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Thread: DR1 Daily News - Tuesday, 24 October 2017

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    Default DR1 Daily News - Tuesday, 24 October 2017

    President Danilo Medina appoints business to Competitiveness Council
    President Tsai Ing-wen invites President Danilo Medina to visit Taiwan
    President Medina has not submitted proof of taxes paid, Espinal explains why
    Hacienda Ministry dismisses Oxfam corruption report
    Yet another public hospital doctors’ strike
    Dailies criticize Presidency and ministries for only communicating by press release
    Hurricane Irma's damage to US avocado crop a boon for Dominican producers
    From exporter to importer of coconuts
    Shared taxi fares increase in Santiago
    All children need to apply in person for visas
    Poet and lawyer Lupo Hernández Rueda dies
    Coercive measures for Santana Zorilla to be decided today
    Wife of Quirinito calls in sick to avoid prosecutor questioning
    Quirinito case judge returns from Panama
    National Symphony Orchestra concerts on 25 October
    Haunted Mansion at the Jaragua

    President Danilo Medina appoints business to Competitiveness Council
    President Danilo Medina issued Decree 389-17 appointing new members for the National Competitiveness Council. The members are represent big business in the Dominican Republic.

    The new members are: Pedro Brache, Fernando Capellán, José Miguel González, Manuel A. Grullón, Luis Molina Achécar, Frank Rainieri, Manuel E. Tavares and Felipe Vicini. Other appointments are Ligia Bonetti, as honorary industrial advisor to the Executive Branch.
    The Presidency also named the minister of the Presidency and the Minister of Hacienda to the CNC board, representing the government.

    The government also created the National Consulting Board of the National Competitiveness Council with the members: Miguel Barletta, Rafael Blanco Canto, Roberto Bonetti, José Clase, Samuel Conde, José Luis Corripio Estrada, Manuel Diez, Pedro Esteva, Manuel Estrella, Félix García Castellanos. Also, Carlos Guillermo León, Aquiles Hernández, Franklin León, Celso Marranzini, Carlos José Martí, Ramón Menéndez, Marcial Najri, Monseñor Agripino Núñez Collado, Mercedes Ramos, Héctor Rizek, Samir Rize, Gustavo Tavares, Juan Manuel Ureña, Bernardo Vega, Juan Vicini, Máximo Vidal, José Vitienes, and Elena Viyella.

    The appointments are made at a time when the Dominican Republic has dropped 12 ranks on the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report for 2017-2018.

    Meanwhile, with Decree 390-17, President Medina appointed former CNC director, Andrés van der Horst Alvarez, Executive Branch tourism advisor for the eastern region. He was replaced in May 2017 by Rafael Paz, formerly executive director of the National Business Council.

    President Tsai Ing-wen invites President Danilo Medina to visit Taiwan
    President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, has again invited President Danilo Medina and First Lady Candida Montilla to visit their country. The invitation was made through Defense Minister Rubén Darío Paulino Sem, who is on tour in Taipei, Taiwan. The President of Taiwan said that President Medina can visit on the date that is most convenient to him.

    The repeated invitation is made again shortly after Deputy Minister of Foreign Relations José Maria Liu was in the Dominican Republic to strengthen ties and bilateral cooperation. During Liu’s visit he did not meet with President Medina. He did met with Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas, Minister of the Presidency Gustavo Montalvo, First Lady Candida Montilla, Education Minister Andrés Navarro, and president of the Senate Reinaldo Pared Pérez.

    Taiwan has expressed its concerns that the Dominican Republic may revoke full diplomatic relations with Taiwan and sign an agreement with the People’s Republic of China.

    Tsai said that when Vice President Chen Chien-jen attended Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina’s inauguration last year, he was warmly received. She said the close ties between the two countries is also evidenced by Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan’s trip last August and an upcoming trip to the Dominican Republic by a senior Taiwanese military officer in November.

    “The interactions are a sign of the deep friendship between the two countries. It is my belief that the bilateral military ties will see pragmatic and positive developments. I would like to ask Defense Minister Ruben D. Paulio Sem to convey my best wishes and extend my invitation [to the president]. We sincerely welcome President Danilo Medina to visit Taiwan to further strengthen exchanges between the two sides," said Tsai.

    Tsai said that apart from exchanges in trade, commerce, social welfare, infrastructure and medical care, military ties between the two sides are also of vital importance.

    The Dominican Republic is one of 12 countries of Latin American and the Caribbean, and one of 21 countries throughout the world, which maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan, and not with China.

