Movie sector lobbies for keeping its tax incentives
Hacienda Minister complains of too many tax incentives
DGII to cancel company tax registries 
ProConsumidor to set up online disputes platform
Taiwan donates US$882,540 for innovation in small business
Tender for seismic reflection campaign
New World Bank director visits
Muhammad Yunus and Christine Ha at Hub Santo Domingo
The unjustified addendums to Odebrecht-DR contracts
Felucho admits PLD knew about project overpricing
Police recover kidnapped baby
Medical suits becoming more common
DR makes its way to a 2nd-round rebound



Movie sector lobbies for keeping its tax incentives
A committee representing the movie industry in the country met at the Presidential Palace with President Danilo Medina to lobby for keeping the tax breaks and other incentives in the Film Law 108-10. The law has encouraged a boom in the Dominican movie industry, with the development of movie houses, film distributors, producers and film academic institutions. 

The meeting comes at a time when government financial heads Donald Guerrero of the Ministry of Hacienda and Magin Diaz of the Tax Agency are reportedly considering asking the legislature to introduce a bill that would rollback tax incentives that benefit the Dominican film industry. 

In its defense, the film industry advocates say that the movie industry barely receives 0.2% of all the tax incentives granted by the Dominican government while it has created around 5,000 new jobs. 

One of the participants in the meeting with the President, Omar de la Cruz said that before the law about one Dominican film a year was being made, and now this has increased to 10 or 15 a year. De la Cruz is the director of the Funglode Film Festival. 

Others meeting with President Medina were businessman Manuel Corripio; the director of Funglode Marco Herrera, movie director Archie Lopez, lawyer Laura Castellanos, general manager of Caribbean Cinemas Zumaya Cordero, among others. 

http://elnacional.com.do/el-gobierno...yando-el-cine/
http://www.listindiario.com/la-repub...acion-del-cine


Hacienda Minister complains of too many tax incentives
Minister of Hacienda Donald Guerrero Ortiz said on Wednesday, 15 March 2017, that tax incentives have become the rule rather than the exemption. Industries benefiting from tax incentives have flourished in the country, including the movie industry, tourism industry and free zone industry. Guerrero pointed out that those sectors of the economy that have not benefited from tax breaks, such as local manufacturing, have experienced decline. 

Minister of Hacienda Guerrero said that the tax code contains 35 different clauses that allow 140 tax breaks. He said that this plethora of loopholes has created what could be argued as an unfair tax system. 

Guerrero noted that both the Tax Agency (DGII) and the Customs Agency (DGA) are working together to establish better internal controls and while improving the efficiency of both agencies. But he reiterated that the preferential tax system has created a system where special tax regimes are the rule, rather than the exception. 

http://www.lainformacion.com.do/noti...utario-injusto


DGII to cancel company tax registries 
The Tax Agency (DGII) alerts on 31 March 2017 it will inactivate the tax code (RNC) of business that are not up to date with the 2008 corporate law that changed company structures. The DGII had required companies change to new formats set out by Corporate Law 479-08 dating back to 2008 and its amendment Law 31-11). While the law established fixed deadlines for incorporation, many companies have not yet done so and the DGII had been lax about enforcement of the law.  

http://www.diariolibre.com/economia/...cion-MD6577781


ProConsumidor to set up online disputes platform
Dominican government consumer protection agency, ProConsumidor director Anina del Castillo wants consumers to settle their disputes online in the future. She says the Pro Concilia online 24/7 mechanism will soon make it easier to settle claims, and that already 65% of disputes are being settled through agreements made by the parties involved.  

The new service promises to reduce unnecessary delays for the consumer. It will enable the resolution of conflicts without having to make personal visits to ProConsumidor offices. 

Del Castillo made the announcement as part of a talk on building a digital world in which consumers will be able to celebrate World Consumer Day knowing that solutions to consumer-related conflicts can be increasingly settled on-line. 

She says this service will also enable the settlement of claims with providers that are not physically located in the Dominican Republic. She observed that many consumers are victims of fraud and deceitful advertising online. 

