Fiscal incentives regime announced for petroleum and gas development
Government sets aside RD$2.5 billion for South
2017 National Budget keeps scheme of increasing debt
Falconbridge fined RD$7.6 million for oil spill
Dozens of places still cut off due to flooding
Corpses of two Haitians recovered from flooding river
Venezuelan opposition will not attend exploratory talks in Santo Domingo
How to help people affected in Mexico and Puerto Rico
Baseball teams adding value for season ticket holders
Academy of History wins Brugal prize
Vicente Garcia nominated to four Latin Grammys
Weeks of Spain in Santo Domingo
Toño Rosario in Concert



Fiscal incentives regime announced for petroleum and gas development
The Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) announced new fiscal incentives regimes to attract foreign investment for the development of the petroleum and gas industry in the country. Minister Antonio Isa Conde announced that tenders will be carried out for the development of the Azua and Enriquillo basins during the first quarter of 2018. He said that preliminary research carried out by the government confirmed the deposits are there. He said the second phase seeks to determine if these are commercially viable.

https://www.mem.gob.do/index.php/not...-modelo-fiscal


Government sets aside RD$2.5 billion for the South
The Technical Coordinator for the Agro-forestry Development Program for the Watersheds in the Southern Region, Major General Rafael de Luna Pichirilo, said that the government intends to reforest some 700,000 tareas (1 tarea = 629 square meters) and that the 2018 budget includes RD$2.5 billion for this effort. He noted that there is an agricultural component to this effort especially in areas influenced by the dams at Sabaneta and Sabana Yegua. He also noted that many local aqueducts and irrigation systems in the area will benefit from the reforestation project.

Agriculture Minister Angel Estevez said that this is a complete project because it takes into account farm production as well as the reforestation of an important series of watersheds. He noted that the project has a high rate of return, “which means that for each pesos invested there will be a return of three pesos.” He said this means that the lives of thousands of farmers who live around the project are going to change. He noted that cacao, avocados and vegetables were going to be farmed in this area together with coffee. He said that this was the most ambitious agro-forestry project in the entire Caribbean region.


2017 National Budget keeps scheme of increasing debt
Economists Pavel Isa and Miguel Collado Di Franco say that the RD$814.8 billion National Budget approved by the Medina administration for 2017 perpetuates the scheme of increasing debt and weaknesses in the management of local finances. They criticized that public spending will be RD$687 billion and RD$127 billion (46%) is allotted for paying loans. Government spending is up 10% for second consecutive year.

The economists criticized that the Dominican Republic has accumulated a decade of fiscal deficits and 11 years of taking on significant public debt demanding higher taxes.

Diario Libre reports that according to data from the Central Bank, as of June 2017 the consolidated public debt of the government was 49.6% of the GDP, the highest level in the past 17 years. Six months past, it was 47.6% of GDP.

https://www.diariolibre.com/economia...amos-CD8252040


Falconbridge fined RD$7.6 million for oil spill
The Ministry of Environment fined Falconbridge Dominicana (Falcondo) RD$7.6 million for damage caused after a fuel spill from one of its pipelines in the municipality of Haina. The ministry also ordered that the company shutdown the pipeline from the docks in Haina to its facility in Bonao until all of the repairs are completed.

According to Environment Minister Francisco Dominguez Brito, the ministry is imposing strict guidelines to ensure the company cleans up the site where the spill occurred and takes measures to prevent future spills.

In a press release, Dominquez Brito is quoted saying that technicians from the ministry have visited the affected areas and verified the evidence of the environmental violations. The environmental assessment by the Ministry showed “strong odor of hydrocarbons in the inhabited area, soil contaminated with hydrocarbons, a lack of signage indicating the routes of the pipeline, a lack of information regarding risks associated with the material being transported by the pipeline and finally, a lack of implementation of preventive plans.”

Last August 2017, according to the Ministry, an oil spill occurred and the company should have taken a series of measures. The Ministry of Public Health staff also reported to the Ministry of the Environment on health aspects.

Gabriel Rodriguez, the executive director of Falconbridge, told the editors of Diario Libre that the company had acted promptly both with the removal of the spilled fuel oil as well as with the persons possibly affected in the area where the spill occurred. He said: “It is not that we reject that people might be getting sick, it is plain and simply that there is no way that the incident in question, the fuel oil contamination of 15 lineal meters of a creek in Quita Sueño in Haina, can cause the health effects in the time frame that has been cited, because of a very fast response (by the company).”

Rodríguez told the editors that Falcondo has tested the air and they have detected no type of contamination that could affect people. He noted that they had talked to the residents in the area and offered to relocate them if they so wished and he added that this would be a decision made by each affected family.

Falcondo alleges that their pipeline was deliberately damaged by people living in the area and they are gathering evidence to support this allegation.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...aina-BN8249838
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...ores-AD8036031
https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...tales-en-haina
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...aina-BN8249838


Dozens of places still cut off due to flooding
A full six days after Hurricane Maria passed north of the Dominican Republic, there are still more than 24,000 persons displaced from their homes, nearly 200 houses were destroyed, 27 water systems are out of service, 14 bridges out and 1,819 persons remain in official shelters.