    President Medina has not submitted proof of taxes paid, Espinal explains why
    President Danilo Medina and dozens of government officials, including Supreme Court judges have deposited their financial worth statements, but have not included photocopies of the Tax Agency (DGII) certificate that they have paid their annual taxes on what was declared, as established in Decree 92-16 issued by President Danilo Medina himself.

    The information was revealed in the José Antonio Esquivel Social Laboratory newsletter. The program is part of the Dominican Development Studies (PED) at the PUCMM University. The program follows up with the compliance with the Law on Sworn Wealth Statement (DJP) and the corresponding ruling as per Decree 92-16.

    Others that have not submitted their DGII certificates are Public Administration Minister Manuel Ventura Camejo, Energy and Mines Minsiter Antonio Isa Conde, Environment Minister Francisco Domínguez Brito, Women Minister Janet Camilo, Foreign Relations Minister Miguel Vargas Maldonado, Tourism Minister Francisco Javier García, Youth Minister Robiamny Nadesha Balcácer, Industry and Commerce Minister Nelson Toca Simó.

    In addition Senators Reinaldo Pared Pérez, José Ignacio Paliza Nouel, Amable Aristy Castro, Julio César Valentín Jiminián, Rosa Sonia Mateo Espinosa and Luis René Canaán Rojas. Plus deputies Radhamés Camacho Cuevas, Alexis Isaac Jiménez González, Antonia Suriel Mata, Francisco Antonio Matos Mancebo, Manuel Elpidio Báez and Elvin Antonio Fulgencio.

    As reported in 7 Dias, legal advisor to the President, Flavio Darío Espinal said that in the case of the President whose only income is his payment from the state as head of government and thus the taxes are withheld by the Presidency. Espinal explained that when government officers whose only source of income is in their government job, the person does not have to make an income tax declaration because the institution, that is the employer, carries out the retention for the payment of corresponding taxes. Espinal said the information he has received is that President Medina deposited the certificate before the Chamber of Accounts. He said that the same would apply to other government officers who exclusively work for the state.

    Hacienda Ministry dismisses Oxfam corruption report
    Hacienda Minister Donald Guerrero disputes the amount of RD$90 billion in wasteful spending of public funds that Oxfam mentions in a recent report, “Se Buscan Recursos para Garantizar Derechos” is not correct. While he did not agree with the figure, he said that in some areas of government spending improvements can be made.

    The treasury minister said that the government spends 84% on education, health and the military.
    The Oxfam report on the 2017 National Budget also stated that more than RD$39 billion was spent on what are known as patronage jobs.

    Yet another public hospital doctors’ strike
    The Dominican Medical Association (CMD) has confirmed that there will be a protest march today leaving at 10am from the Salvador B. Gautier Hospital to the Ministry of Public Health. The public hospital physicians are pressuring for benefits including the back payment of salaries for residents and pensioners, as well as the increase in salary for more than 5,000 doctors excluded from the pay raise.

    At a press conference, CMD president, Dr. Aldo Ariel Suero said that in addition to the march there will be another 48-hour strike at public hospitals on Wednesday and Thursday (25-26 October). He complained that the government was not open to talks or complying with the agreements.

    The National Health System director, Dr. Jose Rodríguez Monegro and Public Health Minister Altagracia Guzmán insist the government is in compliance with the agreements with the public hospital staff and that several physicians are in violation of the agreements.

    Dailies criticize Presidency and ministries for only communicating by press release
    The Sociedad Dominicana de Diarios, that groups the leading daily newspapers in the Dominican Republic, has launched a campaign to protest that government ministers are not available for live questioning by the press.

    The media group (Listin Diario, El Caribe, Diario Libre, El Nacional, La Informacion, El Dia, Hoy and El Nuevo Diario) criticized that the media has neither any forums to ask questions of President Danilo Medina.
    The SDD says that instead, the Presidency and the ministries communicate with the media merely by sending out press releases on what they may be doing. The one-way communication is also in the form of tweets.

    The journalists say that democracy is only possible when dialogue is a permanent reality. “A democractic society cannot be mute,” states the publication made in the member media.

    The SDD has a new board as of September 2017 lead by Persio Maldonado Sánchez, director of El Nuevo Diario. Other members are: Enmanuel Castillo, vice president (La Información); Miguel Franjul, secretary (Listín Diario), Adriano Miguel Tejada (Diario Libre), treasurer. Other members are Osvaldo Santana (El Caribe), Bienvenido Álvarez Vega (Hoy); José Monegro, El Día; and Bolívar Díaz Gómez, El Nacional.

