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Photos of Mr. Miyagi, the legendary fictional karate master in The Karate Kid film series have made the rounds of social media in the Dominican Republic. The point is the remarkable resemblance Mr. Miyagi to Angel Hernandez, the recently named Minister of Education. New Minister Angel Hernandez indeed needs to be Mr. Miyagi as he has the task of mentoring the Ministry of Education so that it can deliver quality education.

The minister was not bothered at all by the memes and remarks online.

Through his Twitter account, the minister commented that Nariyoshi Miyagi helped a young man who intended to practice karate, and that he not only taught him techniques, but also motivated him to learn. With this, he encouraged teachers to take up Mr. Miyagi’s example.

“Miyagi is a good case to illustrate the role of the teacher in achieving good...

New Minister of Education Angel Hernandez blasted the situation at the Ministry of Education on his first day on the job. On Wednesday, 10 August he said that the more than 250,000 employees and the RD$250 billion spent has all gone to waste because the students are not learning.

“Anything else is wasting time and that is what we are doing: wasting time,” said Hernandez before an assembly with regional and educational district directors.

“So, it makes no sense to make such a big investment for 10 years when that the money has been lost,” he said.

Hernandez stated that all efforts should now be focused on the classroom as the center for learning.

“Up to now, the level of development we have achieved has been precarious,” stated the newly appointed minister. He said that according to national and international evaluations, “learning is minimal.”

Faced...

Shortly after the removal of former Minister of Education Roberto Fulcar from the position, it is known that the Constitutional Court has overruled the appointment of regional and district educational directors without a competition.

The ruling of the Constitutional Court leaves in illegality the 18 directors of the Regional and 121 of Districts of Education appointed by former Minister Roberto Fulcar, who by way of a departmental order replaced the previous ones chosen by competition in 2020 and who had been appointed for four years in their position in a competition. When Fulcar was appointed Minister of Education starting 16 August 2020, he replaced the directors that were named technical advisors to the Ministry of Education.

Read more in Spanish...

Yván Lorenzo, spokesman for the opposition party PLD in the Senate, described recent actions by former Minister of Education Roberto Fulcar as “a pantomime.” As reported in Noticias SIN, the Elías Piña senator said: “The media tour that Fulcar is doing is a pantomime because he has privileged jurisdiction.”

After Fulcar was removed from the Ministry of Education, he was named minister without portfolio. This gives him at least RD$300,000 a month in wages, plus privileged judicial jurisdiction. This means, any prosecution needs to start at the Supreme Court of Justice.

The former Minister of Education had requested on the first day he was out of office that the Chamber of Accounts carry out an audit of his mandate in the Ministry of Education. The next day, on Wednesday, 10 August he was at the Anti-Corruption Agency of the Attorney General (Pepca) to deliver documentation...

Minister of the Presidency Lisandro Macarrulla had been given a leave of absence from the position. Now he has resigned. On his Twitter account, he published his letter of resignation. In the letter, he says he had agreed when taking the position to be on the job for two years. His resignation is effective 16 August 2022.

Macarrulla was on leave after one of his sons was charged in the corruption case Operation Medusa. The Medusa file also mentions the involvement of Macarrulla senior. The Macarrulla family company is a major contractor in the La Nueva Victoria (Las Parras) jail complex built by the Attorney General Office under former Attorney General Jean Alain Rodriguez. The construction of the jail is under investigation for major corruption.

President Luis Abinader appointed Joel Santos to fill in for Macarrulla during his leave of absence by way of Decree 378-22...

Ombudsman Pablo Ulloa has made available to the Dominican people the first version of the Citizen’s Service Charter. The service charter provides information on the services provided by the Ombusman Office and the rights of citizens in regards to these services.

In making public the charter, Ulloa stated that the initiative seeks to bring the Ombudsman Office closer to the Dominican society, enabling higher levels of information, transparency, participation, accountability and continuous improvement of its services according to citizens’ demands. At the same time, Ombusman Office seeks to motivate other public administrations and institutions to approve their own service charters.

This initiative was certified by the UNE 93200-2008 Standard provided by Aenor in the Dominican Republic.

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The Ministry of Public Health reports the fifth case of monkeypox in the Dominican Republic. The Ministry made the announcement during the weekly public health press conference. The patient has only skin lesions and is stable under medical supervision at the Ramon de Lara Military Hospital in San Isidro Air Base in eastern Santo Domingo.

The patient is a 39-year old man, resident of Santo Domingo, who believes he caught the disease from persons in the border area with Haiti. The man is in isolation at the Ramon de Lara Hospital. The doctor explained that the individual first had a headache, fever and joint pain that started a week ago. The man sought medical help when the lesions in his face migrated to his lower limbs, back, trunk and other parts of the body.

The hospital reported that the country’s fourth smallpox patient is also stable and has no symptoms of the...

Dominican migration to Spain is second to migration to the United States. Now, recent changes to Spain’s immigration law will allow thousands more Dominicans to work and reside in that country legally.

