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National Newsbits for August 15, 2014

ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Bernardino Cortez will celebrate a high mass at 9 a.m. today at the Our Lady of the Assumption Parish on Asuncion Street, Malate, Manila in commemoration of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the principal and the oldest feast of the Holy Mother.  Masses will also be celebrated at 6 a.m., 12 noon, and at 6 p.m. A solemn procession was held yesterday at 7 p.m. after the last of the nine day novena masses. Observed as a holy day of obligation by Catholics and as a public holiday in some countries, devotees consider the Feast of the Assumption as the Holy Mother’s “heavenly birthday” in remembrance of her happy departure from her earthly life and her physical assumption into heaven. The belief was defined as a dogma of faith by Pope Pius XII in 1950. (Christina I. Hermoso)

LIFELINE CAMPAIGN FOR ORGAN DONORS

The Department of Health-Philippine Network for Organ Sharing (DOH-PhilNOS) and the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) joined hands to strengthen the “I’m a LifeLine” campaign which aims to establish a community of people willing to donate their organs after death. A memorandum of agreement was signed by Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona and PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon at the Dr. Francisco Duque Hall, DOH Compound, San Lazaro, Manila.  “We can’t see any path but to join hands with Red Cross,” PhilNOS Program Manager Antonio R. Paraiso told Manila Bulletin in an interview. “Our idea is Red Cross is the ‘lifeblood’ of donation and PhilNOS is the ‘lifeline’ of organ donation, so donate blood during life and donate organs after life.” (Charina Clarisse L. Echaluce)

RECRUITER SUSPENDED

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has suspended a recruitment agency for allegedly attempting to defy the existing deployment ban for newly-hired Filipino household service workers (HSW) in Lebanon. POEA administrator Hans Cacdac said they issued an Order of Preventive Suspension (OPS) against Inter-Globe Manpower and Consultancy Services, Inc. for its supposed illegal reprocessing. The POEA said Inter-Globe committed to send two OFWs to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a receptionist and an inventory clerk, but instead tried to deploy them as household service workers (HSWs) in Lebanon. The victims were intercepted by the Bureau of Immigration prior to their departure at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) carrying Dubai and Lebanon visas.  (Samuel P. Medenilla)

SYJUCOS CHARGED

The Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) has filed graft and corruption charges against    former Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General Augusto Syjuco Jr. and former Iloilo Rep. Judy Syjuco for alleged misuse of her Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). Also included in the complaints filed before the Sandiganbayan were former TESDA Deputy Director General for Field Operations Santiago Yabut Jr. and Maria Nela Yniesto, president of Tagipusuon Cooperative. Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales accused the respondents of “siphoning off government funds from legitimate beneficiaries and programs of TESDA and diverting the funds to an ineligible Syjuco-founded non-governmental organization (NGO).”  The charges arose from the disbursement and use of the PDAF of  Syjuco amounting to P20 million which was coursed through TESDA, and released to and implemented by the Tagipusuon Cooperative, a Syjuco-founded NGO. (Jun Ramirez)