National Geographic : 1899 Feb
60 THE ECONOMIC CONDITION OF THE PHILIPPINES During recent years the Spanish figures have risen by reason of the increased export duties on tobacco which the Compania General shipped for the Spanish monopoly. NECESSITIES OF THE SITUATION I now come to the question, " What must be done in order to bring the production and trade of the colony into the condition in which they should be? " The answer follows from what has already been stated. Before all, the system of administration must be changed and commerce and shipping, industry and mining, as also planting, given free play, quite independent of the nationality of the persons concerned. If the natives are not numerous enough to supply sufficient workmen, Chinese coolies should be brought over under government supervision, in the same way as is done in Sumatra. The export duties should be wholly abolished and the import duties put on a suitable basis. The harbor works at Manila should be completed and safe land ing places should be provided for larger steamers, and if not a free port, at all events a bonded warehouse is necessary. I mention first and principally Manilla, which will always remain the center and principal emporium. A beginning must be made by opening up Luzon, by laying down good roads and constructing bridges, of which today there is an absolute lack. The waterways should be controlled, particularly those which can be easily made navigable. The construction of railways should be continued, in order to connect the interior provinces with Manila. The most important line would be one from Manila through Nueva Ecija, the Caraballo mountains, the province of Nueva Vizcaya, into the valley of the Rio Grande de Cagayan. Then a branch of the line already existing from Manilla to Dagupan to the proposed naval port, Subig, which was recently decided upon, but has not yet been constructed. Communication with the Pacific coast and numerous branch lines will also gradually be required. Only a few points can be touched upon here. A railway from Manila via Mariquina to Antipolo would be of great importance to Manila itself. It would pass through an extremely well-populated country, which already supplies Manila with agricultural produce and articles for the native population, and finally, after about 20 miles, ascending with a pretty steep gradient, would reach Antipolo.