Same ministry, just a different name
Minimum wage talks still stalled
Sisalril meets with doctors and specialists
Brugal Distillery fined for contaminating Higuamo River
Víctor Víctor named cultural advisor to President Medina
Stricter controls for gun licenses and renewals
Lead suspect in broadcasters murder found dead
Monsignor Ozoria calls for end to crime
San Pedro de Macoris mourns two murdered broadcasters
Unesco director speaks out against broadcaster murders
Finjus criticizes Odebrecht agreement
ANJE calls for application of Bribery Law 448-06
Santo Domingo business hub for March 2017



Same ministry, just a different name
Taking political correctness to new heights, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce reported that a new law approved by Congress last three February will change the name of the ministry to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and SMEs. (MICM). 

In a very long article in the Diario Libre the duties of the ministry are presented in full. The ministry is in charge of providing administrative support to Dominican industry and commerce. It is responsible for drafting, modifying, implementing and evaluating the policies, strategies, overall plans, programs, projects and services of the industrial sector as well as exports, free zones, special regimes and small business…..” 

The ministry is also in charge of participating in the National Commission of Trade Negotiations and coordinating with the Ministry of Foreign Relations the representation of the country before the World Trade Organization and international agencies dealing with trade and commerce. 

The Center for Exports and Investment of the Dominican Republic (CEI-RD) is under the Ministry.

http://www.diariolibre.com/economia/...mbre-IM6295831
https://www.mic.gob.do/images/pdf/tr..._y_Mipymes.pdf


Minimum wage talks still stalled
The National Committee on Salaries (CNS) convened the next meeting for 14 March 2017, after a two-hour meeting on Wednesday, 15 February, failed to produce an agreement between management and labor on the general minimum wage increase. The business sector requested 30 days to present their counter proposal. On Wednesday, they argued for the reclassification of businesses before offering their support to minimum wage increases. 

The labor unions are demanding an across-the-board 30% wage increase. The most recent increase in the minimum wage dates back to 31 May 2015. 

The CNS convenes representatives of government, labor unions, management. The meetings are coordinated by the Ministry of Labor. 

http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2017/02/1...-reunira-marzo


Sisalril meets with doctors and specialists
The Superintendent of Labor Risks and Health (Sisalril) met on Wednesday, 15 February 2017, with the government mediating talks between representatives of the Dominican Medical Association and the Council of the Society of Medical Specialists and local Health Risk Administrators (ARS), the Dominican version of HMOs. During the meeting a working agenda was proposed and accepted. 

Discussions included topics such as payment reductions to Health Service Providers (ARS) and the refusal of assigning codes to young medical specialists, better regulation of contracts between the health providers and doctors and an update to the basic health plan. The doctors also want their fees to be increased. These fees have been stagnant for 10 years.

The representatives of the doctors expressed their appreciation for the interest of Sisalril to mediate and contribute to finding solutions and requested faster action and results in the short-term. 

Sisalril said it would invite the Dominican Association of Health Service Providers (ADARS) that represents the ARS to hear their point of view. Superintendent Pedro Luis Castellanos said the government assigns top priority to the Dominican social security system that is based on strategic alliances between the public and private sector.


Brugal Distillery fined for contaminating Higuamo River
After notifications were sent in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, regarding contamination caused by the distillery to Higuamo River in southeastern San Pedro de Macoris, the Ministry of Environment finally acted and fined Brugal Distillery with RD$1,965,120 for violation of Law 64-00. The decision was delivered to the company in Resolution No. 001-2017 dated 2 January 2017, by the Environmental Management Deputy Ministry. 

The company was fined for contaminating the river with wastewater from the residual water treatment plant. The company operates at Prolongación José Rojas in Barrio Punta Garza in San Pedro de Macorís. It also was ordered to reduce the noise levels of its machinery and equipment. 

Brugal public relations department said that it paid the fine and is working on a long-term solution to the situation. “Brugal firmly backs the policies of protection of waters and surrounding areas enacted by the Ministry of Environment,” said the company in a press release. 

The Ministry of Environment also reported it fined the free zone company EZC Manufacturing for depositing the plant’s untreated residual waters in the Laguna Mallen in San Pedro de Macoris. The Ministry of Environment ordered the closure of the textile laundering unit of the company and that the company undertake the remediation costs of the lagoon. 

