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Thread: DR1 Daily News - Thursday, 21 December 2017

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    Default DR1 Daily News - Thursday, 21 December 2017

    DR1 Daily News breaks for the Christmas holidays
    Holiday season safety operation begins
    La Vega and Moca added to 911 emergency services
    Santiago-La Vega bridge reopened to road traffic
    Central Bank says expat remittances are up
    November inflation at 3.20%
    Signing of Electricity Pact postponed after rejection by AEIH
    Peru and DR sign telecom technical assistance agreement
    Cereal production this year estimated to be above average
    Asonahores protests okay to high rises in Playa Macao
    Lajun threatens to sue government
    Teenage pregnancies affecting the development of the country
    El Gallero stabbed in jail
    Appeal in Yuniol Ramirez case postponed
    Tigres del Licey likely to make the round robin
    Christmas concerts nationwide

    DR1 Daily News breaks for the Christmas holidays
    DR1 Daily News will be taking off as of today, Thursday, 21 December 2017 and through the Christmas holidays. Go and enjoy, we will do our best to package the news so you can catch up after the Christmas break! Headline news will be compiled for the Tuesday, 26 December 2017 issue. A Merry Christmas to all!

    Holiday season safety operation begins
    The director of the Emergency Operations Center (COE), General Juan Manuel Méndez García, has called on the population to enjoy the holiday season with responsibility and to pay attention to the recommendations of the civil defense organizations.

    Announcing the launch of the “Joyful Christmas for the Principles and your Safety”2017-2018, Méndez García said that in the first stage of the operation, 37,714 people would be working including brigade members, doctors, paramedics, military and police, to ensure the safety of commuters.
    There will be 1,631 posts, 132 ambulances, three helicopters, 90 urgent response units, 30 tow trucks, 30 mobile workshops, 9 regional command centers and 30 buses on service.

    The COE is working in coordination with the ministries of the Presidency, Administrative of the Presidency, Defense, Interior and Police, Public Works and Public Health.

    Also assisting is the National Institute of Terrestrial Transit and (Intrant), the General Communication Office of the Presidency (DICOM), Presidency Social Plan, National System of Emergency Assistance and Security 911, Economic Canteens, Civil Defense and others.

    The second phase of the operation will begin on Saturday 30 December at 2 pm and finish on Monday 1 January 2018 at 6 pm.
    Intrant has prohibited the circulation of heavy trucks from noon on Saturday, 23 December until midnight on Monday, 25 December.

    La Vega and Moca added to 911 emergency services
    Administrative Minister of the Presidency Jose Ramon Peralta and Minister of the Presidency Gustavo Montalvo together announced on 20 December 2017, in an event at the Luis Manuel Morillo King public hospital in La Vega, the start of the offering of 911 emergency services to La Vega and Moca (Espaillat province).

    In addition, the service has been extended to new communities in Santiago -- Licey al Medio, Tamboril, Puñal and Villa González. In Puerto Plata, the community of Altamira has been added to the program.

    Next to receive the services are Bonao, San Pedro de Macoris, La Romana, Villa Altagracia. Gustavo Montalvo said that already 58% of the Dominican urban areas are covered.

    Santiago-La Vega bridge reopened to road traffic
    The Ministry of Public Works reports the reopening to traffic of Burende Bridge at Km. 10 of Duarte Highway on the Santiago-La Vega stretch. There are still some works to be completed, but the bridge has been deemed safe and has been reopened to accommodate traffic during the peak holiday traffic.

    The Ministry reported the new 66 meters long and 10.50 meters wide reinforced concrete structure with metallic beams was completed in a record 68 days after it was damaged by the rushing waters brought by Hurricane Maria in September 2017.

    The Ministry of Public Works reports that the formal inauguration of the bridge would be in February 2018. He said that the new sturdy structure was built to resist the rushing waters of the Río Verde.

    Central Bank says expat remittances are up
    The Central Bank reports that during the first 10 months of 2017, remittances from family and relatives increased US$1.4 billion compared to the same period in 2016. From January to October 2017, expat Dominicans sent home US$4.89 billion, while last year the sum was US4.49 billion. Most of the remittances are sent from the United States, and Spain, with 73.57% and 13.67%.

