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    Default DR1 Daily News - Tuesday, 11 February 2020

    Julio Cesar Castaños says JCE is ready for the municipal election
    JCE plenary extends deadline for presidential and congressional election alliances
    118 international electoral observers for municipal election
    Nuria Piera opens Pandora Box on Social Plan political patronage
    Senate spends a lot of our money in 2019
    Tax amnesty bill passes in Congress
    Senate passes Public-Private Partnerships Bill
    Chamber of Deputies approve waste processing bill
    Bill to facilitate credit for small business moves to Presidency for enactment
    Citizen Participation and the UN unite for sustainable development
    Metro system sets new record
    Inkia Energy attracted by public-private partnership bill
    Public Works makes progress on highway between Monte Plata and San Pedro
    Water supply continues stable for Greater Santo Domingo
    Five Dominican students are stuck in China, AFS students among first to leave
    US DEA agent decorated in the Dominican Republic
    No date yet for the Soberano Awards
    Museum of Natural History has a new show
    The Tao of Sex at the National Theater
    The Mariinsky Orchestra is coming
    Oscar-winning films showing in the DR



    Julio Cesar Castaños says JCE is ready for the municipal election
    During a press breakfast at the Listin Diario newspaper, the president of the Central Electoral Board (JCE) Julio Cesar Castaños Guzmán expressed confidence all will go well with the municipal election on Sunday, 16 February 2020, because “all is set up.” He said at the close of the polls, the electoral boards will simultaneously transmit the tallies to the JCE, the political parties and the media that request this. He said it is the municipal electoral boards that will consolidate the bulletins, give the results, proclaim the winning candidates and swear them in.
    "Here we are all going to play with the same cards. Everyone will have the same data," he emphasized, while highlighting the measures that have been taken to protect the voting and transmission system.

    A maximum of 600 voters have been allocated to the 16,032 voting stations nationwide. These will be open for voting from 7am to 5pm. In the municipal elections, 158 mayors, 1,164 city councilors, 235 municipal board directors and 735 municipal district directors will be elected.

    Voting will be automated in 18 of the 158 municipalities that concentrate 62% of the voters. Voting will be by printed ballot in 140 municipalities. There will be 1,772 automated voting stations.

    He said the vote will be much more closely monitored and scrutinized than one might imagine. At least 118 international observers have registered to vote from organizations such as the Union of Electoral Organizations (UNIORE), the Organization of American States (OAS), the computer company Microsoft, political parties, the International Foundation of Electoral Systems (IFES), the Central American Parliament, among others. At the local level, the Participación Ciudadana movement has accredited 1,801 observers.

    This municipal election, candidates for city councilors and members of the board will be chosen by preferential vote, which allows citizens to choose their candidates directly, but the drag on the mayors is maintained. This means that when voting for a city councilor, the vote automatically goes to the mayor candidate of the same party.

    https://listindiario.com/la-republic...o-esta-montado
    https://elecciones2020.do/


    JCE plenary extends deadline for presidential and congressional election alliances
    The Central Electoral Board (JCE) is giving political parties two more days to register the alliances for the 17 May 2020 presidential and congressional elections. The deadline was moved from 17 February to 19 February. The JCE judges will then meet to review these on 21 February and announce final decisions on 24 February.

    The plenary of the Central Electoral Board (JCE), headed by its presiding judge Julio César Castaños Guzmán, approved the extension on Sunday, 9 February 2020, by way of Resolution 16-20.

    Likewise, the same resolution ratifies that all presidential and congressional candidacies must be presented by 3 March 2020.

    The JCE plenary judges are Julio César Castaños Guzmán, Roberto Saladín Selin, Carmen Imbert Brugal, Rosario Graciano de los Santos and Henry Mejía Oviedo. Ramón Hilario Espiñeira Ceballos is the general secretary of the JCE.

    https://jce.gob.do/Noticias/pleno-jc...y-congresuales


    118 international electoral observers for municipal election
    The Central Electoral Board (JCE) says 118 international electoral observers are accredited for the 16 February 2020 municipal election. The observers are from 20 countries: Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, South Korea, Uruguay and the United States. They will be on duty from 13 to 17 February.

    The largest group will be from the Inter-American Union of Electoral Organizations (Uniore), which will send 40 observers. Uniore's head of mission is Marcos Baños, advisor to Mexico's National Electoral Institute (INE). Former Chilean President Eduardo Frei will head the 24-person strong electoral observer mission that will represent the Organization of American States (OAS). Six will represent the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES).

