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[b]The Ministry of Public Health Coronavirus Bulletin #624 with the deadline of 2 December 2021 reports 289 new cases. The low in Covid-19 cases in the Dominican Republic coincides with the outbreak of the Omicron variant in Europe and Africa.[/b]

[b]Bulletin #624 reports active Covid-19 cases are at 2,231, another record low. The number of active cases is minimal when compared to the peak of 55,773 active cases registered in July 2021, and is evidence the vaccines are working. [/b]With around 64% of the population vaccinated with least two doses of vaccine, and 77% with at least one dose, the mostly Delta variant fourth wave outbreak, was mild and has dissipated. A recent University of Yale study attributes the situation to the combination of two Sinovac vaccines with the Pfizer booster, a campaign that coincided with the entry of the Delta variant.

The...

On Thursday, 2 December 2021, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico signed a Joint Declaration for Strategic Alliance. The statement calls for strengthening trade, cultural, sports, and cooperation, among other areas of mutual interest.

Visiting Governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluisi signed the agreement with President Luis Abinader. Foreign Minister Roberto Alvarez and Puerto Rico Secretary of State Omar Marrero were present for the ceremony at the Presidential Palace.

President Abinader said the signing is a push ahead for bilateral relations. He said staff in both countries would work to update and adapt specific agreements on trade, agriculture, education, environment and health for mutual benefit.

“It is in this context that we meet today to renew and reaffirm our ties and commitments to promote prosperity and human values, through mechanisms of...

Claro announced the deployment of the first phase of the 5G network in the Dominican Republic in Greater Santo Domingo, from Villa Mella to the Colonial City.

Claro says the service is now available in 29 sectors in the National District and in areas of northern Santo Domingo province. These are: Bella Vista, Centro Olímpico, Ciudad Colonial, Ciudad Nueva, Don Bosco, Ensanche La Fe, Ensanche Naco, Ensanche Quisqueya, Gazcue, Jardín Botánico, Julieta Morales, La Agustina, La Esperilla, La Julia, Los Jardines, Los Millones, Los Prados, Mata Hambre, Nuestra Señora de la Paz, Paraíso, Piantini, San Carlos, Viejo Arroyo Hondo, Villa Consuelo, El Edén, Guaricano, Sabana Perdida, Santa Cruz andVilla Mella.Coverage will be extended to the rest of Greater Santo Domingo next, and then to Santiago and La Romana provinces.

The greater data speeds will initially be available for Android mobiles...

The National Institute of Transit and Land Transportation (Intrant) has issued the usual ban on cargo vehicles circulation in restricted access zones during the Christmas holidays. The ban affects permits that have been granted to companies delivering to the restricted access zones in the National District. The announcement is part of the road safety measures adopted for Christmas and New Year.

The measure is in effect from Thursday, 23 December 23 from 6am until Monday, 27 December at 5am for the Christmas holidays. And then for New Year celebrations, from Thursday, 30 December, from 6am until Monday, 3 January 2022 at 5am.

However, there continue to be exceptions for pickup trucks, vans, ambulances, emergency vehicles, water tanker service, electricity, cable, telephone, sanitary, maintenance and road assistance, and garbage collecting trucks.

Those interested...

For violations in the construction of the Le Parc Beach Front, the construction and operation permit issued to the high rise going up in San Pedro de Macoris province has been revoked.

The tower under construction is located at Juan Dolio Boulevard #46, and its promoters intended to build 21 stories with 121 apartments of one bedroom each.

The Ministry of Environment resolution indicates that the perimeter fence in front of the project is irregularly located at the 27 meters high tide in violation to the 60 meter rule. The Ministry says the concrete structure under construction breaks with the harmony of the landscape.

The Ministry of Environment is giving the representatives of the project, Román Pedro Rollón García and the company Dives Inversiones Inmobiliaria, SRL a period of 20 days from the date of notification of the resolution, to proceed to demolish...

Five Dominican-Haitian border province senators sat with executives of the Corripio Media Group to give their insights into the border situation and possible solutions.

David Sosa (FP-Dajabón), Ramón Pimentel (PRM-Montecristi), Dionis Sánchez (FP-Pedernales), Iván Lorenzo (PLD-Elías Piña) and Valentín Medrano PLD-Independencia) met with the chief editors of Corripio’s El Dia, Hoy, El Nacional and other media.

The senators called for more investments and clear rules with Haiti. The senators criticized the traditional abandonment the authorities have had to the towns and inhabitants of the border.

