Good value behind Dominican tourism outstanding success
Fadul sets pay raise at 20%; in two stages
Several initiatives pass in Congress
New ambassadors to Haiti, Canada and Spain
Head of the Chamber of Deputies rejects IACHR classification
Minister of Agriculture says rice harvest will pull through
COE says the rains will continue through Friday
Medical groups question supplier to state pharmacies
Foundation demands police records  regarding femicides
Several interested in being next president of Dominican Baseball League
Thieves return stolen SUV
Rosa Mariana Brea on dealing with loss in life
White Sox officials meet President Medina
Madasgascar to open at National Theater



Good value behind Dominican tourism outstanding success
Speaking to tourism industry leaders, hoteliers and suppliers, the president of the National Hotels & Tourism Association (Asonahores) Joel Santos opened the DATE tourism conference on Wednesday, 3 May 2017 in Punta Cana highlighting how good value is driving the continued growth of the Dominican tourism industry. 

The event is organized by the National Hotels & Tourism Association (Asonahores) with the backing of the Ministry of Tourism. Tourism Minister Francisco Javier García also had welcoming words for the around international and local 830 delegates attending the 18th version of DATE, representing suppliers and buyers interested in the Dominican market, the leader in the Caribbean. 

In the keynote address at the opening, Santos highlighted how the Dominican Republic is a global leader in tourism, ranked in the top 50 tourism countries of the world. He observed that the only other Latin American countries in the top 50 ranking are Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. Santos remarked that in 2016, the DR was second in Latin America only to Mexico in hard currency tourism receipts. Last year the sector generated revenues for US$700 million. Furthermore, Santos mentioned the US$598 million in foreign direct investment generated by the tourism industry in 2016.  

He commented on how the growth of the Dominican tourism industry, with air arrivals increasing 6.4% in 2016, was way above the 3.9% regional and 4.8% Caribbean averages. He stated that in the past 26 years, the average global growth for the global tourism industry is at 4.5%, compared to the 16.7% of the Dominican Republic.

In his opening speech at the Barceló Bavaro Palace, Santos spoke of the 5,175 new hotel rooms added for a total of 75,000 hotel rooms in the Dominican Republic. More so, he said occupancy has increased from 75% to 78%, 11% more than the Caribbean average and 13% more than the global average occupancy rate. 

Santos attributed the successes of the Dominican tourism product to the excellent good value ratio and reputation the country has achieved. “The international delegates will be able to see for themselves we are offering a booming tourism industry and will be able to meet with highly professional suppliers that represent the unsurpassable product in quality/price the country is offering,” he said in his closing remarks.

http://www.listindiario.com/la-repub...mm-en-ano-2016


Fadul sets pay raise at 20%; in two stages
Minister of Labor José Ramón Fadul announced his decision on Wednesday, 3 May 2017 to go ahead with the 20% increase in the minimum wage in the private sector, but said that the pay raises will be phased in. Fadul said that a first 13% increase will be effective as of 1 May and the remaining 7% will be applied as of 1 November. 

The National Salaries Committee had approved this 20% increase at the end of March, but management representatives at the discussions challenged the decision. Because the sides in the labor dispute could not agree to a solution, the final decision to authorize a salary adjustment rested in the hands of the minister. 

With yesterday’s approval by Fadul, beginning this month the basic salary of the non-sectorized private sector will be the following: RD$8,862.59 for the smallest companies; RD$10,000.54 for medium-sized companies and RD$14,546.49 for the large establishments in the sector. 

When in November an additional 7% will be added to these salaries, the minimum wage for these companies will be RD$15,447.60. Those companies with assets of RD$2-$4 million will be subject to a minimum wage rate of RD$10,620 per month. And those companies with assets of less than RD$2 million will have the minimum wage set at RD$9,411.60. 

