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Thread: DR1 Daily News - Thursday, 22 March 2018

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    Default DR1 Daily News - Thursday, 22 March 2018

    DR1 Daily News next update on 26 March 2018
    Medina inaugurates major renovation at Barahona cathedral
    Interior Ministry announces Holy Week Safety Program
    Minerd announces billions in spending
    Education officials in Salcedo are fed up with unruly students
    Intrant presents positive results
    National District municipality opens new service center
    Lawyer encourages participation in drafting of rulings for laws
    Chamber of Accounts spends thousands on cigars
    Medina’s job approval rating continues to slide
    Gallup-Hoy: Crime is biggest concern for Dominicans
    PRM internal elections continue on 8 April
    Diario Libre’s Man and Woman of the Year
    Banco Popular helps Plan Sierra
    Barahona sugar mill helps thousands
    Major snowstorm closes airports; cancels flights
    Play basketball!

    DR1 Daily News next update on 26 March 2018
    The next DR1 Daily News update will be published on Monday, 26 March 2018. The Monday issue will compile headline news for the previous Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Breaking news can be followed 24/7 in the Forums. See the DR1 Forum at

    Medina inaugurates major renovation at Barahona cathedral
    President Danilo Medina was in Barahona for the inauguration of the remodeled Barahona city cathedral, Catedral Nuestra Señora del Rosario.

    The Roman Catholic Church was initially built in 1927. Major renovations took place on the main atrium, inner chapels, priest quarters, parking, sports facilities and other structures. The Medina administration also inaugurated a new building for the Barahona Bishop offices.

    Medina was in Barahona accompanied by Public Works Minister Gonzalo Castillo and Francisco del Valle, director of the Presidential Commission for Support of Development in the Province that executed the works for the Presidency.

    The blessing of the new facilities was made by Barahona bishop, Monsignor Andrés Napoleón Romero Cárdenas.

    Interior Ministry announces Holy Week Safety Program
    The Ministry of Interior and Police announced its “Safe Holy Week 2018” program which will begin next Wednesday, 28 March 2018 as the exodus starts with hundreds of thousands leaving the big cities for beach and mountain destinations and small towns. The comprehensive public safety program aims to prevent traffic accidents, general intoxication and violence nationwide during the four-day Easter long weekend.

    One of the measures is to ensure a reduction in drunk driving. Inspectors will be posted at the entrances and exits to beach and mountain destinations. These inspectors belong to the Department of Control of Alcoholic Beverages (COBA) and will be authorized to search vehicles and if the driver is suspected to be under the influence of alcohol, the vehicle will be detained until the person is deemed to be sober and in condition to drive without representing a danger to himself or herself or third parties.

    Participating in the operation will be members of the National Police together with members of the Red Cross and Ministry of Public Works road patrol, Asistencia Vial (829 688-1000). Thousands of Civil Defense volunteers will be posted at important areas around all of the nation’s highways.

    There will be several command posts stationed on the most important intersections of the nation’s highway system, and assistance will be available at places such as Higuero, in North Santo Domingo, Yamasa, Boca Chica, Palenque, San Cristobal, Juan Dolio, Bani, Salinas, Los Patos, Manoguayabo and Nizao. There were also be checkpoints in Cambita, San Cristobal; Santiago, San Francisco do Macoris, Moca, Salcedo, Ocoa, and at the El Morro in Montecristi.

    Minerd announces billions in spending
    Education Minister Andres Navarro revealed on Wednesday, 21 March 2018, that the Ministry of Education (Minerd) is planning to spend RD$20 billion in new construction and equipping of public schools nationwide. Navarro spoke of the plans while taking part in the Third Training Symposium in the Dominican Republic that focused on technology in education and the “export culture.”

    Navarro stressed the positive social and economic impact of what the government is calling the “Educational Revolution.” He referred specifically to the extended school day that, according to the minister, delivers between six and eight hours of classes whereas before many students only received two or three hours of class per day.

    The minister also noted that the country now has 28,000 schoolrooms or twice the number it had before. For Navarro, the Educational Revolution is not limited to the extended school day but also to the advances that have taken part in new education practices and methodologies using modern technologies, including the extensive use of computers in classrooms.

