Daily News

Daily News - Friday, 27 November 2015 (Archived Daily News)

David Ortiz Celebrity Golf Classic for 3-6 December
(Image courtesy of davidortizchildrensfund.org)

New nuclear diagnostics center in Santiago

During a visit to Santiago yesterday, Thursday 26 November 2015, President Danilo Medina inaugurated the new Centro de Imagen Medica Especializada Nuclear (Cimen), the newest medical facility in Santiago. The country's second city is host to several high-quality medical and dental centers.

Clinic director Hochi Ernesto Veras said that more than 25 professionals would be providing services at the clinic.

"With the latest technology, this represents a great contribution to Santiago and the country. Cimen is more than a diagnostic center, it is an example of entrepreneurship" said Veras.

The businessman said that Cimen was a leading member of the dynamic Santiago medical cluster that is focused on the development of health tourism.


AIREN focuses on links between industry and tourism

The Northern Region Industries Association (AIREN) celebrated its 30th anniversary yesterday, Thursday 26 November 2015, with Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia as the keynote speaker at an event also attended by President Danilo Medina.

During his speech, "The New Dynamics of the Economy," Garcia spoke of the impact of the new Amber Cove cruise center and port on the northern region. He also predicted that tourism would grow by 10% this year. He said that the projections for the first three years were that around one million cruise ship tourists would visit Puerto Plata, with a positive impact on the economy of Puerto Plata province, the Cibao region and the country as a whole.

Garcia also highlighted the major steps taken by Santiago in developing a buoyant medical tourism industry.

Garcia highlighted that the DR is the leader in tourism in the Caribbean, pointing out that the country was ranked first on a list of 135 nations considered the most attractive destinations in the world.

The minister announced that a new working timetable has been drawn up to work with AIREN to promote agribusiness and improve the sector's response to the demands of the tourists and cruise passengers visiting the region.

He also announced that the leading tourism group in Samana [Bahia Principe hotel group] would build a new hotel with 1,500 hotel rooms in Las Terrenas.

AIREN president Lina Garcia de Blasco called for strengthened links with agribusiness, production and tourism to produce the items the tourists demand to reduce the need to import them. She said that a strong manufacturing and agricultural sector must complement tourism development in order to supply the markets with high-quality products in sufficient quantities in response to the demands created by millions of visiting tourists.


What did Brewster and Navarro discuss at the JCE?

There is much speculation about the issues that may have been discussed by the US Ambassador James Brewster and European Union ambassador Alberto Navarro during a visit to Central Electoral Board (JCE) president Roberto Rosario yesterday, Thursday 26 November 2015. The press reported that the meeting at the JCE president's office began at 11am and ended at 1pm. Nevertheless, the press was not granted access to interview the ambassadors when they left the meeting.

In a press release, the JCE reported that the meeting had taken place and that a range of topics of mutual interest had been discussed with positive outcome for the participants.

The JCE is in charge of civil registry and organizing the general elections in the Dominican Republic.


Regional livestock meeting in Santo Domingo

Ministers of Agriculture and directors of livestock departments of Latin America and the Caribbean are meeting in the Dominican Republic for the 13th meeting of the Commission of Livestock Development in Latin America and the Caribbean this 26-27 November 2015 in Santo Domingo. The meeting is sponsored by the United Nations FAO agency, with Minister of Agriculture Angel Estevez as chairman.

Dominicans and Haitians learn about customs best practices

A delegation of Dominican and Haitian businesspeople, members of the Quisqueya Bi-national Economic Council (CEBQ) recently visited the US-Mexico border crossing points of Laredo (in Texas, USA) and Nuevo Laredo (in Tamaulipas, Mexico) to learn about best practices for managing legitimate trade across the border between Haiti and the DR. The US Embassy in the Dominican Republic coordinated the visit. In a press release, a CEBQ spokesperson said that it was a successful experience of how we can work together to manage legitimate trade and make progress in the area of border security."