    The Central Bank says that residents in the provinces of Santo Domingo, Santiago and Duarte province and the National District received 56.59% of all the remittances sent this year. More than two million Dominican expats live abroad, with most living in the United States, Spain and Chile.

    November inflation at 3.20%
    The Central Bank reported that the Consumer Price Index for November was up 0.76% compared to October 2017. This means that inflation so far this year is at 3.20%.

    Signing of Electricity Pact postponed after rejection by AEIH
    Iraima Capriles, executive director of the Economic and Social Council, the body in charge of the discussions for the signing of the Education, Electricity and Fiscal Pacts in the Dominican Republic, announced the postponement of the signing of the Electricity Pact. The decision is reached after the president of the Association of Industries of Herrera and the Province of Santo Domingo (AEIH) held a press conference on Wednesday, 20 December 2017, to announce that organization would not be signing the document and explained the reasons why.

    Antonio Taveras Guzmán, president of the Association of Industries of Herrera and the Province of Santo Domingo (AEIH), announced in the press conference that it would not sign the Electricity Pact announced by the Council and the Medina administration. The pact signing was announced after three years of meetings among electricity sector stakeholders. Taveras stressed that the Electricity Pact as conceived by the government lacks the mechanisms that guarantee genuine competition in the electricity generation market, as well as truly transparent bidding processes.

    Taveras Guzman said that what is being signed in no way will resolve the national electricity problems. He said that in institutional and market terms there are important voids not being addressed in the Electricity Pact. Thus, AEIH could not commit to sign the agreement at this time.

    Taveras Guzman said AEIH participating actively in all the phases of the process, but the so-called consensus reached does not resolve the electricity problem because the fundamental points were not resolved.

    He said the General Electricity Law No. 125-01 establishes that 80% of the energy purchased should be done so by contracts and 20% on the spot market. On the spot market transactions are in cash and delivery is immediate. Taveras said that if this provision of the law were met it would lower the generator purchase costs. Taveras pointed out that currently the generators are instead acting as banks, charging high interests for arrears and delays in payment by the government. This practice raises generation costs and the final rates to consumers and distorting prices. In conclusion, Guzman reiterated that the Electricity Pact does little to find a long-term solution to the nation’s energy problems.

    Taveras said that the Electricity Pact as presented for signing strengthens dominant positions of the present stakeholders restricting access of new competitors to the energy generation market. That is, the document fails to streamline processes and does not empower the full range of energy stakeholders, many of whom historically have been left out of discussions.

    Taveras said that the Pact does not present a compelling route for development of the sector in the long term and does not incorporate an effective process to monitor future growth in demand plan. In addition, the plan does not encourage progressive changes to the generation matrix to facilitate an increase in clean energy in the future.

    In addition, Taveras pointed out that the government refused to share details so that the Punta Catalina Thermoelectric Power Plant, the most important contribution of the Medina administration to the electricity deficit, could be part of the discussions.

    Taveras said that for the AEIH, the main problem confronting the Dominican Republic electricity system is the precarious and inefficient management of the power distribution companies. These are today managed by the government. Taveras, they will not be attending as they believe the document is deficient, and he said that the country has a serious problem with institutionalism, adding that the high level of politicization of the distributors is deepening the problems of the electricity sector.

    He went on say that the government-owned distributors are working with a payroll some five or six times larger than what they should have and that the pact will not improve the situation. He said the distributors have losses of more than 32% that is a burden on the National Budget because the central government has to subsidize these to the tune of more than US$1 billion a year. He said this is an unsustainable situation whose solution is crucial for a trustworthy and competitive system.

    Taveras called for the need for the diversification and opening of the electricity market, to allow real competition that will lower energy costs and lead to reasonable energy prices so that the consumers can, in turn, receive a higher quality energy service and at lower rates.

    The executive vice president of the Association of Industries of the Dominican Republic (AIRD), Circe Almanzar, in turn, says that the AIRD backs the signing of the pact as it stands.

    The Electricity Pact was ordered by the National Development Strategy Law 1-12 in 2012. It has taken the government five years to present the copy for signing.

    Peru and DR sign telecom technical assistance agreement
    The Dominican Telecommunications Institute (Indotel) announced signing a technical assistance agreement with the counterpart Peru telecom regulatory agency, the Supervisory Agency for Private Investment in Telecommunications (Osiptel). The initiative was signed by the chief officer of Indotel, José Del Castillo Saviñón and that of Osiptel, Rafael Muente Schwarz.

