern slides, an extensive collection of 
botanical specimens, and many important publications," the new 
chief departed to conquer the dragons which, for generations, had 
mutilated or destroyed, tropical agriculture. 

In the spring of 1902 a bureau of agriculture was organized 
with an expert in animal industry, a botanist and assistant agros- 
tologist, a soil expert, a tropical agriculturist, an expert in plant 
culture and breeding, and an expert in farm machinery and farm 
management, to which was soon added an expert in seed and 
plant introduction and one on fiber investigation.^ 

The dominant idea then seemed to be that what the Philippines 
really needed was garden seeds. Through the provincial gover- 
nors and presidentes an extensive mailing list was obtained and 
many circular letters were sent to the "more intelligent and pro- 
gressive persons interested in agriculture." Eighteen thousand 
two hundred and fifty packages of field and garden seeds (one 
hundred and thirty- four varieties) were distributed to seven hun- 
dred and thirty persons, "many of whom have shown a lively 
interest in the result of the experiments which they are thus 

3 Report of the Secretary of the Interior, Nov. 1, 1902 (Rept. Phil. Com., 
1900-1903, p. 359). 

The Bureau of Agriculture was in the Department of the Interior until 
May 12, 1910, when it was transferred to the Department of Public Instruc- 


enabled to make." The November 1, 1902, Report of the Secre- 
tary of the Interior was a sort of agricuhural lyric : 

"There seems little doubt," he wrote, "that great good can be 
accomplished by this means and that a number of new and valu- 
able plants can be successfully introduced. The better varieties 
of tomatoes grow well throughout the Islands. Fairly good Irish 
potatoes and peas have been grown in the lowlands near Manila 
from American seed ; and very fine potatoes, celery, and peas have 
been raised from American seed in Benguet. Beets do well in 
the lowlands, and radishes are ready for the table in from three 
to four weeks after planting. Improved varieties of oranges and 
lemons brought from California are flourishing both in the low- 
lands and in the mountains of Benguet, while pear, peach, apricot, 
and plum trees have been successfully introduced in the latter 

A soil survey was commenced, designed particularly to ascer- 
tain the best localities for the growth of abaca. A botanist visited 
the celebrated gardens at Buitenzorg for the purpose of identi- 
fying the material he had collected and studying rubber, gutta- 
percha and other plants.* 

The opportunity for experimental work with plants presented 
by the climate and soil of Baguio in the Benguet Mountains was 
believed to be unrivaled. "The climate," wrote the secretary of 
the interior, "admits of the growing of a great variety of tropical, 
subtropical and temperate zone plants. In the garden of the 
governor one may see cofifee bushes bearing heavily, fine tea 
plants, hothouse gardenias, caladiums, dracaenas, frangipani and 
mango trees, all characteristic of the tropics ; alsophila tree ferns, 
scarlet hibiscus, passion fruit, begonias, hydrangeas, and many 
other plants of the subtropical regions ; and side by side with these 
potatoes, tomatoes, peas, beans, celery and other garden vege- 
tables and monthly roses, all strictly temperate-zone products, 
while the neighboring hillsides are covered with pine trees and 
produce raspberries and huckleberries in considerable abundance. 

* A large botanical collection and a fine reference library which the Span- 
ish had collected at Manila were burned in 1897. 


. . . Cabbage, tomatoes, onions, leeks, carrots, turnips, pars- 
nips, beans, peas, cucumbers, marrow, squashes, pumpkins, sal- 
sify, Irish potatoes, white oats, wheat, millet and alfalfa were 
sown. All of them germinated quickly, and there was nothing 
to show that the soil was deficient in plant food."^ 

A year later it became evident that the task of hustling tropical 
agriculture was not going to be such a simple matter. Suspicions 
were aroused as to whether the bulletins and even the fine col- 
lection of lantern slides which the director had brought out were 
going to do the work. 

In his annual report for 1903, the secretary of the interior an- 
nounced that the work of the Bureau of Agriculture during the 
last year had been highly satisfactory "so far as the preparation 
and publication of bulletins embodying information likely to be 
of value to agriculturists is concerned." But, "so far as concerns 
the establishment and operation of experimental farms, the stock 
farm, the school of agriculture, and the handling of draft animals 
imported by the Insular government, it has in many respects 
been highly unsatisfactory." 

These scientific bulletins were highly interesting and valuable 
to the prospective foreign and American investors in agricultural 
lands and to the comparatively small number of Filipinos who 
could read them, but they were not of much use to the average 
native, who could only be reached by practical demonstration of 
the advantages of improved methods and the use of modem agri- 
cultural machinery. The result had not been commensurate with 
the opportunities presented and the funds appropriated.® 

The outlook for growing temperate zone vegetables and plants 
at Baguio also began to be a trifle cloudy. It was found, accord- 
ing to the secretary, that "the seeds planted . . . germinated 
readily and grew well for a time, but just at the period when they 

s Report of the Secretary of the Interior, Nov. 1, 1902 (Repf. Phil. Com., 
1900-1903, p. 361). 

^Rept. Phil. Com., 1900-1903, p. 596. During the year 1907 the Agricul- 
tural Extension Work was started and placed in charge of ex-Governor 
Pablo Tecson. (Rept. Phil. Com., 1907, Pt. II, p. 47.) It has since been 
actively carried on with good results. 


had to depend on the soil for nourishment, the young plants 
with few exceptions sickened and died, showing that the soil had 
some injurious element or lacked some essential one."^ Some 
encouragement was found in the fact that "pumpkins, squashes, 
and cucumbers flourished while other vegetables languished." 
But the new civilization could not be founded on pumpkins, 
squashes and cucumbers alone, and the soil experts were set to 
work. It was now learned that Baguio had always had a bad 
name among the natives as an agricultural region and the experi- 
mental station was transferred to the near-by Trinidad Valley. 

In addition to the scientific investigation of conditions affecting 
agriculture and the publication and dissemination of information, 
as to the best ways of increasing the production of the staple 
products such as rice, sugar, tobacco and copra, the bureau di- 
rected its energies to the improvement of the draft and other 
domestic animals, and the eradication of animal diseases. Un- 
fortunately, the fight to preserve the lives of the animals soon 
absorbed the greater part of the available funds and time of the 

It is possible that an undue portion of time and money was de- 
voted to the preparation and distribution of bulletins although, 
as to this, there is ground for difference of opinion. Some of 
these publications, particularly the Agricultural Review, which 
was established in 1908, have been very useful and far-reaching in 
their influence. 

The attempt to introduce new plants and vegetables was not 
very successful. As a whole, possibly because too much was ex- 
pected, it has been disappointing. Nevertheless, some valuable 
new food plants and vegetables have been acclimated and are now 
in common use by the people. The gardens maintained in connec- 
tion with the common schools have been the most efficient of all 
the agencies for teaching the common people how to cultivate and 
use new plants and vegetables. 

'' Rept. Phil. Com., 1900-1903, p. 600. Later experience showed that the 
difficulty was due to improper cultivation. Rept. Phil. Com., 1904, Pt. II, 
p. 68. 


Very naturally, better results have attended the efforts to 
improve the native plants. Maguey, a plant similar to what is 
known as Yucatan sisal, grows wild in the islands. Its cultivation 
has been encouraged and many thousands of the Hawaiian sisal 
plant have been distributed and planted. California oranges and 
lemons have been grafted on the native citrus trees with some 
degree of success. The cultivation of the native tree-cotton, 
known locally as kopak, has been encouraged. Attempts to intro- 
duce new varieties of sugar cane and rice have not been success- 
ful. Japanese rice proved a failure, as did several new varieties 
of sugar cane. The government rice farm established in Tarlac 
in 1904 was finally abandoned, having "served its purpose," prin- 
cipally in enabling the Filipinos to see rice threshed by machin- 

In 1911 there were 756,290 acres planted in corn — an increase 
of 489,318 acres since 1902. Corn is now the second grain crop 
of the country. It will grow in any part of the islands and its 
general use as food in connection with the universal rice diet 
would vastly improve the physique of the Filipinos.^ The native 
hogs, also, which are mostly of the razorback variety, would, if 
fed on corn, experience a new birth. Pineapples and guavas grow 
wild. The Philippine mango is the best in the world.^" Bananas 
of a good quality grow in almost every native's yard and wild in 
unlimited quantities. There is no reasonable doubt but that in 
time the coffee industry, once so important, will be restored.^^ 
The tea plant grows well in northern Luzon. Para ^nd other 

8 In his report for 1906 the secretary of the interior announced that the 
rice farm in Tarlac "having served its purpose in an experimental way and 
not being suited to the raising of rice on a commercially profitable scale on 
account of the soil and the nature of the land, had been discontinued, but not 
before results of great importance to the rice growers between Manila and 
Dagupan were obtained." The wisdom of the Filipinos in sowing rice first in 
seed beds and transplanting it after it has attained considerable size has been 
conclusively demonstrated. Rept. Phil. Com., 1906, p. 46. 

^ "There is a great future for corn in the islands and there is no good 
reason why this cereal and its by-products should not be exported in large 
quantities, after supplying the home demand." Shererd, Corn Culture in the 
Philippines (Manila, 1912). 

lOT/^^ Mango, by P. J. Wester (Manila, 1911). 

11 For its history, see Philippine Census (1903), IV, pp. 76 et seq. 



rubber trees and plants* thrive and prospects for rubber planta- 
tions are excellent/^ 

It is an extraordinary fact that very few plants and grasses 
suitable for food for horses and cattle grow in the Philippines 
and it has been necessary to import nearly all the forage for the 
use of the government and army from the United States. At- 
tempts to construct "rations" for domestic animals have been 
but partially successful/^ 

Guinea grass is by far the most important plant which has 
been introduced and it furnishes an extraordinary amount of 
nutritive food for horses, cattle and pigs. 

The attempt to raise Irish potatoes in the islands on a large 
scale has been a failure. Some success was had at the Trinidad 
experimental farm. The military authorities, after elaborate 
experiments on the highlands near Lake Lafiao in Mindanao, 
finally abandoned the attempt. The plants grew well and there 
was an abundance of potatoes, but for some unaccountable reason 
they never reached much beyond the size of marbles.^* 

A most serious problem has been the saving of the lives of the 
draft and other domestic animals from death by diseases, and the 
restocking of the country with animals to take the place of the 
hundreds and thousands which had been wiped out by rinderpest 
and surra. 

There had been a shortage of draft animals in the Philippines 
for many years. The native farmers were dependent almost en- 
tirely upon the carabao. There were no draft horses and the 
comparatively few native ponies were seldom used for anything 
but riding and drawing carriages and other such light vehicles, 
as said in the Report of the Secretary of the Interior for iqoj.^^ 

1- "Rubber-Producing Capacity of the Philippine Islands," Sen. Doc. 336, 
5gth Cony., 3iid Sess. 

13 A fodder factory has been established near Manila, but the experiments 
carried on have not been very encouraging. Report of Secretary of Public 
Instruction, 1910. 

In 1910 Secretary of War Dickinson appointed a board composed of army 
officers and civilians to investigate the forage question. 

1* Report Com. Gen. (War Dept., Ann. Repts., 1911, I, 387). 

^^Rept. Phil. Com., 1900-1903, p. 601. 


"No work which legitimately falls within the scope of the work 
of the Bureau of Agriculture is at present more important than 
that of animal industry. With the dreadful loss of horned cattle 
due to rinderpest, the heavy call for native horses in Manila 
which has resulted in draining the provinces of good animals, 
. . . and the ravages of surra and glanders among the horses 
of the archipelago, it has become increasingly important to re- 
stock the islands with the draft animals with which the Filipinos 
are accustomed, as well as to introduce new draft animals and im- 
prove existing breeds." 

The government tried importing high-class horses and cattle 
from the United States, Australia, Arabia and India, for breed- 
ing purposes. Stock farms were established at Trinidad and 
Alabang, and stallions, bulls and jacks were sold, loaned and 
given to the provincial authorities. The result has been a decided 
improvement in the native stock. For a time it was believed that 
American and Australian horses would breed and thrive and that 
the American mule would become as common as in the southern 
states. Probably the plan has not had a fair trial because of the 
presence of the diseases which destroyed so many of the imported 
animals. However, it soon "became apparent that the raising of 
American and Australian horses was not going to be an entire 
success."^® Nevertheless it has not been exactly a failure, as there 
are now many fine American and Australian horses in the islands 
and the number seems to be slowly increasing, notwithstanding 
the prevalence of the diseases to which they are so susceptible. 

The introduction of dairy cattle has been moderately success- 
ful. High grade Jersey cows have done well when they have es- 
caped the diseases, and good milk in limited quantities is now ob- 
tainable at Manila. But, as with the horses, the early promise 
was not fulfilled and it became necessary to resort to India for 
the Nellore cattle which had been accustomed to a similar cli- 
mate.^^ It may thus fairly be said that, on the whole, the attempt 

16 Kept. Phil. Com., 1909, p. 122. 

1'^ "As efforts to introduce improved breeds of cattle from Australia and 
America have, on the whole, proved very unsuccessful, it was therefore 
deemed advisable to attempt to introduce from India improved breeds of 


to introduce new breeds of horses and cattle from the temperate 
cHmates has not been a great success. 

Some progress has been made in the introduction of modern 
farm machinery. On the large haciendas steam plows and thresh- 
ers are in use, but the ordinary Filipino farmer is still plowing 
his small tract of land with a wooden plow and a carabao and 
threshing it by hand and foot. The traction plows in use are too 
heavy and expensive and until a smaller machine, such as the 
light farm tractor now in successful use in the United States, is 
introduced, the old methods will have to be followed on all but the 
great plantations. 

It is safe to say that from the beginning of the American occu- 
pation at least fifty per cent, of the funds and energies of the 
Bureau of Agriculture have been devoted to the work of fighting 
pests, which range all the way from insects to rats and wild 
hogs, and animal diseases. Among the former, locusts hold a 
bad preeminence. They come as did the grasshoppers in the 
western states in former years. Every known device for their 
destruction has been tried, but nothing other than killing them 
en masse has been successful. Such methods are necessarily only 
partially effective, and until the locusts can be exterminated by 
some natural enemy such as the parasite that destroyed the 
Kansas grasshoppers, they will continue to do great damage to 
the crops. 

Rinderpest was introduced into the Philippines from India 
about 1888, and has, ever since, been present. During 1902-3 it 
is probable that seventy-five per cent, of the horned cattle died, 
and it became necessary for the government to come to the relief 
of the people. Many thousands of these animals were bought 
with government money in India and Indo-China and sold to 
the farmers at cost, but such relief could be temporary only, 
as long as the disease continued to rage. They died faster than 
they could be imported. 

cattle accustomed to a climate similar to that of the Philippines." Rept. Phil. 
Com., 1909, p. 123. 

The Nellore cattle, with humps, are beautiful animals and thrive in a hot 


For years it was believed possible to render the animals im- 
mune by the use of serum. But it was found that after two or 
three months the disease returned. Simultaneous injections of 
the serum into one side, and the blood of a sick animal into the 
other, was believed to be permanently effective. But after sev- 
eral years' experimentation, it became evident that no real prog- 
ress was being made. As fast as the disease was exterminated 
in one locality it appeared in another. In 1910 Doctor A. R. 
Ward was appointed chief veterinary and a systematic campaign 
against rinderpest was inaugurated under his direction. In his 
report for 1911 Secretary Gilbert said:^^ 

"After exhaustive investigation the conclusion was reached 
that under the conditions existing in the Philippines, the use of 
anti-rinderpest serum was impracticable and it was discontinued. 
Following the discontinuance of the use of serum, the effort to 
control rinderpest was centered upon the object of keeping ani- 
mals separated from one another and thus segregating the dis- 
eased animals so that they might be placed under restraint in 

The isolation of the diseased animals necessitated an elaborate 
and expensive system of quarantine. Public sentiment among 
the natives was antagonistic, and many of the local officials were 
not in sympathy with the policy. Lord Salisbury once said 

18 Rept. Phil. Com., 1911, p. 170. 

The government seems now to have abandoned the policy of isolation be- 
cause of its unpopularity. In his report dated July 1, 1916, Governor-General 
Harrison says : "Quarantine might solve the rinderpest problem, but it is dif- 
ficult of application in a country without fences, where almost all the families 
keep one or more carabaos. Moreover, the disease is supposed to be trans- 
mitted not only from one carabao to another but also by deer, by dogs and 
cats, by pigs, and even by the birds which settle on the backs of the carabao 
to relieve them of their insects. Quarantine can, and has reduced the rinder- 
pest, but it is too much to expect that it can bring about the entire elimina- 
tion of the disease. Simultaneous inoculation has proved very successful in 
Iloilo and in Pampanga during the past year, and is being as vigorously pushed 
as funds and personnel will permit. It may ultimately become necessary to 
adopt the method of purchase and killing by the government of all animals 
suspected of having the disease. This is the means by which rinderpest was 
ultimately conquered in some near-by countries. The best that can be said in 
the Philippines to-day is that the disease is not so prevalent, and deaths less 
numerous than at some periods in the past" 


that, "It is easier to combat with the rinderpest or with the 
cholera than with pubHc sentiment." Our government has had 
to deal with a combination of the three. It was necessary to 
maintain the quarantine very strictly in order to accomplish any- 
thing and at one time during 1911 a large part of the constabu- 
lary, and more than fourteen hundred of the scouts loaned by the 
military authorities, were used on the work in the provinces north 
of Manila. About the same time a strict quarantine was enforced 
against animals coming in from foreign countries. The result 
of this policy was that at the end of the year 1912 the disease 
had been practically stamped out, and for once the secretary was 
able to report that "animal disease is now a comparatively small 
factor in the industrial economy of the islands, but potentially 
it is a very large factor."^^ 

But the Filipinos were irritated by the severity with which the 
quarantine measures had been enforced, and soon after Mr. Har- 
rison became governor-general the legislature took the manage- 
ment of the rinderpest campaign from the Bureau of Agriculture 
and transferred it to the provincial governors,^" with very dis- 
astrous results. Apparently the disease can be eradicated if the 
people are willing, for a time, to submit to the necessary quar- 
antine measures, both internal and external, and in no other way. 