    Hurricane Irma's damage to US avocado crop a boon for Dominican producers
    Damage to the Florida's green skinned avocado crop following Hurricane Irma has been a boon for Dominican Republic avocado producers, as reported by Fresh Plaza online news portal. New York prices for green skin avocados are currently US$40 to US$45 dollars a box compared to US$26 to US$28 dollars a box a year ago.

    Jose Rosa, president of the Cambita Avocado Cluster in the Dominican Republic says that the country can only meet around 25% of the present demand, which is helping to make up for the losses suffered by Dominican producers when the US suddenly banned the import of green skinned avocado's from the Dominican Republic from March 2015 to January 2016 because of a Mediterranean fruit fly outbreak.

    The Dominican Republic is the world’s second largest producer of avocados, but only the 14th largest exporter, due to the strong domestic consumption. Green skin avocados make up 85% of the DR's production and retain a strong position in the US market.

    From exporter to importer of coconuts
    The Dominican Republic has specialized in the production of coconut cream and is now the largest producer in the world, with sales of around US$15 million, according to Horacio Lomba, a specialist in the production and processing of the product. The recent boon in coconut cream consumption is an opportunity for the country to increase its market share in North American and European markets, he says.

    However, he warns that while demand is increasing, the coconut plantations are declining due to their age, lack of title deeds that restrict access to credit, pests, the use of varieties that do not produce many coconuts and the high cost of land that was traditionally used for planting and now is being dedicated to tourism.

    Five years ago, the country was the fifth largest exporter of coconuts and now has slipped to ninth place. Due to the scarcity of the coconuts, the DR is now importing around 20 million coconuts a year from Guyana, India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia.

    Shared taxi fares increase in Santiago
    Urban transport users in Santiago are complaining about the rise in fares of the public shared taxis from RD$20 to RD$25 that went into effect on Monday, 23 October 2017. The drivers said that the increase is due to the higher cost of fuel and spare parts for their vehicles. One driver said that Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) was now over RD$115 per gallon.

    Passengers complained about the increase, saying that their salaries had not increased to compensate for the higher fares. The president of the Federation of Transport Workers in the Northern Region, (FETRRANRENO), Gervacio de la Rosa, justified the increase saying that the drivers had no other option.

    In Santiago there are over 40 public shared taxi routes and although there is a municipal Transit Office, it has never been involved in regulating fares, leaving that role to the transporter associations themselves.

    The director of the National Transport Institute (Intrant), engineer Claudia Franchesca de los Santos, says that the announced increase is unauthorized.

    All children need to apply in person for visas
    As of Friday, 27 October 2017, parents holding a visa to the United States who have requested that the privilege be extended to their offspring, ages new born to 14 years, will now need to take their children to a consular interview. In July, the presence of children 8 to 14 had been required, but now the US Embassy is demanding the presence of all children applying.

    Migration expert Roque Leonel Rodríguez says that the children need to be present for the consular interview after complying with all the requirements. As reported, the consulate has remodeled a space for the families.

    Rodríguez says that parents still have through 26 October 2017 to deposit the passports with the visa requests for the children under eight years without the presence requirement. For those applying now, consular interviews are set as of March 2018.

    Poet and lawyer Lupo Hernández Rueda dies
    On Monday, 23 October, the renowned labor lawyer and poet, Lupo Hernández Rueda, died at his home in Santo Domingo. He was 87.

    He is recognized for his numerous Dominican literary accomplishments - and in August 2017, the Ministry of Culture announced The International Book Fair of Santo Domingo in April 2018 is dedicated to him.

    Hernández Rueda was born in 1930 and was a poet, essayist, lawyer and university professor with studies in labor law in Italy, Switzerland and Spain.

    He taught labor law to generations of Dominicans. He had published text books on the subject. His poems collection, “Las noches” is considered a Dominican literature classic. He won the National Book Award for his “La metamorfosis de Makandal” and on five occasions was awarded the National Poetry Prize.

    The wake took place at the Funeraria Blandino and he would be buried at the Cristo Redentor Cemetery.

    Coercive measures for Santana Zorilla to be decided today
    Government supplier, Eddy Santana Zorrilla, accused of criminal association and corruption against the state, had won contracts in the ministries of Public Works, Environment and Public Heath, the Chamber of Deputies, the Presidency Social Plan and Inespre.

