National Newsbits for May 30,2013

BANK OWNERSHIP

A measure amending the Rural Bank Act to allow foreign capital infusion in rural banks has been signed into law by President Benigno S. Aquino III. Republic Act No. 10574 aims to promote a healthier and competitive rural banking system as well as boost economic development in the countryside. "Non-Filipino citizens may own, acquire or purchase up to sixty percent (60%) of the voting stocks in a rural bank. The percentage of foreign-owned voting stocks shall be determined by the citizenship of the individual or corporate stockholders of the rural bank," the new law read. (Genalyn Kabiling)

M.M.D.A. 1,000

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will assign 1,000 traffic enforcers to assist local government units on perennially traffic-prone streets leading to public and private schools, colleges and universities during the opening of classes next week. MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino, who led the "Oplan Balik Eskwela" meeting with the LGU traffic bureaus yesterday, said his men will help regulate traffic at Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City; Recto and the University Belt in Manila, and Ortigas Avenue, Greenhills in San Juan, and other critical and choke point areas of Metro Manila. (Anna Liza Villas-Alavaren)

AIR TRAFFIC

In an effort to decongest air traffic at the country's premiere airport, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines yesterday issued an advisory circular opening the Manila airport's secondary runway to full operational use. The Ninoy Aquino International Airport has two intersecting runways: Runway 06-24, the main runway, and the Runway 13-31, the secondary runway which had limited use. The opening of Runway 13-31 to full operations will allow the smooth and orderly departure of more domestic flights especially in the morning peak hours which will eliminate queues on the ground. (Anjo Perez)

BINGO MILYONARYO

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) will formally launch today the first draw of its newest online lottery game called "Bingo Milyonaryo." For just a bet of P5, a punter stands to win from P2,000 to P4 million and above. Bingo Milyonaryo is being handled for the PCSO by COMNET Management Corporation, which introduced the game to the charity agency last year. Edward Rojo, account executive for COMNET, said Bingo Milyonaryo has five games in a draw, such as Bingo3; Bingo4; Bingo5, Bingo6; and Bingo2. Rojo said the prizes are P2,000 (Bingo3); P20,000 (Bingo4); starting jackpot, P150,000 (Bingo5); starting jackpot, P4 million (Bingo6); and P4,000 (Bingo2). (Edd Usman)

SENATE IMMUNITY

Sen. Loren Legarda is immune from arrest if the charge filed against her is punishable by imprisonment of not more than six years, according to Sen. Francis Escudero. A complaint has been filed against Legarda by Louis Biraogo who accused her of not declaring a multi-million peso property in Forbes Park, Makati City in her Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) from 2007 to 2011. Escudero said parliamentary immunity is one of the privileges enjoyed by lawmakers but this doesn't mean that the case cannot proceed. "If there is a case that would be filed, again, if it is below six years, she's immune from arrest but the case can proceed, but she is just immune from arrest while Congress is in session," said the senator. (Hannah Torregoza)

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