Claudia Franchesca de los Santos to head new transit and transport institute
President Medina visits dairy farmers
200 new schools for the next school year
Focus on grass roots merengue
Register free for fast migration in July and August
Government cancer center to reduce cancer meds costs by half
Security at Presidential Palace to be increased
Government payroll on the rise
New Dominican ambassador to Taiwan presents credentials
More than 12 hours of making lines to pay an AMET traffic fine
Motorists not paying fines
Garlic scarcity affects cooking in the Dominican Republic
Highest rate of homicides is Montecristi
10 million tourists by 2024?
Peralta regrets the murder of Aquino Febrillet
Forest fire endangers Montecristi
3-month pre-trial custody to Spaniard in murder case



Claudia Franchesca de los Santos to head new transit and transport institute
President Danilo Medina appointed long-standing deputy minister of Public Works Claudia Franchesca de los Santos as the first executive director of the new Instituto Nacional de Tránsito y Transporte (Intrant). The new government agency consolidates 14 transport-related entities of the government. The Presidency ordered the Intrant start operations on 1 July 2017.

Others appointed are: Alexandra Cedeño, director of the Dirección de Movilidad Sostenible; Milcíades Pérez Polanco, to the Dirección de Transporte de Carga and Manuel Ernesto Fabián to the Dirección de Transporte de Pasajeros. Also, Víctor Luis Núñez, to direct the Dirección de Seguridad Vial; María Paz Conde, director of the Dirección de Tránsito y Viabilidad, and Cándido Cordero, director of the Dirección de Vehículos de Motor.

The Presidency named regional coordinators: Miguel Arcángel Sánchez for the del Valle region and Deidania del Carmen Ferreira Rojas, for the North Cibao region. Alejandro Benito Vólquez for the Higuamo region; Luis Arquímedes Grandel for the Valdesia region; Fernando Ramírez Filpo for the Northeast and Radhamés de los Santos Liriano for the Ozama and Roberto Leandro Lamarcha, for the Cibao-Sur region.

http://m.elcaribe.com.do/2017/07/03/...s-funcionarios


President Medina visits dairy farmers
On Sunday, 2 July 2017, President Danilo Medina visited La Victoria, in Santo Domingo North, where he highlighted the support the government has offered to the dairy farming sector. He reminded those present that in 2012 the dairy sector produced 550 million liters of milk and now it would be 800 million liters. He met with representatives of the Association of Dairy Farmers of La Victoria (AGAVI) that has 76 members. The President offered the association over RD$15 million to build a milk processing plant.
http://hoy.com.do/danilo-medina-visi...ctor-ganadero/
https://www.presidencia.gob.do/notic...poyo-ganaderos


200 new schools for the next school year
Education Minister Andrés Navarro announced that the 2017-18 schoolyear will start with 200 new schools. He said there are 1,150,000 students in the extended classroom public school system. Another 600,000 still need to be incorporated into full day classes program.

The 200 new school rooms will be ready for the opening of classes, scheduled in August 2017. Navarro said the goal is that by 2018 1,200,000 students be in the extended school system where students go to school from 8 to 4pm.

http://www.listindiario.com/la-repub...mo-ano-escolar


Focus on grass roots merengue
The Ministry of Culture announced the organization of a Grass Roots Merengue National Festival. The purpose of the festival is to preserve this musical genre that was declared by the UNESCO as Cultural Heritage phenomenon in 2016.

Journalist Huchi Lora suggested creating festival when participating in the Long Night of Museums on Saturday, 1 July with the support of TV producer Jatnna Tavárez. The Long Night of Museums this summer was dedicated to merengue. Minister of Culture Pedro Vergés accepted the suggested because he said it is a priority of the Ministry of Culture to preserve the merengue genre.

Minister Vergés also announced the launching of the Dominican Orchestra of Popular Music (Orquesta Dominicana de Música Popular) to rescue and preserve the national musical repertoire. He said several months ago he created a commission to restructure the Escuela Ñico Lora, a center that he said could be a focal point to celebrate the Festival del Merengue Típico. He said the Ministry has already acquired music instruments for the Escuela Ñico Lora that operates in Santiago.


Register free for fast migration in July and August
Dominicans are being given a new chance for free registration of their Dominican passports in the Automated Passport Registry or Auto-Gate, the system that contributes to a more effective and secure control of passengers, as well as expediting the entry and departure migration checks of passengers.

The Migration Agency (DGM) said that the free registration in the system is open from 1 July to 31 August 2017 at the Las Americas International Airport (Santo Domingo) and Cibao International Airport (Santiago) from 8am to 6pm.

