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Thread: DR1 Daily News - Thursday, 7 February 2019

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    Default DR1 Daily News - Thursday, 7 February 2019

    Next DR1 Daily News on Monday, 11 February 2019
    Medina visits Barahona to start housing development
    Breakfast suppliers protest government arrears
    Hacienda minister pushes tax amnesty
    OPIC streamlines approval process for backing investments in the DR
    CDEEE backs power plants that switch from fuel oil to natural gas
    Financing to primaries met with widespread opposition
    Army searches to check for smuggled gasoline and diesel
    DGA dismantles mafia imported junk vehicles
    Customs increases tax on cell phone imports
    40% of cars in circulation do so without insurance
    Monte Plata pineapples get their own brands
    RD$57 billion to improve Claro service through 2021
    DR1 Daily News contributor robbed at home
    Rains and drought this weekend
    Felix Sanchez on COD board
    Panama wins game 2 against DR in Caribbean Series
    International biker spotlight on Vuelta Independencia
    Laura Rivera at Casa de Teatro
    Pavel Nuñez at Hard Rock Live for Valentine’s Day concert
    Carnival weekend



    Next DR1 Daily News on Monday, 11 February 2019
    The next DR1 Daily News update will be published on Monday, 11 February 2019. The Monday issue will compile headline news for the previous Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Breaking news can be followed 24/7 in the Forums. the DR1 Forum at http://www.dr1.com

    Have a good weekend!


    Medina visits Barahona to start housing development
    President Danilo Medina was in Barahona on Wednesday, 6 February where he participated in the ground-breaking for the construction of Ciudad Esperanza, a 410 apartment government housing development. He also participated in the inaugural of three public schools and a day care center, a RD$150 million investment.

    Speaking at the inaugural, he highlighted the challenges technology poses to the job market. "Jobs are going to be lost in engineering, law, accounting,” he remarked. He then said that careers that would not be affected are those that deal with emotions, such as that of psychologists.

    Medina highlighted that the Dominican government is contributing to prepare the new generations for the fourth industrial revolution through scholarship programs and the República Digital program. He said the program encompasses delivering 300,000 free computers to public school children.

    https://presidencia.gob.do/noticias/...raciones-esten
    https://www.diariolibre.com/actualid...tal-AA12033056


    Breakfast suppliers protest government arrears
    Members of the Unión Nacional de Productores de Harina (UNPIH) complained the Medina administration is in arrears with them for RD$700 million. The union groups 204 companies that supply primarily bread and crackers for public school breakfasts and snacks to the Instituto Nacional de Bienestar Estudiantil (Inabie).

    The union said they will no longer deliver the products if they are not paid by this coming Monday, 11 February 2019. Aaron David Dinzey of UNPIH said the situation is financially unsustainable. “Not even 40% of the bread producers have received any kind of payment. He said the Cooperativa de Servicios Múltiples Procesadores de Harina (Cooproharina) is no longer supplying the inputs needed for the bread production.

    Rene Jaquez Gil, director of Inabie, nevertheless says that the entity has the RD$6.96 billion to cover contracts with the suppliers. He said they will work overtime to get the payments out to more than 1,000 registered suppliers of breakfast and lunch meals.

    The suppliers deliver more than 1.8 million breakfasts to the public schools, but complain they have not been paid in six months. They said they have met with Jaquez on the issue over ten times with no results. They urge the government make good on its word to help the small and medium-sized businesses to avoid their going bankrupt.

    https://www.diariolibre.com/actualid...gar-PA12033268


    Hacienda minister pushes tax amnesty
    Hacienda Minister Donald Guerrero was at the National Congress on Wednesday, 5 February 2019 to lobby for the passing of the Ley de Declaración Patrimonial y Revalorización. The bill for Patrimonial Declaration and Revaluation is described as a kind of fiscal amnesty that would establish a special and transitory tax regime for a period of one year for individuals and companies to clear their undeclared real estate and assets before the tax administration, explained Guerrero. In the visit to Congress, Guerrero was accompanied by the director of the Tax Agency (DGII) Magin Diaz.