    Indotel reports that the agreement provides the framework for technical and institutional cooperation to contribute to the development of information and communication technology (ITC) in the Dominican Republic. Also contemplated is the implementing of programs and policies in both countries for the strengthening and fulfillment of national and international telecom norms.

    Within the framework of this agreement, Indotel and Osiptel will exchange, among other matters, information on telecom rates and their adherence to contractual regulations. Another objective is to draft joint proposals to further the goals universalization and quality of public telecommunications services.

    Cereal production this year estimated to be above average
    Cereal production for 2017 in the Dominican Republic is estimated by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to be 996,000 tons, which is marginally above last year’s level and significantly above the country’s five-year average. The increase reflects a high rice production, despite significant flooding caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria, between September and October. The rice crops are estimated at 953,000 tons, that is above last year’s level and 6 percent above the five-year average. The FAO says that the high rice production can be attributed to the good main first season rice crop, harvested in August before the storms.

    Asonahores protests okay to high rises in Playa Macao
    The National Hotel & Tourism Association (Asonahores) has gone public to reject a recent resolution from the government that authorized the construction of 22-floor high rises in the Punta Cana area, in the east of the country. In a statement, the leading private sector tourism body, advocated for the government to instead maintain the long-standing policy of low density and low rise construction in tourism areas.

    What is known is that a resolution was issued in October 2017 that changes the land use norms for Playa Macao, in Punta Cana to authorize high rises of 22 levels with 77 meters of height.

    Why change what has been a successful model and has been the base of the creation of the most successful tourism destination in the Caribbean, asks the organization, in a press release.

    The organization says that evidence of the success of the low density (no more than 40 rooms per hectares) and low height (five levels) model is that international hotel chains have replicated this in their developments in Cuba, Mexico, Colombia, Panama and Mediterranean destinations.

    Lajun threatens to sue government
    One of the investors of Lajun, the former operator of the National District and Province of Santo Domingo garbage dump, has announced that he has filed a lawsuit against the Dominican government for the illegal expropriation of their investment. The Ministry of Environment overrode the entity when it failed to meet minimum services required of the garbage deposit. The Ministry has said it has not been notified of the lawsuit.

    The notification of the lawsuit was made by Jamaican investor Michael Lee-Chin, who maintains that the actions of the Dominican government violate Annex III of the CARICOM Free Trade Agreement, and is demanding US$300 million in damages, or he will take the case to international arbitration.

    The writ was issued against President Danilo Medina, the Attorney General, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and SMEs and the National Audit Office by United States lawyers Hogan Lovells, based in Miami, Florida, represented by Richard C. Lorenzo.

    In the claim, the lawyers state that due to clear and flagrant violations by the state of their obligations under the treaty, the investor has suffered significant moral and economic damages.

    The lawyers warn that if the state does not express its willingness to resolve the issue within a three month time frame, the investor reserves his right to go to an international arbitration court.

    It explains that significant investments were made in the garbage dump but that the company was ejected from the site by force and the use of the military, making this an illegal expropriation.

    Teenage pregnancies affecting the development of the country
    A few days ago, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) launched its 2017 National Human Development Report for Dominican Republic devoted to the topic of teenage pregnancy in the country. These findings are complemented by another report presented by UNICEF and the World Bank in August and also by the report presented in November by the National Statistics Office (ONE) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Inter Press Service reports.

    The three documents present a compelling and disturbing description of the reality of the problems of teenage pregnancies in the Dominican Republic. Two out of 10 women between the ages of 15 and 19 in the Dominican Republic have been pregnant or have been mothers; representing 15.9% of the country’s population.

    The causes of this ominous reality are described as being multiple; but its consequences are clear: low or very low quality of life, poor welfare, recurrent poverty and exclusion.

    The link between poverty and child and teenage pregnancy is clear, and the UNDP National Human Development Report shows that the link is to be found in the opportunity cost that teenage pregnancy represents for the human development of these young women. That is, the opportunities that they lose as a consequence of those early pregnancies or maternities.

    This situation is aggravated when considered that it has an equally quantifiable impact on the young pregnant woman, on the family environment of the pregnant girl or teenager and of course also on the child, the product of that pregnancy.

