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Thread: DR1 Daily News - Wednesday, 1 November 2017

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    Default DR1 Daily News - Wednesday, 1 November 2017

    European Union donates RD$481M for tourism business in Pedernales
    Transporters raise fares, ignore Intrant
    National District cemeteries in good shape
    The DR has all the Odebrecht documents it needs
    Judge with weighty calendar complains of her courtroom
    Not really news: Doctors go on strike tomorrow
    Who will be the next presidential candidates?
    Ruben Lulo Gitte, mayor, athlete and revolutionary
    Don't eat parrotfish
    Classic music concerts and events in Colonial City
    Expo China 2017 from 9-12 November
    Estrellas continue to lead the Dominican Baseball Championship

    European Union donates RD$481M for tourism business in Pedernales
    The Medina administration has included in the National Budget an allotment for RD$569.3 million to assist small hotels and businesses in the southwestern province of Pedernales in 2018.

    The Pedernales area is slated for development by the government once legal matters regarding irregularities in property titles to beach lands come to a conclusion.

    As reported in Hoy, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Small Business is in charge of a project to improve the environmental and economic sustainability of small hotels in Pedernales. Of the funds, RD$481 million is a donation from the European Union.

    The project is part of the Program for the Promotion and Backing of Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs). The allotment is registered in the budget under the project name of: Transferencia de capacidades para la implementacion de procesos de produccion mas limpia en pequenos hoteles en Pedernales.

    The project includes several components, with the largest allotment of RD$248.9 million assigned to consultants that will provide technical assistance for the research, development and transfer of technology for the development of the value chain.

    Other resources will be invested in assistance and training of artisans, improvement of quality of products, technological updates, and advertising.

    Transporters raise fares, ignore Intrant
    The new director of the Transit and Transport Institute, engineer Claudia Franchesca de los Santos has said that recent increases in fares ordered by public transporters in Santiago violate agreements reached with the transporters. The new Intrant has been working closely with the transporters.

    The RD$5 raises by the urban transporters in Santiago were followed by others of RD$20, RD$30 and RD$50 by transporters on longer routes in the southern region.

    Que Se Dice columnist of Hoy, Claudio Acosta observes the announcements dispute the would-be authority of the new director. The transporters allege that if they wait for Intrant to order increases, they will die of hunger.

    More rises could be forthcoming. Conatra transport association spokesman, Antonio Marte has announced more fare increases. He argues that the Intrant can't impose fares when the government is constantly increasing the price of fuel. He says another solution that would enable the transporters to keep the old prices is for the government to assist the transporters with attractive vehicle purchase plans so these can renovate their fleets.

    "Claudia Franchesca de los Santos has the last word after her authority has been challenged by these unilateral increases and is discovering for herself, as the helpless public transport users have already in the past, why the chauffeurs and transporters are called 'the owners of the country,’" concludes Acosta in his Que Se Dice column.

    National District cemeteries in good shape
    Anyone who has visited a National District cemetery in the past two months has been able to see in person the good job new mayor of Santo Domingo David Collado has done to revamp the public burial grounds. These are the Máximo Gómez, Cristo Redentor and Barrio Obrero (Cristo Rey) cemeteries. A third, located on Av. Independencia, is closed for burials.

    A report in Hoy newspaper on 31 October 2017, focuses on how these cemeteries contrast with the Cristo Salvador Cemetery, located near San Isidro, in Santo Domingo Este (SDE), under a different mayor. That cemetery apparently continues to suffer from crime, lack of pruning and garbage proliferation as the National District cemeteries under the previous Mayor Roberto Salcedo.

    The report is published as people prepare to visit the cemetery on occasion of All Saints Day (Dia de los Muertos) that is celebrated on Wednesday, 1 November 2017. In the Dominican Republic many families maintain the tradition of visiting their relatives that are buried at the cemeteries.

    The DR has all the Odebrecht documents it needs
    Apparently since May 2017 all the documents regarding the US$92 million bribes Odebrecht case that were requested from Brazil are in the Dominican Republic in the hands of the proper authorities. This is the explanation given for the Dominican Republic not having participated in this week’s meeting of prosecutors and District Attorney’s from 10 countries in Europe and Latin America that was held in Panama.

    The meeting concerned money laundering and was reportedly used by some countries that have not signed judicial cooperation agreements with Brazil to ask the Chief Justice of that country for the documents available regarding the Odebrecht case in their respective nations.

    As reported during the event, both Switzerland and the United States requested evidence from Brazil on the case.

    In the Dominican Republic Odebrecht corruption case, 14 persons have been indicted, but no one is in jail.

    Prosecutor General Jean Alain Rodríguez is promising important advances on the case for January 2018.

    Judge with weighty calendar complains of her courtroom
    The presiding judge at the First Court of Instruction of the National District, who is in charge of processing fraud cases involving the banks Peravia and Providencial and that of finances company Inversa, complained of the poor physical condition of her courtroom. Magistrate Keila Sinihi Perez Santana said that this year she has had to work under very tenuous circumstances.

    With over 20 years of service in the judicial system, the judge said that her working conditions had never been so bad. She says it has been months since she has used her office because of its poor condition. She said the judges need offices that permit them to concentrate on the work at hand, not an office without curtains, without space and without air-conditioning.

    She told reporters from the El Nacional on 31 October 2017 that instead her office is being used as a stockroom for the big cases they are working on.

    Perez Santana said she was doing everything possible in order not to stop the processes and proceedings of these cases. She added that since 2013 her courtroom has been steadily deteriorating and that this year’s gotten even worse.

    After the newspaper published an article about the deplorable conditions at the Palace of Justice in Ciudad Nuevo, the director of the Administrative Career at the Council of Judicial Power, Justiniano Montero carried out an inspection and concluded that with computers chairs and air-conditioning the court offices would be functional. But after the air-conditioning units were installed they cannot be turned on because the electricity wiring in the building cannot carry the load.

    Not really news: Doctors go on strike tomorrow
    Once again the Dominican Medical Association (CMD) has convened another two-day labor stoppage in the nation’s public hospitals, according to statements issued by Dr. Waldo Ariel Suero, the CMD president. If this work stoppage occurs, it will be the fifth strike called by the public hospital doctors so far this year.

    Suero told reporters from the Diario Libre,: “We are calling in the firmest possible way for a national 48-hour strike beginning on Thursday, 2 November 2017 at all the nation’s hospitals including the IDSS as well as the units belonging to the National Health Service.”

    The doctors allege that they have no other alternative except such protests given the refusal to talk on the part of government officials on the one hand and the failure to comply with agreements reached by the CMD with the government on the other. During the strike days, emergencies are attended to as well as those patients in serious medical condition. Authorities are saying that they will take up the negotiations once again after the CMD elections next Wednesday, 8 November 2017.

    The CMD has objected two candidacies for the CMD presidency on grounds that the pre-candidates – Clemente Terrero and Amarilis Herrera -- are government officers. Terrero had resigned his position as second in charge at the Roberto Reid Cabral Hospital, but does not meet the one year requirement. Herrera is director of the National Lottery Primary Care Center.

    Who will be the next presidential candidates?
    The Gallup poll published on 31 October 2017 in Hoy newspaper captures a snapshot of politicians that eligible voters have in mind for the 2020 presidential elections. Some 1,200 eligible persons were polled nationwide by Gallup from 14-20 October 2017. The margin of error of the poll is +/- 2.8%.

    There are some surprising results to the question of who the polled person thinks should be the presidential candidate of each party in the May 2020 elections.

    There is much uncertainty about the presidential candidate for the PLD. President Danilo Medina of the ruling PLD party, was mentioned by 21.7% of those polled. The 2015 Constitution impedes him from running again for office. There was the same situation prior to his running for office in 2016. President Danilo Medina then pushed forward a change in the 2010 Constitution that enabled him to run for President in 2016. He won with a 62% of the vote. The ruling PLD party is absolute majority in Congress and thus mathematically has the sufficient votes in Congress for a second change of the Constitution.

    Former President Leonel Fernandez, who heads a dissident faction within the PLD party, scored 17%. He is eligible to run for President according to the 2015 Constitution.
    Vice President Margarita Cedeño (wife of President Leonel Fernández) scored 5.8% on the Gallup poll.

    Others that have been mentioned as pre-candidates have scored much less, including Tourism Minister Francisco Javier García (2%), president of the Senate Reynaldo Pared Pérez (1.6%), Santiago Mayor Abel Martínez (0.8%), Public Works Minister Gonzalo Castillo (0.4%).

    The president of the Foundation for Institutionalism and Justice, Servio Tulio Castaños has remarked that if President Danilo Medina were to run again for the PLD, the political party would divide. When PLD partisans were asked the same question about who should be the party’s presidential candidate in 2020, these were divided: Danilo Medina 35.1%, Leonel Fernandez (24.9%), Margarita Cedeño (6%).