    The tax amnesty establishes a special tax on the assets voluntarily declared of 3% for real estate and 5% on other assets. Guerrero says the initiative comes after the passing of the Asset Laundering Law and is presented by the Executive Branch to avoid that non-declared assets be persecuted by the authorities as fiscal fraud or asset laundering.

    While the government is backing this bill, it told journalists that the timing is not right for the passing of the Tax Reform Bill, as called for by the National Development Strategy 2030 Law 1-21. Several sectors have asked that a tax reform simplify the present tax system. He said instead the government would continue to concentrate on improvements in the tax administration.

    Diario Libre reports that in 2018, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recommended the Government focus the adjustment on the expansion of the tax base and on the exemptions and tax incentives and the simplification of the tax system.

    https://www.diariolibre.com/economia...rno-BB12028485


    OPIC streamlines approval process for backing investments in the DR
    The United States Embassy in the Dominican Republic reports that the US and the Dominican Republic governments have signed an agreement whereby the Ministry of Hacienda and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) agree to facilitate investment by US companies in the Dominican Republic.

    The agreement was signed by Hacienda Minister Donald Guerrero and the president of the OPIC, Ray W. Washburne. It facilitates the use of OPIC’s loan guaranty and political risk insurance programs by US companies seeking to invest in the Dominican Republic, and updates procedures under a long-standing agreement between the governments of the United States and the Dominican Republic.

    “We are delighted to formally announce that this process will streamline the ability for U.S. companies, backed by OPIC, to invest here in the Dominican Republic,” said Ambassador Bernstein in a press release. As explained, OPIC’s visit in December 2018 was the first step in highlighting the excellent opportunities available in the Dominican Republic and the agreement signing is the next step.

    Minister Guerrero Ortiz explained that the “Operational Procedure for Government Approval of Projects” defines the manner in which the Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Dominican government, will give its approval to projects that OPIC is considering financing or supporting in the Dominican Republic.

    He said that the projects financed by this US financial institution are developed by the private sector and financed with private capital. “In this sense, we emphasize that they will not be developed with public support, they will not generate an increase in public debt and will not have any type of associated public guarantee, “said the official.
    https://do.usembassy.gov/united-stat...roval-process/
    https://noticiassin.com/rd-y-eeuu-fi...-de-inversion/
    https://www.elcaribe.com.do/2019/02/...tar-inversion/


    CDEEE backs power plants that switch from fuel oil to natural gas
    The Public Electricity Corporation (CDEEE) says it is facilitating that fuel oil-powered plants switch to natural gas. Ruben Jiménez Bichara, executive vice president of the CDEEE, says that Decree 62-18 authorizes new measures so that companies can recover the conversion cost.

    Jiménez Bichara said negotiations are underway for the conversion to natural gas of 730 MW in generation in the east. He said the companies that are making the switch are benefitted with 7-10-year long power purchase agreements.

    Among the first beneficiaries of the agreement is the Compañía Eléctrica San Pedro de Macorís (CESPM), formerly Cogentrix, that is converting their 300 MW plant to natural gas and received a 10-year PPA. Another that will benefit is the EGE Haina that will convert their Quisqueya II 215MW to natural gas. Also to make the switch is the EGE Haina Quisqueya I 215MW plant that serves the Barrick Pueblo Viejo mining plant and sells surplus power to the national power grid.

    The natural gas conversion deals come concurrently with the announcement by AES Dominicana that it will be building a natural gas pipeline from their terminal in Andrés, Boca Chica to San Pedro de Macorís. Other power plants that could be converted to natural gas in San Pedro de Macorís are the 150MW Sultana del Este and the 60MW Los Orígenes.

    https://noticiassin.com/cdeee-contra...a-gas-natural/
    https://www.elcaribe.com.do/2019/02/...onviertan-gas/


    Financing to primaries met with widespread opposition
    The announcement by the Central Electoral Board (JCE) that it would pick up 85% of the RD$1.5 billion cost for the organization of primaries to choose candidates for the 2020 election has met with widespread opposition. This would mean taxpayers would need to pay for the JCE to organize the primaries even when in the recently passed Political Parties Law specifies that political parties choosing the method of primaries need to solely pay for these.