Dionis Sanchez called for the construction of a “wall of industries” to eliminate unemployment on both sides of the border. He disputes that the government has sent 12,000 military staff to be stationed at the border.

Iván Lorenzo denounced the large...

The National Council of Export Free Zones (CNZFE) reports that direct jobs in free zone manufacturing companies are now at 180,252, up 8.4% compared to the level for 2020. The number of jobs is a 17-year record. Since 2004, direct jobs in the free zone manufacturing zone had been less than 180,000.

The executive director of the CNZFE, Daniel Liranzo said that during the current year the free zones have been one of the most dynamic sectors of the Dominican economy. The sector now employs more people than in the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

A CNZFE press release highlights that the categories employing the most are:Tobacco and By-Products: 38,71; Apparel and Textiles: 33,914; Services: 32,945; Medical and Pharmaceutical Products: 28,651; Electrical and Electronic Products: 10,758

The free zone jobs are located:Northern Region 67,851 (37.6%); National District and Santo Domingo...

The Dominican Republic has little to show for the more than doubling of the public spending in public education since 2013.

The 4% of Gross Domestic Product now spent on public education has not translated into the expectations for major improvements in quality education nationwide. The 4% of GDP is a social conquest, achieved after months of protests that demanded the government comply with the legal requirement to allocate 4% of the National Budget to the Ministry of Education and make available more funds for public education.

The government began to allocate the 4% as of 2013 during the first government of former President Danilo Medina. Yet, after more than eight years, the Dominican Republic continues to report the highest level of insufficiency in learning in the Latin American region. Most of the funds were spent building public schools and raising the...

Ana Figueiredo was elected the new president of the Association of Foreign Investment Companies (ASIEX) for the 2021-2023 term. It is the first time a woman presides the organization. She is chief executive officer of Altice Dominicana. In her acceptance speech, she committed to promote new investment and reinvestment, strengthening and protecting existing investments and the transfer of knowledge and best practices.

Figueiredo highlighted that just 70 companies already represent more than US$20 billion in foreign direct investment and have an impact on the industrial, energy, fuel, telecommunications, free zones, tourism, mining, services, finance, legal and tax sectors in the country.

“A sign that reflects our high level of commitment is the fact that an important group of these companies reinvest at least 50% of their profits in Dominican soil,” she said.

In...

A feature in El Caribe reminds readers of the many cases of corruption and major irregularities in government that have made headlines in the past but seem to have been swept under a couch. The cases are candidates to benefit from being completely forgotten and to receive de facto pardon now that it seems Congress will pass the Penal Code that includes a clause whereby corruption crimes will expire after 20 years.

Rosmerys de León delivers a compilation in El Caribe reminding readers of the many government officers that have had to answer to long hours of questioning at the Specialized Administrative Corruption Prosecution Office (Pepca) of the Attorney General Office. For more than a year, now under new authorities, the Pepca has been conducting several investigations into corruption and other irregularities.

Dozens of ex-officials and the occasional...

3 December 2021

The 4th season of Masterchef Dominican Republic airs starting on Sunday, 12 December 2021 on Telesistema, Channel 11. The schedule of the weekly show is 6pm to 8pm.

Executive producer Manuel Fraiz Grijalba announced chef Catherine Lemoine is joining jurors Chef Tita and Leandro Diaz. The name of the fourth juror has not been announced. Lemoine is the chef of the Grillo Bravo Resto-Bar in the Colonial City. She is a specialist in Thai cuisine.

Fourteen participants will compete for the grand prize in the cooking show. To make the cut, they participated in many preliminary rounds.

Read more in Spanish:

[b]The Ministry of Public Health Coronavirus Bulletin #623 with the deadline of 1 December 2021 reports 155 new cases, a record low only comparable to the very start of the pandemic in March 2020. The low in Covid-19 cases in the Dominican Republic coincides with the outbreak of the Omicron variant in Europe and Africa.[/b]

[b]Bulletin #623 reports active Covid-19 cases are at 2,583, another record low. The number of active cases is minimal when compared to the peak of 55,773 active cases registered in July 2021, and is evidence the vaccines are working.[/b] With around 64% of the population vaccinated with least two doses of vaccine, and 77% with at least one dose, the fourth wave outbreak was mild and has dissipated.

The Ministry of Public Health says the Delta variant was the predominant strain during the fourth wave. Of 132 samples taken from 7-20 October...

Authorities at the Las Americas International Airport have begun requesting that employees, travelers and visitors to the capital city terminal present proof of Covid-19 to enter.

