DR1 Daily News next update on 9 April 2018
Promoting breastfeeding, ruling passed after 23 year delay
Medina cuts tape at new Moscoso Puello hospital
Government backs Naturalization Law 169-14
Manufacturing is hurting in DR, says AEIH
Better policies needed to back manufacturing jobs
Public school vaccination campaign on the border with Haiti
MOPC roadside assistance program attended 16,000 incidences during Easter Week
Poultry being rationed by wholesalers
Are you “aplatanado?”
Santiago commemorates Battle of 30 March
Funglode Awards 2017
Over a quarter of million persons are subject to travel restrictions
Stones versus drones
Police call on victims to file complaints
Alicia Ortega threatened for coverage of Jose Silvestre murder
World class baseball opens Friday, 6 April 2018 at the Palacio de Voleibol

DR1 Daily News next update on 9 April 2018
The next DR1 Daily News update will be published on Monday, 9 April 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 http://www.dr1.com

Promoting breastfeeding, ruling passed after 23-year delay
President Danilo Medina issued Decree 142-18 with the ruling for the application of Breastfeeding Law 8-95. The decree establishes the promotion of breastfeeding as a national priority. The ruling should have been issued in 1995 when the law was originally passed.

The legislation seeks to encourage the practice of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a child’s life. The ruling regulates the marketing of baby milk formulas, among other matters seeking to encourage breastfeeding.

The Ministry of Public Health is responsible to apply Law 8-95 and its ruling nationwide.


Medina cuts tape at new Moscoso Puello hospital
President Danilo Medina is scheduled to preside on Thursday, 5 April 2018 over the ceremony that officially reopens the new and improved Francisco Moscoso Puello Public Hospital, a renovation project undertaken by the Office of Supervising Engineers of State Projects (OISOE), a Presidency division. OISOE director Francisco Rodriguez Pagan says the hospital is one of the most modern in all of Central America and the Caribbean. Rodriguez Pagan explained that the hospital has been equipped and modernized with the latest generation of medical technology that exists in the world so that the poorest sectors of society can receive first-class medical attention.

Francisco Rodriguez Pagan was asked by reporters at the Presidential Palace about the new installation, and he replied that the hospital will now have 300 rooms and each room will be equipped with one or two beds, a bathroom and air-conditioning as well as permanent ventilation for all the patients.

The Moscoso Puello was expanded and completely remodeled. It has a new four-story surgical unit, according to the OISOE director. The cost of this remodeling has not been disclosed by the OISOE.


Government backs Naturalization Law 169-14
The legal advisor to President Danilo Medina, Flavio Darío Espinal told Diario Libre that the position of the President of the Republic is to defend Naturalization Law 169-14. The law established procedures to legalize as Dominicans persons who had subsequently confronted difficulties for having irregularly obtained the Dominican nationality.

The law was passed during the first Medina administration after a local consensus was reached as an answer to local and international pressures following the Constitutional Court judgment 168-13 that confirmed a 2005 Supreme Court ruling on who is a Dominican bringing to the open irregularities in the civil registry over the years.

Responding to an editorial in Diario Libre that asked for the position of President Medina, Espinal told Diario Libre: "As a government, the President of the Republic defends the law and has no intention whatsoever to promote any change in the Dominican legal system, nor in matters of nationality, nor in terms of immigration regulation. The Dominican legal system includes the Migration Law, the constitutional provisions on nationality, Ruling 168-13 and Law 169-14, "he said.

Espinal emphasized: "I repeat, there is not the slightest intention to modify this legislation, we have defended and will continue to defend it in international forums. “

He recalled the defense of the law in forums at the Organization of American States, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Development Plan, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and before governments with which the country has bilateral relations.
Espinal described Law 169-14 as fair and balanced, politically viable and in line with the Constitution and other Dominican legal norms.

He made the observations after rumors that the government would back a recourse to declare in violation of the Constitution Law 169-14 that covers naturalization and establishes a special process for persons born in Dominican territory and improperly placed in the Dominican Civil Registry. The recourse would also seek to derogate the Constitutional Ruling 168-13.


Manufacturing is hurting in DR, says AEIH
Antonio Taveras Guzmán, spokesman for the Association of Herrera Industries (AEIH) says that in the past decade 77,000 jobs have been lost in manufacturing.

Guzmán says that manufacturing is essential for inclusive growth in the country. He says the government needs to rethink its development model and start to make financing easier for the sector. He says data for last year shows that 80% of private banking loans went for consumption goods.