The president of the Dominican Federation of Employers (Copardom) Fermín Acosta accepted the phased in 20% wage increase. He said the phasing in of the wage increase will enable this to be absorbed by the smaller companies. He said the next step should be the complying with Law 488-08 on small business that calls for the reclassification of businesses. H

http://hoy.com.do/ministro-de-trabaj...o-fraccionado/
https://www.diariolibre.com/economia...idas-GE6996796
http://www.mt.gob.do/index.php/notic...sector-privado


New ambassadors to Haiti, Canada and Spain
President Danilo Medina has appointed new ambassadors in Haiti, Canada, Chile, Spain and Belgium. Alberto (Chico) Despradel Cabral was named ambassador in Haiti by Decree 149. Briunny Garabito Segura was named ambassador in Canada, by Decree 148. Medina also appointed Olivo Andrés Rodríguez Huertas, new Dominican Ambassador in Spain by Decree 147. 

Despradel is a former Dominican ambassador in Haiti. He replaces Rubén Silié who was sent as ambassador to Chile. 

Garabito is a past Dominican ambassador in Colombia. He has also been minister counselor at the Dominican Embassy in Canada. He is a native of El Cercado in San Juan de la Maguana. His father is a high-ranking officer of the ruling PLD party in San Juan de la Maguana. 

From Higuey, Rodríguez is a lawyer and government organization expert that has worked both for the private and public sectors. He replaces Aníbal de Castro, appointed in term Dominican ambassador in Belgium and to the European Union.  

https://presidencia.gob.do/noticias/...haiti-y-canada
http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2017...ano-haiti.html
http://www.lascalientesdelsur.com/lo...-colombia.html http://syntagma.org/wp_studio/2012/0...iguez-huertas/


Several initiatives pass in Congress
The Senate and Chamber of Deputies passed important bills on Wednesday, 3 May 2017, including the bill that regulates the jail system and the amended bill on extinction of domain. The extinction of domain bill would allow the state to expropriate goods acquired with illicitly obtained money. Also approved was a bill that penalizes the occupation by unauthorized persons of parking spaces habilitated for persons with special needs. Congress also passed a bill that penalizes anyone obstructing the work of staff of the 911 Emergency System.


Head of the Chamber of Deputies rejects IACHR classification
The president of the Chamber of Deputies, Lucia Medina Sanchez (the President’s sister), protested the decision by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) to include the Dominican Republic on the list of countries where human rights violations need “special attention.” 

Medina noted that it was unfortunate that this decision was taken at the same time the Dominican Republic was signing an agreement of cooperation with its neighbor, Haiti. 

Medina was interviewed after the spokesman for the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), Gustavo Sanchez called the Inter-American Court on Human Rights’ decision “disproportionate, abusive and inadmissible.” She said that she felt impotent because the government has been recognized for its respects of public liberties and human rights. 

According to newspaper reports, The Inter-American Court notes that in the Dominican Republic “there is a persistence and structural racial discrimination against persons of Haitian descent or perceived as such,” which is particularly been seen in the “recognition of nationality, deportations, evictions, immigration operations and collective deportations.” Cuba and Venezuela are once again on the list and the Dominican Republic substitutes Guatemala with respect to the 2015 Report.

http://www.corteidh.or.cr/index.php/en
http://www.primicias.com.do/index.ph...rechos-humanos
http://elnacional.com.do/senado-cali...cidh-sobre-rd/


Minister of Agriculture says rice harvest will pull through
The rice farmers most affected by the flooding, those of the Lower Yuna Basin, are being assisted by technicians from the Ministry of Agriculture to save their crops. According to Ministry of Agriculture, a team from the ministry is in the Lower Yuna ascertained that nearly 60% of the rice had been harvested prior to the flooding. 

There is some rice that has been affected, but not an enormous amount, said Minister of Agriculture Angel Estevez. He said this year’s crop was one of the largest harvests ever, so consumers should not be affected by rice scarcities in local markets. He added that the Dominican rice farmers are today averaging never before seen levels of production of 8,000 to 9,000 kg per hectare, which he said was not something very common in the Dominican Republic. 

Estevez referred to statements made by José Mauricio Maria, the president of the National Federation of Rice Producers, who had mentioned that 700,000 tareas of rice plantations had been affected by the flooding. The minister instead said that there are over one million tareas planted in rice and that no more than 17,000 tareas have been flooded.  

He added that the water levels have subsided and the majority of the rice crop has been harvested. The minister argued that in order for 700,000 tareas to be flooded the country itself would have to be flooded. 