The Spanish government recently approved amendments to its immigration law to address obstacles to foreigners legalizing their status. The changes make it easier for foreigners living in Spain to regularize their status and for employers to hire foreigners that already live in Spain.

One of the main beneficiaries of the reform will be foreign students enrolled in Spanish higher learning centers. More Dominicans on scholarships study in Spain than in any other country worldwide.

Until now, those who had a student visa to study, for example, a degree at a Spanish university, could not work to help pay for their studies. The new rules now allow foreign students to work...

Cormidom, the Chinese company that operates the Cerro de Maimon copper and zinc mine in Monseñor Nouel province, announced that the mine will continue temporarily closed. The company issued a statement indicating that the mine will not reopen until its operations are validated and the safety of the workers is guaranteed. “We are in the review phase and until we are completely sure, we will not reopen,” stated the company. After the cave-in on Sunday, 31 July 2022, the production operations at the mine have been fully suspended and the tunnels are under maintenance.

The Cormidom mine is the first underground mining operation in the Dominican Republic. In 2021, there were two tragic incidents, with two deaths, both attributed to human errors of the workers. Reports at the Mining Agency of the Ministry of Energy and Mining indicates that machine operator Hector Bautista died on...

Relatives and friends of Gregores Alexander Méndez Torres are counting the days for his return to Monseñor Nouel province. A party is planned to celebrate his return. Diario Libre reports it is likely the party will be able to take place on this Friday, 12 August 2022.

With a rice and salami (locrio) and a party with the orchestra of Hector Acosta (El Torito). El Torito is a former legislator for Monseñor Nouel province.

Gregores lives with his 77-year old grandmother Regina Martinez and a six year old daughter. His grandmother raised Gregores. His mother left the country to live abroad when he was a young child.

Diario Libre reports that his cell phone is cared for by his cousin, Yameli. Yameli became famous when among the first things Gregores said once he had access to a cell phone underground was that his mobile was in his backpack and he was told Yameli...

Miners Gregores Alexander Méndez Torres and Carlos Yépez had on them an oxygen system that only enabled them to continue breathing for two days. Diario Libre interviewed Dominican geologist Osiris de Leon who explained how the miners survived 10 days before being rescued from the underground mine in El Cerro de Maimón.

De León explained the rescuers were able to drill a 34-meter long and 64 millimeters diameter perforation some 36 hours after the collapse.

The cave-in had occurred on Sunday, 31 July 2022 at 1:00 a.m. on level 215 of the mine.

Méndez Torres, a Dominican national, and Yépez, a Colombian, were 95 meters from the impacted area and although they did not suffer any physical damage, the rocks hindered their exit.

Cormidom rescue teams used the pipe to deliver food and oxygen to the workers.

“We decided to drill a hole with one of the drills that the...

11 August 2022

The Rapid Pass Code is now available via Whatsapp. You can now pay to extend the tolls fast pass sticker online. Call 809 473-3200, 809 200-1561 or [URL]https://www.pasorapido.gob.do/

The pass offers drivers the convenience of paying tolls automatically allowing for faster travel through toll booths. Drivers need to keep at hand their tolls payment card, for in-person verification just in case the machine is not working, as happens frequently.

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Permanent Attention Office of the National District judge Juan Francisco Consoró imposed three months of preventive detention to mechanic Jose Luis Fermin Diaz (El Chamo). He is accused of strangling dentist Lyda Amell Bogaert and leaving her body abandoned inside her vehicle on the Expreso Quinto Centenario Avenue.

Homicide investigators followed surveillance cameras to uncover the suspects in the case of the murder. The causes of the murder are still unknown.

Fermin Diaz was ordered to serve the custody at the Najayo Jail in San Cristóbal, as the trial is prepared.

11 August 2022

Public prosecutors are advancing investigations regarding drug trafficking and asset laundering in the FM Operation. This week, public prosecutors carried out searches in Santiago and San Francisco and 42 apartments were seized. Most of the seized apartments were in MyD I and MyD II in Santiago, MyD III in San Francisco de Macoris.

The investigations are carried out in a joint effort by the Specialized Anti-Asset Laundering and Terrorism Financing Agency, the National Drug Control Agency (DNCD) and the United States government Transnational Criminal Investigative Unit (TCIU) and the US Embassy.

Read more in Spanish:

Fiordaliza Cofil, running for the Dominican Republic in the Wanda Diamond League 400m women’s race in Monaco, clocked in at 50.55, ending the race in 5th position. Her best time is 50.14.

The race winner was Shaunae Miller-Uibo of Bahamas with 49.23.The runnerups:Jamaican Candice McLeod with 49.87Sada Williams of Barbados with 50.10Stephenie Ann McPherson of Jamaica with 50.52Junelle Bromfield of Jamaica with 50.93Kaylin Whitney for USA with 51.02Sokhna Lacoste for France with 53.21.

Alexander Ogando placed fourth for the Dominican Republic in the 200m race behind Noah Lyles, Erriyon Knighton and Michael Norman of the USA. He ran for 20.02. His personal best is 19.91. In the race he defeated Aaron Brown 20.23 (Canada), Josephus Lyles 20.26 (USA), Joseph Fahbulleh 20.46 (Liberia) and Meba Mickael Zeze 20.78 (France).

