Daily News - Friday, 13 December 2013 (Archived Daily News)
- President Medina travels to Panama for SICA
- Alex Rodriguez visits President Medina
- Ministry of Environment to control for noise during holidays
- Customs opens office at Barrick
- Central Bank says November inflation under 1%
- Reasons for optimism for 2014
- Name change for Air Force graduating class
- Passport office explains passport application irregularities
- JCE: Re-election not on the drawing board
- Foreigners are 8% of inhabitants in DR
- Altice promises hi-tech and price revolution
- Dengue death toll reaches 110
- 16th PanAm Weightlifting Championship in 2014
- David Ortiz Golf Classic
- Salsa & Merengue at the Teatro La Fiesta for New Year
- Toque Profundo at Centro Cultural de Espana
- Easy listening music at the National Theater
- SuperWillie at Bellas Artes
- Arts and Crafts Fair
- Baseball Roundup
SuperWillie at Bellas Artes
(Image courtesy of facebook.com)
President Medina travels to Panama for SICA
President Danilo Medina is scheduled to travel to Panama at 1pm today, Friday 13 December to attend the 42nd Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Central American Integration System (SICA). He will fly from the San Isidro Air Base in a private jet and is scheduled to return during the early evening on Saturday, 14 December. His entourage includes Ministers of the Presidency Gustavo Montalvo, Administrative Minister Jose Ramon Peralta and Hacienda Minister Simon Lizardo.
SICA is scheduled to meet in Cocle on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 December and the agenda includes the creation of a Ministry of Democratic Security with its consulting bodies. The heads of government will review economic, farming and health subjects and progress made in the European Partnership with Central America.
Alex Rodriguez visits President Medina
New York Yankees player Alex Rodriguez visited President Danilo Medina at the Presidential Palace yesterday, Thursday 12 December. During the visit the baseball star expressed his optimism over a favorable outcome in the case open with the MLB. Rodriguez's parents are from San Juan de la Maguana, like President Medina. During his visit he gave the President a baseball shirt with the number 13. "I am happy to be on vacation here in my country and I came to meet with our President. I appreciate his having received me. I am proud to come to my country and to spend time with my people," said the Yankees third base player. Rodriguez is attending the David Ortiz Golf Classic that is taking place at the Punta Espada Golf Course in Cap Cana this weekend. "I came to support my friend David Ortiz in his golf tournament to help the children," he said.
Ministry of Environment to control for noise during holidays
The Ministry of Environment reports that it has distributed 15 noise-measuring kits to its provincial offices for monitoring and controlling high noise levels during the holidays. The initiative seeks to regulate noise that is damaging to the environment and health, especially in residential and rural areas nationwide. Some 15 sound measuring devices will be used to measure the tension, frequency or density of vibrations. The Ministry of Environment will work in coordination with the Ministry of Interior & Police, provincial governor offices, municipal offices and civil society organizations, according to a Ministry of Environment press release.
Customs opens office at Barrick
The Department of Customs has announced the completion of its new verification facilities at the Barrick Gold Mine in Cotui. Customs director Fernando Fernandez, Barrick Pueblo Viejo president Manuel Rocha and the director of governmental affairs for Barrick Mexico Angeles Lithgow made the presentation to the press yesterday, Thursday 12 December. Fernandez said that government inspectors would be responsible for determining the content of shipments onsite at the plant. He acknowledged the cooperation of the Barrick authorities in the establishment of the new installation. The new customs post will be staffed by geologists, mining experts, chemists and industrial engineers who will monitor the extracted metal for increased control over the exports.
Fernandez said that so far the company has contributed US$300 million on exports worth US$1.3 billion.
Rocha announced that by the end of 2013 the company will have extracted and exported 817,000 ounces of gold worth more than US$1 billion. He said the goal for exports in 2014 is to export more than a million ounces of gold. He said he expects the price of gold to continue above US$1,300 per ounce on international markets.