He urged low cost financing be made available to back manufacturing, known for its creating good quality jobs. He said that Central Bank data shows that manufacturing exports (excluding mining, export free zones and alcoholic beverages) declined 11%. He says the manufacturing sector is collapsing.


Better policies needed to back manufacturing jobs
The Dominican Republic can create 350,000 new jobs in three years if new policies are put in place to enhance the competitiveness of tourism, footwear, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, electrical and electronic devices and call centers, five sectors with great export potential identified by the Association of Industries of the Dominican Republic (AIRD). AIRD sees potential to increase exports by US$2.7 billion a year.

The potential for the tourism sector is estimated at US$4.6 billion through 2021 with the potential to create 183,000 new jobs. The tourism sector has generous tax incentives.

Medical devices manufacturing, that operates in tax free zones, could generate US$3.2 billion in exports and create 47,000 jobs. The electric and electronic deices sector (also operating in tax free zones) could contribute through 2021 US$2.7 billion and create 32,000 new jobs. Meanwhile, call centers have the potential to generate US$1.2 billion and create 53,000 jobs. Footwear is estimated to generate 37,000 new jobs and US$1 billion in exports.

Circe Almanzar, executive vice president of AIRD, says to achieve these objectives of exports and jobs, beyond the present focus on tax incentives, better supplier policies are needed for savings in logistics and strengthening of the local market. Almanzar said that this means the government needs a change in vision to enact policies that support the industries, and not necessarily through tax incentives. “To grow public policies are needed, and we have a vacuum of public policies directed to these sectors,” she said. AIRD advocates for a public private alliance to achieve competitiveness.

The president of the Association of Industries de Herrera and province of Santo Domingo, Antonio Taveras Guzmán corroborates that changes to the development model are needed. “We need a strong state but a smaller government,” he said. He urged efforts begin to promote the true development of large, medium-sized, small and micro Dominican industries. “The country needs a real commitment, to leave politicking aside, to face the challenges industry confronts,” he said.


Public school vaccination campaign on the border with Haiti
The ministers of Education and Public Health announced the start of a vaccination campaign against diphtheria, tetanus and other diseases to students, teachers and administrative personnel in public schools in border provinces with Haiti. Protocols to deal with diphtheria were also agreed on in the most vulnerable communities nationwide.

The prevention measures were announced following meetings of technicians from both ministries, headed by Education Minister Andrés Navarro and Public Health Minister Altagracia Guzmán Marcelino.


MOPC roadside assistance program attended 16,000 incidences during Easter Week
The Ministry of Public Works and Communications (MOPC) participated in the Safe Easter Week 2018 program that started on 23 March and ended on Tuesday, 3 April, and documented more than 16,000 incidences that MOPC offered roadside assistances to travelers.

The most common incident was related to mechanical failure of vehicles on highways and thoroughfares and which affected nearly 8000 vehicles. The second most frequent problem was for tire failures and 4500 vehicles were affected by this problem. Over 2000 vehicles ran out of fuel and nearly 1000 vehicles were assisted for security issues and tow trucks were only required to transport slightly over 200 vehicles during the week.

According to the director of the Military and Police Commission, the North was the area of greatest occurrence occupying some 36% of all incidents followed by the South, with 33% and the East with 31%. General Gonell Regalado told reporters that in order to guarantee the safety of citizens on the highways minister Gonzalo Castillo ordered many vehicles assigned to administrative duties to be put to use for highway assistance. Starting with the tollbooth on the Las Americas Highway on 23 March the operation that included all 32 provinces went into effect more than 700 vehicles, 8000 military and police together with tens of thousands of civil defense volunteers took part in the program which saw 600 km of highways being cleaned up and painted and 26 beaches and nearly 2 dozen fresh water swimming holes cleaned and prepared for the weeklong holiday.


Poultry being rationed by wholesalers
Supermarkets, restaurants, and local “pica pollo” establishments are having a lot of trouble with their supply of poultry both in Santo Domingo and in the rest of the country, apparently because the poultry producers reduced their stocks by some 30% and now fresh killed chickens are selling for RD $65 and RD $70 per pound. Representatives from different sectors that consume poultry products complained that the producers are rationing their supplies by as much as 30% and the gondolas in many supermarkets are sometimes nearly empty. Regarding housewives, the lack of poultry requires them to find other alternatives to chicken, which is the least expensive meat in the Dominican diet.

