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National Newsbits for December 27,2013

SAINT JOHN THE EVANGELIST FEAST

The Catholic Church marks today the Feast of Saint John the Evangelist (San Juan Evangelista), the youngest of the 12 apostles of Jesus and the author of the Fourth Gospel in the Holy Bible, the Book of Revelation, and three epistles, which contain the sublime definition of the divinity, God is love. Commemorative rites in his honor will be observed in Dagupan City, Pangasinan; Tanauan, Batangas; Tapulao, Orani, Bataan; Guimba, Nueva Ecija; and in Bagbaguin, Sta. Maria, Bulacan St. John was the brother of another apostle, St. James the Great, and with Sts. Peter and Andrew were the original followers of St. John the Baptist. (Christina I.Hermoso)

ONA: PRESIDENT NEEDS A BREAK

Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Enrique T. Ona has advised President Benigno Aquino III to take a break every three to four months to properly recharge from his very busy schedule. “Nakita mo naman ang pinagdaanan ng ating Pangulo, going around the country, trying to solve all of these, with all the pressure, he is still a human being. Kaya dapat mayroon siyang break,” Ona said in an interview during the sidelines of a conference against the use of fireworks this holiday season. “As a matter of fact, I’m still advising everybody, especially the President, na sana mag-break siya kasi every three to four months. Kulang nga ang tatlong araw sa kanya… Ang gusto ko sana at least isang lingo,” Ona said. (Jenny F. Manongdo)

SPEED LIMITERS

Public utility vehicles (PUVs) will soon use global positioning system (GPS) and speed-limiting devices as the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) starts canvassing available technology used for fleet monitoring. LTFRB Chairman Winston Ginez said he has led inspection of several big bus companies before the yearend exodus of travelers and found technologies that operators are using to manage their fleet. “I personally witnessed how GPS works and how operators are able to track buses after leaving the terminal,” Ginez said. (Kris Bayos)

CUSTOMS REVAMP

Examiners and appraisers in the Bureau of Customs (BOC) may be placed on “floating” status or reassigned to the newly created Customs Policy and Research Office (CPRO) come next year. Customs sources said 200 more new officers and personnel are about to join agency after completing their training at the Office of Revenue Agency Modernization (ORAM). The ORAM and CPRO were recently created by President Benigno Aquino III through Executive Orders 140 and 139. “The examiners and appraisers are about to be replaced. The DOF (Department of Finance) has started the training of their replacement. Their days at BOC are numbered,” an insider said. (Raymund F. Antonio)

HEAVY METALS

The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) has issued a warning that traces of heavy metals like cadmium and lead were found in samples of bottled and canned fruit juices bought from a supermarket as part of a study conducted by the University of the Philippines. However, the PCHRD did name the products with cadmium and lead contaminants. (Edd K. Usman)