    Six members of the Council of Electoral Experts of Latin America (Ceela) are coming, as are seven members of the Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB). 20 members of the diplomatic corps accredited in the Dominican Republic have registered as electoral observers. The JCE says that 15 academics and experts are also accredited as electoral observers. Included in the observers are five representatives from the Central American Parliament and 21 observers representing foreign political parties.

    https://acento.com.do/2020/politica/...rnacionales-2/


    Nuria Piera opens Pandora Box on Social Plan political patronage
    A leak led to local outrage when it was revealed that the director of the Social Plan, Iris Guaba, had ordered government-paid influencers to go after independent journalists. The matter nevertheless did not die there. TV journalist Nuria Piera took advantage of the new interest to take a closer look at the Social Plan entity for her Saturday and Monday weekly show on Channel 9.

    She revealed on her TV show that there is widespread distribution of government Social Plan gift boxes and other items to legislators of many political parties, not just the government party. Government entities, high-ranking government officers, and influential journalists all have received the gift boxes at different times. It is up to these individuals to then to distribute the gift boxes at their own discretion.

    Piera provided evidence that legislators of the ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) receive the most gift items, but thousands are allotted to legislators of allied political parties, and also to those of the opposition. Politicians of the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD), Social Christian Reformist Party (PRSC), Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), the Frente Amplio and Fuerza del Pueblo, judges, and journalists are on the list. Piera points out that opposition legislators receive around 40% of what is allocated to government legislators. She said all are then “validating the irregular and whimsical way of wasting taxpayer money. “ The Social Plan budget in 2019 was RD$3.5 billion for the social assistance programs.

    In another take on the political patronage going on, sociologist Juan Miguel Perez commented on the widespread reach Nuria Piera unveiled when interviewed for the La Cuestion radio talk show on La Super 7 FM. He said the complicity has bred the complacency of all political sectors to the matter. He said the situation is normal and perceived by many as part of the role of legislators and other beneficiaries. “The problem is the discretionary power and perverse commerce that is going on to buy loyalties,” he remarked.

    After the scandal of the RD$380 million Social Plan purchase of household goods spread on social media, the PRM protested, calling for the Central Electoral Board (JCE) to put a stop to the distribution days before the municipal election. The president of the JCE reacted by recommending the government stop the practice “motus proprio.”

    As it stands, the Social Plan director Iris Guaba says the procurement for household appliances is normal and legal. The general complicity of political opposition and many journalists backs up this general perception.

    Meanwhile, the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) has acted to summon President Danilo Medina to a hearing on 11 February 2020 regarding government assistance. The Frente Amplio is asking the President to explain why the Social Plan has held a tender for RD$66 million to purchase construction material when this item is not on the Social Plan budget. Also an explanation is sought for the RD$380 million purchase of appliances when the 2020 National Budget for the entire year just contemplates RD$357 million in this chapter. Frente Amplio is also requesting the President to explain the tender for RD$500 million for food and beverage that is 47% of the RD$1.04 billion budget for the entire 2020, when there has not been a catastrophe or extraordinary situation. The Frente Amplio is has also received gift boxes from the Social Plan.

    https://noticiassin.com/uso-de-fondo...un-jorge-mera/
    https://n.com.do/2020/02/10/plan-soc...y-periodistas/
    https://n.com.do/2020/02/09/nuria-pi...-del-gobierno/
    https://do.domiplay.net/podcast/la-c...mpaign=podcast


    Senate spends a lot of our money in 2019
    There are 32 senators in the Dominican Republic, one for each of 31 provinces and another for the National District. The National Budget set aside RD$2.53 billion for the senators. Diario Libre reports that in just the first half of 2019, the legislators spent RD$2.2 billion of the total allotment, or 89%. The expenditures for the second half of the year are not disclosed on the Senate website. The senators spent RD$46 million on food and drinks for the first half of the year. The legislators received RD$25 million for fuel expenditures and RD$60 million for a chapter labeled as “other rentals.”

    https://www.diariolibre.com/actualid...019-LL16957963


    Tax amnesty bill passes in Congress
    The Senate passed the Transparency and Patrimony Reassessment Bill on 10 February 2020. The bill is by Senator Adriano Sanchez Roa (PRSC-Elias Piña). The bill had already been approved by the Chamber of Deputies.

    The Ley de Transparencia y Revalorización Patrimonial establishes a transitory tax regime whereby taxpayers can declare, reassess and pay taxes on property to regularize their tax obligations. Individuals, corporations and undivided family estates have 90 days to seek the exemptions approved by the bill.

