First Lady’s Office to replace dirt floors for cement floors
Customs wants to curtail online purchases
Payroll clean up at the Ministry of Education
Teachers threatening not to start school
Miguel Vargas justifies naming legislators as advisors
UN container control program meeting for Santo Domingo
Passports Office suspects crime in surge in lost passports
CEDIMAT announces day of clinical-surgical innovation
Setback for PEPCA
Venezuelans ask for refugee status
Dominican fishermen released from jail
Document forgery center dismantled
Flight from Punta Cana collides another plane in Toronto
Priest accused of murder of altar boy
Milly Quezada and Miriam Cruz at Hard Rock
Two Gilberto Santa Rosa salsa concerts




First Lady’s Office to replace dirt floors for cement floors
The Office of the First Lady and the National Housing Institute (Invi) have agreed to repair 100,000 homes of low income families across the Dominican Republic.

Both institutions, via a press release, have said they will install bathrooms and change dirt floors for cement in the homes of the families who request the improvements via the Citizen Service Program of the First Lady’s Office. Mayobanex Escoto, Invi director, signed for the National Housing Institute.

First Lady Candida Montilla explains that the objective of the initiative is to improve living conditions in poor homes throughout the country. The first phase will begin in January 2018, with a target of 50,000 homes in which dirt floors will be replaced with cement.

http://almomento.net/gobierno-domini...ecursos/339969


Customs wants to curtail online purchases
The Customs Agency (DGA) wants to make sure tax-free online purchases are just for individual use and are not being used by businesses to import goods for resale.

The DGA has uploaded the proposed guidelines online for consultations. Customs allows for online purchases up to US$200 to enter tax-free.

The publication of the guidelines is aimed at informing the public of the proposed new rules that would determine commercial versus personal imports.

The DGA is paying close attention the volume of goods imported by a single payer that may suggest these items are commercial in nature, intended for resale. In addition, the authorities will be tracking the type of merchandise imported, the frequency of the imports, and whether the imports are related to the commercial activity of the importer. A limit of US$2,000 is set per person to import a certain type of items per year.

The US$200 tax exemption is contemplated in the DR-CAFTA free treaty that does not establish a distinction between purchases for commercial purposes or personal use.

Diario Libre recalls that in 2014, the Customs Agency sought to tax online imports up to US$200, but the Superior Administrative Court (TSA) overturned this in response to a motion submitted by the Association of Couriers.

The Dominican Association of Couriers (Asodec) sent out a notification for consultations with its members on 7 August 2017.

Read the new guidelines at:
http://www.aduanas.gob.do/publicacio...0Comercial.pdf
https://www.diariolibre.com/economia...ales-KL7841491
http://dr1.com/forums/showthread.php...mpt-by-aduanas


Payroll clean up at the Ministry of Education
Education Minister Andrés Navarro announced the cancellation of 3,929 who received wages for teaching at public schools but were found to not be at the posts where they were assigned.

Navarro said that a technical commission that was accompanied by officers of the Dominican Association of Public School Teachers (ADP) visited the 18 regional education districts and after verifying the absence of the teachers at their posts ordered the blocking of wages for these.

Navarro said that after the first audit, some 835 were blocked, after a second 7,263 for a total 8,098 persons blocked. Of these, it was determined that 4,169 teachers are serving in other schools, while another 3,929 were not carrying out the service.

Navarro made the announcement at a press conference at the Ministry in company with the director of human resources, Maritza Miranda.

Navarro said he has the commitment for a transparent and efficient management of the 4% of the GDP budget assigned to the Ministry.

http://www.listindiario.com/la-repub...sin-dar-clases


Teachers threatening not to start school
According to the Dominican Association of Teachers (ADP) the school year will not start in Villa Altagracia nor will there be pre-school workshops if the Ministry of Education (Minerd) does not resolve the cases of the 28 teachers who were not paid last month’s as their accounts were blocked.