    The report suggests that the trend could be reversed if a new architecture of policies that affect and integrate prevention is urgently introduced, as well as the mitigation of the effects of pregnancy through care and protection policies.

    IPS report highlights that if the Dominican Republic does not resolve the problem of teenage pregnancy (despite its high sustained economic growth) the promising emerging social transformation and modernization will be dashed and the country may not reach the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

    El Gallero stabbed in jail
    The prison authorities and the Public Prosecution Service are investigating the attack on inmate Winston Rizik Rodríguez (El Gallero), at the Pinito jail in La Vega province. Rizik was injured by another inmate who stabbed him five times.

    Rizik Rodríguez, who is in jail accused of drug dealing, money laundering and illegal possession of firearms, was taken to the Professor Juan Bosch Hospital in La Vega and admitted after his condition was stabilized first at the La Vega city main public hospital.

    The doctors at the hospital said that he immediately underwent surgery and is said to be stable, although his condition is aggravated since he is diabetic.

    Winston Rizik Rodríguez was sentenced to 10 years in jail as supposedly 10 kilos of cocaine and an arsenal of weapons were found at this Monte Plata home, although an appeal has been lodged.

    Sources within the jail said that Rizik was injured by Haitian Papo Maité who is serving a 30-year sentence for aggravated homicide, when there were both in the recreation area of the jail.
    They began to argue, but what they were arguing about is not known.

    Appeal in Yuniol Ramirez case postponed
    Judges at a Santo Domingo court have postponed the appeal by those implicated in the murder of lawyer and university professor Yuniol Ramírez until 15 January 2018.

    Court president Sarah Veras, along with judges Pilar Rufino Díaz and Liz Francisco Madera took the decision to allow time for the details of the appeals to be presented to the Public Prosecution Service and the lawyers for the victim’s family.

    The appeals were filed by the ex-director of the Office of Metropolitan Autobus Services (OMSA), Manuel Rivas, José Antonio Mercado Blanco (El Grande) and Colonel Faustino Rosario Díaz, who are all in preventive custody in jail.

    The court also ordered that El Grande should attend the hearing. The judge noted that on Wednesday 20 December, only El Grande’s lawyer, Carolos Salcedo, was in court.

    Yuniol Ramírez was murdered on 11 October 2017, and his body thrown into a river in Manoguayabo, Santo Domingo West.

    Tigres del Licey likely to make the round robin
    The Tigres del Licey are on a roll and could very well defeat the unfortunate Estrellas Orientales of San Pedro de Macoris. The Estrellas had held on to first place for the first two months of the season, but now are battling for life today.

    The first three positions of the round robin are already decided, going to the Gigantes del Cibao, Aguilas Cibaeñas and the Leones del Escogido.

    The Licey is in fourth place, but the Estrellas could still swing a tie because they are only a game away. Once the fourth place is decided on 21 December, with the 50 games of the regular season played, the Dominican Winter Professional League takes a break and returns the next week for the round robin to decide the playoffs.

    Thursday, 21 December:
    Toros del Este vs. Tigres Licey (Santo Domingo)
    Gigantes del Cibao vs. Estrellas Orientales (San Pedro de Macoris)
    Leones del Escogido vs. Aguilas Cibaeñas (Santiago)

    Christmas presentations nationwide
    Christmas is very important to Dominicans, and this is evidenced by the outstanding decorations of businesses, malls and large stores, streets and homes in Greater Santo Domingo and Santiago, the second largest city.

    It is family time in the Dominican Republic, with most city restaurants (with the exception of most hotel restaurants) to be closed for Sunday, 24 December 2017. But expect many to be open for the Christmas day celebration.

    Building up to the holiday, there are many parties into the late evening, as friends and visiting relatives come home for Christmas. Try to program shopping and outings off peak times to avoid the traffic jams that are at their worse this time of the year.

    Worthwhile weekend events include:

    Thursday, 21 December:
    At the Jaragua Renaissance: Singer-composer Pavel Núñez will be the lead singer for the Big Band Núñez performance at the Teatro La Fiesta of the Renaissance Jaragua Hotel on Thursday, 21 December 2017. With him will be many leading Dominican singers as guest performers, including Danny Rivera.

    At the Hard Rock Live: Dominican singer-composer Wason Brazobán will be at Hard Rock Live at Blue Mall in Santo Domingo on Thursday, 21 December 2017 for the presentation of his concert "De viaje por la vida." This is a repeat of the 20 October concert that lasted over three hours and was a total sell out many days before.

