National Newsbits for January 4, 2014 | | Philippine News
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National Newsbits for January 4, 2014


Catholics commemorate today the Feast of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American saint and well-loved founder of the Sisters of Charity. Feast masses and other commemorative rites will be held in many parts of the world, including the Philippines, in honor of the holy woman who laid the foundation for the parochial school system in the United States. Born in New York in 1774, St. Elizabeth was pious from youth and became known for her initiatives to educate young people. In 1809, she established the first religious order in America, the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph, which was modeled after the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, with the main apostolate of setting up educational facilities as well as hospitals. St. Elizabeth died in 1821 and was canonized by Pope Paul VI on Sept. 14, 1975 during the observance of the Holy Year and the International Year of the Woman.  (Christina I. Hermoso)


Thousands of bettors across the nation are expected to crowd betting outlets today, Saturday, to try their luck for the estimated P86-million jackpot of Grand Lotto 6/55. A source at the office of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) General Manager Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II said yesterday punters’ appetites have been whetted because of New Year Day’s (Wednesday) no lotto draw. Grand Lotto is drawn every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. He said there was no winner in 6/55’s P81 million on Monday, and the jackpot is  projected to increase to P86 for the Jan. 4 draw. (Edd K. Usman)


Students from the National Capital Region (NCR) are the most delinquent among government scholars who have availed of the study now-pay later program which registered an average 2 percent loan repayment for the P138.5 million sought to be recovered in 2012, said a Commission on Audit report on the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). The COA said only P2,469,242.65 was paid by students who were able to get college degrees by taking advantage of the Study Now Pay Later Plan provided under Republic Act NO. 6728, the Education Loan Fund. The CHED, which is tasked to implement the education program, was supposed to collect P138,591,978.43 which is due for the year in audit, COA disclosed. (Ben R. Rosario)


Donations for victims of super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) continue to pour in from various Filipino-American organizations within the United States Northeast. The Philippine Consulate General said the Philippine-American Association of Connecticut has raised $28,000 since it started its fundraising drive on November 16, 2013. Some funds have already been distributed to Operation Blessings Foundation Philippines and Benedictine Sisters in Tacloban. The Filipino Executive Council of Greater Philadelphia raised $23,000 benefitting the Catholic Relief Services. The Filipino Community Development Center in Toms River, New Jersey, has collected $35,000. The Massachusetts-based Philippine-American Mainstream Advocacy of Nonpartisan Associations, Inc. and the Filipino-American Association of New England, Inc. also donated $2,200 and $2,500, respectively, for the Build-a-Shelter Project of the Philippine Jesuit Foundation (PJF) and the Friends of FilCom. (Roy C. Mabasa)