DR1 Daily News - Friday, 12 August 2016


May 3, 2000
Maduro and Morales to attend Medina inauguration
Motoconchos exempt from new motorcycle restrictions
53% of government officials don?t declare assets
Ministry of Environment stops landfill construction
Senator Luis Canaan and the Super Tucano saga
US reduces ban on citrus imports from DR
Beauty salon a perk for AMET women
Collado: Salcedo team has yet to release city financials
Register your baby, then leave the hospital
Jazz at the Fortaleza Ozama

Maduro and Morales to attend Medina inauguration
The Ministry of Foreign Relations confirmed on Thursday, 11 August 2016 that presidents Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela and Evo Morales of Bolivia would be attending the inauguration ceremony for President Danilo Medina?s second term on Tuesday, 16 August 2016.

Confirmations have also been received from presidents Rafael Correa of Ecuador, Juan Carlos Varela of Panama, Jimmy Morales of Guatemala and Juan Orlando Hernandez of Honduras. El Salvador will be represented by Foreign Relations Minister Hugo Martinez. The United States will be represented by Labor Minister Thomas Perez and Haiti by acting president Jocelerme Privert.

Also, prime ministers Andrew Holness of Jamaica, Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda, Ben Whiteman of Curacao and Williams Marlin of St. Martin as well as Vice Presidents Chen Chien-Jen of Taiwan, Salvador Valdez Mesa of Cuba, Ana Helena Chacon Echeverria of Costa Rica, Moises Omar Calleslevens Acevedo of Nicaragua and Gabriela Micheti of Argentina.

Motoconchos exempt from new motorcycle restrictions
After decades of a laissez-faire approach, the government announces that it will enforce new measures limiting motorcycle use to just one person. However, motorcycle-taxis, known here as motoconchos, are exempt from the rule. The measures also require both driver and passenger to wear helmets.

The Land Transit Department (DGTT) issued the ban in Resolution 02-16, which goes into effect as of Monday, 15 August 2016.

The DGTT divided motorcycles into those that transport fare-paying passengers (motoconchos), those used for messenger services by private and government entities, and those used for the personal use of the owner.

The DGTT says that for a passenger to be carried on a motorcycle for personal use, an authorization from the DGTT needs to be requested. For the permit to be granted, the applicant needs to meet all the requirements for the motorcycle and motorcycle driver.

The measure is aimed at improving public security. It is estimated that 80% of street robberies are carried out by people on motorcycles.


53% of government officials don?t declare assets
As President Danilo Medina?s first term draws to an end, it is reported that 3,329 government officials of a total of

6,216 did not present the required sworn statement of assets prior to starting in their post. The list includes Vice
President Margarita Cedeno, according to a report in Hoy. Only 2,295 met the requirement.

A bulletin from the Dominican Development Studies Program (PEDD) at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) says that the corresponding authorities are not auditing any of the asset statements at the end of the term.


Ministry of Environment stops landfill construction
In response to a request from the community, the Ministry of Environment has suspended the construction of a landfill site in Haina, to the west of Santo Domingo. The Ministry ordered the precautionary suspension of the environmental license that had been issued for the sanitary landfill.

The decision was taken after the environmental authorities received a document from a group of organizations called the Haina Integrated Development Council (Codinha), which is opposed to the landfill.

The Ministry says that a decision has been taken to open a space for talks before deciding what would be in the best interest of the community. Community members have expressed concern about the pollution the landfill would create.


Senator Luis Canaan and the Super Tucano saga
Amidst widespread speculation as to the political objectives, on Thursday 11 August 2016 the Specialized Prosecutor for the Pursuit of Administrative Corruption (PEPCA) revealed names and details of the controversial purchase of the Embraer Super Tucanos from Brazil in 2008.

Political analysts wonder if this will be the exception and there will be consequences now that hard evidence has been received from government corruption investigators in Brazil. Otherwise, this may well end up being another of the long list of cases that receive media attention and then are swept under the rug by the government corruption office.

What is known is that in 2008, the Leonel Fernandez administration backed the purchase of the eight planes for use in the fight against drug trafficking. At the time, the media pointed out comparatively better options for policing Dominican skies. The media also revealed that other countries had purchased the same airplanes at lower prices.
Diario Libre shares an account of the loan approval, highlighting the pressure that was received from the PLD Political Committee, the ruling party?s decision-making arm.

The US$93.7 million BNDES loan for the eight jets was passed in Congress. In the Senate, only then-Senator for Santiago Francisco Dominguez Brito and current Attorney General, and Wilton Guerrero, senator for Peravia (Bani) voted against it.

As reported, Dominguez Brito said at the time that one Super Tucano flight hour would cost more than the government spent on a month in gasoline for its anti-drug operations in Santiago.