The only products at present exported from the Philippines in 
any considerable quantities are hemp, tobacco, sugar and copra. 
Rice is imported. The fiber industry of the islands is capable of 
almost indefinite expansion. Hemp, known locally as abaca and 
by botanists as niusi textilis, is a plant of which the Philippines 
has a natural monopoly. For some reason, all attempts to grow it 
elsewhere have failed. In appearance abaca closely resembles the 

19 "In all provinces where local officials have cooperated earnestly with the 
Bureau of Agriculture, the disease has been either entirely eliminated or very 
largely reduced in amount ; and of the many towns affected at the close of the 
year a great proportion were in one province where cooperation had not been 
had." Rcpt. Phil. Com., 1913 {War Dept., Ann. Repts., 1913, Vol. IV, p. 256). 

20 Act No. 2303, Dec. 13, 1913. This ill-advised law provided that the 
director of agriculture should prescribe the measures but "that the provincial 
governor of the province concerned shall have the direction of and be respon- 
sible for the enforcement of the measures so prescribed." 


edible banana plant which grows in great variety and profusion 
throughout the islands. Albay, in the southern part of Luzon, 
is at present the principal hemp producing district, although large 
quantities grow elsewhere. Certain sections of Mindanao seem 
peculiarly adapted for the growth of the plants. ^^ 

Hemp land must be of high fertility and susceptible of good 
drainage, moist, but not wet and swampy. As the plants require 
shade and a humid atmosphere they grow normally on the moun- 
tain slopes and in the valleys where the drainage carries off the 
surface water and the trees protect them from sun and wind. 
They are not liable to injury to any serious extent by insects. 
Much of the product is now gathered from the wild plants and 
the industry may be greatly extended by systematic planting and 

The small suckers which spring from the roots of the parent 
plants are set out in rows from five to eight feet apart. During 
the two and a half or three years which the plants require to 
reach maturity they must be kept shaded and cultivated enough 
to keep the weeds down. When the plants are ready for cutting 
the entire stalk is cut as close to the ground as possible, and new 
suckers spring up. 

The fiber is in the leaf sheaths which surround the central 
flower stem or stalk. Each sheath is cut into strips two or three 
inches wide and their thick inner portions, which are mainly pulp, 
are torn away to render easier the extraction of the long fiber. 
The strips thus prepared are drawn by hand between the edge of 
a knife blade and a wooden plane, and the watery pulp scraped 
from the fiber. As each drawing makes the fiber cleaner and 
finer and increases its value and quality, producing a high grade 
of hemp is largely a matter of labor. But, as the quality increases, 
the weight of the product decreases, and the native worker finds 
it hard to sacrifice more pounds and extra labor for high grades. 

21 In his story, From the Spanish, Mr. John Masefield says that "the 
roping [of the galleon, the Spanish Rose] was of that precious hemp which 
grows only on the Sacred Hill (in Igorroti, in Luzon), so that an ell of it was 
worth a Florentine crown by the time it reached the Spanish riggers' hands." 
It would be interesting to know whether this is all part of the romance. 



It is estimated that about one- fourth of the merchantable fiber 
is wasted by this primitive method. After being thus prepared 
the fiber is exposed in the sun for a few hours and then loosely- 
packed in bundles and carried to the nearest market where the 
hemp buyers have their agents. 

It is remarkable that no inventor has been able to devise a ma- 
chine that will strip hemp economically without injury to the 
fiber. As a result the hemp industry is about where the cotton 
business was before the invention of the cotton gin. As early as 
1843 we find the Economic Society of Friends offering prizes 
for the invention of a machine for stripping abaca. The American 
government also has offered substantial inducements to encourage 
inventors. ^^ Several machines are now in use, but apparently 
they do not give entire satisfaction. 

The Bureau of Agriculture has given much attention to the 
subject of commercial fiber, but its labors have not been produc- 
tive of great results. For about ten years the quantity of hemp 
exported increased very slowly, but the low prices and the com- 
petition with Yucatan sisal depressed and almost discouraged 
the growers. Since 1914 the higher price has, to some extent, 
made up for the small amount exported. 

From 1850 to 1899 the export of hemp increased from 30,388 
to 59,840 tons. After the insurrection it jumped to 112,215 
tons in 1901. The following table shows the gradual increase in 
quantity and value since the year 1899 : 




United States 

months ending 
December — 

Long tons 


per ton 

Long tons 


per ton 





















22 Kept. Bu. of Agr., April 1, 1905 {Kept. Phil. Com., 1905, Pt. II, pp. 


The hemp business suffers from bad methods of CL-iltivation 
and manufacture. The growers have complained of the system 
of grading adopted by the buyers, and the exporters of the care- 
lessness and indifference of the producers as to quality.*^ It has 
been ve'ry difficult to induce the producers to take the care which 
is necessary to prepare the high grades in demand for making 
fine cloths, which have no competition and always bring a good 
price. The natives have a theory that the extra price does not 
compensate them for the extra labor and reduced quantity. The 
quantity of hemp produced can not be very materially increased 
until a satisfactory hemp stripping machine is found and planta- 
tions are planted and cultivated under expert direction and 

Until recently the government has declined to assume any re- 
sponsibility for the classification and grading of hemp.^* As the 
result, apparently, of a systematic study of the subject commenced 
in 1911, the legislature, in 1914, provided for government in- 
spection, grading and baling of hemp, maguey, sisal and other 
fibers/^ somewhat as wheat and other cereals are graded in the 
western states of the Union. The law now imposes upon the di- 
rector of agriculture the duty "to establish and designate stand- 
ards for the commercial grading of abaca, maguey, and sisal, 
which shall become the official standards of classification through- 
out the Philippine Islands." The actual grading is required to 
be done at the ports of export by persons holding grade permits 
from the bureau. If properly administered, this law should have 
a very beneficial effect upon the fiber industry of the Philippines. 

Tobacco was introduced from Mexico by the Spanish mission- 

23 See Rept. Phil. Com., 1903, Pt. 11, p. 650; Official Gazette, I, pp. 168, 
189; Report on Fiber Investigations, Rept. Phil. Com., 1903, Pt. II, pp. 712- 

The export duty on hemp imposed by section 13 of the "Act to raise 
revenue for the Philippine Islands of Aug. 5, 1909," was repealed by the 
Tariff Law of Oct. 3, 1913. The duty on the hemp imported into the United 
States had been remitted. The theory was that the hemp producers would 
receive the amount of the duty in increased prices. 

2* See the adverse report of Commissioner Wright {Rept. Phil. Com., 1903, 
pp. 351-2). 

25 Act No. 2380, Feb. 28, 1914. 


aries. From 1781 until 1882 it was maintained as a profitable 
government monopoly. The provinces of Cagayan and Isabela 
produce most of the better qualities of tobacco, although consider- 
able quantities are grown in other parts of Luzon. The land 
suitable for tobacco growing is limited. There is an enormous 
domestic consumption of cigars and cigarettes and vast quantities 
of both are exported to Europe and the United States. The qual- 
ity of the tobacco still suffers from careless and unscientific meth- 
ods of production which have injured the product in the markets 
of the world. ^^ Considerable quantities are produced by small 
growers and in parts of Luzon many of the natives have small 
tobacco patches in connection with their gardens. But the busi- 
ness is principally in the hands of a few Filipinos and the Com- 
pania General de Tohaco de Filipinas, a Spanish company which 
owns large tracts of the best tobacco lands. For a few years after 
the American occupation the tobacco industry suft'ered greatly. 
It had lost the markets of England, India and Australia, and 
not gained that of the United States. In 1904 the exports 
amounted to 705,827 kilograms. The previous year it was 
1,23.5,257 kilograms. For the first half of the year 1905 it 
amounted to but 149,828 kilograms. Senor Rosales told the con- 
gressional party which visited Manila in 1905, that but ten per 
cent, of the number of women and fifty per cent, of the number 
of men formerly employed were then at work in the cigar fac- 

The sense of justice latent in the American public finally forced 
Congress to disregard the selfish importunities of the home to- 
bacco interests and the Payne Tariff Law of 1909 opened the 
markets of the United States to a fixed quantity of the Philippine 
products free of duty. This restriction was removed by the 
Underwood Tariff Law of 1913 and the trade is now free, sub- 

26 "Cultivation of Tobacco," by C. W. Dorsey, Farmers' Bulletin, No. 5 
(1903), and the testimony of experts before the congressional party which 
accompanied Secretary Taft to the Philippines in 1905, particularly that of 
Mr. Mauro Prieto, pp. 117-136; Mr. P. KrafFt, pp. 79-89, and Seiior Jose 
Rosales, pp. 106-117, of the pamphlet entitled Public Hearings (Manila, 



ject to reasonable treasury regulations and the payment of inter- 
nal revenue tax. 

The free entry into the American market of the Philippine to- 
bacco products failed to confirm either the predictions of the 
enemies or the anticipations of the friends of the measure. There 
was a decided revival of the industry and in 1910, 61,526,000 
cigars were exported to the United States. But the unfair trade 
methods used against the Philippine cigars injured their reputa- 
tion in the American market, and in 1914 the exports fell con- 

The insular government has given every possible encourage- 
ment to the tobacco industry, and by a system of inspection and 
certification, has neutralized to some extent the misrepresenta- 
tions made by interested parties in the United States, but it seems 
impossible to find good Philippine cigars in the United States 
such as are common in Manila. The factories are subject to the 
strictest supervision and nowhere in the world are tobacco 
products manufactured under more favorable sanitary condi- 
tions. The workmen are almost without exception Filipinos. ^'^ 

The following tables show the extent and growth of the to- 
bacco industry : 




United States 

months ending 



Cents per 



Cents per 




















' 'l',669 






■ 'iin 


27 A recent Act (No. 2613) provides for the inspection, classification and 
packing of tobacco for domestic sale or for export. The law resembles Act 
No. 2380, which applied to the fiber industry. 

In Kipling's story, The Man from Manila, a traveler, on being informed 
that the Spaniards smoked only the cigars of the country, remarked : "Ah, 
that accounts for the administration of the country being what it is." 






United States 

months ending 
December — 



per M 



per M 




























It is possible that sugar will play a greater part in the future 
economic life of the Philippines than any other of its agricultural 
products. The cane seems to have been introduced into the 
islands from Formosa by the Chinese. Until the year 1855 it 
was cultivated on a small scale, the planters being inexperienced 
and without proper machinery or facilities for marketing the 
product. The phenomenal rise in the price of sugar at the time 
of the Crimean war gave a great impetus to the business. The 
planters were without adequate capital and in the absence of 
proper banking facilities, certain commercial firms financed the 
business and the production of sugar increased from six thou- 
sand tons in 1855 to thirty thousand in 1860, one hundred thou- 
sand in 1870, one hundred eighty thousand in 1880, and three 
hundred thousand in 1893. Then came a slump due to a financial 
crisis, competition with beet sugar and the devastation of war 
and animal diseases. 

After the restoration of peace the sugar industry was slow to 
recuperate. Most of the haciendas outside of Negros were in 
ruins. The cost of production had been doubled and what labor 
was available was badly demoralized. The planters were in 
debt. It was impossible to borrow money upon agricultural lands 
at any reasonable rate of interest and prospects were not then 
such as to justify the commercial houses or banks in advancing 
money upon the security of the future crops. 

The thirty years of prosperity had not taught the planters the 
necessity for improving their methods of cultivation and manu- 


facture. The land was never properly plowed and cultivated 
and the machinery in use suggested that it also had come with 
the original sugar plants from Formosa and never been repaired. 
Irrigation and fertilization were unknown, and the mills never 
extracted more than one-half of the sugar from the cane. The 
other half and the by-products were thrown away.^^ 

The American government did not at first seem inclined to en- 
courage the industry on a large scale. Governor Taft expressed 
himself as opposed to it. The sugar business in tropical countries 
had, in fact, an invidious reputation. It was associated in the 
public mind with slavery and the abuse of native laborers. The 
word had a political, as well as saccharine flavor. It had been 
embarrassing, if not fatal, to many governments. "It is strange 
indeed," said Lord Beaconsfield in his life of Lord George Ben- 
tinck, "that a manufacture which charms infancy and soothes old 
age should so frequently occasion political disaster. . . . 
Singular article of produce ! What is the reason of this influ- 
ence? Is it that all considerations mingle in it; not merely 
commercial, but imperial, philanthropic, religious; confounding 
and crossing each other, and confusing the legislature and the 
nation, lost in a maze of intersecting and contending emotions." 
In other words, sugar had always been "in politics" and was 
destined, for some time, to continue "confusing the Legislature 
and the nation." 

In addition to their local troubles, the sugar producers were 
without a market, and they made a strong appeal to Congress 

28 In 1905 Mr. W. C. Welborn, the chief of the Bureau of Agriculture, said : 
"In Luzon there is nothing larger than a three-roller mill in use, and I do 
not exaggerate when I say that at least half of the mills are driven by cara- 
baos. In Negros there is one five-roller mill of a pattern of twenty-five years 
ago ; all the rest are three-roller mills, and perhaps average a loss in the total 
juice of the cane of about 40 per cent. There is not a vacuum pan in the 
whole archipelago, and not one pound of centrifugal sugar is made. The 
cooking is done in the old Jamaica train in vogue in other sugar countries 
forty years ago. The sugar, molasses and all are boiled down hard and 
beaten up with spades and called sugar. It is a brown, lumpy, scorched 
sugar, polarizing about 84 degrees and containing a large amount of glucose, 
ash and other impurities that prevent much of the indicated 84 per cent, of 
sugar from being recovered at the refinery." Public Hearings in the Philip- 
pines (1905), p. 49. 



for the removal of the duties on PhiHppine sugar. The original 
small reduction of duties proved of no particular value to them 
and the business continued to languish until 1909, when the 
Payne Bill authorized the admission of two hundred thousand 
tons of Philippine sugar into the United States free of duty. 
The following table shows that Mr. Welbom was correct when 
he told the visiting congressmen that "statistics show that cane 
producing countries move slowly, especially tropical cane sugar 
countries," and that the prediction of the Louisiana sugar grow- 
ers that the removal of the duty "would suddenly stimulate pro- 
duction in the Philippines until one million three hundred thou- 
sand tons of sugar would be produced in three years" was, 
unfortunately, not fulfilled. 




United States 

months ending 
December — 

Long tons 


Cents per 

Long tons 


Cents per 






































The Underwood Bill of 1913 removed the restriction as to 
quantity and any quantity of Philippine sugar may now enter the 
American market free of duty. This result was secured against 
the bitter opposition of the cane and beet sugar interests of the 
United States.^® Although the quantity of sugar exported in 1915 
was 25,082 tons less than in 1914, the prices were so much higher 
that the amount realized was greater. In 1915, owing to the 

29 The Cuban, Hawaiian and beet sugar interests appeared before the 
committees at Washington and proved to their own satisfaction that if Philip- 
pine sugar was admitted it would swamp their infant industry. For the Phil- 
ippine side of the controversy, and the general condition of the sugar indus- 
try in 1905, see Hearings in Manila, Aug., 1905, statements of Sefior de la 
Heras, pp. 7-11; Sefior de la Rama, pp. 22-48, and W. C. Welbom, pp. 48-78. 


high freights, but 81,532 tons were sent to the United States as 
against 166,851 for the previous year. 