Read...

World dance stars are booked for performances on Thursday, 25 August 2022 at the Gran Teatro del Cibao in Santiago and on Saturday, 27 August 2022 at the National Theater in Santo Domingo. The World Dance Stars Benefit Gala will curtain at 8pm in Santiago and 8:30pm in Santo Domingo.

On its 60th anniversary, the Asociación Cibao de Ahorros y Prestamos is sponsoring the dance performances that benefit the cerebral palsy foundation, Nido de Angeles.

Mónika Despradel, who presides Nido para Ángeles and produces the gala, informed that the first dancers, Rachele Buriassi and Esnel Ramos from Canada; Kleber Rebello from France; from Cuba Dani Hernández and Grettel Morejón will be on stage. Also from Switzerland, Irmina Mulligan and Jorge Garcia from Austria; Liudmilla Konovalova, Nathalia Arja and Alex Peters from the United States and Croatia Guilherme Vitic and...

The number of Covid-19 cases for Bulletin #874 was 408, up from 335 on the previous day. This number compares to the seven-day average of daily infections (confirmed lab-reported cases) that is now 376, down from that of the previous day.

The 24-hour positivity was 21.44%, down from the day before. The 4-week positivity rate is 9.84%, again down from the day before.

The Ministry of Public Health recommends getting the third and fourth booster vaccines. The third booster is recommended for children from 12 years now that there have been outbreaks in private and public schools.

The fourth booster is available for those 18 years and older. The fourth booster can be applied four months after the third booster. It is recommended especially for those over 50 years of age and those with depressed immune systems.

The Pfizer vaccine is available for these boosters, but those who do not qualify...

President Luis Abinader flew in on a helicopter. The President and Paul Marinko, president of Cormidom, the Chinese mining corporation, were all smiles when around 11:16am, the two workers trapped in a cave-in on Sunday, 31 July 2022 at 1am, walked out unharmed. All present, including the workers’ families, celebrated.

A team of around 100 Dominican and foreign workers had toiled for 9 days, 24 hours a day to establish a bypass to reach the miners at a distance of around 74 meters.

For the workers, 28-year old Gregory Méndez Torres and Colombian 37-year old Carlos Yepez Ospina, it was a long 10 days underground. The two worked at the Cormidom copper and zinc mine in Monseñor Nouel province. The two made it out in good health and good spirits.

The miners were reached on Tuesday, 9 August 2022 morning through a newly-dug rescue tunnel (Tunnel B), a whole ten days after they got caught underground after a rockslide, the Dominican Mining Corporation (Cormidom) said in a...

10 August 2022

President Luis Abinader again breaks with tradition. For the mark of his two years in government, President Abinader will address the country on 16 August at 7pm from the city of Santiago. The speech traditionally assesses the advances made and the challenges ahead. In the past, Dominican presidents had spoken from the National Congress.

The province of Santiago is the base from where the heroic activities originated that led to the restoration of the independence of the nation from Spanish forces. 16 August celebrates the restoration of independence.

Noticias SIN reports the President will deliver his address from the landmark area known as the Monumento de Santiago.

Read more in Spanish:

The Fuerza del Pueblo announced Dionis Sánchez would be the speaker for the People’s Force in the Senate and Omar Fernandez, would be the speaker in the Chamber of Deputies.

The People’s Force is the party that three-time President Leonel Fernandez founded to run for President in the 2020 presidential election. At the time, he argued the PLD had rigged the computers to choose former Minister of Public Works Gonzalo Castillo as the presidential candidate.

Omar Fernández is the son of the former President.

The speakers need to be elected in time for the next legislative session that opens on 16 August 2022.

The Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) had already announced that it would continue with Yvan Lorenzo (PLD-Elias Piña) as speaker for the party in the Senate. The PLD chose Juan Julio Campos (PLD-La Altagracia) to replace Gustavo Sánchez...

10 August 2022

The Senate reported spending RD$2.6 billion for the legislative period (August 2021-to August 2022) and the Chamber of Deputies spent RD$5.48 billion. During the term, Congress passed loans for US$1,103 million.

Read more in Spanish:

To address concerns regarding high wages in government, with around 80 government officers receiving wages far above those of President Luis Abinader, the Ministry of Public Administration announced the submitting of a draft bill on the high wages.

The Ministry of Public Administration sent the proposed bill to the Legal Advisor of the Presidency for review. At present, around 80 government officials make more than the President. Recently, many of these made headlines for adjusting their wages upwards for inflation. The action is irritating at a time when inflation is eating away at the wages of most Dominicans that do not have the mega budgets of government to make wage adjustments.

The Ministry of Public Administration (MAP) submitted the complementary regulation to Dominican State Salary Regulation Law No. 105-13.

The MAP says the new regulation seeks to develop the general...