    In making the announcement, the president of the JCE, Julio Guzmán Castaños stated that money cannot be an obstacle to peace and elections bring peace.

    Opposition to the announcement is widespread. The National Business Council called for the JCE to comply with the Political Parties Law 33-18. Hacienda Minister Donald Guerrero said Law 33-18 establishes that the cost of the primaries will be covered by the funding already allotted to the political parties in the National Budget. The Permanent Forum of Political Parties of the Dominican Republic (Fopppredom) shared the opinion of Guerrero. Fopppredom says it is not correct nor fair that the political parties choosing the modality of primaries be required to pay only RD$200 million and the government pick up RD$1.25 billion of the cost.

    Participación Ciudadana, a leading civic watchdog organization, said the amount the JCE would cover regarding the primaries organization is greater than the transfers the central government allots to 122 city governments and seven ministries together (Women, Public Administration, Energy and Mines, Labor, Culture and Sports). PC called the announcement by the JCE a violation of the new Political Parties Law. It urged the government stick to the law. PC says that if the agreement is implemented the financing to political parties would be RD$2.75 billion, or 0.4% of GDP, instead of the 0.25% that the law authorizes. “And that is only for the parties, without counting the other expenses that the JCE will incur to maintain the excessively expensive Dominican democracy and the theft of public resources made by candidates for elective office."

    Former President Hipólito Mejía and Interior & Police Minister José Ramón Fadul backed the JCE decision.

    Law 33-18 in its article 47 establishes: "The resources to organize primaries for the parties, groupings and political movements to elect the candidates to the different positions in the ordinary elections will be deducted, previous agreement with the political organizations, from the economic contribution that the state provides to the parties, independently of the contributions of the Central Electoral Board in nature and logistics ".

    Political parties that announced primaries are the ruling PLD party, the PRD, Alianza País and Opción Democrática. Of the total RD$1.25 billion agreed upon by the JCE almost the totality will go to the PLD and its ally in the 2016 general election, the PRD.

    https://pciudadana.org/?p=6960
    https://www.metrord.do/do/destacado/...electoral.html
    https://www.metrord.do/do/noticias/2...-partidos.html
    https://www.diariolibre.com/actualid...ias-HA12032432


    Army searches to check for smuggled gasoline and diesel
    The Army is enforcing additional measures to combat gasoline and diesel contraband to Haiti. Major General Estanislao Gonell Regalado said that Defense Minister Ruben Dario Paulino Sem ordered enhanced security measures on the border. Haiti at present is suffering from a fuel scarcity. Searches are intensified in vehicles crossing the border to ensure these are not illegally trafficking in fuel.

    http://hoy.com.do/ejercito-toma-medi...s-hacia-haiti/


    DGA dismantles mafia imported junk vehicles
    The Customs Agency (DGA) announced the dismantling of a mafia that altered import documents to evade taxes and import vehicles categorized as junk in the United States. The DGA operation had the cooperation of the Public Ministry, National Police, High Tech Crimes Agency (Dicat), Criminal Investigations Agency (Dicrim) and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency of the United States.

    https://listindiario.com/la-republic...agar-impuestos
    http://hoy.com.do/dga-detecta-red-in...ulos-no-aptos/
    https://eldia.com.do/empleados-de-ad...eso-vehiculos/
    https://www.diariolibre.com/actualid...unk-CA12036499


    Customs increases tax on cell phone imports
    In a measure that protects sales by local telecoms, the Customs Agency (DGA) announced that individuals importing mobiles would be charged 20% tax, and not the 3% as at present. The measure is in effect immediately and complies with Customs Reform Law 146-00. The administrative measure reducing the tax had been issued in 2005. The DGA said the 3% is still valid for imports that were on their way or in Customs as of 6 February 2019.

    http://www.amellcxa.com/pdf/Ley_146-00.pdf


    40% of cars in circulation do so without insurance
    The importance of purchasing full vehicular insurance coverage is evident in the recent statement by the executive vice president of Seguros Reservas, Osiris Mota who said that 40% of the automobiles in circulation in the Dominican Republic are on the road without insurance. He said this is a heavy burden for drivers that are in compliance with the law.