The minister was interviewed by reporters from the nation’s newspapers including the Diario Libre and El Nacional as he took part in the Fruit Day celebrations being held throughout the country.

https://www.metrord.do/do/republica-...cera-yuna.html


COE says the rains will continue through Friday
The Center of Emergency Operations (COE) reported yesterday that the rains that have affected a large part of the country will continue until Friday, 4 May 2017.  Another low pressure trough is expected next week. 

General Juan Manuel Mendez, the COE director, said that 19 provinces are still under different alerts and that more than 17,000 persons have been displaced, 55 communities are cut off and more than 3400 houses have been affected together with 42 aqueducts. 

All red alerts had been discontinued as per the Bulletin 34 issued at 5pm on Wednesday, 3 May 2017. Yellow alerts continue in place for Monte Plata, Monseñor Nouel, San José de Ocoa, María Trinidad Sánchez, La Vega, San Cristóbal, El Seibo, La Altagracia, Hato Mayor, Sánchez Ramírez and Duarte provinces. Green alerts have been issued for San Pedro de Macorís, Hermanas Mirabal, Barahona provinces and Greater Santo Domingo.  


Medical groups question supplier to state pharmacies
Three of the nation’s pediatric societies have reported that the government’s Essential Medicine Program (Promese/CAL) are protesting the winner of a tender that chose  supplier of a pulmonary surfactant for use in newborn children. The pediatricians warn that there might be a problem with the company whose permit they say had been suspended in September 2007 by the Ministry of Public Health for “failure to provide test evidence of the product’s safety.” 

A pulmonary surfactant is a vital substance that provides protection for developing lungs in newborn or premature babies. The medicine, which is introduced through the trachea, plays an important role in saving the lives of thousands of babies throughout the world.

This product is now for distribution by the nation’s “boticas” or government pharmacies. 
The complaint, filed by the Dominican Neonatal Network (Redone), the Dominican Pediatric Society and the Dominican Society of Perinatal Medicine, alleges that these Dominican medical societies were not consulted regarding this contract. 

In a press release sent to the Diario Libre, the medical societies pointed out that in spite of its approval by the ANMAT (the National Agency for the Administration of Medicines app foods and Medical Technology of Argentina) in March 2016, “there is no evidence of random studies or drug testing that support the safety of this pharmacological product nor is there any evidence of its experiences in use in other countries of the region.” 

As reported in 7Dias, Promise said the supplier that won the tender presented a registration for the product that does not expire until 2021. Moreover, Promese/Cal states that the product has not yet been imported and they are open to hear the observations and suggestions from the medical societies. 

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


Foundation demands police records regarding femicides
The president of the Life Without Violence Foundation, Yanira Fondeur demanded that the National Police provide a full list of femicides for the first quarter of this year. Fondeur disputed the 13 femicides reported by the Police, saying that the real number of women killed by their partners or former partners is 22. 

Fondeur noted that January has been the bloodiest month regarding femicides with eight women killed, four in February, five in March and five in April, leaving 18 orphaned boys and girls.

She said that since last year the foundation has kept a monthly register of femicides based on publications in the media that showed there were 22 deaths of women during the first four months of the year. The victims ranged in age from 16 to 45.

Fondeur said that this year nine women have been killed by their partners with knives, eight by firearms three by strangling and two were beaten to death, with most of the tragedies happening at the women’s homes. 

According to the NGO president, the Cibao continues to be the region with the most reported femicides, followed by the province of Santo Domingo. She noted that precise figures for these tragedies are necessary to guide the development of public policy that is necessary to reduce or eliminate femicide.

http://www.listindiario.com/la-repub...-del-cuatrenio


Several interested in being next president of Dominican Baseball League
Diario Libre has been tracking candidates that may challenge Leonardo Matos Berrido as president of the Dominican Republic Professional Baseball League (Lidom). Lawyer Vitelio Mejía, engineer Arturo Gil (former president of the Azucareros of La Romana) and Jorge Dargam could be contenders for the post. 

Matos Berrido has run practically uncontested for years and has been re-elected on 12 occasions, as reported in Diario Libre. Matos Berrido seeks to continue in the post. 

