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Thread: DR1 Daily News - Tuesday, 11 July 2017

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    Default DR1 Daily News - Tuesday, 11 July 2017

    President Medina opens new EU head office
    911 emergency service in Santiago does well
    Everyone will need to pay traffic fines
    Honduras Market is all brand new
    World Bank Caribbean director visits
    Most cars are Japanese in the Dominican Republic
    Influx of Haitians is a thriving business
    Minister of Defense says border is under control
    Farmers object gold mine in the southwestern province
    Coconut supply from the Dominican Republic on the decline
    Court decision expected in Mateo Aquino Febrillet murder case
    Head on motorcycle crash kills four and injures two
    Rains and high temperatures forecast
    Father’s Day dinner in the Colonial City

    President Medina opens new EU head office
    Yesterday, Monday 10 July 2017, President Danilo Medina presided over the inauguration of the new main headquarters of the European Union Delegation in the Dominican Republic. The EU ambassador to the Dominican Republic Alberto Navarro welcomed President Medina and spoke of the privileged relationship the European Union has with the Dominican Republic.

    The European Union is the leading donator of cooperation funds to the Dominican Republic with programs in education, environment, security and small business support. The EU has contributed more than RD$1 billion to the Dominican Republic over the past 27 years.

    In the ceremony, Navarro highlighted that the new installations symbolize the excellent relations between the EU and the DR and a promise to strengthen cooperation. He also mentioned the Dominican Republic is the lead exporter of organic bananas to the European Union.

    During the opening of the new headquarters that are located on Av. Leopoldo Navarro with Av. Cesar Nicolas Penson in Gascue, at facilities previously operated by the US Embassy, it was announced that the regional office for the Caribbean of the European Investment Bank is also operating there.

    Attending the ceremony were the ambassadors of France José Gómez, Germany Sabine Bloch, and the Netherlands, Robert de Leew, among others.

    911 emergency service in Santiago does well
    The 911 emergency service that was expanded only last month into the north of the country has already processed 4,671 emergency calls. According to user statistics, there is an 88% satisfaction rating of the new service. 911 now operates in Santiago and extends out to Navarrete, Puerto Plata, Montellano, Imbert, Luperón and Sosúa-Cabarete.

    The service answered 82,257 calls of which 8,271 warranted further attention from the operators and of these, 4,671 were processed as emergencies. There were 3,548 calls for roadside assistance.

    The most frequent calls were traffic incidents (20% of the total), people in danger (13%), physical aggression (10%) and domestic violence (10%).

    National Police responded to 97% of the calls, Public Health 59%, AMET 16% and the fire brigade 7%.

    The 911 system now covers over 50% of the Dominican population, and will shortly be extended to other provinces and municipalities across the country.

    Everyone will need to pay traffic fines
    The new director of the government transport coordinating agency, Intrant, engineer Claudia Franchesca de los Santos alerted the public during an interview with Huchi Lora on Channel 11 TV, that everyone who has an outstanding traffic fine will need to pay it to get their driver’s license renewed. The system is also expected to tie in with other essential documents to ensure that fines are paid promptly.

    De los Santos said the old fines will not expire. As has been reported, the government is working on a new system to make it easier for traffic violators to pay the fines online, using computers or smart phones.

    De los Santos also said the new regulations include the possibility of fines for pedestrians who board vehicles in places other than in pre-established stops. She said everyone will be given a 2-3 month window to become familiar with the new regulations in Traffic Law 63-17.

    Honduras Market is all brand new
    The farmers’ produce market located in the Honduras neighborhood of Santo Domingo is now the most modern in the city. Mayor David Collado was there yesterday to formally reopen the market that dates back to 1965 after a RD$23 million remodeling. There are 70 vendor stalls in the market.

    The city government added a medical dispensary, a city fees office and a civil registration office. Security was enhanced with the installation of 32 video surveillance cameras, 14 new ceiling fans, bathroom facilities, and other improvements for hygiene and comfort of vendors and customers.

    Collado said that the city government will next renovate the Mercado Modelo on Avenida Mella and the Mercado de la Duarte.

    World Bank Caribbean director visits
    Tahseen Sayed, the World Bank country director for Caribbean countries, is visiting the Dominican Republic this week to discuss the World Bank’s support for the country.

    She will be meeting with President Danilo Medina, Vice President Margarita Cedeño and the economic team of the Medina administration, head by Minister of Economy Isidoro Santana and Minister of Hacienda Donald Guerrero. During her visit, she will be accompanied by Alessandro Legrottaglie, World Bank representative in the Dominican Republic. On her agenda is a visit to the “Los Martínez” project in San José de Ocoa.

    Sayed, who is originally from Pakistan, was World Bank representative for Albania and Nepal before being named to her current post. She has worked for more than 20 years as senior specialist in education and advisor on operations. She holds a master’s degree in law and diplomacy with a specialty in development studies from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, USA.

