Country prepares for Hurricane Irma hit
President to help farmers in Palmar de Ocoa
More money injected into the economy
Single Window for Foreign Trade for farm products
Fight to prevent telecom piracy
DR growth strategy has been based on foreign borrowing
Social welfare feeds votes for the ruling PLD
Doctors have not received pay raise
Political Parties Bill trundles on
Murder of minors on the increase
Carla Massiel murder trial delayed for the fifth time
Increase in robbery of firearms
Jarabe de Palo at Hard Rock Live




Country prepares for Hurricane Irma hit
All attention in the country is now focused on preparing for Hurricane Irma as recent weather reports show it is a grave threat for the country. There were hopes, following the early forecasts, that on Monday afternoon, 4 September 2017, the category 3 hurricane would begin its move to the west but the 2pm bulletin showed it continued to travel south southwest, bringing it closer to the Dominican Republic. Irma is expected to be a category 4 hurricane when it crosses by Dominican coasts.

According to Gloria Ceballos, director of the National Meteorological Office (Onamet), the first effects of the storm could be felt on Wednesday. The storm is expected to hit Puerto Rico on Wednesday and the brunt of the storm is expected to hit the Dominican Republic around noon on Thursday, 7 September.

As per the forecast on 5 September 2017, the most affected provinces will be Puerto Plata, María Trinidad Sánchez (Nagua), Samaná, La Vega, Monseñor Nouel (Bonao), Sánchez Ramírez (Cotuí), Espaillat (Moca) and Duarte (San Francisco de Macorís).

Given the magnitude of the storm, Onamet is alerting everyone to carefully monitor the storm as it approaches the island. There are many uncertainties with the path of Hurricane Irma.

President Danilo Medina met with all of the emergency organizations to coordinate the process of planning for the arrival of the hurricane and the Hurricane Contingency Plan has been put into operation. In addition, the government has now declared it is in permanent session as announced by the Administrative Minister of the Presidency José Ramón Peralta.

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico has declared a state of emergency ahead of the landfall of Hurricane Irma. Classes in the public school system were called off for Tuesday.

See the last page of the DR1 Forums Hurricane Section at:
http://dr1.com/forums/showthread.php...e-season-2017/
http://almomento.net/el-centro-del-h...ca-dominicana/
http://listindiario.com/la-republica...r-huracan-irma
https://www.elnuevodia.com/noticias/...nirma-2354797/


President to help farmers in Palmar de Ocoa
On Sunday, 3 September 2017, President Danilo Medina promised to help farmers and fishermen from Palmar de Ocoa, a vacation and fishing enclave and town.

The government will provide assistance for farms on 2,000 tareas (1 tarea = 629 square meters) to produce plantains, bananas, onions, casava, garlic and eggplant. The governmental Dominican Agrarian Institute will provide a truck and a tractor to the farmers.

The fisherman asked for boats and a photocopy center, but the President said they needed to develop a more formal plan prior to receiving government assistance.

On Wednesday, 5 September a truck and a tractor will arrive, donated by the Dominican Agrarian Institute.

http://elnacional.com.do/asistiran-p...cultores-ocoa/


More money injected into the economy
The government is looking to boost the economy with the injection of new resources to boost construction, production and consumption. The actions are taken after the Gross Domestic Product has declined to 4%.

José Ramón Peralta, Administrative Minister of the Presidency, said on Sunday, 3 September 2017, that the government is making available RD$20 billion for infrastructure projects intended to stimulate the economy. This is in addition to the RD$20.4 billion that the Central Bank made available to financial entities for lending for housing projects, small and medium-sized companies and for the financing of motor vehicles.

The funds will be channeled through the ministries of Public Works, Agriculture, the Office of Supervising Engineers of State Works (a division of the Presidency), the Santo Domingo Aqueduct (CAASD), the National Institute of Drinking Water (INAPA), the National Institute of Water Resources (INDRHI) and the National Housing Institute (INVI).

