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Thread: DR1 Daily News - Monday, 11 February 2019

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    Default DR1 Daily News - Monday, 11 February 2019

    President Medina to Rome for IFAD meeting
    Call center now making public hospital physician appointments
    Heliports at four public hospitals
    A Jekyll and Hyde government?
    Cell phone importers are hammered by new tariffs
    Environmentalists protest building land in Santo Domingo North river area
    Water rationing continues in Cibao
    Joint committee reaches agreement on five key points in election law
    Automated voting system will cost a lot of money
    PRSC protests use of taxpayer funds for primaries
    Bakeries protest school breakfast arrears
    Somebody sold some bad flags to the Superintendent of Banks
    First Dominican woman licensed to fly Air Force helicopters
    Electricity sector calls for better management and efficiency from EDEs
    Record sugar cane harvest
    Fire at burning garbage dump put out after three days
    Junk car importers are sent to prison until trial
    Two get 30-year terms in Carla Massiel killing
    DNCD deports US citizen
    Cops nab alleged Montreal Hells Angel on most-wanted list
    Panama wins the Caribbean Series, DR gets the cash award



    President Medina to Rome for IFAD meeting
    President Danilo Medina will be traveling to Rome, Italy on Monday, 11 February 2019 to participate in the 42nd International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Governors Council on 14-15 February 2019. Also scheduled to participate in the IFAD meeting is President Jovenel Moise of Haiti and Prime Minister of Italy Giuseppe Conte.

    As announced, during the meeting, Pope Francis will address heads-of-state, government ministers, and policy and development leaders during the opening ceremony of the IFAD gathering at the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) headquarters in Rome, at the Viale delle Terme di Caracalla.

    IFAD announced that President Danilo Medina would speak at the event. Other speakers at the meeting are IFAD president Gilbert F. Houngbo; Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development; Sigrid Kaag, the Netherlands Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation; and José Graziano da Silva, the Director-General of the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO).

    IFAD is a specialized United Nations financial institution based in Rome that works to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, it has provided US$20.4 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached about 480 million people.

    On Medina’s agenda for the visit to Italy is also a meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella on 13 February.

    https://www.ifad.org/en/web/latest/n...asset/40974360
    https://listindiario.com/la-republic...sesion-de-fida


    Call center now making public hospital physician appointments
    As of Monday, 11 February 2019, people will be able to call in for medical appointments at public hospitals. The National Health Service (SNS) announced that the new “Sistema de Gestión de Citas Médicas” will reduce the long lines at public hospitals.

    The first hospitals to use the free service are the Robert Reid Cabral Children’s Hospital in Santo Domingo, the Alejandro Cabral in San Juan de la Maguana and the Ángel Contreras in Monte Plata. The service will then be rolled over gradually to encompass more public hospitals.

    The appointments will be operated by the centralized government call center that is located at the Oficina Presidencial de Tecnología de la Información y Comunicación (OPTIC). The number to call is: *753. Patients need to provide their ID or passport number, and indicate the hospital and the specialist they would like to see. The calls can be taken Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm.

    Recently the Hospital Hugo Mendoza launched its own app (#AppHugoMendoza) for making appointments at that pediatrics public hospital in eastern Santo Domingo.

    https://listindiario.com/la-republic...via-telefonica


    Heliports at four public hospitals
    Heliports will be built at two trauma hospitals in the province of Santo Domingo, including the Ney Arias Lora and at the Darío Contreras and at the Plaza de la Salud, where Cedimat offers specialized heart care, in the National District, also part of Greater Santo Domingo. Another heliport will be built at the La Vega Juan Bosch trauma hospital off the Duarte Highway, about 104 km from Santo Domingo. Also on the list, is the construction of a heliport in Barahona. Santo Domingo has a heliport on the Malecón and recently one was built in San José de las Matas in the province of Santiago.

    The construction of the heliports is part of the Airport Agency plan to have a Medical Air Corridor, said Marino Collante, director of the Departamento Aeroportuario. Collante said the access to the trauma hospitals makes for a life saving difference to accident victims.