    Fernando Capellan, a well-known innovator within the industrial free zones sector, also spoke at the Symposium, saying that in a more competitive nation on the international scale it is very important to innovate and modernize the traditional methodologies of education. He added that those who do not acquire training in advanced technologies, will simply be left behind.

    Education officials in Salcedo are fed up with unruly students
    The directors, teachers and school psychologists from several primary and secondary schools in the town of Salcedo called on the Ministry of Education to change disciplinary regulations and procedures so that the teachers and principals can more effectively stem the recent outbreak of the antisocial behavior of many students in the district.

    The officials have labeled the decline of discipline in the classrooms a catastrophe. They say this is the only way in which the educational centers of this country will be able to recover the authority they have lost. Authorities from several schools told the El Nacional newspaper that “they feel they are with their backs to the wall” because of the lack of discipline among the students which in the great majority seem to be openly defying the ability of educators to impose order in the schools.

    The educators indicated that the situation in some of the schools is highly complicated because the regulations governing student conduct that are very benign and flexible concerning the correction of students, sanctions and corrective measures. The educators say that the regulations permit adolescents and children to behave in a manner that is not fit or proper frustrating attempts of teachers to effectively instruct and guide their pupils.

    The educators noted that no matter how disruptive the students become, they cannot be expelled from school. The well-known professor told the reporters that at the present time the teachers have lost their authority within the classroom since the previous disciplinary measures to correct the student are no longer in force and now the policies in place fail to serve the best interest of students or the education process.

    Intrant presents positive results
    The National Transit and Transport Institute (intrant) presented several important advances that it has implemented in its first year of existence. The Intrant has the challenge of transforming ground transportation in the Dominican Republic.

    The executive director of Intrant, Claudia de Los Santos, told reporters that the new timetable for obtaining drivers licenses has been reduced from 45 to 15 days, the waiting time for the written and practical exams besides giving the citizens the opportunity to renew their licenses no matter how many years it has been expired. There is also the opportunity to renew licenses online.

    Engineer De los Santos said that soon they will be implementing a pilot system of infrared sensors that will send the violation summons with the incriminating photo to the domicile of the violator.

    The director of Intrant also emphasized the priority given to the application of Law 63-17 that will replace Law 241-67 regarding the traffic laws in the Dominican Republic.

    She also talked about the effort being made to make motorcycle safety one of the main priorities of Intrant.

    Intrant is also responsible for the managing of all the stoplights in Santo Domingo. The director said they are working very hard to coordinate these traffic signals in order to move traffic more efficiently.

    National District municipality opens new service center
    The Santo Domingo city government (ADN) has opened new offices in the Polígono Central to better serve city residents.

    You can follow up notifications on problems in the city made through the city government website at

    Or carry out civil registration transactions, such as:
    Registration of conditional sale contracts, civil acts and judicial acts
    Transcripts of acts
    Issuance and renewal of authorizations to operate conditional sale contracts
    Certifications of registered documents
    Mortgage registration
    Sale of checkbook 927 for the registration of conditional sales contos before DGII
    Certified copies of records
    Search of registered documents
    Control book certifications for conditional sales contracts
    Or make service payments such as for garbage and city taxes, claims on these, payment agreements.

    The new office also has staff to receive documents for processing of land use projects, demolitions or fences. You can also place complaints about violations of boundaries, heights and land uses.

    The new offices of the ADN Centro Avanzado de Respuesta Rápida are located at Av. Gustavo Mejía Ricart almost corner Av. Lope de Vega. Offices are open from Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm and on Saturdays, from 8am to 2pm.

    Lawyer encourages participation in drafting of rulings for laws
    Lawyer Nassef Perdomo in El Dia writes about the little known Law 107-13 on Rights of Persons in their Relationship with the Administration. Perdomo explains law was passed in order to reduce the possibility of persons with influence passing a ruling for a law custom made for their convenience or benefit.

    He explains the law seeks to avoid procedures and norms that benefit one a particular interest above the interests of others.

    He says incorporated in Law 107-13 are obligations to impede these incidences from occurring. Perdomo mentions the law establishes the obligation for the general public to be given participation in the drafting of the ruling. He says for there to be an end to norms created to benefit particulars more public participation and transparency is needed.

