Today, on March 10, 1785 (Philippines):
José Basco y Vargas, a Spanish Naval Officer and 53rd Governor of the Philippines, continued to economically advance the Philippines and distance itself from New Spain (what is now called Mexico). This time he ushered in a new royal decree (I describe his first one, here), the “Real Compañía de Filipinas” (Royal Company of the Philippines) which was designed with the purpose of creating an interrelationship between Spain and its colonies, while also making Manila a hub for all oriental (Far East) trade.
In 1789, the importing and exporting of goods was established permanently and from here we see the beginnings of Free Trade as duties and restrictions were dropped. In addition, Filipinos were allowed to travel to other Asian ports and the Chinese who came to Manila suffered no trade restrictions. Incentives were also provided to different types of produce, silk, sugar, cotton, and spices.
This decree also promoted re-investment of profits into the Philippines—which up until now had not been done. Usually the profits were absorbed by the Spanish lords and when they were “rich enough” took the money and returned to Spain. So even though the Royal Company was largely economically unsuccessful, the agriculture infrastructure was greatly developed between 1790 and 1820. In its last 10 years, there wasn’t any real economic advancement (mostly due to corruption and mismanagement) and in 1830 this charter was repealed; however, Manila was kept open as a trading port for foreigners.
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Philippine History Module-based Learning I’ 2002 Ed by Ongsotto, Et Al (page 83 ~ 84, 86 – 88)
Today, on March 2, 1847 (Philippines):
The first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines (under American Civil Government) was born in Orion, Bataan. An amazing story of an orphan who started off as a Friar’s errand boy, to Chief Justice. He served from 1901-1920, making him the Philippine’s longest service Chief Justice of the highest court.
At 15 years-old, he graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a Bachelors in Philosophy and another in Theology, and continued studying law. From there, he went on to become a council member of Ayuntamiento, while still under Spanish Colonial rule. However, after the Americans took over, he helped Governor-General William Taft organize local governments to support American colonial rule.
He and several others testified before the Schurman Commission (the First Philippine Commission on the future of the Philippines relating to its sovereignty) that the Philippines was not ready to be on their own; however, they created the Federalista Party to promote annexation from the U.S.
Arellano died on December 23, 1920 (73).
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Today, on March 1, 1872 (Philippines):
Spanish Governor-General José Basco y Vargas, a naval officer of the Spanish navy and served as the 53rd governor of the Philippines under the Spanish Empire, formally organized the Tobacco Monopoly in the Philippines. With the Tobacco industry, the Spanish were able to raise money for the defense against Muslim fighters in the south.
Some claim he also made the colony independent, by freeing it from the control of Mexico (then Kingdom of New Spain); and is remembered by the Philippine province of Batanes (named after him).
Many people throughout Manila and eight provinces of Luzon (Tondo, Cavite, Bantangas, Tayabas, Laguna, Pampanga, Bataan and Bulacan) were exploited to become tobacco farmers and continually abused as the Spanish exacted crops and gave payment. On top of that, there were corruption issues with tax collectors that worsened relations between the Philippines and the Spanish. The Spanish also resorted to using religious pretexts, as well as obedience to the crown as reasons to give physical punishment towards those Filipinos who were not complying with the Spaniards’ orders and regulations. The industry was finally abolished in 1882; however, tobacco farming was still practiced by those who wanted to use it for personal consumption.
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