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National Newsbits for March 19, 2014

Feast Of Saint Joseph Today

The Catholic Church marks today the Solemnity of Saint Joseph (San Jose), the husband of the Blessed Mother, the foster father of Jesus, and the head of the Holy Family. Bishop Bernardino Cortez will celebrate a feast mass at the Santuario de San Jose in Greenhills, San Juan City at 6:15 p.m. The mass will be preceded by a solemn procession. Last year, Pope Francis was inaugurated as Supreme Pontiff at the Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Italy on this day. Commemorative rites will also be held in several churches in the country and in many parts of the world in honor of the beloved patron of the Universal Church, fathers, workers, and the dying. Considered as the second greatest saint after the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph was a skilled carpenter by profession. He was a model husband to Mary. (Christina I. Hermoso)


No Control Over Private Donations

The government has “no control or responsibility” over the Yolanda relief donations given to private organizations, according to a Palace official.  Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said they can only make a full accounting of the funds coursed through the government for the recovery efforts in the typhoon-hit communities. As of Tuesday, the Foreign Aid Transparency Hub (FAiTH) website showed the Philippines has received around P24.6 billion worth of foreign aid pledges — P3 billion in cash and P21.5 billion in non-cash assistance. Total cash received by the government, on the other hand, amounted to P643 million. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)