    Collante said there are 61 private helicopters registered; the Air Force has 30; 10 between the National Police and the National Drug Control Agency (DNCD). Helidosa, a private helicopter service company owned by Public Works Minister Gonzalo Castillo has 18.

    https://listindiario.com/la-republic...tro-hospitales


    A Jekyll and Hyde government?
    Diario Libre executive editor Adriano Miguel Tejada in the newspaper’s editorial on 11 February 2019 observes similarities between Stevenson’s Gothic novel’s two antagonistic characters (the good Dr. Jekyll and the evil Mr. Hyde) in the Medina cabinet. He writes: “Both terms could succinctly define the government of President Medina, who acts as a kind of Dr. Jekyll, the good man of surprise visits and numerous gestures and winks to the most vulnerable, and his ministers and directors, of the Mr. Hyde species that destroy all the good that the other person may have done.”

    He makes the remarks referring to the Customs Agency that recently increased taxes on cell phone imports from 3% to 8% in “full digital revolution” and just a day after the President had spoken openly about the importance of digital access during the opening of a public school.

    And the repeated cases regarding environment, as Tejada writes that “all the good that was being done has been changed by one stroke by the new incumbent who is more concerned about sowing to eat now than to save the waters with which it will be possible to eat in the future.”

    Tejada writes: “The President is an austere man, but many of his ministers are not. The President is a measured person, but we are tired of the chatter of many of his ministers and directors. The President is an honest man, who keeps his word. The same cannot be said of many of his ministers.”

    Tejada concludes: “More coordination is needed to achieve coherence in government. You need money, it's true, and you have to look for it, but a good plan would work better.”

    https://www.diariolibre.com/opinion/...yde-AF12065252
    https://www.diariolibre.com/economia...res-NF12062483
    https://www.diariolibre.com/actualid...rte-FG12058287


    Cell phone importers are hammered by new tariffs
    The formal sector that imports cell phones into the Dominican Republic protests the announcement of an increase from 3% to 8% of the tariffs on these phones. The increase was announced last week by the Customs Agency (DGA). Representatives of the businesses says that this slams the formal sector and will take them out of business as they cannot compete with informal operators that fully evade taxes. The DGA says that the 3% duty was established in 2005 and that the socio-economic situation at that time has been overcome.

    https://www.diariolibre.com/economia...nas-LH12042876


    Environmentalists protest building land in Santo Domingo North river area
    Observing there is negligence of the Ministry of Environment, Diario Libre carries a front page report on 11 February 2019 on the building of land at the north end of the Ozama River. The newspaper speculates that now that the Santo Domingo Skylift has made the area visible, landowners may be preparing the land for sale to developers. Diario Libre reporters say that innumerous trucks are bringing fill in material to build the land 30 meters from the riverside that is protected under Environment Law 64-00. Environmentalist Eleuterio Martínez says that the land building violates Decree 183-93 that ordered the creation of the Santo Domingo Green Belt.

    The Ministry of Environment replied to inquiries by Diario Libre reporters that the matter would be investigated and if there has been a violation, corrective measures would be taken. Likewise Mayor Rene Polanco of Santo Domingo North says his office would also investigate the situation, but he said a violation of this kind would fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Environment.

    https://www.diariolibre.com/actualid...rte-FG12058287


    Water rationing continues in Cibao
    The Santiago Water and Sewer Corporation (Coraasan) reports that it will continue rationing water throughout its system, as long as the drought continues in the region. Dario Fernandez, the water company spokesman, pointed out that waters levels at the Tavera Dam have continued dropping. The latest numbers showed that the level went from 317.45 to 317.30 meters, and, according to Fernandez, this will cause serious problems for families served by Corasaan.

    At the present time, the entity is processing 107 million gallons a day, but the demand is for 124 million gallons, thus causing the need to ration water. In another area, the town of Tamboril had its water supply re-opened after Coraasan managed to install a new pump to supply the city.

    https://www.diariolibre.com/actualid...ble-BA12039091


    Joint committee reaches agreement on five key points in election law
    The bilateral legislative committee that is studying the Electoral Regime Bill announced agreements on five key points that have been under discussion for a very long time. In the presence of 21 legislators, the committee accepted the creation of a special prosecutor who would investigate electoral crimes and be responsible to the Justice Department. The chairman of the committee, Aristides Victoria Yeb, explained that the double vote in municipal elections whereby a vote for Municipal District officials also counted as votes for the mayoral candidate in the Municipality. At the same time, the preferential vote was maintained for congressional and municipal elections, for city council members. But coat tailing (D'Hondt method) will still mean that when voting for a deputy of a specific party, the votes will count for the vote of the senator of the same party in the 2020 general election. The method enables that a candidate who obtained less senatorial votes nevertheless win the senate seat.