Tourists must present their ID and a vaccination card or a negative result of a PCR or antigen test undertaken with a maximum of seven days. Private security request the documents at the access points to the airports.

As reported in Listin Diario, airport managements met on Tuesday, 30 November 2021, and decided on the access requirements.

Simultaneous flights will be distributed equally among the terminals in airports with more than one terminal, as is the case of the AILA-SDQ. This is to avoid passenger crowding within the airports and the spread of Covid-19, including the new variant Omicron.

The airports also discussed other measures to guarantee the...

President Luis Abinader, First Lady Raquel Arbaje, Vice President Raquel Peña and a group of children, lit the Christmas tree and lights in the gardens of the Presidential Palace on Tuesday, 1 December 2021.

Speaking at the event, President Luis Abinader highlighted the strength, resilience, unity and faith in God of the Dominican people.

He said that despite the terrible pandemic, the country is much better off than before and on the road to economic and health recovery. He had praise for the health care workers and invited Dominicans to celebrate with moderation this Christmas.

December starts with a record low of Covid-19 cases, and the dissipating of a mild fourth wave of the pandemic. Yet, global health authorities are on high alert for the start of the spread of the new Omicron variant.

First Lady Raquel Arbaje said that artisans participating in the...

This holiday season, Dominican expats can bring gifts worth up to US$4,000 to their friends and relatives in the Dominican Republic. The “gracia navideña” is in effect from 1 December to 7 January 2022. It is the highest value for gifts authorized by the government ever.

In a press release, the Customs Agency (DGA) says the initiative is a way to repay Dominican residents in other countries for the remittances they have sent during the pandemic times. Remittances in 2020 and 2021 have reached record highs.

Some restrictions apply. The DGA says the gifts are one per family and do not include motor vehicles of any kind, firearms and raw materials for industry or agriculture, including fuels or their by products.

Only one unit of each type of merchandise is allowed, especially in the case of household appliances.

To avail themselves of the facility, persons residing abroad...

The famous tire company Goodyear announced it will set up its operations for the region in the Dominican Republic. After analyzing several markets in the region, Goodyear chose the country as base of its logistics hub. The company is relocating after interruptions in the supply chain due to the pandemic.

José Pontaque, president of Grupo Miralbueno, stated that this firm, licensee of the Goodyear and Ducati brands, evaluated Panama, Colombia and other Caribbean and Pacific countries to relocate the firm’s operations in Zaragoza, Spain.

Eduardo Sanz Lovatón, general director of the Customs Agency, made the announce on Wednesday, 1 December 2021. He said the company would be marketing and shipping its products to 13 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Lovatón said Goodyear is the first multinational brand that has decided to take a step of this nature and bet on the Dominican Republic as a logistics hub.

The choice of the country as a hub for Latin America and...

The president of the Association of Industries of the Dominican Republic (AIRD), Celso Juan Marranzini announced more than US$79 billion in investments in just 64 industries for 2022. The total is 1.3% of the country’s GDP.

He spoke during the Association of Industries of the Dominican Republic annual awards ceremony. President Luis Abinader was in attendance.

The AIRD awarded the Posthumous Industrial Merit Award to manufacturers Eduardo Ramón Martínez Lima and Antonio Najri Acra (Don Papia). The Award for Institutional Work in Support of the Industrial Sector went to the Ministry of Industry & Commerce (MICM) and the National Award for Dominican Industry to Grupo Rica.

The breakdown for the new investments is RD$17.2 billion for the northern (Cibao region), RD$12.8 billion in the east, RD$10.3 billion in the southern region and RD$38.9 billion in Greater...

President Luis Abinader was in Boca Chica on Wednesday, 1 December 2021 for the groundbreaking of the second phase of the Atlantic Boca Chica Free Zone industry. The US company is expanding its industrial park in Los Tanquecitos, Boca Chica municipality. The new US$15 million phase is expected to be in operation in the first quarter of 2022. An additional 350 people will be employed.

The company sells to apparel companies, food processors, pharmaceuticals, medical device companies and cigar manufacturers. It offers a broad range of products, from papers to tapes, bags, labels, offset printing, and die cutting.

The company is the largest cardboard converter in the world. It prints labels, folds carton packaging and carries out specialized contract packaging for major consumer product companies. The company serves a wide variety of businesses including industrial...

Puerto Rican Governor Pedro Pierluisi and Secretary of State Omar Marrero are expected in the Dominican Republic on 2 December 2021. They are accompanying a trade mission and will return on the same day to Puerto Rico.

The Puerto Rican leadership seeks to promote economic, trade, and business exchange between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic to establish an agenda for the future and the island’s socioeconomic development.

