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National Newsbits for February 1,2014

VOTER BIOMETRICS

Seven to eight million registered voters with no biometrics data, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec). Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said this is out of the more than 52 million registered voters. The biometrics registration records voters’ digital photographs, signatures and fingerprints. “The bulk really of people na walang biometrics e yung mga matagal na rehistrado, yung veteran voters na hindi nagpa update ng kanilang record ever,” he said in an interview. As of now, he said, they are already preparing for the upcoming voters registration being set months from now. “Nagsimula na ang inventory ng (voter registration) machinesJanuary pa lang. Lahat hinahanda na namin para sigurado tayo pagdating ng start ng registration complete tayo ng equipment,” said Jimenez. (Leslie Ann G. Aquino)

REGIONAL HUBS

The Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) aims to establish regional hubs this year, according to Vice President Jejomar C. Binay. This is in preparation for a decentralized operation of the agency, said Binay, chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC). The SHFC is mandated to handle the distribution of loans from the Community Mortgage Program (CMP) and other social housing loan programs for families with low-income or are informal settlers. Binay said SHFC also targets an increase in the number of beneficiaries of the CMP. The CMP, a mortgage financing scheme that assists legally organized associations of residents in depressed areas to own the lots they occupy, benefited at least 16,015 informal settler families (ISFs) in the country last year. (JC Bello Ruiz)

POLICE UNIFORMS

The National Police Commission (Napolcom) has approved Resolution No. 2013-673, which prescribes the wearing of the powder blue Patrol Shirt by the members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) assigned to the Bike Patrol. Napolcom Executive Officer Eduardo U. Escueta said the resolution focused on the replacement from the three sets of T-shirts for PNP personnel on Bike Patrol (Set A: Blue gray with dark blue collar worn on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; Set B: Navy blue with dark blue collar worn on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays; and, Set C: White with dark blue collar worn on Sundays) to the PNP Patrol Shirt. Escueta said that the patrol shirt is for the use of the PNP uniformed personnel when performing general law enforcement functions. (Czarina Nicole O. Ong)

BEAUTIES REPLACED

Two more candidates will join the official roster of the 2014 Bb. Pilipinas beauty pageant after two girls were disqualified from the contest, the Bb. Pilipinas Charities, Inc. announced yesterday. Paula Abiog, spokesperson of the Araneta Center Inc., said that Aiza Faeldonia and Carla Jenina Lizardo will replace Sherlien Dass and Dianna Querrer. Dass and Querrer resigned allegedly due to issues on height as stated in the website Adventures of a Beauty Queen by former Miss Universe contestant Joyce Burton-Titular. Both girls stand below 5’5. But another website claimed that the two girls were replaced because they have existing contracts with ABS-CBN, the official network partner of the 2014 Bb. Pilipinas beauty contest. (Robert R. Requintina)