DR1 Daily News - Friday, 4 November 2016


May 3, 2000
Agreement reached with public hospital doctors
Vargas Maldonado: DR has no preference in US election
Edupass chosen to represent DR in SeedstarWorld
Medical tourism advances
Picking up garbage at night
World Bank issues report on taxation and poverty*
Internet costs more in the DR
Hub 2017
An App for choosing your financial products
Four injured after wall collapse in La Romana
Police report on kidnapping of 12 men from India
Venezuelan jumps to his death from high-rise
Alain Castany sentence confirmed in Air Cocaine case
Merengue Festival on the Malec?n
Santiago cemetery tour
London Calling! BritCham bash
Romantic comedy at Casa de Teatro

Agreement reached with public hospital doctors
Dominican Medical Association (CMD) president Dr. Waldo Ariel Suero says that a definitive agreement for improvements in public hospital staff working conditions has been reached with the government medical authorities.

The agreement will be signed on Tuesday, 8 November 2016 at the Universidad Cat?lica de Santo Domingo. The rector of the UCSD, Father Jes?s Castro Marte acted as mediator in the eight-month long talks leading up to the agreement.

As part of the agreement, Nelson Rodr?guez Monegro, of the National Health Service (SNS) that coordinates public hospital services nationwide, said that doctors would receive a 25% wage increase in 2017, broken up in 10% in January and 15% as of August.

Vargas Maldonado: DR has no preference in US election
Quoted in Diario Libre on Thursday, 3 November 2016, Minister of Foreign Relations Miguel Vargas Maldonado states that the country does not have any preference when it comes to the candidates in the United States presidential election. The remark was made following a video released by Vice President Margarita Cede?o in which she declares her support for the Democratic Party candidate, Hillary Clinton.

?We have broad-based relations with the United States both in the political and economic spheres and we are going to continue to maintain these relations through which our commitment is towards the government and the people of the United States, no matter who the president may be or who the candidate is,? said Vargas Maldonado.

A back page editorial in Diario Libre on 4 November 2016 observes that while controversial, the Margarita Cede?o video has brought her back into the political forefront. In the past election, she aspired to be the ruling PLD presidential candidate.


Edupass chosen to represent DR in SeedstarWorld
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the Center for Export & Investment (CEI-RD) have chosen Edupass and its president Luis Sena to represent the country in the SeedstarWorld global entrepreneurs contests to be held in Argentina and Switzerland. The event is promoted as ?the World?s Biggest Startup Competition in Emerging Markets?.

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce says that Edupass is a platform to help students seeking admission to foreign universities. The Internet application was chosen by SeedstarWorld when evaluating the best emerging companies in the DR for entry in the contest. The initiative is sponsored by the Banco del Progreso and Falconbridge Dominicana.

The Ministry of Industry & Commerce says that other innovative companies that stood out were Fang? and Etica, two electronic commerce platforms, and OLB, a device that paints nails in eight minutes.

The jury members who chose the Dominican representative at the contest were Microsoft Dominicana representative Mabel Geronico, Gervasio Guareschi of the Banco del Progreso, Ruddy Ganna of Pyhex Dominicana and Rosa de los Santos of Falconbridge Dominicana.


Medical tourism advances
Listing the areas of progress achieved in the sector, Ministry of Tourism health tourism director Wendy S?nchez Imbert says that exchange rate and macroeconomic stability, quality of roads and hotels, and a service-oriented culture have set the foundations for the Dominican Republic?s development as a health tourism leader in the Caribbean.

S?nchez was speaking during a panel discussion on ?Medicine, Trade and Quality: Globalization of Health?, sponsored by the Santo Domingo Chamber of Commerce and the Santo Domingo Health Cluster and which took place at the city?s JW Marriott Hotel on Thursday 3 November 2016. The event was a preparatory talk for Hub 2017, a multi-sectorial event consisting of exhibitions and talks organized by the Santo Domingo Chamber of Commerce for March 2017.

The other panel members included Nelson Arboleda, MD MPH, Director ? CDC Central American Regional Office, Jaime Caicedo of ARS Humano, and the president of the Dominican Academy of Medicine, Jos? Asilis Zaiter.
S?nchez mentioned the inter-institutional agreement between the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Public Health, Dominican Medical Association and the Hotels & Tourism Association (Asonahores) to create the legal framework for the regulation of the sector.