    The two most recent World Bank projects in the Dominican Republic are the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and the Strengthening the Capacity to Produce and Use Quality Education Statistics. Both of these projects were approved in 2017.

    Most cars are Japanese in the Dominican Republic
    According to the Tax Agency (DGII) at the end of 2016, 71.5% vehicles in circulation in the Dominican Republic are imported from Japan. Toyota has 35.8% and Honda 16.5% market share, respectively. The other most popular brands are Nissan, Mitsubishi and Daihatsu. Volkswagen only had 2.5% market share, while Mercedes Benz has 1.6% of the market of vehicles registered in the country.

    American models account for 7.2% of the vehicles in the country, while Korean models make up 8.7% of vehicles. The leading American brands are Chevrolet followed by Ford, Dodge and Chrysler. Bringing up the rear are Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Buick, Mercury, Cadillac, Lincoln, Jeep, Scion and Cherokee.

    The European vehicles, are headed up by VW and Mercedes Benz followed by Peugeot, Skoda, BMW, Fiat, Audi, Porsche, Jaguar, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Austin, Rover, Bentley, Citroen, Ferrari, Lada, Lamborghini, Lancia, Land Rover, Lotus, Mini Cooper, Opel, Rolls Royce, Saab, Seat, Volvo and Yugo.

    Hyundai vehicles have shown the largest increase in market share in recent years, followed by Kia, Daewoo, Pony and Ssang Yong.

    Influx of Haitians is a thriving business
    According to an article in El Dia newspaper, the flow of undocumented Haitians into the Dominican Republic depends to a large part on assistance from Dominicans. The Haitians will walk as well as get lifts from motorcycles or cars to reach their destinations.

    The article states that the Haitians will often travel in groups and pay between RD$2,000 and RD$3,000 each to Dominican motorcyclists to take them closer to their destinations. There are also Dominican “guides” who charge up to RD$100,000 per group and each day they can do more than 12 similar journeys, some on motor cycles and some using buses, meaning the business moves more than a million pesos a day.

    According to José Pérez Peralta, who lives in Sabana Santiago, near Dajabon that is used as a key point for illegals to enter, part of the money is used to pay bribes to the guards at the military checkpoints.

    Normally the trips are made at night, and the guides can be Haitian as well as Dominican – they are called “poteas”.

    According to residents in Dajabon, when they wake up at dawn to the sound of dogs barking and open the windows, there is what they described as a sea of Haitians walking or riding down the street, even though there is a military checkpoint nearby.

    Cesfront (the Specialized Corps of Frontier Security) say that they are sending back 120 Haitians a day, with 46,565 sent back in the first 6 months of this year, but, they point out, most will try again to see if they have better luck and are not caught.

    Minister of Defense says border is under control
    Minister of Defense Lieutenant General Ruben Darío Paulino Sem says that the security and people smuggling at the border with Haiti is under control. In a press conference on Monday, 10 July 2017, he said the Ministry is working in coordination with the Migration Agency (DGM), the Dominican Army and the Specialized Border Security Corps (Cesfront) and has impeded the irregular entry of 140,000 undocumented Haitians in the first half of the year. The Ministry said that Cesfront has 1,000 men stationed on the border.

    Paulino says media reports and several videos of undocumented Haitians entering the country is part of a campaign to discredit the government. He said the videos circulating recently in social media are many years old.

    Paulino pointed out that from August 2016 to July 2017, the Ministry has seized 120,000 pounds of garlic, 15.7 million units of cigarettes, 76,000 bottles of alcoholic beverages, 9,000 charcoal sacks and 1.1 million bouillon cubes.

    The media has carried several editorials and op-ed contributions on the Haitian immigration. An editorial in El Día, titled “The Spine-Chilling Statistics of the Minister of Defense”, focuses on the pressure exercised by would-be Haitian immigrants at the Haitian-Dominican border.

    Matías Bosch writes in El Día that the 2011 budget of the security service at the Santo Domingo Metro (CESM) was RD$109 million, while the government allotted only RD$77 million to the border security force (CESFRONT). By 2015, the CESM budget was still higher than that of CESFRONT, and was only 1.15% of the budget of the Ministry of Defense. Bosch also highlights that farm wages and construction wages are low even by Dominican standards as these jobs are filled by the flow of undocumented workers. “All seems to indicate that what yields the most for our politicians is to work very little to change the institutional, social and labor situation of the country to impede a migratory crisis,” writes the author.

    An editorial in Diario Libre highlights that long time ago, Dominicans changed working in farms and construction jobs for motorcycle taxis and informal services. “What is unpardonable is that we have fallen into the trap of not applying the law to immigrants, of not obliging these to observe orderly conduct and follow basic rules of citizen behavior, that is we have not enforced civilization values and the universal value of respect for what is our own,” writes the editorialist.

