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National Newsbits for October 17,2013


Washington Governor Jay Inslee has appointed a Filipino-American registered dietitian to the Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs (CAPAA), a state agency engaged in advocacy, community education, and outreach, as well as interagency and community collaborations to improve the well-being of the Asian Pacific Americans (APAs). As a commissioner representing Yakima County, Gerardine Cabusao will advise the governor and state and local public officials on policies, plans and programs focusing on the needs of APAs. A native of the Philippines, Cabusao received her Bachelor of Science in Foods and Nutrition from the Philippine Women’s University and her Dietetic Internship from Central Washington University. (Roy C. Mabasa)


The contracts of winning bidders for two packages under the P8.8-billion Public-Private Partnership (PPP) School Infrastructure Project-Phase Two (PSIP II) of the Department of Education (DepEd) will be awarded tomorrow. DepEd Assistant Secretary and Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) member Tonisito Umali, identified them as Megawide Construction Corp. and the consortium of BSP and Co. Inc. and Vicente T. Lao Construction. Five packages were up for bid under the project but only two packages were awarded. (Ina Hernando-Malipot)


There will be no extension of the period for filing of Certificates of Candidacy for the October 28 Barangay Elections which ends at 5 p.m. today, Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes said yesterday. “We will close the doors exactly at 5 p.m. There will be no extension,” Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said in a press briefing. “If we allow filing on October 18, it means we also have to defer the campaign period. So we will not extend the deadline date.” Comelec said that as of Monday, 57,674 candidates for barangay chairman have filed COCs and 467,196 for barangay kagawads. (Leslie Ann Aquino)


A National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) official yesterday said Senate Bill 1645 filed by Senator Vicente C. Sotto III calling for 14th month pay for all workers will adversely affect around 800,000 small and medium enterprises and put at risk the jobs of 4.5-million unskilled workers. During a Senate hearing, NWPC officer-in-charge Maria Criselda Sy said: “If our assumption is that if the bill would be passed in 2014, the labor cost will be at P607 per day so the total cost per day will be P459 million for employers and we have 759,000 minimum earners. (Charissa Luci)


Gabriela party-list Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan yesterday questioned the timing of the Supreme Court’s (SC) decision to uphold Republic Act (RA) 372 or the Human Security Act (HAS) of 2007 despite moves to declare it unconstitutional. Ilagan referred to RA 372 as the “Terror Law” and expressed fear that the SC ruling would result in a spike in cases of human rights violations. “The Supreme Court decision upholding the repressive Terror Law comes amid growing unrest, dissatisfaction and a worsening human rights situation. The timing is inauspicious,” said Ilagan. (Ellson A. Quismorio)