Central Bank says November inflation under 1%
The Consumer Price Index increased 0.06% in November on a seasonably adjusted basis, the Central Bank reported yesterday, Thursday 12 December. For the 11 months of the year, the index showed the inflation rate as 3.49%. Annualized inflation for the past 12 months was 4.14%. Inflation has been under control basically due to the decrease of 0.09% in the transport index due to lower fuel prices. Likewise in the grocery store food group the increase was 0.29%.
Reasons for optimism for 2014
The editorial writer in today's Hoy, Friday 13 December says that the country has many reasons to be optimistic about 2014. He says that the Medina administration has managed the economy sensibly and has reduced the fiscal deficit of 9% of GDP inherited from the Fernandez administration in August 2012 to 1.7% of GDP.
The editorialist makes these comments in response to a speech of Administrative Minister Jose Ramon Peralta who told the audience of listeners gathered for the month luncheon of the American Chamber of Commerce earlier this week of several events that were making a difference, including the contracts for building 8,000 classrooms awarded to engineers located all around the country.
Peralta has said that the best of the Medina government is yet to come. And the editorialist says that the positive effects of the government support for farming and small business will begin to show starting next year.
Furthermore, he writes that ECLAC forecasts that the country will grow by 5% next year, bringing it to above average for the Latin American and Caribbean region. "The good performance of the economy and forecasts of well accredited international organizations justify our optimism for 2014," he said.
Name change for Air Force graduating class
Dominican Air Force chief Major General Ramon Hernandez has announced a name change for the recent Air Force officers graduating class. The name of the graduating class was changed to Juan Pablo Duarte, honoring the founding father in the year when the 200th anniversary of his birth is being celebrated.
The class had graduated with the name of the late Major General Fernando Sanchez Jr. Major General Hernandez distanced himself from the name, saying it was chosen four years ago.
Historians were prompt to say Major General Fernando Sanchez, who headed the air force in two periods, was down in history together with Gilberto Sanchez Rubirosa, Federico Cabral Noboa, Dante Minervino, Luis Jose and Alfonso Leon Estevez for participating with the son of Trujillo Ramfis in the death of the people the regime accused of killing the dictator, including Roberto Pastoriza, Huascar Tejeda Pimentel, Pedro Livio Cedeno, Savador Estrella Sahdala, Modesto Diaz and Luis Manuel Caceres Michel at the Hacienda Maria torture center.
National Archives director and historian Roberto Cassa says that the incident reflects what he described as "the false culture of institutionalism that allows for honoring questionable characters." He said that a picture of Johnny Abbes, one of the most infamous Dominican criminals of the dictatorship, had been on display in the gallery of former Department of Immigration directors, and there are photos of past presidents who were villains, including Trujillo at the Presidential Palace.
Minister of Defense Sigfrido Pared Perez had explained that the cadets' graduating classes carry the names of chiefs of staff and that was why the name of Fernandez Sanchez was used.
Passport office explains passport application irregularities
The director of the Department of Passports Iris Antonia Guaba says that Deisy Toussaint was not denied a passport because of her last name, as she is claiming. Toussaint is the daughter of a Haitian mother and Dominican father, but unlike her siblings her father has not recognized her, and her mother obtained her own documentation irregularly. Toussaint is one of many people who are now being asked to legalize their situation. Guaba says that she has the option of her father recognizing her, or her mother could apply for residency. She said that the review of her case showed she was the daughter of a foreigner and thus could not be issued a Dominican passport.
The Department of Passports is requiring all foreigners who are children of Dominicans to present their parents' birth certificates in order to prove their lineage. This applies for new passports as well as for renewals. [This is important to know so that applicants who could be affected request the documents for submission to the Passport office prior to applying for the renewal to avoid delays.]
Guaba says that Toussaint's case has nothing to do with the new Constitutional Court ruling 168-13 but is part of a process that was already underway as the authorities in charge of civil registration and documentation seek to ensure that all Dominican documentation is correct. The Dominican civil registry and passports were known to have issued documents irregularly, the most notorious cases involving international criminals and forged identities for baseball players.
