DR1 Daily News - Thursday, 25 August 2016


May 3, 2000
President Medina backs new mayor David Collado
New provincial governors
Central Bank releases 2016 half-year economic report
2017 to be last year of 8th grade standardized tests
Montas committed to supporting trade
10 political parties in Chamber of Deputies
Adie welcomes energy tender
Doctors on strike in the Cibao
Haitian workers trapped thieves
DA arrests three from Banco Providencial
Clinics closed in organ trafficking probe
Dominican ambassador expresses solidarity after Italian quake
Chef Tita’s Dominican cooking book for sale
The Hot Bodies in the DR
Tropical wave moves north of the DR
Le Cirque de Paris in Santo Domingo
Holi Sun Festival of Colors at Botanical Gardens

President Medina backs new mayor David Collado
President Danilo Medina met with David Collado on Wednesday 24 August 2016, and expressed his support for the new National District mayor. As reported by the Presidency, it was agreed that the government would make funds available for the urban renewal of the Duarte and Paris streets intersection, fresh produce markets, public cemeteries and the Malecon. Collado will coordinate these projects with the Minister of Public Works Gonzalo Castillo.

Collado highlighted that the city government cannot have a project and the Ministry of Public Works another and that they needed to work together.

Collado was elected on the PRM ticket, defeating the ruling PLD party candidate, three-term mayor Roberto Salcedo.

New provincial governors
President Danilo Medina has announced the appointment of 11 provincial governors. In Decree 211-16, Medina appointed:
La Vega: Bolivar Marte
Monte Plata: Nicio Rosario
Sanchez Ramirez (Cotui): Juan Felix Nunez Tavares
Independencia: Altagracia Gonzalez
San Pedro de Macoris: Pedro Mota
Azua: Walkiria Felix
La Romana: Teodoro Reyes
Monsenor Nouel (Bonao): Mirian Abreu
Duarte (San Francisco de Macoris): Juan Antigua Javier
Valverde: Jose Valdez
El Seibo: Gerardo Casasnovas

Central Bank releases 2016 half-year economic report
The Central Bank has posted its preliminary half-yearly January-June economic report online. According to the data, the Dominican economy grew 7.4% from January to June 2016.
The sectors that have experienced the highest growth rates are:
Construction (17.7%), mining (25.1%), finances (11%), health (9.5%), farming (8%), services (7.2%), education (7%), commerce (6.2%), local manufacturing (6%), transport 5.1%), hotels, bars and restaurants (4.9%).

Accumulated inflation for the same period is 0.36%.

The balance of payments had a surplus of US$129.9 million, taking into account tourism receipts, remittances and exports.

Direct Foreign Investment was US$1.09 billion, up 8%. Nevertheless, national exports and free zone exports were down 2.1% in January-June compared to the past period.


2017 to be last year of 8th grade standardized tests
The Ministry of Education (Minerd) has announced that the Standardized National Tests for eighth grade would be eliminated as of 2017.

The Ministry clarified, nonetheless that the tests for students graduating from high school and from other programs such as adult and/or technical education programs would continue in their present form.

According to Diario Libre, the Ministry issued a call to eighth grade primary school students as well as students in the third cycle of adult education who were not able to attend the second round of testing and those who failed as many as three subjects, to take the make-up examinations between the 27th and 30th of August.

The Ministry’s Educational Quality Evaluation department director Ancell Schecker Mendoza told reporters that via Resolution 17–2016 the Ministry has authorized an Extraordinary Completive Test at primary level as the last chance for these students to take the examinations.

Students who have completed the Third Cycle of Primary Education for Adults can take their Spanish Language and Mathematics examinations on Saturday 27 August and on Sunday 28 August. The Social Science and Natural Science exams will start at 9 am.

The makeup test for the eighth grade will be given on 29 August and 30 August, again starting at 9am.

Montas committed to supporting trade
Speaking in Santiago on Wednesday 24 August 2016, new Minister of Industry and Commerce (MIC) Temistocles Montas spoke of his commitment to promoting exports and imports, and to motivating more small businesses to move from the informal to the formal sector.

During a meeting at the Santiago Chamber of Commerce and Production with members of several business organizations, Montas pointed out that at present, about 56% of GDP is generated by companies with fewer than five workers and these companies also represent 68% of all employment.

During the meeting the minister listened to suggestions from the business community.

Montas stated that the Dominican economy is one of the few in the region that is doing well. He also commented on the success of Law of Foreign Investment, saying it had helped the Dominican Republic to become the leading destination for foreign investment in the Caribbean region, surpassing Costa Rica and Trinidad and Tobago.

10 political parties in Chamber of Deputies
The composition of the Chamber of Deputies has expanded with 10 political parties obtaining seats in the lower house of Congress (2016-2020 legislature) in the 15 May 2016 general election.

