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National Newsbits for June 18, 2014

CRESCENT SIGHTING FOR RAMADAN SET

An Islamic organization is eyeing June 28 as the first day of Islam’s holy month of Ramadan, when adult Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking, and marital relations from dawn to dusk. Said Ahmad Basher, Middle East-educated religious leader, and president of the Imam Council of the Philippines (ICOP), told the Manila Bulletin that in Islam, every start of the month depends on the appearance of the crescent. “We still have to sight the moon because that is the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Allaihi Wassalam,” Basher said. Muslims in the Philippines have scheduled a sighting of the Ramadan crescent on June 27. (Edd K. Usman)

FOOD SECURITY WEBSITE LAUNCHED

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), together with its partner-agencies, launched the Philippine Food Security Information System (PhilFSIS) website. The PhilFSIS website (http://philfsis.psa.gov.ph) is an online, web-based dissemination tool containing data and information related to food security, availability, accessibility, and utilization. The PhilFSIS is a product of a two-year project funded by the Technical Cooperation Program (TCP) of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. It aims to enhance food security planning, implementation and evaluation through improved organization, analysis and dissemination of relevant information. With the PhilFSIS website fully operational, the PSA hopes to provide up-to-date information on food security concerns in the Philippines. (Czarina Nicole O. Ong)