Sociologist and political analyst Candido Mercedes told Acento TV that at the halfway point of his administration, President Luis Abinader has a high approval rating, around 70%, according to the Latin American Presidents Approval Index. Mercedes says that credible polls reveal that the President’s popularity is 20 percentage points above that of the ruling Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM).

Mercedes warns that if President Luis Abinader does not run again, the PRM would lose the 2024 presidential election. Mercedes called President Luis Abinader sort of “a one-man orchestra). He said Abinader has to attend to practically all government affairs.

He said the work capacity of the President has strengthened his image and raised his popularity. He said the ruling political party (PRM) is moving slower and is not doing its political work among the population.

He considered that...

The 2022 Wanda Diamond League continues at the Monaco’s Herculis meeting, with a whole host of Olympic and world champions set to resume the race for a place in the series final on September 7-8th.

Dominican Fiordaliza Cofil, winner of a gold medal in the 4×400 mixed relay in Oregon 2022, is competing in the 400m in the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco on Wednesday, 10 August 2022.

The runners by their season best times in the event are:Shaunae Miller-Uibo (Bahamas) – 49.11Sada Williams (Barbados) – 49.75Candice McLeod (Jamaica) 50.05Fiordaliza Cofil (Dominican Republic) – 50.14Stephenie Ann McPherson (Jamaica) – 50.15Kaylin Whitney (USA) – 51.17Junelle Bromfield (Jamaica) – 51.18Sokhna Lacoste (France) – 51.62

Fellow 4×400 mixed relay gold medal winner in Oregon 2022, Marileidy Paulino has already qualified for the finals for the Diamond Trophy at the end of the...

The tennis courts of the Santo Domingo (La Bocha) Tennis Club will host competitors from around the world coming for the Santo Domingo Open presented by Milex. The event is part of the Association of Tennis Professional Players (ATP) Challenger Tour and is set for 15 to 21 August 2022. The tournament has a cash prize of U$160,000.

Six of the registered players are ranked in the top 100 of the Association of Tennis Professional Players (ATP). These are Hugo Dellien (70), Tomas Etcheverry (72), Federico Coria (73), Roberto Carballes Baena (86), Pedro Cachín (90) and Daniel Galán (99).

The best Dominican tennis player of all times, Victor Estrella has left his retirement to play doubles in the tournament. Estrella had retired in 2019.

Also competing for the Dominican Republic are Peter Bertran and Nick Hardt. Bertran will play doubles with Estrella. Another four Dominicans seek...

The number of Covid-19 cases for Bulletin #873 was 335, up from 153 on the previous day. This number compares to the seven-day average of daily infections (confirmed lab-reported cases) that is now 406, down from that of the previous day.

The 24-hour positivity was 22.50%, up from the day before. The 4-week positivity rate is 10.17%, again down from the day before.

The Ministry of Public Health recommends getting the third and fourth booster vaccines. The third booster is recommended for children from 12 years now that there have been outbreaks in private and public schools.

The fourth booster is available for those 18 years and older. The fourth booster can be applied four months after the third booster. It is recommended especially for those over 50 years of age and those with depressed immune systems.

The Pfizer vaccine is available for these boosters, but those who do not qualify...

President Luis Abinader returned late on Sunday evening and was back at his job on Monday, 8 August 2022. The President arrived at around 11pm to the San Isidro Air Base. He had traveled to Colombia for the inaugural of President Gustavo Petro accompanied by Minister of Foreign Relations Roberto Alvarez and his daughter, Esther and other staff.

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In a press conference to update the nation on the rescue efforts for the trapped miners in the El Cerro de Maimón mine, Cormidom president Paul Marinko said that the tunneling equipment sent by the Canadian government or the Santo Domingo Metro tunneling machine will only be used as a Plan B. Marinko is optimistic the traditional tunneling effort will soon reach the workers. 28-year old Gregory Alexander Méndez Torres (Dominican) and 37-year old Carlos Yépez (Colombian) have been trapped in the Cormidom subterranean copper and zinc mine since 1am on Sunday, 31 July 2022.

Paul Marinko, president of the company, said as of Monday, 8 August 2022 in the afternoon, rescue teams had excavated about 60 meters of the 74 meters that must be excavated to reach the trapped miners.

Marinko said preparing the tunneling equipment for work requires 12 to 14 hours. “The machine is...

New Minister of Education Angel Hernandez says he was the first to be surprised when told he was the choice to replace Roberto Furcal. Furcal was removed after numerous claims of major irregularities in office.

“I am the most surprised to be here, but the circumstances of life have placed me in this position and nothing, i need to move ahead,” he said.

Vice President Raquel Peña swore in the new Minister of Education, Ángel Hernández at the Ministry of Education on 8 August 2022.

In receiving the Ministry of Education from Furcal, Hernandez said he commits to manage resources with transparency and comply with the school calendar. He said he will share his educational vision with the Public School Teachers Association (ADP) and the signatory institutions of the Educational Pact.

The new Minister of Education says quality public education is his priority. He spoke of...