    The bill was included in the priorities established by President Danilo Medina when convening the extraordinary session of the legislators. The bill is mentioned as a first step to raising property assessments in the Dominican Republic.

    https://hoy.com.do/diputados-aprueba...que-en-un-ano/


    Senate passes Public-Private Partnerships Bill
    The Senate approved the Public-Private Partnerships Bill, with a report that merges the two initiatives on the same issue presented by Social Christian Reformist Party (PRSC) deputy Victor (Ito) Bisonó Haza and Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) senator Charlie Mariotti Tapia. The Ley de Alianzas Público Privadas had already passed in the Chamber of Deputies. Bisonó said that the bill had stagnated in Congress since 2007.

    It was included in the list of bills identified as priority of the government when President Danilo Medina convened the extraordinary session of the Congress in January 2020.
    The bill had already passed in the Chamber of Deputies and now passes to the Executive Branch for signing into law.

    https://hoy.com.do/diputados-aprueba...que-en-un-ano/


    Chamber of Deputies approve waste processing bill
    The Chamber of Deputies passed the Bill of Comprehensive Coprocessing of Wastes in the Dominican Republic. The Ley General de Gestión Integral y Coprocesamiento de Residuos had expired in Congress on several occasions. It was included in the list of bills identified as priority of the government when President Danilo Medina convened the extraordinary session of the Congress in January 2020. The bill now passes to the Senate for approval.

    https://hoy.com.do/diputados-aprueba...que-en-un-ano/


    Bill to facilitate credit for small business moves to Presidency for enactment
    The Senate passed the Bill of Guarantees for Movable Property (Ley de Garantías Mobiliarias). The bill establishes a new legal framework for asset guarantees for bank borrowing in the country. The bill has provisions to facilitate business for entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized business. It authorizes the creation of an electronic and automated registry in real time of businesses. This will guarantee transparency in the market and banks will be able to check if a client has already placed a movable asset as guarantee in another financial institution.

    The system will make it possible for machinery, equipment and even accounts receivable to be used as collateral by small and medium-sized businesses, serving as a boost to credit for these companies. The bill was drafted with the collaboration of the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and sent to Congress via the Executive Branch.

    The bill had already passed in the Chamber of Deputies and now passes to the Executive Branch for signing into law.

    https://listindiario.com/la-republic...as-mobiliarias
    https://www.elcaribe.com.do/2020/02/...s-mobiliarias/


    Citizen Participation and the UN unite for sustainable development
    The general coordinator of Citizen Participation, Sonia Díaz Inoa, and the United Nations resident coordinator in the country, Mauricio Ramírez Villegas, signed an agreement on sustainable development on Monday, 10 February 2020. Citizen Participation (CP) is the national chapter of Transparency International.

    As explained in a press release, the initiative seeks to foster actions within the framework of public policies aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. These policies are aligned with the DR’s National Development Strategy (END). The focus is on the areas of democracy, citizen participation, human rights and transparency.

    Díaz Inoa called for Dominican citizens to innovate, rethink policies and actions, and generate change to integrate the UN agenda with local development.

    Ramírez Villegas said that Agenda 2030 is a starting point for empowering people, and has the virtue of strengthening national and local development agendas. "With only 10 years left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we must intensify actions. We all have a contribution to make and social organizations play a key role in this," he said.

    https://acento.com.do/2020/actualida...lo-sostenible/


    Metro system sets new record
    The Santo Domingo Metro and Skylift Office (OPRET) announced new usage records have been set for the city metro and cable car system. The office says that six new cars have been ordered to respond to the growing demand. As reported, on 4 February a record 407,172 passengers were transported. The Metro regularly transports upwards of 400,000.

    https://www.diariolibre.com/actualid...ano-BL16957042


    Inkia Energy attracted by public-private partnership bill
    The Central Bank reports that Inkia Energy has expressed interest in expanding their reach in the Dominican Republic. The company already has investments in the Puerto Plata Electric Company (CEPP), and last year began operations at the Agua Clara Wind Farm in Montecristi, also on the north coast. Inkia Energy is a subsidiary of Squared Capital, a global investment managing firm.

    Citing the positive investment climate, the CEO of Inkia Energy, Willem van Twembeke, expressed his interest in a public-private alliance. The public-private alliance bill recently passed in Congress.