    He had also won contracts at the Metropolitan Office of Autobus Services (OMSA) and the National District City Hall, bringing the total number of government institutions he provided with services to eight.

    Santana Zorrilla is accused of being part of a network of corruption in OMSA, along with Manual Rivas, the dismissed former director of OMSA, who is currently serving one year on remand in jail in Najayo, linked to the murder of the university professor and lawyer Yuniol Ramírez.

    A decision as to coercive measures for Santana Zorrila will be heard today, Tuesday 24 October 2017.
    His lawyer says he is just being tried on acts of corruption, not for participation in the murder case of lawyer Yuniol Ramírez.

    Diario Libre reports today that the bus repair contracts were so lucrative that a review of these showed that the buses spent more time in the repair shops than offering service to the public.

    Wife of Quirinito calls in sick to avoid prosecutor questioning
    The Attorney General’s Office has interrogated psychiatrist Jarby Hazim in regards to a medical certificate issued for the wife of Pedro Alejandro Castillo Paniagua “Quirinito”, last week that states that the woman is suffering from emotional problems that prevented her from attending an appointment with prosecutors.

    According to the medical certificate, Jennifer Estefani Domínguez Hernández suffers from insomnia, panic attacks, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

    Domínguez Hernández had told the authorities that her husband had died but would not say where his body was buried. A death certificate issued in the case is now in doubt.

    Pedro Alejandro Castillo Paniagua “Quirinito” was who first sentenced to 30 years in jail, then had his sentence reduced to 20 years, and was granted a transfer from San Cristóbal jail to San Francisco de Macorís jail. In San Francisco de Macorís he obtained a domiciliary arrest privilege on grounds he was terminally ill. Afterwards, his wife presented the death certificate.

    Quirinito case judge returns from Panama
    Suspended San Cristobal judge, Willy de Jesús Núñez, has returned from his travels in Panama and has stated that the transfer of Pedro Alejandro Castillo Paniagua “Quirinito”, from Najayo jail to the jail in San Francisco de Macorís was nothing extraordinary.

    De Jesús said that the transfer was “routine, as it would be for any other convicted felon, something which was like abc for judicial matters.”

    De Jesús Núñez spoke to reporters after leaving the Department of Judicial Branch Inspectorate where he was interviewed about the case for more than two hours.

    Following the transfer, Quirinito obtained a domiciliary arrest permit on grounds that he suffered from terminal mouth cancer. After that, his wife presented a death certificate but is not telling where the body is buried or was cremated.

    National Symphony Orchestra concerts on 25 October
    The fall season of the National Symphony Orchestra ends on Wednesday, 25 October 2017, with a closing concert at the Carlos Piantini Hall of the National Theater. National Symphony resident director Santy Rodríguez will be conducting the orchestra. Rodríguez studied at the Real Cosnervatorio Superior in Madrid.

    On the program are works by Mussorgsky, Nielsen and Dovarak. These are:
    Night on the Bare Mountain, Modest Mussorgsky (popularized by the Disney Film “Fantasia”)
    Concert for Clarinet and Orchestra, Carl Nielsen.
    Symphony No. 9 in E minor, "From the New World", Op. 95, Antonin Dvorak (1893)

    For tickets, contact the Fundación Sinfónia at Tel 809 535-8690, or at the National Theater box office. Tickets range from RD$300 to RD$2,000.

    Listen to the concerts performed by other orchestras:

    Haunted Mansion at the Jaragua
    Several bars and discotheques are staging Halloween-themed events for this weekend. For instance, XV Haunted Mansion 2017, sponsored by Brugal Rum, will be staged on Friday, 27 October 2017 at the Teatro La Fiesta of the Jaragua Renaissance with Puerto Rican reggaeton duo Jowell and Randy. This is a costume party. Tickets are RD$1,500. See

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  3. #2
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    Default DR Journalism at its usual worst

    President Medina has not supplied proof of taxes paid Espinal explains why . This is the headline today which luckily probably less than 50 people will have read. it is a classic case of damning first and then giving an excuse ..the simple fact is that Tax is taken out of the Presidents salary, which is not great in relation to the responsibility, and he has no other income so is not required to give proof of taxes paid .
    So why even write the story in the first place ?? I doubt if I would trust anything written in the DR papers except the baseball results ..they are mainly non corroborated stories or ones where a staff member wants to push forward some personal view ..facts being of potential nuisance .

  4. #3
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    Default opposed to which other country in 2017?

  5. #4
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    Why do you care, because it’s about your friend Danilo?


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