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National newsbits for May 15, 2014

FEAST OF SAN ISIDRO LABRADOR

Bishop Bernardino Cortez will celebrate a high mass at 7 p.m. today at the San Isidro Parish on Taft Avenue, Pasay City in commemoration of the Feast of San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of farmers, peasants, agricultural workers, and of Madrid, Spain.  A solemn procession will be held at 4 p.m. Novena masses were held from May 6 to 14. Across the country, more than 150 parishes and several municipalities will hold feast rites in honor of the well-loved Spanish saint, who is also known as Saint Isidore the Farmer.  Born in Madrid, Spain, San Isidro was a hardworking farmer and laborer who put God at the center of his life. Many miracles were attributed to his intercession. He died in the year 1130. His wife, Santa Maria de la Cabeza, is also well-venerated in Spain to this day. (Christina I. Hermoso)

MANDALUYONG BET HITS JACKPOT

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has produced another millionaire, a bettor in Mandaluyong City who hit last Tuesday’s Lotto 6/42 jackpot worth P9.7 million. The PCSO said the winning ticket was bought at a big mall along Shaw Boulevard and EDSA. It is a standard pick bet (meaning the numbers were chosen by the bettor), as opposed to a “Lucky Pick” made by the lotto computer. The winning numbers are 40-19-05-29-15-16 and carry a P9,785,488 prize. PCSO prizes are tax-free and can be claimed in a year’s time, or else they are forfeited and made part of the PCSO charity fund. (Edd K. Usman)

PRESENT DOCTORS, COURT ASKS NAPOLES

The Makati City court yesterday ordered lawyers of detained

businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles to present doctors who can substantiate her request to extend her confinement in the hospital, citing that “her stay is already overdue.” During the hearing on Napoles’ motion to extend her stay at the Hospital ng Makati, Napoles lawyer Bruce Rivera said there is a necessity for Napoles to be confined in the Osmak for a series of check-ups after undergoing a major operation that removed her uterus and both ovaries last April 23. (Anna Liza Villas-Alavaren)

FUNDS AWAITED FOR NEW LAPTOPS

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) continues to await the P3.9-billion Digital Empowerment Fund (DEF), or at least the R1.8 billion for 2014. The R3.9-billion DEF budget, for the years 2014 to 2016, is part of the R9 billion from the national government meant for its “massive computerization program.” Once the Department of the Budget and Management (DBM) releases this year’s budget to DOST Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO), it will be transmitted to the DBM’s Procurement Service Unit for the provision of new laptops for 96,000 government workers. (Edd Usman)

KULIGLIG LANES

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is allowing two-wheeled trailers pulled by two wheel tractors, also known as “kuliglig,” to utilize the outer lane of the roads to make traffic flow smoother and safer. DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson said that slow kuligligs, tricycles and pedicabs impede free flow of traffic on national roads. DPWH has designated the outer lane of widened roads for kuligligs since they have no specific areas where they can ply routes. The agency will hold consultative meetings with stakeholders to discuss other measures to make national roads safer and more convenient for motorists. (Raymund F. Antonio)