Carlos Pimentel, the director of the Public Procurement Agency (DGCP), said on 8 August 2022 that the Minister of Education never officially responded to the hundreds of observations and recommendations his department made to the Ministry of Education. DGCP rejected several tenders due to deficiencies in the Ministry of Education government contracting procedures.

DGCP director Pimentel mentioned the annulling of 51 of 54 lots of the electronic devices tender. He said his department warned that several suppliers were closely related and several would not be able to deliver because these did not have the installed capacity to do so.

Recently, the DGCP rejected the digital textbooks tender, accepting a challenge made by one of the participants in the process. Pimentel said that as was normal, at the time the Ministry of Education did not respond to the challenge. As a...

Venancio Alcántara Valdez had been working at the Customs Agency since 2020 when he was appointed technical deputy director. He had a salary of RD$323,856.

In May 2021 he was promoted to government advisor to Customs Agency director. In August of the same year he was appointed government relations coordinator to the Customs Agency office. In all three positions he earned the same salary.

His previous position in government was as a legislator. He retired for health reasons. He would have received a pension of RD$48,000 but the later was never enacted.

His son is Starlin Alcántara, the deputy mayor for the National District.

Decree 414-22 issued on 3 August 2022 named Venancio Alcantara Valdez to replace Reynaldo Enrique Garcia Sanchez who was named Dominican consul in Boston, USA.

Read more in...

Haitians and Venezuelans are the leading nationality of persons receiving legal residence to live in the Dominican Republic in the past 18 months.

The climate, work, business and investment opportunities, attract thousands of people that come to live in the Dominican Republic. Listin Diario reports that from January 2021 to June 2022, the Dominican Republic had granted definitive, permanent and temporary residency, as well as non-residence, re-entry and student permits to 75,388 people from more than 60 countries.

Nationals from Haiti and Venezuela, two countries involved in political crisis and with a considerable exodus of their citizens, have benefited from fast-tracked rules for acquiring legal status in the Dominican Republic. In the case of Haitians, about 240,000 were first regularized in 2013 by the National Regularization Plan for Foreigners issued by Presidential Decree...

The Superior Administrative Court (TSA) annulled the electricity tariff increases made in November and December 2021. The TSA said the Superintendency of Electricity did not observe the due administrative process in ordering the increases.

The Superior Administrative Court (TSA) accepted a contentious administrative appeal filed by the Justice and Transparency Foundation (FJT). The TSA annulls the resolution of the Superintendency of Electricity (SIE), No. SIE-093-2021-TF, dated 27 October 2021, that had increased tariffs to be applied for the months of November and December 2021.

The TSA established that the SIE failed to observe the administrative due process and the fundamental right for citizens to participate in administrative acts. The TSA said the SIE acted in disregard of Articles 69.10 and 138.2 of the Constitution, in addition to Article 31 of Law 107-13, on the rights of...

On Friday, 5 August 2022, the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the National District filed the formal accusation against seven persons accused of violent aggression against Ombudsman Pablo Ulloa, his staff and media that were on an inspection visit of the Canódromo vehicular retention center. The inspection was aborted when the chief of the Canodromo operation, Colonel Ysabelita de los Santos Perez and her staff met the officers and media with violent actions. The accusations were filed before the Coordinating Office of the Instruction Courts

The prosecutor’s office asks for the opening of the trial against Ysabelita de los Santos Pérez, Geraldina de los Santos Peña, Marisol Vargas, Nataniel Javier Javier, Starling Ramírez Sierra, Ronny Recio Rosario and Carlos Oliver Borque Paulino.The legal recourse states that the accused assaulted the victims, both physically and verbally.

The Ombudsman...

36-year old Ukrainian Natalya Kasianova was ordered to serve three months of preventive imprisonment in the Najayo Women prison during the preparation of the trial against her, said her lawyer Carlos Guerra. Her ex-partner 21-year old Miguel Angel Linares accuses her of torture. Kasianova’s lawyer says she will appeal the ruling.

According to the lawyer, the judge’s decision to have his client serve three months in prison in Najayo Mujeres was due to the media coverage of the case.

The accusation of the Public Prosecutor’s Office establishes that on the morning of 23 May 2022, Miguel Angel Linares met with the accused at the Torre Ibiza, on the 30 de Mayo Highway supposedly to talk about the relationship that had ended weeks before. The 21-year old man complained Kasianova was mistreating him.

Upon arriving at the apartment, the young man discovered that the...

Classic music lovers are encouraged to book an evening at the National Theater to enjoy the concerts programmed for the 2022 Symphony Season of the National Symphony Orchestra (OSN). The concerts are booked for the Carlos Piantini Hall of the National Theater from 17 August to 9 November 2022. International and stellar Dominican performers are on the programs.

These include: Spanish conductor Enrique Parreño, Chinese pianist Zhenni Li, Ukrainian pianist Vadym Kholodenko, acclaimed American operatic singers Gregory Kunde and Morris Robinson, as well as Serbian violinist Zvezdana Radojkovic, concertmaster of the OSN.

Young Dominicans, conductor Santy Rodríguez, soprano Nathalie Peña Comas and mezzo-soprano Glenmer Pérez are also on the program.