Of the 190 deputies, 86 are serving their first term in office and the remaining 104, most PLD members, are staying on.

The ruling PLD continues to enjoy a deciding majority with 107 of the 190 deputies. The PRM, which broke off from the PRD, garnered 48 seats, and the PRSC, in alliance with the PRM, obtained 12 seats, three more than it had in 2010.

The PRD was the political party that suffered the most during these elections, falling from 75 legislators elected in the 2010 elections to just 16 that it secured as an ally of the PLD.

The other parties are represented by between one and three deputies in the Chamber of Deputies.

El Nacional reports that the 10 parties with representation in the Chamber of Deputies are:
Dominican Liberation Party (PLD)
Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM)
Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD)
Social Christian Reform is Party (PRSC)
Liberal Reformist Party (PLR)
Social Democratic Institutional Bloc (BIS)
Alianza Pais (AlPais)
Broad Front (FA)
Democratic Quisqueyano Party (PQD)
Popular Christian Party (PPC).

Adie welcomes energy tender
The Dominican Electricity Industry Association (Adie) has welcomed the formal announcement of a tender to provide electricity to the nation as announced by the Public Electricity Corporation (CDEEE) on Wednesday, 24 August 2016.

The organization stated that this decision by the electric sector authorities complies with the General Law on Electricity 125-01 and its regulations that require tenders to be issued 18 months before the end of the contracts of the distribution companies for the purchase and sale of electricity.

According to the Association, “while it is true that this process, which is been a demand made public by Adie, should have been carried out a long time ago, it is important to note that at last it has begun.”

The Adie pointed out that the strict compliance with the law will always be the best guarantee for an adequate environment through which business and investment, the orderly functioning of the market and the relation between the parties which make up the electric sector can operate.

Doctors on strike in the Cibao
The Dominican Medical Association (CMD), the IDSS Medical Group and the National Nurses Association are all calling for a work stoppage in the 14 provinces of the Cibao on Thursday, 25 August 2016.

In their press release, the organizations sum up their assessment of the working conditions at the Jose Maria Cabral E Baez Regional University Hospital.

The CMD rejected a plan to charge for food instead of supplying free food to the medics at the hospital.

Also according to the document, “patients are treated in chairs because there are not enough beds. The doctors and nurses sleep on the floor on top of cardboard. The laboratory only conducts minimum examinations.”

The health professionals are calling for a 24-hour strike in all Ministry of Public Health and IDSS hospitals and primary care centers, while maintaining emergency service and care for patients on the critical list.

According to CMD president, Dr. Waldo Ariel Suero the groups are maintaining their demands for 5% of GDP to be assigned to the health sector, a 60% salary increase, the appointment of more health personnel, decent pensions covered by laws and the payment of RD$30 million to medical residents for past services.

Suero said that the CMD and the other groups are still open to talks with the government authorities as the best way to seek solutions to problems and differences with the physicians.

Haitian workers trapped thieves
In the sugar mill town of Esperanza in the northeastern province of Valverde, Haitian workers captured two thieves after they stole RD$1,000 from a Dominican, according to police reports on Wednesday, 24 August 2016. According to the report, the Haitian workers intervened to help the Dominican who had been robbed.

A police patrol then had to intervene to prevent the workers from lynching the thieves.
One of those arrested is named Blanco Piet, 27, who was injured in his left knee and wrist by the workers and is currently being treated in the Jose Maria Cabral y Baez University Hospital in Santiago under custody.

According to the police the victim was Esteban Ramirez Gomera, 38, who was robbed by Piet and another Haitian, Remy Jean Baptiste who was also detained by the workers and handed over to the police. The two men are being arraigned by the Justice Department in order to stand trial.

As reported in Listin Diario, Haitian Calixto Joseph Paul explained the reaction saying that there are many respectable and hard working Haitians who live in the Dominican Republic and are embarrassed when their fellow countrymen commit crimes that affect the hard earned reputation of other Haitian residents.


DA arrests three from Banco Providencial
The District Attorney for the National District Yeni Berenice Reynoso released an update on the Banco Providencial fraud case on Wednesday 24 August 2016. She reported that the fraud committed by the Banco Providencial and affiliated real estate entity Propiherbon to the detriment of their customers has led to three people being arrested: Aquiles Hernandez Oleaga and his children, Aquiles Fernandez Bona and Ivette Patricia Hernandez Bona.

District Attorney Yeni Berenice Reynoso issued a call to everyone with savings in the real estate firm to come into her offices as soon as possible to learn about the procedures involved in this case.

Reynoso said that more details of this case would shortly become available and that she has requested pre-trial custody for the accused, as reported in 7 Dias.


Clinics closed in organ trafficking probe
Dominican medical authorities have ordered the closure of two Centro Medico Integral clinics as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged extraction and trafficking of organs after the discovery of the remains of a 10-year old girl, Carla Massiel Cabrera Reyes, who is believed to have been murdered for her organs.