    Caps were placed on campaign funding, the same as carried in the Law on Political Parties, of RD$0.75 for each person which translates into RD$122.50 for the presidential election. As reported, Congress has but this week to approve the bill.

    https://eldia.com.do/legisladores-ac...-preferencial/
    https://eldia.com.do/comision-bicame...ley-electoral/


    Automated voting system will cost a lot of money
    The automated voting system that the Central Electoral Board (JCE) wants to implement in the primaries set for 6 October 2019 would cost around RD$711.2 million, or 49% of the budget planned for these elections (RD$1.449 billion). The money would be spent to purchase the equipment and on the educational campaign to inform the public on its use. An estimated RD$561.2 million would be invested in equipment, testing and training, and the placement of kiosks in public places. Another RD$150 million would be used for the promotional campaign, including legal notices, materials and placement of ads in all sorts of media. RD$318 million is allotted to pay staff that will work the primaries, from the JCE all the way down to the people at the polling places. Another RD$281 million is allotted to operations expenses; RD$95 million for materials and RD$43 million for training.
    The JCE established that the political parties that will be using the primary system to choose their candidates will contribute RD$200 million to the effort, and the government would pick up the rest of the bill.

    https://www.diariolibre.com/actualid...ias-CH12041672


    PRSC protests use of taxpayer funds for primaries
    PRSC sent acts of bailiff to order the Central Electoral Board (JCE) and the Ministry of Hacienda from allotting funds to political parties for their primaries to choose their political candidates for the 2020 general election. The president of the PRSC, Federico Antún Batlle said that the recent decision by the JCE to authorize that 85% of the funding for the primaries for five political parties, including the ruling party, come from state funds is in violation of the Political Parties Law 33-18.

    The cost of the primaries is estimated at RD$1.45 billion of which the political parties would only need to contribute RD$200 million, according to the agreement. Political parties that would celebrate primaries are the PLD, PRM (closed voting list), PRD, and the minority parties Al Pais and Opción Democrática. The PRSC chose a less costly method to choose its candidates.

    Law 33-18 in its article 47, clearly establishes that the resources to organize the process of the primary elections of the parties, groups and political movements to elect their candidates in the ordinary elections will be deducted, prior agreement with the political organizations, of the economic contribution that the state provides to the parties, regardless of other contributions to the Central Electoral Board, says Antún Batlle.

    https://eldia.com.do/prsc-intima-a-j...ara-primarias/


    Bakeries protest school breakfast arrears
    The Small and Medium-Sized Bakers’ Union (UMPIH) and the Association of School Food Suppliers of the Dominican Republic (Supliderd) came together late last week to announce that government arrears in payments for school meals, to the tune of some RD$2 billion, would force them to radicalize their fight to be paid. The bakers had announced they would not be preparing the school breakfast supplies for Monday and Tuesday, 11-12 February 2019. But at last minute, they announced they would give the government another week to make good on promises to pay.

    The president of the UMPIH, Aaron David Dinzey, had told reporters that the 204 suppliers of bread and crackers for the school breakfast programs across the nation is owed some RD$700 million, without taking into account the collateral expenses involved in carrying such a debt. He said: “We have gone six months without receiving any money from the Ministry of Education and its National Institute for Student Welfare (Inabie), which creates an unsustainable situation for all of us, so if we do not see positive results, we will have to become more radical in our demands.”

    The spokesman said they were forced to suspend the service because the flour cooperative that supply all of the bakers had also run out of money to finance the raw materials.

    The head of the Inabie, Rene Jaquez Gil, told reporters that they have nearly RD$7 billion with which to pay their suppliers, but that “for reasons of time they have not been able to make the payments.”

    https://www.diariolibre.com/actualid...tes-IA12039166
    https://www.diariolibre.com/actualid...lar-FF12063240


    Somebody sold some bad flags to the Superintendent of Banks
    The headquarters of the Superintendency of Banks is flying Dominican flags of the wrong color blue. Astute photojournalists noted that the blue on the Dominican flags flying at the offices of this government agency looked faded, and they posted pictures on social media and in the El Nacional newspaper.

