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Thread: DR1 Daily News - Tuesday, 23 January 2018

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    Default DR1 Daily News - Tuesday, 23 January 2018

    Ministry of Energy & Mines: Green light to GoldQuest gold mine
    President Medina attends Virgin of Altagracia mass at Higuey Basilica
    Results of teachers’ assessments show these “need to improve”
    Pico Duarte facilities improved
    Public hospital staff on strike again
    China moves for closer relations with Latin America and the Caribbean
    No traffic deaths on Altagracia Day
    APTPRA strikes to keep their monopoly of bus passengers
    DR ranks ahead of Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and Colombia in Inclusive Development Index
    Miguel Coronado Hunter is new IDB country rep
    Your vote counts to choose US legislators!
    Who is Miss New York 2018?
    More rains expected
    Play ball starting Tuesday, 23 January 2018

    Ministry of Energy & Mines: Green light to GoldQuest gold mine
    The Ministry of Energy and Mines has approved the exploitation of the mine in Hondo Valle, located in the Central Mountain area (Cordillera Central) in the north of San Juan de la Maguana province. This will be the first underground gold mine in the country and will be operated by GoldQuest.

    According to Energy & Mines Minister Antonio Isa Conde, the state negotiated to receive an estimated US$224 million in taxes and fees during the useful life of the mine, which is estimated at seven years, which means the company will award US$52 million above what the company is required to pay by law.

    The announcement is controversial as many environmentalists believe that the cost to the water service and environmental impact of the mining operation will be higher than the revenues the government will derive from the mining operation.

    President Medina attends Virgin of Altagracia mass at Higuey Basilica
    Prior to leaving for Switzerland on 22 January 2018 to participate in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, President Danilo Medina attended mass at the Basílica de la Altagracia in Higuey on Sunday, 21 January 2018. Mass was given by the Bishop of the diocese of Higuey, Nicanor Peña Rodríguez. Also in attendance was Vice President Margarita Cedeño.

    Medina arrived accompanied by his wife, First Lady Cándida Montilla, at 9:45am and was met by La Altagracia Senator Amable Aristy Castro, provincial Governor Ramón Güílamo Alfonso and the rector of the Basilica, Evaristo Areché. Also attending for the government were Administrative Minister of the Presidency José Ramón Peralta; Public Works Minister Gonzalo Castillo; Public Health Minister Altagracia Guzmán Marcelino; the director of the OISOE Francisco Pagán; Police Director Neit Aldrín Bautista; and the president of the Constitutional Court Milton Ray Guevara. Also attending was the chief executive of the Puntacana Group, Frank Rainieri.

    The media also reported on the friendly exchange between former presidential candidate for the PRM – the leading opposition party, Luis Abinader and President Medina.

    Results of teachers’ assessments show these “need to improve”
    According to the preliminary results from the Teachers’ Assessment carried out by the Ministry of Education, only 4% of public teachers have received an excellent grade, another 38% graded very good, and 39% good. It was determined that 19% need to improve.

    The worst results came from the educational district of Bahoruco, in the southwest on the border with Haiti, where no teacher scored excellent, only 2.3% very good, 27.6% good and 70.1% need to improve.

    In Higuey, 35% of the public school teachers received the lowest grade, District 10 in Santo Domingo was also particularly low with 28% posting the lowest grade, as occurred in San Cristóbal with 27.9%; Santiago with 23.9%; District 15 in Santo Domingo with 23.5% and San Pedro de Macorís with 21.6%.

    The highest number of excellent ratings came from Montecristi, Monte Plata and other Santo Domingo districts, all of which were over the national average of 4% for excellent.

    Of 45,000 public school teachers, still 23,000 have to be evaluated. It is expected that the evaluations will be completed by March 2018. Once the teachers have been evaluated if they receive a positive evaluation then they qualify for a salary increase.

    Those with a good grades receive 24%, those with very good, 28% and those with excellent receive a 32% increase. Even those who need to improve will receive a 17% increase.

    According to Franco de los Santos of the executive committee of the Dominican Teachers’Association, the increases are only for the 28,000 teachers who have never been evaluated as they entered the system after 2009, which was when the last evaluation was carried out.

    Pico Duarte facilities improved
    The Ministry of Environment and the Desde el Medio Foundation have worked on improving the signage and facilities at Pico Duarte, the highest mountain in the Caribbean and the main attraction in the José Armando Bermúdez and José del Carmen Ramírez National Parks. Quality of the services, facilities and the security of the visitors and park rangers have been improved. Desde el Medio Tours is a leading organizer of hiking tours in the mountain area.

    In a press release, the Ministry of Environment explains that the electricity system in the surveillance centers in Las Cienaga, La Compartición and el Valle del Tetero has been improved and all of the communication systems via digital radio have been set up between the centers and the central office in Santo Domingo and Valle Nuevo.

    According to Minister Francisco Dominguez Brito, the electrification and establishment of communications was vital for the area, especially in the event of emergencies, fires or rescues.

