Two hundredth surprise visit by President Medina
Safe driving for Easter Week
Influenza alert, keeping diphtheria in check
Stats show informal jobs increase, government leads in formal jobs
Fish production halved
Consolidated public debt is unsustainable
Santiago City Hall employee arrested for fraud
PRD says it will organize another convention
Appeal against handing over land of the Caves of Wonders
Carmenchu Brusiloff recognized with National Journalism Award
Altice will bring MLB baseball games to Dominican public
Gymnast Audrys Nin named Athlete of the Year
Bartolo Colón did not pay medical bill
Rains forecast nationwide
Acropolis jazz for those staying in the city



Two hundredth surprise visit by President Medina
The Presidency is celebrating the 200th “surprise” visit by President Danilo Medina. President Medina travels around the country on Sundays, visiting small communities and interacting with organized groups to support productive activities.

On Sunday, 25 March, 2018, President Danilo Medina, while carrying out his 200th surprise visit in the province of San José de Ocoa said that he was in touch with the Dominican people and that he knew what was going on into the country due to his Sunday visits.

He reiterated that those who had been given loans had to pay them back, however long it took and that the Dominican state had faith in them and they could not defraud the state. Speaking to hog farmers, he explained that he had begun his surprise visits alone, only with his head of security but later he invited different government officials.

During the 200th visit he promised help and credit to the hog farmers in San Cristóbal, to help with the construction of a barn, acquisition of 300 sows, five boars, a truck and machinery. He also heard from a community leader from San José de Ocoa and promised that the next agroforestry development would be in San José de Ocoa.

https://presidencia.gob.do/noticias/...1500-proyectos
https://presidencia.gob.do/noticias/...ua-y-dinamizan


Safe driving for Easter Week
Dominican authorities have released road traffic accident statistics again, seeking to raise the awareness for safe driving at the start of the Easter Week holiday, the most traveled domestic holiday. Easter Week heavy traffic picks up on Wednesday afternoon through Sunday. In the last three years 5,527 people have died in road traffic accidents, with times such as Easter Week, Christmas, Carnival, public and school holidays showing the greatest numbers of deaths given the fact that a third of the populations travels by road on holiday or to visit family during these times.

According to the Program for the Reduction in Mortality in Traffic Accidents (Premat) last year the number of traffic deaths dropped by 20% due to the educational campaign launched by the government. But the Premat says that more than five people die every day in road traffic accidents. In 2017 alone around 110,000 persons suffered injuries in traffic accidents. Last year there were 1,588 deaths in traffic accidents, but tragically thousands of males, ages 10 to 39 years old, are maimed in the road mishaps and affected for life.

According to Premat director, Dr. Ramón Leonel Ureña, most of the deaths, around 70%, are due to the high speed, reckless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol. He went on to say that last Christmas, there were 33 deaths of which 15 were traffic accidents. Of those traffic accidents 14 were motorcyclists and one was a pedestrian. This was a 20% decrease on the previous Christmas period but he highlighted that the most vulnerable were those without protection with motorcyclists representing 67% of all traffic accident deaths and pedestrians 17%. Normal vehicles accounted for 11% and heavy goods vehicles 2%. Given the small number of cyclists, they only accounted for 1% of deaths.

http://eldia.com.do/accidentes-de-tr...tros-feriados/
http://eldia.com.do/accidentes-de-tr...el-ano-pasado/


Influenza alert, keeping diphtheria in check
The Ministry of Public Health warns the public that there is an increase in the incidence of influenza in the country. The AH1N1 strain is spreading. Four deaths have been confirmed of the 98,909 cases reported to the Ministry of Public Health.

Raquel Pimentel, director of Epidemiology at the Ministry of Public Health, stressed the importance of preventing the sickness by limiting its expansion by taking measures such as the sneezing into the bend of the elbow, not the hand. Sneezing into the arm is being encouraged as one of the better ways to avoid the spreading of droplets from sneezing and coughing. When sneezing into the hands, these droplets can be passed on to doorknobs, elevator buttons and other surfaces people regularly touch. Vulnerable persons with flu symptoms should seek medical care.