    The Dominican Constitution defines the national symbols, including the flag, and says that the blue in the flag must be ‘ultramarine’ a very specific, dark tone, blue.

    The photographs circulating online clearly show that the flags flying outside of the Banking Superintendent’s offices, on occasion of February being the month celebrating Dominican independence, are clearly a much lighter tone.

    Moreso, Law 360 that dates back to 1943, regulates the use of the national flag. Article 12 of the law prohibits flying a deteriorated or discolored flag.

    https://elnacional.com.do/cambian-to...dera-nacional/


    First Dominican woman licensed to fly Air Force helicopters
    First lieutenant Leidy Jhirianny Tapia Díaz, became the first Dominican woman to captain a helicopter in the Air Force. She soloed on 7 February 2019 piloting the OH-58A helicopter of the Rescue Squadron of the Air Force. Tapia was admitted to the airport 12 years ago. She dreamed of being a pilot and studied at the Academia Aerea General de Brigada Piloto Frank A. Feliz Miranda and the Escuela de Aviacion from where she graduated as a pilot in 2016.

    https://eldia.com.do/leidy-tapia-pri...-fuerza-aerea/


    Electricity sector calls for better management and efficiency from EDEs
    The Dominican Electricity Industry Association (ADIE) has issued a call for improved management and distribution efficiency by the nation’s electricity distributors (the EDEs). The distributors are all state owned and operated.

    The association says that the major challenges facing the National Interconnected Electric System (ENDI) are in management and efficiency in the distribution of electricity. The association, which is made up of the electricity generators, says that this is the most critical step pending on the road to development and the ability to plan for the future and achieve the target of having affordable energy for the whole population.

    The 2018 ADIE Report that was presented to a group of journalists says that the national electricity system is reasonably stable and the energy available during 2018 was 12% above demand, reaching an accumulated value of 15,702 Gw. The report states that planning, public policies and forecasts of the needs of the electricity subsector in order to determine the long-range vision are the basis of achieving stability in the supply and development of the electricity supply.


    Record sugar cane harvest
    The Dominican Republic’s 2017/2018 sugar cane crush reached 5.8 mln tonnes, a significant increase over the 5.5 mln in 2016/17. Agra-Net reports the source of the numbers is the country’s National Sugar Institute (Inazucar). Agra-Net says this would be the country’s highest sugar harvest level since the mid 1990s. Of the total, 3.5 mln tonnes were crashed by the Central Romana in La Romana.

    https://www.agra-net.com/agra/intern...icle569467.ece


    Fire at burning garbage dump put out after three days
    It took three days for the Puerto Plata firemen to put out the fire at the Sosua municipal garbage dump that sent dense smoke clouds affecting health, transport and educational activities. Two public schools had to be evacuated.

    Province governor Iván Rivera, in his condition as president of the Prevention, Mitigation and Response Committee of the Province (PMR) and the Puerto Plata Air Force Base commander Colonel Cesar Edgardo Severino Santana assisted Sosua mayor Ilana Neumann to put out the stubborn fire. Several businesses sent water tanker trucks to assist the firemen.

    https://www.elcaribe.com.do/2019/02/...-afecta-sosua/


    Junk car importers are sent to prison until trial
    The Office of Permanent Attention of West Santo Domingo imposed a three-month custody for seven persons accused of a scam to import junk or salvage cars that were then sold as good in the Dominican Republic.

    According to the news report, there are current and former members of the DGA involved together with other persons. Four of the persons now in jail are customs agents, and they are accused of being part of a network of counterfeiters who altered documents and customs forms.

    Local law enforcement worked together with US officials on this case whereby cars listed as “salvage” were imported using fake papers, then modestly repaired and sold as good vehicles.