The PhiHppine sugar business is still badly handicapped. The 
raising and manufacture of sugar requires more capital than any 
other agricultural industry and, in the face of the present world 
competition, it can be made profitable only when carried on on 
a large scale. A modem sugar mill such as is used in Cuba and 
Hawaii costs about one million dollars, and can be operated only 
in connection with a plantation large enough to supply it with 
cane. Two such mills have been built in the Philippines with 
American capital. But the Philippine laws do not allow a corpo- 
ration to own more than twenty-five hundred acres of land and 
this limitation has seriously embarrassed the efforts to develop the 
business. It is claimed that at least five thousand acres are neces- 
sary for a successful sugar hacienda. A few large tracts have 
been acquired and afe being developed by individuals who are 
identified with the new mills. 

The sale of an isolated friar estate in Mindora to persons who 
had been interested in the sugar business in the United States 
was made the occasion for a bitter political attack upon the 
government by persons who were believed to be acting in the 
interest of the American beet-sugar industry. But it failed, and 
the estate, is being put under cultivation.^" A few small modem 
mills have been built by Filipino planters on the large estates in 

But a large proportion of the Philippine sugar cane is raised 
by small farmers who still use the most primitive methods. It is, 
of course, impossible for them to construct modern mills and they 
have not shown much capacity for cooperative work. For sev- 
eral years the government was urged to treat the sugar industry 
as a public business and subsidize it to the extent of constructing 
or aiding in the construction of central mills to which the cane 
growers could bring their cane as the American farmers used 

^'^ This estate on the island of Mindora has suffered by reason of its iso- 
lation and the difficulties in the way of securing labor. The large centrals in 
Negros and on the Calamba Estate near Manila depend largely upon cane 
brought to them by the surrounding planters. 


to carry their wheat and corn to the grist mills. Recently the 
government came to the assistance of the planters with loans of 
money and it is probable that in the course of time it will con- 
struct or finance large mills. 

During the last fifteen years the cocoanut trees have become 
one of the leading sources of agricultural wealth. In 1902, the 
dried fruit of the cocoanut, known as copra, ranked fourth in the 
value of export commodities; in 1915 it was second. The chem- 
ists have discovered that the cocoanut is the source of various 
new food products, and there is now a constantly increasing 
demand for copra in Europe and America. 

No particular advance has been made in the methods of pro- 
duction, which are still crude, and the Philippine copra, when 
compared with that produced in the South Sea islands and else- 
where, is of an inferior grade. This is due, not to the quality 
of the nuts, but to the lack of care in drying and handling the 

The beautiful cocoanut palm trees grow luxuriantly on nearly 
all of the islands and in some provinces they are cultivated with 
reasonable care. Unlike the hemp plant, a cocoanut tree thrives 
best when exposed to the strong winds. The trees grow from 
the seed, bear in about seven years from the time of transplanting, 
and live for about a hundred years. During the first four years 
they must be carefully protected from wild hogs and other ani- 
mals. The nuts are gathered throughout the year and each tree 
produces from twenty to fifty nuts each year which net the 
owner from fifty cents to one dollar. Cocoanut groves con- 
taining from ten thousand to fifty thousand bearing trees are 
not uncommon. The size and number of the nuts may be greatly 
increased by the irrigation and proper cultivation of the soil. 
Excessive dry weather sometimes seriously reduces the crop and, 
of course, the trees have their insect enemies.^'^ In certain sec- 

si "With the exception of Ceylon, no country in the world has a greater 
cocoanut industry than the Philippines. It is therefore not very surprising 
that almost every cocoanut disease known in the world occurs in these 
islands. Of all these diseases the most dreadful, where it is found, is the bud 
rot. . . . There are many fungi which live upon the cocoanut. . . . 
There are a great many insects which live on the cocoanut, but most of them 



tions typhoons occasionally blow down the nuts, but it is safe to 
say that no other tree or plant is so little liable to serious injury 
as the cocoanut palm. In fact, a good cocoanut plantation is 
worth more than an ordinary gold mine. 

The cocoanut produces copra, oil and milk. The latter makes 
a pleasant, nutritious drink but is not an article of commerce. 
The oil is used in making soap, toilet articles, and certain butter 
and lard substitutes which do not, like ordinary butter, suffer 
from heat and are therefore in great demand in the tropics. 
Not much of the oil has heretofore been made in the islands, 
but modern mills have recently been erected at Manila and Cebu 
and the business should prove very profitable. 

From the sap of the fruit-bearing stalk of the tree the natives 
make a mild drink called tuba. The fiber of the nut husks is 
utilized to some extent locally in the manufacture of a cloth 
called sinimay and is a constituent of other fabrics. 

A certain amount of copra had been exported for many years. 
In 1892 it was exported to the value of $743,700, which consti- 
tuted three and eight-tenths per cent, of the total value of the ex- 
ports. In 1894 it constituted about seven per cent, of the value of 
exports. There was then a falling off until after the American 
occupation, since which there was a steady increase until the 
year of the European war, as shown by the following table : 




United States 

months ending 
December — 

Long tons 


per ton 

Long tons 


per ton 
























































do little harm. . . . The cocoanut pests which do the greatest damage in 
the PhiHppines and in other Eastern countries are the rhinoceros or black 
beetle and the red beetle or palm weevil." Civic-Educational Lectures, No. 3, 
Sec. 11, p. 9 (Manila, 1910). 


As the demand for cocoanut products is constantly increasing 
it will not be surprising if the cocoanut becomes the most valuable 
of all Philippine products. 

There are no statistics available to show the exact amount of 
rice now raised in the Philippines, but judged by the imports 
of rice from China it is probable that the quantity has not been 
materially increased during the period of American occupation. 
During the fiscal year 1911, when there were approximately 
2,609,380 acres in rice, the yield was 882,794.13 metric tons of 
rough rice, paldy, valued at $30,897,744.50, as compared with 
2,980,313 acres and 810,940.70 metric tons in 1910, and 2,890,- 
362 acres and 747,942.69 metric tons in 1909. The area culti- 
vated in rice in 1911 was 94.5 per cent, of the total areas cul- 
tivated in hemp, cocoanuts, sugar, corn and tobacco.^^ 

It is commonly stated that the original falling off of the rice 
crop was due to the destruction of the carabao and the general 
disorganization of the insurrectionary period, and that in recent 
years it has been found more profitable to raise sugar and some 
other kinds of crops. It is certainly true that the production of 
rice is influenced by the demand for labor in other lines and 
that rice is neglected when hemp, sugar and copra bring high 
prices. But the failure to increase the acreage is due primarily 
to the primitive methods of planting and harvesting and the 
slowness with which machinery has been adopted. 

Rice is the staple food product of the Philippines. With a 
little fish and a few vegetables, it constitutes practically the 
entire food of a great majority of the people. Formerly, when 
the rice crops failed the community faced famine; but this has 
been to some extent remedied by the production of other kinds 
of crops and the improved facilities for communication between 
different localities. 

The method of planting is that which for centuries has been 

32 Rice Culture in the Philippines, by C. M. Connor, assistant director of 
the Bureau of Agriculture, Manila, 1912; "Modern Rice Culture," by W. J. 
Boudreau, Farmers' Bulletin, No. 3 (1902). 


in use in China and Japan.^^ In the lowlands earthen walls 
about three feet high are built so as to make enclosed plots of 
ground of an acre or more in extent so that a large rice field 
resembles a checker-board. After the rains commence and the 
ground within these retaining walls is covered with water, it is 
broken with a primitive sort of plow with a single iron point, 
drawn by a carabao, and then puddled with a rake until it is a 
bed of soft mud. Into this the small rice plants which have 
been sprouted in seed beds are stuck by hand. This is often done 
by organized bands working to the rhythm of music supplied 
by some expert on the banjo who is perched on the retaining 
wall. By the time the rains have ceased the plants are well 
grown and able to carry on the battle with the weeds. When 
the harvest time comes the heads are cut off one at a time with 
knives or, if possible, with a sickle. The grain is threshed by 
being trampled under the feet of men, horses, or cattle, and the 
unhusked rice, called palay, is winnowed by a sort of fan, or by 
being tossed into the air after being pounded in wooden mortars. 

Threshing machines operated on a toll basis are now used 
to some extent and there are a few rice mills with modem ma- 
chinery in the heavy rice producing districts. 

What is called upland or mountain rice is raised on the table- 
lands and where the ground is too rolling to be flooded. The 
native methods of cultivation and harvesting are the same as on 
the level lands except for the devices for holding the water. The 
ground might be plowed, planted and cultivated exactly as wheat 
is in the United States. 

The Igorots and other mountain tribes terrace the hillsides 
and raise their rice on the irrigated shelves thus artificially con- 

S3 See F. H. King's Farmers of Forty Centuries, Chap. XII, pp. 270 et seq. 

3* Of the Ifugaos, Worcester says ("Non-Christian Tribes of Northern 
Luzon," Phil. Jour, of Science, Oct., 1906) : "Their agricuUure is little short 
of wonderful, and no one who has seen their dry stone dams, their irrigating 
ditches running for miles along precipitous hillsides, and their irrigated ter- 
races extending for thousands of feet up the mountain sides can fail to be 
impressed. ... I know of no more impressive example of primitive en- 
gineering than the terraced mountain sides of Nueva Vizcaya." 


Ever since the insurrection the PhiHppines have imported about 
one-third of the rice required for food purposes.^^ 

The experiments carried on by the government on its rice 
farm show conclusively that there is no reason why the islands 
should not raise at least all the rice required for food. By the 
use of proper machinery and the expenditure of reasonable en- 
ergy the crop may be increased almost indefinitely, and, with 
irrigation, one, two or even three crops per year are assured. 

It would seem to the uninitiated that irrigation would be un- 
necessary in a country with an average rainfall of 2,400 mm. 
But it is not properly distributed with reference to time and 
place. Excessive rains are liable to be followed by excessively 
dry months. 

Rice is usually planted and gets its early growth in standing 
water, and during the droughts, which are not uncommon, much 
of it perishes. With irrigation several crops could be raised each 
year, and instead of importing rice from Saigon, the country 
would soon be exporting it to China. The sugar crop and many 
other of the agricultural products could also be greatly increased. 

The irrigation work is designed exclusively for the improve- 
ment of agriculture. So far it has been very disappointing. 
Because of the inexperience of the engineers and the adoption 
of an unnecessarily complicated system, nothing very substantial 
has been accomplished. In fact, the Igorots and their neigh- 
bors in the mountains appear to be the only real irrigation ex- 
perts in the Philippines, and their terraced lands are among the 
sights of the East. 

In many parts of the lowlands the Spaniards and Filipinos 
had, from time immemorial, maintained primitive irrigation sys- 
tems, and the friars had extensive irrigation works on some of 
the estates which were sold to the government which have been 
repaired and maintained. 

The greater part of the cultivated lands on the islands lies 

35 Upon the outbreak of the European war in 1914 France prohibited the 
exportation of rice from Saigon. The restriction was removed in favor of 
the Philippine government, which imported large quantities and sold it in the 


between the coasts and the mountains, and during the heavy rains 
the waters which rush out of the mountain gorges and flood the 
plains soon disappear, leaving the ground to bake during the dry 

Irrigation in such a country seems very simple when compared 
with that of India, Egypt and the western part of the United 
States. Nevertheless, it has its own difficulties. Fifteen years 
ago experienced irrigation engineers were not common, even in 
the United States. Unlike England, we had nothing resembling 
the India service to draw on, and they had to be developed as the 
work progressed. Mr. J. W. Beardsley, the Director of Public 
Works, was sent to investigate the irrigation systems of India, 
Java and Egypt, but his elaborate report, while interesting, was 
of little practical value.^® 

The first irrigation law enacted was unsound in principle and 
proved unworkable in practise. Its principal features were the 
reimbursable fund and the consent of the landowners to the insti- 
tution of an irrigation system.^^ Two hundred and fifty thousand 
dollars was appropriated for work under this law.^* On June 
13, 1908, the legislature passed the act^^ under which the gov- 
ernment attempted to work until the enactment of the elaborate 
Irrigation Law of 1912, which is now in force.*" 

The law of June 13, 1908, provided a standing annual appro- 
priation of three hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars to 
create a "special permanent fund" for the promotion, establish- 
ment and maintenance of irrigation systems. The superin- 
tendent of irrigation was directed to report to the secretary of 
commerce and police "a plan adequate for the establishment of 
an economical and complete system of irrigation for all the Phil- 
ippine Islands." If the plan was approved, the secretary should 
order "that the works be begun at once." 

28 Preliminary Report on Irrigation in Java ( Manila, 1909) . 

37 Act No. 1688, Aug. 11, 1908. 

38 Act No. 1837, May 29, 1908. 

39 Act No. 1854, June 13, 1908. For a summary of this and the preceding 
legislation, see Report Director Public Works (Kept. Phil. Com., 1908, Ft 
II, p. 470). 

40 Act No. 2152, Feb. 6, 1912. 


The weakest point of this very unsatisfactory law was the re- 
quirement that the initiative for systems effecting private property 
should come from the landowners. The money was made allot- 
able by the secretary. Upon receipt of a request from any pro- 
vincial board, barrio, municipality, or any "group of neighbor- 
hoods" interested in obtaining a portion of this fund, together 
with the promise to pay an equitable rate for the use of the 
water in such quantity as would reimburse the government for 
the cost of the irrigation work within a given number of years, 
not to exceed twenty, the secretary, if satisfied with the condi- 
tions, was required to direct the preparation of plans and have 
the probable costs determined and proceed with the construction 
of the system. When completed it should be operated "for the 
benefit of the landowners" under proper rules and regulations 
which should fix the price of the water. Unpaid dues were 
made a lien on the land of the users, collectible in the same man- 
ner as taxes. After the government had been reimbursed, the 
charge for water was required to be. reduced to an amount suf- 
ficient to pay operating expenses and maintenance. 

The details for putting this law into operation were worked 
out by a committee which was appointed by the secretary, and 
on the recommendation of this committee considerable investiga- 
tion was done of various projects. 

Lessons drawn from the irrigation experiences of the British 
in India and Egypt are liable to be misleading when applied to 
the Philippines. The conditions are very dissimilar. The Philip- 
pine government was without the power to borrow money by a 
bond issue and had to rely on what it could scrimp out of its cur- 
rent income. 

The plan adopted proved unworkable. It probably would have 
been better to have appropriated the money for the construc- 
tion of irrigation systems and gone ahead slowly with the funds 
available without reference to the consent of the landowners, 
taxing the cost as a special assessment on the lands benefited 
and selling the water to the landowners at a price which would 
pay operating expenses and maintenance, and ultimately return 


the capital invested. This would have been practical, economical 
and effective and by this time, if our engineers had not made 
too many mistakes, the government would have had something 
to show for the money expended.*'^ 

But it was thought best not to impose even so desirable a bur- 
den upon the landowners without their consent. The reimbursa- 
ble fund plan, while theoretically perfect, is so complicated that 
it is difficult to work it out in a country such as the Philippines. 

The method adopted did not meet with the approval of the 
natives and it imposed innumerable administrative troubles upon 
the ordinary engineering difficulties. As Sir Auckland Colvin 
once said : "It is easier to lay out or correct a system of canal ac- 
tion than to deal with the spirit of fro ward men and with intrica- 
cies of law and procedure." Our administration has had to con- 
tend with the engineering difficulties, an unsatisfactory law and 
the froward spirits of ignorant farmers and self-serving local 
politicians, in combination. 

Before any money could be spent for construction work, the 
secretary of commerce and police was obliged to see that pro- 
vision was made for the reimbursement of the government and 
this could only be done by securing contracts with the landowners 
to use the water. It was thought that if contracts were secured 
with the owners of seventy-five per cent, of the land included in 
the project, it would be safe to infer that the rest would take the 
water when the opportunity was presented. 

Early in 1909, acting under this law, the government entered 
into a contract with the Compania General de Tabacos de Fili- 

*i The irrigation systems of Egypt and India were built with borrowed 
money. "The main principle, that railways and irrigation works in India may 
wisely and without financial danger be constructed with borrowed money, 
has been consistently carried out." See Strachey's India, Its Administration 
and Progress, p. 244. The India irrigation system has cost over thirty-five 
million pounds and it is estimated that each year the value of the crops raised 
by canal irrigation is equal to four-fifths of the total capital expenditure 
which has been incurred upon the canals. Fuller, The Empire of India, p. 314 
(1913). The policy of borrowing money with which to build irrigation sys- 
tems has been equally successful in Egypt. Lord Cromer (Modern Egypt, 
Vol. II, p. 464) says : "I have no hesitation in saying that the expenditure of 
this one million eight hundred thousand pounds on irrigation and drainage 
has contributed probably more than any one cause to the comparative pros- 
perity that the country now enjoys." 


pinas to construct a modem irrigation system on its rice lands 
in the province of Tarlac. Unfortunately, within a few days of 
the opening of this system, a flood washed away the main dam 
and with it a goodly portion of the reimbursable fund. The engi- 
neers had acted hastily and constructed the dam without sufficient 
knowledge of conditions and the plans had to be revised and a 
new start made under another contract with the company. 

