No to hi-tech confession

MANILA, Philippines - Confession has to be done the traditional way.

No high-end technology can replace the usual way of going to confession and receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Penance.

Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes, SVD, said over the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) online radio, that despite the advent of modern gadgets and technology, "no confessions can be made through mobile phones even those with video call capabilities or through electronic mail. Absolution must be given by the priest to the penitent in person." (Christina I. Hermoso)

Show unity vs R.H. bill
Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales has called on the faithful to show their unity against the Reproductive Health (RH) bill in Congress by joining next week's Prayer Hour at the Quirino Grandstand at the Luneta in Manila.

"We invite all who value life, family and life values to join the Prayer Hour at the Quirino Grandstand (Luneta)," he said in a circular letter dated March 14, 2011. "We all believe that you will be one to deliver the message that our country will never allow the repressive RH bill to be passed," added Rosales, in the letter obtained by Radyo Veritas 846. (Leslie Ann Aquino)

Influx of Japanese tourists noted
A big influx of Japanese tourists arrivals have been recorded at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport following the tsunami that hit the country last March 11, 2011.

Since flights from Narita resumed, all flights arriving from the "land of the Rising Sun' have been fully booked with both Filipino workers and Japanese tourists which is somewhat unusual especially now that it's still a lean travel season.

Philippine Airline flights from Narita, Osaka and Nagoya arrived full of passengers yesterday with Japanese families opting to 'weather out the storm' in the country here in the Philippines. (Anjo Perez)

Employment prospects good
The Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) is optimistic with the job prospects for this year despite the increase in unemployment last January.

The DoLE made the statement amid the recent report of the National Statistics Office (NSO) Labor Force Survey that nationwide unemployment slightly increased last January from 7.3 to 7.4 percent or about 92,000 Filipinos compared to the same period of last year.

Labor and Employment Communication Director Nicon Fameronag said that they have already coordinated with business organization, which guaranteed to provide additional jobs to Filipinos throughout the year. (Samuel Medenilla)

Number of errant taxpayers down in QC
More and more business operators based in Quezon City are complying with their tax obligations as the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) reported a steady decline in the number of apprehended errant taxpayers.

In separate reports submitted yesterday to Quezon City Revenue Regional Director Nestor Valeroso, revenue district officers (RDOs) disclosed that despite ongoing tax mapping operations, or street-by-street inspection, fewer and fewer businesses are being caught cheating on their tax payments or violating revenue rules and regulations.

Earlier, Valeroso has instructed his RDOs not only in Quezon City but in other adjacent cities under the regional office to strike hard on tax offenders for various tax violations like non-registration and non-issuance of receipts. (Jun Ramirez)

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