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National Newsbits for May 20, 2014

Saint Bernardine of Siena Feast

Catholics mark today the Feast of Saint Bernardine (San Bernardino) of Siena, the Apostle of the Holy Name of Jesus and one of the most widely venerated saints of the Catholic Church. Considered as the greatest preacher of his day, the Italian saint led a missionary life of one whom Pope Pius II called “a second Paul” because many listened to him and were convinced of his teachings and sermons in the same way during the time of St. Paul. St. Bernardine said, “The name of preachers is the glory of the preachers.” Born in Siena, Italy in 1380, he joined the Franciscans of the Strict Observance in 1403 and was ordained priest in 1404. (Christina I. Hermoso)

PNR given new lease on life

The Senate, by a 20-0 vote, approved on third and final reading a bill extending for another 50 years the corporate life of the state-owned Philippine National Railways  (PNR). The Senate adopted the House bill to extend PNR’s corporate life to avoid the time-consuming bicameral conference committee process. The measure is expected to be submitted to President Aquino for signing before the current 50-year charter of the PNR expires on June 20. Sen. Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the Senate Government Corporations and Public Enterprises Committee, said the continuance of the commuter rail service in Metro Manila and the revival of the anticipated train to Bicol will ensure a  cheaper alternative of transportation to passengers who come from the “lowest earning economic brackets of our country’s population.” (Mario B. Casayuran)