National Geographic : 1905 Aug
THE PHILIPPINES cles, I suppose, than any other city in the world. They were not very large horses and they were not very commodi ous vehicles, but such as they were they traversed the streets, and they were an absolute necessity, because everybody rides in Manila except the very poorest and humblest. In no other city in the world was a street-railway system more needed than in Manila, and I have no doubt that its presence there today-and it has begun both with great enthusiasm on the part of the people and on the part of the gentlemen who look forward to dividends from the franchise, given about a month ago-I have no doubt that the presence of that street railway will reduce the cost of living of the peo ple of moderate incomes 25 per cent because of the absolute necessity of get ting about and the opportunity of dis posing of the horses and carriages and the necessity of feed and all the other expenses attendant upon the keeping of horses and carriages. We are engaged in the expenditure of 6 millions of dollars in the harbors of Cebu, Manila, and Iloilo, and we shall probably have the best harbor in the Orient at Manila. People who are not familiar with the islands suppose that the Bay of Manila affords a harbor; but the Bay of Manila is 30 miles long and about 25 miles wide, with a 6-mile entrance at Corregidor which offers a full sweep to the southwestern monsoon, which comes in for six months in the year, which makes it impossible, espe cially in the afternoon, to land from boats that do not get behind a break water. This harbor is to be shut off from the wind by large breakwaters. It is very nearly completed. We are to have wharves, alongside of which the largest vessels can come, and, as I have said, 160 acres are to be reclaimed for the construction of warehouses and for business purposes of the city. We are just putting in-just adver tising the bonds for, have the plans for, and are just about to put in-a sewer system in Manila. Manila is about seven feet above the ocean-it does go up to about io feet-and you cannot sink a hole anywhere without striking water within 3 or 4 feet. That makes the problem of sewerage very difficult, and we have a plan now which involves the pumping of the sewerage away out to sea, so as to rid the city of any danger from it. Mr Desmond Fitzgerald, of Boston, whom we sent for as an expert engineer, has pronounced the plans to be correct. We have had to go back into the mountains about fifteen miles in order to increase the water supply of Manila and to be sure that we shall get above the region where the water would be im pregnated with cholera germs or other undesirable inhabitants. This will cost about two millions of dollars, but we are just now ready to construct it. We are engaged, under an act of Con gress recently passed, in preparing in vitations to bid for the construction of a thousand miles of railway in the islands. When we have the thousand miles of railway constructed, so as to open each island to the sea, we shall proceed much more rapidly in the construction of wagon roads, because then we shall have some means by which we can haul road material from one point to another. I would like to dwell on the subject of the railways, but I have not time. PHILIPPINE CIVIL SERVICE Mr Ireland criticises, in some detail, the civil service of the islands. Well, I was a civil-service reformer when I went to the islands, and I was deter mined that we should put in force there as strict civil-service rules on the basis of civil-service reform here as we could, and we did; and nobody can get into the service there now without first pass ing an examination. But Mr Ireland says that the examination is only up to the standard of the ordinary high-school 37'