Medina sends Father’s Day message
Hector Valdez: Economy grows 7% this year
CDEEE: Distributors are back to buying on spot market
Operation of free zone industries depends on tax exemptions
New Police bill bans these from holding other jobs
640,000 seniors enrolled in SeNaSa health plan
JCE mission explores helping Haiti with October election
Dominican high school degree now available online
Mercedes to Hostos street stretch closed next week
Lope de Vega avenue section to be one-way
Downtown Center opens in Santo Domingo
Drug raid at Los Jardines del Sur house
Tragedy on Nagua-Sanchez highway
Rainstorms on Monday
Dominican gets bronze in World Bowling Championship
Ozuna at Hard Rock Café

Medina sends Father’s Day message
President Danilo Medina in his Father’s Day message called for recognition fathers’ role in the Dominican Republic and urged these to act responsibly. Father’s Day was celebrated on Sunday, 31 July 2016.
“In today’s world we need fathers that are able to lead families in harmony, acting with solidarity, and that guide their sons and daughters on the right road,” said the President.
He said the same sons and daughters will know to appreciate and recognize the efforts and sacrifices that their parents make everyday by meeting their obligations and cultivating their virtues.
“We all need to recognize that what is learned at home nourishes the future of children, that the example they receive from their parents, the adequate and healthy guidance, and the values they may assimilate, will serve to determine their actions and that we may count on families that contribute to the strengthening of our society.”
In his message he recognized the work of many women who have had to be mothers and fathers at the same time. He was critical of fathers that are lax on fulfilling their responsibilities in the home.
President Medina and First Lady Candida Montilla have three daughters – Candy Sibely, Vanessa Daniela and Ana Paula. News reports say the President spent Father’s Day at home with his family.

Hector Valdez: Economy grows 7% this year
Speaking at the opening of the Central American Monetary Council (CMCA) that took place in Punta Cana from 28-29 July 2016, the governor of the Central Bank Hector Valdez Albizu said that the Dominican economy had grown around 7% so far this year. He attributed this growth to strong construction activity, improvements in gold revenues with rising gold prices, growth in the manufacturing sector and tourism.
The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in its Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2016 said that the Dominican Republic leads the region in growth with 6%. This is in contrast to the forecast overall decline in growth for the Caribbean region at -0.3% Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Distributors back to buying on spot market
The Madrid Accord, the preferential agreement signed by the Hipolito Mejia administration and generating companies and power distributors is due to expire at the end of July 2016, as reported in the Listin Diario. Ruben Jimenez Bichara, executive vice president of the Public Electricity Corporation (CDEEE), told Listin Diario reporters that now that many of the privileges that agreement granted generators and then foreign distributors is coming to a close, the domestic electricity industry will begin to face challenges in adapting to more conventional conditions of the energy sector.
For example, he said that it is normal for the energy generating companies to record revenues for interest rate charges on arrears paid by the power distributors.
Different than when the agreement was signed in 2001, the three larger power distributors are now government owned (Ede-Este, Ede-Norte and Ede-Sur).
Jimenez says that now the purchase of energy by the government will be contracted in tenders. He explained that these tenders will be of short durations (two or three years) to generators already in operation, and long term tenders (five years) will be issued for new generators. Jimenez noted that clauses that allowed for the kilowatt/hour rate to be indexed to the rising cost of fuel would not be included in the long term contracts. In the Madrid Accord, the generators were allowed to increase their index rates of index, but a clause that instructed these companies to reduce their rates in case of a drop in the cost of fuel was not included, which often worked against the interests of the Dominican government.
Jimenez explained that now that the Madrid Accord has expired, the new energy market structure will allow the distributors to have access to power at reasonable and competitive prices.
Jimenez said that starting Monday, 1 August 2016, the spot market will be the mechanism for the purchase of energy by distributors from private generators.
In the interview, Jimenez said the country now has an energy matrix that offers significant flexibility, including hydroelectric, natural gas, coal-fired, renewable energy, and traditional fuel-based sources for the generation of electricity.
He explains this means that depending on the price of the fuel, the country can source these different options to its best advantage. For instance, when the price of natural gas is low, preference can be given to that fuel to generate savings.
Jimenez observed that the 720-megawatt Punta Catalina Thermoelectric Central under construction by the Medina administration in Peravia, to the southwest of Santo Domingo, will help meet the growing energy demand and at the same time, give greater negotiating power to the distributors.
According to Jimenez, under the new energy structure, the coal-fired plants will generate electricity at a cost lower than the current average cost of energy.
He said the DR is now the leader in the Caribbean in power generation using renewable energy sources.
In the interview, he argued that the extended black-outs currently affecting several regions in the country is due to the deficit in power generation. “When two or three plants are out of service, there are no viable options to generate electricity. The country needs to have ‘cold reserves’ or generator plants that are available but not currently operating, so that when one system is out, another plant can supply the demand. He estimated that these reserve energy facilities should have a combined capacity of 30% of the normal daily demand of electricity.
However, Milton Morrison, spokesman for the Association of Electricity Industry (ADIE), denied that a lack of power supply is to blame for the blackouts. He placed full responsibility on the government-owned power distributors. Morrison said that the country has the installed capacity to supply power needs of the population and that the power distributors are only purchasing part of the power that is available. To prove that there is enough capacity, he said whenever the government has decided to supply 24 hours of power this has been possible and that is because there is sufficient supply. For example, Morrison said this happened on election day, 15 May 2016, and on 24, 25 and 31 December.
He said the Power Coordinator (Organismo Coordinador del Sistema Electrico Nacional Interconectado de la Republica Dominicana) posts the availability of energy generation online at
Morrison said an analysis of the data from the electrical grid confirms ADIE’s premise that blackouts are the result of power distribution management decisions given that there are typically deficits of 33% in the collection of bills from customers and thus it is decided to create black-outs for select electricity circuits throughout the country.
Moreover, he criticized that the CDEEE has not called a tender to replace the Madrid Accord contracts.