“Many users are scammed through fraud, misrepresentation, and misleading advertising of products and services sold online,” she said. She said the government had to get involved to protect consumers from cloning of cards, identity theft, and huge financial losses that are carried out online.  Del Castillo called for the nation to coordinate efforts to fight this scourge.

http://www.listindiario.com/la-repub...n-por-internet
http://elnacional.com.do/pro-consumi...es-y-clientes/


Taiwan donates US$882,540 for innovation in small business
Ambassador of Taiwan Valentino Ji-Zen Tang presented to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and MSMEs (MICM) US$440,000, the first part of a US$882,540 donation for the ministry’s program to strengthen management of innovation in small business (Innovate). The signing of the agreement took place at the MICM in Santo Domingo with the participation of Minister of Industry Temístocles Montás, deputy minister for international cooperation Inocencio Garcia of the Ministry of Economy, and deputy minister Ignacio Mendez in charge of small business at the MICM. 

Speaking at the event, Minister Montas said the funds will go to improve the quality and sustainability of Dominican companies and enhance their capacity to access new markets within and outside the country. 

http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2017/03/1...ara-innovacion
http://www.listindiario.com/economia...n-de-las-pymes


Tender for seismic reflection campaign
The Ministry of Energy and Mines is encouraging local companies to participate in a tender to choose the firms that would carry out the seismic reflection study to determine the oil-producing potential in different parts of the country. 

This geophysical method uses principles of seismology to estimate the properties of the Earth’s subsurface from reflected seismic waves. 

The offshore information would cover the platforms of San Pedro de Macoris and Ocoa Bay and territorial waters of the Dominican Republic in general. 

https://mem.gob.do/index.php/noticia...mica-en-el-mar


New World Bank director visits
Tahseen Sayed Khan, the new director of the World Bank for the Caribbean arrived on Wednesday, 15 March 2017, for the first time in Dominican Republic. She is meeting with Minister of Economy, Isidoro Santana and Minister of Hacienda, Donald Guerrero.  Meetings have been scheduled with these officials on Thursday and Friday. 

Sayed Khan will be accompanied by Alessandro Legrottaglie, World Bank representative in the DR and Guillermo Villanueva of the International Finance Corporation on the visits.   

http://almomento.net/nueva-directora...inicana/297865


Muhammad Yunus and Christine Ha at Hub Santo Domingo
The Santo Domingo Chamber of Commerce Hub multi-sectorial trade exhibition event opened in Santo Domingo on Wednesday, 15 March 2017. It ends on 18 March. The event seeks to promote trade, stimulate the economy and serve as a business to business networking event. 

One of the highlights of the event is the talk on Thursday, 16 March 2017, by Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus, who will be speaking about microfinance and microcredit. Another is the celebration of the Taste Santo Domingo gourmet event. 

As part of the Taste Santo Domingo event, the food and beverage exhibition will be open from 10am to 9pm. On Friday, 17 March at 9am, there will be a special session with Master Chef Christine Ha (for a fee). 

During the opening ceremony, Jochi Vicente, speaking as the president of the board of directors for CCPSD, explained the goal of the event is to serve as a one-stop platform for showcasing Santo Domingo. In his keynote address he shared with the audience the good news that the mercantile registration would now be issued in less than 24 hours. The document is needed to formalize a company in the country. 

http://www.tastesantodomingo.com/que...ta-taste-2017/
http://www.theblindcook.com/about/
http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2017...l#.WMrJNSMrIuw


The unjustified addendums to Odebrecht-DR contracts
Of 14 projects undertaken by Brazilian construction company Odebrecht in the past 16 years, at least 10 were found to have had significant modifications made to their budgets, costing Dominican tax payers US$830 million more than the original budgets. 

There is the case of the Northwest Aqueduct, under the Hipolito Mejia administration, that was originally budgeted US$220 million, but ended up costing US$251.5 million, for a difference of 14%. There is also the Palomino Hydroelectric project with an estimated budget for US$225 million that by the time it was inaugurated came with a whopping US$400 million price tag.

In addition, the cost of the Pinalito Hydroelectric dam was initially set at US$131 million, but ended up with a total cost of US$300 million, or 129% the initial amount. 