The deputies passed the bill on 11 November 2008 with 87 votes in favor and 11 against. 30 deputies did not vote. On 5 November, deputy Elso Segura attended the session with his mouth taped over in protest, stating that ?the money god? had influenced the votes.

Diario Libre?s timeline of events recalls that on 13 November 2008, the PLD general secretary Reinaldo Parez Perez (senator-elect National District) remarked that the PLD Political Committee would look into those who voted against or abstained from voting for the approval of the Super Tucano loan. The Political Committee had ordered PLD legislators to vote in favor on 4 November 2008.

In the details released, PEPCA mentions the senator for Hermanas Mirabal province, Luis Rene Canaan Rojas, who has been re-elected senator for 2016-2020. PEPCA says he was the person who received the cash to guarantee the votes needed for approving the loan in Congress.


US reduces ban on citrus imports from DR
The Ministry of Agriculture reports that the United States Department of Agriculture?s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has lifted the restrictions on import of fruits and vegetables from the province of Santo Domingo and the National District.

The restriction was put into place after Mediterranean fly was detected in Punta Cana. Federal Order DA-2016-51 dated 10 August 2016 said that it has determined that the provinces of Santo Domingo and the National District were Medfly-free.

The Ministry says that there is a possibility of the ban being lifted before the end of this year.
The ban had already been partially lifted with exports permitted from 23 of 32 Dominican provinces, including San Jose de Ocoa, La Vega, Espaillat (Moca), San Cristobal, Elias Pina and Santiago, which are major exporters of papaya, citrus fruits, tomatoes, avocados, peppers and other fruits and vegetables to the US market.

The ban, imposed by the United States in April 2015, has resulted in millions of dollars in losses to Dominican exporters.


Beauty salon a perk for AMET women
A recent announcement of a ban on the RD$50 charge for beauty treatments at the Metropolitan Transport Authority (Amet) headquarters has revealed the existence of an onsite beauty salon for traffic agents. This is considered a major perk for the women agents given the importance of beauty salon culture among Dominican women.

As reported in Acento, AMET director Brigadier General Frener Bello Arias also made the point that the salon at the Amet headquarters was only for the use of AMET agents.

Bello referred to a report in Hoy that mentioned the existence of the salon and revealed that the charge was RD$50 for wash and dry, manicure or other services.

Bello also stressed that the salon must only use products of the highest quality, which will be supplied by his office.

Collado: Salcedo team has yet to release city financials
National District (city of Santo Domingo) mayor-elect David Collado says that his transition team has yet to receive details of the city government debt from the outgoing city authorities. Collado told Diario Libre that the current authorities have been courteous but that his new team is still waiting to receive financial statements in order to plan the new administration?s work in the short, medium and long term.

Collado?s transition team members are economist Jacqueline Mora, former National Association of Young Entrepreneurs (ANJE) president Viviana Ribeiro and Eduardo Sanz Lovaton.


Register your baby, then leave the hospital
Progress has been made in the area of birth registrations at public hospitals. However, the Unicef representative in the Dominican Republic, Rosa Elcarte is advising the government to order public hospitals not to discharge mothers who have given birth if they have not declared their child.

Leading public hospitals nationwide have onsite birth registration facilities. Elcarte says there has been progress with the facilities, which are now available at 12 provincial hospitals.

In the first semester of 2016, a total of 23,905 births were registered at public hospitals.

Elcarte highlighted that more work needs to be done with teenage mothers. She said that 16,500 babies were born to teenagers at the 12 participating public hospitals in 2015. Of this total, however, only 2,900 registered their children at the hospital. Adult mothers registered their children in 74% of the cases.

She also recommended making it obligatory for teenagers giving birth to be issued ID cards.


Jazz at the Fortaleza Ozama
Restoration International Jazz Festival takes place at the Fortaleza Ozama in the Colonial City of Santo Domingo on Monday, 15 August 2016. Take note that Tuesday, 16 August is a national holiday commemorating the country?s return of independence from Spain and the inauguration of President Danilo Medina?s second term.

Pianists Ernan Lopez Mussa (Cuba) and Mario Canonge (Martinique), bass player Ramon Vasquez (Cuba), and trumpeter Brad Goode and saxophone player Rayn Middagh from the United States. They will appear together with Dominican musicians Crispin Fernandez, Amaury Sanchez Little Big Band, Socrates Garcia Latin Jazz Orchestra and the Javier Vargas Big Band Conservatorio.

Shows start at 6:30pm. Tickets are RD$1,000 general admission, RD$1,750 and RD$3,250 VIP tickets.

Read more about upcoming events at http://www.dr1.com/calendar

To read more news, see dr1.com and the DR1 News Archives at: http://dr1.com/premium/news/2016/index.shtml