DR1 Daily News next update on Monday
President Medina passes 2018 National Budget
Public Health: Talks start for Ten Year Health Plan
Christmas customs break begins
Promese to sell low cost condoms
Works advance to install electricity underground in Colonial City
7th Dialogue on Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation
John Guiliani named Dominican ambassador in Israel
Legislators are very expensive in the Dominican Republic
Dominicans lack confidence in institutions and people
Debate on primaries with universal voting list to take place
Is Kapangim SDR Enterprise operating in Barahona with the due permits?
Neighborhood initiative: Recycling in Piantini
Poteleche cartoon to replace Boquechivo
Court case involving Hipolito continues
Jail time requested for DNCD agents
Two killed in truck stop robbery
Arrest in major robbery at home of wealthy Venezuelan
President Medina’s oldest daughter to wed
Berklee College of Music master classes at the Music Conservatory
Disney on Ice opens at the Palacio de los Deportes
Miches Coconut Fair



DR1 Daily News next update on Monday
The next DR1 Daily News update will be published on Monday, 4 December 2017. The Monday issue will compile headline news for the previous Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Breaking news can be followed 24/7 in the Forums. See the DR1 Forum at http://www.dr1.com


President Medina passes 2018 National Budget
On Wednesday, 29 November 2017, President Danilo Medina, through Decree 243-17, authorized the implementation of the National Budget 2018 Bill for the next fiscal year. This is the earliest the budget has ever been passed by the government. The budget for next year is for RD$816,565,340,417 and calls for revenues for RD$602.8 billion and spending for RD$816.5 billion.
https://presidencia.gob.do/noticias/...ral-del-estado


Public Health: Talks start for Ten Year Health Plan
Minister of Public Health, Altagracia Guzman Marcelino, announced on 29 November 2017 the imminent start of the work sessions for the talks for the Public Health Ten Year Plan (PLANDES 2018-2028). These will be coordinated by the Instituto Tecnologico de Santo Domingo (INTEC).

The main points that will be addressed are: Complete the development and strengthening of the Servicio Nacional de Salud and the Red Publica Unica. These are the national health service and single public health network.

Another priority of the Ministry is to close the gap between first level care facilities in the public sector. The goal is to be able to improve the public’s access to entry level medical care for both public and private healthcare facilities, with the aim of reducing costs for healthcare, for everyone, either those who are insured or those who do not have health insurance.

Another point to be discussed is the modernization of the Plan de Servicios de Salud (PDSS), the health services plan, so that the healthcare provided can quickly and effectively address the various epidemiological profiles of the population.

The Ministry is also seeking an increase of government spending in public health through the financing of collective health services, incorporating uninsured population to the Sistema Dominicano de Seguridad Social (SDSS), the Dominican Social Security System, and the expansion of benefits of the high cost pharmaceuticals program to include persons that are not covered by health plans.


Christmas customs break begins
The Customs’ Agency (DGA) has announced that from Friday, 1 December 2017, the “Christmas Thank You Program” begins so that Dominicans living overseas can bring in articles duty free up to a value of US$1,500 for their relatives and friends living in the Dominican Republic.

The customs exemption program will last until 7 January 2018, and is only applicable to those Dominicans who have been out of the country without returning for more than six months.

The measure is included in Law 9-96 of 9 September 1996.
http://www.aduanas.gob.do/DetalleNoticia?ID=148


Promese to sell low cost condoms
The director general of the Promese government pharmaceuticals program, Antonio Peña Mirabal, announced that beginning in March or April 2018, Promese stores nationwide would be stocked with low cost condoms and birth control pills and shots. He said the new state policy is part of a pilot program that seeks to prevent teenage pregnancies and sexual transmission infections.

The first batch of one million condoms of three units each, 25,000 birth control shots, and 46,000 birth control monthly pill packages is being purchased with an appropriation of RD$4.5 million provided by the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA) as a pilot program. New orders will be tendered in the future depending on the demand at the stores.