The actions are taken after citizens reported the contamination had colored the waters of the lake to a strange blue. The Laguna Mallen had was declared a Wildlife Refuge in 2009 to preserve its natural habitat. 

http://www.diariolibre.com/medioambi...-spm-FJ6281887

http://telenoticias.com.do/agua-azul...do-sancionada/


Víctor Víctor named cultural advisor to President Medina
The singer/songwriter Victor José Victor Rojas (known far and wide as Victor Victor) has been appointed cultural advisor to the President of the Dominican Republic. President Medina made the appointment in Decree 40-17, issued on Wednesday, 15 February 2017. 

Víctor Víctor was the first Minister of Culture to be named by former President Leonel Fernández. He is better known for composing songs and singing bachata. 

Victor Victor had founded the Nueva Forma group (New Way) together with Sonia Silvestre back in the 70s. The group took part in many activities with their songs of protest especially the now famous “Seven Days with the People” and many of his songs have been sung by artist throughout Latin America and Spain, such as Dyango, Milly Quesada, Celia Cruz and Azucar Moreno. His career as an international song writer began when his song “ El Camino de los Amantes” was sung by Felipe Pirela.

Víctor Víctor has scheduled a concert with Rafael Solano (of “Por Amor” fame) for 18 February 2017, at the Lucia 203 nightspot in the Colonial City where he will sing romantic songs, including those from his recent album. 

Listen to his “Mesita de Noche”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xXlLUzBnPc

http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2017/02/1...al-presidencia


Stricter controls for gun licenses and renewals
Minister of the Interior and Police Carlos Amarante Baret announced the Ministry will apply more strict controls for firearm permits or renewals. He said that the stricter application of controls contained in the Firearm Law is one of the goals of his ministry for 2017-2020. 

The minister said: “What should matter is that when you place a firearm in the hands of a civilian we must be fully confident that this person is reasonably balanced from a psychological point of view and therefore eligible to possess the right to bear arms.” He stressed his agency would apply more strict enforcement of the psychological tests required under the law. 

Amarante Baret issued his statements during a meeting with the deputy ministers and department directors at the Ministry of the Interior and Police. The Minister said that the right to bear arms is covered in the Constitution of the Republic, but this right is conditional and subject to the professional assessment of the applicant that the Ministry of the Interior and Police is obligated to conduct. 

Amarante Baret said that 61% of the 1,613 homicides that occurred last year were committed with firearms, causing the death of 978 persons and injuring 3,890. 

Amarante Baret made the comments after rumors have circulated that the recent murder by gunshots of two broadcasters was due to the unbridled rage of the lead suspect regarding a business deal that did not go his way. 

Last year there were 685 cases of firearms that were reported stolen or lost.

http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2017...mas-fuego.html


Lead suspect in broadcasters murder found dead
The media carried reports that the lead suspect in the murder of two radio broadcasters in San Pedro de Macorís may have committed suicide after he was cornered by the authorities, as reported in SIN. The body of 59-year old José Rodríguez (Joselito) reportedly was found in bushes located in front of the San Pedro de Macorís free zone, in the Los Multi barrio. The announcement of the finding of the body took place only hours after broadcasters Leonidas Martínez and Luis Manuel Medina were buried in San Pedro de Macorís. 

The Police has yet to release the official version on why Rodríguez was sought as the lead suspect. Initial reports circulating in the media are that he was unable to control his anger over a real estate deal that did not go his way and in which the broadcasters had mediated. 

http://www.listindiario.com/la-repub...cadores-en-spm
http://www.diariolibre.com/videos/vi...utor-EK6279547
http://hoy.com.do/supuesto-asesino-d...habria-matado/
https://policianacional.gov.do/notic...ro-de-macors 


Monsignor Ozoria calls for end to crime
Archbishop of Santo Domingo, formerly bishop of San Pedro de Macoris, Monsignor Francisco Ozoria called on the authorities to put a stop to delinquency and crime that is affecting the country. He said the country is living times of darkness and called for the authorities to bring tranquility to Dominican families. 

“All this occurs because there is an absence of God in our plans,” said the head of the Roman Catholic Church in the Dominican Republic. 

He addressed the topic at the mass celebrated to commemorate the 69th anniversary of the Dominican Air Force. He lamented the deaths of the two broadcasters and described them as excellent professionals. Attending the mass was the top ranking military of the country. 

http://www.listindiario.com/la-repub...ersonas-buenas


San Pedro de Macoris mourns two murdered broadcasters
City government in San Pedro de Macoris declared three days of mourning for the assassination of the radio journalists, Leonidas Martínez and Luis Manuel Medina.

