President Danilo Medina: the Tourism President
President Medina visits avocado farmers
CNM meeting postponed for a week
Tourism to back sales of DR-made arts and crafts
Government restarts subsidized food programs
Foreigner registration time limit is up
Remittances in 2016: US$5.2 billion
Electronic commerce in the country is at RD$40 billion
Telecoms protest tax on incoming calls
PAWA recognized by local tour operator association
Dominican film in Swiss Locarno Film Festival
OISOE engineers to jail for extortion in David Rodríguez case
Rainstorms expected
Miss Dominican Republic pageant on 26 August
Gilberto Santa Rosa brings salsa to Santiago




President Danilo Medina: the Tourism President
President Danilo Medina was in Punta Cana on Monday, 17 July 2017, where he was honored by Punta Cana hoteliers for his contributions to the tourism boom in the East. Speaking for the hoteliers, Ernesto Veloz, president of the Association of Hotels and Tourism Projects of the East (Asoleste) mentioned the impact on hotel development in the area of the road infrastructure built under the Medina administration. The event was held at Playa Blanca, in Punta Cana Resort & Club.

The Medina government has completed the Circuito Vial del Este with over 258 kilometers covering the provinces of La Altagracia, Hato Mayor, El Seibo and La Romana and connecting the tourism destinations of La Romana, Bávaro, Punta Cana, Macao, Uvero Alto and Miches.

Veloz also appreciated the tax incentives package that has been decisive in the boom in hotel construction in the East. He also spoke of the support to the US immigration pre-clearance facilities at the Punta Cana International Airport.

The spokesman for the Association of Hotels and Tourism Projects of the East (Asoleste) highlighted that from 2013-2016 the Punta Cana area has grown 44% stimulated by policies and actions adopted by the Medina administration. Arrivals by the Punta Cana International Airport increased from 2.4 million visitors in 2012 to 3.4 million in 2016. The number of hotel rooms in Punta Cana increased 34,000 in 2012 to 41,000 in 2016.

Speaking for the hotel owners, Haydee Kuret de Rainieri called President Medina, the Tourism President for his contributions to the sector.
During the visit, President Medina was accompanied by Minister of Tourism Francisco Javier García, Minister of Public Works Gonzalo Castillo and Administrative Minister of the Presidency José Ramón Peralta.

The recognition comes at a time when two of the roads, built by Odebrecht, have been criticized for overpricing. These are the Bávaro-Miches road that went from an original contracted US$265,349,314 to a final US$370,195,377 and the Coral Highway that started with a contract of US$253,702,835 and ended costing US$471,062.590.

https://presidencia.gob.do/noticias/...idente-turismo


President Medina visits avocado farmers
On Sunday, 16 May 2017, President Danilo Medina visited El Pinar, in the province of San José de Ocoa, where he offered financial and logistical support to farmers of a local cooperative. The associated farmers work an area of 5,000 tareas (1 tarea = 629 square meters) of avocados and other fruits and vegetables. The farms are expected to generate more than RD$44 million in sales. The Presidency authorized the donation of a truck for produce transportation and gave orders to finish the road that links the town to the main road.

The President told the 82 farmers present that a commission would return on Wednesday 19 July to coordinate the agreed upon program.

http://hoy.com.do/presidente-medina-...ores-aguacate/
https://www.presidencia.gob.do/notic...-pinar-de-ocoa


CNM meeting postponed for a week
The National Magistracy Council (CNM) announced the postponing of the Supreme Court of Justice and Superior Electoral Court judges assessment meeting for Tuesday, 25 July 2017 at the Ministry of Interior and Police. The meeting gives the members of the CNM more time to deliberate on the choices. There are 83 candidates being reviewed.

The CNM had announced that they would hold the assessment meeting on 19 July and have their selection for Friday, 21 July.


Tourism to back sales of DR-made arts and crafts
Minister of Tourism Francisco Javier García announced the government’s support of a strategic plan with the private sector to make locally-made arts and crafts more readily available to tourists. He made the announcement after meeting with arts & crafts representatives and cultural promoters.

García said the plan is to promote the arts and crafts to Dominican communities abroad in coordination with the diplomatic missions abroad. Furthermore, the arts and crafts would be located at strategic sales points such as airports, hotels, beaches and maritime ports. A catalogue of the arts and crafts would be developed to assist in the promotion of the locally-made goods.

García signed a cooperation agreement with Solange Tavárez, president of the Asociación de Productores de Artesanías, the director of the government procurement office, the Dirección General de Contrataciones Públicas, Yokasta Guzmán and Verónica Sención, cultural promoter, to develop initiatives for the national and international promotion of Dominican arts and crafts.

The marketing efforts seek to counter the widespread sale of Dominican arts and crafts imported from China.

http://www.listindiario.com/economia...-la-marca-pais


Government restarts subsidized food programs
The Dominican government has announced that it has re-launched the Programa de Ventas Populares that sells low cost food staples at the Comedores Económicos, the state-subsidized cafeterias in 10 provinces in the south and southwest.