Guaba added: "She does not qualify because the birth certificate was issued for a daughter of a foreigner who was not registered in the foreigners book as should have happened." She said the passport officers also determined that the birth certificate was incomplete, as it does not have her mother's Dominican ID number and thus does not meet requirement Art. 24 of the Law 659 on civil state documents that establishes that birth certificates need to indicate the ID (cedula) number of those declaring the child. She said the document was sent to the Central Electoral Board (JCE) in 2011 with instructions for it to be regularized, but the declaring mother does not appear in the JCE registry. She said that Toussaint's case is one of 120 that the Department of Passports has identified with irregularities.
She said it is merely a matter of nationality that has nothing to do with Constitutional Court Ruling 168-13 and regretted the intention of attributing the irregularities to the ruling.
Guaba said that this work is being done to ensure that Dominicans have secure and trustworthy passports in order to avoid international problems.
Toussaint is a case of a young girl whose mother immigrated to the Dominican Republic and her daughter, despite her mother's undocumented status, was able to enjoy free Dominican public services and become a university graduate. She now needs to legalize her status by making the most of the fast track options now being offered to anyone who can demonstrate long-standing residence in the country. The director of Passports has advised her to get her birth father to recognize her as his daughter. If that were to happen, she would automatically qualify for Dominican citizenship.
JCE: Re-election not on the drawing board
The bill sent to the Senate is for the creation of a framework for the referendum, and not to prepare the way for the re-election of President Danilo Medina, says JCE president Roberto Rosario and Senate president Reinaldo Pared Perez, as reported in Listin Diario. The 2010 Constitution eliminated consecutive re-election, meaning that President Danilo Medina cannot run for re-election after the end of his current term. At present President Medina has the highest popularity rate of any President into his second year of government.
Pared Perez said that the Constitution is specific in defining where the referendum can be used. The Constitution, in its Art. 210 on the Referendum rules that they cannot involve the continuation of an elected official. He went on to say the purpose of the bill is to create the law that will govern the use of the referendum. He mentioned that it could be used to ask Dominicans whether Loma Miranda should be designated a national park.
Meanwhile, PLD presidential pre-candidate Francisco Javier Garcia remarked that anyone speculating that Medina would seek re-election does not know him well. He said that Medina is a man of his word and recalled that Medina resigned from the Ministry of the Presidency when he opposed the re-election of President Fernandez into the 2008 election.
Sections on the referendum in the 2010 Constitution read as follows (Guzman Ariza English version):
Section III on the Direct Participation in Local Government establishes:
Art. 203: "Referendum, Plebiscites and Municipal Initiative. To strengthen democracy and local governance, the Organic Law on Local Government shall establish the scope, requirements and conditions for exercising the referendum, plebiscite and the municipal initiative at the local level."
Art. 210. Referendum. Expression of the public will by referendum shall be governed by a law that shall determine all matters concerning its implementation, subject to the following conditions:
1) Referendums shall not involve the continuation or recalls of any elected or appointed official;
2) Referendums shall require congressional approval, by a vote of two thirds of the members present in each house.
Art. 272. Referendum for Approval. If the reform is related to fundamental rights, guarantees and duties, territorial or municipal organization, nationality, citizenship or immigration, the monetary system, or the amendment procedures established under the Constitution, approval of the reform shall require ratification by a majority of citizens with the right to vote, through a referendum for approval called by the Central Electoral Board after the National Assembly has voted and approved the reform.
Paragraph I. The Central Electoral Board shall submit the amendments to a referendum within sixty days after formal receipt.
Paragraph II. The adoption of the amendments to the Constitution by referendum requires approval by a majority of the votes cast and by a number of voters exceeding 30% of registered voters, counting only those voters who voted YES or No.
Paragraph III. If the referendum is approved, the National Assembly for Revision of the Constitution shall proclaim and officially publish the amended Constitution in full with the amended text.
Foreigners are 8% of inhabitants in DR
Foreigners make up 7.9% of the total population of 9,716,940 inhabitants of the Dominican Republic, according to a First National Poll of Immigrants (ENI-2012) carried out by the National Statistics Office (ONE). The results of the survey indicate that there are 768,783 foreigners of which Haitians are 668,145 persons, reflecting the predominance of Haitians among immigrants in the Dominican Republic. Of the total 209,912 are children of Haitian immigrants and 34,239 were born to people of other nationalities. The survey also revealed that 64.4% of the immigrants are men.
