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Thread: DR1 Daily News - Tuesday, 10 July 2018

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    Default DR1 Daily News - Tuesday, 10 July 2018

    Beryl brings heavy rains, 14 provinces on alert
    Mayor Collado announces 50 more trucks to improve garbage service
    People taking better care of passports
    Another case filed against tourist card charge
    Sunday raid against illegal slot machine operators
    French Ambassador says France is helping mass transport
    French ambassador says Haiti is not interested in hospitals for Haitians in Haiti
    Security measures due to violence in Haiti
    Haitians flee violence in Haiti, arriving to the Dominican Republic
    Haiti pressures for higher tariffs for Dominican imports
    Andres Oppenheimer to speak at Stock Market Forum
    Barrick wins court case against union promoters
    Robberies in Casa de Campo

    Beryl brings heavy rains, 20 provinces on alert
    Tropical Storm Beryl has dissipated but the remnant tropical wave brought intense early morning rain and thunderstorms primarily to the southern coast of the Dominican Republic. Greater Santo Domingo endured heavy rains and residents awoke to flooded streets. Hundreds of morning activities, including early morning exercise classes and summer camps, have been cancelled as people have stayed home to deal with the flooding and damages caused by the intense rains. The government announced the suspending of operations of the Santo Domingo Skylift that crosses over the Ozama River.

    The director of the Emergency Operations Center (COE), General Juan Manuel Méndez, during a press conference at the Presidential Palace on Monday, 9 July 2018, had expressed hopes Berly would continue to weaken as it crossed the Caribbean.

    The tropical wave effects began to be felt as early as the afternoon of Monday 9 July 2018 when wind gusts were felt. The weather forecast was for moderate to strong rainfall and wind gusts in the southeast of the country.

    Due to this forecast, the COE has issued a green and yellow alerts for 20 provinces of 31 provinces.

    Gloria Ceballos, director of the National Meteorological Office (Onamet) has said that they are expecting rain of up to 100 millimeters in some areas with the most rain falling on Tuesday and Wednesday, 10-11 July.

    Operators of small boats are warned to stay near the coast and the population is warned to follow the orders of the civil protection organizations.

    The US National Hurricane Center has also warned that the conditions are such that Beryl could regenerate as a hurricane as it approaches the Bahamas.

    Mayor Collado announces 50 more trucks to improve garbage service
    National District Mayor David Collado announced the arrival of 50 new garbage trucks to improve garbage collection in District One (Circumscripción Uno). The mayor announced the start of a public education campaign to remind residents to only take out their garbage shortly before the trucks are scheduled to pick up in their area. The Mayor’s office has identified over 50 businesses that are not respecting the assigned hours and the owners of these businesses would be legally notified that they need to comply with city’s trash ordinance. The action plan also calls for eliminating small garbage piles around the city.

    People taking better care of passports
    According to Ramón Rodríguez (Monchy), director general of the Passport Agency, during the first five months of this year, a total of 204,448 passports were issued. That is an average of 1,777 per day. He said that many of the requests for new passports were due to people not taking care of their previously issued passports, with 5.6% of the passports being issued due to loss, some 11,441, and 1,173 were issued due to damage.

    He also said that one of his main concerns when he took over the role was to reduce the numbers of lost and damaged passports. In his administration Monchy began applying a penalty for replacing a passport that was either damaged or lost. This new policy has resulted in a reduction of replacements for damage or loss passports down to 6.1% from 12.85%.

    The Passport Office has its head office in the National District and maintains eleven branch offices in Villa Mella and Megacentro, and Santiago, La Vega, Nagua, Montecristi, Puerto Plata, San Francisco de Macorís, Azua, Barahona and San Pedro de Macorís.

    However, given the increase in demand as the number of Dominicans travelling overseas increases, there have been a series of mobile operations to assist those who have difficulties commuting to the regional offices. Rodríguez said that the first was carried out in Loma de Cabrera, Dajabón, where128 passports were issued followed by Cotuí, Sánchez Ramírez, where around 381 passports were issued and then Samaná, with 342. In addition requests can now be made online.

    Another case filed against tourist card charge
    Dominican political leaders in New York, Manuel Féliz and Germán Ramírez Jr., have filed an appeal to the Constitutional Court urging that the Tax Agency (DGII) to stop the order for airlines to include tourist card fees from Dominicans residing overseas in the airline tickets.