In the meantime considerable progress had been made on a 
large project in the province of Pangasinan. The Agno River 
was to be dammed at the point where it flowed out of the moun- 
tain gorge and the water thus collected distributed over several 
thousand acres of valuable and highly cultivated land. Probably 
a dozen good-sized towns and several small private irrigation 
systems were included in this area. At first the people accepted 
the idea with enthusiasm and by the time the surveys, specifica- 
tions and estimates were completed, the owners of about fifty 
per cent, of the land had signed contracts to use and pay for the 
water. Then there came a sudden loss of interest and no further 
signatures could be secured. The engineers were in despair. In- 
vestigation disclosed that the people had been induced, by certain 
local politicians, to believe that the project was a deep laid scheme 
of the Americans to deprive them of their lands. 

We had now to deal with the froward spirits of men. The 
people had to be educated. As a preliminary move the governor 
of the province, the presidentes and counselors of the towns, and 
many of the leading citizens were induced to take an excursion 
to San Maguil, Tarlac, and see what a modem irrigation system 
looked like. The results were very satisfactory. The lukewarm 
local officials, finding that the government was in earnest, became 
the enthusiastic advocates of the scheme. Immediately thereafter 
the writer, with a party of about a dozen officials, spent a week 
in the province addressing public meetings and explaining what 
the government was trying to do and what the irrigation system 
would mean for the province. The people were ignorant, but 
intelligent enough and wide awake to their own interests. They 
wanted to know particularly what it would cost and what would 


become of the various privately owned little systems which were 
already in operation. One old tao refused to sign a contract 
to use the water until he learned whether his carabaos would be 
allowed to swim in the big ditch. Others were interested in the 
fishery rights which they supposed would be developed. When 
told that with irrigation he could raise two and even three crops 
of rice each year one weary farmer replied that it was work 
enough to raise one crop. 

That week spent in the dusty villages under the palms on the 
great plains of Pangasinan, during the hot and dry season, will 
not soon be forgotten. But it was worth the effort. The people 
were converted, the froward spirits were laid, and then, in the 
moment of triumph, — the San Maguil dam was washed away 
and the engineers reported that they were afraid to proceed with 
the Agno dam without further investigation.*^ There, according 
to the last reports, the matter rests. 

The defects of the law were recognized even by its authors 
and a revised law was passed by the commission in the spring 
of 1910, but rejected by the assembly. Two years later the en- 
tire subject of water rights and irrigation was provided for by 
the elaborate statute which is now in force. *^ It is a decided im- 
provement on the prior law. The government was thoroughly 
committed to the reimbursable fund theory and it had to be em- 
bodied in this law. But under tlie present law the initiative is 
taken by the government and when the secretary of commerce 
and police decides that the construction of a project is advisable, 
he gives public notice, and unless the owners of one-half the 

42 A certain well-known Manila character established a reputation by end- 
ing a speech at a public hearing before the commission with the remark that 

"in the East just as you are about to put something over, some d thing 

always happens." 

43 Act No. 2152, Feb. 6, 1912._ The history of this statute illustrates meth- 
ods of legislation in the Philippines. The original draft of the bill was pre- 
pared by the Irrigation Committee, but it was very considerably modified 
before being passed by the commission at the special session in Baguio in 
1910. After the legislature adjourned I selected three Filipino deputies, who 
were also lawyers, and had them working on the bill for several months. 
This bill, after being carefully revised by Mr. Forbes and myself, was intro- 
duced into the assembly by Mr. Mercado and thereafter known as an Assem- 
bly Bill and a product of native legislative capacity. Its passage was finally 
secured with the greatest difficulty. 


irrigable lands or three-fourths of the owners of such land file 
objections within ninety days, the work of construction proceeds. 
From a practical standpoint, this is a decided advantage because 
the lethargy of the people is thrown into the scales on the side 
of progress. 

However, nothing seems as yet to have been accomplished 
under this law other than the very important work of investiga- 
tion of local conditions. Soon after its enactment the govern- 
ment found itself facing a probable deficit in the treasury and 
most of the money which had accumulated in the irrigation fund 
was reverted to the treasury.** 

The common people of the East have always been the patient 
victims of the usurer and the Filipinos, like the Ryots of India, 
and the Fellaheen of Egypt, had been accustomed to pay from 
two per cent, to twenty per cent, per month for small loans with 
the privilege reserved to the lender to purchase the crops at a 
ridiculously low price fixed in advance.*^ During Spanish times 
many unsuccessful attempts were made to find a way by which 
agriculturists could secure loans at reasonable rates upon their 
lands and crops. The Spanish Code of Commerce contains 
liberal provisions for the establishment of agricultural banks 
on the debenture plan and the charter of the Spanish Filipino 
Bank authorized it to make real estate loans under certain re- 
strictions. The demand for some kind of a land-mortgage bank 
was universal. The report of the Schurman Commission de- 
clared that "the lack of proper capital and the high prices asked 
for loans constitutes another obstacle which stupefies industry, 

*■* "The development of irrigation in the islands continues slowly. Ex- 
perience has amply demonstrated the unwisdom of sinking large sums of 
money in irrigation systems in the Philippines before the most exhaustive 
investigations have been made as to rainfall and the geological structure of 
the proposed location, and such investigation ought properly to cover con- 
siderable periods of time." Report of Acting Governor-General Gilbert for 
the fiscal year 1913. 

■*5 An attempt in 1912 to pass a usury law was defeated in the Philippine 
Assembly. Recently the legislature has passed a usury law (Act No. 2655) 
which the commission calls unsatisfactory but believes "to be a material ad- 
vance in the solution of this complex problem." Report Phil. Com., 1915. 
The problem was rendered "complex" by the number of usurers or repre- 
sentatives of such who occupied seats in the legislature. 


augments the cost of production, and restrains, in consequence, its 
benefits." In its second annual report the United States Commis- 
sion recommended congressional action to encourage the crea- 
tion of an agricultural bank by private enterprise. 

In 1906 Mr. E. W. Kemmerer was sent to Egypt to investigate 
the workings of the Agricultural Bank of Egypt, which had then 
been in operation for four years. In his report Mr, Kemmerer 
recommended the creation in the Philippines of a mortgage bank 
with a private capital of two million dollars, with a government 
guarantee of four per cent, dividends on the capital stock and 
the right to the services of the provincial and municipal treas- 
urers as its local representatives.*^ 

Congress, after various hearings before its committees, con- 
ferred the necessary authority upon the commission,*^ but private 
capital was not forthcoming, and finally the Agricultural Bank 
of the Philippine Government was established with a capital of 
five hundred thousand dollars.*^ It was purely a government 
institution, to be administered by a board composed of the sec- 
retary of finance and justice, the insular treasurer, and three 
citizens appointed by the governor-general. It was authorized 
to make loans to persons or corporations engaged in agricultural 
pursuits "for the payment or satisfaction of incumbrances on 
agricultural lands, for the construction of drainage and irrigation 
works, and for the purchase of fertilizers, agricultural seeds, 
machinery, implements and animals, to be used exclusively by 
the borrower for agricultural purposes," secured by mortgage on 
unincumbered, improved urban or agricultural land and "on 
crops already harvested, gathered and stored," and duly insured. 
A subsequent law permitted loans for the repair, as well as main- 

^6 See The Agricultural Bank of Egypt, by E. W. Kemmerer, 1906, and his 
preliminary report on the Advisability of Establishing an Agricultural Bank 
in the Philippines, dated Feb. 7, 1905. These two reports and the papers 
printed in connection therewith contain much valuable information about the 
Agricultural Bank of Egypt and the various cooperative associations which 
had proved so successful in Europe. 

47 Act of March 4, 1907. 

,48 Act No. 1865, June 18, 1908. See the Report of the Secretary of Finance 
and Justice of Oct. 26, 1908. 


tenance, of drainage and irrigation works and otherwise extended 
the scope of the phrase agricultural purposes. The maximum 
rate of interest was fixed at ten per cent, per annum. 

The bank opened for business October 1, 1908, and during 
the succeeding nine months of the fiscal year 1908 it loaned 
$27,725 to twenty-three applicants. Out of 417 applications 196 
were refused because of defective titles. During the fiscal year 
1910 only eighty-nine loans, amounting $114,500, were made, 
and Secretary Araneta said that, in view of the pressure that 
had been exerted for the creation of the bank, "it is somewhat 
discouraging to note the little business done." During 1911 the 
rate of interest was reduced to eight per cent., but, in the report 
for that year, it was stated that the "transactions of the Agri- 
cultural Bank show little, if any, improvement over last year." 
However, during the year 1913 the business improved and loans 
amounting to $514,325 were made. 

The capital of the bank was then exhausted, and as the treas- 
ury was not in a condition to increase it, the bank was designated 
as an official depository for the provincial treasurers, and $584,- 
580 was taken over, twenty per cent, of which was made available 
for loans.'*^ It thus required five years for the bank to loan its 
capital of five hundred thousand dollars and accumulated sur- 

Notwithstanding the popular demand for the creation of such 
an institution, the Filipinos were slow in taking advantage of the 
opportunities offered. The Agricultural Bank of Egypt, during 
the first four years of its existence, loaned more than thirty-five 
million dollars in amounts averaging about one hundred and fifty 
dollars each. But in order to do so, it was necessary for repre- 

*9 In order to increase the banking facilities in the provinces the agencies 
are authorized to receive deposits upon which interest of from 3 per cent, to 
3y2 per cent, is paid. This money is merely deposited in the large commercial 
banks, from which the same rate of interest is received. 

50 The Agricultural Bank competes with the Postal Service Bank for de- 
posits and loans. During the calendar year 1914 the bank loaned $697,875; 
during 1915, $565,789. On January 1, 1916, there were outstanding loans 
amounting to $2,541,280. Interest amounting to $33,562.48 was in default. 
Report Secretary Commerce and Justice. Rept. Phil. Com., 1915. 


sentatives of the bank to take the actual gold and go among the 
people soliciting loans. 

The slow growth of the bank in the Philippines was due to the 
condition of land titles. Probably the majority of the small land- 
owners are not able to prove a record title, but they and their 
ancestors have generally lived on the land long enough to estab- 
lish a title by prescription. The registrations under the Torrens 
Law have been slow, due to the lack of funds and the indisposi- 
tion of the small landowners to take the trouble to have their 
titles registered. It was thought that a requirement that the 
Agricultural Bank should loan only on registered titles would 
protect the government from loss and at the same time encourage 
registration, but the difficulties in the way of registration limited 
the operations of the bank. There have been practically no 
losses. The average size of the loans is much larger than is 
customary in Egypt. The very small land holders and the large 
sugar growers have borrowed most of the money. The Agri- 
cultural Bank has now been absorbed by the Philippine National 
Bank, an institution controlled by the government. 

Left to his own initiative, the Filipino seldom leaves the neigh- 
borhood in which he was born. Certain districts are densely 
populated while near by land suitable for cultivation remains 
unoccupied. In 1913 the government, for the purpose of en- 
couraging the dissemination of the population and the increase 
of the rice crop, appropriated two hundred thousand dollars to 
be used in establishing agricultural colonies on public lands. The 
most interesting of the experiments under this law are the mixed 
Moro and Filipino colonies on the Cotabato River in Mindanao. 
Approximately one thousand families nearly equally divided be- 
tween the Moros and Christians gathered from the congested 
districts are attempting to answer the question whether Chris- 
tian and Mohammedan Filipinos can live harmoniously together. 

Another interesting experiment is being tried at Momungan 
on the same island. In 1912 all the civilian employees of the 
quartermaster's corps were replaced by an enlisted personnel. 
Many Americans were thus left stranded in the islands. Quite 


a number had married Filipino women and had no desire to leave 
the country. The condition of these men was pitiable. There 
is no place in the social and economic organization of the country 
for Americans of that class and the government, under the law 
authorizing agricultural colonies, established them on public lands 
at Momungan, where they will have an opportunity to work out 
their own salvations under the control of the Bureau of Agri- 

The outstanding fact of the Philippine economic situation is 
the backwardness of agriculture. The construction of railroads 
and highways has not been followed by the expected rapid agri- 
cultural development. The government has done everything pos- 
sible.^^ Much special legislation has been enacted for the benefit 
of the farmers. The Agricultural Bank enabled them to borrow 
money on easy terms and at reasonable rates. Financial aid has 
been given the sugar planters and government endowed sugar cen- 
trals are being provided for the cane growers. Notwithstanding 
the ravages of rinderpest there are a reasonable number of cara- 
bao available for agricultural work. A better organized labor 
system, increased ambition for personal well-being, and a great 
deal more energy, and nothing else, will bring permanent pros- 
perity to the Filipino farmers and remove the blight of inadequate 
production from the country. 

21 "A healthy sign of the times is the rapid formation, under stimulus 
from the Bureau of Agriculture, of cooperative agricultural societies, of which 
there are now 29 provincial and 295 municipal organizations. Above all, the 
meeting of the first Farmers' Congress, from August 21 to 28, 1915, in Manila, 
is significant of great progress. At the present time it may perhaps be 
suggested that these agricultural meetings are apt to lean too heavily upon 
the advantages of government aid rather than self-aid, but a very positive 
benefit will result from these frequent meetings and conferences. The gov- 
ernment is doing everything it legitimately can, and for which the necessary 
funds can be provided, to meet the requests and necessities of the farmers. 
During the past two years laws have been passed for the formation of rural 
credit associations, for the founding of a government bank with special 
credit facilities for the agriculturists, for the hastening of the work of the 
cadastral survey, for the reform of the irrigation and water-right laws, for 
the rapid building and extension of the road system, for the grading and 
classifying of hemp for export, for the regulation and betterment of the ex- 
port of cigars to the United States, for improvements in the locust and 
rinderpest laws, and for the organization and operation with government aid 
of sugar and copra centrals. And yet all of these laws will be of but little 
effect unless the people themselves will cooperate and take advantage of 
them." Report Governor-General, July 1, 1916. 

Policies and Personnel 

Attitude of the Public — Visiting Statesmen — Misinformation — Declared Re- 
publican Policy — Executive Statements — Approval Thereof by Congress — 
The Most Difficult of all Possible Policies — Time Necessary for Its Success 
— Failure to Control Local Situation — Changing Officials — The American 
Employees — Filipinoism of the Service. 

The government which has been described in the preceding 
chapters remained under the control of its creators for a decade 
and a half, and until a change of administration in the United 
States threw it into the hands of the political party which was 
committed in a general way to the so-called anti-imperialist the- 
ories. During that time it was in the hands of its friends and 
while twelve years is a very short period in the life of a country, 
it was long enough to enable the policy to be fairly well tested. 

Absorbed in domestic affairs, the general public of the United 
States gave very little serious consideration to the details of 
what was occurring in the far-away islands. The great mass 
of the people considered the question as having been settled, 
for their generation at least. They had approved the McKinley 
policy and were willing that it should be given a fair trial. In 
the meantime, so long as there was no serious fighting with the 
natives, they refused to become excited over the details of ad- 

The attitude of the Democratic party continued to be that 
of opposition if not hostility.^ For a time everything done by 
the Philippine government was viewed with extreme suspicion. 
Gradually, however, the indisputable facts of. order and increas- 
ing material prosperity forced the reluctant admission from all 

^ It will be understood that there were many Democrats and many Repub- 
licans who were not in sympathy with the Philippine policy of their party. 



but the extreme radicals that the altruistic experiment had every 
prospect of being successful. 

It seemed difficult to get reliable information as to the actual 
situation in the distant land. Various members of Congress 
visited the islands at different times during the early years of 
the occupation for the purpose of "learning the truth on the 
ground," and most of them claimed to have found the evidence 
which they deemed sufficient to justify the opinions and judg- 
ments which they had formed before leaving their homes.^ With 
equal opportunities for observation, men of equally honest minds 
reached contrary conclusions. One congressman found the Fili- 
pinos "nothing but savages with a thin veneer of civilization"; 
another believed that the country was simply "swarming with 
latent George Washingtons" awaiting the beneficent rays of 
democracy to burst into bloom. 