Peña Mirabal says this is an initiative of the Ministry of Public Health that seeks to make birth control accessible to youths and adults.

Studies show that early sex initiation of teenagers in the Dominican Republic has led to high rates of early pregnancies and causing a significant increase in sexually transmitted diseases that in past years were only found in the adult population.


Works advance to install electricity underground in Colonial City
The government power distributor company, EdeEste is dismantling medium and low tension electricity cabling in the Colonial City to replace these with underground cabling. This is part of the Colonial City renovation program, Programa de Fomento al Turismo de la Ciudad Colonial.

The works are taking place at Arzobispo Meriño street, between José Gabriel García and Padre Billini streets. They will continue on the Colonial City streets – Mercedes, Restauración and Isabel la Católica. They are expected to finish by 15 December 2017.


7th Dialogue on Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation
Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas opened the 7th Dialogue on Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Relations convention center on 29 November 2017. Vargas in his welcoming words expressed the firm and decided commitment of the Medina administration to back the objectives of peace, security and progress of the initiative. He mentioned the Medina government implementation of the 911 program and the strengthening of government entities under the Center of Emergency Operations (COE), among other measures.

The meetings bring together Caribbean and US experts to discuss strategies to fight transnational crime under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) begun under the Barack Obama administration in 2010.

The dialogue brings together more than 200 officials from security agencies of the Dominican Republic, the United States and 15 member countries of the Caribbean Community (Caricom).

During the event, Trinidad & Tobago Prime Minister Edmund Dillon, on behalf of Caricom, signed a memorandum of understanding for the exchange of information and intelligence on matters of security and defense of mutual interest with Dominican Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas.

Also speaking at the event were Francisco Palmieri, US principal deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs; Douglas Slater, assistant secretary general Caricom; and Canada Ambassador Shauna Hemingway, among others.

https://presidencia.gob.do/noticias/...guridad-caribe


John Guiliani named Dominican ambassador in Israel
With Decree 427-17, President Danilo Medina appointed John Guiliani Valenzuela as the country’s new ambassador in Israel. He is a former Central Electoral Board and Superior Electoral Court judge. News commentators speculated the appointment was made to reward the former government officer for his strong support to the ruling political party.

http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2017/11/2...dor-en-israel/


Legislators are very expensive in the Dominican Republic
Of the 20 countries in Latin America, the Dominican Republic is the third smallest in terms of territory but it has the sixth highest number of legislators.

The country is a little larger than 48,000 square kilometers but has 222 legislators, divided between 190 deputies and 32 senators. On the other hand Bolivia, which is over a million square kilometers had the second highest with 166 legislator (130 deputies and 36 senators).

Costa Rica that at 51,100 square kilometers is slightly larger than the Dominican Republic, has a single chamber congress with only 57 deputies.

According to an analysis carried out by the Regional Center for Sustainable Economic Strategies (CREES) the Dominican Republic has the seventh largest cost for the legislators, with an average of US$13.4 per inhabitant compared to the regional average of US$9.9.

In addition, according to the website for the Chamber of Deputies, in the first half of this year the cost of expenses was RD$110,732,368 when the budget approved for them was only RD$64,138,045.

In the Dominican Republic, before the constitutional reform of 2010, there were 178 deputies based on one for each 50,000 inhabitants or a fraction of more than 25,000. In the 2010 Constitution the number was fixed at 178 based on population plus five elected at national level based on the accumulation of votes and another seven representing Dominicans overseas leading to 190.

As far as the Senate is concerned, there is one senator for each province and the National District leading to 32 members. The two chambers were allocated RD$6,101,737,170 in the 2017 budget.

http://almomento.net/rd-entre-los-pa...-legisladores/


Dominicans lack confidence in institutions and people
The report, from Latinobarómetro Corporation 2017, has revealed that Dominicans have a high degree of skepticism or mistrust in public institutions. The report was carried out in a large part of Latin America and it questions the credibility these organizations have throughout the region including the Dominican Republic.