The assault to place on the morning of Tuesday, 14 February 2017, while the two journalists were at the radio station located at the Centro Comercial Nacional del Este in San Pedro de Macorís city. 

The bodies of the late journalists were mourned at the San Pedro funeral home where thousands of people of all social levels and provinces came to pay their respects. The journalists hosted the Milenio Caliente talk show, where they routinely touched on sensitive community issues. 

In the case, the Police pursued 59-year old José Rodríguez as the lead suspect and reported finding his corpse the next day. 

San Pedro journalist Carmen Natalia said that Rodríguez was the founder of the San Pedro Shooting Association, had ties to the left, and had been deported from the United States. 

http://elnacional.com.do/declaran-tr...-en-san-pedro/
http://www.elhiguamo.com/san-pedro/p...rulla-policial


Unesco director speaks out against broadcaster murders
Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova denounced the murder of radio presenter Luis Manuel Medina and producer Leónidas Martínez, also known as Leo Martínez, on 14 February 2017 in San Pedro de Macorís during live streaming of news on Facebook. 

“I condemn the murder of Luis Manuel Medina and Leónidas Martínez,” said the director-general. “Such brutality spreads terror not only throughout the media community of the country concerned but through society at large. I urge the authorities to do all they can to bring those responsible for this crime to trial and support the media whose contribution to informed public debate is indispensable to maintain respect for internationally recognized human rights, notably the basic right of freedom of expression.”

What is known is that a gunman entered the premises of local radio station FM 103 on Tuesday morning and shot Luis Manuel Medina while he was presenting the Milenio Caliente (Hot Millennium) news program. Leónidas Martínez, who was the director of FM103 and the program’s producer was also killed.

The statement on the killing of media workers was issued in line with Resolution 29 adopted by UNESCO Member States at the Organization’s General Conference of 1997, entitled “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists.”

http://en.unesco.org/news/director-g...nidas-martinez


Finjus criticizes Odebrecht agreement
The vice president of the Foundation for Institutionalism and Justice (Finjus), Servio Tulio Castaños Guzmán criticized the agreement signed between the Justice Department and the Brazilian construction giant, Odebrecht. He suggested that the state should request to be compensated for the overpricing that Finjus says the company has admitted to in works carried out in the Dominican Republic. 

The legal expert said that the company used an inappropriate model to do business with the government that led to officials signing addendums to the contracts after Odebrecht was awarded the projects through international tenders. 

Castaños Guzman said: “We are looking at an emblematic case of corruption, not just for Latin America,” when he was questioned by Diario Libre reporters after participating in a roundtable discussion on security and justice. 

He noted that President Danilo Medina only fires the officials involved in questionable acts of corruption, but these are never indicted and sent to trial. He cited the recent case of the director of the Corporation of State Enterprises (Corde), Leoncio Almanzar, who was recently fired after the questionable sale of land in the area of Los Tres Brazos. Readers will remember that 2,000,000m² were sold for just RD$66.00 per square meter.


ANJE calls for application of Bribery Law 448-06
The National Association of Young Entrepreneurs (ANJE) complained on Wednesday, 15 February 2017, that more than 10 years after the enactment of the Law on Bribery in Commerce and Investment (Law 448-06), the legislation has not yet been used to rigorously pursue investigations, accusations and punishment for those responsible of committing acts of corruption, such as officials as well as individuals. 

ANJE presented a written statement to El Nacional newspaper signed by Eugene Rault Grullon, its president. ANJE highlights that despite the law containing strong sanctions for violations of corruption it has not been effective in the processing of criminal corruption. 

The Association said that since 2006 there is the perception by the citizens that the penal justice system is weak and there is a lack confidence in the agencies that are part of the Justice Branch in the country, especially regarding transparency in the handling of public funds. 

ANJE called for zero tolerance in the cases of corruption, abuse of power or the miss handling of public funds or any other acts which involve the lack of transparency.


Santo Domingo business hub for March 2017
The Santo Domingo Muti-sectoral Commercial Exposition organized by the Santo Domingo Chamber of Commerce is set for 15-18 March 2017. Taiwan is the guest country ad is participating with 30 companies. 

Jochi Vicente, president of the Chamber of Commerce, explained the event will take place at t he convention center of the Ministry of Foreign Relations (MIREX). 

There will be representatives of the farm, agribusiness, business, energy, travel, logistics, security, financial services, supply chain and ITC sectors.

The event includes exhibition, business round tables, producing launching, workshops, roundtables and seminars.

http://hubcamarasantodomingo.com/

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


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