M a n i l a
PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 487 June 19, 1974
AUTHORIZING THE CREATION OF PHILIPPINE CENTERS ABROAD
WHEREAS, there is an urgent need to consolidate, integrate and coordinate all the activities of all Philippine Government offices and agencies abroad, which have hitherto been dispersed and separated from each other, a situation entailing unnecessary expense and duplication of functions;
WHEREAS, consistent with the human and material resources of the Philippines, it is the objective of the New Society, among other things, to nurture, promote and propagate Philippine culture, to encourage foreign tourists to visit the Philippines, to expand the foreign market for Philippine products, to provide efficient and comprehensive public service in the country and abroad, and in general to enhance the image of the Philippines;
NOW, THEREFORE I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers in me vested by the Constitution, do hereby decree and order as follows:
Section 1. In certain strategically located places approved by the President upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Trade, there shall be incorporated a Philippine Center Management Board, hereinafter called "the Board," which shall, in behalf of the Republic of the Philippines, acquire by purchase or by any other appropriate means a building, which shall house within its premises all the offices and agencies of the Philippine Government. Such building shall be called "the Philippine Center," hereinafter called "the Center," and shall serve the purposes stated in the second paragraph of the preamble.
Section 2. The Board shall have the following composition and functions:
1. Chairman The Chief of Mission
2. Vice-Chairman The Head of the Philippine National Bank Branch Office, or in case there is no such branch office the Philippine Commercial Attache or Trade Promotion Representative.
3. The Philippine Commercial Attache or Trade Promotion Representative when not acting as Vice-Chairman.
4. The Representative of the Department of Tourism.
5. The Philippine Center Business Manager, who shall also be the Secretary of the Board.
6. One representative each from other offices and agencies of the Philippine Government in the area.
1. The Board shall be responsible to the President of the Philippines for the overall operation, maintenance and management of the Center in accordance with this Decree and with sound business practices.
2. The Board shall meet at least once a year to prepare and submit to the President of the Philippines through the Secretary of Trade its annual report on the operations, financial position and achievements of the Center not later than the 31st of December of each year.
3. The Board shall, in accordance with its procedures, decide and implement policies dealing with the construction, renovation, maintenance and operations of the Center. Its decisions shall be arrived at by a simple majority of the entire composition of the Board.
4. The Board shall approve lease contracts for the rentals stipulated in Section 5. All lease contracts shall be signed by the Chairman of the Board. All lease payments shall be payable to the "Philippine Center Management Board" and such payments shall be promptly deposited in the bank for credit to the fund provided in Section 3.
5. The Board shall adopt the most practical and effective arrangements for the security of personnel and the premises.
6. The Board shall have such other functions consistent with the objectives of this Decree.
Section 3. The funds for the purchase and renovation of the Center shall be obtained through borrowings that the Philippine National Bank is hereby authorized to secure as agent for and in behalf of the Philippine Center Management Board. Should such borrowings be inadequate to cover the cost of purchase and renovation, the Philippine National Bank may advance the necessary amount from its own resources in the event of urgent need. For borrowings contracted by the said bank, it shall be entitled to collect commission and service fees. For advances made from its own resources, the said bank shall be entitled to collect interest charges at the rate imposed by its present lending policy for loans or advances of the same category.
There is thereby appropriated annually out of any fund in the National Treasury not otherwise appropriated the sum of twenty million pesos to repay the advances or borrowing authorized in the preceding paragraph, including interests, premiums, commission, service fees and other charges thereon. Additional appropriations shall be authorized as the need arises.
The funds for the maintenance and operation of the Center shall, as far as practicable, be taken from the income accruing to the Center Fund: Provided, however, that advances borrowings for this purpose may be obtained by the Board.
The Board shall have the power and authority to borrow money from the Philippine National Bank or from other creditors under financing arrangements that may be made with the assistance of the said bank, and to mortgage, or assign, or otherwise encumber its properties as security for such borrowings. The borrowings made pursuant to this authority shall be paid from any money in the Center Fund.
The Center Fund shall consist of the sales proceeds of properties mentioned in Section 4 and the income of the Center from lease payments and other sources.
Section 4. All real property in the area owned by the Philippine Government shall be sold at the most advantageous price by the Board with the advise and assistance of a representative of the Commission on Audit, and all the proceeds thereof shall be transferred to and become part of the Center Fund.
Section 5. All Philippine Government offices or agencies and private firms using the Center shall pay rent to the Board: Provided, that in consideration of their service to the Center, of the Philippine Embassy or Consulate and service representatives attached to the Embassy or Consulate shall be exempt from the payment of rent during the Center's first two fiscal year of operation.
The rate of rent shall be based primarily on the prevailing monthly or annual rate per square foot in other buildings with comparable facilities within a two-block radius of the Center.
Section 6. The Board shall appoint a Philippine Center Business Manager, hereinafter called "the Manager," who shall be responsible to the Board for the effective and prompt implementation of its policies and decisions.
A. The following emoluments shall be paid to the Manager by the Board from the Center Fund:
1. Salary The Manager shall have an annual salary twelve thousand US dollars (US$ 12,000.00), with increase proportionate to any increase in rental rates.
a. Health and hospitalization insurance equivalent to coverage of the employees of the Philippine Embassy or Consulate.
b. Social Security under local laws.
1. The Manager shall be the Secretary of the Board and shall prepare the agenda and the minutes of Board meetings.
2. He shall be responsible for the safety, cleanliness and orderly maintenance of the building.
3. He shall perform such other functions as may be assigned to him by the Board.
Section 7. The Center shall have a trade, tourism and investment center, called Philippine House, for Philippine products and cultural, tourism and investment materials, which shall be under the direct supervision of the Department of Trade and which shall be operated under guidelines issued by the Secretary of Trade. The Center shall also provide for an auditorium/teacher/community room; a library room; a restaurant; a penthouse for socials of the Embassy or Consulate and for rental to the Philippine Community; a storage room; and such other areas as may be necessary or proper to be decided by the Board.
Section 8. The Department of Trade, with the assistance and cooperation of other government offices and agencies concerned, shall be the coordinating and clearing house of support activities for the center. For this purpose, there is hereby appropriated out of any fund in the National Treasury not otherwise appropriated the sum of five million pesos to serve as a revolving fund of the Department of Trade for operating expenses of Philippine Houses abroad.
Section 9. The Secretary of Trade may appoint a Filipino architectural consultant for the Center. Such consultant shall advise the Board and local architects and/or building contractors on the exterior and interior renovation work that may be undertaken in order that the Center may project an image which is representative of the best in Philippine life and culture.
Section 10. This Decree amends Presidential Decree No. 188, dated May 10, 1973 and Presidential Decree No. 258, dated July 31, 1973.
Done in the City of Manila, this 19th day of June, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-four.
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