José Antonio Molina, chief conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra, spoke how the concert is about the...

Demand for travel to the Dominican Republic is at an all-time high. Arajet is the new airline on the block. The airline enters the market offering low cost fares for flights on board brand new Boeing 737 Max-800 airplanes. The Dominican airline has four brand new jets and offers direct flights to popular destinations and many new destinations in the Americas.

The airline seeks to turn Las Americas International Airport (SDQ) into a connection hub for the Americas. The company is establishing a network of 20 destinations in 12 countries in its first three months. Announcing the start of flights, airline president Victor Pacheco said on Monday, 8 August 2022 that the goal is to transport seven million passengers a year in five years’ time.

The inaugural commercial flight will be on 15 September 2022 to Mexico City. Direct flights to Monterrey and Cancún in Mexico are also...

President Luis Abinader is promoting the ongoing efforts to refurbish about 25 of the nation’s beaches with a focus on reorganizing beach vendors. An estimated RD$3.0 billion is the cost of the National Plan for the Reordering, Regeneration, Training and Financing for the Associations of Informal Beach Vendors.

Tourism Minister David Collado says the program is already being implemented in Macao, Miches in the East; Guayacanaes I and II in San Pedro de Macorís in the Southeast; Los Patos, Los Quemaitos, Saladillas in Barahona in the Southwest; Palenque in San Cristóbal in the South; and in Sosua, in Puerto Plata on the North. Collado said that around 3,000 vendors are already benefiting from the nationwide program.

According to Tourism Minister Collado, the plan is providing training and financing for tourist guides, vendor associations and refurbishing the...

President Luis Abinader and Tourism Minister David Collado announced “Tourism in Every Corner,” a platform for the promotion and support of domestic tourism with a focus on sustainability and inclusion.

The initiative seeks to maximize the relationship between domestic tourism products and the development of communities, thus achieving a redistributive impact all throughout the country.

The Ministry of Tourism has documented attractions, gastronomy and experiences nationwide that have the quality, infrastructure and conditions to ensure a sustainable increase of tourism in these areas.

The President and Minister of Tourism announced the launching of a multi-channel communication campaign, inviting all Dominicans to get to know their country, to enjoy its culture, gastronomy, landscapes, adventures and its people.

Travel agencies and tour operators, and...

Tourism Minister David Collado announced that a resort in Bayahibe Beach will host the Caribbean Hotel Investment and Operations Summit (CHICOS) in November 2022. The event is organized by HVS, the National Hotel & Tourism Association (Asonahores) and Pro Dominicana, the government export and investment entity and Playa Hotels & Resorts. The investment promotion event is in its 11th year.

The announcement was made at a ceremony headed by Minister Collado and attended by the president and director of the event’s organizing firm (HVS), Parris Jordan and Nicole Roantree. Collado stressed the importance of tourism investment in the Dominican Republic.

The CHICOS Summit, to be held 9-11 November 2022 at the newly renovated Hilton La Romana All-Inclusive Resort at Bayahibe Beach, will gather government participants, investors, operators, suppliers and other members of the tourism value chain...

The number of Covid-19 cases for Bulletin #872 was 153, up from 125 on the previous day. This number compares to the seven-day average of daily infections (confirmed lab-reported cases) that is now 468, down from that of the previous day.

The 24-hour positivity was 21.10%, up from the day before, and the 4-week positivity rate is 10.32%, down from the day before.

The Ministry of Public Health recommends getting the third and fourth booster vaccines. The third booster is recommended for children from 12 years now that there have been outbreaks in private and public schools.

The fourth booster is available for those 18 years and older. The fourth booster can be applied four months after the third booster. It is recommended especially for those over 50 years of age and those with depressed immune systems.

The Pfizer vaccine is available for these boosters, but those who do not qualify to...

President Luis Abinader traveled to Bogotá, Colombia on Sunday, 7 August 2022 to attend the inauguration of President-elect Gustavo Petro of Colombia. He traveled with his daughter Esther and Minister of Foreign Relations Roberto Alvarez.

The media reported that President Luis Abinader met privately with President-elect Gustavo Petro before his inaugural. The Presidency reported that during the meeting, the leaders discussed the strengthening of diplomatic, economic, cultural and tourism relations between the two countries. The Dominican and Colombian leaders also discussed Haiti.

In addition, President Abinader took advantage of the meeting to formally invite Petro to the Ibero-American Summit to be held in Santo Domingo in March 2023.

In addition to Foreign Minister Roberto Alvarez, Dominican Ambassador to Colombia, Julio Cordero, was at the meeting with...

President Luis Abinader talks to trapped miners at the El Cerro de Maimón copper and zinc mine.

Acting President Raquel Peña received on Sunday, 7 August 2022 at Las Americas International Airport, the trained personnel sent by the government of Canada, who arrived with the equipment for the rescue of the two miners trapped for a week in the subway mine of the Dominican Mining Corporation (Cormidom), in the Cerro de Maimón.