    Chamber of Accounts spends thousands on cigars
    According to the website, the Chamber of Accounts spent RD$73,000 on cigars from January to February 2018. The website describes this as an indication of wastefulness and the lack of frugality in the handling of a state auditing agency that has been asking for more money for their operations.

    The Chamber of the Accounts recently was in the media for approving wage increases for its officials. The president of the Chamber of Accounts now makes RD$423,500 a month, the other five judges make RD$379,097. But their perks are just as good to tell from the cigar purchases and others.

    The online news portal mentions that in addition to their comfortable wages, the Chamber of Accounts authorized expense account payments for RD$357,170.50 and RD$ 204,415.16 to pay for credit cards of those employed at the Chamber of Accounts.

    The report also says employees received RD$2.1 million in supermarket vouchers, of which a non-specified amount was allocated to alcoholic beverages in December. The report mentions multimillion payments being made for entertainment of the officers and employees during the Christmas holidays.

    The report says that the Chamber of Accounts every month spends from around RD$900,000 to RD$1.3 million to pay for meals for the employees and officials at restaurants, including Boga Boga, la Casa de la Paella, among others.

    The Chamber of Accounts is the government entity in charge of auditing government spending. Recently, the Chamber spokesmen said that they were hard pressed for funds to carry out audits in the high profile cases, such as the government bus corporation, OMSA, Odebrecht contracts, State Sugar Council (CEA), Metro Office (Opret) among others.

    The Chamber of Accounts payroll increased from RD$19.6 million in February 2017 when the new judges were appointed to RD$26.5 million. This is in addition to increases also in the support staff payroll.

    Hugo Álvarez Pérez is the president of the Chamber of Accounts. Other judges are Pedro Ortiz Hernández, Carlos Noes Tejada (El Chino), Margarita Melenciano and Félix Álvarez Rivera.

    In a letter to Ruben Maldonado, president of the Chamber of Deputies, Alvarez explained that a resolution of the previous board had ordered the increases and stimulates annual wage increases for the judges.

    Medina’s job approval rating continues to slide
    The March 2018 Gallup-Hoy poll reveals that Danilo Medina as President has a 45.5% approval rating. 35.7% of those responding disapprove of his job performance. Medina’s presidential job approval has been sliding from a peak 91.3% in August 2014 during his first administration. In February 2017, Medina’s approval rating was 62.7%. The poll was carried out nationwide, with 1,200 Dominicans eligible to vote polled nationwide. Margin of error is ±2.8 percentage points.

    Medina gets the better reviews from those who say they vote for the ruling PLD with 69.2%. 38.8% of those who voted for the PRD, a party that allied with the PLD for Medina’s reelection in 2016, approve of the Medina presidential job. 52.9% of those that favor the opposition party, the PRM disapprove Medina’s job as president.

    Gallup-Hoy: Crime is biggest concern for Dominicans
    Dominicans mentioned crime and delinquency as the most important problem affecting the country. The March Gallup-Hoy newspaper poll reveals that the Medina cabinet has not done a good job in handling the issues in its six years in government. 69% of those polled mentioned crime and delinquency above the high cost of living and inflation. 94.3% said that tackling delinquency should be the priority of the government. 88% mentioned inflation and unemployment. 79% have a negative perception of the economy.

    The poll was carried out nationwide, with 1,200 Dominicans eligible to vote polled nationwide. Margin of error is ±2.8 percentage points.

    PRM internal elections continue on 8 April
    A second phase municipal vote will be held on 8 April 2018 to give the opportunity to PRM registered voters to cast their vote for their municipal and municipal district party leaders.

    Likewise, votes will take place on 8 April in 38 communities affected by logistical problems regarding the Sunday, 19 March 2018 vote for the key positions of president, vice presidents and secretary general of the PRM. Among these are communities in New York and Pennsylvania, USA.

    With around 52.24% of the vote counted for the Sunday election, 76.6% had voted for Puerto Plata senator Jose Ignacio Paliza, and 69.38% for Carolina Mejía, former PRM vice presidential candidate. Both Paliza and Mejía had the support of at present most influential party leaders, Luis Abinader and former President Hipólito Mejía.

    A new date now needs to be announced for the delegates’ election of the party.

    The election was held with a closed PRM voting list accepted by the Central Electoral Board (JCE).