The Ministry of Public Health also reported one death attributed to diphtheria, a Haitian child in El Chucho, Los Alcarrizos in northern Santo Domingo. The child, four year old Wender Vicente, had arrived in the Dominican Republic on 21 March and according to his mother, 29 year old Sheyla Filguera, he seemed to be in good health. However the following day he had a fever and he was taken to hospital on the Friday where he was admitted to intensive care being unable to breathe. He died on Sunday 25 March.

The Ministry of Public Health subsequently issued an epidemiology alert and asked all parent to make sure that their children have received the correct diphtheria vaccination protocol that consists of three doses before the age of one year, a booster at 18 months and another shot at aged four. Those who have not received this battery of shots should go to a health clinic or hospital to be vaccinated.

A growing number of Haitians frequently travel back and forth from Haiti to the Dominican Republic. There is an outbreak of diphtheria in Haiti. Many residents are concerned that a highly mobile population may bring the diphtheria virus into their community. To prevent the spread of diphtheria, the Ministry carried out vaccination program in the area on Sunday, 25 March 2018.

The Ministry has said there is no need for alarm in the general population, and that there is sufficient supplies of the vaccine. Those who have been vaccinated have nothing to fear, early diagnosis of diphtheria would mean there is no risk of death and that the child who died was only diagnosed with diphtheria clinically and the results of laboratory tests are not yet available.

https://listindiario.com/la-republic...tar-vacunacion
https://listindiario.com/la-republic...io-de-difteria
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...aiti-IG9495129
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...eria-JM9493957


Stats show informal jobs increase, government leads in formal jobs
If you want a job in the formal sector, look for a government contact. The Medina administration is the main creator of formal jobs, according to statistics released by the Central Bank.

Economists Ernesto Selman, Miguel Collado and Juan Rojas of the Regional Center for Sustainable Economic Strategies (CREES), told Diario Libre that the few formal jobs that were created in 2017, most were in government. He said Central Bank statistics reveal 121,066 new jobs were created in 2017. Of these 102,938 were informal and 18,128 were formal.

They explained that the number of jobs in the informal sector grew from 57.9% in the last quarter of 2016 to 58.7% in the last quarter of 2017. The economists say that the government needs to implement policies that make it less costly for companies to operate in the formal sector. They say the stats show there is a need to make changes in the tax and labor codes to make it less costly to employ people in formal jobs.

https://www.diariolibre.com/economia...n-rd-BB8416740
https://www.diariolibre.com/economia...ales-GJ9478448


Fish production halved
In the last 20 years, the production of fish in the country has decreased by over half. In 1996, there were 18,000 tons of fish, but in 2006, it was down to 11,104 and by 2015 down to 8,944. Unsustainable fishing practices, coral reef loss, overfishing and climate change are identified as reasons for the decline.

The information was given in the “Third National Communication of the Dominican Republic to the United Nations’ Convention on Climate Change” which was published recently.

In addition to the reduction in fish production, the number of fishermen and fishing boats has also declined, probably as the trade is not as lucrative as before, and in addition as the fishers know, there are less fish forcing many fishers to look for other sources of income.

The report goes on to say that fishing contributes only 0.3% to GDP and most consumption is in the tourist areas in the east of the country. Many of the resorts also have to import fish for their customers as the local production cannot satisfy the demand.

In the Dominican Republic, excluding freshwater fish, there are around 300 species of fish plus crustaceans and shellfish that are found in mangroves, coral reefs and the open sea.

Samaná is the province with most fishermen; in 2015 there were 2,161, and 951 fishing boats.

https://listindiario.com/economia/20...tad-en-20-anos


Consolidated public debt is unsustainable
According to data presented by the Center for Sustainable Economic Strategies (CREES) and obtained using figures from the Central Bank and the Ministry of Hacienda (Treasury), consolidated public debt in the Dominican Republic has risen 850% from the year 2000 to 2018, going from US$4,460 million in 2000 to US$42,378 million in February 2018.