    He also observed that only 10% of dwellings in the Dominican Republic are insured. He says this increases the risk in case of a calamity, such as an earthquake.


    Monte Plata pineapples get their own brands
    Pineapple producers in Monte Plata have obtained certificates for the brands Dorada Premium Pineapple and Sweet Crown Dominican Pineapples. The certificate was sought now that Monte Plata pineapples are being exported and are in much demand in markets abroad. The certificates were issued by the National Office of Industrial Property (Onapi). Onapi director Sandy Lockward delivered the certificates to the representaties of the Asociacion de Productores de Piña de Monte Plata.

    http://www.onapi.gov.do/index.php/no...ra-exportacion


    RD$57 billion to improve Claro service through 2021
    Claro telecommunications announced that from 2019 to 2021 it would invest RD$57 billion in service improvements. Rogelio Viesca, president of the company in the Dominican Republic, said the focus is to continue strengthening company infrastructure to maintain the company standing as leader in technology and innovation.

    Claro Dominicana will continue to focus on anticipating the changing needs of the market and offering productive sectors innovative communication solutions that require their transformation and improve the quality of life of Dominicans, he stated when meeting with the media.

    He announced the company would expand the reach of urban and interurban optic fiber and would complete the modernization of its mobile network. He said that at present 99% of Claro users have access to 3G and 2G, 93.7% to LTE 4G and 83.9% to 4.5G.

    He said that the company would complete the connection to the AMX1 underground cable between Dominican Republic (from Puerto Plata) and six other countries. He said that Claro is the market leader in fixed telephone line and mobile, Internet, and paid TV.

    https://www.elcaribe.com.do/2019/02/...-mil-millones/


    DR1 Daily News contributor robbed at home
    63-year old Lindsay Firth, who contributes to the DR1 Daily News, was assaulted at gunpoint at her home in Cacique, Monción municipality in northwestern Santiago Rodríguez province. As reported in El Nacional, she handed in the cash but resisted being gagged and suffered a serious injury on the forehead, the Police reported. The police described the wounds as a blunt blow and a traumatic wound on the forehead.

    According to the police, the Firth was assaulted when she was alone in the morning at her residence, located in the Cacique en Monción section. As reported, she had left the front door open and the thief penetrated gun in hand demanding she turn in the money she had. The police say she was hospitalized in Mao.

    https://elnacional.com.do/revelan-40...ta-sin-seguro/


    Rains and drought this weekend
    Center for Emergency Operations (COE) reported a green alert for the provinces of Puerto Plata, Santiago, Monseñor Nouel (Bonao), La Vega and Espaillat (Moca). A green alert is issued when there is a threat for flooding due to intense rains.

    The National Meteorological Office (Onamet) says that two troughs are in the area that will bring rain to the northwest, north, central mountain range and border area. Nevertheless, Onamet says that drought conditions continue for the south, southwest and northwest. Conditions are so extreme, that in Dajabón forestry fires have been reported due to the drought in the northwest.

    http://hoy.com.do/coe-emite-alerta-v...-5-provincias/


    Felix Sanchez on COD board
    The Dominican Olympic Committee (COD) announced that two-time Dominican gold medal winner Felix Sánchez (Athens 2004 and London 2012) has joined the executive board of the COD. Other members of the board are COD president Luis Mejía, past president José Joaquín Puello, Gilberto García and Antonio Acosta.

    Sánchez will be participating as a guest in representation of the Dominican athletes with the right to vote, but not vote until he is ratified by the sports federation assembly. The COD says a retired woman athlete would be chosen to complete the rule for two athletes on the board.