Environment Minister denies granting Cementos Santo Domingo permit

Minister of Environment Bautista Rojas Gomez denies that a mining permit had been granted to Cementos Santo Domingo. He also said that Sonia Guzman, when she was minister of Industry of Commerce was not able to issue the mining permit either. He said she asked Hipolito Mejia to authorize the concession, but the permit was not issued. It was then requested during the Leonel Fernandez administration but was not granted either because the raw material is located in a protected area, according to the Rojas Gomez. Now the company has requested it again, and it has also been denied, because mining in that area is illegal.

The executives of Cementos Santo Domingo have shown a five-year permit issued by the Ministry of Environment in 2013 authorizing exploration and mining by the cement company.

The minister, however, says that all that permit shows is the application of the permit that they had that authorizes the construction of a cafeteria and some installations alongside the manufacturing plant. "That is nothing to do with the mining of limestone or anything else," he said, as quoted in Listin Diario.

The company says that a court ruled in their favor in 2007, authorizing their acquired rights, adding that they now plan to take the case to court. Jose Rafael Abinader Corona, president of the company and brother of leading opposition party presidential candidate (PRM) Luis Abinader has described the Ministry of Energy and Mines' decision to revoke their right to mine limestone in the property as an "abuse of power for political reasons."

Claudio Caamano Grullon, promoter of the Parque Alberto Caamano Deno, said that they were careful to recognize the acquired rights of Cemento Santo Domingo and other companies that had been operating in the area for years before the area was declared a protected reserve. He said that Cementos Santo Domingo had been in the area since 1999 and the park was declared in 2009. He said that the park's importance was more historical than environmental.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Energy and Mines has authorized the company to continue operating. He said they could source their raw materials from other areas in the country.





Tax Agency should check for millionaires unable to justify their fortunes

The executive vice president of the Institutionalism and Justice Foundation (Finjus) Servio Tulio Castanos Guzman says that the Tax Agency (DGII), the Chamber of Accounts and the Controller General Office must fulfill their role as regulators to control corruption in the country. He said that the great fortunes of some individuals in the Dominican Republic that cannot be justified should be investigated.

He made the observations following US Ambassador James Brewster's remarks about rampant corruption in the Dominican Republic that he said was a deterrent to economic growth and foreign investment. "In this country it is striking that there are more rich people than businesspeople", said Castanos Guzman. He said that the DGII has to be more proactive to investigate rich people who cannot justify their wealth as one of the main tools against corruption.


Early marriage rate too high in Dominican Republic

According to the 2014 Enhogar survey, 41% of Dominican girls under 18 are in marital unions in the Dominican Republic. The Latin American and Caribbean average is 29%. The Colectivo Mujer y Salud, a non-governmental agency that promotes women's rights and health, pointed out that early marriage was a violation of girls' rights.

The agency says that a significant proportion of the girls are under the age of 15.

Dominican law establishes the minimum age for marriage at 15 for girls and 16 for boys with parental consent, and providing the husband is no more than two years older than the wife. The 2014 Enhogar survey showed that in most cases the partners are older men. It found that in 24% of these cases, the husbands were at least 10 years older than their underage wives. Early marriage is more common in low-income sectors, which account for the vast majority of marriages involving minors.

The report in Diario Libre makes the point that while the Enhogar survey shows that 12% of Dominican women of reproductive age are cohabiting or married before the age of 15, so far there have not been any legal consequences.

The Colectivo says that teenage girls with low educational levels are six times more likely to get pregnant.

Research has shown that child marriage is due to the lack of educational and work opportunities for impoverished girls that see marriage or cohabitation as the best option for improving their quality of life. The girls' parents also see child marriage as a family survival strategy and a way of reducing the household budget burden.



Captain rescued from capsized Sheer Joy boat

It is reported that a US-registered boat, Sheer Joy, capsized yesterday, Thursday, 26 November 2015 five nautical miles north of Cabrera, in the province of Maria Trinidad Sanchez (Nagua). Dominican Armada spokesman Captain Arsenio Maldonado Gil said that the vessel, which was captained by John Maccor, was on its way to Miami, Florida.

He said that fortunately, a tugboat, Coral Coast - also US-registered - was in the area, and was able to rescue the captain and take him to the United States, as reported in El Dia.