The Acting President confirmed the Dominican government had requested the collaboration of the Canadian government. President Luis Abinader, with Foreign Relations Minister Roberto Alvarez and the Dominican Ambassador to Canada, Michelle Cohen, requested help so that the miners could be rescued as safely and quickly as possible in the Cerro de Maimon zinc and copper mine.

Vice President Peña said that immediately the Canadian...

The president of the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ), Luis Henry Molina says that the new Law for the Use of Digital Media in the Judiciary opens a new stage in the transformation of the justice system.

He said that the new law enacted by President Luis Abinader on 31 July 2022 will make judicial processes more efficient, less costly and more citizen-centered.

“We are talking about an up-to-date justice to guarantee the dignity of the people,” emphasized the official in the speech he delivered at the 27th swearing-in ceremony of lawyers held in the Supreme Court of Justice.

The new law establishes the principles and guidelines for the use of digital media in the Judicial Branch, without affecting the current procedural rules.

With its application, users of the justice service will be able to visualize and follow on their legal cases online. Access to justice will...

Recognizing Roberto Furcal had done little to advance education in the Dominican Republic, President Luis Abinader removed him from the position. Abinader had appointed Furcal, a former activist in the Public Teachers Association (ADP) and his 2020 presidential campaign manage to head the Ministry of Education that has the largest budgetary allocation in government.

Public pressure finally convinced the President it was time to remove Furcal. Yet, Furcal was not ousted from government, he was named to a desk in the Presidential Palace as minister without portfolio designated to deal with government strategies. He will make at least RD$300,000 in wages.

News commentators agreed that the drop that overflowed the glass was the revelations in Diario Libre that the Ministry of Education had contracted millions to a company for digital content where a 76-year old chauffeur was the partner...

President Luis Abinader appointed Andres Astacio his new Superintendent of Electricity. Astacio replaces resigning Rafael Velazco. Velazco resigned after complaints in the media about how he had raised his wages and those of his staff at a time when consumers were being levied significant increases in power rates. Velazco was the only cabinet minister to resign. Later it was known that the raises in wages of officials in the financial sector was generalized. President Luis Abinader would call the increases “imprudent”.

Previously, Astacio was executive vice president of the Unified Board of the EdeEste, EdeNorte and EdeSur governmental power distribution companies.

Astacio is a lawyer, specialist in conflicts and inter-institutional relations.

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Early last week, local newspapers carried the announcement that the National Statistics Office (ONE) was going to hire 35,000 census takers. At the end of the week, President Abinader signed Decree 420-22 that officially orders the 10th National Census to take place from 10 November to 23 November 2022.

The government has set aside about RD$3.6 billion for the effort.

Economy and Planning Minister Pavel Isa Contreras, and the director of the ONE, Miosotis Rivas Peña accompanied President Abinader to make the National Census start announcement.

Decree 420-22 says that all public and private activities should continue normally during the census-taking, which will not require anyone to abandon their place of work.

It is expected that by the first quarter of 2023, the ONE will have some preliminary data available, such as the population of the provinces by...

For yet another week, the Abinader administration announced fuel prices will remain the same as they were in March 2022. Luckily, crude oil prices have come down over US$40.00 a barrel since reaching the high point of over US$120.00 a barrel.

So far, the government says it has invested over RD$27 billion in these subsidies, oftentimes subsidizing fuel prices with close to RD$2.0 billion in just one week.

Reflecting the price drop in the price of crude, this week the cost to the government was “only’’ RD$450 million.

According to the decree issued in March 2022, the government would subsidize fuel prices for four months, and this ended last month. However, the Abinader administration continues to bear the brunt on the high cost of crude oil. This policy has saved car owners between RD$20 and RD$65 pesos a gallon this week, depending on the type of fuel that is purchased.

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Agriculture Minister Limber Cruz Lopez announced that the government will be offering poultry (chicken) at RD$40.00 a pound through the distribution system of the Institute for Price Stabilization (Inespre). The price of the pound chicken is around double that amount in regular supermarkets.

The announcement was made as the minister addressed the attendees at the National Rice Fair that was held in Jima Abajo, La Vega. President Luis Abinader was there as well. The large gathering of rice producers, suppliers, millers, and distributors came about through the efforts of a local priest, Rafael Delgado and the efforts of the local small farmer association that belong to the Agricultural Reform projects in the area around Rincon, one of the largest dams/reservoir/irrigation projects in the Caribbean.

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The European Union (EU) has delivered innovative equipment to the National Institute of Forensic Sciences (INACIF) of the Dominican Republic to help combat crime. The donation is part of the project, “Cooperation in Criminal Investigation in Central America to Combat Crime and Drug Trafficking at the International Level- AC1/ICRIME.” The project seeks to strengthen investigation units, forensic institutes, networks and criminal investigation procedures in the region.

Attorney General of the Dominican Republic Miriam Germán Brito received the donation fromKatja Afheldt, the European Union (EU) Ambassador to the Dominican Republic.

The equipment will be used at the forensic toxicology departments of the laboratories in Santo Domingo and Santiago de los Caballeros. The equipments are assessed at RD$2.45 million.

