Medina backs RD$1 billion farming and forestry project
Government to deliver a million Christmas dinners
Three days of mourning for Mayobanex Vargas
Time to approve transport bill
Renew now if your residency has expired
Women march against rigid abortion code
Avoid high-interest investment offers
AMET tows away ombudsman’s SUV
Taiwan offers scholarships to study medicine
AES sets generation record in 2016
High waves affect all coasts
Licey ties for first place in baseball championship
Mirabal Sisters clothing collection at Resistance Museum
Urban music Christmas party


Medina backs RD$1 billion farming and forestry project
President Danilo Medina made another visit to the southwest on Sunday, 18 December 2016, this time to farmers in Loma Apolinar Perdomo in El Botado in Bahoruco province. He announced the start of a reforestation and sustainable development project with a budget of more than RD$1 billion. 1,600 farmers will benefit from monthly RD$5,000 payments over a three-year period to encourage the development of sustainable farming projects that counteract charcoal production and slash-and-burn farming practices in the area on the border with Haiti, where the forests have been all but completely destroyed. Haiti is also a major importer of charcoal illegally produced from Dominican forests.

“This is not a game. These funds are not yours or mine. They belong to the Dominican people,” said Medina, highlighting the commitment farmers need to have to the project and its future impact. The project covers an area of 121,500 tareas (tarea = 629 square meters), of which 60,000 will be planted with trees – 15,000 commercial forestry and 45,000 to protect the forest. Explaining the project’s magnitude, Medina said it was expected to generate RD$1.6 billion in revenue, guaranteeing the area’s development. According to the President, the project will include Red Globe grapes, dragon fruit (pitahaya) and mango plantations. Around one thousand beekeepers will also receive support.

In addition, 35,000 tareas will be planted with high-yield coffee resistant to the coffee rust (roya) pest, 12,000 tareas of exportable varieties of avocado and 10,000 tareas of cacao, benefiting more than 1,000 farmers.

Some 5,000 people will receive training, some as park rangers to discourage illegal charcoal production and others in firefighting techniques.

https://presidencia.gob.do/noticias/...bahoruco-video


Government to deliver a million Christmas dinners
The Presidency Social Plan has announced the distribution of more than one million Christmas dinner boxes to low-income families in 32 provinces. Another 300,000 bags of Christmas dinner items will be distributed through church groups to vulnerable population groups. The distributions will begin on Tuesday, 20 December 2016 starting in the San Juan de la Maguana province for the southwest. They will continue on Wednesday, in the east, Thursday in the Cibao and on Friday in Santo Domingo. The initiative is coordinated by Social Plan director Iris Guaba and Chamber of Deputies president Lucia Medina representing President Danilo Medina. Lucia Medina is President Medina’s sister.

The boxes contain rice, pigeon peas, beans, corn meal, cooking oil, pasta, sugar, oats, Christmas sweets, seasoning, cassava, rum, punch, wine and bread. A frozen chicken is delivered separately.

Meanwhile, former President Leonel Fernandez has gotten off to an early start by distributing Christmas boxes in the style of former President Joaquin Balaguer.

http://hoy.com.do/gobierno-anuncia-r...ir-del-martes/
http://www.elnuevodiario.com.do/app/...aspx?id=512477


Three days of mourning for Mayobanex Vargas
The Executive Branch has ordered three days of official mourning following the passing of 80-year old Mayobanex Vargas in Bonao on Saturday, 17 December 2016. He had been suffering from stomach cancer for several years.

Vargas is regarded as a national hero for his role in the overthrow of the dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. He participated in the failed Maimón, Constanza and Estero Hondo guerilla uprising in 14 June 1959 that gathered 198 fighters, most captured and murdered by Trujillo’s men. Vargas hid well at the time and was the last survivor of that group.

President Danilo Medina attended his wake at the Blandino Funeral Home in Santo Domingo on Sunday, 18 December 2016 after the late hero’s remains were brought from the Funeraria Taveras in his hometown. Vargas will be buried in Bonao with state and military honors on Monday, 20 December.

http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2016/12/1...udo-matarrdquo


Time to approve transport bill
The director of the Technical Office of Land Transport says that the absence of a transport law that defines the roles of government institutions as regulators is an obstacle to the immediate application of the Superior Administrative Court (TSA) order that calls for the OTTT to take measures to control the service and prevent price fixing and monopolies. Hector Mojica of OTTT admits that the OTTT is inefficient, and says they are required to comply with the ruling. He called for the Senate to pass the transport bill, as reported in Diario Libre.