The Puerto Rican trade mission arrived on Wednesday, 1 December to start the contacts with Dominican business people. Some 20 companies are participating. They seek to identify new business opportunities for Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. The Department of Economic Development and Commerce of Puerto Rico (DDEC) organized the trade mission.

The secretary of the DDEC, Manuel Cidre Miranda says that in addition to having a...

The Airport Department (DA) is finalizing studies for the construction of a domestic airport in San Juan de la Maguana.

The executive director of the Airport Department (DA), Víctor Pichardo said the airport will be located in the municipality of Pedro Corto in San Juan de la Maguana. The area is described as The Granary of the South for its farm operations.

In July 2021, the Airport Department began the studies and analysis for the construction of the San Juan de la Maguana province domestic airport.

The airport will have a 1,500 meter long by 30 meter wide runway and facilities for the export of agricultural products.

The Chamber of Deputies began the reading of the 422-article Penal Code bill during the Wednesday, 1 December 2021 session. The president of the Chamber of Deputies, Alfredo Pacheco (PRM-National District) says he expects his fellow legislators to vote for the code as received from the Senate. He said that already a bicameral committee had reviewed the bill and harmonized the changes.

Pacheco explained that the dissenting report presented by senators Antonio Taveras and Faride Raful and deputies Jose Horacio Rodriguez and Santiago Vilorio Lizardo will be read next. Next, the floor will open to debates. Pacheco expects the debates to be short because the Chamber of Deputies spent months already debating the bill when it was in that Chamber. He says that 90% of the Penal Code is the same as that passed in the Chamber of Deputies.

Pacheco is...

Honduras President-elect Xiomara Castro and former Vice President Margarita Cedeño

Former Vice President Margarita Cedeño congratulated President-elect of Honduras, Xiomara Castro. 66-year old Castro is the would-be winner of the Sunday, 29 November 2021 presidential election. Castro was First Lady of Honduras during the 2006-2009 government of former President Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales. That government ended with a coup.

“I wholeheartedly congratulate my sister and friend Xiomara Castro, President-elect of Honduras. It is a deserved and historic triumph. Your years of struggle with your people are crowned with a great victory,” Cedeño tweeted.

Cedeño says Castro is paving the way for more women politicians. “With you we all arrive,” wrote Cedeño.

She expressed confidence that Castro would do an excellent job in favor of all Honduras. “We are not before a...

The Ministry of Culture presented the awards to the winners of the 29th Biennial of Visual Arts. Aniova Prandy is the winner of the Grand Prize, for her work “The Sugar Maafa”. She received a cash award of RD$1 million.

Other winners are Carlos Despradel, Juan Carlos Guzmán, Guadalupe Casasnovas, Leonardo Durán, Dustin Muñoz, Mari Carmen Orizondo, Juan Grisanty, Elvin Díaz and Nathalie Landestoy who received cash awards of RD$300,000 each.

Honorary mentions were handed to Cromcin Domínguez, Ricardo Arsenio Toribio, Ottmar Suero Javier, Genaro Reyes (Cayuco) and Johnny Bonnelly.

The selection jury this year was made up by Amable Sterling, Plinio Chahín and Puerto Rican Irene Esteves. The Awards jury members were Paula Gómez, Omar Rancier and Leopoldo Maler.

The winning work, “The Sugar Maafa” depicts slavery during the colonization and is an effort to...

[b]The Ministry of Public Health Coronavirus Bulletin #622 with the deadline of 30 November 2021 reports 223 new cases, a record low only comparable to the very start of the pandemic in March 2020. The low in Covid-19 cases in the Dominican Republic coincides with the outbreak of the Omicrom variant in Europe and Africa.[/b]

[b]Bulletin #622 reports active Covid-19 cases are at 2,614. [/b]The number of active cases is minimal when compared to the peak of 55,773 active cases registered in July 2021, and is evidence the vaccines are working. With around 64% of the population vaccinated with least two doses of vaccine, and 77% with at least one dose, the fourth wave outbreak was mild and has dissipated.

[b]The Ministry of Public Health says the Delta variant was the predominant strain during the fourth wave.[/b] [b]Of 132 samples taken from 7-20 October 2021...[/b][b]

Attorney General Miriam German Brito spoke for the audience of the American Chamber of Commerce and stressed that the Attorney General Office is immersed in institutional transformation to strengthen capacities to prosecute crime but more government funds are needed.

