House approves biometrics listing bill on final reading

Posted on May 27, 2011

A BILL requiring biometrics registration for voters was approved on third and final reading at the House of Representatives on Wednesday, a move seen to address irregularities in the voter list.

House Bill (HB) 3649 requires all voters to enlist with biometrics data -- photograph, fingerprint and signature.

The scheme is expected to rid the list of double or multiple registrants, Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus B. Rodriguez (2nd district), one of the authors of the bill, said in a chance interview.

The Information and Technology Department of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has reported that general elections last May yielded 704,542 names of voters with double or multiple registration.

Only half of the 50.8 million voters, it added, have biometrics data.

Biometrics will allow immediate checking of new entries against old records, Mr. Rodriguez said, and discrepancies "can be immediately detected."

The bill, he added, bars voting for those without biometrics data.

Voters without biometrics data are allowed to update their records under Republic Act 8189 which allows continuing voter listing.

The Senate version is still pending at the committee. -- Noemi M. Gonzales

Cooking gas retailers lower price by P0.50 per kilogram

A GROUP of cooking gas refillers and retailers cut pump prices by fifty centavos per kilogram (kg) effective today.

"Prices will be cut by P0.50 per kilogram because the contract price is falling. Contract price is at $930 per metric ton," Arnel U. Ty, president of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers’ Association, said in a text message.

Petron Corp. yesterday was the first to reduce cooking gas prices by P1/kg.

Other oil companies have yet to announce price reductions.

International contract price of cooking gas was down to $930 per metric ton this week from $980 per metric ton at the beginning of the month.

Prices have increased by P4.50/kg since the start of the year. Prices range from P728.50 to P792.50 for an 11-kg cylinder tank.

Prices of liquefied petroleum gas have been tracking the downward trend of oil prices following easing fears of unrest in the Middle East and the killing of international terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. -- ENJD

Arroyos given deadline to answer raps

THE JUSTICE department has given a deadline to Ang Galing Pinoy party-list Rep Juan Miguel "Mikey" M. Arroyo and his wife, Angela, to answer a multimillion-peso tax evasion case slapped by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) against them.

The couple did not attend yesterday’s preliminary investigation at the Department of Justice, and have failed to file a counter-affidavit in the case, as they are on holiday in the United States.

Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Lagrimas Agaran, head of the three-man probe panel, set a June 27 deadline for the couple to file a counteraffidavit.

"If they still fail to file a counteraffidavit by that time, the case will be submitted for resolution," Ms. Agaran said. -- NRM