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National Newsbits for August 7, 2014

SOLEMNITY OF THE ASSUMPTION

The Our Lady of the Assumption Parish on Asuncion Street in Malate, Manila has lined up a series of activities leading to the Solemnity of the Assumption which will be observed on August 15. Novena masses will be held from August 6 to 14 at 6:15 p.m. On August 9, a medical and dental mission will be held at the parish from 8 a.m. until noon, followed by a “Kasalang Bayan” (mass wedding) at 1 p.m. A “Kumpilang Bayan” (mass confirmation) will be held on August 10 at 10 a.m. A solemn procession will be held on August 14 at 7 p.m. Manila Auxiliary Bishop Bernardino Cortez will celebrate the thanksgiving mass on August 15 at 9 a.m. The Solemnity of the Assumption commemorates the bodily ascension of the Blessed Mother to heaven. It is considered as the principal and oldest feast of Mary and is observed as a holy day of obligation by Catholics (Christina I. Hermoso)

P1.74-B FOR WATER PROJECTS

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has lined up P1.73-billion water supply projects for 30 tourism destinations nationwide. The so-called Tourism Water Supply Infrastructure Program (TWSIP) is set to begin “as soon as possible,” DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson said. “Tourism spots need to have safe and sustainable water supply to further enhance its tourism potential. This will be addressed once our water supply projects are completed,” he said. Among the 30 tourist spots that will be covered by the project are Currimao and San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte; Baguio City, Benguet; Roxas and El Nido, Palawan; Aroroy, Masbate; and Murcia and San Carlos City; Negros Occidental. (Raymund F. Antonio)

EBOLA WATCH

Philippine wildlife authorities are on heightened alert against the smuggling of wild animals from Africa into the country to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon Paje has instructed all its personnel from the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) assigned in airports and seaports nationwide to strictly monitor all imported wild animals and exotic pets, particularly those coming from Ebola-hit countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Paje explained that the Ebola virus is a zoonotic disease transmitted to humans by direct contact with infected live or dead animals, and more specifically with their body fluid. Paje assured that the DENR had stopped issuing permits for wild animals imported from Africa as early as 2006. ( Ellalyn B. De Vera)

METAL TECHNOLOGY PARTNERSHIPS

Thailand is eyeing partnerships with the Philippines in the metal manufacturing technology. Visiting businessman and Thai Tool and Die Industry Association president Kamon Nakasuwan, said this will eventually lead to growth for both countries and even further investments down the line in other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member nations such as Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar. In a press briefing, Nakasuwan noted that a solid partnership between Thailand and the Philippines will be further boosted with their participation in the upcoming METALEX 2014, the largest machine tools and metalworking technologies trade exhibition and conference within the ASEAN economic community. METALEX 2014 will be held on November 19 to 22 at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Center (BITEC). (Roy C. Mabasa)