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National Newsbits for November 6, 2014.


A group of jeepney operators yesterday urged the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to adopt a fare adjustment mechanism dependent on the real-time price of fuel. The Pangkahalatang Sangguniang Metro Manila and Suburb Association (PASANG-MASDA) yesterday filed an 11-page petition, urging government to adopt a benchmark in fare adjustment based on the history of jeepney fare movement. According to PASANG-MASDA president Obet Martin, minimum jeepney fare was set at P7.50 when a liter of diesel costs P27 from May 2005 to February 2009. It increased to P8 when diesel price increased to P42.05 and it further increased to P8.50 when fuel price hit P52.00. If the proposed fare adjustment mechanism is approved, Martin said minimum jeepney fare should be reduced to P8 based on the current average price of diesel. The minimum jeepney fare for Regions 3, 4 and the National Capital Region was pegged at P8.50 for the first four kilometers and P1.50 for the succeeding kilometer since June 14. (Kris Bayos)


Fr. Greg Gaston, rector of the Pontificio Collegio Filipino (PCF) in Rome, Italy said Filipino Catholics there are looking forward the upcoming apostolic visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines next year. In an interview over Radio Veritas 846, Gaston said Filipinos in Rome have the opportunity to see the Pope thrice a week. However, "the Philippines is very fortunate to have the rare opportunity to receive Pope Francis' apostolic blessing in person." Gaston, the Vatican has yet to release the final details of the Papal visit to the country and Vatican officials are set to arrive in the Philippines this month to check the preparations of the local Church particularly in areas the pontiff intends to visit.(Christina I. Hermoso)


Justice Secretary Leila de Lima recently told the United Nations (UN) that concerted efforts from the private sector and governments are critical in the fight against extra-judicial killing of journalists. De Lima conveyed this during the plenary session this week at the 3rd United Nations Inter-Agency Meeting on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity in Strasbourg, France. In her remarks, De Lima admitted that the government bears the primary responsibility to ensure the effective protection of journalists. She stressed, however, that the viciousness crimes committed against journalists demand a coordinated response from the government and the private sector. With this, De Lima recommended the inclusion of people-driven grassroots advocacy into the UN Plan of Action in order to provide the basic source of support from the field to the government hierarchy of member-states. Likewise, she stressed the urgency and indispensability of educating the public on the protection of journalists. (Jeffrey G. Damicog)


The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) yesterday said a lone bettor who placed a bet in Quezon City won the P16-million minimum guaranteed jackpot prize of the Super Lotto 6/49's drawn Tuesday evening. Information from the agency showed that the lucky winner, who matched the winning combination 21-43-11-03-29-47, placed the bet at a lotto outlet along Commonwealth Avenue. PCSO allocates 55% of revenues to the prize fund, 30% to its charity fund and 15% for operating costs. Unclaimed prizes exactly a year after its draw will be forfeited in favor of the charity fund. (Edd K. Usman)

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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Nov 5, 2014
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