Picking up garbage at night
The National District (Santo Domingo) city government, under new mayor David Collado, has announced that garbage will now be collected between 9pm and 5am. ADN Services has already begun garbage collection on that schedule in District No. 1 and Colonial City areas to avoid daytime traffic with satisfactory results after a week. He advised residents in those areas to take out their garbage from 7 to 9pm. He said that uniformed garbage collection personnel have been instructed to keep noise to a minimum. Collado explained that inspection crews would be supervising the work carried out by the company.


World Bank issues report on taxation and poverty reduction
The World Bank has released a new report calling for improvements in fiscal and social policies to eradicate extreme poverty. The study: ?Fiscal Policy and Redistribution in the Dominican Republic? states that spending an additional 1.3% of GDP or RD$33 billion would double the direct transfers to the poor and would help achieve universal coverage in health and public education. The World Bank report recommends administrative measures to reduce tax evasion and reduce informality. It also recommends reviewing electricity subsidies to ensure they only benefit the poorest households.

Minister of Economy Isidoro Santana said that the World Bank study confirms that the Dominican Republic is headed in the right direction and contributes to its plan to implement reforms to improve services to the population and redistribute economic growth.

The World Bank highlights that in the past three decades, the Dominican Republic has had one the fastest growing economies in the Latin American and Caribbean region. In 2014 and 2015, the economy grew at an average rate of 7.2% and the forecast for 2016 is 6%. The World Bank points out that limitations in tax collections have restricted the scope of public assistance to reduce levels of poverty and inequality.

World Bank country representative Alessandro Legrottaglie called for an increase in the number of taxpayers, and for maintaining a progressive system. He said that the next Fiscal Pact offers a unique opportunity to address reforms aimed at boosting fiscal sustainability and achieving better results for equality and poverty reduction.

The report recommends changes in the indirect taxes systems by concentrating on the ITBIS exemptions that benefit the middle and upper classes and which represented 3% of the GDP in 2013. It also favors changes in the energy subsidy programs, such as BonoLuz and BonoGas Hogar, to focus them on the poorest citizens as well as increases in the subsidies that benefit poor households such as Comer es primero, Incentivo a la asistencia escolar, and health services. The World Bank report also stresses the importance of continuing to improve the quality of education.


Internet costs more in the DR
A just-released study from the Pontificia Universidad Cat?lica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) confirms that Dominicans pay the highest rates for fixed broadband Internet, fixed telephony residential and mobile prepaid services in Latin America.

Researcher Fernando Ferr?n said that the Dominican Republic is the country with the third highest telecommunications taxes in the region, and 15th in the world.

Ferr?n added that while carrying out the research they were able to ascertain the difficulties in accessing information by customers of the telecom companies, even through the Dominican Institute of Telecommunications (Indotel), the government regulator of the sector.


Hub 2017
The Chamber of Commerce of Santo Domingo (CCPSD) will present Hub Chamber of Commerce Santo Domingo, a multi-sectorial exhibition, from 15-18 March 2017 at the new convention hall of the Ministry of Foreign Relations on the Malec?n. For the occasion, the Chamber of Commerce has joined forces with Creato so that their Taste*Santo Domingo gastronomy event can be held at the same time.

The event promotes exchanges between national and international businesspeople in farming and agribusiness, travel, IT, telecom, energy, logistics and supply chain, services and security. Taiwan will be the guest country in 2017.


An App for choosing your financial products
Financial consultant Alejandro Fern?ndez and IT businessman Chris Corcino of Intellisys Corp have joined forces to create the first app that enables the user to learn about, compare and choose the most suitable offers on credit cards, term deposits and different types of loans and financial services regulated by the Superintendence of Banks. Together they have formed Fintech Dominicana, which manages the Rexi platform to help people make the right financial decisions.

The platform has been available since Wednesday 2 November 2016. For starters it includes information on 200 credit cards from 22 financial companies. People can check their benefits, conditions, rate and other information. Its promoters say that they will be adding new financial products every month.

The app is free.

Read more at:

Four injured after wall collapse in La Romana
The recent torrential rains that fell in La Romana led to the collapse of a wall alongside the Higuey passenger bus depot (Sitrahir) in La Romana. The bus depot is next to Duarte Park in the town center and opposite the Santa Rosa de Lima church.