According to official data, consolidated public sector debt in February this year represents 54.9% of GDP needing a higher percentage of State money to cover the payment of the interest.

During a meeting with the press, CREES showed the data that indicates that 23% of fiscal income has to go just to pay the interest on this debt and according to the executive vice president, Ernesto Selman, this is an unsustainable position.

He said that in the whole of Latin America, only Brazil and Costa Rica have to pay higher percentages of fiscal income to cover debt interest, with Brazil paying 30% and Cost Rica 23.4%. At the other end of the scale Chile only pays 4.2% of its fiscal income in interest payments and the average for the whole of Latin American is 15.9%.

https://www.diariolibre.com/economia...anos-GJ9487686


Santiago City Hall employee arrested for fraud
The Attorney General’s office has announced that the ex-director of Human Resources at Santiago City Hall, René Guzmán Corporán, has been arrested at Las Americas International Airport having been red flagged in the Migration Agency data system. He is linked to a fraud case involving more than RD$10 million and is now in custody at the Public Prosecution office in Santiago.

Guzmán Corporán was detained when returning to the country on a flight from Spain, having managed to evade the exit impediment he was subject to there. He had been arrested in Spain and was allowed bail on the condition he surrendered his passport and was not allowed to leave the country without permission. However it is thought that he must have two passports in his name, and went to Spain last year once the legal case against him began in the Dominican Republic.

The Prosecution Service will be asking for remand in jail as coercive measures against him in the next day or so.

http://eldia.com.do/solicitaran-medi...an-por-fraude/


PRD says it will organize another convention
After the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) annulled the convention organized by the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD) on 3 December 2018, the Executive Presidential Commission of the PRD announced on Monday it would organize a new process to elect the political party’s authorities for the next four years. Party president Miguel Vargas Maldonado said he feels the judges took excesses from their attributions when annulling the convention, but said he would respect the decision issued in Ruling 002-/2018. A new date for the convention has yet to be announced.

The PRD allied with the PLD to make possible the reelection of President Danilo Medina in 2016, when the vote of the PRD legislators enabled the amending of the 2010 Constitution to allow for his running again.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...cion-IM9493813


Appeal against handing over land of the Caves of Wonders
The Foundation for Justice and Transparency has filed an appeal in the Superior Administrative Court (TSA) against the proposal to transfer 10,400,000 square meters surrounding the Cueva de las Maravillas to the foundation that administrates it.

Trajano Vidal Potentini said that the anthropological reserve has a value of around US$300 million and that we had seen previously, that with this type of contract they could then sell it as they wished. He noted that article 16 of the Constitution clearly states that protected areas are inalienable and cannot be transferred, seized or acquired by adverse possession. The Constitution states tat protected areas can only be reduced by law, with the approval of two-thirds of the votes of the members of both houses of Congress.

Vidal Potentini went on to say that one only had to remember the case of Downtown Center that was donated to the Catholic Church and then sold by the Church for millions of dollars to a private group, or the land donated to the Pedro Henriquez Ureña University that was later sold to Ikea.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...llas-AM9493424


Carmenchu Brusiloff recognized with National Journalism Award
In recognition of her long years as a social, travel, investigative reporter, the jury of the Ministry of Education and the Dominican Journalism Guild (CDP) named Carmenchu Brusiloff Ugarte as the recipient of the 2018 National Journalism Award. At present, Brusiloff writes for the Listin Diario.


Gymnast Audrys Nin named Athlete of the Year
The Dominican Association of Sports Writers (ACD) chose gymnast Audrys Nin Reyes as the Athlete of the Year 2017. His extraordinary achievement of a gold medal at the World Grand Prix in Osijek, Croatia in May and his gold at the International Artistic World Gymnastics Cup in Paris in September were extraordinary achievements.