    The COD also announced that the winner of the Athlete of the Year Award would receive RD$1 million cash prize during the Grand Olympic Gala scheduled for 20 February 2019 at the event to be held at the Gran Salón La Fiesta of the Jaragua Renaissance Hotel. The event is organized by the COD with the backing of the Ministry of Sports and the Cervecería Nacional Dominicana.

    https://listindiario.com/el-deporte/...-ejecutivo-cod
    https://eldia.com.do/sanchez-ingresa...ejecutivo-cod/


    Panama wins game 2 against DR in Caribbean Series
    Panama brought the Estrellas Orientales back to reality, landing a 4-2 win against the Dominican team in the game played during the Caribbean Series at the Panama City Rod Carew stadium. The DR had won their first game against Puerto Rico. This is the first win by a Panamanian team since 15 February 1960 when they played against Cuba.

    Panama took the lead in the game thanks to Javier Guerra, who batted for a home run in the second inning of the game to the delight of Panamanian fans. Guerra plays with the Padres de San Diego.

    The Estrellas’ three star ball players, Fernando Tatis, Jose Siri and did not travel to Panama to play the Series.

    The Estrellas Orientales are representing the Dominican Republic after winning their first championship in 51 years. The team won the regular series, the round robin and the playoffs.

    The Dominican team next plays its second game against Puerto Rico on Friday. The DR had won the first game against Puerto Rico.

    http://www.espn.com.au/mlb/story/_/i...ribbean-series
    https://www.elcaribe.com.do/2019/02/...brero-de-1960/
    https://listindiario.com/el-deporte/...rie-del-caribe
    https://elnacional.com.do/panama-tum...ie-del-caribe/


    International biker spotlight on Vuelta Independencia
    Jorge Blas, president of the Dominican Cycling Federation, announced that the Vuelta Independencia, scheduled for 25 February to 3 March 2019, is now an Olympic Games qualifier, Road bikers can win points towards their qualification in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (24 July – 9 August 2020) by participating in the most seven-day tour that is in its 40th year. Points will be awarded for the top ten places.


    Laura Rivera at Casa de Teatro
    Singer Laura Rivera, formerly of Tribu del Sol and Retro Jazz, is performing on Saturday, 9 February 2019 at the Casa de Teatro. Her concert, “En la Casita” is a repeat of the successful concert she performed at the Downtown Center. Together with her will be musicians Rafa Payan, Guy Frometa and Peter Nova.

    https://elnuevodiario.com.do/laura-r...o-este-sabado/


    Pavel Nuñez at Hard Rock Live for Valentine’s Day concert
    Singer and songwriter Pavel Núñez will be presenting “Oratoria”, his concert filled with love songs on 13 February 2019 at the Hard Rock Live of the Blue Mall. Núñez is nominated to two Soberano Awards as Best Soloist and Best Composer. Pavel Núñez will be accompanied by El Corredor de la 27, featuring David Vásquez on the bass; Luisito Payán, on the second guitar; Guy Frómeta, on drums; Rafa Payán, in the first guitar and musical direction, and percussionist El Abuelo.

    Tickets are for sale online at Uepa Tickets or at CCN, Jumbo, Supermercados Nacional and the Hard Rock box office.


    Carnival weekend
    February is carnival month in the Dominican Republic with Sunday celebrations taking the main streets in La Vega, Santiago and Bonao. In Santo Domingo, check out the carnival photography exhibition at the Parque de Independencia.
    And Punta Cana is hosting a two-day celebration on Friday, 8 February and Saturday, 9 February at the Boulevard 1 de Noviembre in Puntacana Village, near the Punta Cana International Airport. This year, the parade includes carnival delegations from Aruba, Curacao, Haiti and St. Martin, in addition to the selection of the very best in carnival from all around the Dominican Republic. Entrance to the Punta Cana Carnival is free, but tickets to sit on a stage during the event are available for purchase. For more information: http://puntacanavillage.com/lifestyle/carnaval

    https://listindiario.com/la-vida/201...te-de-carnaval
    Last edited by Chirimoya; 02-07-2019 at 10:25 AM.

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