Ministry of Environment could extend buffer zones of protected areas
2B metro line to eastern Santo Domingo ready for summer
Mirex says soon legalization and apostille services will be offered online
Fire still burning in Duquesa
Dominicans against changing the Constitution
Asisa Research shows Leonel Fernandez ahead of Luis Abinader
Most Dominicans see Haitian migration brings more bad than good
Corruption is big problem
52% Dominicans approve Medina administration, 57% say country is misguided
Government is biggest employer
Personal items enter duty free, says Customs Agency
Acofave: stick to law that bans imports of old vehicles, cuts taxes on buses
Modern IT center at UASD never has opened
Appeal against education regional directors fails
Peso depreciating fast
Audit chamber justifies pay raises
United States’ citizen killed in crash
Haitian child did die of diphtheria



Ministry of Environment could extend buffer zones of protected areas
The Ministry of Environment announced that the buffer zones of protected areas, now set at 300 meters, may be expanded if studies conclude that larger buffer zones are justified, as reported in Hoy. Previously, Decree 571-09 had limited the buffer zones to 300 meters. The new policy seeks to contribute to the integrity and restoration of natural resources in conservation.

The new buffer zone policy is part of Resolution 10-2018, signed by Minister Francisco Dominguez Brito on 21 March 2018 and establishes that “buffer zones in protected areas serve to protect, prevent, reduce and avoid that human activities negatively impact the integrity of the protected ecosystems protected and the environmental services these provide to society”.

In the Dominican Republic there are 128 protected systems part of the Sistema Nacional de Areas Protegidas (SINAP), for 12,442 square kilometers, or 25.81% of the national territory. The system also includes a marine area of 45,904 square kilometers.


2B metro line to eastern Santo Domingo ready for summer
The director of the Metro Office (Opret), Manuel Antonio Saleta, told Hoy reporters that the work on the 2B Line of the Santo Domingo Metro is 95% completed and the line should be in service by this coming July 2018.

The new line will connect eastern and western Santo Domingo across the Ozama River, extending all the way to the Av. San Vicente de Paul with Carretera Mella. The last station would be at the large shopping center, the Mega Centro. The 2B line connects to the 2A line at the Eduardo Brito station at the National Theater on Av. Maximo Gomez.

The start of operations of the new 2B line is scheduled for shortly after the beginning of the Santo Domingo skylift that will also transport commuters from eastern Santo Domingo, connecting to the 2A line of the Metro. The skylift is scheduled to enter into operations in May 2018, transporting passengers from the Los Tres Brazos area on the eastern side of Santo Domingo to the National District.

http://www.sofratesa.com/index.php?o...ang=es&lang=es
https://telefericodesantodomingo.wordpress.com/


Mirex says soon legalization and apostille services will be offered online
The Ministry of Foreign Relations says that soon document legalization and apostille services will be available 24/7 online at the mirex.gob.do website of the Ministry. Upon making the announcement, Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas said the digital service is in the direction of making government services more timely, economic and accessible to the population. He explained that the project is focused on the modernizing and strengthening of capacities of the Dominican government to efficiently respond to the growing and changing needs of the population.

The project is the responsibility of the vice ministries for consular and migratory affairs and that of economic affairs and international cooperation and is part of the Bilateral Cooperation 2017-2019 agreement with Colombia.

http://www.mirex.gob.do/medios/notic...acion-en-linea


Fire still burning in Duquesa
Smog in the early morning continues to affect residents in the National District, Santo Domingo West, Santo Domingo North and Los Alcarrizos. Domingo Contreras, director of Special Programs for the Presidency (DIGEPEP), suspects the smoke that has been affecting Greater Santo Domingo for the last three days was due to an accidental fire on a farm next to the Duquesa garbage dump. He explained that sparks from the fire reached the dump, igniting trash and debris that has contributed to the poor air quality affecting many residents.

The director of the Special Programs of the Presidency (DIGEPEP) Domingo Contreras said that the government is working on a new garbage system. He explained that the process for the operational technical closure at Duquesa involves two processes. One for arming the pits for maintaining ordinary garbage and closing areas, covering and giving treatment. In some cases, forestry coverage is being planted. And while this process is underway, a new structure will be built.

