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Daily News - Wednesday, 02 July 2014

Green light for San Juan to Santiago road
Minister of Public Works and Communications Gonzalo Castillo has announced that the government will go ahead with plans to build the San Juan de la Maguana-Santiago road, a new north-south connection that would cross national park areas. Construction is scheduled to start this month (July 2014) or next (August 2014) as promised by President Danilo Medina last year when he visited San Juan de la Maguana province.

As reported, the first stage of the road, known as Cibao-South will cover the route from San Juan, Moncion (Santiago Rodriguez) and Santiago and will start with the existing stretch of road that links Sabaneta with Boca de los Arroyos. The other site where the work will start will be Moncion. Details on the findings of the required environmental impact study and the costs of the project were not provided during the interview.

Castillo was speaking at a breakfast meeting with Listin Diario yesterday, Tuesday 1 July 2014. He said that the new road would take environmental considerations into account and there would be no tunnels under the mountains. He said it would help develop tourism and there would be no question of causing deforestation as the area already had been deforested. Castillo did not mention that the road would also provide access to mining operations underway in the area.

Arguing in favor of the road, Castillo said it would help tackle problems such as the frequent flooding of the river that goes through San Jose de Ocoa as they would build a new bridge at Sabana Larga.

Castillo said that he was only waiting for the authorization from President Medina to start the second stage of the Ocoa-Piedra Blanca road which would connect Sabana Larga-Rancho Arriba-Juan Adrian-Piedra Blanca, and subsequently a north south connection from Bani to Azua, the Azua bypass and the Azua Barahona road that was planned for February 2015 as well as a new road from Barahona to Enriquillo.

The proposal to build this road has met with strong opposition from environmentalists as the route goes through national parks. Former Minister of Environment Frank Moya Pons himself opposed the construction of the road given the route chosen through national park areas.

Read more in Spanish at:

http://www.listindiario.com/la-republica/2014/7/2/328248/MOPC-Iniciaran-trabajos-para-carretera-Cibao-Sur

More money for Foreigner Legalization Plan
Executive Branch legal advisor Cesar Pina Toribio says that President Danilo Medino has put too much effort into in the National Foreigner Regularization Plan and has too much interest in it to allow the process to fail.

Pina Toribio was reacting to comments made by Central Electoral Board (JCE) president Roberto Rosario who said that RD$200 million was needed to complete the audit to establish who qualified for the fast-tracked procedures under the plan. Rosario also said that more funds would be needed to complete the Foreigner Legalization Plan. Pina Toribio said that the President was aware of the situation and that the funds would be available.

Read more in Spanish at:

http://www.listindiario.com/la-republica/2014/7/1/328124/Pina-Toribio-asegura-que-Presidente-no-permitira-Plan-Regularizacion-de

Call for border hospitals
Dominican Medical Association (CMD) president Pedro Sing and Deputy Vinicio Castillo Seman say that health conditions need to be improved at the border with Haiti. In separate proposals they agree that Haitian women giving birth should be given the help they need but that the hospitals should be located on the border.

According to Sing, Haitian women give birth to 20% of all children born in the main maternity hospitals in Santo Domingo Province and the National District. Most enter the country illegally for the purpose of giving birth, or are illegal immigrants. He said the fact that there is no charge and that they are treated well reveals much about the humanity of the Dominican people and the authorities, especially the health sector.

However, he believes that the issue of Haitian births has to be the subject of bilateral talks and the state should remodel the hospitals on the border and build new ones to improve health services for local people.

In addition, housing for medical staff should also be built.

FNP deputy Vinicio Castillo Seman is proposing that the Dominican government build maternity hospitals on the border. Haitians would continue receiving free health services. He suggested building new hospitals in Jimani, Dajabon or Elias Pina, the busiest border crossing points.

Read more in Spanish:

http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2014/07/02/demandan-mejorar-las-condiciones-salud-frontera

Informal jobs pay better
The Central Bank reported that people working in the informal sector in the DR make more on average than workers with formal jobs. The Central Bank says that only the higher-level jobs, such as management, or about 12% of formal jobs, make more than people who are self-employed or working in the informal sector. The Central Bank says that employees in mid-level sectors like office employees, service sector employees, and skilled and unskilled workers usually earn lower hourly wages than people working in the informal sector.

The Central Bank recently released findings from the National Workforce Survey (ENFT) that shows an abysmal difference between the formal and informal sector. The survey found that wages are low in the formal sector. The informal sector represented 50.6% of jobs in 2013 compared to 46.2% in 2000. The National Business Council (Conep) says that 70% of jobs in the formal sector were created in government offices.

Read more in Spanish at:

http://www.diariolibre.com/economia/2014/07/02/i681051_banco-central-aclara-que-los-informales-ganan.html

Selling Presidente beer in Guatemala
The Cerveceria Nacional Dominicana has announced the start of beer exports to Guatemala. Franklin Leon said that the company aimed to increase exports by 25%, as part of AmBev's expansion in the Caribbean and Central America.

Most shoes are made in Pisano free zone park in Santiago
37% of all footwear made in Dominican free zones will be manufactured at Santiago's Parque Industrial Santiago Norte (Pisano) industrial free zone park. This year an estimated 13 million pairs of shoes will be manufactured here, and Pisano will handle 4,823,000 pairs, said chairman of the board Federico Dominguez Aristy in an interview with El Caribe. If the sector continues to grow, Pisano plans to build 400,000 square feet of manufacturing plant space from 2014-2016 and will add another 2,000 jobs. Dominguez said DR exports from industrial free zones totaled US$5.03 billion in 2013, employing around 150,000 workers at 602 companies operating in 28 provinces under the free zone regimes. There are 52 industrial free zones.