“This ruling [the TSA ruling] will definitely not be able to be applied, because one of the weaknesses of the transport system is that some institutions do not have the authority or the capacity to comply with it,” said transport specialist Mario Holguin. However, Holguin believes that the ruling sets a legal precedent that creates favorable conditions for improving the current transport chaos. He also backed the approval of a bill that has languished in Congress for several years and that is aimed at creating a National Transit and Land Transport Institute (Intran) with a new framework for supporting transport-related decisions.

Meanwhile, the National Police said it would guarantee order and citizen safety if the affected transporters go on strike. A spokesman for the director of the Police said the Police are ready to implement the TSA ruling that orders the Police to protect people’s physical safety.

Meanwhile, Antonio Marte, president of the Confederacion Nacional del Tranpsorte (Conatra), one of the large transporters accused of monopolizing transport, said the group of unionized transport associations would take their rights in the transport system to the Constitutional Court for a ruling. The TSA ruling concurred with the National Business Council that accused long-standing transporters of monopolizing the transport of passengers and cargo, preventing competition, and price fixing. The TSA ordered government institutions to fulfill their roles to stop the situation from continuing.

Former deputy and president of the Fenatrano transport association Juan Hubieres says that his affiliated drivers will begin a protest campaign in January. He described the TSA ruling as meaningless and said that in order to impose it the government would have to do what was done in Mazote, Guatemala, and murder all the transporters. He said Fenatrano would not sit down at the dialogue table headed by Monsignor Agripino Núñez Collado. Hubieres complained that Conep benefits from 32 privileged laws after Congress legislated in their favor and not in that of the general public.

“The government has to tell the country if it is true that the wealthy will continue to receive RD$29 billion in subsidies while this is denied to other sectors,” he stated. “We are going to hit the streets together with the sugar cane farmers and construction workers because the government wants to steal more than RD$15 billion in pensions that are ours,” announced the transport leader.

http://www.diariolibre.com/noticias/...orte-BA5750461
http://eldia.com.do/hubieres-dice-en...odos-los-dias/


Renew now if your residency has expired
The Migration Agency (DGM) is calling on all foreign residents in the Dominican Republic to check and see if they need to renew their residency permits, in order to comply with Article 25 of the Migration Law 285-04. This applies to all residence categories: students, temporary workers, temporary residents, permanent residents and investor residents.

The renewals can be made at the DGM headquarters at the corner of Malecón and Héroes de Luperón Street in the Centro de los Héroes in Santo Domingo or at regional offices in Bávaro, Santiago and Puerto Plata from Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm.

http://elnacional.com.do/migracion-l...encia-vencida/


Women march against rigid abortion code
On Sunday, 18 December 2016, women’s groups led protests calling for President Danilo Medina to once again veto the Penal Code passed in the PLD-majority Congress that eliminated clauses that would have allowed abortion in cases of rape, incest, fetal malformation or risk to the life of the mother. “As citizens we strongly reject this latest attack on the rights of women and girls,” said Lourdes Contreras, the director of the Gender Institute at the INTEC University, and who spoke on behalf of the Coalition for the Rights and Lives of Women. She called on Medina to veto the bill once again, as he did in 2014.

Contreras said that it was shameful that the Dominican Republic has one of the highest maternal mortality rates, which is linked to the practice of illegal backstreet abortions, especially affecting low-income women.