Contreras also explained that there are proposals that are being worked on for a new location, but affirmed that it will be in the same environment in the Santo Domingo North municipality, because the conditions are given and technically from studies carried out it is the right place. "We are proposing a recovery center with manual mechanical separation equipment, where part of the current garbage “divers” can become formal employees with better conditions," he said. He said that in the case of Duchess, it is the largest garbage management project in the country and that is why DIGEPEP proposes that it be done with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) or the World Bank.

Nevertheless, the Ministry of Environment announced it has reinforced security at the Duquesa garbage dump after fires broke out on Monday and Tuesday, 2-3 April 2018 sending smog and over northern and central Greater Santo Domingo.

Francisco Flores Chang, director of the government commission that is provisionally managing the dump, said that the fire had been controlled 90% on Tuesday, but again smoke filled the city’s skies on the early morning of Wednesday, 4 April. The fire initially broke out after the Easter Week holiday when security was at a low at the garbage deposit. He said that Armed Forces helicopters had assisted in putting out the fire. In order to extinguish the fire, also earth is being moved as it is not possible to extinguish it with water.

In the meantime some public schools in the area cancelled classes, early morning sports classes at the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Center were affected and hospitals say several people are suffering from breathing difficulties.

The Ministry of Public Health recommended people to stay indoors and to use special masks or wet cloths when outdoors while the situation is maintained. Santo Domingo residents are also recommended to keep hydrated.

Johnny Jones, secretary general of the Dominican Municipal League (LMD) when speaking for the Santo Domingo municipal zones, said: “Wbat we are living today is the exploding of the time bomb that we had alerted.” He said a definitive solution would not be available until two years time. He said efforts are underway for an integral solution at the level of developed cities around the world.

https://listindiario.com/la-republic...ego-accidental
http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2018/04/0...ia-en-duquesa/
https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...dio-en-duquesa
https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...dio-en-duquesa


Dominicans against changing the Constitution
According to a poll by Asisa, some 71% of Dominicans think that the Constitution of the Republic should not be changed to allow Danilo Medina to run again. If the Constitution were changed, 65% were unlikely or very unlikely to vote for Medina and 31% said very or somewhat likely to vote for him, according to those polled.

Nevertheless, the Asisa poll reveals that 52% of the population supports the ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) with the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) having 27.3%. The Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD) has 5.7% and the final 15% is divided between all of the other parties.

The poll involved 2002 respondents in 200 locations throughout the country and was conducted between 17-19 March 2018.

https://listindiario.com/la-republic...ue-danilo-siga


Asisa Research shows Leonel Fernandez ahead of Luis Abinader
Asisa Research poll results released this week via the Listin Diario reveal that 71% do not want the Constitution to be amended again so that President Danilo Medina can run for President a third time. The same poll indicates that former President Leonel Fernandez of the ruling PLD party and former PRM presidential candidate Luis Abinader are the highest ranked among the preferences to be their party’s presidential candidates in the 2020 general election. Fernandez was President from 1996-2000, 2004-2008, and 2008-2012.

43% of those polled said that they would favor Leonel Fernandez in a PLD primary, 31% Danilo Medina, and 17% Vice President Margarita Cedeño. The candidate with the highest acceptance in the PRM is former PRM candidate Luis Abinader with 62%, followed by former President Hipólito Mejia with 18% and National District Mayor David Collado with 16%.

The politician with the highest rejection rate was Hipólito Mejía with 22%, Leonel Fernandez with 17% and Danilo Medina with 14%, Miguel Vargas 8% and Ramfis Domínguez Trujillo 7%.
The poll matched Leonel Fernández against Luis Abinader, and Fernandez received 46% of the vote compared to 36% for Abinader.

The poll was carried out 17-19 March 2018 in 200 locations nationwide. Some 2,002 eligible voters were polled.

https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...os-segun-asisa


Most Dominicans see Haitian migration brings more bad than good
81% of Dominicans polled for the March 2018 Asisa Research/Listin Diario poll believe Haitian immigration is detrimental to the Dominican Republic. 35.6% responded that Haitian migration is a burden for public health and the national education system. Haitian migrants benefit from the free public health and education services available to all in the Dominican Republic. 41.5% relate illegal immigration to the increase in crime and less jobs for Dominicans (40%).