According to the ADP regional president, Santiago Arciniegas, one of the suspended teachers is the regional president, who made this announcement during a visit from a commission from the Ministry, checking the situation of the 28 teachers. The commission said that they would evaluate the situation and decide who should be paid before Tuesday, 15 August 2017.

http://listindiario.com/la-republica...-pague-sueldos


Miguel Vargas justifies naming legislators as advisors
Foreign Relations Minister Miguel Vargas Maldonado justified that 45 advisors are on the payroll of the Ministry of Foreign Relations. He says they make RD$100,000 to RD$150,000 a month.

Vargas said that the number of advisors is low for the 35 agreements he has signed during his present term at the Ministry that began in August 2016, with the start of the second term of President Medina.

As reported, he defended the presence on that list of former deputies of the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD). Vargas is the president of the party that went from being an opposition party to the political party that made the difference in Congress for President Danilo Medina to be re-elected in 2016.

The former deputies are: Ana Miledy Cuevas, Fabio Ernesto Vargas Matos, Hugo Rafael Núñez Almonte, Juan José Morales Cisneros, María Amparo de Dios Martínez, María Cándida Sánchez Mora, María Aracelis Duarte Duarte, Noé Marmolejos Mercedes, Pedro Carreras Santana, Severina Gil Carreras Rodríguez, Sonya de las Mercedes Abreu Villanueva, Virgilio Manuel González Vásquez and María Luisa Guzmán Calderón. Their individual salaries total RD$1,450,000 a month, nearly RD$19 million a year.

Nevertheless, Vargas said the Ministry operates with a RD$2.13 billion deficit. He said the RD$7.64 billion allotment is too low and that he will be requesting an increase for 2018.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...ores-CI7846756
http://hoy.com.do/vargas-justifica-n...ree-son-pocos/


UN container control program meeting for Santo Domingo
The Sixth Regional Meeting of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the World Customs Organization Global Container Control Programme (CCP) in Latin America and the Caribbean will be held at the convention center of the Ministry of Foreign Relations from 20-24 November 2017, announced Foreign Relations Minister Miguel Vargas. He made the announcement after signing of an agreement for advancing container control with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The UNODC Regional Representative for Central America and the Caribbean, Amado Phillip de Andrés explained that the regional meetings host site is chosen for global performance in the control of containers, cargo and freight. “Every year more, the Dominican Republic is leading in early detection of containers that leave for Europe entering by European Union ports,” he said.

Speaking during the announcement of the hosting of the meeting, Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas said the results are of great satisfaction but these at the same time are a commitment that creates other challenges and opportunities for the country. “It places us in a privileged position for the country that is beneficial in all aspects for the Dominican Republic,” he said.

The CCP has a global reach and aims to fortify the structures and processes that allow for the application of sustainable laws for states and selected ports, so as to minimize the exploitation of maritime containers for the illicit trafficking of drugs, and other transnational organized crime activities. Hence, for greater efficiency, while facilitating cooperation in the fight against crime amongst states and international agencies involved in the regulation of container traffic, the program maintains strategic alliances with various security entities within states with operational ports, including the installation of Joint Port Control Units (JPCUs).

In the Dominican Republic, two ports have operational JPCUs – Multimodal Caucedo and Haina.


Passports Agency suspects crime in surge in lost passports
According to the director general of the Passports Agency, Ramón (Monchy) Rodríguez, from 2015 to date they have renewed 635,798 passports. Nearly 13% of the newly issued passports were replacements for either lost or damaged passports. Rodríguez considers the 81,439 lost or damaged passports an unusually high number and a significant cost for the government.

Rodríguez says his department suspects the passports are being requested by persons with ties to organized transnational crime syndicates, including drug and human traffickers and terrorists.