The medical authorities announced the shut down of the Centro Medico Integral and an investigation at the Centro Medico Integral II on Carretera Mella in Santo Domingo East but this was left in operation. The Centro Medico Integral branches that were shut down are located on Av. Espana in Villa Duarte and on Carretera Sabana Larga, also in Santo Domingo East.

Darwin Jose Trinidad Infante, under arrest in connection with the girl’s disappearance, provided the information that led to the discovery of the body of the girl from Pedro Brand who went missing on 25 June 2016. Her remains were found on 16 August in an abandoned lot on Km 23 of Duarte Highway near her home.

Police Criminal Investigations Agency (Dicrim) agents confirmed the body of ten-year old Carla Massiel Cabrera Reyes was found without her vital organs.

El Nuevo Diario reports that United States FBI officers are investigating at least 10 private clinics in the Dominican Republic suspected of illegal extraction of organs for resale. The FBI investigation is also ongoing in Haiti, Colombia and Venezuela.


Dominican ambassador expresses solidarity after Italian quake
The Dominican Ambassador in Italy, Peggy Cabral has expressed her concern and solidarity in the name of the Dominican people following the earthquake that affected central Italy on Wednesday, 24 August 2016. The death toll in the 6.2 magnitude earthquake is 247 and expected to rise.

The ambassador said that they had obtained information about the Dominicans living in the area through the honorary consul, Ennio Di Foglio, and would provide assistance if necessary. Ambassador Cabral said that as of Wednesday, they were not aware of any Dominicans who had been affected, but reports of the large-scale damage were still coming in.

To contact the Dominican ambassador in Italy, write to peggycabral2008@hotmail.com

Chef Tita’s Dominican cooking book for sale
Ines Paez Nin (Chef Tita) has worked for many years researching and reviving traditional Dominican recipes and sharing them with the general public at her Travesias restaurant on Av. Lope de Vega in Santo Domingo.

Now she has produced a cooking book, “La nueva cocina dominicana,” with new recipes based on traditional Dominican cooking. The book is available for sale at Libreria Cuesta.

The Hot Bodies in the DR
TV host Luz Garcia announced the Seven Hot Bodies chosen for this year at en event held at the Embassy Suites hotel in Santo Domingo: Rachely Ventura (fashion blogger), Liza Blanco (TV host and model), Gabriel (singer), Porfirio Lockward (personal trainer, businessman), Gabriel Coronel (actor and singer) and Nicole Sued (personal trainer, businesswoman).

A special Noche de Luz TV show will be presented on 28 August 2016 with the participation of the 2016 Seven Hot Bodies.


Tropical wave moves north of the DR
Intermittent thunderstorms and heavy rains are affecting the Dominican Republic with the passing to the north of a tropical wave. As of Wednesday, 24 August 2016, the broad area of low pressure took a more northern turn. It continues to produce gale-force winds over water especially to the north, with gusty winds and rains forecast for most of the country because of the weather system’s large size.

The Center for Emergency Operations declared green alerts (watch) on Wednesday evening for 14 provinces and the National District. The weather service (Onamet) director Gloria Ceballos warned of flood risks in rural and city areas as a consequence of the rains.

The provinces under alert are La Altagracia, Hato Mayor, El Seibo, Puerto Plata, San Pedro de Macoris, La Romana, Duarte, Maria Trinidad, Monte Plata, San Cristobal, Santiago, Sanchez Ramirez, Espaillat, Santo Domingo and the National District.
COE ordered small boats to stay in port and a ban on use of water sports and beach-going.

A second weather system in the area, Tropical Storm Gaston does not present a threat for weather in the Dominican Republic as it heads north.

Le Cirque de Paris in Santo Domingo
The Lucien Durand and Alexis Choisnet Paris Circus will be pitching its big top in Santo Domingo on 19 August 2016 to 23 October 2016 where it will be holding shows for three months. The circus will set up at the former Herrera Airport site. Friday, 8pm and Saturday and Sunday, 5 and 8pm shows.

The circus is known for its magic shows and acrobatic performances.


Holi Sun Festival of Colors at Botanical Gardens
On Saturday, 17 September 2016, the National Botanical Gardens in Santo Domingo are hosting the Holi Sun Festival of Colors vol. 2. This is a danceable event starting at 2pm and continuing through 10pm. It is a benefit for Save the Children Dominicana.

The event, which is described as a gradual explosion of colors, will include live performances by Mar B, Pamel, La Pandilla, DF, DJs Miguel Duarte, Zeux, Franko Ovales, Selektor 7 and Efren Camargo.

There will also be zumba, games, a bazaar and a food fair. Tickets are for sale at Uepa Tickets and Supermercados Nacional and Jumbo.

For more on ongoing and upcoming events:

Archived News stories:

Archived Travel News stories:
Last edited: