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Thread: DR1 Daily News - Wednesday, 8 November 2017

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    Default DR1 Daily News - Wednesday, 8 November 2017

    Thousands get help from Public Works teams
    DGM returned 10,000 foreigners last month
    One-way government communication
    Indotel shuts down four radio stations in Cibao
    Finjus says this is not the time to talk about re-election
    The high cost of the Punta Catalina power plant
    Fare increases in Puerto Plata
    Business calls for fixing roads in Haina
    Santiago merchants call for completion of city market
    Avian flu cost one area RD $20 million
    Flamboyant helicopter landing in Cibao ball park
    Dominican Winter League Professional Baseball
    Fernando Villalona at Bellas Artes

    Thousands get help from Public Works teams
    The Ministry of Public Works reported that road patrols assisted slightly over 5,000 persons over the Constitution Day long weekend from Friday, 3 November through Monday, 6 November 2017. The Ministry said that 44% of vehicles that were assisted were for mechanical problems, 32% for tire blowouts, and others for various situations that required towing. There were five fatalities on the highways, with four of them being motorcyclists.

    This number is in contrast to the usual figures of long weekends that generally reach double digits. According to General Estanislao Gonell Regalado, the commanding officer of the Military and Police Commission (Comipol), preventive measures contributed to the reduction of accidents.

    According to the general, working with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (AMET) they were able to slow down drivers and keep the highways uncongested. Douglas Borrell, who heads highway maintenance at the Ministry, said that his people continued working throughout the weekend to clear refuse and obstructions from the roadways. His crews worked on straightening out the Jersey road barriers, cleaning their reflective signage and removing improvised garbage dumps.

    DGM returned 10,000 foreigners last month
    The Dominican Republic authorities denied entrance to 5,000 foreigners last month and deported another 6,000 persons from eight countries according to press releases from the Migration Agency (DCM). According to the press release, repatriated foreigners were from Germany, China, Colombia, Cuba, Haiti, Italy, South Africa and Venezuela.

    The report mentioned there was an increase in immigration movements through the international airports during the month of October 2017, when 438,126 persons entered the country and 451,933 left by the same way. As usual, the Punta Cana International Airport served the most passengers, followed by Las Americas (Santo Domingo), Cibao international (Santiago), Puerto Plata, La Romana and EL Catey (Samana) airports.

    With regards to the border with Haiti, the DGM reported that there were 21,946 entries and 16,295 departures, mostly through the Jimani border gate.

    Regarding maritime movement, there were 65,126 entries and 62,357 departures, mostly from the tourist ports of La Romana and Amber Cove at Maimón in Puerto Plata, which are major cruise ship ports of call.

    One-way government communication
    El Dia newspaper editorial on 8 November 2017 comments that the Minister and officers of the Ministry of Industry & Commerce have not been available for interviews with the press after publishing their decision to postpone allowing propane gas to be sold at fuel stations together with diesel and gasoline. The newspaper says this situation is what the Society of Dominican Dailies is referring to in that the high officers in government are not available for questioning by the press. The Medina administration has a major set up to distribute through different media what it wants the general public to know.

    El Dia observes: “That Ministry is only interested in saying what it wants to say, not what others want to know.”

    Indotel shuts down four radio stations in Cibao
    The Dominican Institute of Telecommunications (Indotel) ordered the closure of four radio stations operating illegally in several provinces of the northwest. The operation, headed by the Technical Directorate of Indotel, closed Killa 96.9 FM in Mao, Unik 94.5 FM in Moncion, Banda 87.9 FM in Castañuelas and Brava 94.9 FM in Villa Vasquez.

    In a press release, Indotel says that during the operation transmitters, consoles, computers, amplifiers, microphones, compressors and audio processors were confiscated from the clandestine radio stations.

    Indotel insisted that it will not permit the operation of these illegal radio stations that affect the transmission of those that comply with the regulations, that have the permits and that pay their taxes.

    Finjus says this is not the time to talk about re-election
    The Institutionalism and Justice Foundation (Finjus) spoke out on 7 November 2017 regarding discussions about the amending of the 2015 Constitution to allow for President Danilo Medina to seek a third period in office and regarding instituting permanent re-election. The 2015 Constitution allows a one-time re-election of a president.

    Servio Tulio Castaños of Finjus told reporters that the Dominican Constitution is clear regarding the issue of the possibility or not of presidential reelection based on the current regulations, so that it is not necessary for Dominican society to undergo at this time a discussion regarding this issue. Castaños said: “Even though different sectors have suggested that the issue be discussed in broad terms, we feel that such a discussion might generate unnecessary confusion regarding an aspect that is sufficiently established in the text of the Constitution.”

    With regard to the constitutional text, he said that the Constitution, in article 124, establishes that “The President of the Republic can opt for a second consecutive constitutional term and may never again stand for the same office or that of the vice presidency of the Republic.”

    Castaños went on to say that the constitutional text has been very specific regarding the impossibility of a President of the Republic opting for a third term, referring to the man currently in office, and not a past president.

    Castaños said that the discussion about re-election is untimely. He said it does not contribute to the strengthening of a law-abiding democracy. He said the 2015 Constitution is clear in where it states that the President is elected for a maximum of two four-year terms.

    Meanwhile, judges of the Constitutional Court called for political parties to respect the Constitution to avoid that it be amended every time presidential elections come along. Judges Jottin Cury and Wilson Gómez Ramírez proposed a pact between political parties so that there be clear rules of the game and these not be constantly changed.

    Likewise, the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Ruben Maldonado, openly rejected the changing of the 2015 Constitution again to accommodate a second re-election of President Danilo Medina. Maldonado said that in the Dominican Republic there are not the conditions for an amendment to the constitution to enable Medina to be the PLD presidential candidate in 2020.

    In the Dominican Republic the Constitution has been modified on several occasions to accommodate the re-election aspirations of Dominican Presidents. In recent years, this has occurred with President Hipólito Mejia when he sought to run again in the 2004 election and with President Danilo Medina when he sought to run again in the 2016 election. While the Constitution would have to be changed again for Medina to run, a previous change allows for former President Leonel Fernandez to again be the PLD candidate in 2020.

    The high cost of the Punta Catalina power plant
    A report in El Nacional reveals that the government has contracted or is about to contract teams of US lawyers for its representation in international arbitrage in the case of the Italian contractor Technimont of the Punta Catalina coal-fired power plant. Technimont is demanding an additional payment of US$720 million for over costs in the construction of the power plant, in association with Brazilian Odebrecht and Acero Estrella, a local firm.

    As reported, the company could stop construction after the Medina government has not agreed to the additional costs, sources told El Nacional, as Administrative Minister of the Presidency Jose Ramon Peralta and the vice president of the Public Electricity Corporation (CDEEE) Ruben Jimenez Bichara have stated.

    As reported, the government’s alternative is to pay high sums to lawyers to help resolve the impasse. A source told El Nacional that last week Jimenez Bichara and Hacienda Minister Donald Guerrero Ortiz traveled to Florida, USA for talks with other companies that could finish the construction and installation of the needed turbines, replacing Technimont.

    Sources say that if Technimont wins in arbitration, the power plants would be costing the government around US$3 billion, making these the most expensive of their kind to be built in the world. The original contract signed between Odebrecht-Technimont-Estrella and the CDEEE established a turnkey price of US$2,040,757,399 and delivery of the power plant in 2018. So far, the government has invested US$1.74 billion in the power plants. Of the total, around US$1.5 billion come from loans and bonds placed on international markets.

    El Nacional reports the conflict could delay the completion of the power plants so they may not up and running by 2020 when the second Medina administration comes to an end.

    Fare increases in Puerto Plata
    Puerto Plata transport commuters announced fare increases on the routes within Puerto Plata city and onto Montellano and Sosua. The transporters argue that the government has consistently increased the price of fuel and they need to pass this on to the consumers.

    As of Monday, 30 October 2017, the Asociación de Choferes del Transporte Público de Puerto Plata, Montellano, Sosúa y Viceversa, is now charging RD$60 for the Puerto Plata-Sosua trip by day and RD$65 by night. Also the trip from Puerto Plata to Playa Dorada is now 30 pesos and RD$35 at night. The same fare is charged from Puerto Plata to Gran Parada and Los Ciruelos.

    Fares from Puerto Plata to Montellano are now RD$35 per day and RD$40 at night. Fares to Cangrejos, María la O and El Samán are now RD$40 by day and RD$45 by night. To the fare booth at the Puerto Plata International Airport the fee is RD$50 by day and RD$55 by night.

    Claudia Franchesca de los Santos, the director of the new Transport and Transit Institute (INTRANT) has said the fare raises have not been authorized.

    Business calls for fixing roads in Haina
    Manufacturers located in Haina, San Cristobal, demanded street repairs in the Haina Industrial Park. The spokesmen for the industries say that the roads are in such level of disrepair that they pose risks for drivers, cause losses for the companies and a negative image for new investors.

    In a press release published in Diario Libre, the Association of Industries and Companies of Haina and the South Region, say they have requested the repair to the proper authorities without receiving any satisfactory answer over the past 20 years. The business entity says that there are 13 streets that hardly measure 800 meters and could be repaired in a short time. The press release notes that some 25,000 vehicles move throughout Haina roads every day.

    Santiago merchants call for completion of city market
    In the heart of the Cibao, in Santiago de los Caballeros, the Merchants Association of Peking, in the southern part of the city, demanded on 7 November 2017 that the municipal authorities finish the public market. Felix Antonio Colón, the president of the Association, said that the plaza is 75% completed.

    Local neighborhood groups complained that the area occupied by the market has been taken over by nefarious groups that are active in drugs and prostitution.

    They called for Mayor Abel Martínez to put the market into operation. Over 120 merchants, large and small have been assigned spaces in the new plaza and the delay in finishing the construction is also affecting more than 800 families.

    Avian flu cost one area RD $20 million
    The director of the Dominican Agribusiness Board (JAD), Osmar Benitez reported on 7 November 2017 that his team has determined that eight producers in the community of Guanabano, in Espaillat province, where an outbreak of avian flu was detected, suffered economic losses approaching RD$20 million.

    Benitez noted quite firmly that the outbreak had been controlled by authorities. He added that no new outbreaks of the H5N2 virus have been detected.

    The province of Espaillat is the most important province in the Dominican Republic for the production of poultry and eggs. Statistics indicate that in the dozens of farms in the area supply more than 60% of the eggs consumed in the country while others are exported to Haiti. According to data from the companies related to the sector, the Dominican Republic consumes about 5 million eggs every day.

    Most of the people who live in the area were not alarmed by the outbreak of the avian flu virus, however, some poultry producers reported a loss in their sales because of the public’s fear and lack of information.

    The Ministry of Public Health has published a press release explaining that neither eggs nor poultry affected by this variety of the avian flu will affect humans if the items properly cooked.

    Flamboyant helicopter landing in Cibao ballpark
    The Dominican Civil Aviation Institute (IDAC) suspended the piloting license issued to Ramiro Junior Jaquez Rubio and banned from flying the helicopter N212HK, property of Karim Abu Naba’a. The ruling came after the later carried out an unauthorized landing on the playing field of the Cibao Ball Park on Sunday, 5 November 2017, shortly before the start of the Aguilas vs. Tigres ball game. Abu Naba’a is the son of a major asphalt supplier to the Dominican government.

    As reported, the Airbus EC-130 helicopter belonging to a shell company in Wilmington, Delaware, landed in the outfield of the Estadio Cibao, causing quite a stir when Abu Naba’a and three women and a small dog disembarked in what is now regarded as a display of the nouveau riche.

    The Dominican Institute of Civil Aviation (IDAC) called the incident a serious violation and a reckless act that put at risk hundreds of persons. The IDAC reportedly instructed its Division for Resolution of Security Cases to give priority to the investigation of the event to apply the corresponding penalties.

    The president of the Aguilas Cibaeñas, Winston Llenas (Chilote), issued a press release that says that the board of directors of the professional baseball team in no way had authorized the landing of the helicopter on the playing field minutes before the game on Sunday against the Tigres Del Licey.

    Llenas said that he had received news that an aircraft would be landing inside the Estadio Cibao and he called the general manager of the Tigres Del Licey, Junior Noboa to advise them of the situation. The press release explains that they were advised that a helicopter would land at 4:30pm bringing a group of artists who had come for the Presidente Festival in Santo Domingo and wanted to see a baseball game in Santiago. But reportedly, Karim Abu Naba got off the helicopter only accompanied by four women. The Aguilas board says it never authorized the landing.

    Listín Diario reports that the so-called “Prince Karim” had done a similar act in January 2017 at the Quisqueya Ball Park. The difference then was that the helicopter landed on a nearby field belonging to a children’s baseball league, while this Sunday, the helicopter landed at the playing field of the Cibao Ball Park just 10 minutes before the game.

    Dominican Winter League Professional Baseball
    The Dominican Winter League is enjoying slightly above normal attendance, even when the two teams that are leading in the season, the Estrellas Orientales and the Gigantes Del Cibao are underdogs.

    The tournament standings as of the evening games of 7 November 2017 are: Estrellas Orientales with 13-6, Gigantes del Cibao with 11-8, Aguilas Cibaeñas with 10-9, Toros del Este with 9-10, Leones del Escogido with 8-11, and Tigres del Licey with 6-13.

    Follow the standings at:
    See the next games schedule at:

    Fernando Villalona at Bellas Artes
    Fernando Villalona will be performing on 27 December 2017 at the Palacio Bellas Artes. His legendary merengues have been arranged for symphonic orchestra conducted by Amaury Sánchez. He will be singing his best hits and personal favorites accompanied by 60 musicians on stage. The collection will then be made into a CD that will be available.
    Last edited by Dolores; 11-08-2017 at 10:43 AM.

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