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National Newsbits for April 2, 2014

Calungsod Feast

Filipino Catholics in many parts of the world celebrate today the Feast of San Pedro Calungsod, the country’s second saint, who was canonized on Oct. 21, 2012 by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Feast masses and solemn processions will be held today in many Catholic churches in key cities and provinces particularly in the first four ecclesiastical jurisdictions in the country at the time of his martyrdom in 1672 namely, the Archdiocese of Manila and the Dioceses of Cebu, Nueva Caceres and Nueva Segovia. A former altar boy, sacristan, and catechist, San Pedro was martyred for his faith at the young age of 17 in Tumhon, Guam on April 2, 1672 while doing missionary work along with a Spanish Jesuit priest, then the rector of the evangelization mission and now, Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores. (Christina I. Hermoso)


6/55 Jackpot

If at first you did not win, try, try, and try again. This must be the mantra of lotto punters as they are expected to take their chances again at the ballooning Grand Lotto 6/55 jackpot estimated for Wednesday’s draw at P210 million. The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) said yesterday Monday’s 6/55 draw did not yield a winner of the 6/55 jackpot that reached a total of P198,654,120 carried by the winning combination 05-44-29-30-48-20. With the no-winner draw, the prize money today, April 2, was projected to rise to P210 million, more or less, PCSO General Manager Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II said yesterday. (Edd K. Usman)


Anti-Drug Forum

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), in cooperation with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (USDEA), started hosting yesterday a regional anti-drug forum that gathers high-level drug law enforcement officials from the Far East and the Pacific areas. Undersecretary Arturo G. Cacdac, Jr., PDEA Director General, said the International Drug Enforcement Conference-Far East Regional Working Group (IDEC FERWG) conference, to be held from April 1 to 3, 2014 at the Solaire Resort and Casino, Parañaque City, will be attended by representatives of the 19 member-countries belonging to the IDEC-FERWG.  (Francis T. Wakefield)


Aussies’ Visit

Australian senators and members of Parliament are scheduled to travel to Bohol this week to inspect aid programs funded by the Australian government, including reconstruction and rehabilitation activities. The visit of the Australian Parliamentary delegation comes five months after a devastating 7.2- magnitude earthquake rocked the province and other areas in Central Visayas including Cebu and Siquijor. Immediately after the disaster, Australia provided emergency supplies to respond to urgent humanitarian needs. Australia is also now providing support to recovery and reconstruction through the rehabilitation of approximately 134 kilometers of local roads in Bohol, and livelihood opportunities for around 115,000 people. (Roy C. Mabasa)


A.S.E.A.N. Contest

Over 100 champion regional technical vocational (tech-voc) graduates and trainees will showcase their skills on April 7-11 to compete both for national honors and slots at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Skills Competition (ASC). The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), through its offices in the National Capital Region (TESDA-NCR), TESDA-Region III, and TESDA-Region VI-A will host the different venues of the 2014 Philippine National Skills Competition (PNSC). Competitors for the PNSC are the regional champions conducted earlier in the country’s different regions. To be selected are “the cream of the crop” who will then compete this year at the ASC to be held in Vietnam. (Edd K. Usman)