Medina highlights government efforts to fight corruption
First Lady Office signs agreement with Peru to care for homeless children
Ministry of Education: Reading and math skills still too low
Quisqueya Ball Park press box to cost RD$117 million
Conatra’s Antonio Marte returns to the PRD
Asisa Research says heir not yet found for Medina and Fernandez in PLD
State Sugar Council convenes to hearing on sale of Duquesa site
Serious anomalies in audit to Omsa
Aumí Guerra wins gold in Iberoamerican Bowling Championship
Ellen Degeneres show features young Dominican expat
Pablo Milanes to sing at Hard Rock Live



Medina highlights government efforts to fight corruption
President Danilo Medina said that the Dominican Republic identifies fully with the spirit and letter of the Lima Commitment on Democratic Governance against Corruption signed by the regional statesmen participating in the 8th Summit of Heads of State and Government held in Lima, Peru, 12-14 April 2018.

"We are firmly committed to this fight," said the Dominican head of state. He highlighted measures taken by his administration to fight corruption. Policies and deeds to improve modernization and transparency in public administration fight corruption cited by Medina include the Law against Laundering of Assets and Financing of Terrorism, the increase in number of government suppliers from 17,000 to 72,000 during his administration, and the implementation of the Treasury Single Account system, in which 269 institutions have been incorporated. He highlighted that currently 207 government institutions publish relevant information in their own online portals where citizens can have access to budget execution, payroll, suppliers, among other data, in addition to the implementation of the electronic government project.

https://presidencia.gob.do/noticias/...tra-corrupcion


First Lady Office signs agreement with Peru to care for homeless children
During her visit to Peru, where she accompanied President Danilo Medina at the 8th Summit of the Americas, First Lady Candida Montilla signed an agreement with the Ministry of Women of Peru to implement a project to help homeless children in the Dominican Republic. The cooperation plan will assist the Office of the First Lady in implementing the Peruvian model at the Residencial San Miguel Arcangel that serves some of the most vulnerable children. The home for vulnerable children is part of a Peruvian network of support for abandoned children ages 2-17 years.

Locally, the Office of the First Lady will be work with the Ministry of Education, Attorney General Office, National Council for Children (Conani) and the Agency for Special Programs of the Presidency (Digepep) to address this issue.

http://primeradama.gob.do/la-primera...cion-de-calle/


Ministry of Education: Reading and math skills still too low
Only 12% of third graders in public schools did satisfactory in the diagnostic tests carried out by the Ministry of Education that monitor reading and math levels (Evaluación Diagnóstica Nacional de Tercer Grado de Primaria). Another 38% of students tested had acceptable performance and 50% showed only basic level.

Ancell Scheker, director of quality control for the public school system, said the purpose of the evaluation was to test performance levels resulting from the new curriculum, support educational centers and use this information to develop programs to train teachers, plans and policies for improving quality. "Quality and equity are the great challenges of our educational system. The results of this evaluation indicate that there is diversity in the performance of the students and that it is necessary to continue the efforts putting all the emphasis on the improvement of learning, "said Scheker.

The president of the Dominican Public Schools Guild (ADP), Eduardo Hidalgo, said that all the blame cannot be placed on the third grade school teachers - these shortcomings must to be shared by the teachers of the early grades. He said the biggest weakness is in reading-writing skills. “The guild sees these scores as a challenge to work to change this situation,” he said. He said improvements are needed in the education teachers are receiving at the university level.

Some 180,000 students were tested. The educational centers will receive their individual report of the results and an analysis guide to bring together the management team and teacher of the first cycle of primary school and families to identify the factors that affect the results so plans for improvement can be drafted.

Diario Libre managing editor Ines Aizpun in an editorial on Monday, 16 April 2018, says the low scholastic levels contrast with doubling of funds available for the public school system. Aizpun appreciated that Education Minister Andres Navarro made the results known to the public. “It’s not poverty, nor low wages, nor lack of technology in the classrooms, nor lack of classrooms, nor masters education for the teachers, nor the conflicts over the choosing of the regional directors,” she comments. “To teach how to read and write, throughout the centuries, 4% of GDP has not been necessary.”

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...el-4-EB9636251
https://www.diariolibre.com/opinion/...on-4-DF9632371


Quisqueya Ball Park press box to cost RD$117 million
The Ministry of Public Works announced the start of the building of a new press box at the Quisqueya Ball Park. The renovation comes after a fire destroyed the “seventh floor” area on 27 December 2017.