    Inkia Energy operates and develops power generation facilities in Latin America and the Caribbean. It generates electricity through natural gas, hydroelectric resources, fuel oil, diesel, and wind. The company sells electricity to distribution companies and unregulated consumers under power purchase agreements, as well as to the spot market.

    With headquarters in Lima, Peru, Inkia Energy has investments in the electric sector in nine countries in Latin America: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and the Dominican Republic.

    https://www.bancentral.gov.do/a/d/47...ion-en-el-pais
    https://listindiario.com/economia/20...ctor-electrico
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Squared_Capital


    Public Works makes progress on highway between Monte Plata and San Pedro
    The Ministry of Public Works (MOPC) reports construction is advanced on the highway between San Pedro de Macoris and Monte Plata. Roads being repaved are those between Cruce de Cayacoa and Los Llanos; Los Llanos and El Puerto, and El Puerto-Bayaguana.

    The Ministry said that the work on the stretch between Los Llanos and El Puerto, some 17 kilometers, is about 50% complete, with drainage work and paving yet to be finished. On the Bayaguana-El Puerto road, the Ministry says that about 30% of the work has been done on this 19 kilometer piece of highway.

    The Cayacoa-Los Llanos roadway is also about one third completed, with the road repairs and widening well underway. There are about 10 kilometers in this piece of the system and almost half has been paved.

    https://elnacional.com.do/mopc-avanz...e-plata-y-spm/


    Water supply continues stable for Greater Santo Domingo
    According to the head of the Santo Domingo Water and Sewage Corporation (CAASD), Alejandro Montas, the supply of water for households in Greater Santo Domingo has been adequate after the two main reservoirs (Jigüey and Valdesia) have stayed above minimum levels.

    Montas says the CAASD supplied 365 million gallons a day to the people of Greater Santo Domingo last week. He added that the dam at Jigüey has reached a level of above 520 meters above sea level, when its minimum operating level is 500 meters and its maximum capacity is 541.5 meters above sea level. Valdesia also looks good, with its reservoir at over 140 meters, 9 meters above the minimum of 131 meters, and still below the maximum level of 150. Just these two dams and reservoir complexes supply 40% of the water provided to the CAASD.

    https://www.elcaribe.com.do/2020/02/...ccion-de-agua/


    Five Dominican students are stuck in China, AFS students among first to leave
    César Duvernay, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Relations, says the Dominican government is looking to find a flight out for the five students still in Wuhan, China. But that a convenient transport has not yet been found. Duvernay says the Dominican Ambassador in China, Briuny Garabito, is following up on the situation. Initially, the Ministry of Foreign Relations had said the students would be transported on a flight sent to fly Brazilians out, but this proved not to be possible.

    Six Dominican students participating in the AFS student exchange program in China, including three that were living in Wuhan, were among the first to leave, when AFS International promptly ordered all exchange students to leave. At the time, the parents and Dominican AFS participants were in favor of their staying. They did not envision the situation would escalate as has now happened, and the city would be quarantined.

    https://listindiario.com/la-republic...es-dominicanos
    https://listindiario.com/la-republic...-como-regresar
    https://listindiario.com/la-republic...bre-su-regreso
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/03/u...ent-china.html
    https://www.diariolibre.com/actualid...qui-JI16966582


    US DEA agent decorated in the Dominican Republic
    Evaristo Cedeño, special agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) stationed in the Dominican Republic, was decorated with the Order of Merit Duarte, Sánchez and Mella in the Knight Degree. He received the award at the DR’s National Drug Control Agency.

    Cedeño, a native of La Romana, was recognized with one of the highest honors the country grants for his contributions to the fight against drug trafficking and transnational organized crime.

    The head of the anti-narcotics agency, Vice Admiral Felix Alburquerque Comprés, highlighted the work done by Special Agent Cedeño, and said that in his six years of service he had made great contributions to the pursuit of national interests.

    https://eldia.com.do/gobierno-recono...-especial-dea/


    No date yet for the Soberano Awards
    The Cervecería Nacional Dominicana announced that it will wait for the Association of Show Business Writers dispute on the presidency of the organization to be decided in court before setting a date for the 2020 Soberano Awards.

    Communicators Alexis Beltre and Fausto Polanco dispute the presidency. Polanco is contesting the win by Alexis Beltré. A judicial hearing is set for 2 March that could affect the preparations for the awards show.