Some of the distinguished visitors who represented the oppo- 
sition delivered public addresses in Manila which were exceed- 
ingly eulogistic of the Filipinos and occasionally commendatory 
of the American officials and their work. Without exceptions, 
however, they appear to have returned to their places in Con- 
gress, or on the lecture platform, confirmed in their original 
views. Although such visits have a certain value, it is doubtful 
whether even those most desirous of learning the truth acquire 
much accurate information with reference to the real conditions 
in the islands, and the opinions and characteristics of any Fili- 
pinos, other than their hospitable entertainers. Of course, it is 
the "obvious Orient" only that transient visitors see, and what 
is obvious in the East is seldom true. When one of the most 
distinguished of American scholars and historians, after a visit 
to Manila, could write in the year 1910 that "the assembly is 

2 In 1905 a large party of members of both houses of Congress under the 
chaperonage of the secretary of war, visited the Philippines and conducted 
a somewhat elaborate investigation into conditions. The public cessions were 
devoted to the consideration of political, economic and commercial matters. 
While the visitors acquired much information about the country, it is doubt- 
ful whether the opinions of any were changed. Each one saw what he came 
to see. See the Report of Public Hearings on Proposed Reduction of Tariff, 
August, 1905 (Pamphlet, Manila, 1905). 


the only legislative body in the islands," and that the commis- 
sion has never found it necessary to veto any of the laws passed 
by the assembly, it is not surprising that less qualified investi- 
gators occasionally absorbed questionable information as to the 
nature of the government.^ Only the newcomer and the passing 
traveler feel certain that they have possessed themselves of the 
soul of the East and are willing to dogmatize about its people 
and its future. In fact there is no better way of cultivating the 
seeds of modesty than by carefully comparing the opinions and 
judgments entertained after a few days or months spent in the 
Philippines with those held after several years of labor and close 
contact with the people. Verily, as Lord Curzon has said, "The 
East is a university in which the scholar never takes a degree." 
Those most familiar with the Orient agree that special corre- 
spondents, visiting statesmen and publicists from home always 
acquire a great amount of erroneous or half-true information, 
particularly with reference to conditions other than physical. 
With rare exceptions the casual visitor has neither the knowl- 
edge of alien races nor the breadth of view to enable him to grasp 
the significance of what he sees. This is certainly true of the aver- 
age American who has spent his life in an environment dominated 
by ideas essentially provincial. He is certain to measure everything 
by the home standards and to reason from the premise that all 
human beings are controlled by the same reasons and influenced 
by the same motives. And some of the many writers, American 
and English, who have favored the public with their views on the 
Philippines, it must be sorrowfully admitted, suggest Kipling's 
famous "Pagett M. P.," who, — "a liar and a fluent liar there- 
with," — ^visited India in winter and "spoke of the heat of India 
as the Asian solar myth." After being entertained, feted and 
feasted by individuals skilled in the art of selection, they as- 
sumed to speak with high authority on the strength of having 

3 The above comments do not of course apply to the secretaries of war 
and chiefs of the Bureau of Insular Affairs who have visited the Philippines. 
Secretary Taft visited the islands in 1905, and again in 1907. Secretary 
Dickinson spent about two months there in 1910, and his Special Report to 
the President on conditions at that time is one of the best ever made. 


"seen things with their own eyes." After being carefully insu- 
lated, informed and coached, Pagett M. P. returned to the home- 
land and his entertainer wrote, 

"And I laughed as I drove from the station, but the mirth died out 

on my lips 
As I thought of the fools like Pagett who write of their Eastern 


Just a suspicion of such things may at times have flitted 
through the minds of certain Filipinos as well as American ad- 
ministrators in the Philippines. 

It has been said that the efficiency of the Philippine govern- 
ment suffered because of the lack of a definite policy. But there 
never was any excuse for misunderstanding the policy of the 
Taft regime. The trouble was that the local community always 
refused to take seriously the statement that the Americans are 
in the islands primarily for the benefit of the Filipinos and for 
the purpose of training them to govern themselves. To the 
American who had gone into business in Manila it seemed incon- 
ceivable that the United States "would ever be so foolish as to 
withdraw from the islands." The persistent demand for the 
declaration of a definite policy meant that Congress should de- 
clare that the United States does not intend to withdraw from 
the islands or that independence is not a question for the con- 
sideration of the present generation, — the exact reverse of the 
policy which in 1916 was expressed by Congress in the preamble 
to the Jones Bill. 

I have elsewhere described the situation and stated somewhat 
in detail the reasons which induced President McKinley to de- 
mand the cession to the United States of the Philippine Archi- 
pelago.* At the close of the Spanish War, Cuba, Porto Rico and 
the Philippines were treated as separate and distinct propositions. 
The statement made in connection with the declaration of war 
against Spain, that the United States had no desire to acquire 

* Elliott, The Philippines: To the End of the Military Regime, Chaps. 


territory by conquest, was literally true, but neither it nor the 
joint resolution of Congress of April 20, 1898, demanding that 
Spain withdraw from the island, had any relation to the Philip- 
pines. The situation which led to the acquisition of the islands 
grew logically, if unexpectedly, out of the war. When these dec- 
larations of policy were made Cuba only was in the mind of the 
president and Congress. The United States refused to accept 
sovereignty over Cuba even temporarily, when it was urged upon 
her by Spain and permitted the Cubans to organize a republic 
subject to the restrictions imposed by the Piatt Amendment to the 
Army Appropriation Bill of March 2, 1901, which was merely a 
legislative adoption of Secretary Root's instructions to General 
Leonard Wood, the military governor, of February 9, 1901.^ 
The Cuban relation was established with comparatively little dif- 
ficulty although its permanency is still a matter of uncertainty. 

Porto Rico was to remain permanently a possession of the 
United States and her problems are being slowly worked out on 
the theory that she will in time be a regularly organized territory 
with possible statehood as the ultimate goal. 

Entirely different principles were applied to the Philippines. 
By reason of its location Cuba would have been a valuable addi- 
tion to the United States. The remote Philippine Islands, with 
their troublesome natives and potentially entangling Oriental re- 
lations, were of doubtful value and but for the obligations which 
resulted from the destruction of Spanish power, to the Filipinos 
themselves and to the world at large, we may assume that they 
would have been left to their own devices. The United States 
put aside the acquisition which would unquestionably have been 
advantageous and at the promptings of high duty assumed re- 
sponsibility for what was certain to be a source of infinite trouble 
and annoyance. 

When the Schurman Commission was appointed, in 1898, the 
United States had not been committed to any definite Philippine 
pohcy. Nothing had then been settled other than that Spain 

5 See Root, Military and Colonial Policy of the United States, pp. 185, 


should cede the islands to the United States, which was free to 
grant them independence, estabhsh a protectorate over them, give 
them a colonial form of government, organize them as a terri- 
tory, or even admit them into the Union as a state.^ The ac- 
ceptance by the administration of the views expressed by that 
commission that the Filipinos were not prepared to govern them- 
selves, settled the question of independence for the time and 
made it necessary to devise some form of government under 
American control. During the negotiations which the Schurman 
Commission carried on with the representatives of the insurgents, 
Secretary Hay outlined a government under which, pending the 
action of Congress, the people would have the largest measure of 
self-government consistent with the maintenance of peace and 
order. It provided for a governor-general appointed by the 
president, an independent judiciary, a cabinet appointed by the 
governor-general, and a general advisory council elected by the 
people. But this was not satisfactory to the Filipinos, who had 
established a government at Malolos, and the war continued. 

The idea of building a government about a commission was 
worked out after Elihu Root became secretary of war, and the 
principles upon which it was founded were set forth in the in- 
structions to the Taft Commission. No careful student of that 
document can have any misconception of the views then enter- 
tained by the American government, or as to the principles upon 
which it intended to act. All subsequent proclamations and 
formal statements were merely amplifications of these instruc- 
tions.'' Reduced to the lowest terms, their import was embodied 
in the famous phrase, the Philippines for the Filipinos, under a 
government based on American as distinguished from Spanish 

The Taft Commission was charged with the duty of organiz- 
ing such a government, and this it did under the direction of Sec- 

^ See Schurman, Filipino Affairs, p. 4; Elliott, The Philippines: To the 
End of the Military Regime, p. 450. 

^ See Elliott, The Philippines: To the End of the Military Regime, Chap. 
XVIII, pp. 497-503. 


retary Root as the representative of the president. The gradual 
establishment of local governments, the vesting of legislative 
power in the commission, the elimination of military government, 
the institution of a central civil government, the large participa- 
tion of the Filipinos in the work of the departments, and the 
final creation of the assembly, have already been described. 
Every act of the administration accentuated the idea that the 
government existed primarily for the benefit of the natives and 
but incidentally for Americans. The United States asked no 
compensation for its services; it collected no taxes for its own 

The country was made one great school, — a political and in- 
dustrial laboratory, — for the education of a backward and unde- 
veloped people who by participation in the government were to 
be trained to govern themselves. Of course it was expected that 
the contemplated development of the material resources of the 
islands would prove financially advantageous to Americans as 
well as Filipinos, but it was made perfectly clear from the begin- 
ning that in commercial and industrial as well as political matters, 
the first consideration was the welfare of the natives. Extreme 
personal consideration was shown the Filipinos as individuals and 
they were made as conspicuous as possible in the local adminis- 
tration. There was no place in the new scheme of things for 
either the American exploiter or the advocate of immediate in- 
dependence. Naturally, therefore, neither the radical Americans 
nor Filipinos were satisfied with the policy : the former, because 
it restricted their business operations; and the latter, because it 
postponed indefinitely the day of their freedom from American 
control, and deprived the present generation of the offices, dig- 
nities and emoluments which would be theirs under an independ- 
ent state. 

The complete success of this policy meant the final elimination 
of America from the situation. President McKinley, Secretary 
Root, and Mr. Taft, as civil governor, secretary of war, and presi- 
dent, were perfectly frank in announcing a policy of which this 
seemed to be the logical result. During the whole of the Taft 


regime, which extended from the institution of civil government 
in 1901 to the inauguration of President Wilson in 1913, it was 
constantly being restated.^ Its essence was the maintenance of 
law and order, the reasonable conservation of the public resources, 
the material and economic development of the country, the educa- 
tion of the whole people and their training for self-government. 
It denied their present preparation for independence or even for 
complete internal self-government, but granted an ever-increasing 
participation in every part of the work of the government. It 
implied complete self-government and, ultimately, independence 
should the people, when educated sufficiently to enable them to 
form an intelligent opinion, desire it.'' In the words of Mr, Root, 
its purpose was to "set the people on the path of ordered liberty 
and competency for self-government." 

In his Autobiography, Colonel Roosevelt, speaking of the 
policy of his administration, says :^° 

"As regards the Philippines, my belief was that we should 
train them for self-government as rapidly as possible, and then 
leave them free to decide their own fate. I did not believe in 
setting the time limit within which we would give them inde- 
pendence, because I did not believe it wise to try to forecast how 
soon they would be fit for self-government, and once having 

8 Governor-General Harrison in his inaugural address merely restated the 
policy of his predecessors, and added thereto the reference to early inde- 
pendence. That part only of the address was new. 

9 For the difference between this and the colonial policy of other coun- 
tries, see Elliott, The Philippines: To the End of the Military Regime, Intro- 

The object of France in Morocco as stated by General Lyautey is "To 
bring to the country the maximum of progress, of security, of social and eco- 
nomic development; to make of Morocco in every way a great state with 
modern equipment, by utilizing the wonderful resources of her people, who 
are intelligent, laborious and open to all practical innovations ; but, on the 
other hand, to allow the country to develop according to its own genius, scru- 
pulously respecting its customs, its law, its traditions, its religion, and leav- 
ing intact the great ancestral influences which have spontaneously come to the 
assistance of the French, maintaining positions that have been won in the 
social hierarchy ; in a word, leaving men and things in their places and care- 
fully abstaining from dividing against itself the house of Moroccan society, 
which has hitherto rested on firm foundations." North Am. Rev., February, 

It will be noted that there is no place in this program for political edu- 

10 P. 543. 


made the promise I would have felt that it was imperative to 
keep it." 

This policy, of course, denied the right of the small group of 
Filipinos who had previously dominated and exploited the com- 
mon people, or the young men who had assumed control of the 
anti- American movement, to speak for the entire people on the 
question of independence. It meant the continuance of American 
control for an indefinite time, but with constantly increasing FiH- 
pino participation in the government. 

"We accepted the Philippines," said President McKinley, 
"from high duty in the interest of their inhabitants and for 
humanity and civilization. Our sacrifices were with this high 
motive. We want to improve the condition of the inhabitants, 
securing them peace, liberty, and the pursuit of their highest 

"The Philippines are ours, not to exploit, but to develop, to 
civilize, to educate, to train in the science of self-government. 
This is the path of duty which we must follow or be recreant to 
a mighty trust committed to us." 

After this general policy had been declared somewhat in detail 
in the Instructions to the commission, the president informed the 
Congress that, "We shall continue as we have begun, to open the 
schools and the churches, to set the courts in operation, to foster 
trade and agriculture, and in every way in our power to make 
these people whom Providence has brought within our jurisdic- 
tion feel that it is their liberty and not our power, their welfare 
and not our gain, we are seeking to enhance." 

An address made by Governor Taft in Manila in December, 
1903, not only emphasized the policy of the administration but 
throws such a flood of light on the situation as to justify ex- 
tensive quotation. 

"From the beginning to the end of the state papers which were 
circulated in these islands as authoritative expressions of the ex- 
ecutive, the motto that *The Philippines are for the Filipinos' and 
that the Government of the United States is here for the purpose 


of preserving the 'Philippines for the Fihpinos' for their benefit, 
for their elevation, for their civilization, again and again and 
again appear. . . . 

"Some of our young lions of the local press have spoken of the 
'childish slogan,' 'The Philippines for the Filipinos.' It is unnec- 
essary to comment on the adjective used, but it is sufficient to say 
that, whether childish or not, the principle makes up the web and 
the woof of the policy of the United States with respect to these 
islands as it has been authoritatively declared by two Presidents 
of the United States — for President Roosevelt has followed sedu- 
lously the policy of President McKinley — and by the interpreta- 
tion of the supreme popular will, the Congress of the United 

"The doctrine as interpreted in the light of these authoritative 
declarations assumes that the Filipino people are of future cor- 
pacity but not of present fitness for self-government, and that 
they may be taught by the gradual extension of self-government 
to exercise the conservative self-restraints without which popular 
government is impossible. . . . 

"The doctrine does not include, necessarily, the independence 
of the Filipino, nor any particular degree of autonomy. It is en- 
tirely consistent with the principle to object to an immediate ex- 
tension of popular government on the ground that we are going 
too fast for the political digestion of the people, and that it is 
not, therefore, for their good. Whether an autonomy or inde- 
pendence or quasi independence shall ultimately follow in these 
islands ought to depend solely on the question. Is it best for the 
Filipino people and their welfare f . 

"I think I have demonstrated by what I have quoted and the 
instances I have cited that the doctrine 'The Philippines for the 
Filipinos' is one which the honor of the United States requires 
it to enforce throughout these islands. Not only was it promised 
to the Filipinos when the Americans came, after they had been 
here, during the insurrection, and at its close, but I do not think 
it too much to say that the reiteration of the promises as shown 
in legislation carrying out these principles had much to do with 
bringing about the present tranquillity in these islands. . . . 
There are many Americans in these islands, possibly a majority, 
and this includes all the American press, who are strongly op- 
posed to the doctrine of 'The Philippines for the Filipinos.' They 


have no patience with the poHcy of attraction, no patience with 
attempts to conciliate the Filipino people, no patience with the 
introduction into the government as rapidly as their fitness justi- 
fies of the prominent Filipinos. They resent everything in the 
government that is not American. They insist that there is a 
necessity for a firm government here rather than a popular one, 
and that the welfare of Americans and American trade should be 
regarded as paramount. It is possible to trace the history of the 
formation of these views. . . . With the lack of logic, so 
characteristic of human nature, the merchant who finds hard 
times coming on, the business man whose profits are not so great, 
looks about for a scapegoat and an explanation, and he finds it in 
the wicked civil government which has been encouraging the 
natives as far as it could ; has been taking the native into the gov- 
ernment as far as he seemed fitted ; is doing what it can to elevate 
the Filipino people and provide for their welfare, and has not 
taken the American merchant under its especial wing." 

In his message of December 6, 1904, President Roosevelt said : 

"We are endeavoring to develop the natives themselves so that 
they shall take an ever-increasing share in their own government, 
and as far as is prudent we are already admitting their represent- 
atives to a governmental equality with our own. ... If they 
show that they are capable of electing a legislature which in its 
turn is capable of taking a sane and efficient part in the actual 
work of government, they can rest assured that a full and increas- 
ing measure of recognition will he given them." 

Again, in 1906, in contemplation of the institution of the as- 
sembly, the president said : 

"We are constantly increasing the measure of liberty accorded 
the islanders, and next spring, if conditions warrant, we shall 
take a great stride forward in testing their capacity for self-gov- 
ernment by summoning the first Filipino legislative assembly; 
and the way in which they stand this test will largely determine 
whether the self-government thus granted will be increased or 
decreased; for if we have erred at all in the Philippines it has 
been in proceeding too rapidly in the direction of granting a large 
measure of self-government." 