When asked about recent measures implemented by the government to check Haitian immigration, 68.3% said that little has been done or actions have not been effective. Only 28% responded these have been effective or somewhat effective. The poll was carried out 17-19 March 2018 and 2,002 persons eligible to vote were surveyed.

https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...judica-a-la-rd


Corruption is big problem
The March 2018 Asisa Research/Listin Diario poll revealed that 33.9% of Dominicans eligible to vote in the 2020 general election say that corruption is the main problem in the country. This is a first time that corruption is viewed as the principal problem in the Dominican Republic.

Corruption is followed by insecurity and delinquency, mentioned by 22.8% of the voters as the leading problems. Unemployment and low wages are the third most crucial problem, with a mention by 16.7% of the voters surveyed.


52% Dominicans approve Medina administration, 57% say country is misguided
52% of Dominicans eligible to vote approve the Medina administration, 38.6% believe efforts of the government are taking the country in the wrong direction. 56.3% understand the best achievements by the Medina administration have been in the education sector. The next best achievement is the implementation of the 911 emergency system, mentioned by 12.1% of the voters. Other achievements mentioned are the construction of public works (9.2%) and the much promoted so-called “surprise visits” by President Medina all around the country, cited by 9% of the voters.

Contradictorily, 57% of those polled understand the country is headed in the wrong direction, while 38.6% understand it is going in the right direction.

40% understand the economy has worsened in the past 12 months, and 35% feel it has remained the same. For 25%, the economy has gotten better.

When evaluating their personal family situation, 39% said their situation has remained the same, while 34% said their situation had improved.

https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...judica-a-la-rd


Government is biggest employer
Opposition leader Miguel Ceara Hatton said that the data presented by President Danilo Medina in his 27 February 2018 state of the nation address are misleading. Medina mentioned the creation of 120,000 jobs last year. But economist Ceara Hatton said that 87% of these jobs were in the informal sector or in government. He said 16,000 jobs were created in the formal sector, but the government also reported adding a similar amount of new jobs. He said that jobs in the non-government sector were down around 1,000 last year.

http://hoy.com.do/miguel-ceara-ve-er...ir-empleos-rd/


Personal items enter duty free, says Customs Agency
Customs Agency made clear on Tuesday, 3 April 2018 that personal items are still duty free. Mentioned among these are clothing, laptop, camera, cell phone, and gifts for up to US$500. “The rights of passengers continue as they were. It is not true that duties need to be paid on the items categorized as personal luggage,” said the DGA in a press release.

The DGA says that what has changed is the Customs form that was modified to comply with Law 155-17 on Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...ales-GX9550329
http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2018...-viajeros.html


Acofave: stick to law that bans imports of old vehicles, cuts taxes on buses
The Association of Concessionaires of Vehicles (Acofave) is advocating for a significant reduction or elimination of import taxes on collective transport vehicles of 16 passengers or more. Acofave is also critical of the large number of used vehicles being imported. There is a legal ban on imports of vehicles over 5 years old.

In a press conference held on Tuesday, 3 April 2018, Enrique Fernandez, executive president of Acofave, said that the measure is needed to reduce environmental contamination and reduce traffic congestion. He also called for the government to comply with the law that bans the import of vehicles older than five years. Fernandez said that in 2017 most of the vehicles that were imported were used. He said 99,316 vehicles were imported, of which 74,974 were used and only 24,346 new. He said that 97% of these units were light vehicles.

http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2018/04/0...-autos-usados/


Modern IT center at UASD never has opened
The per capita investment made by the government in the state university UASD could serve to pay for each student to study in a private university and there would be money left over. The wasteful spending at the state university is notorious. A recent report in Listin Diario on the matter reveals another hard to explain evidence of this lack of efficiency in the operating of the state university.

As reported in Listin Diario, a building installed with 24 high tech labs that was delivered to the university in 2012 has never been put into operation. The labs are now obsolete.

The Listin Diario report describes the building as a white elephant. Taxpayers payed the bill of RD$2 billion to build the Edificio de Alta Tecnología that was reportedly delivered in 2012. In 2015, Rector Ivan Grullon Fernandez formally received the building from the director of the Office of Supervisory Works of the Presidency (OISOE). But the later has never entered into operation.