Peralta expects the new works to create thousands of jobs across the country especially in the small and medium sized businesses linked to the construction business.

http://eldia.com.do/gobierno-erogara...izar-economia/


Single Window for Foreign Trade for farm products
The Ministry of Agriculture and the Customs Agency (DGA) announced the upcoming implementation of the Single Window (or One Stop Shop) for Foreign Trade (VUCE-RD) for expediting procedures for export and import of farm products. The expedited procedures call for digitizing and simplifying the application process.

Agriculture Minister Ángel Estévez explained the new procedure is part of the technological advancements under the Digital Republic project promoted by the Presidency. He said the system could mean savings of RD$1 billion for more than 4,000 export and import companies that are registered at the Ministry of Agriculture.

Furthermore, the director of Customs, Enrique Ramírez Paniagua, indicated that in the coming days the agricultural companies will have this efficient system.

http://eldia.com.do/agricultura-y-ad...tanilla-unica/


Fight to prevent telecom piracy
The Dominican Telecommunications Institute (Indotel) and the country’s copyright office (ONDA) are partnering to strengthen the country’s fight against content and pay-TV piracy.

The main goal of the partnership is to create an inter-institutional board that unifies the efforts against piracy and presents a common front against pirate companies and distributors of pirate technologies.

According to Indotel, the agreement aims to find and fine companies that break copyright laws and create conditions for unfair competition with legitimate companies.

“It means an alliance between two institutions that have the power to change the way the Dominican Republic, in line with the commitments of the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) in terms of content protection,” said José del Castillo Saviñón, president of Indotel.

In fact, the inter-institutional board against piracy will be open to international producers and distributors and representatives of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the US Embassy in the Dominican Republic.

Despite recent efforts, piracy continues to hinder the pay-TV industry across Latin America, and it is particularly strong in Central America and the Caribbean.

https://www.rapidtvnews.com/20170904...against-piracy.


DR growth strategy has been based on foreign borrowing
A recent article in Diario Libre focuses on the borrowing spree undertaken by Presidents of the Dominican Republic since 2000. The country’s three most recent administrations have incurred a whopping US$29.7 billion in public debt from 2000 to 2016.

When President Hipólito Mejía (2000-2004) took office, the consolidated public debt was US$4.38 billion. At the end of his Presidency, the debt had more than doubled to US$10.87 billion, up 147.84%.

Next to follow was President Leonel Fernández’s administration that in his second period in office, inherited the public debt at US$10.87 billion, and had ballooned to US$15,440.6 million, increasing the debt by 41.98% from 2004-2008. In his third term (2008-2012), Fernandez administration added an additional US$9.62 billion, and ended his presidency with US$25.06 million in consolidated public debt.

While Mejía took on US$6.48 billion in new debt, Fernández took on US$14.19 billion.

Next to follow was President Danilo Medina (2012-2016). He received the consolidated public debt in US$25.06 billion and added US$9.03 billion. During the 2016-2020 government, the Medina administration has continued to take on new debt.

Diario Libre interviewed Rafael Espinal, coordinator of the School of Economy of Intec university and Ernesto Selman, executive vice president of the Center for Regional Sustainable Economic Strategies (CREES) who both considered the debt has taken on an unsustainable path.

https://www.diariolibre.com/economia...ones-EE8071305


Social welfare feeds votes for the ruling PLD
A report in Diario Libre on 4 September 2017 focuses on the quadrupling of the social welfare budget of the Presidency from 2008. In 2008, during the last Presidency of President Leonel Fernandez, social welfare programs managed by the Presidency’s Social Cabinet were RD$6,102,725,328. For 2017, now under President Danilo Medina, the Social Cabinet budget has increased to RD$25,484,964,725. President Danilo Medina recently highlighted that 816,109 families receive the modest stipends from the programs.