In 1908 President Roosevelt said: 

"The Filipino people, through their officials, are therefore mak- 
ing real steps in the direction of self-government. I hope and 
believe that these steps mark the beginning of a course which 
will continue till the Filipinos become fit to decide for themselves 
whether they desire to be an independent nation. ... I trust 
that within a generation the time will arrive when the Filipinos 
can decide for themselves whether it is well for them to become 
independent or to continue imder the protection of a strong and 
disinterested power able to guarantee to the islands order at home 
and protection from foreign invasion." 

Mr. Taft, while secretary of war, said : 

"When they have learned the principles of successful popular 
self-government from a gradually enlarged experience therein, 
we can discuss the question whether independence is what they 
desire ... or whether they prefer the retention of a closer 
association with the country which, by its guidance, has unself- 
ishly led them on to better conditions." 

In his address at the opening of the Philippine Legislature, in 
1907, Secretary Taft said : 

"The avowed policy of the National Administration under 
these two presidents has been, and is, to govern the islands, hav- 
ing regard to the interest and welfare of the Filipino people, 
and by the spread of primary, general and industrial education 
and by practise in partial political control to fit the people them- 
selves to maintain a stable and well-ordered government afford- 
ing equality of right and opportunity to all citizens. The policy 
looks to the improvement of the people both industrially and in 
self-governing capacity. As this policy of extending control con- 
tinues, it must logically reduce and finally end the sovereignty 
of the United States in the islands, unless it shall seem wise to 
the American and the Filipino peoples, on account of mutually 
beneficial trade relations and possible advantages to the islands 
in their foreign relations, that the bond shall not be completely 


And in his special report to President Roosevelt, on his return 
from his last visit to the islands, Secretary Taf t said : 

"The conditions in the islands to-day vindicate and justify 
that policy. It necessarily involves in its ultimate conclusion, 
as the steps forward become greater and greater, the ultimate 
independence of the islands : although, of course, if both the 
United States and the islands were to conclude, after complete 
self-government were possible, that it would be mutually bene- 
ficial to continue a governmental relation between them like that 
between England and Australia, there would be nothing incon- 
sistent with the present policy in such a result. ... If the 
American Government can only remain in the islands long enough 
to educate the entire people, to give them a language which en- 
ables them to come in contact with modem civilization, and to 
extend to them from time to time additional political rights, so 
that by the exercise of them they shall learn the use and respon- 
sibilities necessary to their proper exercise, independence can be 
granted with entire safety to the people."^^ 

Many additional quotations of the same general tenor might 
be made from the messages, speeches and writings of the men 
who formulated and were engaged in executing the Philippine 
policy of the American govemment.^^ As Secretary Garrison 
says, "Perhaps it was very unwise to have said it," but it was 
said too frequently to leave any doubt as to the intentions of the 
executive department of the government. 

When Congress enacted the Civil Government Law of July 1, 
1902, it expressly approved the policy outlined in the Instructions 
to the commission and all that had been done thereunder. 

President Wilson adopted the general policy of his predecessor, 
but applied very different administrative methods. His adminis- 

11 These and many other statements were collected by Secretary of War 
Garrison for the purpose of proving that the Jones Bill was merely another 
step along the road laid out by his predecessors. See Hearings, Senate Com- 
mittee, 1915, p. 633. See also Mr. Taft's Statement and extracts from his 
speeches, Ibid., pp. 363, 420. 

12 For other statements of the policy, see Root, Military and Colonial 
Policy of the United States, pp. 27, 98; Olcott, Life of William McKinley, 
II, pp. 96, 166-172, 193; Thayer, Life of John Hay, II, pp. 198, 199; Roose- 
velt, Autobiography, pp. 543-546; Elliott, The Philippines: To the End of 
the Military Regime, pp. 53-60, 486-503. 


tration assumed to be even more altruistic than those of his prede- 
cessors, and it certainly moved more rapidly along the particular 
route surveyed by Osmena and Quezon. It was down grade and 
the administration apparently removed the brakes, stood to one 
side, and trusted Providence and the Filipinos to prevent a crash. 

The Taft administration succeeded admirably in everything 
but controlling the local political agitation/^ Why did it lose 
control of the Filipinos? The critics of the policy included those 
who favored immediate withdrawal from the islands, those who 
urged a declaration that the occupation was permanent, those 
who urged the immediate grant of greater and additional powers 
to the Filipinos, and those who believed that important powers 
had been granted prematurely before the qualifications as well 
as the disposition of the people toward the United States had 
been demonstrated. During recent years the first two groups 
were negligible, the third in political opposition, and the fourth, 
although in sympathy with the general policy, did not approve 
of the methods employed for making it effective. 

The great majority of the Americans in the service of the 
Philippine government believed that the political phase of the 
situation was permitted to be made too prominent, and that there 
was serious danger that it would force the premature withdrawal 
of American control. 

It must not be forgotten that the McKinley administration 
adopted the most difficult of all possible courses then open to it. 
The grant of either more or less power to the Filipinos would 
have made the work of the administration less difficult. Abso- 
lute American control would have been comparatively easy. The 
grant of full political control under American protection would 
have presented fewer intricate problems. But neither course 
would have produced the results which President McKinley and 
his advisers sought. The addition of political training to the 
ordinary colonial educational curriculum added enormously to 
the difficulties of administration. It was easy enough to announce 
an enlightened and altruistic program, but it required the highest 

13 Of course the opposition claimed that any control was wrong. 


political skill to control a situation which must be constantly- 
changing while held in solution for a period long enough to se- 
cure the desired results. 

To grant just so much political power and influence to an am- 
bitious and eager group of people and request them to wait and 
see whether its exercise agreed with them, resembled permitting 
a hungry boy to take one bite of a piece of gingerbread and 
telling him to preserve the rest of it with all its fragrance about 
him until the doctor could ascertain whether his digestive ap- 
paratus was working properly. We would expect the boy to be 
restless during the period of waiting and to try and convince 
the doctor of the folly of delay. He would probably be willing 
to take the chances of indigestion. 

The Taft policy was based on the assumption that it would 
require from one to two generations to prepare the Filipinos to 
operate successfully a popular government such as had been out- 
lined for them. Therefore, as time was an essential element of 
the problem, the administration could not afford to have its hand 
forced. If the work was not to be finished it had better never 
have been begun on such broad lines. It was absolutely neces- 
sary, in addition to giving the Filipinos a good government, to 
keep them satisfied ivith the conditions during the time required 
for their education and training. That, apparently, we failed 
to do. 

The loss of control over the political conduct of the Filipinos 
and the consequent shortening of the period necessary for proper 
preparation for self-government was due to some extent to the 
attitude of the administration and the higher American officials 
toward the Filipinos as individuals and to the premature grant 
to them of an equal share in legislation. 

Assuming that several decades were necessary for the policy 
to ripen and produce the expected fruits, no one should have been 
left in doubt as to who was in control in the meantime. The 
Filipinos were not Americans; they were not even Anglo-Saxons. 
Those most familiar with the Malays say that, while they are 
extremely persistent, they accept an ultimatum with perfect good 


humor from one who has power to enforce it. Uncertainty 
they construe in their own way. It was this characteristic which 
Sir Frank Swettenham had in mind when he prophesied that 
there would be no trouble in the PhiHppines "if the controlhng 
power made it clear from the start that it meant to control, and 
not only to advise and educate."^* 

I am afraid we proceeded on the assumption that in the dark 
there is no difference between a Filipino and a Yankee, and that 
in our desire to impress the natives with our friendship and the 
altruistic side of our work we permitted them to overlook the 
fact that our functions were much more than advisory. 

Undoubtedly the attitude of the higher American officials to- 
ward the Filipinos was such as to cultivate unduly their self- 
esteem and generate premature ambitions. Exaggerated defer- 
ence, much of it palpably insincere, was shown the Filipino 
leaders. Every effort possible was made to secure their good 
will and cooperation, and this of course was good policy as well 
as the manifestation of proper feeling. The evil lay in the fact 
that it was so often grossly overdone. The Filipinos were con- 
stantly flattered and jollied and there was a trifle too much of 
the glad hand. When they did good work they were commended 
in exaggerated terms; when the work was not good the much 
needed corrective criticism was too often omitted. The results 
of Filipino work under American direction were heralded as 
evidences of their capacity and qualifications, and due allowance 
was seldom made for the assistance they had received from 
their American mentors. 

The Filipinos took this sort of commendation very seriously. 
Teachers tell us that Filipino pupils seem unable to measure 
properly the language of praise and commendation. When a 
bright boy is informed that his essay is first-class he is liable to 
assume that it is the equal of the work of the great masters of 
literature because he knows that even Shakespeare could not pro- 
duce anything entitled to rank higher than first-class. Words 

1* Sir Frank Swettenham to Consul-General Pratt, 1898, Sen. Doc. 62, 55th 
Cong, 3rd Sess, Pt. I, p. 493. 


of praise are accepted in their literal sense, but criticism is often 
resented or ignored as coming from those unable to appreciate 
the qualities of their race. 

Governor Taft announced that no one could hold office in 
the Philippines who did not accept the doctrine of the Philip- 
pines for the Filipinos, and subordinate officials and employees 
soon learned that unless they worked harmoniously with the Fili- 
pinos they were liable to find themselves separated from the serv- 
ice. To the natural desire to be courteous to a courteous people 
was thus added the promptings of self-interest, and probably no 
people were ever so "by flatterers besieged." 

Occasionally, however, the matter was so overdone that it was 
resented. Legarda, who, as a firm friend of the Americans, 
was always treated with great consideration, while one of the 
resident commissioners at Washington, wrote a confidential let- 
ter to a Filipino friend in Manila in which he referred to enjoy- 
ing "the obsequious attentions of Mr. Forbes."^^ The friendly 
intentions of the governor had been misconstrued. The incident 
is instructive. It is certain that there was a good deal of this 
feeling among the more intelligent Filipinos and that a little more 
firmness and straightforwardness when dealing with individuals 
would have increased the prestige and hence the influence of the 
American officials. 

The phrase, the Philippines for the Filipinos, was thus per- 
verted from its proper meaning and made to imply the denial to 
Americans of any rightful place in the islands. This had gone so 
far that Governor-General Wright's declaration of a policy of 
equal rights and opportunities for both Filipinos and Americans 
created something of a storm. 

From the accession of Governor-General Smith until the close 
of the Forbes administration the strength of the Nationalist party 
grew steadily, with a corresponding decrease in the feeling of 
loyalty toward America.^® The transfer of Wright to Japan 

15 Manila Times, April 22, 1911. 

16 The apparent enthusiasm for President Wilson and his representative 
was due entirely to belief in their willingness to accede to all Filipino de- 


was understood to be a concession to the demands of the Fili- 
pinos. It is possible that the mishandling of the Batangas sit- 
uation and particularly the ill-advised arrest and unsuccessful 
prosecution of a member of a prominent mestizo family (for 
which Wright was not personally responsible) made his Retire- 
ment advisable. But if so he should, if possible, have been suc- 
ceeded by a man of similar caliber. It was a time in the history 
of the American administration when it was necessary to make 
very clear the intention either to govern the country or retire 
and let the Filipinos manage what they assumed to be their own 

The situation required the firm hand of a man whose capacity 
and power, as well as sense of justice, were recognized by the 
Filipinos. It is much to be regretted that the administration 
did not see its way clear to detail Leonard Wood from the army 
and make him governor-general in succession to Wright. It 
could not have been construed as a return to military govern- 
ment. General Wood was a student of colonial affairs, familiar 
with the theories and methods of other colonial powers, and ex- 
perienced in administrative work. He understood and appreci- 
ated the nature of the work that the American government was 
trying to do and the place of the experiment in the history of 
tropical colonization. His career in Cuba had demonstrated his 
energy and skill as an administrator, and the prestige of his 
military rank and reputation would have added greatly to his 
ability to accomplish things in the Philippines. 

But the position of chief executive seems to have been almost 
forced upon the secretary of public instruction on the theory, 
evidently, that he would be able, by good nature and compromise, 
to prevent the crew from taking possession of the ship. It was 
during his administration that the systematic development of the 
natural resources of the country was seriously commenced, but 
from the day of his inauguration until his departure Governor- 
General Smith seems to have been concerned chiefly with the 
task of getting his resignation accepted and retiring before some- 
thing happened. 


Smith's successor strengthened the government on one side, 
but was unable to check the movement which was so dangerous 
to the success of the administration poHcy. Forbes was well 
qualified to manage and develop a great estate. He had some 
of the qualities essential for a successful chief executive. He 
understood modem business methods, but knew very little about 
governing a people. His character was a peculiar combination 
of strength and weakness. He was energetic and resourceful 
in devising plans for the development of the country. With 
arbitrary power, unlimited money and the requisite time at com- 
mand, he would have made a magnificent estate out of the Phil- 
ippines. But he did not have the special qualifications required 
for the successful administration of the government of the Phil- 
ippines at the time when it was absolutely essential to gain the 
good will and support of the native people. The policy of ma- 
terial development which he made so prominent was fairly well 
supported by the natives, but the approval of the leading poli- 
ticians was reluctantly given. They, with good cause, feared 
its influence on the independence propaganda in which they were 
primarily interested. Forbes had been widely advertised as a 
man familiar with large business enterprises, and the Filipinos 
were disposed to regard him as the advance agent of the awful 
American trusts which the anti-Imperialists said were seeking 
to devour them and their heritage. The idea was carefully cul- 
tivated that his administration was extravagant, that the public 
money was being wasted, and color of truth was given the charge 
by the unfortunate financial difiiculties in which the administra- 
tion became involved. As a result, projects which required large 
expenditure of money were often looked on with suspicion, and 
an infinite amount of explanation and persuasion was required 
to secure the approval thereof by the assembly. 

The Nationalists now had their campaign for independence 
well under way and opposition to whatever the governor-general 
desired, regardless of merit, seemed to be a part of their party 

Thus, while the administration was busy with projects which 



required at least a generation to produce tangible results, the 
Filipino politicians were undermining the whole American po- 
sition. They criticized and abused the administration, while the 
governor-general cajoled, flattered and dickered with the leaders 
and strove to win the approval of the people by a show of great 
deference toward Osmeiia and the members of the assembly/^ 
It is perfectly certain that by the end of the year 1912 conditions 
were such that it would have been necessary soon either to grant 
further control over the local government to the Filipinos or 
check them quite suddenly. As long as Taft was president there 
would have been no radical changes in the form of government. 
What the result of the check would have been need not be con- 
jectured because the Wilson administration came in and promptly 
put the Filipinos in full nominal control of the government. 

While the administration was engaged in hustling the East, 
Congress furnished the East with an agency through which it 
was enabled to hustle the United States out of the islands. 

There seem to have been two controlling ideas in the minds 
of those who were responsible for creating the assembly. It 
was known that there was much discontent in the country and 
that there would certainly be much political agitation. There 
was to be free speech and a free press and it was thought that 
there should be a vent for the gas, which, if suppressed, might 
blow up the machine. Better have open than secret discussions 
of dangerous topics. 

^'' An aide was said to have been severely reprimanded for asking Speaker 
Osmena to call at the governor-general's office instead of informing him that 
the governor-general would call at the speaker's room. The situation at that 
time suggests the days of Sir Elden Gorst in Egypt. Fyfe (The New Spirit 
of Egypt, p. 184) quotes an Egyptian as saying : "Lord Cromer used to send 
word, 'I shall come at a certain hour.' At that hour all the [Egyptian] secre- 
taries and officials got behind their desks and bent their heads over their 
work, appearing to be very busy. The Khedive would be ready to the minute, 
rather nervous, hoping that all would be well and the visit soon over. Not 
until it was over did the palace breathe freely again. Now, what a difference ! 
Sir Elden Gorst sends to inquire what time the Khedive will be pleased to 
receive him. He enters and finds the officials lounging about, talking and 
laughing. He talks and laughs with them. Then after being kept waiting a 
while, he goes in to the Khedive, who assumes an air of condescension. 
When he leaves the palace rubs its hands and chuckles, gleefully, contrasting 
the present with the past." This, says Fyfe, "is a humorous, exaggerated 
way of stating the case, but it is based on reality." 