    Friday, 22 December:
    In Puerto Plata: The Puerto Plata Amphitheater announces the presentation of merengue queens, Miriam Cruz and Milly Quezada in an evening long concert on Friday, 22 December 2017. The next day, Conjunto Quisqueya, Alex Matos, Mark B. Divas by Jiménez and Pochy Familia y la Coco Band bring more of the best of merengue. Tickets are for sale at the Amphitheater box office and at the front desk of many of the hotels and resorts in Puerto Plata.

    Sandy Gabriel’s “Jazz Christmas” at Blue Jack Tar
    Dominican saxophone player Sandy Gabriel and Pop Jazz Ensemble are presenting the “Jazz Christmas” concert on Friday, 22 December 2017 starting at 9:30pm in Blue Jack Tar of Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata. Performing as part of the band are Rose Matteo (guest singer); Emil Pimentel (keyboard); Daniel Álvarez, (bass); Ezequiel Francisco (drums) and David Almengod (percussion).

    Saturday, 23 December:
    At the Downtown Center in Bella Vista: Teatro The Alley presents "Navidad Fuera del Cajón" on 16, 17 and 23 December 2017. The story is about school children who open the boxes with their costumes for their traditional Christmas play and find they have been sent the wrong costumes. There is no time to exchange these, so the Christmas show is a marvelous show of creativity for the entire family.

    At Casa de Teatro in the Colonial City: Freddy Ginebra and Diomary La Mala promise a great show at Casa de Teatro this Saturday, 23 December 2017. Diomary La Mala has one of the best voices in the country. She is also a great show woman. Freddy Ginebra as host will be telling jokes. Casa de Teatro. 9pm. Tickets RD$1,500 inside the theater, and RD$1,000 outside watching on the big screen.

    In Punta Cana: The ballet, The Nutcracker, with music by Tchaikovsky will be performed on Saturday, 23 December 2017, at 6pm at the Punta Cana Blue Mall amphitheater.Choreography and direction by Carlos Veitia. Tickets are RD$2,200 (front stage) and RD$800 general admission.

    In San Cristobal: Anthony Santos will be singing bachatas at the El Viajero explanade on Autopista 6 de Noviembre, the highway to San Cristóbal, this Saturday, 23 December 2017. The concert is a benefit for the Asociación Mujeres Solidarias Incorporadas (AMSI). The benefit helps survivors of breast cancer. Santos is donating 1% of the ticket prices to the women's support group.

    In Puerto Plata: The Puerto Plata Amphitheater presents an evening of merengue with Conjunto Quisqueya, Alex Matos, Mark B. Divas by Jiménez and Pochy Familia y la Coco Band. Tickets are for sale at the Amphitheater box office and at the front desk of many of the hotels and resorts in Puerto Plata.

    Monday, 25 December:
    Christmas story presentation on 25 December 2017
    Don’t miss the last presentation of the Christmas Story at the parking lot of the Torre Popular on Av. John F. Kennedy. This is a Dominican tradition. Sunday, 25 December at 6:30pm. Free admission.

    In the Colonial City of Santo Domingo:The traditional Christmas Concert with the Choir of the Santo Domingo Cathedral will happen this Monday, 25 December 2017. This year a children’s choir will be performing, too. Highlights of this 27th Christmas concert include the participation of sopranos Natalie Peña Comas and Paola González, and tenor Enmanuel Vargas. The general production is by Professor Jose Delmotne Peguero, working with Wanda Guzmán, Andres Capellán, Fernando Herrera and Rafael Calderon. 8pm. To get a seat inside, you need to queue no later than 6:30pm. The concert can be seen on Channel 4 (CRTV). Free admission.

    Tuesday, 26 December:
    Urbanova show at Casa de Teatro
    On Tuesday, 26 December 2017, Urbanova presents “A Son de Fuson”, a production of Johnny Ventura y Asociados that includes repertoires of Dominican music legends Fernando Echavarrria y la Familia Andre, Chichí Peralta, Jandy Feliz and Carlos Vives among others. Six musicians and the vocals of Cristian Allexis promise a memorable evening at Casa de Teatro in the Colonial City.
    Last edited by Dolores; 12-23-2017 at 11:23 AM.


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