“We are aware of the financial limitations that the country and the world are going through, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, but we are confident that the institution will continue to receive the necessary support to promote the institutional transformation required by the administration of justice in accordance with the demands of Dominican society,” she said.

The Attorney General Office has been tackling previously ignored corruption cases, including untouchables of military and police, family of a former President, and high ranking current and past government officers.

In her...

President Luis Abinader announced a one-stop construction window will be in operation by the first quarter of next year through the Ministry of Housing, Habitat and Buildings. The new facility will cut red tape so that non-complex projects can get all their permits in 60 days. Complex project paperwork would take 120 days.

He said that once the Zero Bureaucracy Efficient Government Project for the construction sector is in effect, all permits and construction processes will be streamlined. A deadline has been set for November 2022 for all other areas of the government to facilitate the paperwork processes, thus guaranteeing transparency.

President Abinader says that the government is studying proposals for a new rental law that would promote low-cost housing investment. He said this would resolve the housing situation of young people and...

Vice President Raquel Peña, who heads the Health Cabinet, says the country has mechanisms in place in case of the entry of the new Omicron variant. She spoke when attending the Casa de Campo Global Forum.

She acknowledged the new variant could delay the return to normality for the Dominican people and the world.

Peña commented that, while no case of the new variant has yet been identified in the country, the Health Cabinet is preparing alternatives and possible control measures to prevent its spread.

She said the Covid-19 strategy continues to focus on getting more people vaccinated as the main preventive measure. So far 77% of the original target population (7.8 million people) has at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, while 64% has the second dose and 17% has the optional third booster.

The Vice President said that so far 92% of the people affected by Covid-19 who are...

The director of the Institute of Tropical Medicine and Global Health of the Iberoamerican University (UNIBE), Dr. Robert Paulino Ramirez understands that the current vaccines in theory should be effective against the new Omnicron variant. Dr. Paulino Ramirez was interviewed by Huchi Lora and Carolina Santana for the El Dia TV news program.

“We have to understand that we are still in the pandemic, it is not over,” he stated. He criticized the local complacency with the virus when there are sufficient vaccines.

He said the government goal of 70% with two doses is not enough. He says the country needs to reach 80 to 90% vaccination levels.

He said the booster shot is recommended six months after the first two doses.

He remarked that the population should start thinking everyone may need to get an annual vaccine for Covid-19 in the same way people are recommended to get the...

Roberto Herrera, president of the American Chamber of Commerce, introduced Attorney General Miriam German at the presentation at the Opal Room of the Embassy Suites hotel. German Brito gave the speech “Transformation of the Public Ministry in light of the new institutional Vision,” explaining the objectives of the new authorities at the Attorney General Office.

In his introduction, Herrera spoke of how the complying with the rule of the law is a fundamental pillar for competitiveness in the country. He said that actions taken to increase transparency in government, efficiency in public administration and institutional strengthening are key to attracting foreign investment.

“Legal certainty is necessary to establish clear rules of the game and avoid that the privileges of one or another sector benefit some productive projects and unfairly marginalize others,” said...

Coming out of a pandemic year, the Dominican Republic is posting a notable accumulated average of 12.4% for the first 10 months of 2021. The inter-annual variation for October is 9.7%.

Central Bank Governor Hector Valdez Albizu held a virtual press conference on 30 November 2021 to report that the expansion of the Dominican economy has been higher than expected. The Central Bank is updating its forecast for GDP growth by year’s end to a record 11% that places the Dominican Republic as one of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America and one of the countries with the best relative performance when comparing the levels of economic activity in 2021 to pre-pandemic 2019.

The Central Bank Governor said: “I am confident the outlook for the Dominican economy will positive, driven by the strong recovery of private investment and public-private partnerships. He spoke of the...

Sigmund Freund / Twitter

Spokesmen for the Association of Suppliers of Electrical Materiales (Asume) oppose privatizing the management of the power distribution companies in the Dominican Republic. The three largest utilities are owned and run by the Dominican state after the privatizing of these (Union Fenosa) during the Leonel Fernandez government did not work out.

The suppliers advocate that the government must first study the past experiences, and then establish the pertinent controls and regulations to avoid discretionary powers. They said the government would be better off hiring professional managers for the Edes.

The business people doubt the private sector is willing to assume the responsibilities of the public service aspect of the utilities.

The press release says that past experiences with public private alliances have not been...

Investigative reporters Addis Burgos for Desclasificado and Alicia Ortega for El Informe present two cases where privileges are irregularly being granted for companies to carry out operations in violation of the law

Addis Burgos tells the plight of Henry Butler who has set up a green industry to recycle batteries here but has found that another company has an exception to the law that allows it to buy up the batteries for export.