The other was that in no other way could the people be so 
rapidly trained in the art of self-government as by active par- 
ticipation through their elective representatives in the principal 
law-making body. This was sound doctrine if the time had ar- 
rived for that particular sort of training. In fact, however, 
there was no necessity for training a class of men such as those 
who would compose the membership of the assembly. It was the 
mass of the common people who required training and the place 
to train them was in the subordinate governments — the provinces 
and municipalities. The question was whether, as conditions were 
at that time, the assembly would or would not aid in the work 
of preparing the people for self-government. The Filipinos al- 
ready had full representation in the legislative body, the commis- 
sion, in the Supreme Court and in the departments and bureaus, 
and it was immaterial for the time being whether they were 
elected or appointed. From the point of view of the Filipinos 
the assembly has conclusively demonstrated the qualifications of 
the people for self-government. Its work has been extravagantly 
praised in order to justify its existence and lay a foundation 
for the demand for an elective Senate. After giving the assem- 
bly credit for much good work, it is questionable at least whether 
it would not have been better for the country to have postponed 
its creation for at least another decade. There was nothing in 
the history of such legislative bodies to suggest that the balanced 
situation thereby created could be maintained for the necessary 
period. It certainly invited and encouraged the demand for im- 
mediate independence. And, as Sir George Cornwall Lewis 

"Unless the dominant country should be prepared to concede 
virtual independence, it ought carefully to avoid encouraging the 
people of the dependency to advance pretentions which nothing 
short of independence can satisfy. If a dominant country grants 
to a dependency popular institutions and professes to allow it to 
exercise self-government, without being prepared to treat it as 
virtually independent, the dominant country by such conduct only 
mocks its dependency with the semblance of political institutions 



without their reaHty. It is no genuine concession to grant to 
a dependency the names and forms and machinery of popular 
institutions unless the dominant country will permit these insti- 
tutions to bear the meaning which they possess in an independent 
community ; nor do such apparent concessions produce any bene- 
fit to the dependency, but, on the contrary, they sow the seeds 
of political dissensions, and perhaps of insurrection and wars 
which would not otherwise arise."^^ 

Having deliberately created such conditions, it was incumbent 
on the administration to handle it with great care and delicacy. 

Although the frequent changes in the higher personnel of the 
government introduced the personal equation into local affairs 
to an undesirable extent, they had little effect upon the general 
policy of the administration/^ Some of the changes were detri- 
mental to the service being brought about, it is feared, by un- 
worthy intrigues due to the personal jealousies and antagonisms 
which seem always to develop under such circumstances. Un- 
fortunately neither the governor-general nor the members of the 
commission were appointed for definite terms and all were sub- 

^^ The Government of Dependencies, Lucas' Ed., p. 307. 

19 When in 1904 Mr. Taf t was called to Washington to become secretary 
of war in the cabinet of President Roosevelt, he was succeeded as civil gov- 
ernor by Luke E. Wright, who had been commissioner and secretary of com- 
merce and police since the organization of that department. After two years' 
service as governor-general Wright was replaced by Henry C. Ide, then com- 
missioner and secretary of finance and justice, who was permitted to serve 
as chief executive for about six months. Dean C. Worcester, who had been 
a member of the Schurman Commission also, and secretary of the interior, 
was passed over and the governor-generalship given to James F. Smith, who 
had been successively a brigadier-general of volunteer, collector of customs, 
justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, commissioner, and secretary 
of public instruction. Smith served as governor-general until October, 1909, 
when at his urgent request he was permitted to resign. These men each 
served as chief executive on an average of less than two years. Smith's suc- 
cessor, W. Cameron Forbes, had been a member of the commission and sec- 
retary of commerce and police. Forbes remained in office until after the 
inauguration of President Wilson, when he was replaced by Francis Burton 
Harrison, of New York, who is now in office. 

Changes in the membership of the commission were also numerous dur- 
ing this period. When Wright became governor-general he was succeeded 
as commissioner and secretary by Forbes. Ide was succeeded as commis- 
sioner by Smith, who made way for W. Morgan Shuster, who had served as 
collector of customs. Forbes was succeeded as commissioner and secretary 
of commerce and police by Charles B. Elliott, who was transferred from the 
Supreme Court, and Shuster by Newton W. Gilbert, who was acting gov- 
ernor-general for nearly a year before Forbes retired. See Appendix H. 


ject to removal without notice or cause at the will of the presi- 
dent. Such a situation was a standing invitation to the ever 
present disaffected element to organize opposition and to carry- 
unfounded stories to Washington. After the departure of Taft 
the Filipinos proceeded on the theory that the removal of a gov- 
ernor-general could be brought about by making the president 
believe that he was no longer persona grata to them and that 
therefore his usefulness had been destroyed. In my judgment 
Wright was by far the best of Taft's successors, but it was com- 
monly understood that his transfer to the embassy at Tokio was 
induced by Filipino opposition. Governor-General Ide was also 
a very efficient man, but for reasons which have never been made 
clear he was required to resign at the end of six months, al- 
though his services had apparently been satisfactory to all ele- 
ments of the community. Smith never desired to be governor- 
general. Forbes had not been in office six months before the 
native papers were vilifying him and a systematic campaign had 
been commenced by the Filipinos to have him removed from 
office which continued until given its quietus by Secretary Dick- 
inson during his visit to the islands in the summer of 1910. All 
this unnecessary friction with its resulting injury to the service 
would have been avoided had the governor-general and commis- 
sioners been given definite terms of office such as the British 
government gives similar officials in India and their dominions 
and colonies. 

America entered upon the work in the Philippines without men 
trained in colonial administration. An effort was made to supply 
the deficiencies in the subordinate officials by establishing what 
became a very efficient civil service. But neither the governor- 
general nor members of the commission were affected by the 
civil service or subject to its restrictions or protection. 

A sincere and successful effort was made to prevent the Phil- 
ippine service from becoming entangled in the politics of the 
home country. The members of the original commission were 
selected by President McKinley without reference to their politi- 
cal affiliations and an absolutely non-partisan policy was pursued 


by President Roosevelt and President Taft. It was the principle 
which Cromwell announced for the government of England. 
"The State in choosing men to serve it takes no notice of their 
opinions; if they be willing faithfully to serve it that satisfies." 
The abandonment of this policy by President Wilson is greatly to 
be regretted. Before March 4, 1913, no person in the Philippine 
government service had been appointed or removed because of his 
party affiliations or party services. Governor-General Wright, 
Governor-General Smith and Commissioner Branagan were Dem- 
ocrats in good standing. Forbes was understood to be a repre- 
sentative of the type who find it very difficult to discover the loca- 
tion of a polling place on election day. Worcester and Moses were 
young college professors without apparent political affiliations. 
Ide was a Vermont Republican. The members of the supreme and 
inferior courts were selected and retained without the slightest 
reference to politics. It is understood that the majority of them 
were Democrats. One member of the Supreme Court promoted 
from a lower court by President Roosevelt on the recommenda- 
tion of Secretary Taft was an enthusiastic follower of Bryan. 
There was a tendency on the part of certain party opponents 
of the administration to deny the genuineness of the democracy 
of these men because they accepted office in the Philippines from 
a Republican administration, a theory of duty which would make 
partisanship a necessary qualification for colonial service. The 
preponderance of Democrats in the subordinate offices was prob- 
ably due to the fact that many young officers of the volunteer 
regiments from the southern states when mustered out elected 
to remain in the islands and enter the service of the Philippine 
government. They were mostly members of the Democratic 
party, but they regarded themselves as non-partisan appointees 
and served the government loyally without reference to their pri- 
vate views or home politics. 

The young men and women who were working in the islands 
came from all walks in life and from every grade of American 
society. The great majority were young college folk who were 
desirous of seeing something of the world while earning a liv- 


ing and getting a start in life. From the first the service attracted 
a number of wealthy young men, graduates of Yale, Harvard 
and similar institutions, who were ambitious to render service 
to the country. The teachers particularly were inspired with the 
altruistic spirit and eager to aid in the educational and political 
missionary work in which the government was engaged. 

Among so many government employees there were, of course, 
some weaklings who were unable to sustain the strain imposed 
by the abnormal conditions and resist the manifold temptations 
to which they were subjected. It was indeed a severe test and the 
wonder is that so few, comparatively, fell away from the paths 
of rectitude and honest living. For a time it was difficult to 
secure suitable persons to fill the many positions and serious mis- 
takes were made in many instances. The government had to use 
the material which was at hand and some of it proved of in- 
ferior quality. The numerous defalcations by the early American 
provincial and municipal treasurers was a sad object-lesson for 
the Filipinos who were being asked to place themselves in tutel- 
age to a superior race. But defaulters were prosecuted and pun- 
ished without mercy. So strict indeed was the government in 
this respect that the idea soon prevailed among the Americans 
that any malicious Filipino could secure the discharge and pun- 
ishment of an American by simply charging him with misconduct. 
As the war-time confusion passed away and better men were ob- 
tained through the operation of the civil service law, the de- 
falcations practically ceased, and during recent years the Amer- 
icans in the service of the Philippine government have maintained 
a standard of duty as high as that prevailing in any service in 
the world. 

While the call of the East is strong and insistent and the life 
and work in the Philippines is interesting, it has its reverse side. 
In fact, the lot of the American men and women who were serv- 
ing their country on the other side of the world has not always 
been an enviable one. The business men particularly found it 
hard and generally unprofitable. The government did not aid 
them as the British, German, Dutch and French colonial govern- 


ments assist those engaged in business in their colonies. With 
the best of good will, government assistance to American busi- 
ness was restricted by the necessity for protecting the natives 
from exploitation. For that purpose the land, mining and cor- 
poration laws were so framed as to make the transaction of busi- 
ness by a man accustomed to American methods difficult and 
generally unprofitable. Not until after Forbes became the chief 
executive was it found possible for the government and the Amer- 
ican and European business element to work in entire harmony. 

In the early days the majority of business men were out of 
sympathy with the policy of the government. As Taft has said, 
"We had to fight the military and we had to fight the business 
men." But the type of business men improved. Men like Charles 
M. Swift, who built the Manila electric street railway and the 
Philippine railway, and Major P. G. Eastwick, who for years 
was the manager of the International Banking Corporation, 
worked loyally with the administration and are entitled to much 
credit for their part in building up the country. 

Governors-general and commissioners could come and go, but 
the ordinary civil servant soon found himself tied to the coun- 
try by chains of circumstance. Although he knew that under 
the policy of the government it was all temporary, he easily con- 
vinced himself that his position at least was permanent; that 
he belonged to the generation which was not to see independence. 
So he purchased a home, and awoke one day to the chilling fact 
that his Filipino understudy was ready to take over his position. 

The difficulty was that the service offered no permanent career 
and there was no provision for the last years of life. For the 
man who had youth, imagination and perspective the life for a 
few years was fascinating, and it grasped some so firmly that 
escape seemed hopeless. Many, after having heard the mysteri- 
ous call of the East, were never able to cast off its spell. To all 
there came a time of uneasy questionings : 

"Has he learnt how thy honors are rated 

Has he cast his accounts in thy school, 
With the sweets of authority sated 

Would he give up his throne to be cool?" 


And then came disillusionment : 

"Thou hast racked him with duns and diseases 

And he lies as thy scorching winds blow, 
Recollecting old England's sea breezes, 

On his back in a lone bungalow ; 
As the slow coming darkness repining. 

How he girds at the sun till it sets, 
As he marks the long shadows declining 

O'er the Land of Regrets."^" 

Then he sent in his resignation and returned to the States 
and soon thereafter was seeking reinstatement. 

During the Taft regime there was a steady but gradual sub- 
stitution of Filipinos for Americans, but it extended upward 
slowly.^^ At its close the majority of the higher offices were 
still filled by Americans, upon whom rested the duty of super- 
vision and control. In writing of the Philippine service I have 

20 Lyall's Verses Written in India. 

21 It was the settled policy to proceed as rapidly as the good of the service 
would permit in increasing the number of FiHpino government employees. For 
several years it was necessary to use Americans in many subordinate positions, 
but these were gradually replaced by Filipinos. After his 1907 visit to the 
islands Secretary Taft wrote that "in many bureaus the progress of Filipinos 
to the most responsible places is necessarily slow and the proportion of them 
to be found in positions of high salaries is not as large as it ought to be in 
the near future. The winnowing out process, however, is steadily reducing 
the American employes in the civil service." 

At that time there were 3,902 Filipinos and 2,616 American employees. 
Three years later there were 4,639 Filipinos and 2,633 Americans. In 1907, 
the average salary of Americans was $1,504.06; and of Filipinos, $419.46. In 
1910 the average American salary was $1,665.29; and Filipino, $463.12. On 
July 1, 1915, there were 1,935 Americans and 7,881 Filipinos in the civil serv- 
ice. The average American salary was then $1,899.50 and the Filipino, 
$499.09. July 1, 1916, there were 1,836 Americans in the classified service, of 
whom 555 were teachers, 213 constabulary officers, 219 patrolmen, firemen 
and prison guards, 112 civil engineers, survej^ors and draftsmen, and 68 scien- 
tific and medical men. Rept. Phil. Com. 1915. 

It was necessary to pay the Americans higher salaries than was paid Fili- 
pinos doing similar work. They were far from home, it cost them much 
more to live, and they were able to do more work. But the averages stated 
ahove are liable to mislead because of high salaries paid a few Americans. 
The Filipinos always protested against the apparent discrimination. Amer- 
ican officials and employees have not been overpaid and they have rendered 
full value for the money paid them out of the Philippine treasury. The 
number of Americans who for various reasons retired from the service dur- 
ing the first year of the Harrison administration was not greater than during 
some earlier years, but it included an unusual number of highly trained and 
■vyell-paid men. 


used the past tense. Recent changes in the laws and methods 
of administration demonstrate that it will soon be a thing of 
the past. It was the removal or forced resignation of men high 
in the service by the Wilson administration that stirred the deep 
waters. Commissioners, heads of departments, and bureau 
chiefs, the men who for years had been responsible for the suc- 
cess of the government, were by various methods forced out of 
the service. Filipinos have been placed at the head of the uni- 
versity, the Philippine General Hospital, the Bureau of Lands, 
the Bureau of Agriculture, and the Executive Bureau. Some of 
the new men were incompetent and all of them were much less 
efficient than their predecessors. 

The directing power was thus transferred to the Filipinos. 
Few Americans of the higher class will serve in subordinate 
offices under Filipino chiefs. Other methods of forcing Amer- 
icans out were occasionally employed. Thus the resignation of 
the experienced and efficient director of the Bureau of Education 
was secured by the appointment of a Filipino, personally ob- 
noxious, as his first assistant. Much general dissatisfaction re- 
sulted and the service has lost its attraction for Americans. They 
no longer have the sense of being engaged in a great and inspir- 
ing enterprise. They feel that they are simply holding temporary 
positions in a foreign country while better jobs are available at 
home. Apparently the life and spirit have gone out of the service. 

The fact is that the Filipinos back of the Harrison administra- 
tion were determined to eliminate the Americans as rapidly as 
possible. They were even willing to pay liberally for voluntary 
resignations and devised an ingenious system of rewards for 
those who were willing to retire. So the legislature passed a law^^ 
which authorized "a gratuity by reason of retirements" to officers 
and employees who had rendered satisfactory services during six 
continuous years or more. Under this law the governor-general 
was authorized to approve the retirements of any officers or em- 
ployees in the civil service except those who were detailed from 
the army and navy or civil service of the United States and 

22 Act No. 2589, February 4, 1916. 


those who were receiving a pension or retirement pay from the 
government of the United States, who had served six years or 
more, who made application therefor before the first day of July, 
1916. All who had served at least ten years would receive three 
annual equal payments of a sum equal to thirty-three and one- 
third per cent, of the salary last received, with proportionate 
amounts for shorter service. 

Vacancies resulting from such retirements — except from the 
positions of a judge, a chief or assistant chief of a bureau, chief 
clerk or chief of division — were not to be filled, the positions 
being considered as abolished, subject to the right of the gov- 
ernor-general under certain conditions to authorize at his dis- 
cretion, in lieu thereof, the revival of such positions as he deemed 
necessary; Vacancies occasioned in the accepted offices other 
than judicial might again be filled, but at salaries equal to two- 
thirds only of that received by the retiring officer. 

Many Americans took advantage of this opportunity to get 
out of a service which was being made untenable for them. As 
the governor-general was not required to grant an application for 
retirement at any particular time, the resignations of nearly all 
the experienced officials were placed in his hands. Even the 
justices of the Supreme Court, who were appointed by the pres- 
ident with the approval of the Senate and were independent of 
the governor-general, who accepted the offer thereafter held their 
commissions subject to his will. Under such conditions there 
could, of course, be no such thing as an independent judiciary. 
During the time Forbes was governor-general an action was 
brought against him personally by certain Chinese to recover 
large damages for what they claimed to have been illegal de- 
portations, and he was forced to come into the court as a litigant 
defendant. Should similar conditions arise at present, the gov- 
ernor might appear in court with the resignations of the justices 
in his pocket which he might accept at his discretion. Such a 
situation requires no comment. 

