Journal, a publication of the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines. was founded in 1920. Luis G. Dato’s letter to the editor was printed in the “LETTER” section of the November 1940 issue. It reads:
American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.
-A JOURNAL subscriber in the Bikol region.
“I was happy to receive your JOURNAL, so useful to readers like me who have export products like coconuts and abaca. To receive any magazine of standard reputation is an event in itself; to read in it such statements as those of Mr. J. J. Rafferty, former internal revenue collector, that the Philippines will again experience prosperous times and recover their foreign markets (especially copra and abaca markets) is to acquire a fresh lease of hope for tomorrow.
“I believe that the problem of economic happiness for all is contingent upon forms of government, though more upon commercial, industrial, and agricultural philosophies, all of which stand, and have long stood, in need of alteration on broader world outlooks and human sympathies than those now extant that come down to us as the old unhappy heritage of hatred and fear and selfishness from our ignorance or deliberate denial of a common origin in the past.
“More life to your JOURNAL and more power to its editor’s pen and inspiration, as we face the challenge of a new life soon to dawn with the peace that must follow this most horrid and most useless of wars!… The low prices of copra in recent months have caused such poverty in this part of the Philippines that if medical men took the trouble to verify cases they would find that most deaths here this year were caused directly or indirectly by the falling off in copra prices…. The bad thing was that the government chose this time to increase taxes. Also, through the capacity of Manila merchants the prices of copra were very much higher there than at the provincial terminals.
“For example, when prices for copra were P3.50 in Manila, it was being bought in Camarines Sur as low as P1.70. We do not suspect American authorship of this swindle….” (We are glad to have this comparison of copra prices between Manila and Camarines Sur. Correction may lie with the Commonwealth’s new marketing cooperatives, for training managers of which a school has just been opened).