The report headline states that the social welfare funds have been key in the victories of the ruling PLD since 2008. But there is only so much the RD$1,000 average a family receives can influence a vote. Political scientist Freddy Angel Castro observes that while social welfare benefits can encourage a vote in favor of the ruling party, these stipends will not necessarily guarantee political support from the beneficiaries of the program. Castro points out that the overall performance of the economy matters most to voters.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...2008-FY8076645


Doctors have not received pay raise
According to Waldo Ariel Suero and Mary Hernández of the Dominican Medical Association (CMD), around 5,000 doctors have been excluded from the salary increase that was agreed to by the government. The doctors should have received 10% pay raise in January and then another 15% mid-year, but this has not yet happened.

Minister of the Presidency Gustavo Montalvo spoke with the union and has said they will meet again this week to continue a dialog.

http://elcaribe.com.do/2017/09/04/cm...n-el-gobierno/
https://elnuevodiario.com.do/cmd-den...n-el-gobierno/


Political Parties Bill trundles on
Arístides Victoria Yeb, president of the bi-chamber commission that is studying the Political Parties Bill, arrived at the Presidential Palace yesterday, Monday 4 September 2017, to meet with President Danilo Medina. He said that the study of the new proposed law will be completed this month.

There were other members of the commission present at the meeting including Amable Aristy Castro, the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Rubén Maldonado, and other legislators from different parties.

Administrative Minister of the Presidency José Ramón Peralta said that the new bill seeks to make the electoral primaries more open, simultaneous and transparent.

http://listindiario.com/la-republica...sidente-medina


Murder of minors on the increase
In the country there have been 567 homicides of minors from 2014 to the first semester of this year, according to the Citizen Security Observation. The most recent cases were Fernelis Carrión and Emely Peguero, both 16 years old.

This data represents an average of 141 murders of minor per year, with 81% homicides of minors between 15 and 19 years old, and the worst year for numbers was in 2014 with 179 and the best year was last year with 146.

In the first half of this year, from January to June, there have been 74 homicides of minors, 64 of which were male.

According to data from the United Nation Fund for Infancy (Unicef) in Latin America and the Caribbean there are 100,000 to 200,000 people murdered each year of which 28% are victims aged between 10 and 19 years old.

The data goes on to say that more than 50% of the homicides against children less than 10 are committed by family members, 20% by family members in the cases of children between 10 and 14 and 5% for teenagers ages 15 to 19.

http://listindiario.com/la-republica...n-menos-4-anos


Carla Massiel murder trial delayed for the fifth time
A Santo Domingo judge has postponed the preliminary hearing against those accused of being responsible for the murder of the child Carla Massiel Cabrera for the fifth time.

The next hearing is scheduled for 24 October 2017, in order that Juan Cabral Martínez (Chuti), one of the accused, can be brought to the hearing as this time he was not brought from jail.

In addition, the lawyer of the main accused, Darwin Trinidad Infante, was not present.

9-year old Carla Massiel Cabrera was kidnapped on 25 June 2015 and her body was found on 16 August 2016.

The two accused, Darwin Trinidad Infante and Juan Cabral Martínez (Chuti), are currently in jail on remand.

http://elcaribe.com.do/2017/09/04/ap...carla-massiel/


Increase in robbery of firearms
The robbery of firearms has increased in the first six months of the year 2017, according to official statistics published by the Ministry of Interior and Police.

In the first six months of 2017 there were 361 cases of robbery of firearms compared to 298 in the same time period last year.

Most of the robberies take place between 6pm and midnight, around 23% of the total but there are 26% when the time the weapon was taken is not known.

In many of the cases the guns were taken from police, military and civilians who use pistols for protection.

http://listindiario.com/la-republica...-semestre-2017


Jarabe de Palo at Hard Rock Live
There is always an international group performing in Santo Domingo. For the weekend of Saturday, 7 October 2017, Pau Dones and Jarabe de Palo from Spain are scheduled for the Hard Rock Live. The performance is also a benefit for the Save The Children Dominicana. Tickets are for sale at the cost of RD$1,200 general standing, RD$2,500 and RD$3,400 VIP tables.