Operation of free zone industries depends on tax exemptions
Spokesmen for the Dominican Association of Export Free Zones (Adozona) alerted that the free zone sector could decline significantly if tax breaks are removed. In an interview with Diario Libre, Adozona president Jose Tomas Contreras and vice president Jose Torres expressed their concern that the tax breaks be eliminated in the amendments the government has plans to make to the tax laws as it seeks more revenues.
Torres mentioned the cases of the collapse of manufacturing in Puerto Rico when the tax breaks were eliminated there. He said that for every RD$1 in tax exemption, the companies create synergies that generate tax revenues for five times that amount.

New Police bill bans these from holding other jobs
To compensate for their low wages, large numbers of police officers hold second and third jobs. The passing of the new Police Law 590-16, nevertheless, prohibits these from holding other paid jobs in government or the private sector, with the exception of teaching jobs during hours different from there duty hours. Penalties of wage suspension of up to 90 days and firing are established, as reported in Diario Libre.

640,000 seniors enrolled in SeNaSa health plan
The state health insurance provider (SeNaSa) says that as of June 2016, it has enrolled more than 640,000 Dominicans 60 years old or older to its health service plan. The seniors fall under the subsidized social security health plan option, said Chanel Rosa Chupany, SeNaSa director, as reported in 7 Dias. The government subsidized health care insurance provider has 3,339,137 affiliates. This includes 31,000 handicapped persons, 112,000 children under five years of age, 18,000 house workers, among others.
The plan gives the beneficiaries access to government hospitals of the Ministry of Public Health, including those managed by mixed boards.