Dionisio Quinones, the secretary-general of the National Union of Economic Supermarkets, said that their supply has been reduced by between 25% and 30%. One area manager at a Plaza Lama said that they ask for 500 pounds a day of poultry and are barely receiving 100. The owner of a small restaurant on Independence Avenue, Altagracia Paniagua, said that she has had to work miracles in order to obtain a small amount of poultry for her clients. She said that at 8 o’clock in the morning none of her usual suppliers had any chickens left. As a result of the scarcity of poultry in the local market, other products such as eggplant, beef and pork are going up in price.


Are you “aplatanado?”
Nearly every day a long-term resident, appreciated by his friends and neighbors, will be said to have become “aplatanado”—“plantained” or better yet, accustomed to things in the Dominican Republic such as their love of the plantain. An article in the Diario Libre notes that the Dominican Republic consumes, on average, more than 6 million plantains each day.

According to the general manager of the Dominican Farm Insurer (AGRODOSA), Luis Yanguela, the Dominican Republic is self-sufficient in plantains, producing sufficient quantities to meet the local demand. Many plantains are also consumed by visitors who frequent hotels and restaurants throughout the country.

Yanguela also pointed out that many metric tons of Dominican plantains are consumed in neighboring Haiti. He told the reporters from the newspaper that the country possesses sufficient land, technology and diversification to produce even more and export this cousin to the banana. He noted, “This is the year for exportation. There is public policy aimed at exporting and they have succeeded. In our country when you see a company such as Frito-Lay using our plantains for both local consumption as well as export it adds value to the entire sector.”

Yanguela issued this statement at the launch of the Plantains Cluster which was formed to develop the sector and create the programs necessary to bring this product into the export market. Have you become “aplatanado?”


Santiago commemorates Battle of 30 March
On 4 April 2018, a military parade and other ceremonies were held in the city of Santiago to celebrate another anniversary of the famous battle of 30 March 1844, which ended the threat of a Haitian invasion from the north. The ceremonies were held on Wednesday, 4 April, because 30 March fell this year within the Religious Celebrations of the Easter Week.

The Metropolitan Archbishop, Freddy DeJesus Breton Martinez together with the provincial Governor and the historian Juan Daniel Balcacer stressed the contributions of the heroes of the battle of 30 March and to Dominican independence which had been proclaimed on 27 February 1844.

Speaking at the Cathedral where a Mass was held in celebration, the Archbishop, in his sermon called upon the youth of the country to imitate the example set forth by the founder of the Dominican Republic Juan Pablo Duarte. He also noted that Duarte sacrificed everything in order to achieve Dominican independence.

Historian Daniel Balcacer and talking about the importance of the Battle of 30 March, indicated that if it had not been for the courage of the brave men and women of Santiago, Haitian troops may have reached Santo Domingo, thus putting an end to the bid for national independence. Governor Aura Toribio noted that this 174th anniversary of the battle should serve as an inspiration for current generations to always be willing to defend their nation and to particularly defend the principles of Duarte, Sanchez, Mella and the other founders of the Dominican Republic.


Funglode Awards 2017
Former President Leonel Fernandez delivered the 2017 Funglode Awards for excellence in storytelling, poetry, journalism and documentary in a ceremony at Funglode on 4 April 2018. The awards come with a cash prize of up to RD$150,000.

Among the award winners were the managing editor of the Listín Diario, Juan Salazar for the series, “En la piel de la locura;” Roberto Adames for “Belleza Fatal” and “Excelente movimiento hacia ningún lado” short stories; Daniela Cruz Gil for “La ciudad no será nuestra,”

Some 162 works competed in the Funglode Awards 2017, including 126 short stories, 22 poems, 14 journalistic reports and one documentary.


Over a quarter of million persons are subject to travel restrictions
More than 250,000 Dominicans have active travel restriction cases against them that theoretically prevent those affected from leaving the Dominican Republic. There are also some 14,000 foreign residents, mostly Europeans, who are not allowed to leave the national territory because of different judicial proceedings against them.

Sources at the office of the Attorney General of the Republic and at the Directorate General of Migration revealed that the foreigners with travel restrictions include Spaniards, French, Germans, Italians, Chinese, Americans, and several other nationalities and are generally involved in outstanding judicial cases regarding property, real estate, physical aggression and child support issues.

The travel restrictions for Dominicans are usually requested by judges and prosecutors and are set forth by the Attorney General of the Republic and notified through officials at Migration.

According to the reports relating to Dominicans, most travel restrictions are related to open cases of crime, including accusations of sexual harassment, corruption, falsification of documents, human trafficking, drugs, traffic accidents, and other issues.