According to the survey, when asked if they could trust the majority of people, or that one had to take care in all such matters, only 11% of people said that most people were trustworthy.

The report went on to say that they could only trust the church with 75% stating that, then the Armed Forces with 42%, trust in the government was only 28%, police 24%, Central Electoral Board 23%, Judicial Branch 22%, Congress 23% and political parties 15%.

The report also places the Dominican Republic only behind Venezuela and Paraguay in regards to the perception that government officers take bribes. The perception is that 56% for the police, 49% for judges and 50% for government officers. In Chile, the rates are 17% for police and judge and 19% for government officers.

Commenting on the poll to Diario Libre reporters, Vice President Margarita Cedeño recognized the significant number of robberies in the country, but said the government is instating new security measures. She said the poll reflects a perception or momentary photograph and depends on who is providing the data. Nevertheless, she said the government is always open to these reports as they help to continue improvements.

Servio Tulio Castaños Guzmán, also interviewed on the poll by Diario Libre reporters, said that it should not be a surprise to anyone that the country ranked second in corruption and insecurity. He said the poll reflects what the people feel and that the results should call the attention of politicians to seek corrections to the situation.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...onas-DF8676612
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...rica-LN8681850
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...etro-YG8679265
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...nial-KH8678927


Debate on primaries with universal voting list to take place
The Iberoamericana University (UNIBE) and the Foundation for Equality, have announced that lawyers, political scientists and executives from different parties who have expressed support for or opposition to the constitutionality of open primaries, will be discussing the issue in the International Seminar on Political Participation and the Parties Bill.

The academic event, will take place at UNIBE on Friday, 1 December from 8:30am to 6pm, and will open with a speech from electoral expert Carlos Fara. Also taking part will be the former judge of the Central Electoral Board (JCE), Eddy Olivares, Wilfredo Lozano, Ricardo Pérez Fernández and José Alejandro Ayuso. In addition the director of the Master’s Program in Constitutional Law at UNIBE, Cristóbal Rodríguez, will be speaking along with lawyers Namphi Rodríguez, Eduardo Jorge Prats, Jaime Rodríguez and Julio Cury.

In the afternoon the first session will be facilitated by Spanish Professor in Constitutional Law, Emilio Pajares Montolío, and the closing event will be facilitated by ex-judge of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), José Manuel Hernández Peguero.

The Supreme Court of Justice of the Dominican Republic has already ruled against the constitutionality of the open primaries in 2005. The Political Committee of the ruling PLD party, nevertheless, has brought back the issue and sought expert opinions in order to re-introduce it in Dominican legislation in time for the 2020 general elections.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...rtas-AF8676460


Is Kapangim SDR Enterprise operating in Barahona with the due permits?
The Ministry of Environment confirmed it has ordered an investigation to assess if Kapangim SDR, that exploits a calcium carbonate mine in the mountains of Barahona, is operating outside of its licensed area. Barahona environmentalist Rafael Matos Féliz denounced that the Ministry of Environment had authorized the construction of a 12 km mountain road to benefit the company without an environmental impact study having been carried out.

The road under construction in La Ciénaga, runs from Las Filipinas to Los Chupaderos, reaching to Santa Elena and then onto the calcium carbonate processing plant. Matos Féliz said that the construction of the road in the mountainous area will cause land erosion and damage to the ecosystem because of its steep slope. He said the road would be used by large trucks that would increase negatively impact this environmentally fragile region. Matos Feliz noted the company has been fined in the past for violation of its scope of operation.

Matos Féliz said the company initially was authorized to extract limestone from La Descubierta and transport it to a the processing plant in Barahona. However, later, the company obtained permits to exploit the mountains of Las Filipinas and Los Chupaderos, apparently without regard to the environmental impact of the operation.