The Ecovías de Santiago road project contracted to Odebrecht that included the construction of the Santiago Bypass was planned for US$49 million but is known to have cost more than US$138 million, or 181% more. 

The Samana aqueduct was originally budgeted at US$60 million, but ended up costing US$175 million. Similarly, the Hermanas Mirabal aqueduct started at a budget of US$51 million, but in reality cost US$110 million. 

The Procurement Law 340-06 establishes an allowed for 25% increase in budget costs, explains Carlos Pimentel of the civic group Participación Ciudadana. 

http://acento.com.do/2017/economia/8...justificacion/
http://acento.com.do/2017/politica/8...sobrevaluadas/


Felucho admits PLD knew about project overpricing
PLD Political Committee member Felix Jimenez (Felucho) says that the members of the Political Committee of the ruling party were aware of the overvaluations of Odebrecht construction projects in the country. He said that these were discussed during the government of Leonel Fernandez during political committee meetings. Jimenez is the president of the board of administration of the Dominican Petroleum Refinery and is himself a longtime member of the political committee of the ruling party. 

http://www.lainformacion.com.do/noti...n-de-odebrecht
http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2017/03/1...elucho-jimenez


Police recover kidnapped baby
Members of the Criminal Investigations Department of the Police (DICRIM) reported having recovered the newborn that a woman disguised as a nurse allegedly abducted from the Presidente Estrella Ureña Maternity Hospital of the Dominican Social Security Institute (IDSS). The alleged perpetrators, 36-year old Mary Rosario Cruz, and her husband William Ferreras Reyes were arrested. 

The baby was found at the couple’s home on Calle Pedro Infante corner Maria Teresa Mirabal in Pekin neighborhood, in southern Santiago. 

Baby Gabriel Alfonso Richetti was found hours after a description of the woman was given by the 14-year old birth mother of the child and her sister, Agustina Reyes. 

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


Medical suits becoming more common
The Dominican Medical Association (CMD) is assisting more than 250 physicians that have been sued. Former rector of the state university (UASD), psychiatrist Fernando Sánchez Martínez, and general secretary of the Dominican Medical Association (CMD) pediatrician, Mery Hernández, said the suits are causing large levels of stress and anxiety to physicians. Dr. Sanchez and Dr. Hernandez made the observation on El Gobierno de las Mujeres radio talk show on Neon 89.3 FM produced by journalists Rosa Alcántara and Patricia Arache. 

The CMD is assisting the physicians due to the high cost of the lawsuits. In many instances, the plaintiffs have hired expert lawyers to represent them in court. 

Likewise, Dr. Sanchez said that while the Dominican life expectancy is around 72-73 years, women physicians die earlier because they are subject to intense stress on the job. 

http://hoy.com.do/cmd-defiende-a-mas...por-pacientes/
http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2017...l#.WMrE3yMrIuw


DR makes its way to a 2nd-round rebound
The World Baseball Classic defending champions, Team DR edged past Venezuela 3-0 to keep hopes high of making it to the semi-finals. 

On Thursday, 16 March 2017 in San Diego, California, stellar pitching and home runs by Gregory Polanco and Nelson Cruz, the Dominican Republic secured the victory over Venezuela in the second round of the World Baseball Classic at Petco Park.

MLB reported that three runs -- including the two solo homers from Polanco and Cruz -- were all the Dominican Republic would need, as starter Edinson Volquez and a dominant relief unit combined to toss an eight-hit shutout. Every Dominican reliever recorded at least one strikeout.

The Dominican Republic was upset by Puerto Rico on Tuesday for its first loss in the Classic since 2009. Venezuela was unable to hold a late lead against Team USA on Wednesday. 

Team USA and Puerto Rico are leading 1-0 in Group F and will play each other on the evening of Friday, 17 March 2017. 

The top two teams advance to playoffs of the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium from 20-22 March. 

http://m.mlb.com/news/article/219558...icid=209143850
https://www.worldbaseballclassic.com/bracket
https://www.worldbaseballclassic.com/schedule/

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