    Some existing bridges have been repaired and other paths established up to Los Tablones, as well as new signage up to Pico Duarte and Valle del Tetero. There are also new rest stations, water and emergency assistance in the areas of La Cotorra and La Laguna.

    In addition, the roof of the Valle del Tetero complex has been repaired along with the plumbing.
    He said that the “Desde el Medio” Foundation, directed by Iván Gómez, had been a very important contributor to carrying out the work especially in the areas where access had been difficult, and that great improvements had been made for the 5,000 visitors per year who come to enjoy eco-tourism and mountaineering.

    Plans are underway to improve the four routes used for access to Pico Duarte: La Ciénaga (Jarabacoa), Mata Grande (San José de Las Matas), San Juan de la Maguana and Constanza. The process is planned to conclude in 2019, with construction of new camps in La Guácara and Valle del Bao and the repair of the currently unused camp in Valle de Lilís.

    The Ministry said that works are underway to be completed in the first half of the year to open new rest, water and emergency assistance stops in Agüita Fría, Valle de Lilís and Sendero de La Virgen, as well as general maintenance of the La Compartición visitor center.

    Public hospital staff on strike again
    Employees of the Salvador B. Gautier Hospital, demanding the 10% salary increase agreed in August 2016, have announced a 48-hour strike, beginning Thursday 25 January 2018. The strike will take place in 21 hospitals throughout the country and 29 first aid centers.

    The personnel at the hospitals noted that the government had promised a salary increase for all of the administrative personnel in January 2018. However, some health care workers were left out of the increase.

    The hospital workers are also asking for the long service payment to be made to 2,700 staff members, according to an agreement signed with the director of the National Health Service (SNS), Nelson Rodríguez Monegro.

    China moves for closer relations with Latin America and the Caribbean
    Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a meeting in Santiago, Chile with foreign ministers from the Dominican Republic, Chile, Ecuador and Haiti, as well as the representative of El Salvador that China is taking moves to strengthen the relationship through the China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Forum. The focus is on increased free trade, globalization and deeper cooperation with the region. China is unfolding the Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative at the upcoming forum.

    On 22 January 2018, the Second Ministerial Meeting of the China-CELAC Forum opened in Santiago, Chile. During the forum, the two sides summed up what has been achieved and looked into plans for the future to take the cooperative partnership to a higher level.

    Trade between China and Latin America has grown 22 times from 2000 to 2013. Trade in 2017 was US$266 billion, according to an ECLAC report presented at the II Meeting of Ministers of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). The report, “Exploring new cooperation spaces between Latin America, the Caribbean and China” looks into advances made after the first meeting of the forum held in Beijing in 2015.

    No traffic deaths on Altagracia Day
    The Emergency Operations Center (COE) has reported that during the “Altagraciona Operation 2018” there were no vehicle accident deaths reported, compared to last year when there were two. Every year thousands of persons travel to Higuey to pray at the Higuey Basilica to the Our Lady of High Grace (Virgen de la Altagracia), regarded as the “protector of the Dominican people.”

    This year four people were injured in eight accidents, a reduction of 34% compared to 2017. Last year there were 2,382 events requiring assistance and this year 3,492 that is an increase of 33.6%.

    In addition there were 881 medical assistances cases, handled by the Ministry of Public Health, the Tourist Police (CESTUR), Civil Defense and the Red Cross.

    APTPRA strikes to keep their monopoly of bus passengers
    Regular bus service offered by the company that has the de facto monopoly on the Santo Domingo- Punta Cana bus route, the APTPRA, was interrupted on Monday, 22 January 2018, affecting hundreds of people who had traveled to Higuey for the Virgen de la Altagracia religious celebrations of Sunday, 21 January 2018. APTPRA serves the Punta Cana-Higuey-San Pedro de Macoris-Santo Domingo route.

    APTPRA buses sought to enforce their monopoly of the route by parking their buses on the Coral Highway to impede that buses of the Metro bus company could offer the service. Listin Diario reported that Metro buses suffered window breakage from vandals that sought to impede their departing on the Santo Domingo-Punta Cana route.

    It was known that Police, the Metropolitan Transport Authority and the Specialized Tourism Security Corps mobilized the buses that were parked on Coral Highway impeding the regular flow of travelers. Listin Diario reported the authorities reached an agreement with the strikers.

    DR ranks ahead of Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and Colombia in Inclusive Development Index
    The Dominican Republic is ranked 21st among 74 emerging economies in the Inclusive Development Index (IDI) of the recently published World Economic Forum “Inclusive Growth and Development Report 2018”. The report analyzed 103 countries, including 29 advanced economies and 74 emerging economies. Overall, the DR would be 50th of 103 countries in the index.

    In Latin America, countries listed above the DR in the emerging economies category are Panama (6), Uruguay (8), Chile (9), Costa Rica (12), Peru (14) and Paraguay (20). The DR (21) is listed above Argentina (23), Mexico (24), Nicaragua, Colombia (30), El Salvador (35), Brazil (37), Bolivia (41), Guatemala (44) and Honduras (46).