Sources revealed that there are travel restrictions in force as far back as 20 years ago and for reasons which for the most part have disappeared but still remain on the books and in the archives both at the Attorney General’s office as well as at the offices of Migration.

Among those Dominicans who cannot travel are former officials, former mayors and city council members active and retired members of the top military and police commands, former diplomats, active and former baseball players, businessmen, bankers and others. According to the report many of the persons with travel restrictions have made numerous attempts before the judicial authorities to petition the lifting of the disposition, often with no positive results.


Stones versus drones
Reports from Pedro Santana in Elías Piña province are that a Dominican Armada pickup and a minibus and a drone that were patrolling the border with Haiti were attacked with stones by Haitians when patrolling the Artibonito River. The incident took place at El Paso de Nonón, Bánica and ended with the arrest of undocumented Wilson Santomon in Dominican territory. He is accused of being one who attacked the vehicles.

Reports from the intelligence service at the José María Cabral fort, base for the third brigade of the Army in San Juan de la Maguana, reveal that Haitians threw stones at the drones that are in operating to assist in the patrol of the border.


Police call on victims to file complaints
The National Police called on the public to file complaints anytime there is an infraction of the law that affects them. The Police are issuing this call as a result of several citizens reporting on social media that they have been affected by incidences that exposed them to the risk of injury and that threatened the loss of their possessions or property.

Nevertheless, the police say that in the vast majority of these cases reported through social media, the alleged victims never contacted the police to file a formal complaint. A spokesperson for the police urged citizens affected by or witness to a crime to immediately contact officers nearest police station. Once a formal report has been filed, the Police will be able to quickly respond and investigate the incident and refer the case to the proper judicial authorities.

According to Colonel Frank Felix Durand, the director of Strategic Communication for the National Police, this is the way in which the authorities can capture more criminals, with the help of the general public. He added that the social networks are a great help at uncovering crime that would otherwise not receive any attention. These networks can also provide crucial evidence to back up an accusation against individuals or groups, and he added, “but these social networks cannot substitute for the legal procedures required by the law although they can assist.”

Readers might remember an entertainment personality from Puerto Rico who went on the social networks to complain that he had been the victim of an assault when he and his family were staying at a resort in La Romana. However, the alleged victim never filed a formal complaint and therefore the National Police had their hands tied and could not investigate the case.


Alicia Ortega threatened for coverage of Jose Silvestre murder
Local authorities and journalism rally in support to investigative journalist Alicia Ortega after she said her life has been threatened for a report on the case of the murder of José Silvestre. Recently, a key witness in the case was murdered and the murder has not been solved.

Among those who have supported the work of Ortega and made public statements are journalists Juan Bolívar Díaz, Huchi Lora, Álvaro Arvelo, Marino Zapete, Roberto Cavada, Edith Febles, Miguel Guerrero, Patricia Solano, among others. Others who have made support statements are international personalities including Bárbara Bermudo, María Elena Salinas, Rose Mary Santana and New York congressman Adriano Espaillat. Locally politicians Luis Abinader, David Collado, Milagros Ortiz Bosch, Antonio Isa Conde, Tony Isa Conde, Pancho Álvarez, have shown their support for Ortega.

Ortega went public revealing on her TV investigative journalism show, El Informe con Alicia Ortega, that she has had insider information of threats against her person for her following the case on Noticias SIN news station against Matias Avelino Castro, accused of being the intellectual author of the death of José Silvestre. The case is linked to drug trafficking. Ortega said the insiders told her that the remark “if he is sentenced, Alicia will know who we are, we are going to hit her.” The statement would have been made by an inmate in La Victoria Jail.

The threat is being investigated by the Attorney General Office and the National Police.


World class baseball opens Friday, 6 April 2018 at the Palacio de Voleibol
Brenda Castillo, considered the best libero in the world, will be playing volleyball for Cristo Rey during the elite women’s volleyball tournament that will take place 6 April to 6 May 2018. Other elite players in the tournament organized by the Superior Volleyball League are Jineiry Martínez, Annerys Vargas Valdez, Niverka Marte, Winnifer Fernández and “La China” Lisvel Eve Mejía. The women are known for their playing in the national volleyball team, “the queens of the Caribbean” that has regularly ranked in the top 10 in the world in women’s volleyball.

The teams playing in the 2018 championship are Mirador, Cristo Rey, Las Guerreras and Las Caribeñas. The tournament had been suspended in 2005.
The championship will take place at the Palacio del Voleibol Ricardo “Gioriver” Arias at the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Center.