He said efforts are being made to eliminate the circulation of fraudulent Dominican passports. To fight against illegal use of passports, the Passports Agency is now issuing digital passports.

http://listindiario.com/la-republica...ndido-a-635798


CEDIMAT announces day of clinical-surgical innovation
The Centers for Diagnosis and Advanced Medicine and Medical Conferences and Telemedicine (CEDIMAT) in Santo Domingo is inviting the medical community to the 15th Medical Conference Dr. Juan Manuel Taveras. The meeting is regarded as the most important open training event for the local health sector.

For the discussions on 29 and 30 September 2017, at the Renaissance Jaragua Hotel, 30 local panelists and seven international speakers (from Argentina, Colombia, Spain and the United States) are coming to share insights on new surgical and clinical treatments and procedures. There will be talks on general surgery, neurosurgery, otorhinolaryngology, gynecology, urology, orthopedics and cardiology (adult and pediatric). The conference is free but registration is required online:

http://www.cedimat.com/jornada2017.
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...gica-LK7837937


Setback for PEPCA
The Specialized Prosecution Office for the Persecution of Administrative Corruption (PEPCA) suffered another setback on Monday 7 August, 2017, when a National District court dismissed the charges against the for Prosecutor of the National District Ysidro Vásquez, who was accused of supposedly receiving bribes from Nelson Cabral, accused in the Banco Peravia bankruptcy case.

In December 2015, during a hearing, Cabral said that he had given US$125,000 to Vasquez as the first part of US$250,000 so that government would not press charges for fraud. Cabral refused to offer more information during the sentencing hearing.

The former prosecutor, who resigned in the face of a possible disciplinary hearing, said he was satisfied with the results of the process and urged the members of the Public Prosecution Service to be more rigorous when it came to investigating a member of that institution as this affected their honor and their family.

http://almomento.net/procuraduria-an...soborno/339988


Venezuelans ask for refugee status
Citing difficulties in Venezuela in securing official documents, spokespersons for the Venezuelan community in the Dominican Republic are requesting that the Dominican government approve exceptions to the regular immigration procedures so the new immigrants can legalize their status in the country. The Dominican government has been lenient with Haitians that have also had difficulties in obtaining required documents from their government.

The Venezuelan community urges that the Dominican government carefully evaluate the extraordinary cases faced by a number of Venezuelans in the country. The Venezuelans argue that given the strife and social and political uncertainty in their home country, the Dominican government should grant them refugee status under the Geneva Refugee Convention. The claimants point out that they had to leave their country en masse, due to 700% inflation, the health crisis with 8 out of 10 medicines not being available, a food crisis, and minimum wages that barely cover 20% of a family monthly food bills.

The Venezuelans explain that the crisis in their country has led to long delays in receiving requested official documents such as academic certifications, legal records, birth certificates, among others.

Spokesmen for the Venezuelan community, Rainiero Cassoni and Juan Carlos González, in a press conference, admitted that the exact number of Venezuelans living in the country is not known. They say the World Bank establishes that 19,000 Venezuelans have chosen the Dominican Republic as refuge from the political, economic and social crisis in Venezuela.

According to the Migration Agency (DGM) some 35,006 Venezuelans have arrived to the country in the first four months of the year, with on average 8,000 Venezuelan arrivals in the past months. Most Venezuelans have found work in the local informal labor market due to not being able to regularize their legal status.

http://eldia.com.do/venezolanos-pide...regularizarse/


Dominican fishermen released from jail
On Monday, 7 August 2017, 50 Dominican fishermen returned to Puerto Plata, after remaining prisoners for eight months and 12 days in the Bahamas for fishing illegally in Bahamian territorial waters.

The group returned to the Dominican Republic on the Dominican Armada patrol boat, the Almirante Didiez Burgos that traveled to Bahamas to pick them up.

Relatives, friends and an official delegation headed by Puerto Plata provincial governor Ivan Rivera, port commander, Captain Sandy Espaillat, and the president of the local Association of Fishing Boat Owners, Luis Heredia participated in the meeting to welcome the fishermen home.