    The report presents a new economic policy framework and performance metric. It identifies 15 areas of structural economic policy and institutional strength that have the potential to contribute simultaneously to higher growth and wider social participation in the process and benefits of such growth. The World Economic Forum Inclusive Growth and Development Report 2018 analyzed the 103 countries based on three pillars: growth and development, inclusion and intergenerational equality.

    The result of the analysis shows that during the last five years, despite the recovery of the world economy, social inclusion has become worse or not improved in 20 of the 29 advanced economies and that intergenerational equality has deteriorated in 56 of the 74 emerging economies. The conclusion was based on analyzing GDP per capital, employment, productivity, average household income, poverty rate, net adjusted savings, public debt, ratio of demographic dependence and national gross income.

    The report is designed as an alternative to GDP and seeks to redirect policy to the changes in their households that most citizens use to evaluate their respective countries’ economic progress instead of the published GDP growth statistics. The focus is on factors that affect the standard of living – income, employment opportunity, economic security and quality of life. The key performance indicators are divided into growth and development indicators (GDP), labor productivity, employment, healthy life expectancy; inclusion (median household income, income gini, poverty rate, wealth gini; and intergenerational equity and sustainability (adjusted net savings, dependency ratio, public debt (as a share of GDP), carbon intensity of GDP.

    The Gini coefficient (sometimes expressed as a Gini ratio or a normalized Gini index is a measure of statistical dispersion intended to represent the income or wealth distribution of a nation's residents, and is the most commonly used measure of inequality.

    Miguel Coronado Hunter is new IDB country rep
    Lawyer Miguel Coronado Hunter is the new country representative for the Inter American Development Bank (IDB) in the Dominican Republic, effective January 2018 through 2020. Previously, he was leading operations specialist for the bank in Mexico. He replaces Flora Montealegre Painter whose term ended in December 2017.

    Coronado is a specialist in international law with experience in the analysis and design of financing operations, analysis and implementation of policies, and project management. He is a graduate in law from Universidad de los Andes in Colombia with a masters in International and Comparative Law from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., USA.

    Your vote counts to choose US legislators!
    The US Embassy in the Dominican Republic encourages US citizens living in the country to register to vote in the 2018 US House of Representatives and Senate elections. The Embassy highlights that every vote counts and that the outcome in many states has been decided by a margin smaller than the number of ballots cast by absentee voters.

    To vote in the election, US citizens need to request a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to then receive a ballot. The next step is to return the completed ballot either by email or mail, or courier service, or drop off at the US Embassy in Santo Domingo or consular agencies in Puerto Plata, Bávaro/Punta Cana, depending on the state.

    For information on the candidates and issues, and the voting from overseas, see or write to Santo Domingo’s Voting Assistance Officer at [email protected]

    Who is Miss New York 2018?
    26-year old Genesis Suero, who lives in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, won the title of Miss New York at the 2018 Miss New York USA contest. She was chosen on 14 January 2018 from 133 contestants. She will now represent New York in the Miss USA pageant to choose the US representative in Miss Universe.

    The New York Post reported that Suero, who hails from Barahona, only became a US citizen seven years ago. She moved to New York with her father in 2005. He makes a living as a cab driver.

    The New York Post explains her career as a male-skincare specialist at Bloomingdale’s flagship 5th Avenue store where she had to talk to clients all the time, which helped her gain fluency in English and gave her confidence that helped win the title. She is finishing her studies in business management at Hostos Community College.

    More rains expected
    The National Meteorological Office (Onamet) has said that due to a high level weather front crossing over the north of the country, it will continue to rain in the northeast, north, southeast and central mountain area. The front will bring cloudy conditions and small and medium-sized boats are advised not to venture far from the coast due to high waves and stronger than normal winds.

    Play ball starting Tuesday, 23 January 2018
    The Dominican Baseball League (Lidom) announced a shortened playoff series between the Aguilas Cibaeñas and the Tigres del Licey, the 21st playoff between both teams. Of these 21 matches, the Licey has won 11 and the Aguilas 9.

    The series starts 23 January 2018 and will go to the team that wins four of seven games, instead of five of nine games. The shorter schedule is due to the many cancellations during the round robin caused by the fire at the press installations of the Quisqueya Ball Park and several days of intense rains nationwide, resulting in eight game cancellations.

    The president of the Dominican Baseball League (Lidom), Vitelio Mejía made the announcement after meeting with the presidents and general managers of the playoff teams, Jaime Alsina and Junior Noboa (Licey) and Winston Llenas.and Manny Acta.

    The Tuesday, 23 January 2018 first game is set for 7:30pm at the Quisqueya Ball Park. The series will be played through 29 January 2018. Weekend games will start at 5pm, including the game on 29 January, a national holiday, commemorating the birthday of Juan Pablo Duarte.
    Last edited by Dolores; 01-23-2018 at 07:02 PM.

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