The Strategic Alliance for the Sustainable Development of Barahona Province opposes the recent actions of the mining company. Reportedly, the extraction of materials would affect the river basins of the Bahoruco and Arroyo Seco rivers that extend for around 80 square kilometers. Environmentalists speculate the operation of the company could also affect the operations of the Casa Bonita and Centro de Visitantes El Cachote eco-lodges.

http://hoy.com.do/ambientalista-denu...n-zona-fragil/
http://www.adocem.org/sala-de-prensa...-ambiente.html


Neighborhood initiative: Recycling in Piantini
Carmen Alonzo, president of the Piantini neighborhood and nearby areas, explained to Diario Libre the new community initiative to make available large plastic tanks for neighbors to deposit plastic and carton containers so these can be recycled prior to reaching the garbage dump. The initiative begins with 25 donated tanks. Anyone interested in the containers can just pick them up free of cost. The large tanks will be anchored to posts to prevent them from being stolen. Pinturas Popular, Editora Buho, Banco de Reservas and Diario Libre are contributing to the pilot program.

https://www.diariolibre.com/medioamb...ogar-YX8671144


Poteleche cartoon to replace Boquechivo
Boque Chivo cartoon’s last day in the Diario Libre is 30 November 2017. The cartoon was begun by the late Harold Priego and then continued when he died in 2013 by his son Samuel.

The new cartoon will be incorporated in a section to be known as Noticiero Poteleche. 36-year old Rafael Jose de los Santos Colón (Poteleche) has been a visual artist for a longtime. He has a following of 140,000 people on Instagram. Diario Libre says that graffiti is part of his identity. His works as an urban artist have been shown in Puerto Rico, Barcelona, New York and Miami.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...ibre-DD8674401 https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...ibre-XY8661033
https://www.diariolibre.com/revista/...ande-KG8679518


Court case involving Hipolito continues
On Wednesday 29 November 2017, the Supreme Court of Justice continued the hearing between former President Hipólito Mejía, who is accusing the senator from Peravia, and senator Wilton Guerrero (PLD-Peravia). Mejía accused Guerrero of defamation.

The case goes back to 2012, when, a week before the presidential elections, Senator Guerrero stated that Mejia had travelled to Sinaloa, Mexico in a plane belonging to the drug dealer Joaquín Guzmán Loera “El Chapo Guzmán. This was stated in the El Caribe newspaper, and the director of the paper, Osvaldo Santana was also named in the writ.

In April 2013, the case was dismissed by the court. Mejia tried again on 16 December 2014, to have the case reopened. The hearing on that request took place on 16 December 2014, but was set aside by the court.

The case is now continuing, but journalist Osvaldo Santana, editor of El Caribe, has been taken off the writ, although the process against Guerrero is still ongoing.

https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...ilton-guerrero


Jail time requested for DNCD agents
The public prosecution service is asking for jail on remand as coercive measures for two officers of the National Police and three agents from the National Drug Control Agency (DNCD) in San Juan de la Maguana, accused of possession of cocaine.

Those charged with the offence are Lieutenant Colonel Andrés Martínez, Captain José Castillo, and DNCD agents Wilson Sánchez, Wilkin Peralta and Samuel Escalante. The five are accused of illegal acts in violation of the law about drugs and controlled substances.

The DNCD had received several complaints about the five officials, which led to an investigation by its Internal Affairs department that placed covert surveillance equipment that caught the men engaged in the so-called irregularities.

http://eldia.com.do/la-fiscalia-pide...miembros-dncd/


Two killed in truck stop robbery
Early yesterday morning, Wednesday 29 November 2017, assailants killed two watchmen with several shots at the popular truck and bus stop “Dulcería Rodríguez”, located at Km 76 on the Duarte Highway at Ingenio Sonador, in Monseñor Nouel province. The victims are 62-year old Ramón Lara who lived in Santa Rosa de Bonao and Pedro García aged 47 from Sonador. The assailants got away with an unspecified amount of cash.

https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...gan-con-dinero
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...acer-GE8677293


Arrest in major robbery at home of wealthy Venezuelan
The second of three men implicated in the assault of a Venezuelan couple, who had US$408,500 taken from them along with jewelry, has been arrested by the police.