    The new ruling was implemented by the DGII on 3 April 2018 when airlines were instructed to collect the US$10 tourist card charge as part of the price of airline tickets. Dominicans need to apply online or in person for a reimbursement.

    Féliz and Ramírez Jr. say this is one more example that the Dominican government is navigating up a creek without a paddle due to poor administration and that rather than applying policies of austerity the Dominican government continues to abuse Dominicans living overseas.

    They go on to say that if the cost of this card is multiplied by the number of Dominicans coming to the country each year, the amount is millions of dollars. Most Dominicans will not bother to go through the procedures for a reimbursement.

    There are now eleven complaints about the measure that have been filed at the Constitutional Court.

    Sunday raid against illegal slot machine operators
    The Attorney General Office announced that in simultaneous actions nationwide, around 1,000 slot machines were seized from places where they operated without authorization. The press release from the Attorney General Office explains that the seizing of the slot machines is part of a coordinated action with the backing of government children protection organizations and prosecutors in 31 provinces and the National District in answer to thousands of requests received from community groups nationwide.

    Some 27 businesses where the slot machines were operating were closed. Also seized was over RD$3 million in coins used by the machines. The press release from the Attorney General Office says more than 300 persons were arrested for investigations.

    French Ambassador says France is helping mass transport
    Ambassador Jose Gomez of France says the French government is assisting the Dominican government to find mass transport solutions to the traffic problems in Greater Santo Domingo. In an interview with Diario Libre, he highlighted that French subway cars (Alstom) are used by the Santo Domingo Metro. He also said that the French companies participated in the construction of the first skylift line that connects eastern and western Santo Domingo, and the Santo Domingo Metro.

    He confirmed the Medina administration (Opret) was modifying some stations to so these could have capacity for trains of up to five cars that have already been purchased to Alstom. He said French technology seeks to participate in the skylift that the government is considering to link Los Alcarrizos with the Santo Domingo Metro.

    He said French transport specialists are collaborating with Dominican transport specialists to find solutions for an efficient public transport in the capital city. "The city cannot hold more cars. You have to find a solution because transportation by car is more expensive, "said Ambassador Gómez.

    French ambassador says Haiti is not interested in hospitals for Haitians in Haiti
    French ambassador in the Dominican Republic, Jose Gomez, says that France is interested in collaborating for the construction of hospitals in Haiti to reduce the number of birthing tourism to the Dominican Republic, but the government of Haiti has not been interested in that happening.

    "Yes, we are very interested in helping, with the support of the European Union, to create health centers so that the Haitian women who are about to give birth do not have the cross the border and be admitted to Dominican hospitals," he told Diario Libre.

    Gomez said the problem is that those centers have to be built on Haitian territory and “the Haitian government has to express interest in the matter and up to now they have not conveyed their support for such an initiative. Then it is very difficult to do this project, but on the other hand, we are willing as French and Europeans to develop those health centers, but we need the support and interest of the Haitian authorities." he said.

    He said he understands how burdensome it is for the poor border towns to receive all the Haitian citizens that cross to give birth.

    "I understand that the building, equipping and staffing health centers in Haiti can be an effective strategy to serve Haitian citizens, but the Haitian government has to help. That is out of our hands.
    He said French Guiana had a similar problem, when many women from Surinam crossed and a hospital was built in Surinam so that the women did not have to cross the border.

    Security measures due to Haitian violence
    Given the current situation in Haiti with violent protests, the Dominican Customs’ Agency (DGA) has said that their offices in Jimani and Dajabon will remain closed.

    Port-au-Prince and other locations are still being affected by violent protests including the Haitian customs agency located in Fond Parisien, near Jimaní, which also led to the decision of the DGA.
    The protests are due to the 49% increase in the price of fuel that was to go into effect last Friday, 6 July 2018. Although the increase in fuel prices was reversed on Saturday, 7 July, the protests continued across the country leaving at least three people dead.

    However, on Monday, 9 July 2018, the bi-national markets in Jimani and Pedernales (southwest) and Dajabon (northwest) operated. Defense Minister Rubén Paulino Sem said that security along the border had been increased.