    Meanwhile, the differences are more marked in the leading opposition party, the PRM. Former presidential candidate Luis Abinader received 28.8%, compared to his contender former President Hipólito Mejía with 13.4%, and Santo Domingo Mayor David Collado with 3.8%. PRM partisans clearly favor Abinader, with 48.3% to 6.9% for Mejía. Abinader received 35% of the vote in the 2016 presidential election.

    Ruben Lulo Gitte, mayor, athlete and revolutionary
    Late on Monday, 30 October 2017, too late to make most newspapers, Ruben Lulo Gitte, the former mayor of Moca and lifelong member of the PRD as well as captain of the national volleyball team passed away. He was 83.

    Lulo Gitte is described as a true son of the Lebanese-Palestinian immigration in the late 19th century, the third child of Emilio Lulo and Gajime Gitte. He graduated from law school at the University of Santo Domingo in 1956. He is survived by three children: Orquidia, Ruben and Thelvia Fajime.

    In the early 1960s Lulo Gitte carried arms to the uprising against Dictator Trujillo led by Manolo Tavarez in the Central Mountains.

    He was the mayor of Moca between 1978 and 1982 and once again from 1994 until 2006 always as a member of the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD).

    As an outstanding athlete, Lulo Gitte was the captain of the national volleyball team and played in several international tournaments. He was also on the organizing committee for the 1986 Central American and Caribbean Games in Santiago.

    Don't eat parrotfish
    Those shopping in supermarkets and even at restaurants serving fish should take care to ensure they are not buying or ordering parrotfish. The Ministry of Environment this year imposed a ban on capturing of the fish. Parrotfish are essential for reef and beach conservation.

    Environmentalist Jake Kheel, vice president of the Puntacana Group Foundation, writes in a feature in Diario Libre of the importance of national support for the parrotfish ban and the need to spread awareness among the population. Kheel likewise calls for the support of all to find alternate work for the fishermen that make a living selling parrotfish and for support from the general population. He observes that recent social media support to Ministry of Environment efforts to stop the sale of parrotfish in Puerto Plata is evidence the population is catching on to the important environmental conservation issue.

    Classic music concerts and events in Colonial City
    Conciertos de la Villa de Santo Domingo is happening now in the Colonial City. Numerous concerts and educational programs are staged at various historical sites within the Colonial City.

    Internationally recognized artists are scheduled to perform while taking time to partner with national musical institutions, to teach local talents and engage in social responsibility programs.
    Festival concerts and events take place 4 – 10 November 2017. There is a wide variety of events, from musical petting zoo, to the drums of Santa Barbara, master classes, recital, education concerts, music and chocolate event, art gallery night, orchestra concert with violinist Kurt Nikannen and closing event at the Plaza Maria de Toledo with the Chamber Choir of the Ministry of Culture.

    See details on dates, venues and costs at:

    Expo China 2017 at the Dominican Fiesta
    The commercial office of the People's Republic of China presents the 7th Expo China 2017 tradeshow from 9-12 November 2017. The event will take place at the Dominican Fiesta Hotel with the participation of around 30 Chinese companies. The commercial representative of China in the Dominican Republic, Fu Xinrong explained that China is the second trading partner for the Dominican Republic. The event has the backing of the Ministry of Economy and Planning, the National Business Council and the China Chamber of Commerce in the Dominican Republic.

    Expo China 2017 will take place across the entire 2,000 square meters exhibition halls at the hotel. This is an opportunity for business people to meet their partner for investment, export, trade, both for small, medium and large enterprises. The companies are from Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, Shandong, Fujian and Guangdong in China. They are bringing exhibits and catalogs for mobile phones, vehicles, construction and farm equipment, electric and electronic appliances, communication equipment, hardware store items, arts and crafts, and daily use goods.

    On 9 November 2017 at 2pm a China-Dominican Republic Economy, Trade and Investment Forum will be held. The exposition has been held in the country since 1999.

    Estrellas continue to lead the Dominican Baseball Championship
    The Estrellas Orientales and the Gigantes del Cibao continue to lead the 2017-2018 Professional Winter Baseball Championship. Both teams, as of Tuesday, 31 October 2017, had nine wins and four losses.

    But this situation could change any day. The Leones del Escogido is a close one game away, with 8 wins and 5 losses, followed by the Aguilas Cibaeñas with 6 wins and 7 losses. The Tigres del Licey and the Toros del Este will have to try harder. The Tigres are 4-9 on the standing, and the Toros are 3-10, five and six games away from the Estrellas and Gigantes.
    Last edited by Dolores; 11-01-2017 at 09:22 AM.

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