Diario Libre reported that on Wednesday, 3 May 2017, the presidents of the five Dominican professional baseball teams would be meeting to hear proposals on possible replacements for Matos Berrido, who has held the position for 25 years. 

https://www.diariolibre.com/deportes...sbol-AX6990112


Thieves return stolen SUV
Two criminals who last Monday, 1 May 2017 carjacked a woman in the Naco neighborhood in Santo Domingo and stole her SUV, returned the vehicle yesterday after parking it in front of her apartment. They also left a note, handwritten and in very poor Spanish, asking for her pardon and blessings. 

The woman’s lawyer, Julio Peña Guzmán, shared the good news with El Nacional and Diario Libre newspapers. He said the note read: “Excuse us lady, (I was) obsessed with taking a drive. I am sorry, excuse me, I’m sorry, pardon me, sincerely, blessings, Christ loves you 100 X 100 for the pardon. Excuse the incident caused little lady, excuse me.” 

Peña Guzmán told reporters that when the robbery occurred he spread the video taken by the building’s security cameras via Whatsapp. He said: “That same night, Colonel Sarita, the commander of Plan Piloto police station came to my mother’s house and the truth be said the police did work so fast we were surprised.” 

The lawyer said:  “Last night my brother came home and told me he thought the vehicle had been found and the thieves had returned it right outside the building after the watchman observed the vehicle was parked outside. The thieves did not take anything that was inside the vehicle.  Curiously, the repentant thieves took the vehicle’s license plate.

http://www.listindiario.com/la-repub...la-propietaria


Rosa Mariana Brea on dealing with loss in life
Rosa Mariana Brea Franco has just published a new book on how to cope with grief and loss. The book “Comprensión del duelo en el Siglo XXI. Nuevas perspectivas” will be launched on Thursday, 4 May 2017 at the Biblioteca Nacional auditorium at 7pm. 

In an interview in Diario Libre, Brea says the book goes beyond the loss experienced with the death of a loved one and focuses on other kinds of losses. These include when losing a job, or position at work, and aging issues, such as the loss of skills needed for everyday living. Brea also identifies as losses when a child discovers his father is a drug trafficker, or when a spouse discovers a homosexual partner, or the  separation that occurs when a loved person is sent to jail.  

Brea Franco says there is no closure for a loss. She says one can only reach a stage of being at peace with the loss. “You cannot close a part of your own story,” she explains. 

https://www.diariolibre.com/revista/...blar-KF6979963


White Sox officials meet President Medina
A delegation of officials from the Chicago White Sox visited the Presidential Palace on 3 May 2017 to meet President Danilo Medina. Jerry Reinsdorf, chairman of the White Sox, and David Ball, executive director of the White Sox for the Dominican Republic were part of the courtesy visit. As reported, they talked baseball and sports. 

As reported in El Caribe, also visiting was David Aguilar, partner of Reinsdorf in the company, Global Security Innovative Strategies and John Kaites. Global Security & Innovative Strategies (GSIS) defines itself as a company that leverages its extensive private sector, homeland and public security, public sector and international expertise to provide comprehensive solutions for its clients. These solutions range from investigations, end-to-end security assessments, design and implementation to government relations support and business advisory services such as due-diligence, new market entrance and business intelligence.

During the visit to the Presidential Palace, the businessmen were accompanied by Dominican Consul in Chicago, Giselle Castillo. 

http://noticiassin.com/2017/05/presi...as-de-chicago/
http://www.gsis.us/
http://gsis.us/about/david-aguilar
http://gsis.us/about/john-kaites
http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2017/05/0...sidente-medina


Madasgascar to open at National Theater
The famous children’s film by DreamWorks’ Madasgascar opens at the Carlos Piantini Hall of the National Theater on 3 and 4 June 2017. The musical is a production by JAM Academy produced by Elizabeth Lenhart and directed by Luis Marcel Ricart. The stars of the show are Jose Alexander Diaz, Priscila Maltes, Cynthia Cespedes, Rafael Ravelo and Paulina Cuadra. 

Read more about ongoing and upcoming events at: http://www.dr1.com/calendar