The telecommunication companies association want the government to ban copper exports that cannot demonstrate the licit source of the copper that is being exported. The companies complain of thousands of dollars in losses due to the very profitable mafias that steal the cabling that is later melted and sold as scrap for export.

[b]The Ministry of Public Health Coronavirus Bulletin #621 with the deadline of 29 November 2021 reports 138 new cases, a record low only comparable to the very start of the pandemic in March 2020. The pronounced drop of Covid-19 cases in the Dominican Republic coincides with the outbreak of the Omicrom variant in Europe and Africa.[/b]

[b]Bulletin #621 reports active Covid-19 cases are at 3,151. [/b]The number of active cases is minimal when compared to the peak of 55,773 active cases registered in July 2021, and is evidence the vaccines are working. With around 64% of the population vaccinated with least two doses of vaccine, and 77% with at least one dose, the fourth wave outbreak was mild and has dissipated.

The most cases are in Greater Santo Domingo (the National District and Santo Domingo province) followed by Santiago, the country’s second largest...

Polls indicate that President Luis Abinader has a high popularity rating. A feature in El Caribe on 30 November 2021, nevertheless, makes the point the President faces strong opposition from three fronts – the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), the People’s Force (FP) and leading voices in his own Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM).

The PLD is today presided by former President Danilo Medina. The Public Prosecutor’s Office is delving into major corruption cases tied mainly to the brothers and sisters of the former two-term president and his close associates, including former Attorney General, Jean Alain Rodriguez.

People’s Force (FP) is the political party created when former president of the PLD, former three term President Leonel Fernández split from the party when Danilo Medina allegedly rigged the party primary to favor his chosen candidate for...

16 of the 20 entities that were named to the National Oversight Committee appointed by the Ministry of Education to oversee the contest to choose 19,000 public school teachers have resigned. Those who resigned sent a letter to Education Minister Roberto Fulcar indicating they did not receive the numbers or data they needed to carry out their role. The committee members say they were not given access or adequate conditions to carry out field work. Not even the calendar of the tests were sent to the contest observers.

Diario Libre reports that meanwhile, the Ministry of Education has been naming “temporary” teachers to the posts, parallel to the contest.

Those resigning are: Asociación de Instituciones Educativas Privadas (Ainep); Asociación Nacional de Jóvenes Empresarios (ANJE); el Centro Cultural Poveda; el Centro Juan XXIII; CIED-Humano – Pontificia Universidad...

Candida A. Rodriguez de Leonardo / N Digital

The trend continues whereby new government officers seek to replicate perks and violations of the past. The media occasionally picks up one and another case.

N Digital now reports that the secretary general of the ruling Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) in Mao, Valverde is on the government payroll as both regional director for the Ministry of Education (RD$150,000) and councilor for the Santa Cruz de Mao township (RD$52,200). The public administration law 41-08 and the Dominican Constitution prohibit that a person has two jobs. An exception is made in the case the person is a teacher, but the report in N Digital says that the administrative role in the Ministry of Education does not qualify for the exception in the case of teachers.

N Digital also reports that a similar case is that of José Sánchez Baldwin...

The Chamber of Accounts, the government body that audits government entities, has published online findings of a recent audit that show major irregularities in business deals with the past government by the brother of former President Danilo Medina Sanchez, Alexis Medina Sanchez.

The audits will be used in the prosecuting of Alexis Medina Sanchez. Alexis Medina Sanchez is in preventive custody in Najayo Jail accused of irregularities in contracting with the state (Operacion Anti-Pulpo). Alexis Medina Sánchez has been dubbed El Pulpo (the octopus) in the case.

The Chamber of Accounts report establishes that the National Police purchased RD$220.7 million worth of fuel from from a company tied to Alexis Medina Sánchez when Major General Nelson Peguero was the director of the Police (2015-2017).

The Chamber of Accounts indicates that Fuel America Inc. Dominicana, that it...

The Superintendence of Banks has published the list of the only financial intermediary entities that are authorized to operate in the Dominican Republic.

The list groups the financial entities in five categories:

Multiple banks:Activo, Ademi, BAncamérica, BAnesco, BDI, Bellbank, BHD León, Caribe Internacional, Citibank, Lafise, López de Haro, Popular, Promerica, Banreservas, Santa Cruz, Scotiabank and Vimenca.

Loans and savings banks:Adopem, Atlántico, BACC, Bancotuí, Bonanza, Cofaci, Confisa, Empire, Fihogar, Fondesa, Gruficorp, JMMB, Motor Crédito and Unión.