    The Association of Show Business Writers (Acroarte) had announced the 2020 Soberano Awards for Tuesday, 21 April 2020, at the National Theater. During the event, the performers and professionals in the fields of film, television, music and theater will be honored by their peers for outstanding achievements throughout 2019. The event is sponsored by Presidente beer.

    The event is the country’s leading entertainment awards show of the year. It is an Academy Awards-style event that is televised from the National Theater. To choose the nominees, the show business writers had convened on 21, 22 and 23 February at the offices of Acroarte.

    The Soberano Awards show is an opportunity for those following show business in the country to get an overview of what is popular.

    https://elnacional.com.do/cerveceria...icto-acroarte/
    https://elnuevodiario.com.do/premios...atro-nacional/


    Museum of Natural History has a new show
    The Eugenio de Jesus Marcano Museum of Natural History is getting good reviews from those who have been back and in the press. A feature in Diario Libre says the museum is living proof that learning does not have to be boring. The newspaper highlights that the experience will be positive for entire families.

    Among the exhibits are the Universe Room, the Earth Hall, the History of Life Exhibit, the Marine Giants Hall (whales!), exhibits of birds and the ecology.

    This month the museum is featuring the “Brown Bat,” one of 20 species of bats that are part of the fauna of the island of Hispaniola. This mammal is native to the Caribbean, as well as North and Central America. It also lives in the northern part of South America. Like most bats, it lives in caves, attics and crannies in high places, especially the mountains.

    The museum is open from 9 am until 5 pm Tuesdays through Sundays.

    The museum is located in the Plaza de la Cultura on Av. Maximo Gomez. Admission is RD$50 for adults and RD$25 for children and students with ID cards.

    https://www.diariolibre.com/revista/...n=tiempo-libre


    The Tao of Sex at the National Theater
    Winner of the Casa de las Americas International Award, "The Tao of Sex" will be presented for the first time in the Dominican Republic at the Sala Ravelo of the National Theater, with performances by Kenya Liranzo and Francis Cruz, under the direction of Manuel Chapuseaux. The play by Ignacio Apolo and psychotherapist Laura Gutman is about the fears and conflicts of a man and woman living a relationship in crisis.

    "The Tao of Sex" will be presented in four performances, from 5 to 8 March 2020, at the Sala Ravelo of the Eduardo Brito National Theater. Tickets are on sale at the theater's box office, and at Uepa Tickets.

    https://z101digital.com/el-tao-del-s...atro-nacional/


    The Mariinsky Orchestra is coming
    Love made all the difference. As reported in Diario Libre, award-winning Russian pianist Danill Trifonov fell in love with a Dominican pianist and now the Mariinsky Orchestra will perform in Santo Domingo and Santiago.

    The prestigious Russian orchestra is booked for a 7 March 2020 performance at the Centro Leon Jimenez, and on 8 March at the National Theater in Santo Domingo. The event is sponsored by the Fundacion Sinfonia and the Fundacion Amigos del Teatro Nacional.

    The orchestra will be making the trip to Santo Domingo by taking advantage of a short break in their touring schedule that is already bringing them to New York City for performances.

    Valery Gerviev, the orchestra director, will be conducting the orchestra in its Dominican performances. Around 40 musicians of the orchestra will perform with soloists from the Metropolitan Opera of New York.

    https://daniiltrifonov.com/
    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2...leight-of-hand
    https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/


    Oscar-winning films showing in the DR
    Oscar-winning film “Parasite” is showing in Santo Domingo at the Novocentro Fine Arts cinema on Av. Lope de Vega, at Downtown Center in Bella Vista, and in Marina Casa de Campo in La Romana. The South Korean film won the Oscars for best picture, best international feature film, best original screenplay award, best director, best production design and best film editing.

    The win makes “Parasite” the first ever foreign-language film in the ceremony's 92-year history to take the top prize.

    After the film, consider going for a Korean dinner. Check out: Ñam Ñam in Av. Roberto Pastoriza, Naco, Manna on 12 de julio 7 in Bella Vista, El Palacio Gung at San Pio X No. 1, Renacimiento, Kogi Grill on Av. 27 de Febrero in Santo Domingo.

    Other Oscar films that are showing at Novocentro are “Jojo Rabbit” (winner for best adapted screenplay), Bombshell (winner for best make-up and hairstyling), 1917 (winner for best visual effects, best sound mixing), and Little Women (winner for best costume design).

    https://www.cnet.com/news/oscars-202...st-of-results/
    https://www.cinema.com.do/
    Last edited by Dolores; 02-11-2020 at 09:08 AM.

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