United States Philippine Commission Reports,
War Department Reports and Documents
Concerning Marinduque in the Early 1900's
On January 20, 1899, President McKinley appointed the First Philippine
Commission (the Schurman Commission), a five-person group headed by Dr.
Jacob Schurman, president of Cornell University, to investigate conditions in the
islands and make recommendations. In the report that they issued to the president
the following year, the commissioners acknowledged Filipino aspirations for
independence; they declared, however, that the Philippines was not ready for it.
Specific recommendations included the establishment of civilian government as
rapidly as possible (the American chief executive in the islands at that time was
the military governor), including establishment of a bicameral legislature, free
public elementary schools.
The Second Philippine Commission (the Taft Commission), appointed by
McKinley on March 16, 1900, and headed by William Howard Taft, was granted
legislative as well as limited executive powers. Between September 1900 and
August 1902, it issued 499 laws. A judicial system was established, including a
Supreme Court, and a legal code was drawn up to replace antiquated Spanish
ordinances. A civil service was organized. The 1901 municipal code provided for
popularly elected presidents, vice presidents, and councilors to serve on municipal
boards. The municipal board members were responsible for collecting taxes,
maintaining municipal properties, and undertaking necessary construction
projects; they also elected provincial governors.
The Philippine Organic Act of July 1902 stipulated that a legislature would be
established composed of a lower house, the Philippine Assembly, which would be
popularly elected, and an upper house consisting of the Philippine Commission.
The two houses would share legislative powers, although the upper house alone
would pass laws relating to the Moros and other non-Christian peoples. The act
also provided for extending the United States Bill of Rights to Filipinos and
sending two Filipino resident commissioners to Washington to attend sessions of
the United States Congress. In July 1907, the first elections for the assembly were
held, and the legislature opened its first session on October 16, 1907.
Brief History of the United States Philippine Commission
Presented here are excerpts about Marinduque from the early
1900's U.S. Government reports on the Philippines.