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National Newsbits for March 10, 2014

Income Requirement

The House Committee on Local Government has passed a measure seeking to increase to P200 million the income requirement for the creation of a province and to P250 million for the declaration of highly-urbanized status of component cities. The panel chaired by South Cotabato Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr. approved House Bill 1251, which seeks to amend Republic Act 7160, known as the Local Government Code of 1991 in order to rationalize the income requirements for the conversion or declaration of a province and highly urbanized city. Cebu Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia, who authored the bill, pressed on the need for Congress to correct the “discrepancy” by amending the Local Government Code which maintains an income requirement of P20 million before a new province is created. (Charissa M. Luci)

Elusive Jackpots

Grand Lotto 6/55’s odds of one in 28.99 million continues to hold, with the jackpot for today expected to reach P104 million. The P97,142,892 prize of last Saturday’s Grand Lotto 6/55 draw eluded 1,685,517 individual bets which translated to P33,710,340 ticket revenue. As a result, the PCSO projected the next prize to reach P104 million. The PCSO said 22 bets matched at least five of the winning numbers combination of 11-21-07-20-54-26 for the draw which has a payout of P76,610 each. The Lotto 6/42 draw of March 8 also did not yield a winner of its P40.5-million pot. The winning numbers combination for the draw was 02-11-01-03-37-22. (Edd K. Usman)

Hangin Amihan

Cold weather-associated northeast monsoon or hangin amihan may come back within the next two to three days, bringing lower air temperatures over some parts of Northern Luzon this week, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Sunday. However, PAGASA weather forecaster Gener Quitlong said warm and humid air or easterly winds coming from the Pacific Ocean will continue to affect Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Siquijor, Leyte, and Mindanao. These areas will have cloudy skies with light to moderate rain showers and thunderstorms.  (Ellalyn B. De Vera)

Full Disclosure

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said 1,432 LGUs are now complying with the Full Disclosure Policy (FDP) on projects and expenditures. The FDP provides the general public access to relevant information on local budgets, finances, bids, and public offerings. It also aims to promote local governance reform towards participation, accountability, responsiveness, and transparency. “A total of 72 provinces, 137 cities and 1,323 municipalities nationwide now continuously disclose to their constituents and the general public their annual budget reports, annual procurement plans, statement of debt services, statement of receipts and expenditures, and quarterly statement of cash flow through various media,” said DILG Secretary Mar Roxas. (Czarina Nicole O. Ong)

Sister Cities

A partnership between two cities known for their academic institutions is in the pipeline with the accord expected to bring development not only in education but also in the areas of tourism, culture, business and people-to-people engagement. During a recent media round table held in Manila, Philippine Ambassador to Portugal Philippe J. Lhuillier disclosed that a sister-city agreement is being arranged between Dumaguete City and Combria. In particular, a partnership between the cities’ premier educational institutions will be given the spotlight. (Roy C. Mabasa)