The couple was assaulted in their property in La Romana in September and according to the police, the latest arrest is of 20-year old Andy Carmelia, also known as Andy Severino, resident in the municipality of Villa Hermosa, in La Romana.

He and Orlando Soriano who has already been arrested, together with José Abreu who is on the run, entered the property belonging to Venezuelan Eudo Enrique Carruyo Perozo, when he and his wife were resting.

Carruyo Perozo said that the assailants, armed with a pistol, tied them up and threatened them, forcing them to open the safe where they made off with the money and 12 valuable watches.

In addition, the assailants stole two wedding rings, one engagement ring, two gold necklaces, a gold bracelet, a box of cufflinks and a checkbook.

7 Dias news portal reports that Eudo Enrique Carruyo Perozo is the son of former finances vice president of the Venezuelan state petroleum corporation (PDVSA). Also that he is a fugitive of the US justice for reckless driving of a Lamborghini in Biscayne Bay in Florida. In the accident, fellow Venezuelan Tulio Rafael Belandia Uribe died, but Carruyo did not wait for the outcome of the legal case and fled the United States.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...mana-DC8675995
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...e-uu-HF8676494


President Medina’s oldest daughter to wed
Candy Sibeli Medina Montilla, the oldest daughter of President Danilo Medina and First Lady Candida Montilla, will be getting married on Saturday, 16 December 2017 at the Santo Domingo Cathedral. She is marrying Angel Duarte. The ceremony will be at 7:30pm at the Cathedral and the reception at a city hotel.

This is the second daughter of President Medina to marry. In December 2016, his second oldest daughter Vanessa Daniela wed a citizen from Argentina.

http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2017/11/2...danilo-medina/


Berklee College of Music master classes at the Music Conservatory
The Ministry of Culture and the Berklee College of Music have begun the series of master classes at the National Music Conservatory in Santo Domingo. These are open to the general public. They are being taught by jazz pianist and composer Michel Camilo and US professors Rebecca Cline, Sean Skeete and Chrissy Tignor. The workshops are from 2:30 to 7pm at the auditorium Juan Francisco García of the CNM.

On Saturday, the winners of the Michael Camilo Scholarship Competition and Berklee College of Music scholarship program will be announced.


Disney on Ice opens at the Palacio de los Deportes
Ice skating to the tales of famous Disney characters starts on Wednesday, 29 November through Sunday, 3 December 2017 in Santo Domingo. There are shows on the weekend at 11am and 7pm. See Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Dory, also Frozen and more. Tickets are for sale at the Palacio de los Deportes box office for RD$1,500, RD$1,800, RD$2,000, RD$2,200, RD$2,500, RD$3,600, RD$4,200. Ticket Express is selling online tickets. Tickets are also available with the La Sirena stores promotion.


Miches Coconut Fair
From Thursday, 30 November through Sunday, 3 December 2017, the people of Miches are celebrating their annual Coconut Fair (Feria del Coco El Cedro 2017) this time in El Cedro. The event seeks to raise an awareness of the importance of the cultivation of coconuts, encourage small artisans and manufacturers that prepare products using coconuts and byproducts. The event has the backing of the Dominican Agribusiness Board (JAD).

Cultural and artistic presentations, culinary tasting of food and deserts made from coconut and arts and crafts sales are on the program. Also a tour to visit the Montaña Redonda and Playa El Limón is being coordinated by the organizers.

The event is centered at the El Cedro community at Km 22 of the Miches-Punta Cana road, some three minutes from the entrance to Montaña Redonda.