The registration takes about three minutes, when biometric data, fingerprints, and photo of the person are taken and the passport is scanned.

The service expedites the review of the passport and identification of the person without the intervention of inspectors, reducing to a minute the traditional check in and having to stand in line.

This is the second opportunity for travelers to a registering for the program without charge. Registration was also offered free of charge when the service initiated about two years ago.

Director of Migration, Máximo William Muñoz Delgado said the free registration is offered so that more users can get to know the service that places the Dominican Republic at the vanguard of global migration controls.


Government cancer center to reduce cancer meds costs by half
The National Cancer Institute “Rosa Emilia Sánchez Pérez de Tavares” (INCART) will be offering state of the art services for integrated cancer management, diagnosis and analysis. INCART will also manufacture anti-cancer medications, using a nuclear medicine laboratory equipped with a cyclotron and other state-of-the-art equipment.

A report in 7 Dias indicates that the new facility will make it possible to sell cancer drugs at steeply discounted prices. Incart will accept local health insurance plans (ARS) as well as the government health plan, Senasa.

The drug production starts 8 August 2017, when INCART plans to inaugurate the areas of drug manufacturing , laboratory and patient management with the completion of the installation of equipment valued at a cost of EUR17 million, plus an investment of RD$150 million in infrastructure or civil works where the equipment has been installed.

The announcement was made by Francisco Pagán, director of the Office of Engineers and Supervisors of State Works (OISOE), during a tour of the center with Incart director Dr. Luisa González Pons to supervise the installation of the modern equipment.

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


Security at Presidential Palace to be increased
The Administrative Ministry of the Presidency has confirmed that the government will invest RD$22 million to reinforce and improve security at the Presidential Palace. The internal security system would be modernized and obsolete technologies would be upgraded. The improvements were already in progress and were being done in coordination with the Presidential Security Corps.

The announcements were made by Administrative Minister of the Presidency José Ramón Peralta and Deputy Administrative Minister of the Presidency Leonel Senior.

In addition, the spokesmen for the Administrative Ministry of the Presidency said that the government would be spending RD$35,000 million on seven projects including the surprise visits of President Danilo Medina. The spokesmen detailed that the so-named surprise visits had worked to improve the quality of life of agricultural producers and had cost RD$25,500 million. The sky lift train over the Ozama River has cost RD$3,500,000.

The spokesmen for the department highlighted the investment of RD$7,000 million in agro-forestry projects.

http://almomento.net/el-gobierno-inv...palacio/331034


Government payroll on the rise
According to National Treasurer, Alberto Perdomo Piña, speaking on the program D’Agenda and interviewed by Héctor Herrera Cabral, the Dominican state pays RD$12 billion a month to employees of the central government and decentralized institutions. He explained that these figures include the salary increases for the police, teachers, physicians, and from August 2016, members of the military.

Perdomo went on to say that around 50% of the funds go to the Ministry of Education. He rejected the notion that Medina had a padded government payroll. Perdomo explained that since 2012, the payroll had only increased by 15% and that included pay rises in many sectors, which the government had provided to improve the quality of life and as recognition of the great work these people did to the benefit of the Dominican state.

http://almomento.net/estado-dominica...publico/330752


New Dominican ambassador to Taiwan presents credentials
The president of the Republic of China (Taiwan), Tsai Ing-wen, has received the credentials of the new Dominican ambassador to Taiwan, José Miguel Soto Jiménez. During the ceremony, President Tsai highlighted the previous work of Soto Jiménez as Minister of Defense of the Dominican Republic, saying that his appointment as ambassador showed the value the Dominican government had for bilateral relations.

She also emphasized the bonds of friendship and diplomatic relations that the two countries have enjoyed for 76 years.

President Tsai Ing-wen took the opportunity to ask the Ambassador to pass on his good wishes to President Danilo Medina and Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas and extended an invitation for them both to visit Taiwan.

http://hoy.com.do/embajador-soto-jim...nta-de-taiwan/


More than 12 hours of making lines to pay an AMET traffic fine
A story in Diario Libre today focuses on how difficult it is to pay a traffic fine in the Dominican Republic. Statistics indicate that only 10% of those fined actually have paid the fine, with the government holding on millions in fines yet to be collected. This breaks down to approximately RD$505 million a year in fines not collected by the government. Diario Libre explains that at present the red tape discourages people from paying the fines.