Read more in Spanish at:

http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2014/07/02/pisano-hara-37-por-ciento-los-calzados-zonas-francas-este-ano

PRSC says it will run alone in 2016 election
The PRSC has announced that it will now be a totally independent party in order to be an option for power in the 2016 elections and will have its own candidates not aligned to any other party. The party spokesman said that this did not mean that all PRSC members would leave their jobs in government.

Nevertheless, PRSC president Federico Antun Batlle said that as soon as the process of transforming the National Housing Bank into the Export Bank (Bandex) was over, he would resign as president there to concentrate on politics full time in order to ensure his party's return to power. Private sector representatives have complained about the politicization of the National Housing Bank, expressing concerns that this would continue at the newly created export bank.

Antun Batlle said that their manifesto would focus on bringing about the change that society wants and that once they have finished the process of internal restructuring they would launch the candidacies for congressional, municipal and presidential posts.

He said that they enjoyed the support and trust of the people and should they win they would govern with austerity, protect the environment, and build low-cost housing.

Read more in Spanish at:

http://eldia.com.do/el-prsc-anuncia-independencia-politica-para-ir-solo-en-el-2016/

Mayor sent to jail
A Santo Domingo court has sent the Mayor of Bayaguana to prison for three months on remand.

Nelson Osvaldo Sosa Marte is suspected of being the mastermind behind the murder of Councilor Renato de Jesus Castillo.

Sosa Marte was suspended from his mayoral duties and replaced by the deputy mayor.

Judge Dario Gomez sent him to San Pedro de Macoris jail.

Read more in Spanish at:

http://eldia.com.do/coercion-de-3-meses-a-alcalde-de-bayaguana/

Restructuring at Drug Agency
The National Drug Control Agency (DNCD) has announced changes in several areas to continue with the process of improving its work against drug dealing and money laundering. The new heads of each department are as follows:

Colonel Juan E. Ortega Amparo will now be in charge of the northern division based in Santiago, taking over from Colonel Humberto E. Ramos Feliz, and Colonel Hector de Jesus Imaya Ortiz will become Inspector General of the DNCD taking over from Colonel Amparo.

Colonel Feliz will move to be the new head of the eastern division based in La Romana taking over from Colonel Martin M. Tapia Sanchez and Colonel Busini Guzman Contreras has been promoted to head up the southern division in Barahona, taking over from Colonel Hector R. De Jesus Ymaya Ortiz. Lieutenant Colonel Leoncio Natera Melenciano will become head of the north east division, based in San Francisco de Macoris, taking over from Colonel Busini Guzman Contreras.

Colonel Jose M. Alcantara Ruiz will become head of the Central Division of the DNCD, taking over from Colonel Natera Melenciano, and Colonel Luis. T. Mejia Reynoso is the new head of Santo Domingo East division taking over from Colonel Ruiz. Colonel Martin. M. Tapia Sanchez moves to South Central division based in Bani, taking over from Colonel Luis Temistocles Mejia Reynoso, while Lieutenant Colonel Mario Antonio Jimenez Jimenez, becomes Regional Inspector for the north east based in Nagua, taking over from Major Rafael Montilla.

In addition there were other changes at lower levels around the country.

Read more in Spanish at:

http://www.diariolibre.com/noticias/2014/07/01/i680421_dncd-introduce-cambios-distintas-divisiones-inspectoras.html

Cameraman murdered in Santiago
The police say that cameraman Newton Gonzalez from Channel 25 television in Santiago was shot and killed yesterday, Tuesday 1 July 2014, by persons unknown when he was parked in a commercial center.

The police said that the murderers were wearing masks and that the motive behind the crime was unknown. Nothing was stolen from the deceased.

National Police spokesman for the in the central Cibao region, Damian Arias Matos, said that the case is under investigation but so far no arrests have been made.

Read more in Spanish at

http://www.elnuevodiario.com.do/app/article.aspx?id=381210

El Quijote at the National Theater
The National School of Dance (Endanza) presents its graduation gala, "El Quijote de San Juan" at the main hall of the National Theater in Santo Domingo this evening, Wednesday, 2 July 2014 at 7:30pm. Tickets: RD$300.

Maridalia at Galeria 360
Popular singer Maridalia Hernandez is booked for an evening of ballads, merengue and bachata music at Escenario 360, the concert and events hall of the Galeria 360 shopping mall in Santo Domingo. The Escenario 360 hall has capacity for 440 persons seated at tables. She is booked for a show at 8:30pm this Friday, 4 July. One of the founder members Juan Luis Guerra's Grupo 4-40, Hernandez is best known for "Para quererte," "Te ofrezco," and many other hits. For tickets are RD$3,000-RD$4,000, call Tel 829-953-0360. Tickets are for sale at the mall hall.

Sergio Vargas and Ramon Orlando at Lucia
Sergio Vargas and Ramon Orlando will be together for an evening of merengue and ballads on Friday, 4 July at the Bar Lucia 203 on Calle Hostos in the Colonial City, Santo Domingo as of 9pm.

Tickets are RD$1,000 at the door and RD$800 if purchased in advance through Ticket Express, or at Lucia, or from Meson de Bari, also on Calle Hostos.

For more on upcoming events, see www.dr1.com/calendar
 

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