National Newsbits for July 13,2013


The Philippines and Belgium have signed their first comprehensive agreement through the signing of the Philippines -Belgium Joint Plan of Action (JPA). Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Albert del Rosario and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and European Affairs Didier Reynders signed the JPA during the bilateral talks held in Brussels, Belgium on July 10. Del Rosario was in Belgium and Luxembourg for a three-day visit, wherein he was able to talk with government officials of the two countries. (Madel Sabater - Namit)


The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services (PAGASA) has hoisted typhoon signal number two at the Batanes Group of Islands while typhoon signal number one remains at Calayan and the Babuyan Group of Islands due to typhoon "Huaning." Yesterday morning "Huaning" was spotted at a distance of 410 kms at the west east portion of Itbayat, Batanes, with winds moving at 165 kph in the middle and wind strength reaching 200 kph. Even if some typhoon signals were raised, the path of "Huaning" will trend its original path going to Taiwan. "Huaning" is expected today to be about 420 km north of Itbayat, Batanes, or in the area near the vicinity of Northern Taiwan. (Chito A. Chavez)


Individual taxpayers who elected to pay their 2012 income tax in two equal installments have until Monday to pay the second, or last installment. Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) issued the reminder yesterday, stressing that the deadline will not be extended and strictly enforced like the April 15 deadline in the filing of 2012 income tax returns (ITRs). Under the Tax Code, a taxpayer may elect to pay in two equal installments, if the tax due exceeds P2,000. The first installment to be paid when the ITR is filed on or before April 15 and the second on or before July 15 of the same year. (Jun Ramirez)


A lucky punter in Laguna defied Thursday Super Lotto 6/49's odds of one in 13.98 million, hitting its P88.2-million jackpot. The lone winner placed bets matching all the drawn numbers: 41-40-30-10-32-21. A staff at the office of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) General Manager Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II said the lotto aficionado placed the winning bet at a lotto outlet in San Pablo City, Laguna. He said the total prize in the July 11 draw of 6/49 reached P88,292,828. He said 27 bettors stand to receive P68,270 each for guessing five correct numbers of the drawn combination (Edd K. Usman)


An official of the Catholic Church yesterday opposed the proposed four-day workweek, saying this would lessen the productivity of the nation. "The productivity of the nation will be lessened by only four days of work," said Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes, member of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Permanent Council. Bastes said he is also not convinced that such a plan would help solve the traffic problem in Metro Manila. Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo also expressed opposition to the plan, saying this would be detrimental to workers' welfare. (Leslie Ann G. Aquino)

"If it means no work no pay, I would not favor it," he said.