The Messages of the President, started in 1936 by Jorge B. Vargas, Executive Secretary to President Manuel L. Quezon, is one of the flagship projects of PCDSPO. The series was started as a wide collection of executive issuances, speeches, messages, and other official papers of the President. The volumes were thus intended to serve as the definitive compilation of presidential documents. The series was continued until the Quirino administration, although the series for the Presidential administrations of Presidents Quezon, Roxas, and Quirino were never completed.
In 2010, President Benigno S. Aquino III ordered the revival of the series and the constitution of a complete set, covering all fifteen presidential administrations to date. With pride, we continue what Vargas began. It is our mandate and mission to continue this moving forward.
We would like to extend our gratitude to our partners without whose gracious cooperation this project would have not been possible. Among these institutions are the Presidential Museum and Library, the Malacañang Records Office, the Supreme Court of the Philippines Library, the Senate of the Philippines Library, the House of Representatives Library, the National Library of the Philippines, the University of the Philippines Law Center, and the Jorge B. Vargas Museum.
As the President’s chief message-crafting body, we, the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office, are mandated to provide strategic communication leadership and support to the Executive Branch, its composite agencies, and instrumentalities of government. The PCDSPO is also mandated to act as custodian of the institutional memory of the Office of the President.
A note on organization: Each presidential administration’s messages are in book form, compiled and subdivided into volumes.
The books are as follows:
| ||First Republic, 1899-1901. Includes the documents of the Dictatorial Government of the Philippines and Revolutionary Government of the Philippines.|
|Second Republic, 1943-1945. Includes the documents of the Philippine Executive Commission established under the auspices of the Japanese Military Administration, 1942-1943|
|Commonwealth of the Philippines, 1935-1944. Includes the first term, 1935-1941 of the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth government in unoccupied areas (December 1941-March 1942), and the Commonwealth government-in-exile, 1942-1944|
|Commonwealth of the Philippines, 1944-1946. Both for the Commonwealth government-in-exile and the restored Commonwealth of the Philippines|
|Commonwealth of the Philippines and Third Republic of the Philippines, 1946-1948|
|Third Republic of the Philippines, 1948-1953|
|Third Republic of the Philippines, 1953-1957|
|Third Republic of the Philippines, 1957-1961|
|Third Republic of the Philippines, 1961-1965|
|Third Republic of the Philippines (1965-1972), The New Society (1972-1981), and Fourth Republic of the Philippines (1981-1986), 1965-1986|
|Fourth (1986-1987) and Fifth (1987-1992) Republics of the Philippines, 1986-1992|
|Fifth Republic of the Philippines, 1992-1998|
|Fifth Republic of the Philippines, 1998-2001|
|Fifth Republic of the Philippines, 2001-2010|
|Fifth Republic of the Philippines, 2010-2016|
(Forthcoming series: Book 16: Rodrigo R. Duterte, 2016-2022)
Each book is subdivided into the following volumes:
- Volume 1: Official Week/Month in Review
- In the Commonwealth period, there were attempts to maintain a chronicle of the Presidents’ official affairs, i.e., their principal activities and undertakings. The first instance can be found in Philippine Magazine, which chronicled President Manuel L. Quezon’s activities from November 1935 to June 1941 under its News Summary section. This was so because A. V. H. Hartendorp, the editor of Philippine Magazine, became President Quezon’s media adviser during the Commonwealth.
- The Official Gazette began recording the President’s activities with Vol. 40, No. 1 (July 1941) until Vol. 40, No. 26 (December 1941). With the outbreak of the War and the government going into exile, the Official Gazette ceased publication, with the exception of the May 1943 issue published in the United States. The activities of President Quezon, and later President Sergio Osmeña, were thus published in Philippine Magazine from June 1942 to early 1945. The Official Gazette resumed the official account of the President’s affairs with Vol. 41, No. 1 (April 1945). President Osmeña’s activities were recorded in this volume, first as the “Three Years in Review” (published in April 1945), then monthly as the Official Month in Review.
- The monthly format was continued by the administration of President Manuel Roxas up until the early part of Garcia’s second term. The Official Month in Review ended on June 30, 1958 with Vol. 54, No. 12 of the Official Gazette and shifted to a weekly chronicle known as the Official Week in Review starting Vol. 54. No. 13 July 7, 1958. This format continued until the Marcos administration, when the Official Week started becoming more sporadic in its publication.
- During the administration of President Corazon Aquino, the Official Week in Review was not published in the the Official Gazette; instead President Aquino’s activities were chronicled in the Malacañang Journal. The press releases containing the daily activities of Presidents Fidel V. Ramos and Joseph Estrada were lost during Typhoon Ondoy in 2009, but they have been recorded online by Newsflash.org, an organization we have partnered with. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s activities were recorded daily and published on the website of the Office of the Press Secretary.
- Continuing the tradition of recording the President’s activities, the official chronicle began to record President Benigno S. Aquino III’s activities more frequently; these were released as press releases. These were then incorporated into the Official Gazette as the President’s Day and are now published daily on the Official Gazette website.
- Volume 2: Appointments and Designations
- Appointments and Designations record individual appointments and designations by the President of the Philippines. These include the date which an individual is officially expected to fulfill their duties.
- Volume 3: Historical Papers and Documents
- These are documents that, in the judgment of the President, are deserving of publication and preservation for the historical record of the country and the administration. In some cases when there were none selected at the time, we have provided the documents, based on official publications, the personal and public papers of the presidents or members of their staff, or other archival sources.
- Volume 4: Executive Orders
- An Executive Order provides for rules of a general or permanent character in implementation or execution of constitutional or statutory powers.
- Volume 5: Administrative Orders
- An Administrative Order relates to particular aspects of governmental operations in pursuance of the President’s duties as administrative head.
- Volume 6: Proclamations
- A Proclamation fixes a date or declares a status or condition of public interest or importance, upon the existence of which the operation of a specific law or regulation is made to depend.
- Volume 7: Other issuances
- This volume collects all the other issuances of the different Presidents such as the Memorandum Orders, Memorandum Circulars, Memorandum Orders, General Orders, Letters of Implementation, Letters of Instruction, Presidential Decrees, and National Emergency Memorandum Orders.
- Volume 8: Cabinet minutes
- This volume collects all the minutes of all the meetings of the Presidents with their cabinet members.
We hope that this collection will be a useful and vital reference for generations to come.