ONE director Pablo Tactuck said that the National Immigration Legalization Plan was designed using this data that was compiled in 2012.
The poll revealed the presence of immigrants from 60 countries. After Haiti, the numbers showed United States (13,514), Spain (6,720), Puerto Rico (4,416), Italy (4,040), China (3,643), France (3,599), Venezuela (3,434), Cuba (3,145), Colombia (2,738) and Germany (1,792).
To carry out the poll, the researchers visited 68,146 households nationwide and interviewed 20,446 people.
The poll showed that 38.6% arrived from 2010 to 2012, 23.6% from 2006-2009, 18.5% from 2000-2005, and 17.3% in 2000.
Most of those polled said they had migrated in pursuit of work opportunities. The average wage of the immigrants was RD$12,441. The poll revealed that 72% are employed, most in construction and farming. An estimated 36% work in farming, 26% in construction, 16.5% in commerce, and 10.4% other services.
Altice promises hi-tech and price revolution
Patrick Drahi, founder of Altice, the company that has bought both Tricom and Orange Dominicana to become a major player in the Dominican telecom market, is pledging that they have come to compete by offering better quality products for better prices. During a press conference held yesterday, Thursday 12 December, he spoke of the impact of the deal on the government and Dominican consumers.
Altice has made available US$1.8 billion for the purchase of 88% of Tricom (US$400 million) and 100% of Orange (US$1.4 billion). This sale represents US$360 million windfall for the Dominican government in taxes.
During the press conference, Drahi announced that they would be simplifying services in order to benefit consumers. For instance, he said that subscribers using Tricom's Triple Play plan have a separate box for telephone, another for the Internet and a third for the TV services. He said his clients in Paris have only one box, which is more cost-effective and reliable. He announced an investment of around US$130 million a year. He said they would be using the same technology here that is used in Paris or Tel Aviv where they have major operations.
He said that in the Dominican Republic everyone is buying low-quality products and paying normal prices. He said his idea is to offer high-quality products for a normal price and low-quality products for a low price. By doing this, he says they will increase earnings for the company and improve the services in the country. He observed that is the competition follows suit, it will be good for the country because it will require more investment.
The Altice products will be marketed under the Orange brand name. The company will be offering fixed line, mobile, Internet and TV services. He said the company is No. 2 in the French market in paid TV services.
Drahi announced that the company is in conversations with two Dominican families that could invest 20-30% in the telecom business.
Altice says it will be implementing new technologies using fiber optic and 4G for all the country.
The press conference was also attended by Marc Rocher, chief operations executive for Tricom, Altice CEO Jean-Michel Hegesippe, Orange president Jean-Michel Garrouteight, and Eduardo Valcarcel, communications vice president for Orange.
Dengue death toll reaches 110
The Ministry of Public Health Epidemiology Department says as of November, there have been 110 cases of deaths caused by dengue, a preventable disease. This total is 42 more deaths than reported in all of 2012, as reported in Diario Libre. Bulletin No. 48 of the department says that 15,521 cases have been reported. The increase in cases is attributed to increased monitoring and better diagnosis at public hospitals. The authorities say that health workers have been trained but follow up is necessary to avoid fatal outcomes. Epidemiologist Luis Reyes says that the deaths are mainly the result of late diagnostics, lack of quality attention and medical follow-up.
He recommends prevention measures that include keeping areas clean and storing water in closed containers. He says that the mosquito that transmits dengue breeds in stagnant water stored in containers without lids.
16th PanAm Weightlifting Championship in 2014
Santo Domingo will host the 16th Pan American Weightlifting Championship from 26 May to 2 June next year. The event is a qualifier for the Olympic Games. The venue will be the Dr. Jose Joaquin Puello Weightlifting Pavilion at the Parque del Este, in eastern Santo Domingo.