The program would benefit 200,000 people in the area. Program director general, Nicolás Calderón, said that the Program will operate every 15 days for a three-month time period at an investment of around RD$450 million.

Bags of food that would normally retail for RD$870 will be sold for RD$300. Each bag contains five pounds of rice, two pounds of beans, a 16-ounce bottle of oil, cornmeal, oatmeal, 8-ounce tomato sauce, two cans of sardines, two pounds of brown sugar, chocolate, garlic paste, seasoning powder, spaghetti and cassava. In addition, a family can purchase a chicken for RD$100.

On the first day, the bags were sold in several communities in the provinces of San Cristóbal, Peravia (Bani), San José de Ocoa, Azua and San Juan de la Maguana.

Next Saturday, 22 July 2017, the bags will be offered in the area of Enriquillo, including the provinces of Barahona, Pedernales, Bahoruco, Elías Piña and Independencia in the southwest near the border with Haiti.

http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2017/07/1...lsa-comida-300


Foreigner registration time limit is up
On Monday 17 July 2017, the extension granted for status regularization to 143,000 foreigners who registered under the National Plan for Foreigner Status Legalization (PNRE) expired. The PNRE dates back to 2014-2015.

The foreigners, mostly Haitians, were given the extra time to present the required documentation. The main obstacle to the regularization of the Haitians has been delays of the Haitian authorities in providing basic identification documents.

Many Haitians living in Haiti do not possess legal identity documents. So, when these undocumented individuals migrate to the Dominican Republic to earn a living, their legal status is tenuous and they face difficulty fully participating in Dominican society. For example, while these undocumented workers may access basic public services, they cannot open bank accounts or own property. In addition, undocumented foreigners may not enjoy all the protections afforded by the Dominican justice system to resolve legal disputes.

The Haitian authorities say they are working on assisting their citizens in becoming compliant with the residency requirements and in June they have distributed 11,593 passports to Haitians, for a total of 15,071 passports issued of those requested, or around 11%.

The Ministry of Interior and Police says that of 288,467 requests for status legalization made under the PNRE, 87% were admitted to continue the process, but most met with difficult to meet the requirements to complete the process because of delays in Haiti in issuing essential identification documents. The Ministry says that 20,176 beneficiaries of the PNRE did not return to pick up their provisional residence cards.

Last year a new extension was granted to 143,000 beneficiaries that had not deposited the documentation. The Ministry reports that the National Migration Council would meet on 25 July 2017 to review the future of the beneficiaries of the PNRE.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...cion-AK7639534
http://eldia.com.do/la-mayoria-de-lo...ene-su-carnet/


Remittances in 2016: US$5.2 billion
Deloitte economist Nassim Alemany told Diario Libre that in 2016 the Dominican Republic received US$5.2 billion in remittances through formal channels. This is around 7.3% of the Gross Domestic Product. Remittances are an important source of revenue for Dominican families and help fill in the void generated by increasing imports compared to exports in the country’s balance of payments. Alemany said that remittances represented 70% of the trade deficit in 2016.

Alemany explained that remittances primarily come from the United States where the largest Dominican community abroad lives. An estimated US$70 of every US$100 received in remittances comes from the United States.

https://www.diariolibre.com/economia...0-mm-IB7636785


Electronic commerce in the country is at RD$40 billion
Local transactions in debit, credit and prepaid cards, were above RD$40 billion last year, according to Augusto Romano, president of Digo Interactive Media Network. Romano made the point when speaking during the 13th Encuentros Interactivos conference. He said these cards are increasingly being used to pay for basic services such as water, electricity, license plate renovations, and more. This is in addition to the growing use of the cards for international transactions.

Romano said, nevertheless, that the Dominican Republic is lagging behind and has not exploited the many opportunities for ecommerce.

Romano says in the country there are six million Internet users, or about 51% of the population. Of these 69% are persons 18-69 years old. 88% of users are connected through smart phones.

http://hoy.com.do/comercio-electroni...-mil-millones/


Telecoms protest tax on incoming calls
A new proposal that has been approved by the Senate for a tax on incoming telephone calls and SMS messages to help finance the 911 service is rejected by the telecommunications companies in the Dominican Republic. The companies argue that international long distance calls are already declining and the new tax will accelerate their demise. The telecoms say the estimated funds would not be collected.

The tax primarily affects those living abroad. The telecoms say the cost of these will increase with the implementation of the tax.

The telecoms also reject the anti-fraud system contemplated in the bill indicating that it attempts against the privacy of their clients.

The telecoms say they have contributed more than RD$260 million to the operation of the 911 service.

The bill now moves to the Chamber of Deputies for approval.


PAWA recognized by local tour operator association
The Dominican Tour Operator Association honored Pawa Dominicana as the “Airline of the Year” during the first edition of the Adotur Awards that took place at the Hard Rock Café at the Blue Mall. The airline was recognized for its many bookings, its support to travel agencies and its service in the country. Marleidy Mosquea and Miguel Morales, of the sales staff, received the award for the airline.