They reported that Victor Beriguez Diaz, captain of one of the two seized Dominican boats, who was sentenced to 16 months in prison, is still in jail in The Bahamas.

http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?o...bahamas-return


Document forgery center dismantled
The Police reported the dismantling of a forgery center that operated near the Haitian Consulate in Santo Domingo. The Police reported that passports, birth certificates and marriage certificates were forged there.

The arrests were made as the suspects worked inside two parked vehicles at the intersection of Calle José Desiderio Valverde and Calle Juan Sánchez Ramírez in the Zona Universitaria. Haitian Paul Romel was arrested in one of two vehicles where the documents were forged. The Police reported they are on the trail of Haitians Wilson Escaly and/or Tomasito and a known Chuchuta who are suspected of working with Romel.

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


Flight from Punta Cana collides another plane in Toronto
An Air Canada flight from Punta Cana with Dominican and Canadian tourists on board collided with a LOT Polish Airlines when taxiing to the gate at Terminal 1 of the Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Canada on the evening of Saturday, 5 August 2017.

The accident happened when the Lot Polish Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner was at the gate prior to boarding passengers. The wings of the airplane were clipped by the arriving Air Canada flight. 286 passengers were on board the Air Canada Rouge 767 that bumped the LOT aircraft that at the time was parked and preparing for departure to Warsaw, Poland.

No passengers were injured in the incident that is being investigated by the Canadian Air Transport Authority.

LOT Polish Airlines said the entire wing of the aircraft that was hit will have to be inspected. The flight from Toronto to Warsaw was cancelled, with passengers accommodated in a hotel and rebooked to other flights.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toront...port-1.4237189


Priest accused of murder of altar boy
A 16-year old, who had been reported as missing, was discovered murdered last night, 8 August 2017, in a ditch in Bayaguana, and his family is accusing the parish priest from Villa Mella of the crime.

Fernely Carrión Saviñón was an altar boy in the parish of Our Lady of Fátima de Villa, under priest Elvin Taveras Durán.

The father of the murdered boy, Freddy Carrion, said that the priest is in custody while the case is under investigation. Carrion said that the priest has confessed to the crime. The priest led investigators to where they could find the body.

According to his supposed confession, he murdered the boy by hitting him on the back of his head with a hammer and then stabbed him several times.

The father said that the priest was always giving the boy money. A report in El Dia says that the boy was extorting the priest threatening to publish photos of them having sex.

After the case was made public, on Tuesday, 8 August 2017, the Archidiocesis of Santo Domingo announced the dismissal of the priest as per Canon Law 1395 that establishes this action in the case of “a cleric who in another way has committed an offense against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue, if the delict was committed by force or threats or publicly or with a minor below the age of sixteen eyars, is to be punished with just penalties, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state if the case so warrants.”

Acento mentions that 16-year old Carrión would have been subject to sexual abuses by the priest since he was 10 years old, according to investigations by state prosecutors and the National Police. The online portal features a summary of priest sexual abuses against minors.

http://elnacional.com.do/hallan-cada...-de-su-muerte/
http://eldia.com.do/iglesia-suspende...te-por-crimen/
https://elnuevodiario.com.do/arquidi...elvin-taveras/
http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/_P56.HTM
http://acento.com.do/2017/actualidad...ca-dominicana/


Milly Quezada and Miriam Cruz at Hard Rock
“La Reina y la Diva” is the name of the concert merengue singers Milly Quezada and Miriam Cruz will present at the Hard Rock Live at the Blue Mall in Santo Domingo on Saturday, 2 September as of 9pm. Also on the program for the evening is stand up comedian Carlos Sánchez.


Two Gilberto Santa Rosa salsa concerts
Puerto Rican salsa singer Gilberto Santa Rosa is booked for a 7 September 2017 performance at the Gran Teatro del Cibao. Next he will be in Santo Domingo for two performances on 8 and 9 September at the National Theater. Performances are at 8:30pm. Tickets are for sale at Uepa Tickets, Jumbo, Supermercados Nacional and at the box offices of both theaters.