    Diario Libre’s Man and Woman of the Year
    Catholic priest Jose Maria Guerrero of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (OFMCap) and cultural activist Mayra Johnson were voted by Diario Libre newspaper readers their man and woman of the year.

    Father Jose Maria heads the Fundación Futuro Cierto that carries out charity works with the most impoverished and builds homes for poor families in El Caliche, in Villa Duarte where he lives with his congregation of Hermanos Pobres de San Francisco de Asis. In the community of Rancho La Guardia in Elías Piña, on the border with Haiti, the foundation has built 12 homes.

    Mayra Johnson is an artist and photographer who created the Fundacion Imagen 83 to promote the art of photography in the country. The foundation organizes PhotoImagen, a leading Caribbean photography festival, the Youth Award for Photography and Video and sponsors the Centro de la Imagen de la República Dominicana that works with the communities of San Antón and Santa Bárbara in the Colonial City where it is based.

    The Diario Libre awards will be delivered on Thursday, 22 March 2018 in a gala dinner.

    Banco Popular helps Plan Sierra
    Some 150 employees and managers of Popular Digital Services, a part of the Popular Group, went into the Central Mountain range near San Jose De las Matas and assist in the reforestation of about 100 tareas of mountainside, planting 6,800 new pine trees for the Plan Sierra. Popular Digital Services is the branch of Banco Popular that provides service for ASUL and AVANCE at your local supermarkets and stores.

    The importance of these major reforestation efforts lies in the fact that these trees will removal over 2000 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere and will store more than 20,000,000 gallons of water each year. In a further technological advance, the small trees were planted inside a special water – retaining polymer which will ensure at least 80% of the trees will reach maturity. The use of this technology is possible because of the donations made by the financial institutions each year for research and development in the field of forestry.

    Technicians from Plan Sierra will provide follow-up on the newly reforested lands. According to the Banco Popular, “planting a tree is planting water and therefore it is planting life and planting the future.” The Popular Group has been participating in reforestation efforts for more than 20 years.

    Barahona sugar mill helps thousands
    The Central Barahona Foundation (FCB) has invested RD$24.5 million over the last year in southwestern communities in programs to improve the standard of living of around 2,500 persons. According to Rafael Nazario, the executive director of the foundation, they provide training and financing for projects in communities located near sugar cane growing areas.

    Some of these projects include processing goat milk into cheese, and the raising of rabbits and poultry. Nazario pointed out that in one area they created fish tanks that are being attended by 10 families many of which are single-parent households. In the area called Bombitas where the fish tanks are located, the women involved are producing nearly US$10,000 in sales each month according to Nazario.

    According to Nazario the community has shown a continuous process of improvement which includes education and health as well as jobs for other people. At the same time criminal activity has decreased.

    Major snowstorm closes airports; cancels flights
    Many flights were canceled on Wednesday, 21 March 2018 when a major snowstorm covered the East Coast of the United States shutting down Washington DC and seriously affecting flights out of airports in New York and Newark, New Jersey. Some 11 flights were canceled out of the Las Americas International Airport, Santiago, and the Gregorio Luperon International Airport in Puerto Plata. JetBlue and United flights were affected.

    In Santiago several flights from Jet Blue And United were cancelled as were flights from these airlines originating in Puerto Plata.

    Hundreds of passengers were stranded at these airports as they awaited their opportunity to get back to the United States.

    The airlines are asking their possible passengers to please call the airlines before going to the airport. This latest storm, called “Toby”, has affected government offices, schools, and businesses throughout the Northeast of the United States.

    Play basketball!
    The National District Superior Basketball Championship opens 22 March 2018 with the inaugural game at 7:45pm at the Palacio de los Deportes in the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Center. The venue has been remodeled and there will be free Wifi for those who cannot be without the service.

    The National District Basketball Association and the Basketball Federation have also secured free transport to barrios so that the fans can come to the Palacio de los Deportes to cheer for their teams.

    Participating in the tournament this year are defending champions Rafael Barias, Huellas del Silgo, Bameso, El Millón (Group B), and Mauricio Baez, San Carlos, Los Prados and San Lazaro (Group A).

    The games will be televised on Channel Digital 15 and broadcast on radio at La Voz de las Fuerzas Armadas at 106.9FM.
    Last edited by Dolores; 03-22-2018 at 09:37 AM.

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