JCE mission explores helping Haiti with October election
A Dominican mission from the Central Electoral Board (JCE) visited Haiti recently and recommended the JCE collaborate with Haitian electoral authorities so that Haiti can put in place a pilot plan to capture fingerprints during the planned October 2016 election, as reported in Diario Libre.
The recommendation is included in a report on the mission to Haiti submitted to the president of the JCE, Roberto Rosario.
The mission was head by Hilario Espineira, general secretary of the JCE.
The test would be carried out at one or two voting centers with 30-50 voting stations for no more than 400 voters.The report says that after receiving a request from the authorities of the Provisional Electoral Council in Haiti that visited as observers during the 15 May 2016 general election in the Dominican Republic they carried out a demonstration for the Haitian electoral authorities of the systems used for registering the election participants and the automating of the poll used in the past Dominican election.
As reported, the registration of the voters would be taking into account the three different identification documents used in Haiti. The JCE said that first the compatibility of the present registrations would have to be determined prior to making a proposal for assistance.
The JCE mission traveled to Haiti on 20-22 July 2016 and held meetings with the National Identity Office and the Ministry of Justice of Haiti. One of the major problems affecting Haiti is the lack of identification of its citizens. Present at the conversations was a representative of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, represented in Haiti by Lourdes Gonzalez Prieto.
Participating in the mission to Haiti was secretary general Hilario Espineira, civil registry director Luis Mariano Matos, deputy director for IT Luis Leger and deputy director of Elections Mario Nunez.

Dominican high school degree now available online
The Dominican Consulate in New York City signed an agreement with APEC University’s affiliate CENAPEC to offer online courses so that persons missing specific academic subjects needed to complete their Dominican high school requirements in the Dominican Republic could now do so remotely. Cenapec offers distance-learning programs.
The new online platform seeks to reach 300,000 Dominicans that did not graduate from high school prior to migrating to the United States and would like to complete their Dominican studies. The new programs make it possible for the degree to be earned without having to travel and spend time in a Dominican school.
The executive director of Cenapec, Alberto Sosa Alcantara, highlighted that this is an opportunity to better serve the expat community.
The agreement goes into effect for the school 2016-2017 school that begins in August 2016.

Mercedes to Hostos street stretch closed next week
The Ministry of Tourism announced the temporary closure of Calle Mercedes between Arzobispo Merino and Hostos streets in the Colonial City to work on an electricity distribution project. The government is in the process of laying underground electricity cable.
Traffic will be redirected from Tuesday, 2 August to Friday, 5 August.
The project is part of the government work program to renovate the Colonial City (PFTCC) with funding from the Inter-American Development Bank.

Lope de Vega avenue section to be one-way
The Metropolitan Transport Authority (AMET) announced that as of Sunday, 31 July 2016, the section of Av. Lope de Vega from Av. Abraham Lincoln (Parque La Lira) to Calle Porfirio Herrera will only be open to south-north traffic. This weeklong test is to see if the one-way traffic will positively contribute to reducing congestion in this area of the Poligono Central, the booming commercial and residential area of the city of Santo Domingo. If the test is positive, other city area sections will be changed to one-way direction.
Alternatives for north south traffic are taking Av. Abraham Lincoln and turning at Calle Porfirio Herrera, or Calle Dr. Rafael Augusto Sanchez, Calle San Martin de Porres and Av. Roberto Pastoriza.

Downtown Center opens in Santo Domingo
The city’s newest mall, the Downtown Center - with its focus on entertainment businesses, opened on Thursday, 28 July 2016 in Bella Vista residential and commercial district. One of the first businesses to open in the mall is the Caribbean Cinemas movie theater complex, of the same holding company that built the mall, that began showing films on Saturday, 30 July 2016. The facility is described as the largest and most modern cinema center in the Caribbean.
The main attraction of the new mall is its movie center that boasts 16 movie venues, fitted with reclining leather seats, 100% digital projectors with Dolby 7.1 surround-sound. There is one movie theater with 4DX technology that allows a motion picture presentation to be augmented with environmental effects such as seat motion, wind, rain, fog, lights, and scents along with the standard video and audio. Another two halls have been named CXC (Caribbean Cinemas Extreme) and have been equipped with Dolby Atmos speakers that direct sound upward, where it reflects off the ceiling for enhanced sound experience, numbered seats and the largest projection screens in the country (equivalent to the height of a 7 story building).
Hosts for the grand opening were company president Robert Carrady, vice president Lorraine Carrady, Gregory Quinn, managing partner and Zumaya Cordero, operations manager.
Culture Minister, Jose Antonio Rodriguez, Films Agency Yvette Marichal and mayor elect of the National District, 0David Collado, also attended.