The Emergency Operations Center reported on 26 September 2017 that six municipalities continue in red alert due to flooding. These are the municipalities of Castañuelas, Guayubín and Hatillo Palma in Montecristi in the northwest and Villa Riva, Hostos and Arenoso in Duarte in the northeast.

Diario Libre reported the complete flooding of the Cruz de Manzanillo banana plantation in Montecristi.

Furthermore, vehicles cannot move freely in the Lower Yuna Basin, the road to Villa Riva has disappeared in some sections, many rural villages have been completely isolated and many rice farms underwater from the river that flooded. Some people have had to use small boats in search for food and basic needs.

Rain showers are forecast over the next 24 hours due to a weak tropical wave in the area.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...-hoy-EE8251431
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...-hoy-EE8251431
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...isti-LC8253296


Corpses of two Haitians recovered from flooding river
Civil Defense staff in Montecristi province reported the recovering of two bodies of Haitians that had been dragged by the flooding waters of Yaque del Norte River near Hatillo Palma municipality on Friday, 19 September 2017. The river overflowed with intense rains brought by Hurricane Maria.

Felix Diaz, speaking for the Civil Defense in Montecristi, said the corpses were identified as 21-year old Jidenn Pierre and 19-year old Dyemanu Pierre. The forensic analysis certified both men had drowned.

The Civil Defense said the two men had died when trying to rescue 48 other countrymen who had been trapped by the flooding at the farms where they worked in Montecristi were flooded and were later rescued by Civil Defense workers and volunteers.
http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2017...ominicana.html


Venezuelan opposition will not attend exploratory talks in Santo Domingo
Despite participating in exploratory talks with President Danilo Medina at the Presidential Palace on 13 September 2017, Luis Florido and Julio Borges of the MUD, the Venezuelan opposition coalition, said they will not be returning to the Dominican Republic for a second round of talks that had been set for Wednesday, 27 September 2017. President Medina had met separately with Venezuelan government officers. “There are not the conditions to travel to the Dominican Republic,” said Florido in a press conference in Venezuela. The talks had been co-hosted by former President of Spain Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas Maldonado had said the exploratory talks would take place in Santo Domingo this week. President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela had confirmed the meeting in Santo Domingo on 27 September the participation of representatives of the Venezuelan government.

http://elnacional.com.do/oposicion-v...ca-dominicana/


How to help people affected in Mexico and Puerto Rico
The recent earthquakes in Mexico and Hurricane Maria that devastated Puerto Rico have stressed humanitarian efforts in both countries. Aid agencies in various countries are trying to coordinate efforts to channel donations to help the suffering people in Puerto Rico and Mexico.

In the Dominican Republic, the Mexican Embassy and the Office of the Government of Puerto Rico are also receiving assistance from individuals and organizations. The Mexican Red Cross and the “Fuerza Mexico Trust” for reconstruction are receiving economic donations through their website: https://cruzrojadonaciones.org, and money can be sent through Amazon Mexico at this webpage: https://www.amazon.com.mx/

With regard to Puerto Rico, the lack of electricity, fuel, and communication is worsened by the scarcity of water for human consumption. In the Biltmore Tower located on Abraham Lincoln at the corner of Gustavo Mejia Ricart interested persons can take can goods, water, toilet paper and products for sanitation. German Monroy, the executive director of the Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce, explained that they cannot receive cash donations because of problems with electronic transfers caused by the lack of electricity on the island.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...cana-NN8249935


Baseball teams adding value for season ticket holders
The nation’s winter league baseball teams are looking for ways to attract fans to purchase season tickets for the upcoming winter baseball season that starts in mid October 2017.
Teams have to become creative to sell tickets after it was reported that traditional sponsors have cut back on support. For example, the Aguilas Cibaeñas have arranged financing through a bank for their season-ticket purchases, and the Leones del Escogido now has Internet purchases available for their fans.

The Tigres Del Licey have begun to award their loyal fans with the Licey Fan Fest in early October. The event will be held on 7 October 2017, a Saturday, at the Estadio Quisqueya in Santo Domingo starting at 4pm. Fans will get special discounts on team items and there will be games for children and adults together a music food and drinks. Lots of photo opportunities with ballplayers will also be available.

As the Licey team says in its promotional email, buying ball game tickets ahead is the best way to avoid scalpers who are always outside the stadium at the Fan Fest. Season-ticket holders will be allowed to bring three other persons and can obtain their wristbands beginning today at the ticket office at the ballpark. According to research by the Diario Libre, two seasons ago the Tigres had 3,970 season-ticket holders in the stadium and this represented close to 70% of the best seats in the house.

According to an executive of the Escogido Baseball Club, ticket sales might contribute as much as 30% of a team’s income. Another DL researcher found that in the 2015-2016 season, the Escogido had 3,815 season-ticket holders. Last year Licey had sold over 4,000 season-ticket holders. On Monday, 25 September, the Escogido began delivering season tickets to those who purchased them over the summer.