Altice will bring MLB baseball games to Dominican public
The telecom giant, Altice Dominicana announced signing of a multi-year agreement for exclusive transmission and sponsorship rights with Major League Baseball. This will make it possible for Dominicans to enjoy the MLB games on regular television. Previously, it had been reported that in 2018, the games would only be available on paid TV.

Martin Roos, CEO for Altice Dominicana said: "The strategic vision, adaptability and constant evolution of Altice, which our primary focus on our customers and their preferences when it comes to enjoying exclusive and high quality entertainment. These values make up Altice’s core services that assure an attractive and unbeatable value proposition for our customers, providing extraordinary service experiences in entertainment, Internet and connectivity. Our unmatched investments in services assure our customers that their high entertainment expectations will consistently be met. He expressed the company’s pride in being able to ensure that Dominicans continue to follow the MLB games and all Dominican players.

Rafael Pérez, MLB representative in the country, stressed that the Dominican Republic leads among foreign born players in Major League Baseball and thus has one of the most fervent fans that follow the game around the world. “We are confident that Altice is the right partner to serve our great fans in the Dominican Republic with a strong offer of featured games and content on various platforms,” he said.

https://www.diariolibre.com/deportes...cial-BJ9487232


Bartolo Colón did not pay medical bill
The Major League baseball pitcher, Bartolo Colón, has been sued in the Dominican courts by two doctors who carried out stem cell treatment on his which enabled him to extend his career from 2011 to date, and are asking for the payment of outstanding bills according to an agreement made between the physicians and Colon. The complaint filed in court claimed that the payment owned to the doctors was linked the success of the procedure.

Doctors Leonel Liriano and Sergio Guzmán allege that they treated Colón in 2010 when it appeared that his career in the Major Leagues was all but over. But thanks to the work of Liriano and Guzman, Colon was able to continue playing at a high level while earning a salary of more than US$45 million.

The physicians explained that the agreement reached with Colón was that if the treatment was not a success he would not be required to pay. However, if the procedure was successful (as it was) Colon had agreed to pay the doctors a percentage of his salary. In the lawsuit, they are asking for US$4 million.

The doctors maintain that they did not only help return Colon to full health and wellbeing but that they revitalized his career that led directly to his ability to earn several big paydays. With his “new” right arm, Colon became the third Latin American pitcher with the most Major League victories after Nicaraguan Dennis Martínez and his compatriot Juan Marichal.

The physicians noted that due to problems with his pitching arm, Colón was out of baseball in 2009 and 2010 seasons, having left Boston Red Sox the previous year. In March 2011, Colón allegedly accepted the doctors’ proposition and underwent stem cell transplant to repair the damaged tissues in his shoulder in the Centro Union Medica Clinic in Santiago in 2011.

Bartolo Colón did not have money to pay for the procedure at the time and hence agreed to pay 1% of his salary to those who participated in it. The lawsuit claims that Colon has not made payment to the treating physicians.

http://almomento.net/medicos-demanda...o-salvo-brazo/


Rains forecast nationwide
The National Metereological Office (Onamet) forecasts rains will water out the vacation of many travelers this Easter Week, especially those heading to the north coast and mountain areas. Good weather, nevertheless, is forecast for La Altagracia, La Romana, Samana and Barahona provinces, the main local vacation destinations for the later part of the holiday.

Onamet has listed 16 provinces that will be affected by rains and issued green alerts. These are Montecristi, Dajabón, Espaillat, El Seibo, Hato Mayor, La Vega, Monseñor Nouel, Monte Plata, Pedernales, Puerto Plata, San Cristobal, Santiago, Santo Domingo, San Pedro de Macoris and the National District.

Onamet says the temperatures will be cool in the evening (lows of around 22C), but warm around noon.
Onamet forecasts the front system affecting local weather will have passed by next Monday.


Acropolis jazz for those staying in the city
Celebrate Easter Week in Santo Domingo listening to good jazz from New Orleans on Wednesday, 28 March 2018, at the Acropolis Center in Santo Domingo on Av. Winston Churchill. The mall is inviting the public to listen to good jazz playing from 6 to 9pm. Admission is free.