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National Newsbits for April 26, 2014

Big Expectations

President Benigno S. Aquino III has big expectations from new Philippine Air Force (PAF) Commanding General, Major General Jeffrey “Jeff” Delgado having served as a member of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) during the term of his mother, the late President Corazon Aquino. Aquino, in his speech during the PAF change of command at the Fernando Air Base, said if former Commanding General Lt. General Lauro “Larry” Catalino Dela Cruz whom he does not personally know, brought the PAF to new heights, he expects Delgado who was also his former senior military aide to “double” his efforts as the new “pilot-in-command.”  (JC Bello Ruiz)

Fil-Am To Be Obama Adviser

United States President Barack Obama announced on Thursday (Friday Manila time) his intent to appoint fourteen individuals, including Emmy-winning Filipino-American Billy Dec, to the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Dec, whose mother is from the Philippines, is one of those set to be appointed by President Obama as a member of the Commission charged with working to improve the quality of life of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) through increased participation in and access to federal programs. Aside from receiving an Emmy for Outstanding Achievement for Broadcast/Advanced Media, Dec was also bestowed with the Illinois Secretary of State’s Asian Pacific American Business Leadership Award. (Roy C. Mabasa)

Be Safe

Filipino missionaries in Middle East countries were asked by a Catholic Church official to keep themselves safe against the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome- Corona Virus or MERS-COV. Father Socrates Mesiona, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Mission, urged missionaries to follow the guidelines that the Philippine government earlier released concerning MERS-COV. “They should take all the necessary precautionary measures especially since we also have a lot of Filipino lay groups there during missionary work,” said Mesiona. (Leslie Ann G. Aquino)

Common Station

The winning bidder for the big-ticket project to extend the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 to Bacoor in Cavite would also have the right to design the station that will connect it to the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) line 3 and the proposed MRT line 7. The Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) has decided to include in the P64.9-billion LRT 1 Cavite Extension Project the design component of the P1.4-billion LRT-MRT Common Station Project. DOTC Undersecretary Jose Perpetuo Lotilla said, “They will be allowed to present their plans for the common station because the bidders want to design the common station.” (Kris Bayos)

Canadian Visa

Filipino professionals seeking permanent residency in Canada can look forward to the faster processing of residency applications in the country in 2015, the Philippines’ Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said yesterday. Citing a report from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the Canadian government plans to speed-up the dispensation of residency applications for selected professions starting next year in a bid to allow more foreigners in its work force. Professions covered by Canada’s “Express Entry” program will come from the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). These will include engineers, land surveyors, computer programmers, medical radiation technologists, audiologists and physiotherapists. (Samuel P. Medenilla)