National Newsbits for December 22,2013

Article excerpt

FAREWELL CALL Outgoing Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Ma Keqing yesterday made a farewell call on President Benigno S. Aquino III in Malacanang. Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that despite tension between the Philippines and China over territorial disputes, the countrys relationship with China will remain to be multifaceted and multi-dimensional. He also said Ambassador Ma had been treated warmly in the country during her stint. I am certain that despite the differences, we will have a friendly and a warm departure for Ambassador Ma Keqing, Lacierda said. (Madel Sabater-Namit) SARI-SARI STORES The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with two of the worlds biggest companies to support the revival of economic activity and livelihoods in Leyte, one of the provinces worst-hit by super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). The US Embassy in Manila said that USAID, Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Coca-Cola have agreed to help establish new sari-sari stores (small community stores) and rehabilitate damaged or destroyed sari-sari stores located in public markets. (Roy C. Mabasa) SAFETY GEAR The International Labor Organization (ILO) has partnered with private companies to provide necessary safety gear to people hired under a cash-for-work program to help clear debris and rebuild communities in areas ravaged by super typhoon Yolanda. ILO country officer Lawrence Johnson said a P1.5-million donation from some private companies was used to purchase 3,000 sets of protective gear for the beneficiaries of the governments cash-for-work program. …