21 years in the seat of Presidency really marked the name of one Ferdinand Marcos. He is the President who served the country in the longest period of time. From 1965 to 1986 he ruled over and governed the Philippines. Thoughts, opinions, and perceptions about him were thus divided because of this. While some may take a very positive outlook about his administration, some on another end of the spectrum, took a more negative side. Nonetheless, despite all these issues, let us give credit to whom and where credit is due. Let us all take a look at this list of achievements done by the Marcos Administration.
1. Efforts to Promote Food Sufficiency
Poverty has long been a problem in the country, and to solve that, former President Marcos has advocated a lot of measures to target food sufficiency as a way to alleviate poverty. Some of his efforts include the Green Revolution, the Blue Revolution, the Liberalized Credit and the Decontrol Program. The Green Revolution obviously was about increasing the production of rice through the cultivation of the IR-8 Hybrid rice; this actually made the country a very self-sufficient rice country in 1986. The Blue Revolution, on the other hand, is about doing efforts to preserve and promote the marine resources of the country which are among the best export products. The Liberalized Credit is about permitting the growth of numerous rural banks all over the country resulting to the accessibility of credit to finance purchase of agricultural inputs, hired labor, and harvesting expenses at very low interest rate. And lastly, the Decontrol Program was about implementing the price control policies on rice and corn to provide greater incentive to farmers to produce more. Deregulation of trading in commodities like sugar and coconut and agricultural inputs like fertilizer were done for more efficient marketing and trading arrangements.
2. Education Reform
Another one big accomplishment of President Marcos is also the promotion and steps to reform the existing educational system. Access to free education widened during the Marcos Administration. The biggest portion of the budget was allotted for Educational Programs (P58.7 Billion in 20 years), this is according to several progress reports which were released then. Moreover, during his regime, numerous schools and educational institutions have been opened to serve the Filipino people. According to a nationwide study, literacy rate jumped high by 21% from 72% to 93% in 1965.
3. Agrarian Reform
President Marcos also pushed forward the growth in the agrarian sector. Believing that farmers comprise most of the major workforce in the country, he has passed several decrees and resolutions to serve the interest of this sector. P.D. 27 or the Tenants Emancipation Act of 1972 was made possible to free farmers from the bondage of the soil and transfer them to the ownership of the land they till. This decree was in fact the very first Land Reform Code in the country. Because of this, many farmers have gained right to the land they till, and many have decided to stick to farming as a profession because of the promise of this decree.
4. Promoting Primary Health Care
Another measure of growth is through the health care system. If a country can provide for the healthcare needs of its constituents then the country does not lag far behind economic development. President Marcos during his reign made sure that every Filipinos have equal access to basic and primary health care. He has institutionalized a Primary Health Care (PHC) Program which made medical care accessible to all Filipinos especially those in the very remote areas in the Philippines. According to a report, “this program was even awarded by United Nations as the most effective and most responsive health program among the third world countries. With PHC life expectancy increased from 53.7 years in 1965 to 65 years in 1985. Infant mortality rate also declined from 73 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1965 to 58 in 1984.”
5. Housing Initiatives
One solution to a constellation of problems is housing; it solves the issue of illegal settlement, city traffic and misuse of public spaces. And President Marcos has made sure to put an effort in utilizing this solution. He, together with Bagong Lipunan Improvement of Sites and Services (BLISS), expanded the government’s housing program for low-income group. 14, 000 slums were reduced to 2, 500 by the end of 1976 because of the housing initiative. Not only that, President Marcos also coordinated with PAG-IBIG and HLURB (Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board) to improve further the implementation of the aforementioned program.