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National Newsbits for June 14, 2014

BIODEGRADABLE CIGARETTE FILTERS

After ratifying the Picture-Based health warning bill, the Senate is now keen on passing a measure requiring tobacco companies to use biodegradable cigarette filters. Filed by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, the measure, Senate Bill No. 2276, “An Act Mandating the Use of Biodegradable Filters on Cigarettes,” is pending before the Senate Committees on Environment and Natural Resources and Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship. Santiago said the measure aims to improve the quality of life by removing cigarette litter and reducing the toxic risks of using non-biodegradable filters. “Cigarette filters are the most commonly discarded piece of waste worldwide. It is estimated that 1.69 billion pounds of filters wind up as toxic trash each year,” Santiago said. (Hannah L. Torregoza)

‘ESTER’ LEAVES BUT RAINS CONTINUE

Tropical storm “Ester” left the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) yesterday morning but the southwest monsoon will continue to bring heavy rains over some parts of Northern and Central Luzon, state weather forecasters said. The southwest monsoon, locally called hanging habagat, is expected to bring moderate to heavy rains over the Batanes Group of Islands, Calayan and Babuyan Group of Islands, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mt. Province, Pampanga, Zambales, and Bataan. PAGASA advised residents in these areas and local disaster risk reduction management councils concerned to take all the necessary precautionary measures against possible flash floods and landslides. (Ellalyn B. De Vera)

CHIEF OF STINKY STATION SACKED

A police community precinct commander in Manila was removed from his post for maintaining a dirty and stinky office. Manila Police District Director Police Superintendent Rolando Asuncion sacked Tondo’s Don Bosco Police Community Precinct (PCP) commander Senior Inspector Manny Israel following a surprise visit to the police station. “It was so dirty and the toilet did not even have a bowl. One of the policemen even has a goatee and mustache,” Asuncion said in an interview. “I regularly go around my units to check not for faults but to learn what our policemen are doing during their duties and to see the good deeds of policemen. They should make their stations clean for the benefit of people who will come to them for assistance. If they cannot do this, I will remove them from their post,” he said. (Jenny Manongdo)

TAGUIG BETTOR WINS P7-M  JACKPOT

A bet placed at a Lotto betting station in Western Bicutan, Taguig City, matched the winning numbers combination of 04 – 33 – 17 – 27 – 41 – 23 of the Lotto 6/42 draw of June 12 which carried a jackpot prize of P7,149,192, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) said yesterday. The winning bet was a standard pick, meaning the bettor chose the numbers. Meanwhile, the jackpot of today’s Grand Lotto 6/55 is projected to range from P145 million to P147 million, the PCSO said. A PCSO official said lotto games draw an average of one million bettors, particularly 6/55 which offers relatively big minimum guaranteed jackpot (MGJ), or starting prize money. (Edd K. Usman)