Manuel Roxas, Convention of Filipino Businessmens 1946

29 Oct

Speech of His Excellency
Manuel Roxas
President of the Philippines
To the Filipino Businessmen’s Convention

[July 6, 1946]

To the delegates and officers of this convention I wish to tender my heartiest greetings.  It is most appropriate that you meet shortly after the soul-stirring birth of our infant Republic to consult with one another on her crucial problems within your special field of interest.

I look upon you as fellow architects in the vast task of national reconstruction.  Our goal is set, and all I would ask of you as you meet to propose and discuss is to remember that, in what we are determined to build, everything depends upon the quality of our construction materials, the calibre of the competence employed in their use, and the integrity with which what plan we have is enforced into concrete fulfillment.  The very substance of our opportunity for creative leadership rests on these fundamentals.

We are called upon to build firmly and durably.  This requires the best available materials, the greatest skill, the highest honesty, the most far-reaching enterprise.  Where we falter in living up to any of these basic imperatives, the result must of necessity be shoddy, shaky and ultimately disastrous.  As economic leaders of our young Republic, I beg of you to meditate on the suffering that would be visited upon our people should you neglect to lead and cooperate on the highest plane possible.

It is you who will give flesh and bone to the very pattern of our culture and destiny.  It is you who can determine the quality of living in this country of ours—whether it will be progressive, abundant and full of grace, or whether it will remain impoverished, ugly and disruptive.

I need not stress further that this is a tremendous responsibility and that you and I and everybody else must face it together; consecrate ourselves, as it were; and go at it with a heart and a will that shall not reckon the ruggedness of mountains.

I wish your convention every success.  May it be rich in ideas rooted in reality.  May it generate the passion to conquer the most stubborn obstruction.

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