    “We are clear. It is not the fault of the Haitians that our soldiers at the border are corrupt; that Dominican employers prefer Haitian labor for reasons that be and that our law and order agents do not dare impose the law to beggars and troublemakers on the streets,” reads the editorial. “Amidst these attitudes, it is not strange that there be an increase in crime on behalf of Haitians to ourselves,” the editorialist continues. The writer concludes: “Also, we knew that Donald Trump was going to close doors, so was it so difficult to think where these people were going to head? Let us note our own blames before accusing others.”

    Farmers object gold mine in the southwestern province
    A delegation representing 1,000 farmers in province of San Juan de la Maguana visited the Presidency to deliver a request to President Danilo Medina to not authorize gold exploitation in the province. The argument is that the exploitation would contaminate the waters that are essential for farming in the southwestern province.

    The farmers are united under the organization Suroeste Unido por el Agua y la Vida and delivered the request to Deputy Minsiter of the Presidency Alejandra Liriano. They alert to the contamination dangers of the operation of the mine to the Sabaneta dam and the San Juan River.

    Goldquest seeks to exploit the Romero Project that includes the Romero and Romero South deposits, located within the La Escandalosa exploration concession of Tireo Property, an area of 3,997.0 hectares. The Tireo Property (also sometimes known as the San Juan concessions) is located in the Central Cordillera of the Dominican Republic near the San Juan provincial capital of San Juan de La Maguana.

    Coconut supply from the Dominican Republic on the decline
    According to Emil Serafino of New Jersey-based Exp. Group LLC in the United States, coconuts are currently expensive and there is a shortage of them for export to the United States.

    He points to the explosion of the Dominican’s hospitality industry that has upped the demand for coconuts that previously would be exported. Moreover, he said that most coconuts are grown organically and wild on the island, with a lack of actual coconut farms, and this has led to the export shortage.

    The shortage has also led to higher prices from the exporters that have reduced demand in the US.

    Court decision expected in Mateo Aquino Febrillet murder case
    The first Collegiate Court of the National District upon completing the hearings of witnesses on Monday, 10 July 2017 and the National District prosecutors requested the maximum 30 years jail sentence for the president of the Dominican Truckers Association (Fenatrado), Blas Peralta. The prosecutors also requested five years in jail for former Police colonel Rafael Herrera Peña (two in jail and three suspended sentence) in addition to 200 hours of community work in Najayo jail once the jail time is completed.

    The Aquino Febrillet family lawyers requested RD$100 million in compensation for each of the children and RD$200 million for the widow.

    The Blas Peralta defense bar has argued the killing was an involuntary homicide.

    Head on motorcycle crash kills four and injures two
    Four workers were killed and two seriously injured when two motorcycles crashed near the asphalt plant on the way out of Higuey on the stretch Jagua Mocha-Higüey,
    towards La Romana on the Coral Highway. The victims were identified as 33-year old Mileyi Noel, 31-year old Daniel Castillo, 28-year old Paul Pie and 18-year old Pepe Toussaint.

    The accident happened on Monday, 10 July 2017 at 6 am, when the motorcycles collided into each other and then burst into flames.

    The victims were Haitian laborers on their way to work. As reported, they collided because of the low visibility on the road at the time.

    Members of Road Safety from the Ministry of Public Works responded to the accident and rushed the injured to the hospital in Higuey.

    Rains and high temperatures forecast
    The National Meteorological Office (Onamet) is forecasting rains due to a tropical wave and a high level system of weather fronts. This will also cause the high temperatures to continue.

    The thunderstorms are more likely to happen in the afternoons especially in the border area, the northeast, the east and the southeast.

    The tropical wave will leave the country today, but due to the weather fronts the thunderstorms will continue mainly in the provinces of: Hato Mayor, Monte Plata, San José de Ocoa, Sánchez Ramírez, Samaná, María Trinidad Sánchez, Espaillat (Moca), Duarte (San Francisco de Macorís), La Vega, Monseñor Nouel (Bonao), San Juan de la Maguana, Elías Piña, Dajabón and Santiago Rodríguez.

    Onamet have also warned that they are monitoring an active tropical wave in the Atlantic that could develop into a tropical storm over the next few days.

    Father’s Day dinner in the Colonial City
    The Billini Hotel is inviting the public to a plated three course dinner to be prepared on the evenings of Friday, 28 July, Saturday, 29 July and, Sunday, 30 July 2017 to celebrate Father’s Day in the Dominican Republic. Father’s Day in the Dominican Republic falls on the last Sunday in July, this year is 30 July.

    The dinner cost is RD$2,490 plus government taxes and includes a bottle of red or white wine and a surprise gift. Reservations to 1-809 338-4040 or [email protected]
    Last edited by Dolores; 07-11-2017 at 10:36 AM.


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