The process is as follows: First the person who is fined needs to go to the AMET headquarters and stand in line to get a copy of the fine that was levied. This line can take several hours. Second, with this document in hand, the person needs to go to the Banco de Reservas to pay the fine, making another long line in the bank. Third, the person needs to return to the AMET headquarters to deposit the receipt of payment, making another long line. Some 24 hours later, the person can verify whether the payment was applied and the fine is no longer pending in the system.

Spokesman for AMET says they have nothing to do with the bureaucracy, because this is up to the Attorney General Office. “We do not collect the fines. Our mission simply is to detect the violation of the transit law and register this type of violation,” Colonel Rafael Tejada Baldera, spokesman for AMET, told reporters.

https://www.diariolibre.com/m/notici...amet-AY7540031


Motorists not paying fines
According to the Walter Palm Foundation, in the first five months of this year, citations issued to motorists for traffic violations have totaled RD$166 million, but less than 10% have actually paid their fines, meaning that the State loses around RD$505 million a year in unpaid traffic fines.

Luis José Polanco reminded reporters that in 2008 the government implemented a special program that sought to pressure drivers to pay their fines. But nine years later, the program has obviously not been successful. He went on to say that there has to be a mechanism to ensure that all tickets handed out by the Metropolitan Transport Authority (AMET) are paid.

Amet have responded saying that they are trying to ensure that those who do not pay fines will not be able to receive a clean criminal record check from the Attorney General’s office, nor will the offenders be able to renew their license nor have a new registration for their vehicle.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...agan-LX7536278


Garlic scarcity affects cooking in the Dominican Republic
Dominican seasoning gets its kick from plenty of garlic, but cooks may need to cut down on the use of garlic because of the high market prices. A lull in local production is blamed for the present very high cost of garlic.

Garlic is selling in supermarkets for around RD$250 the pound up from previous highs of around RD$80 the pound. But worse than the high cost, is the quality of the product that is showing up in supermarkets. Cooks are complaining that the garlic that is imported to compensate for the lull in local production, is of poor quality. Listin Diario reports on what it calls “agriculture gold.”

Osmar Benítez, president of the Dominican Agribusiness Board (JAD) says that in 2016 the production of garlic in the country was under 4,000 tareas (1 tarea = 629 square meters), most produced in the mountain valley of Constanza. He said the lull is due to a particular decision by producers not to plant or harvest. Benítez denied that the highs in the price of garlic are due to the prices of the import licenses, as some sectors have said. He says the country imports around 100,000 quintals of garlic a year. He said the country could produce the garlic because there is a captive local market.

http://www.listindiario.com/economia...a-en-anaqueles


Highest rate of homicides is Montecristi
The Observatory for Citizen Safety, part of the National Council for Citizen Safety, and published by the Ministry of Interior and Police, has released information on the 10 provinces and municipalities with the highest levels of homicide in the Dominican Republic during 2016.

These are: Montecristi with a homicide rate of 34 murders per 100,000 inhabitants; Bahoruco with 33 per 100,000, and then San Juan de la Maguana with 31. In fourth place is Duarte (San Francisco de Macorís) with 30; National District (Santo Domingo) and La Altagracia (Higuey) with 29 are fifth equal. In seventh place is Dajabón with 26, Santiago with 25, Peravia (Baní) with 24 and El Seibo with 23.

The Observatory has divided the country into three colors. Those in red, that have between 23 and 34 homicides per 100,000 population, those in yellow, between 18 and 23 and finally those in green who have between 0 and 18 murders per 100,000 population.

On average, the country has 25 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the United Nations’ Office against Crime and Drugs, although data from the country itself maintains the rate is 16 per 100,000.

In the first trimester of 2017 there were 406 homicides in the country that is comparable with last year for the same time period when there were 402.

Looking at the other end of the scale, the safest province is Santiago Rodriguez with a rate of 4 per 100,000, followed by Pedernales with 8, which in fact only had 2 homicides as the population is only 31,587 according to the 2010 Census. Next are Azua with 13, Hermanas Mirabal (Salcedo), Hato Mayor and Samana with 14, Puerto Plata with a rate of 15 per 100,000 inhabitants and La Vega and San Jose de Ocoa with 17 each.

http://listindiario.com/la-republica...sas-asesinatos
http://www.mi.gob.do/observatoriodeseguridadciudadana/


10 million tourists by 2024?
According to statistics from the Central Bank, over the last 10 years the number of tourists to the country has increased by over 50%. In 2006 there were 3,965,055 and in 2016 there were 5,959,347. President Danilo Medina declared when he first became President in 2012 that the aim of his government was that 10 million tourists visit by 2022. However, although the sector is showing growth, it is not certain that this goal will be reached.