Listin Diario reports that another building with modern equipment, the new seismology center, is another not yet in operation.

https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...orios-sin-usar


Appeal against education regional directors fails
The Superior Administrative Court (TSA) has rejected the request from a group of regional directors to stop the order 24-2017 from the Ministry of Education, which appointed 18 new regional and district directors.

The Court, presided over by Rafael Vásquez Goico, ruled that the resolution from the Ministry created a competitive process for the selection and that the order did not violate any rules or regulations.

Ruling 030-01-2018 states that the Education Law (66-97), in articles 109 and 115, establishes how directors should be appointed: first, “regional directors will be appointed directly by the Minister of Education” and the second establishes that the district directors will be chosen also by the education minister selected from a short list presented by the Regional Education and Cultural Board.
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...ores-YM9538551


Peso depreciating fast
According to the Central Bank, the rate of depreciation of the peso has accelerated at the closing of the first quarter of the year, estimated at 2.07%. On the last working day of March, the 28th, the United States dollar was at RD$49.3001, whereas the previous year closed at RD$48.2993 for each dollar.

Over the last 12 months the rate of devaluation of the peso to the American dollar has been at 4.1% but the major part has been this year, with deprecation at 1.39% over the first quarter.

The reason, according to economists, is that the Banks are not selling a high amount of dollars and there is not sufficient US currency circulating to meet the demand of businesses.

According to government sources, businesses and lenders in the Dominican economy are holding on to US dollars for speculative reasons and that this has led to increased pressure on the peso.
But the tensions surrounding the exchange rate are not just related to foreign currency as the net international reserves were at US$8.05 billion at the end of February 2018 which is the highest amount of savings in dollars which the country has ever seen.

https://www.diariolibre.com/economia...stre-AX9536570


Audit chamber justifies pay raises
The Audit Chamber (Camara de Cuenas) has once again justified their considerable salary increases, as well as the subsidy for employee meals and the expenses incurred over the Christmas period.

In a document outlining compensation packages, made available to the press, by the Audit Chamber concludes that the application of a salary increase to the members of the Board is not in contradiction with Article 140 of the Constitution, as there was a ruling approved by the previous management.

The document goes on to say that the Audit Chamber has been the victim of a smear campaign, but it would not distract the agency from carrying out its work.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...nada-YY9540357


United States’ citizen killed in crash
A woman from Florence in Kentucky, United States, has been killed in a crash while vacationing in the Dominican Republic. The crash occurred on Saturday night, 31 March 2018 in La Romana. Carol Ann Murphy, aged 45 and 19-year old Haitian Phelyne Kitter, died when their vehicle lost control, broke bridge barriers and fell over the edge into the river in Cumayasa, as reported in Listin Diario.

Kitter was rushed to the public hospital Doctor Francisco A. Gonzalvo in La Romana by a fire brigade rescue vehicle. She died shortly after arriving at the hospital. Murphy was taken to Doctor Antonio Musa regional hospital in San Pedro de Macorís.

The family of the deceased American woman is upset as pictures of their mother’s body are circulating on Facebook, presumably originating from someone in the Dominican Republic.
The family said their mother was on her way to the beach when she died. She was a diabetic, and they are unsure if that could have played a role in her death.

Family members started a GoFundMe account to raise money to bring her body back to the United States for burial. After funeral expenses are met, the remainder of the GoFundMe money will be donated to the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation, in Murphy's honor.

https://listindiario.com/la-republic...uente-cumayasa
http://www.fox19.com/story/37860127/...nican-republic


Haitian child did die of diphtheria
The authorities from the Ministry of Public health have confirmed that the four year old Haitian child who died at Vinicio Calventi Hospital, in Los Alcarrizos, was indeed suffering from diphtheria. According to Vice Minister of Collective Health, Héctor Quezada, the results were confirmed by laboratory tests, but all other cases checked came back negative.

The child died on 25 March 2018, having recently arrived in the country from Belladere, Haiti.
In 2016 there were three official deaths from diphtheria, imported from Haiti, where there was an outbreak affecting more than 400 registered cases.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...aiti-FX9536610