The Ministry said the project would be completed by September 2018, in time for the start of the 2018-2019 Winter Professional Baseball Championship that starts in the second half of October. The new press box will feature a museum covering the most important baseball chroniclers.

Engineer Ramón Pepín, in charge of the project for the Ministry of Public Works, says they have worked closely with the Dominican Baseball League and have visited several stadiums prior to drafting the works to be built.

The Ministry announced the project will cost RD$117 million. Hoy news editor, Hugo López Morrobel, observes that initially, the Ministry had estimated the reconstruction would cost around RD$44 million and asks out loud if this was a missed estimate or is the new estimate overpriced.

http://hoy.com.do/rd117-millones-cos...septimo-cielo/
http://eldia.com.do/un-caso-muy-tris...-tanto-dinero/


Conatra’s Antonio Marte returns to the PRD
Transport kingpin Antonio Marte announced he is returning to the PRD political party, the leading PLD political ally. Marte, who is the president of the mega transport company, Confederación Nacional del Transporte (Conatra) that monopolizes several transport routes, is also the president of the political movement “Primero la Gente” (First the People).

The announcement of his return to the PRD was made by PRD president Miguel Vargas, who is also Minister of Foreign Relations. Vargas championed the support for the changing of the 2010 Constitution to make possible the reelection of President Danilo Medina in 2016.

Antonio Marte of Conatra announced the uniting of efforts so together they can foster candidates for the 2020 general election. In his words, Marte recalled that he never left the PRD nor was expelled. As reported, he had expressed his displeasure with the organization when in 2015, the PRD chose to support the re-election of President Danilo Medina.

However, Marte said that at the present time the best solution for the bases of the PRD is an alliance. "This is a machine with capacity, which is not stopped by anyone or anything ... if we take each other's hand, we will achieve that the party conquer the space of power that corresponds to it".

For his part, Vargas Maldonado welcomed and swore in the main leaders of the political movement "Primero la Gente" and assured that its incorporation reaffirms that the PRD continue to be the party of national hope.

Meanwhile, the return to the PRD comes at a time when the newly created Institute for Transport and Transit (Intrant) is undertaking major reforms to the transport and transit system.

Managing editor of the Diario Libre editorialized on Monday, 16 April 2018, that something smells fishy in the move.

https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...etornan-al-prd
https://www.diariolibre.com/opinion/...ueve-CX9642325


Asisa Research says heir not yet found for Medina and Fernandez in PLD
The executive director of the Asisa Research Group polling company, Lilian Pagán says it is unlikely the ruling PLD party will find a third candidate who is able to consolidate the support of the two leaders of the PLD, President Danilo Medina and former President Leonel Fernandez, in time for the 2020 general election. Pagán says the heir has not been found. She said Dominicans are slow in transferring their support for political leadership.

When interviewed by Hector Herrera Cabral for D’Agenda TV show, Pagán said that an analysis of the results of the 17-19 March 2018 poll reveals that voters are consistent in their support for three PLD pre-candidates – President Medina, Fernández and Vice President Margarita Cedeño. Some 2,002 eligible voters were polled by Asisa.

Other aspirants, who are present or former high profile officers in PLD administrations, have received negligible support from the polled eligible voters that say they vote PLD. She mentioned that Santiago mayor Abel Martínez posts a 5%, Tourism Minister Francisco Javier García 1%, Education Minister Andres Navarro 0.7%, former Public Electricity Corporation Radhames Segura 0.5%, former Minister of Industry & Commerce Temístocles Montás 0.2%, Interior & Police Minister Carlos Amarante 0.2%, Public Works Minister Gonzalo Castillo 1.3%, National District senator Reynaldo Pared 1.1%, among others. In the same poll, former President Leonel Fernandez listed a 43.8% preference, followed by incumbent Danilo Medina with 31.8% and Vice President Cedeño with 17.7%.

Pagán explains that while the 2015 Constitution prohibits President Danilo Medina from seeking reelection, he is included because he was mentioned by the polled eligible voters. In the Dominican Republic, the usual is for heads of government to promote changes to the Constitution in order to remain in power.

In the leading opposition party, the same poll showed that former PRM presidential candidate, Luis Abinader, leads with 62%; former President Hipólito Mejía with 18%; and National District mayor David Collado with 16%.

According to the poll, if Abinader and Fernandez were to go to the election, Fernandez would win 46% to 36%.