Only those who have worked with the Americans in the service 
of the Philippine government can appreciate the extent to which 



they have been inspired by unselfish motives. They were a picked 
body of men and women — in character, high ideals and efficiency 
far above the personnel of any of our state governments. After 
making all proper allowances for occasional individual deficien- 
cies and weaknesses, it remains literally true, as said by Roose- 
velt,'^ that : 

"No higher grade of public officials ever handled the affairs 
of any colony than the public officials who in succession governed 
the Philippines, with the possible exception of the Sudan, and 
not even excepting Algiers. I know of no country ruled and 
administered by men of the white race where that rule and that 
administration has been exercised so emphatically with an eye 
singly to the welfare of the natives themselves." 

23 Autobiography, p. 544. 


The Independence Movement and the 
Reorganized Government 

Early Ideas of Independence — New Conceptions — Attitude of American Gov- 
ernment Toward Independence — First Filipino Political Party — The Rad- 
icals and the New Men — Revival of Sentiment — New Political Parties — 
Growth of Anti-American Sentiment — The Assembly — Leadership of Osmena 
and Quezon — The Propaganda in the United States — Mr. Jones and His Bills 
— The Wilson Administration — Governor-General Harrison and His Policy — 
Defeat of Clarke Amendment — Passage of Jones Bill — Provisions of the 
Law — Organizing the New Government — The Future of the Independence 

It is said that once upon a time Thackeray, meeting John 
Bright in Pall Mall, took off his hat with an uncommon flourish. 
"Well, what is the matter?" said Bright. "I always feel inclined 
to take off my hat to you and Cobden," replied Thackeray. "You 
know just what you want and ask for it. So few of these fel- 
lows know what they do want." 

The instinct is strong to repeat the flourish and take off the hat 
to Manuel L. Quezon and Sergio Osmena: they are men who 
know exactly what they want and ask for it. They almost suc- 
ceeded in convincing the Congress of the United States that there 
is a homogeneous Filipino people, competent to operate an inde- 
pendent state with a popular form of government. They did 
secure legislation establishing a government which is almost as 
autonomous as that of Canada. It was under the circumstances 
a rather remarkable thing to accomplish. 

In 1899 there were at least seven million people in the Philip- 
pines, of whom about eight hundred thousand were non-Chris- 
tians. If the assertions of the present native leaders are true, 
either their predecessors greatly underestimated the number of 
educated men in the islands at the time of the American occupa- 
tion or progress during the Taft regime was marvelous indeed. 



Filipe Calderon, the distinguished FiHpino lawyer and poHtician, 
who in 1899 reported a constitution to the Malolos Congress, gave 
as one reason for providing for a one-house legislature the fact 
that there might not be enough qualified men in the islands for 
a legislative body with two chambers/ 

About five years thereafter a representative Filipino who ap- 
peared before the secretary of war and his congressional party 
expressed the opinion that the islands were ready for independence 
because there were enough qualified natives to supply two com- 
plete sets — relays — of ofiice holders, and that, he believed, was 
all any country required. 

On August 28, 1905, a committee composed of leading Fili- 
pinos, some of whom are still active in Nationalist politics, pre- 
sented a petition to the secretary of war which demonstrated that 
educated Filipinos who assumed to speak for their countrymen 
had no proper conception of the meaning of popular government. 
This interesting document contained the following :^ 

"In spite of the unquestionable political capacity of the Fili- 
pino people, the result of their present degree of culture and civil- 
ization, that they are in a condition for self-government is denied 
in varying degrees and forms, though precisely the contrary is 
demonstrated by facts, experiences and considerations, among 
which the following deserve mention : 

"First. It is an irrefutable fact that the Filipino people are 
governable; the period of Spanish dominion and of the present 
American sovereignty bear out this assertion. The political con- 
dition of a country principally depends upon the degree of gov- 
ernableness of its people; the more governable the popular classes 
are the better the political condition of the country. 

"When a people such as the Filipinos give signal evidence of 
their capacity to obey during a period of over three hundred 
years, free from disturbance or deep political commotions, it must 
be granted, considering that all things tend to progress, that they 

1 "Filipe G. Calderon and the Malolos Constitution," by Jorge Bocobo, in 
The Filipino People for Sept., 1914. 

2 The petition was signed by Dr. Simeon A. Villa, Baldomero Aguinaldo, 
Dr. Justo Lukban, Dr. Jose de la Vina, M. Cuyugan. G. Apacible, Vicente 
Illustre, Miguel Saragosa, Alberto Barretto, Pablo Ocampo, Antonio E. Esca- 
milla, Enrique Mendiola, Vicente Lukban, and some twenty-five others. See 
Mr. Taft's statement to the Senate Committee. Hearings, etc. (1915), p. 369. 


possess the art of government; all the more so because, among 
other powers, they possess that of assimilation in a marked de- 
gree, an assimilativeness which distinguishes them from other 
people of the Far East. 

"Second. If the masses of the people are governable, a part 
must necessarily be denominated the directing class, for as in the 
march of progress, moral or material, nations do not advance 
at the same rate, some going forward while others fall behind, 
so it is with the inhabitants of a country, as observation will 

"Third. // the Philippine Archipelago has a popular govern- 
able m^iss called upon to obey and a directing class charged with 
the duty of governing, it is in a condition to govern itself. 

"These factors, not counting incidental ones, are the only two 
by which to determine the political capacity of a country — an 
entity that knows how to govern, the directing class, and an 
entity that knows how to obey, the popular masses." 

Since that time Filipinos with more modem ideas of govern- 
ment have become prominent. Mr. Manuel L. Quezon, for in- 
stance, has spent nearly ten years in the American Congress and 
probably now has as clear a conception of the American system 
of government as the average member of that body. The local 
leaders who have not had his opportunities for observation are 
without his mental outlook, but they have developed greatly since 
the time of the presentation of the above petition. It is fair to 
say that most of the men who are at present prominent in Fili- 
pino politics desire to establish a government of a truly repre- 
sentative character. Whether they have the capacity to do so 
and the material is at hand, that is, whether enough of the people 
are sufficiently trained to enable them intelligently to participate 
in the work of popular government, is another and very serious 

The leaders of the insurrection against Spain and the United 
States talked much of independence, but only the most impractical 
had any serious expectation of realizing it at that time. Aguin- 
aldo and his associates knew that if the United States withdrew 
from the islands at the close of the war, Spain, free from the bur- 


den of Cuba, would easily crush the Filipinos. The faint hope at 
first entertained that the United States would make the abandon- 
ment of the Philippines a condition of peace soon faded away and 
thereafter what Aguinaldo really desired was what the Cubans 
secured — a qimsi independent government under American pro- 
tection. After the ratification of the treaty of peace, the United 
States never seriously thought of immediately setting up an inde- 
pendent Filipino state. The islands had been acquired by the 
United States by formal cession from Spain, and she was dealing 
with her own subjects. Their future status was, under the terms 
of the treaty, to be determined by Congress. For a time at least 
they were to remain under the American flag. But the germ of 
the independence idea was not destroyed, it was merely buried in 
fruitful soil, to be nourished by a liberal policy. The attempt to 
train the people for self-government on the lines laid down by 
President McKinley in his Instructions and Secretary Root in 
his reports as secretary of war, implied belief in their natural 
capacity for development to a point where they could govern 
themselves. It was assumed that their present inability was 
due not to inherent racial incapacity for popular government, but 
to the lack of education and experience.^ The republic which the 
insurgents attempted to establish under the Malolos constitution 
was Spanish and South American in spirit and substance. Its 
framers copied their constitution not from the United States, but 
from continental Europe or South America. Under it the 
"popular masses" certainly would have constituted "an entity 
that knows how to obey." The government which President 
McKinley and Secretary Root framed for them rested on prin- 
ciples of an entirely different character. The Filipinos had not 
been trained to run that sort of government. 

There were in the islands a few Filipinos, almost without ex- 
ception Spanish or Chinese mestizos, who were reasonably com- 
petent to fill any office and perform the duties thereof according 

3 See Reports of the Secretary of War, 1899, p. 24, 1900, p. 22 ; Root, Mili- 
tary and Colonial Policy of the United States, pp. 161, 239. Elliott, The Phil- 
ippines: To the End of the Military Regime, pp. 497-504. 


to the conceptioiis of government with which they were familiar, 
but when compared with the total number of inhabitants they 
were pitiably few. As we have seen, Sefior Calderon feared 
that there were not enough of them to furnish members for a 
modem legislative body with two houses. If we may imagine 
for instance that a hundred or so of the best educated and most 
intelligent men then in the islands had been deported, no one of 
the deportees would for a moment have claimed that the remain- 
ing six or seven millions were able to operate an autonomous 
government such as the McKinley administration had in mind. 
Of course a country is entitled to the services of its most intelli- 
gent men and the supposition of their elimination is merely made 
for the purpose of showing that any native government then 
possible would have been an oligarchy and not a popular govern- 
ment. . . 

It was the recognition of this fact that induced President Mc- 
Kinley and his advisers to adopt a policy which was designed to 
educate and prepare the masses for active participation in a pop- 
ular as distinguished from an oligarchical government. Under 
such conditions the question of independence was necessarily 
left in abeyance to be determined at some time in the future, 
when not only a remnant but a popular majority had been by edu- 
cation and experience prepared for intelligent consideration of 
the question. From the institution of civil government until 
the arrival of Governor-General Harrison in September, 1913, 
the subject of independence was very seldom discussed by the 
American administrators in the Philippines.* It was regarded as 
not within the sphere of their activities. The official reports of 
the commission and of the governor-general contain but the 
briefest references to the independence movement. 

No one realized better than President McKinley and Secre- 
tary Root that the difficulty with "bringing up an awkward race 
under the control of a superior," to use Doctor Eliot's expressive 
phrase, is that there is no natural time limit to the period of 
tutelage ; that they are liable to remain mentally dependent so long 

* See supra, p. 382 et seq. 


as they are subject to the active control of the superior. It is un- 
doubtedly true that liberty of action is essential to the development 
of robust character, but regulated liberty is all that civilization 
permits to any one who enjoys its benefits. A sort of compromise 
policy was adopted in the Philippines. As unrestricted freedom 
of political action would then have meant anarchy, a practical 
plan was devised which involved the very active and real partici- 
pation of the Filipinos in the government — a participation so large 
and so loosely controlled as to encourage initiative, test their pow- 
ers and develop their inherent capacities. They were to be given 
the opportunity to show what was in them. The great majority 
of the leading Filipinos, such as Arellano, Legarda, Areneta, 
Pardo De Tavera, Torres, Mapa, and the commercial class gen- 
erally, including the English, Swiss, German, Chinese and Span- 
ish business men, were in sympathy with this policy. 

From the organization of the insular government the Filipinos 
were given a substantial part of the work to do, and six years 
after President Roosevelt's proclamation declaring that general 
peace had been established, four of the nine members of the 
commission, three of the seven members of the Supreme Court, 
one-half of the judges of the courts of first instance, all of the 
justices of the peace, four of the seven members of the upper 
house of the legislature, practically all of the provincial and mu- 
nicipal officials, and the great majority of the officers, clerks and 
employees of the various bureaus, were natives. The Americans 
were planning, advising and supervising. 

The first native political party organized under American rule 
was a peace party which sought not independence but ultimate 
admission as a state of the Union,^ and its members joined with 
the Americans in their efforts to organize a government adapted 
to existing conditions in which the natives should have a part, 
limited only by their abilities. 

Present-day Filipinos are disposed to minimize the importance 
of the old Federal party and to claim that it was composed of 
"office-holders" only. But the fact is that it included in its mem- 

5 Elliott, The Philippines: To the End of the Military Regime, p. 513. 


bership substantially all of the men of first importance in the 
islands, and it was finally submerged because the idea of ultimate 
statehood received no encouragement from the insular govern- 
ment or from any one in the United States. 

During these early years a few irreconcilables, such as Filipe 
Buencamino, Isabella de Los Reyes, Ricarti, and other old mili- 
tary leaders, held aloof and continued to nurse the idea of an in- 
dependent government. 

The desire for independence was smoldering under the ashes 
of the war. Before the insurrection in the provinces was sup- 
pressed, certain persons, apparently friendly to the Americans, 
consulted Governor Taft with reference to organizing a political 
party favorable to ultimate independence and were informed that 
so long as there was fighting within a few miles of Manila, there 
was danger that their motive would be questioned. 

The victories of Japan over Russia gave great impetus to the 
nationalist feeling which was manifesting itself in all the coun- 
tries of the Far East. India, Egypt, and even Java, felt its in- 
fluence. It was but natural that its appeal should be strongest 
to the new generation. In the Philippines a number of patriotic 
and ambitious young men who had taken but an unimportant, if 
any, part in the insurrection and who saw place and power for 
them in a new republic, joined with the radicals and the work of 
educating the masses to demand independence was commenced 
under their directions. Like the same class in India and Egypt, 
these young men imbibed their ideas of political freedom from 
the text-books placed in their hands by their foreign rulers. They 
thought in terms of abstract principles and took little account of 
the qualifying effects of time, place or race. The pensionados, the 
young men who were being educated in the United States at the I 
expense of the Philippine government, almost without exception 
joined this party, which easily gained control of the Spanish and 
vernacular press and thus of the means of molding public opinion. 
The distinguished Filipinos who had accepted office under the 
American government soon found themselves politically ostra- 


cized because of their alleged abandonment of the principles of 
the revolution. 

The provisions for the early creation of the assembly were in- 
serted in the Civil Government Law of 1902 by Americans as a 
voluntary grant of political power to the natives. The Filipino 
leaders were prompt to take advantage of the remarkable oppor- 
tunity thus offered for the cultivation of nationalist sentiment. 
Their plans were carefully laid and thereafter everything was 
subordinated to the demand for independence. Every change in 
government personnel, every appointment to office, every law 
enacted, was whenever possible used as a stepping-stone toward 
that goal. 

The number of persons engaged in the formulation of this 
policy and its propaganda w^as insignificant when compared with 
the entire population. The common people appreciated the peace, 
quiet and the justice which had been promised by the Americans. 
It was necessary first to develop in them a real desire for inde- 
pendence. They must not be permitted to become so well satis- 
fied with existing conditions that the vision of a Filipino republic 
would have no charms. This required constant and systematic 
agitation and energetic criticism of the Americans and their gov- 

A compaign on these lines presented no very formidable diffi- 
culties. The raw material was at hand and the conditions were 
favorable. A Filipino, like a Spanish, constituency is susceptible 
to emotional and sentimental appeals to a degree unknown among 
Anglo-Saxons. They love fine phrases and lofty sentiments. The 
orator, like the actor who strikes a heroic attitude and announces 
some lofty but self-evident sentiment, such as, "Be good to 
mother!" is certain of enthusiastic applause from the galleries. 
When told of their present ability and capacity to run a govern- 
ment, they readily accepted the views of the orator. It was easy 
to convince the defeated that the victors were remaining in the 
islands as oppressors. The policy which had been announced of 
the Philippines for the Filipinos sounded well, but it was so con- 
trary to all their experience with the Spaniards that it was hard 


to believe in its sincerity. To the skeptical it seemed too good to 
be true. As certain American statesmen and publicists were as- 
suring them that they were the victims of oppression it was easy 
to misrepresent the motives and misconstrue the actions of the 
5 government. 

Prior to the general election for delegates to the assembly, the 
popular elections had related to local issues only and had been 
confined to the provinces and municipalities. The delegates to 
the new assembly were to have a part in making laws for the en- 
tire Christian provinces and on the conspicuous stage on which 
they were to play, the question of creating a new nation might 
well be discussed and determined. The political parties which 
were organized shortly before the first general election, unlike 
the old Federal party, made independence the principal plank in 
their platforms. The Federalists believed that the best interests 
of the islands required that the United States should retain con- 
trol of the country until th€ people were prepared to conduct a 
proper government, and had been supporting the policy of the 
American administration in which many of their leading mem- 
bers were taking an active part. But the majority of the people 
had by this time been charmed by the magic word independencia 
and the bold and aggressive policy of the Nationalist party forced 
the Federalists to change their name to the Progressive party and 
to modify their platform. The concessions thus made to practical 
politics did not save the conservatives from defeat, as they elected 
but fifteen to the Nationalists' sixty-five members of the assem- 
bly.® The Progressive party has ever since been in the minority 
and there is reason to question the sincerity of some of the dec- 
larations in favor of early independence, which it has from time 
to time made. At heart the most of its members have favored 
the continuance of American control for a reasonable period and 
its exclusion from power has been the very proper reward for its 
timidity. But its half-hearted adherence did not attract those 

^ This does not represent the proportion of Progresista to Nationalista 
voters as in many districts where Nationalist delegates were returned the 
popular vote was close. 


who were really in fa