Public and Mixed entities:Banco Agrícola (Bagrícola)Banco Nacional de las Exportaciones (Bandex)

Associations of loans and savings:Bonao, Cibao (Acap), Duarte, La Nacional (Alnap), La Vega Real (Alaver), Maguana, Mocana, Peravia, Popular (Apap), Romana

Credit corporations:Leasing Confisa...

Culture Minister Milagros Germán announced Orlando Menicucci is the winner of the National Visual Arts Award. The Ministry of Culture award comes with a cash prize of RD$1 million.

Menicucci is a native of Santiago. He lives in Puerto Plata. He has had a prolific career in painting, sculpture, drawing, performance, installation, and ceramic media.

The 29th Biennial of Visual Arts was dedicated to him.

Menicucci has received significant recognition in the past. In 1970 he won the 2nd Prize for Painting at the IV International Biennial of Ibiza, Spain; in 1974 he won 2nd place in the painting category at the XIII National Biennial in Santo Domingo. In 1978 he received international recognition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Bogota, Colombia.

The juror members were:Federico Fondeur, director of the Museo de Arte Moderno; Abil Peralta, director of the...

Fecha 30/09/2020

Foto ©Mery Ann Escolastico

The recently named ombudsman of the Dominican Republic, Pablo Ulloa was elected president of the Ibero-American Federation of Ombudsmen (FIO) for a two-year period. The FIO had met in the Dominican Republic. He replaces Augusto Jordán Rodás Andrade of Guatemala.

Pablo Ulloa said that his election “represents a recognition to the Dominican Republic for its progress in terms of rights” and commits him “to continue strengthening the figure of the ombudsman as a guarantor of good administration and citizens’ rights.”

The new vice presidents of the FIO are Blanca Izaguirre, Ombudsman of Honduras; Nadia Alejandra Cruz Tarifa, Ombudsman of Bolivia; and Jesús Maetzu, Ombudsman of Andalusia (Spain), according to a press release from the Office of the Ombudsman of the Dominican Republic.

During the meeting in the Dominican Republic, the FIO...

Bernardo Castellanos / Hoy

Electrical engineer Bernardo Castellanos is criticizing that today Minister of Energy Antonio Almonte has done what he blasted when in the opposition. Castellanos said that Almonte had criticized the illegality of dozens of contracts signed by the now closed Public Electricity Corporation (CDEEE). Castellanos was interviewed for El Sol de las Mañana on Zol 106.5 FM.

Castellanos said those contracts should have been cancelled. Now, Castellanos said that Almonte has illegally transferred more than 38 contracts to the power distributors.

“These are contracts that have a much higher energy price than the price at which the distributors buy that same energy in the spot market. That is one of the reasons why the financial deficit of the distributors has increased,” said Castellanos.

Media reports indicate there is the intention to again privatize the power...

More than 60 car dealers nationwide and 167 Banco Popular branches are participating in the Autoferia Popular offering low-cost financing for vehicle purchases.

The fixed rates are: 5.75% at 6 months; 6.95% at 12 months; 7.75% at 3 years; 8.95 % at 5 years and a special fixed rate for hybrid and electric vehicles from 4.75%.

The event is held from Monday, 29 November 2021 until Sunday, 5 December 2021.

Buyers can finance up to 90% of the vehicle’s value and begin payments in January 2022. Financing can be stretched to seven years. There are also discounts on insurance through Seguros Universal, and special conditions for financing electric vehicles.

Autoferia Popular exhibits the largest catalog of ECO vehicles in the market, with more than 40 hybrid and electric models available.

There are promotional bonuses: 500 Sunix fuel vouchers and 1,000...

30 November 2021

A fire seriously affected a room in an apartment in the four-floor Residencial Piantini II on Av. Abraham Lincoln, reported Richard de Jesús, fire commander sent to the scene.

The fire engines arrived promptly and avoided the fire spreading. The condominium was evacuated. Likewise, nearby office building, Torre Empresarial JMMB was evacuated, too. One person was hospitalized for breathing in smoke, Diario Libre reported on the fire.

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A Barahona court sent four accused in a drug trafficking case to preventive custody.

Police agent Cherilyn Suero Medina, daughter of the suspended head of Police Internal Affairs in Barahona, and her husband Jonathan Andres Perez were sent to preventive custody for a year. Others the Barahona judge sent to await the trial in jail are police agent Wellington Ferreras and civilian Jorge Luis Diaz. They are sent to serve preventive custody at the Barahona jail. Suero Medina will wait trial in the Baní Mujeres Correction and Rehabilitation Jail.