Four people were injured. The media has named them as 50-year old V?ctor Rafael Carmona, 55-year old Juan Acosta Hern?ndez, 30-year old Cuban Franklin Ruiz, and a 39-year old woman identified as Leonela.
Firefighters, Civil Defense volunteers and the driver of a private vehicle took the injured to the Francisco A. Gonzalvo public hospital and a nearby clinic.

According to an initial medical report, all four are recovering despite suffering multiple injuries.

Police report on kidnapping of 12 men from India
The National Police reports it has rescued 12 Indian men who were being held against their will in a Santo Domingo city hotel on Calle Am?rico Lugo in Ensanche La F?. Their kidnappers were demanding a US$10,000 ransom payment. The Police report does not indicate the reasons for the demand.

The Police arrested the three Dominicans accused of kidnapping the foreigners: 32-year old lawyer Jes?s Manuel Capell?n Rivera, 31-year old Santo Correa Araujo, and 27-year old Kelvin Ezequiel Calca?o Fr?as. The Police said it seized firearms from the men.

The Police identified the Indian nationals as Varinder Singh, Sandeep Singh, Amritpal Singh, Gagandeep Arora, Satwinder Singh, Majinder Singh, Arshdeep Singh, Inderjit Singh Thind, Surjant Singh, Lovepreet Singh, Gurjant Singh, Shivjain Singh and Manjit Singh. The Police have not disclosed further details about the Indians since their release.


Venezuelan jumps to his death from high-rise
A Venezuelan man jumped from the seventh floor of the Central Down Town Center building under construction at the corner of Abraham Lincoln and Lope de Vega avenues in the Piantini neighborhood in central Santo Domingo on Thursday, 3 November 2016. He jumped with his passport and a brief note asking his family not to incur any expenses because of him. He tells his siblings and his mother that he loves them.

The man was identified as 39-year old Antonio Jos? de la Trinidad Mart?nez Moreno.


Alain Castany sentence confirmed in Air Cocaine case
The National District Court of Appeals has confirmed the 20-year sentence for Frenchman Alain Castany for complicity in smuggling 700 kilos of cocaine seized in a private plane at the Punta Cana International Airport in 2015.*

Castany was a flight attendant on board the chartered plane. Two other men sentenced in the case, French pilots Pascal Fauret and Bruno Odos, fled to Europe. Another court of appeals also confirmed the 20-year sentence for passenger Nicolas Pisapia. The sentences are part of the Air Cocaine case that has made headlines in Europe.


Merengue Festival on the Malec?n
Brugal & Co. and the Ministry of Tourism are sponsoring the Festival del Merengue y Ritmos Caribe?os 2016 that starts on Saturday, 5 November at the Plaza Juan Baron on the eastern side of the Malec?n in Santo Domingo.

The performers are:
Yiyo Sarante, Pochy Familia, Wilfrido Vargas and El Mayor. On Sunday, 6 November: Revoluci?n Salsera, Las Divas, Hermanos Rosario and Mozart La Para.

Santiago cemetery tour
Lawyer and historian Edwin Espinal and architect Harold Paz will lead a unique Santiago tour with a focus on the city?s funeral customs on Saturday, 5 November 2016. The tour starts at 4:30pm from the Cemeterio Municipal 30 de Marzo. For more information, contact the Centro Leon at 809 724-67644

London Calling! BritCham bash
The British Chamber of Commerce announces a UK Extravaganza on Wednesday, 16 November 2016 at the Hard Rock Caf? at the Blue Mall in Santo Domingo. Partying starts at 8:30pm. The organizers promise a truly British party with decorations featuring the leading UK attractions and emblematic British characters, and lots of British music from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s to present times by the Max Martinez band. An open bar and snacks are included in the RD$2,000 general admission price.

Tickets are for sale at the British Chamber of Commerce, Uepa Tickets (CCN, Jumbo and Supermercados Nacional), Club de Lectores del Listin Diario and Hard Rock. There is a discount for groups of more than 15 people reserving in advance.

Romantic comedy at Casa de Teatro
Casa de Teatro presents a romantic comedy "Sexualmente hablando" (Sexually speaking), by Argentinean Santiago Serrano. The play opens at the Casa de Teatro auditorium on 17 November 2016. Performances on 17, 18, 19, 20, and 24, 25, 26, and 27 November 2016. Tickets are for sale at Casa de Teatro for RD$500.
Shows are at 8:30pm from Thursday to Saturday and at 6:30pm on Sundays.

Read the play in Spanish at:

For information on upcoming events:

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