“The President must take on his commitment towards the human rights and health of all Dominican women and veto the approved Penal Code that promotes state-sanctioned femicide, examples of institutionalized violence against women,” she said, speaking for the coalition.

http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2016...el-aborto.html
http://www.diariolibre.com/noticias/...enal-HB5737669
http://m.elcaribe.com.do/2016/12/16/...o-codigo-penal
http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2016...igo-penal.html


Avoid high-interest investment offers
Banking Superintendent Luis Armando Asunción is advising people against entrusting their savings to finance companies or individual financial advisors who are not regulated by Monetary and Financial Law 183-02. Operations of this kind have attracted millions of pesos in investment by offering rates of interest well above the market rates. Nonetheless, hundreds of people have fallen victim when these companies, which are not supervised by banking authorities, have gone bankrupt.

http://www.listindiario.com/economia...-ahorro-ilegal


AMET tows away ombudsman’s SUV
Metropolitan Transport Authority (AMET) agents ordered a badly parked SUV to be towed away on Sunday, 18 September 2016, only to learn that it belonged to government public advocate, Zoila Martínez. The vehicle was parked on the sidewalk of the National Emergency Service (911) across the street from the Blandino Funeral Home on Av. Abraham Lincoln in Santo Domingo. Martínez was paying her respects at the wake held for national hero Mayobanex Vargas.

The usual procedure is for the person whose vehicle has been impounded to pay the fine, the cost of the tow truck and for the time the vehicle is kept at the Canodromo vehicle compound. The vehicle pound is on Av. Monumental at the level of Km 11 of the Duarte Highway. Amet just told the press that the vehicle was returned to her.

Amet spokesman Diego Pesqueira said that several other vehicles were towed away for obstructing traffic on Av. Abraham Lincoln.

In November, Martínez was abducted for four hours and her vehicle stolen. Speaking on Sunday, she told reporters her vehicle had not been wrongly parked because there were no “no parking” signs where she had left it.

http://www.diariolibre.com/noticias/...eada-XX5761752


Taiwan offers scholarships to study medicine
The Embassy of China (Taiwan) has announced that it is accepting applications for medicine studies scholarships at the “School of Medicine for International Students at the I-Shou University (ISU). Graduates receive a degree of doctor in medicine.

The studies are financed by the Taiwanese Fund for International Cooperation and Development (ICDF).
Applications for the four-year academic program in English need to be received from 2 January 2017 to 15 March 2017. A written admission test will be given on 21 April 2017 and an oral test in the English language on 26 and 27 April.

The scholarship requires students to return to their countries of origin and bans them from applying for a medical license in Taiwan or practicing medicine in Taiwan. The scholarship covers tuition and other fees, and accommodation, textbook and subsistence allowances.

A photocopy of the applicant’s passport and high school or university studies certificates need to be included. Translations into Chinese or English must be notarized by the Taiwanese mission. Proof of having taken at least six credits in biology, chemistry or life sciences courses needs to be presented, as well as English proficiency test scores from the past two years (TOEFL, IELTS), an autobiography in English and three letters of recommendation in English or with English translations.

The documents need to be submitted to the Republic of China (Taiwan) Embassy at Av. Rómulo Betancourt 1360, Bella Vista, Santo Domingo.

Read about the program and its admission requirements at:
http://www.isu.edu.tw/upload/326e/18...file_98763.pdf

To apply, visit the School of Medicine for International Students at:
http://enroll.isu.edu.tw/enroll/dp/

Also see the Taiwan ICDF form at: http://www.icdf.org.tw/TSP/CasePerson.aspx

For additional information, contact the School of Medicine for International Students at http://www.isu.edu.tw/medicine or by email to smis@isu.edu.tw


AES sets generation record in 2016
AES Dominicana reports that it has broken a new power generation record with a consolidated production of 5,450 GWh. AES Dominicana announced new efficiencies in production that are being passed on in lower costs for power sold to power utilities. AES estimates savings at around US$300 million.

Company president Edwin de los Santos said 2016 has been an exceptional year for the country. AES plants run on natural gas and coal. De los Santos said the company has invested US$41.6 million in projects that will enter the grid in 2017. This is in addition to US$260 million spent on the construction of the DPP combined cycle plant. AES Dominicana’s overall investment in the DR now exceeds US$1.3 billion.

De los Santos says that a large-scale energy storage project will enter into operation in 2017 involving AES Andrés, Itabo and DPP. This will be a first for the Dominican Republic and the Central American and Caribbean region. The project involves the installation of around 30MW to contribute to the stability of the interconnected electricity grid and continue with the injection of the most efficient energy to the system. The DPP combined cycle operations will also inject 114 megawatts of clean energy to the grid.