    Haitians arriving in the Dominican Republic
    The family of the former Haitian President Michel Martelly has arrived in the Dominican Republic, landing by helicopter at Maria Montez International Airport in Barahona, on Sunday, 8 July 2018. The helicopter took off from Port au Prince, the Haitian capital carrying his wife, Angela Pierre Jean-Baptiste, and his children, Michel-Yani, Bianka Christy J., Michael Alexandre, Michael Olivier, Olivia Michael, Kahlil Michel-Olivier, and Melaika Michael Martelly.

    The Dominican airport authorities, plus the military are on high alert as other important Haitian families as well as members of the Haitian government are expected to arrive in the Dominican Republic.

    Haiti pressures for higher tariffs for Dominican imports
    Haiti presented a request for an increase tariffs on goods imported from the Dominican Republic and secure the banning of the entry of 23 products by land. As reported, in a meeting of the Council Trade of Goods of the World Trade Organization that took place last week 4 and 5 July 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland. Former Dominican ambassador to the WTO, Luis Manuel Piantini told Listin Diario that the ban on Dominican exports violates the trade facilitation agreement of the WTO of which Haiti is a signatory. Haiti argues they are a member of Caricom, a market that applies a greater tariff on third party countries that that they charge each other.

    Listin Diario sources say that Haiti has plans to increase the tariffs on Dominican imports but has not done so because of the crisis that surged after the increases in the prices of gasoline, diesel and kerosene.

    Piantini said this means that Jamaican exports to Haiti would enter with zero tariffs, while Dominican products would pay 20 to 40% taxes. He said if this happens, the DR would lose market share to Caricom countries.

    Andres Oppenheimer to speak at Stock Market Forum
    The Association of Stock Brokers of the Dominican Republic will be presenting outlook and challenges ahead for the sector during the celebration of the Second Stock Market Forum in Santo Domingo set for 17 July 2018, announced Mario A. Franco, executive director for the stock brokers association.

    "The Dominican Republic's stock market has great potential to boost competitiveness and the national economy, and in this forum we will analyze how we will continue to contribute to enhance development," said Franco.

    He stressed that this forum will feature the keynote speech of the famous Andrés Oppenheimer, the editor and syndicated foreign affairs columnist with The Miami Herald and anchor of “Oppenheimer Presenta” on CNN Español. Oppenheimer will address the challenges of the Dominican Republic, the Caribbean and Latin America in the era of innovation.

    Also speaking will be Chilean economist Guillermo Larrain, who is president of Banco Estado de Chile and is a past superintendent of pension plans, securities and insurance in Chile. Another speaker on the program is Alfredo Ibarguen, former vice president of treasury and capital markets of the Chase Manhattan Bank in Spain who will speak on corporate governance, family companies and security markets.

    For more information, see

    Barrick wins court case
    A court in Sanchez Ramirez has ruled in favor of a lawsuit brought by Barrick Gold against the Workers’ Union of the mine (Sutrabarrick) that accused the union of not having the majority of members required by law to represent the interests of all of the employees at the mine.

    In a press release, the Canadian company said that at the beginning of 2017 they asked the Labor Court in Sanchez Ramirez to rule as to whether the union had sufficient members to be able to have union representation and now the court has ruled that they do not.

    As reported, the union had stated membership was 738 to 794 members but later representatives admitted they did not know the exact number of active members.

    The court ruled that of the 2,087 employees who worked at Barrick Gold, at the time the lawsuit was filed some 1,803 had the capacity to belong to the union hence the union did not have the percentage of eligible members required by the law.

    Robberies in Casa de Campo
    Masked and armed men assaulted a group of young people who were staying in a villa in Casa de Campo, La Romana in the early hours of Friday, 6 July 2018 morning. Jewelry and cash were stolen from the home of 51-year old Ricardo Zapata, at Villa Catalina 10.

    During the assault, one of the robbers warned, “Nothing will happen to you, we only came to rob the rich”.

    Two months ago, Puerto Rican presenter and comedian Raymond Arrieta and his family were also attacked and robbed in Casa de Campo and in September last year, Eudo Enrique Carruyo Perozo, the Venezuelan son of the former vice president of finance of the Venezuelan Petroleum company, Eudomario Carruyo was threatened together with his wife and they were forced to open the safe and the robbers made off with US$400,000 and 12 expensive watches. The thieves also took a wallet with US$8,500 in cash, two wedding rings, an engagement ring, two gold necklaces, a gold bracelet, a box of cufflinks and a checkbook.

    The Police say there several suspects have been arrested in the case.
    Last edited by Dolores; 07-10-2018 at 08:19 AM.


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