Pawa began service in 2015. It operates out of the Las Americas International Airport (Santo Domingo) and has flights to Miami, San Juan, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, La Habana, Port-au-Prince, Aruba, Curacao and Antigua, among others.


Dominican film in Swiss Locarno Film Festival
For the first time, a Dominican film was shown in the Locarno Film Festival. The festival announced on 17 July 2017 the lineup for its 70th anniversary edition. Cocote (2015) by Nelson Carlo de los Santos will have its world premiere.

The other Latin American films included are La telenovela errante (The Wandering Soap Opera, Chile), Brazilian film As Boas Maneiras (Good Manners), Severina and Era uma vez Basilia (Once Upon a Time Brasilia), also Cuban short films Armageddon 2 and Los Perros de Amundsen and Colombian short Palenque.

Cocote is the story of Alberto, a garden worker who returns to his native town to attend the funeral of his father, murdered by a police. He finds himself attending religious services against his will. The story takes viewers to experience AfroAntillean spirituality and Dominican religious syncretism, bringing about reflects of intrinsic aspects of Dominican culture.

In the film, the starring roles are by: Vicente Santos, Judith Rodríguez, Yuberbi de la Rosa, Pepe Sierra, José Miguel Fernández, Ricardo Ariel Toribio, Isabel Spencer and Enerolisa Núñez (Salve singer).

Cocote previously was presented at the 70th Cannes Festival after having won the Panama International Film Festival.

Nelson Carlo de los Santos is a graduate in creative literature from Unibe university in 2006 in Santo Domingo. He did higher learning at the Universidad del Cine de Buenos Aires, and was an exchange student at the Edinburgh College in London. He also did a Master’s in film directing at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in California.

The 70th edition of the Locarno Film Festival will take place August 2-12 in Switzerland. The main feature of the festival is the open-air screening area at the Piazza Grande with room for over 8,000 spectators, having one of the largest open-air screens in the world (26 x14 meters).

The Locarno Film Festival is well known worldwide as a festival of discovery. Throughout its history the festival has discovered new trends and launched the careers of numerous directors and actors.


OISOE engineers to jail for extortion in David Rodríguez case
The First Collegiate Court of the National District sentenced Alejandro de los Santos Serrano, Yoel Soriano Fabián, Julio Rafael Pérez Alejo and Juan Ernesto Romero Pérez to six and five years in prison for extortion to architect David Rodríguez, a public school builder who committed suicide in his desperation.

De los Santos is the former director of School Building Department of the Oficina de Ingenieros Supervisores de Obras del Estado (OISOE), a sort of parallel Ministry of Public Works that is under the Presidency. He was sentenced to six years imprisonment for misuse of duties in the exercise of the profession of architect, money laundering, criminal association, extortion, among other charges.

Soriano, former coordinator of the School Building Department, Julio Rafael Pérez and Juan Ernesto Romero were sent to prison for five years for criminal association, extortion, among other charges.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...isoe-NC7646096


Rainstorms expected
According to the National Meteorolgical Office (Onamet) thunderstorms, both moderate and severe, are expected across the whole country, especially at dusk, due to a weather front at high level and the effects of the heat during the day.

Most of the heavy rainfall is expected in the provinces of El Seibo, Hato Mayor, Monte Plata, Samaná, Sánchez Ramírez, Duarte, María Trinidad Sánchez, La Vega, Monseñor Nouel, Bahoruco, San Juan, Elías Piña, Dajabón, Santiago Rodríguez, Santiago, Valverde, Puerto Plata and Montecristi.

Onamet say that after Wednesday, 19 July 2017, the amount of humidity in the air will decrease as will the rainfall although occasional thunderstorms will continue in the mountainous areas of the country.

The institution also advises that they are watching a tropical wave associated with a low pressure system in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, some 1,280 kilometers to the east of the Lesser Antilles. It has a medium chance of development and an Air Force plan is programmed to investigate it, with the current probability of development within 48 hours at 40%.

http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2017/07/1...asta-miercoles
http://onamet.gov.do/?param=pronostico-general


Miss Dominican Republic pageant on 26 August
The beauty pageant to elect the representatives of the Dominican Republic in the Miss Universe and Miss Dominican Republic contests will take place on 26 August 2017 at the Teatro La Fiesta of the Hotel Jaragua. The pageant will be aired on Antena Latina as of 8pm.

The event is organized by Magaly Febles and is in its 60th anniversary. Some 37 candidates are participating in the event this year.


Gilberto Santa Rosa brings salsa to Santiago
As part of a world tour, Puerto Rican band leader and salsa and bolero singer Gilberto Santa Rosa will be making a stop in Santiago de los Caballeros for a concert on 7 September 2017 at 8:30pm at the Gran Teatro del Cibao. Santa Rosa will also be touring Switzerland, Spain, Argentina, Venezuela, the United States, among other countries.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilberto_Santa_Rosa