The Central Bank states that from January to May 2017, there was an increase of 6.7% of tourists visiting the country over the same time period in 2016. This translates to 169,450 more tourists so far this year compared to same period last year. So far, this year has been a record tourist year for the country.

The president of the National Association of Hotels and Tourism in the Dominican Republic (Asonahores), Joel Santos, feels that the goal of 10 million is achievable given that the figures are going up by an average of 500,000 a year, and he says that will result in 10 million tourists by 2024.

However, he said that it is not just the numbers that are important but also the quality of the experience the tourists have. He called for more investment in the tourism sector, as well as improvements in the quality and efficiency of electrical service in the country that, at present, accounts for 15% of the costs of running hotels.

https://www.diariolibre.com/economia...ones-GC7532484
https://www.bancentral.gov.do/public...ico2017-05.pdf


Peralta regrets the murder of Aquino Febrillet
Blas Peralta, accused of the homicide of the former rector of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD), Mateo Aquino Febrillet has asked that he be judged on the act itself and not due to the indignation, hate and resentment shown towards him.

He made the statement in an open letter paid advertisement in the press. He argues that he did not commit the murder intentionally, while he acknowledges that he has to pay for his actions. He stated that when he heard on the radio that Aquino Febrillet had died, he knew he had made a mistake and acted clumsily following a provocation. He went on to say that he profoundly regrets what happened, explaining that he and his companions were following Edward Montas together with who he called “my dear and unforgettable friend, Professor Mateo Aquino Febrillet”.

He explained that when they were nearly at the Police Station in Mirador Park, one of his companions handed him a gun and he shot twice at the vehicle carrying Montas and Aquino Febrillet. He blamed his companions for convincing him to go on the chase of Edward Montás. He said his own vehicle had left to get fuel. He said he did not know Aquino Febrillet was in that same vehicle.

“I am not asking that I get the treatment that many citizens in similar circumstances or more serious have received, including prominent public figures, that later are able to reinsert themselves into society. I have no lineage to aspire to that. I am only asking to be judged for what I have committed and not by the indignation, hate and resentment that have come from this unfortunate incident, in which after Mateo Aquino Febrillet and his family, I am the main victim and I know I will have to pay for my own errors,” he wrote.

http://eldia.com.do/blas-peralta-cla...r-indignacion/


Forest fire endangers Montecristi
On the night of Sunday, 2 July 2017, a forest fire affected a dry forest located near the Isabel de Torres road in Montecristi. The fire started in a garbage dump, to the north of Montecristi. Fire brigades from the Ministry of the Environment were deployed to control the blaze.

Minister Francisco Domínguez Brito, explained that the smoke affected many resident in Montecristi including the areas of Francisco Javier, Guatapanal, Las Flores, among others. He said that the fire was now under control, but that without hard work it could have affected the town and especially all of the wooden houses.

Dominguez Brito went on to say that he would be travelling to Montecristi on Monday, 3 July, to check on the situation and also visit Laguna de Saladillo, where there have been complaints from farmers following several robberies in recent weeks.

http://elnacional.com.do/fuego-afect...n-montecristi/


3-month pre-trial custody to Spaniard in murder case
19-year old Spanish citizen Erik Padrón Montilla was sentenced to three months pre-trial detention in an El Seibo court yesterday. He was ordered to serve the detention in the Anamuya jail in La Altagracia province. Judge Sindy Elisabeth Rosario Santana ordered the preventive custody after accusing Padrón of ties to the murder of two Dutch citizens, found with multiple bullet wounds in Mata de Palma, El Seibo. Prosecutors had asked for a year in preventive custody. Padrón’s lawyers say he is accused to cover up for others.

Padron was arrested in a villa in Casa de Campo in La Romana. He is investigated for his ties to the deaths of Dutchmen 34-year old, Rachid Benbouker, and 36-year old Cuma Ceviz, 36, who were murdered execution style and dumped in a ditch in Mata de Palma, El Seibo. It appears they were killed by paramilitaries from Curacao and are suspect to have been heads of an international drug dealing ring in the east of the country. The victims are suspect to have been murdered after being involved in the recent seizing of more than a ton of drugs by the authorities in El Seibo and Juan Dolio.

It appears that the victims arrived on Monday, 12 June and stayed in the villa in Casa de Campo on Monday 12 June. On Wednesday 14 June, the hit men from Curacao arrived. Benbouker and Ceviz were killed on the night on Monday 19 June, and the individuals from Curacao reportedly left the country on Tuesday 20 June. An arrest warrant has been issued by Interpol for the suspects form Curacao.

http://www.listindiario.com/la-repub...-de-holandeses