The poll also revealed that 57% of Dominicans consider the country is headed in the wrong direction, 33.9% identify corruption as the main problem affecting the country, followed by insecurity and crime with 22.8%, and unemployment with 16.7%.

http://eldia.com.do/directora-de-fir...ara-candidato/
https://asisaresearch.com/encuesta-a...-2020/?lang=es


State Sugar Council convenes to hearing on sale of Duquesa site
The State Sugar Council (CEA) filed an appeal before the Land Court of the Original Jurisdiction to annul the sale of the 875,373.12 meters where the Duquesa dump is located to Lajun Corporation on grounds that fraudulent documents were used to carry out the sale. Lajun executives have taken the Dominican government to court in Florida, USA for property expropriation.

The Ministry of Environment last year took hold of the dump on grounds of the mismanagement of the later causing health problems for the population of Greater Santo Domingo. The CEA is asking for compensation of RD$1 billion.

Felipe Antonio Díaz, José Antonio López Díaz, and Lajun Corporation, SRL are convened to the hearing. Also convened is the Ministry of Environment, the state lawyer for the property jurisdiction, and authorities from the municipalities of Santo Domingo North and the National District.

The hearing regarding the fraudulent sale is crucial for the Dominican Republic to defend itself in Florida.

http://hoy.com.do/cea-solicita-a-tri...edero-duquesa/


Serious anomalies in audit to Omsa
The first reports on the 2018 audit to the state bus company, Omsa have been made public. While press reports had cited the anomalies on several occasions, it took the murder of lawyer Yuniol Ramírez for the government to act on corruption in the entity. Ramírez was preparing to take the management of Manuel Rivas at Omsa to court for corruption. Following the murder of the lawyer, the government ordered an audit of the operations.

According to the findings presented on 10 April 2018, significant irregularities were confirmed by auditors of the Chamber of Accounts and the Attorney General Office for the period 22 August 2012 and 17 October 2017. Meanwhile, the former director of Omsa is under arrest as the investigations are underway.

Among the findings is that RD$3,029,885,296 was paid to suppliers that had not signed contracts. 33 companies benefited with RD$2.15 billion in contract work, or 64% of the total paid by Omsa during the audited period.

https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...ias-en-la-omsa
http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2018...l#.WtRkqNPwa9s


Aumí Guerra wins gold in Iberoamerican Bowling Championship
Aumí Guerra won gold in singles adult category at the 7th Iberoamerican Bowling Championships that took place from 8-14 April 2018 at the Sebelén Bowling Center in Santo Domingo with the participating of leading bowlers from nine countries. She bowled scores of 214, 226, 257, 198, 191, 223, 198 and 229, averaging 217 in her eight games. Silver went to Kristel López of Puerto Rico and bronze to Sofia Rodríguez of Guatemala.

Competitors were from Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panamá, Perú, Puerto Rico, Spain and host Dominican Republic. It was organized by the Federation of Dominican Bowlers, presided by Francis Soto.

http://eldia.com.do/atleta-aumi-guer...beroamericano/


Ellen Degeneres show features young Dominican expat
A heart-warming episode of the Ellen Degeneres show featured Dominican Diana Aquino, who moved to the US seven years ago and says she learned English watching the show.

"Be Kind," remembers Aquino, she picked up from show host, comedian and actresss Degeneres. Aquino knew only two words -- hello and goodbye -- when she arrived to the US. Today she is a math tutor and works in a retail shop.

On the show, Aquino received a US$10,000 donation to apply to her studies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNIXRXikYDc
https://www.listindiario.com/entrete...-la-conductora


Pablo Milanes to sing at Hard Rock Live
75-year old Cuban troubadour Pablo Milanés is booked for a 17 May 2018 performance at Hard Rock Live in Santo Domingo. The stopover in Santo Domingo is part of his “Canciones para siempre” Tour that is taking the singer-songwriter to venues worldwide.

For the performance, he has made a selection of his best hits over five decades in the arts and 600 original songs and more than 40 solo albums. Among the classics to be performed are: “Yolanda”, “Te quiero porque te quiero”, “Yo pisaré las calles nuevamente”, “Quien me tienda la mano al pasar”, “De qué callada manera”, “El tiempo el implacable” and “El que pasó”.

Milanés is one of the founders of the Cuban “nueva trova” movement, together with Silvio Rodriguez and Noel Nicola. He has lived in Spain since 2004. In 2015 he was awarded a Latin Grammy for excellence in music.

Tickets are for sale at the Hard Rock Café box office, at La Sirena and Super Pola stores and online at Tuboleta.com.do

http://www.milanespablo.com/etiquetas/grammy-latino
https://www.diariolibre.com/revista/...ingo-NK9639852