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Presidential Decree No. 188



M a n i l a

PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 188 May 10, 1973


WHEREAS, there is an urgent need to consolidate, integrate and coordinate all the activities in the New York Area of all Philippine Government offices and agencies which have hitherto been dispersed and separate from each other, thereby 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 and promote Philippine Culture, to encourage foreign tourist to visit the Philippines, to expand the comprehensive public service domestically 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 as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081 dated September 21, 1972, and General Order No. 1 dated September 22, 1972, as amended, do hereby decree and order as follows:

Section 1. There shall be incorporated in New York City a Philippine Center Management Board, hereinafter called "the Board, which shall, on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines, acquire by purchase or by any other appropriate means a building on Fifth Avenue, New York City, New York, U.S.A., which shall house within its premises all the offices and agencies in New York of the Philippine Government. Such building shall be called "The Philippine Center in New York," hereinafter called the Center," and shall serve the purposes stated in the second preambular paragraph.

Sec. 2. The Board shall have the following composition and functions:

A. Composition

(1) Chairman The Philippine Consul General in New York

(2) Vice Chairman The Vice President and Manager Philippine National Bank, New York Branch, who shall also be Treasurer of the Board.


(3) A representative, not below the rank of Foreign Service Officer, Class II, from the Philippine Permanent Mission to the United Nations.

(4) The Philippine Commercial or Trade Promotion Representative in New York

(5) The head of the Philippine Airlines in New York

(6) The representative in New York of the Commission on Tourism

(7) The representative in New York of the Auditor General

(8) The Legal Counsel of the Philippine National Bank New York Branch

(9) The Philippine Center Business Manager who shall also be Secretary of the Board.

B. Functions

(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 sound business practices.

(2) The Board shall meet at least once a year to prepare and submit to the President of the Philippines, not later than the 31st day of December of each year, its annual report on the operations, financial position and achievements of the Center.

(3) The Board shall, in accordance with its procedures, decide and implement policies dealing with the operations of the Center. It may incur relevant expenditures not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) provided that any single expenditure exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) shall have the prior approval of the Board. All expenditures in excess of $10,000.00 shall have the prior approval of the President of the Philippines. "Approval of the Board" means a simple majority of the entire composition of the Board.

(4) The Board shall recommend to the President of the Philippines, for his approval, the hiring of the services of a professional firm in New York specializing in building maintenance and janitorial services.

(5) The Board shall approve lease contracts for the rentals stipulated in Sec. 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 Philippine National Bank for credit to the fund provided in Sec. 3.

(6) The Board shall adopt the most practical and effective arrangements for the security of personnel and the premises.

(7) The Board shall have such other functions consistent with the objectives of this Decree.

Sec. 3. The funds for the purchase, renovation, maintenance and administration of the Center shall be advanced by the Philippine National Bank from its own resources or from such other financing arrangements as its Board of Directors may approve. Such advance (s) shall be liquidated from the income of the Center. This fund shall be called "the Center Fund."

Sec. 4. All real properties in New York owned by the Philippine Government shall be sold by the Philippine Consul General in New York, with the assistance of the Vice President and Manager of the Philippine National Bank, New York Branch, at the most advantageous prices and all the proceeds thereof shall be transferred to and become part of the Center Fund.

Sec. 5. All Philippine Government offices or agencies and private firms using the Center, except the Philippine Consulate General and the Philippine Permanent Mission to the United Nations, shall pay rent to the Philippine Center Management Board, the rate of which 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.

Sec. 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 the Manager by the Board from the Center Fund:

(1) Salary The Manager shall have an annual salary of twelve thousand dollars ($12,000.00), with increments proportionate to any increase in rental rates.

(2) Benefits

(a) Health and hospitalization insurance equivalent to coverage of the employees of the Philippine National Bank, New York Branch.

(b) Social Security under U.S. law.

B. Functions:

(1) The Manager shall also be Secretary of the Board and prepare the agenda for and minutes of Board meetings.

(2) He shall be the Board's direct liasion with the New York firm stipulated in Sec. 2(4).

(3) He shall be responsible for the safety, cleanliness and orderly operation of the building.

Sec. 7. The following shall be the floor and assignments in the building:

Basement - storage area for Philippine products, cultural materials, props and miscellaneous equipment.

Ground floor - display center for Philippine products and cultural materials.

First floor - mezzanine Philippine National Bank and Philippine Airlines.

Second floor - and second floor mezzanine auditorium/theater/community room, library, party room.

Third and fourth floors - Commercial/Trade Representative, Representative of the Commission on Tourism, private business firms.

Fifth Floor - Philippine Consulate General

Sixth floor - Philippine Permanent Mission to the United Nations

Seventh floor - storage space.

Sec. 8. The Board shall recommend to the President of the Philippines the appointment of a Filipino architectural consultant for the Center. Such consultant shall proceed to New York as soon as a building is purchased and shall advise the Board and American architects and/or building contractors on the exterior and interior renovation work that must be undertaken in order that the Center may project an image which is representative of the best in Philippine life and culture.

Done in the City of Manila, this 10th day of May, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-three.

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