The president of the Aguilas Cibaeñas, Winston “Chilote” Llenas, told the newspaper that pre-game ticket sales this year are up 15%. He said last year they had 1,735 season-ticket holders for the regular-season and 3,287 persons who bought tickets for the entire playoff series with the Licey. While attendance during the regular-season averages out at about 6,700 persons for games against Licey, it fell off to his little as 550 when the Aguilas played the Toros. Nonetheless in the post-season, attendance soared to 12,500 for most of the games with the Licey.


Academy of History wins Brugal prize
The Brugal Foundation awarded the Dominican Academy of History this year’s Brugal Believes in People Prize in the art and culture category. The announcement was made during a press conference held on Tuesday, 26 September 2017.

Together with the Academy of History, the Geriatric Center San Joaquin and Santa Ana in La Vega (Social Work), the Propagas Foundation (Environmental Defense And Protection), the Community Action Institute (Community Development), the Calazanse Solidarity Foundation (Education), and the Patronato in the Fight against Cancer in Espaillat province were awarded prizes.

Each of these institutions will receive RD$1 million and they were judged on their creativity, practice, research and results obtained.

Virginia Cabral Arzeno, the president of the Brugal Foundation, praised the work of the members of the jury composed of outstanding Dominican personalities. She said that this year they received more than 90 proposals for their awards in the different categories. She told reporters that for some 26 years they have identified those who cared for and were supportive of the less fortunate.

She said: “We have been able year after year to support, channel and sometimes even accelerate the progress in the fight against poverty through these meritorious institutions in different categories.” The award ceremony will be held on 19 October 2017. Before that date, the Brugal Foundation will announce the winner of the George Arzeno Brugal Grand Prize.

https://www.diariolibre.com/revista/...ente-YN8249537


Vicente Garcia nominated to four Latin Grammys
The Latin Recording Academy announced on Tuesday, 26 September 2017, the nominees for the 18th annual Latin Grammy Awards. Among the nominees, the hit “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee is competing for the Record of the Year and Song of the Year categories.

This is a great year for Dominicans with Vicente García nominated to four Latin Grammys, one of 12 Dominicans on the list of Latin Grammy categories nominees.

On the list, young contemporary singer, Dominican Vicente Garcia is recognized for his persistence and talent, with nominations to four Latin Grammys in four categories. Vicente Garcia was nominated for the Album of the Year for “A la Mar;” Best Tropical Song (Bachata en Kingston); Best New Artist category; Best Singer-Songwriter Album (A la Mar). Eduardo Cabra, who produced A la Mar, is also nominated in the Best Producer category.

Other Dominicans that were nominated are:
Frank Reyes (Devuelveme Mi Libertad – Best Contemporary Tropical Album), “Lápiz Conciente” (Papa - Best Urban Song), Gabriel (Contra Corriente – Best Tropical Fusion Album), Manny Cruz, Daniel Santa Cruz (Déjà Vu – Best Tropical Song), (Michel Camilo (With Tomatito, Spain Forever – Best Instrumental Album) and Prince Royce (Five – Best Contemporary Tropical Album), Nathalie Peña Comas (Alta Gracia – Best Classical Album and Best Classical Contemporary Composition); Manuel Tejada (Ave Maria – Best Classical Contemporary Composition); Richard Camacho part of CNCO is competing in the Best New Artist category; and Barak (Generacion Radical for Best Christian Album in the Spanish Language).

The 2017 Latin Grammy Awards will be broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas by Univision, from 8-11pm ET. on 16 November 2017.

https://www.latingrammy.com/en/nominees
https://www.diariolibre.com/revista/...ammy-HA8255898


Weeks of Spain in Santo Domingo
The Embassy of Spain in the Dominican Republic, with the backing of 20 public and private entities, is presenting the 5th edition of the “Weeks of Spain in the Dominican Republic” event.

The event opened with the showing of works by Salvador Dalí (Del Capricho al Disparate) and engravings by Francisco de Goya (Los Caprichos) at the Prats Ventós and Maria Ugarte halls of the Centro Cultural de España on Arzobispo Meriño Street in the Colonial City. This exhibition is open through 28 October. Another by Eugenio Fernández Granell and Dalí (Andanzas Surrealistas) is shown at the Museo Bellapart on Av. John F. Kennedy.

The Weeks of Spain event has on calendar around 20 cultural, academic and social activities to take place from 22 September to 10 November 2017.

See the program:
http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Embajad...B1a%202017.pdf


Toño Rosario in Concert
Singer-songwriter, arranger and producer Toño Rosario is presenting a concert on Saturday, 30 September 2017 at the Hard Rock Live of Blue Mall. The 58-year old Dominican singer is the former lead singer of the merengue group Los Hermanos Rosario. Rosario is regarded as a key figure in the popularizing of merengue, with many of his hits reaching the top of the Billboard Latin charts and the top of charts in Europe. He is a three-time Grammy nominee and has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide. He is best known for his romantic merengue renditions.