Most robberies are not reported

According to results of the 2014 Enhogar poll, in the past five years almost 40% of victims of theft did not take their case to the Police because they did not trust their honesty or their capacity, feared that the Police themselves may have been accomplices to the crime, or because they felt they would have to bribe the Police to act, as reported in Acento.com.do.

Although a significant proportion of the Dominican public admits to having been a victim of robbery or attempted robbery, when other reasons are included, the Survey shows that 71.4% of robberies that occurred in the last five years were not reported to the National Police, and neither were 67.2% of burglaries and 62.9% of crimes classified as armed robberies or muggings.

The National Statistics Office (ONE) released the data.


Attorney General has list of corrupt prosecutors

As the case of corruption in the judicial system continues to make waves in the Dominican Republic, with accusations and counter accusations being covered in the media, legislator Francisco Matos (PLD) said on Thursday, 26 November 2015, that he has a list of names with more than 100 prosecutors around the country who have been accused of corruption. He said Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito has the list but has not taken the necessary action.

He says that the list included prosecutors from Sosua, Puerto Plata, Barahona, San Juan de la Maguana, San Cristobal, Samana, San Pedro de Macoris and Higuey.


Tragic bus crash kills 11 on Veron-Higuey road

By Thursday afternoon, 26 November 2015, 11 people had been confirmed dead after a head-on collision between two buses at Km. 8 of the Veron-Higuey road. More than 70 passengers were injured, according to reports. They were taken to the Clinica Virgilio Cedano and other hospitals in Higuey and the Bavaro-Punta Cana area.

AMET named the fatalities as: Jesus Rijo, Ruth Esther Vercaso, Melisa Edilys Castro, Felix Martinez, Juan Morillo, Jose Marte de la Rosa, Francis Paulino Santana, Jose Luis Paredes, Domingo Donastorg, Andy Jose Reyes and Juan Esteban Ruiz.

The two buses belonged to the La Monumental and the All Tours companies. One was on its way transporting employees to the Paradisus Punta Cana and the other was transporting employees home from the Coco Bongo nightclub at around 7am.

A witness told the press that the accident occurred when one of the buses' tires burst, causing the driver to lose control.

El Caribe reports that four of those who died in the accident were from Boca Chica.




It's all about shopping on Black Friday

Thousands of people are practically taking the day off today, Friday 27 November 2015, to pick up that needed or not needed item at the promised bargain prices.

Yesterday, Thursday 26 November 2015, large stores in Santo Domingo and other parts of the country were already packed after they announced the special Black Friday deals that will last through Saturday, 28 November 2015.


David Ortiz Celebrity Golf Classic for 3-6 December

The Punta Espada golf course and the Sanctuary Hotel in Cap Cana are hosting the David Ortiz Celebrity Golf Classic from 3-6 December 2015. For this event, the nine-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion slugger David Ortiz invites many of his friends for a weekend of golf and recreation.

The 8th David Ortiz Celebrity Golf Classic benefits the David Ortiz Children's Fund in partnership with the World Pediatric Project and MassGeneral Hospital for Children that provides critical pediatric healthcare at the Pediatric Cedimat Heart Center and throughout New England in the United States. The fund has already covered the cost of more than 70 heart operations in Santo Domingo.

Over the years, the tournament has raised US$1,250,000 in funds.

Ortiz says that the celebrities who have confirmed their participation include:

Pedro Martinez, George Bell, Troy Brown, Miguel Cabrera, Sway Calloway, Jonathan Coachman, Nelson Cruz, Jenny Dell, Eric Dickerson, Octavio Dotel, Eliza Dushku, Andres Galarraga, Richard "Rip" Hamilton, J. Holiday, Adam Jones, Tina Knowles, Barry Larkin, Steve Levy, Ray Lewis, Anthony Mackie, Omar Miller, Jonathan Papelbon, Mekhi Phifer, Placido Polanco, Hanley Ramirez, Jim Rice, Craig Sager, Gary Sheffield, Lawrence Taylor, The-Dream, Ming Tsai, Glynn Turman, Heidi Watney and Josh Wolf.


Read more about upcoming events at http://www.dr1.com/calendar

To read more news, see the DR1 News Archives at: http://dr1.com/premium/news/2015/index.shtml