De los Santos said that AES would add on average 3.5 MW solar-fired projects at AES Andrés and Itabo and two microturbines to maximize the injection of clean energy to the interconnected energy grid (SENI).

He also announced social corporate responsibility activities through the AES Dominicana Foundation include funding of infrastructure projects such as sports facilities, children’s parks, and scholarships. He informed that 3,000 students have benefitted, including 17 students of the National Music Conservatory who will study at Berklee College in Boston, Massachusetts.

http://www.aesdominicana.com.do/app/...e.aspx?id=1678


High waves affect all coasts
The Emergency Operations Center (COE) has issued a warning to small and medium-sized boats to stay in port due to dangerously high surf of more than eight feet and winds of up to 15-20 knots expected from Sunday to Tuesday, 21 December 2016. A green alert has been issued for all coasts nationwide following recommendations made by the National Weather Service (Onamet). The COE has also banned bathing in beaches and water sports for the same reasons. Onamet said that as of dawn of Monday, 19 December, a trough would be crossing the country bringing rainstorms mainly to the north, northeast, southeast and central mountain areas.

Bad weather on Sunday, 18 December 2016, also caused the cancellation of flights to the Dominican Republic from the eastern coast of the United States. Passengers are being advised to reconfirm their flights before traveling to the airport.


Licey ties for first place in baseball championship
In a game attended by 15,000 fans at the Santiago Cibao ballpark on Saturday, 17 December 2016, Aguilas Cibaeñas fans watched on heartbroken as their team lost 10-2 to the Tigres del Licey.

This was Licey’s 25th win (it also has 21 losses), bringing the team to tie for first place with the Gigantes del Cibao. The Aguilas are now 23-23 in the standings, tied in third place with the Estrellas Orientales.

It was a game in which Licey fans especially enjoyed the homeruns by Marco Hernández and Jason Rogers. In the fifth inning, the team batted for a rally of three runs after two outs. The team also scored two runs even in the ninth inning.

To follow the season, see games schedules and updates at http://www.lidom.com
http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2016/12/1...a-primer-lugar


Mirabal Sisters clothing collection at Resistance Museum
The Dominican Resistance Memorial Museum is exhibiting a selection of restored clothing sewn and worn by the Mirabal sisters who were slain in 1960 at the orders of Dominican dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. The exhibition of the “The Mirabal Sisters Textile Collection” seeks to give people a closer, more human look at the heroines, who have since become symbols of the struggle to eliminate violence against women. Known as the “Butterflies,” Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa Mirabal led an opposition movement against Trujillo (1930-1961).

The sisters were honored by the United Nations when the date of their murder on 25 November by the dictator’s Military Intelligence Service was named International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Museum director Luisa de Peña says that the dresses, shawls and lingerie that they themselves had embroidered gives people a better insight into these brave women who led a life of self-sacrifice and chose the path of honor, paying the highest price with their lives. The exhibition will be open through March 2017.

The clothing required a long restoration process that began when Belgica (Dede), the surviving Mirabal sister, warned of the deterioration of all the clothes that had been left in her mother’s house, later made into a museum, and where the “butterflies” lived after being released from prison, until they were killed. Their husbands meanwhile had stayed in jail, where they felt less vulnerable.

The collection on display includes some of the 360 items of clothing that had been exposed to the elements for over 50 years and were restored by Patria’s daughter Noris Gonzalez Mirabal, who traveled to Guatemala and the United States for training in how to restore the heroines’ clothing, with the support of the US Embassy in the Dominican Republic. González recalls seeing the sisters embroidering the clothes when she was a child.*The Resistance Museum is in the Colonial City of Santo Domingo.


Urban music Christmas party
Puerto Rican reggaeton duo Jowell & Randy, US reggaeton singer and songwriter De la Ghetto and Dominican reggaeton rapper Don Miguelo will be performing at Hard Rock Live in Santo Domingo on 22 December 2016.

Tickets are for sale at Uepa Tickets, CCN (Jumbo and Supermercados Nacional) and Hard Rock Café at Blue Mall.

For information on upcoming events:
http://www.dr1.com/calendar

Archived News stories:
http://dr1.com/forums/forumdisplay.p...-Headline-News

Archived Travel News stories:
http://dr1.com/forums/forumdisplay.p...p-Tourism-News