David Ortiz Golf Classic
2013 MLB World Series MVP David Ortiz and friends are in Punta Cana for the David Ortiz Golf Classic from Thursday 12 to Sunday 15 December. The event is being played at the Punta Espada Golf Course in Cap Cana. The celebrities who will be taking part include Alex Rodriguez, Pedro Martinez, Felix Sanchez, Robinson Cano, Yonder Alonso, George Bell, Jose Bautista, Troy Brown, Ken Casey, Sean Casey, Fernando Cuza and Octavio Dotel. Others are Rachel Dratch, Eliza Dushku, Rick Fox, Andres Galarraga, Aimee Garcia, Butch Hobson, Barry Larkin, Manny Machado, Kevin Millar and Michael Park, as reported in Diario Libre. "They are all playing to make a difference in the lives of children," said David Ortiz, as reported in El Caribe.
Salsa & Merengue at the Teatro La Fiesta for New Year
Salsa stars, including El Clasicom and Yiyo Sarante, merengue legends such as Fernando Villalona, Rubby Perez, Alex Bueno and Omega are booked for a Supermega Dance at the Teatro La Fiesta of the Hotel Jaragua in Santo Domingo on 31 December. The show begins at 10am and ends at dawn of the 1 January. Tickets are for sale at ticketexpress.com.do and are selling for RD$3,000. Reservations are needed calling 809 221-1414.
Toque Profundo at Centro Cultural de Espana
One of the best Dominican rock groups of all times, Toque Profundo with Tony Almont, Tomas Alvarez, Joel Lazala and Clemente Portillo are booked for a 9pm performance at the Centro Cultural de Espana in Colonial Santo Domingo. They will review 25 years of their music for their fans. They will also be presenting their newest song, Dance MF, a song that combines funk, disco and dance genres.
Easy listening music at the National Theater
Raul Di Blasio will be performing this Saturday, 14 December at 8:30pm at the National Theater in Santo Domingo. This will be a Christmas concert, with holiday music and some of his all time favorite versions. Tickets are RD$2,000-RD$3,000. They can be purchased online at ticketexpress.com.do
SuperWillie at Bellas Artes
Amaury Sanchez presents "The adventures of Willie," his traditional Christmas musical at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Santo Domingo. Starring roles are by Javier Grullon who will challenge four villains who seek to destroy the Christmas spirit played by Maria Castillo, Jose Guillermo Cortines, Karina Larrauri and Ameris Cepeda. The play is directed by actor Waddys Jaquez with appearances by Freddyn Beras, Miguel Lendor, Stephanie Pina, Karla Fatule, Hugo Chavez and Paula Sanchez Ferry. Choreography is by Pablo Perez. Shows are Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 13-15 December at 8:30pm and 6:30pm on Sunday.
Arts and Crafts Fair
The Ministry of Culture and the office of the Vice President of the Republic through the Progressing with Solidarity program inaugurated the 12th National Arts & Crafts Fair (FENART) at the Fortaleza Ozama in Santo Domingo's Colonial City yesterday, Thursday 12 December. The fair, which will be open through Sunday, 14 December, is dedicated to the artisans from Barahona. It is a good opportunity to stock up on unique items for giving as Christmas gifts. There are arts and crafts tables from 32 provinces, including Greater Santo Domingo. There is also a grand exhibition of the great masters of Dominican arts and crafts.
Many of these crafts can be purchased all year round at the Museo de Artesanias de Excelencia Manos Dominicanas, at Calle Atarazana No. 7 in the Colonial City, Tel 809 689-0132.
Yesterday, Thursday 12 December, the Aguilas Cibaenas and Leones del Escogido ensured their places in the round robin to determine who will play in the end of January playoffs. The round robin kicks off after Christmas. Four of the six teams move on. The Tigres del Licey are almost there. The Gigantes, Toros and Estrellas still have chances of making it into the top four. This weekend's games will be key. See the schedule and follow results at lidom.com
|ESCOGIDO||27 - 15||.643||--|
|AGUILAS||26 - 15||.634||0.5|
|TIGRES||24 - 18||.571||3.0|
|GIGANTES||19 - 23||.452||8.0|
|TOROS||15 - 26||.366||11.5|
|ESTRELLAS||14 - 28||.333||13.0|
For more on upcoming events, see www.dr1.com/calendar
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