Drug raid at Los Jardines del Sur house
The Anti-Narcotics Department of the Police seized 325 packages of white powder suspected to be cocaine or heroine during a raid on a residence in Los Jardines del Sur in the National District on Friday, 29 July 2016, as reported in El Dia. The Police said an unnamed man was arrested. The 300 packages of suspected drugs were found in closets at the house. Another 25 packages were found in a Toyota Lexus SUV parked at the house.

Tragedy on Nagua-Sanchez roadway
News reports say that at least six persons died and 22 were injured while on board an Ismael Tours bus travelling on the Nagua-Sanchez roadway. The report is from the Ministry of Public Works spokesman Jacobo Mateo Moquete. The Ministry is responsible for highway patrols.
The deceased were identified as Pedro Rodriguez, who had organized the tour from Higuey to Nagua, his wife Wendy Martinez, and their children 18-year old Manuel and 4-year old Marina, and two others not yet identified persons. Of the Rodriguez family, only Nallely Rodriguez survived. The Higuey residents were on their way back to Higuey after spending time with family and friends on the beach in Nagua.
Also, reported deceased is Juan Chen, who was the driver of the Ismael Tour bus.
Preliminary reports say that the accident occurred when the bus burst in fire after coming in contact with a collapsed high tension cable. The accident occurred at Km 16 of the Nagua-Sanchez highway, at the point of the Los Colorado community in Maria Trinidad Sanchez province. EdeNorte power distributor is investigating the causes of the accident.

Rainstorms on Monday
Many areas of the country experienced heavy rain and thunderstorms on Sunday, 31 July 2016, and more rain is forecast for Monday, 1 August 2016, as a result of two tropical storm systems making their way east through the Caribbean. A tropical wave is moving across from Puerto Rico bringing isolated showers and possible thunderstorms all over the island through Tuesday, 2 August.
The tropical wave, nevertheless, is regarded as relief from the dry air and dust that spiked up temperatures on the island.
The National Weather Agency (Onamet) is closely monitoring the tropical wave as it moves east, as it has a 40% chance of becoming a named storm as it moves east.
Onamet forecasts heavy rainstorms for Greater Santo Domingo, as well as the provinces of San Cristobal, La Altagracia (Punta Cana), Hato Mayor, El Seibo, La Romana, San Pedro de Macoris, Monte Plata and Duarte (San Francisco de Macoris). Alerts are given for residents in all southern provinces from La Altagracia to Pedernales.
Reports are that the storm caused major delays at Las Americas International Airport in the afternoon of Sunday, 31 July 2016 after lighting temporarily caused a shut down of the airport. Eight flights were affected when the runway was closed. The flights were detoured to alternate airports. These were JetBlue 1437 and 409, American Airlines 1481, Aserca 422, Air Caraibe 556, Avanca 250, Amerijet 873 and Laser 2966.
Read more about tropical storms in the Dominican Republic

Dominican gets bronze in World Bowling Championship
Dominican Republic’s Hector Simo became the first Dominican ever to win a medal in the World Bowling Youth Championship.
The World Bowling Youth Championship is bowling’s most prestigious event for young athletes. The best youth bowlers in the world age 21 and under compete in the tournament.
Simo had won the bronze medal in singles on Wednesday, 27 July. He then doubled with fellow team member Wascar Cavallo and they made the semifinals for doubles boys at the 14th World Bowling Youth Championship that is taking place in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA from 24 July to 3 August 2016.
At the tournament, the Dominican Republic was represented by Wascar Cavallo, Gregory Morin, Rafael Rojo and Hector Simo.
Competing in the weeklong event are more than 200 competitors from 37 countries, and bowlers are competing for medals in five events - singles, doubles, team, all-events and Masters.
For complete information on the World Youth Championships, visit

Ozuna at Hard Rock Café
Hard Rock Café at Blue Mall presents Puerto Rican reggaeton singer Jan Carlos Ozuna on 8 August from 9pm. He is known for his best hits “Te vas”, “Dile que tu me quieres,” among others. Ozuna’s parents are Dominican. The concert is promoted as a party in white.

Read more about upcoming events at

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