The equipment will be used to improve procedures and...

The Duarte Institute held their Patriotic March along Calle del Conde in the heart of old Santo Domingo. The Sunday, 7 August 2022 march began at the park next to the Santo Domingo Cathedral and ended at Independence Park at the head of the pedestrian street.

The effort was directed at creating public support for international assistance to stem the chaos in Haiti. The marchers called for help for Haiti from the United States, Canada and France, as well as other European Union countries.

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The United States government could do more from its end to reduce the crisis in Haiti. The Washington Post has been covering the situation for US readers.

The Washington Post has been following up on the worsening of the political, social and economic crisis in Haiti. The newspaper mentioned in a Saturday, 5 August 2022 opinion piece the contrast of receiving two “commodities” from the United States that only worsen the situation. The newspaper feature states: “Those exports — one smuggled, the other overt — are the latest symptom of the world’s callous disregard and moral myopia regarding the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country. Haiti has no functional government, no democracy, no peace, no hope. And the international community’s response is silence.”

The newspaper highlights:

“Last month, in the midst of a spasm of gun violence that left hundreds dead, injured or...

JMMB Holding Company, SRI and its parent JMMB Group Limited are the new owners of Banco Múltiple Bell Bank in the Dominican Republic. The bank will be merged with the company loans and savings bank.

“This acquisition and merger complement our regional diversification strategy as we seek to leverage operational efficiencies and synergies and introduce innovative financial solutions while fulfilling the needs of our clients across the Caribbean,” stated JMMB Group CEO Keith Duncan.

He added: “The group is now poised to expand its range of offerings in the Dominican Republic, as an integrated financial services provider, with this approval.”

Duncan says JMMB seeks to deepen its market share in the countries in which it operates, namely Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

The merger and integration of both banking entities are expected to take place within the next six months...

The ban on Dominican airlines flying to Saint Maarten has been retracted. It was agreed that St. Maarten airline, Windward Islands Airways International (Winair) will apply for the required permit to reinstate its flights to the Dominican Republic, as reported in The Daily Herald of St. Maarten. Winair is allowed to continue to fly to the Dominican Republic.

The announcement is made after it was announced that Dominican airlines would be banned to fly to St. Maarten by 31 August 2022. Now the St. Maarten Civil Aviation Authority (SMCAA) reveals that it has come to an agreement with its Dominican counterpart, the Civil Aviation Board (JAC) and all flights will continue in the coming months.

“We believe a solution has been found avoiding any disruption of services to the traveling public, while also providing choice of airlines to the customer,” Winair Chief Executive Officer Michael...

On Wednesday, 3 August 2022, President Luis Abinader had appointed transit expert Hugo Beras to replace Rafael Arias at the head of the National Institute of Transport and Transit.

Then on Sunday, 6 August, two consecutive crashes on Las Americas Expressway evidenced once again the need for major improvements in drivers’ education and compliance with traffic rules in the Dominican Republic.

The accidents occurred when bystanders caused a bottleneck on the expressway, and a freight container truck driver on the other side sped by and in what appeared to be a momentary distraction, collided into another vehicle causing a multi-vehicle crash.

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The Attorney General Office prosecutors cracked down on a criminal network of people trafficking in the capital city and Punta Cana area. The Attorney General Office has named the investigation, Operation Cattleya.

More than 80 women, ages 18 to 23 years, were rescued, and deemed as victims of sexual exploitation. The traffickers kept 50% of the high fees the women charged for their services. The sex services were contracted via a catalog sent by Whatsapp.

The prosecutors searched two small hotels in the capital city and a residential area in Bávaro to make the arrests following nine months of investigations. The prosecutors ordered the temporary shut down of the hotels Caribe and Oscar in Gascue, Santo Domingo and Residencial Coco Real in Bavaro.

As reported, the victimized women were from Colombia and Venezuela, and had traveled to the Dominican Republic...

Team Dominican Republic that competed in the U12 World Baseball Software Championship in Taiwan defeated Japan 5-2 to advance to the Super Round. Yet at the end, the DR would finish fourth in the event, behind USA, Venezuela, and the hosts, Taiwan. The United States defeated Venezuela in the playoff game. The DR would lose to the hosts Taiwan, just missing the bronze medal. It was the first time that a U12 Dominican team attended a World Baseball Championship.

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The number of Covid-19 cases for Bulletin #871 was 125, a recent record low. This number compares to the seven-day average of daily infections (confirmed lab-reported cases) that is now 497, down from that of the previous day.

The 24-hour positivity was 18.52%, down from the day before, and the 4-week positivity rate is 10.36%, down from the day before.

The Ministry of Public Health recommends getting the third and fourth booster vaccines. The third booster is recommended for children from 12 years now that there have been outbreaks in private and public schools.

The fourth booster is available for those 18 years and older. The fourth booster can be applied four months after the third booster. It is recommended especially for those over 50 years of age and those with depressed immune systems.

The Pfizer vaccine is available for these boosters, but those who do not qualify to receive...

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