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National Newsbits for August 9, 2014


Bishop Jesse Mercado will preside over a high mass at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow, August 10, at the St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Parañaque City in celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Buen Suceso (Good Events), the patroness of the city of Parañaque. A solemn procession bearing the image of one of the oldest Marian religious icons in the country will be held at 4 p.m. The feast coincides with the 389th day of enthronement of the image at the St. Andrew’s Cathedral which took place in 1625. Devotion to Our Lady of Buen Suceso is actively being promoted by the diocese. Perpetual novena to Our Lady is held every Saturday at 6 a.m., 12 noon, and 6 p.m. at the cathedral. Masses for overseas Filipino workers and seafarers are held every second Saturday of the month, families in crisis every third Saturday, and the youth every fourth Saturday. The miraculous image was canonically crowned as the patroness of the City of Parañaque on September 8, 2000. (Christina I. Hermoso)


A bill penalizing business establishments for failing to give consumers the exact change for purchases has been approved on second reading in the House of Representatives. Authored by Reps. Mark Villar and Anthony del Rosario, House Bill 4730, or “An Act Requiring Business Establishments to Give Exact Change to Consumers,” proposes fines to be imposed on stores, hardware shops, drug stores and other business establishments who fails to give consumers their exact change for purchases. HB 4730 also prohibits business establishments from giving consumers any other form of change instead of the correct currency. Under the bill, all business establishments will be required to post the sign “demand exact change” conspicuously in their stores. (Ben R. Rosario)


The Bureau of Immigration (BI) plans to implement an Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) to facilitate the exclusion of unwanted foreign visitors. Under APIS, immigration authorities from countries where the passengers originate will be asked to transmit the names and personal circumstances of passengers boarding airliners and ships bound for the Philippines, said BI Commissioner Seigfred Mison. Those with derogatory records can be easily segregated and sent out on the next available flight, said Mison. He said the APIS is part of a bigger program being prepared by government for next year’s two big events, the arrival of Pope Francis in January and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference in November. APIS is being practiced in the United States and other Western countries. The BI has submitted to Malacañang a proposed executive order on APIS for review and approval. (Jun Ramirez)


Las Piñas Rep. Mark Villar called on leaders of Congress yesterday to include in the list of legislative priorities a bill that would stop telephone firms from imposing expiration dates on prepaid mobile phone loads. Bills protecting consumers against unfair practices of telecommunication firms should be given priority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, said Villar. Telecommunication reform bills that favor or protect the rights of telephone users are among the slow-moving measures in Congress, he said. Villar authored House Bill No. 4782, the Prepaid Load Protection Act of 2014, which will stop the practice of telecommunication firms of imposing expiration dates that would result to the forfeiture of load credits stored through call or text cards, as well as electronic transfer or e-loads. (Ben R. Rosario)