    The operation covered four main points in Santo Domingo and was a joint effort by the Justice Department, the DGA, DICRIM (Criminal Investigations Agency of the Police), DICAT (High Tech Crimes of the Police) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from the United States.

    https://elnacional.com.do/imponen-tr...ulos-no-aptos/


    Two get 30-year terms in Carla Massiel killing
    A Santo Domingo court (Tercer Tribunal Colegiado de Santo Domingo Oeste) sentenced Darwin Trinidad Infante to 30 years in jail for the murder of nine-year old Carla Massiel Cabrera. In court he complained he was tricked and said he would kill a bunch of people (“Yo lo que voy a matar pila de gente para la calle, me hicieron la vuelta”). The court presided by judge Maria Socorro also sentenced Juan Cabral Martínez to 30 years. Trinidad took investigators to locate the remains of the girl on 16 August 2016. She had been missing since 25 June 2015 in Pedro Brand.

    https://eldia.com.do/tribunal-conden...carla-massiel/
    https://listindiario.com/la-republic...-para-la-calle


    DNCD deports US citizen
    Officers of the National Drug Control Agency (DNCD) and the US Marshal Service, in coordination with the Public Ministry, arrested a US citizen in the National District who is accused of drug trafficking in Florida. 52-year old Dennis John Grubb was arrested on Av. República de Colombia. He is accused of conspiracy and cocaine possession with the intention of distributing this in the state of Florida. A capture order had been out for him for two years. He was deported on Thursday, 7 February 2019 to the United States on grounds of Law 285-04 that establishes that foreigners with criminal records not be admitted entry to the country.

    http://dncd.gob.do/index.php/noticia...r-narcotrafico


    Cops nab alleged Montreal Hells Angel on most-wanted list
    Canadian authorities reported that 48-year old and 6 feet 4 inches tall Daniel-André (Grand Dan) Giroux faces gang- and drug-related charges, and appeared before a judge in Montreal courthouse on 6 February 2019, after hiding for 10 months in the Dominican Republic. He was on the Quebec province’s 10 most-wanted list. He is described as the last alleged Hells Angel sought in a major police operation.

    The case was carried over to mid-March. He is accused of being a key part of a drug trafficking networks in Quebec with tentacles that reached into Ontario and New Brunswick in Canada. He had been on te run until his arrest on Tuesday, 5 February in the Dominican Republic. In April 2018, the Sûreté du Québec alleged Giroux was a member of the Montreal chapter of the Hells Angels. The force had just arrested dozens of people in a lengthy investigation into four drug trafficking networks in Quebec with tentacles that reached into Ontario and New Brunswick. But Giroux, was on the run until his arrest on Tuesday, 5 February in the Dominican Republic. He returned to Canada’s Trudeau Airport on Tuesday night escorted by police officers.

    https://montrealgazette.com/news/loc...t-nabbed-by-sq


    Panama wins the Caribbean Series, DR gets the cash award
    In an unexpected ending, guest teams Panama and Cuba would play the finals of the Caribbean Series on Sunday, 10 February 2019, with Panama winning the series by defeating Cuba 3 to 1. Neither of the two teams, Panama or Cuba are members of the Caribbean Confederation of Professional Baseball and were added at last minute when because of the political and economic crisis in Venezuela, the series was moved to Panama City. This meant that their players would not benefit from the cash prize of US$215 that would have gone to any of the teams for Puerto Rico, Mexico, Venezuela or the Dominican Republic. The cash prize, instead will be distributed among the runner up teams of the Dominican Republic and Mexico. Panama did get US$100,000 for improvements in the Rod Carew stadium in order to prepare for the championship.

    The Dominican Republic’s Estrellas Orientales almost made it. The games played by the team ended:
    Game 1: Estrellas Orientales defeated Congrejeros de Santurce (Puerto Rico) 3-1
    Game 2: Toros de Herrera (Panama) defeated Estrellas Orientales 4-2
    Game 3: Estrellas Orientales defeated Cangrejeros de Santurce 5-4
    Game 4: Estrellas Orientales defeated Toros de Herrera 5-3

    But the first round of the series ended with a tie between the Estrellas Orientales and the Toros de Herrera of Panama. The team quality balance points system was applied to break the tie and the Toros de Herrera would be the Group B team to pass to the finals against Cuba that had already defeated Venezuela and Mexico in Group A, that also advanced by team quality balance.

    http://www.lidom.com/home/
    https://www.elcaribe.com.do/2019/02/...ie-del-caribe/
    https://www.diariolibre.com/deportes...ibe-NF12063853

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    I just want to say I love reading these everyday. Thank you

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