The four are accused of kidnapping National Police corporal Esteban Armando Feliz Batista, alias Chatica. Feliz Batista’s kidnappers had demanded two million pesos; however, a cousin of alias Chatica only paid RD$1,745,000. The situation came to the open when Feliz Batista said it all.

The kidnapping of Chatica took place on...

Team Dominican Republic defeated the US Virgin Islands in the second match as part of the FIBA World Cup 2023 qualifier that took place 28-29 November 2021 in Santo Domingo. The second game against the US Virgin Islands basketball team ended 100-56. A first game had ended 87-65.

During the basketball qualifier, Canada also won its two games against Bahamas. The second game ended 113-77, the first had ended 115-73.

Bahamas, Canada, the Dominican Republic and the US Virgin Islands make up Group C in the Americas division of the qualifier. The teams are competing for one of the seven available Americas spots in the 2023 FIBA World Cup. The qualifiers conclude in February 2023.

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30 November 2021

Camilo, the winner of the most awards during the Latin Grammy Awards this November 2021, is performing at the National Theater on 7 and 8 December 2021. The 8 December show is sold out, but there are still tickets to the 7 December show. The performance is at 8:30pm. Tickets are available at the box office of the National Theater on Av. Maximo Gomez and online at Uepa Tickets.

The event is to be carried out at a time when Covid-19 pandemic is back at early levels of the pandemic when it got its start in March 2020, with only 310 cases reported for the 28 November 2021 epidemiological deadline.

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Playa Encuentro beach, known for its excellent kiteboarding and surfing, was militarized last week to enforce the ruling to open the “Camino Viejo” path to the beach. Property owners had impeded the free entrance to the beach by way of the regularly used path.

The military enforced a 2018 court ruling that had ordered the removal of any physical obstacles that prevents the free access to the beach.

As reported in Somos Pueblo, the military action took place after years of struggle to prevent the beach’s privatization and recover the strip of 60 meters comprised between the high tide and low tide at Playa Encuentro.

The public force is enforcing civil judgment No. 271-2018-SSEN-0058 of 2018, issued by the First Chamber of the Civil and Commercial Chamber of the Court of First Instance of the Judicial District of Puerto Plata, to access and remove any...

The best practices of seven community ecotourism initiatives in the country’s northern region were recognized recently by the Ministry of Tourism (Mitur). The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has been helping the ventures develop successfully over the years. During the recognition event, Takayuki Kondo of JICA was commended for the Project for the Strengthening of the Sustainable Tourism Development Mechanism that has backed the small ecotourism initiatives under the Sustainable Community Tourism Project (TCS).

Kondo said JICA would continue to support the development of these and similar initiatives. The TCS Project is carried out in the 14 provinces in the Cibao region. It seeks to improve the livelihood of the inhabitants in rural areas.

Mitur organized a special ceremony to deliver the Best Practices awards. The event was attended...

Felix García, president of the private Cibao International Airport announced RD$16 billion will be invested in the remodeling of Santiago’s international airport. He also announced famous Spanish architect Luis Vidal has been commissioned for the redesign.

The Spanish firm of Luis Vidal + Architects has built a reputation after designing terminals in 15 international airports around the world, including London’s Heathrow T2 (The Queen’s Terminal) in London. “The Queen’s Terminal, inaugurated by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England in 2014, soon became a landmark building in terms of energy efficiency. It’s the world’s first airport to obtain a BREEAM Excellent rating, thanks to a design conceived to reduce CO2 emissions by 40% through the combination and development of active and passive energy systems.

Luis Vidal has designed terminals and...

[b]The Ministry of Public Health Coronavirus Bulletin #620 with the deadline of 28 November 2021 reports 310 new cases. The low number of cases are evidence the fourth wave has passed. The pronounced drop of Covid-19 cases in the Dominican Republic coincides with the outbreak of the Omicrom variant in Europe and Africa. [/b]

[b]Bulletin #620 reports active Covid-19 cases are at 3,446. The number of active cases is minimal when compared to the peak of 55,773 active cases registered in July 2021, and is evidence the vaccines are working. With around 64% of the population vaccinated with least two doses of vaccine, and 77% with at least one dose, the fourth wave outbreak apparently is dissipating.[/b]

The most cases are in Greater Santo Domingo (the National District and Santo Domingo province) followed by Santiago, the country’s second largest city.

[b]The national 4-week...[/b][b]

President Luis Abinader was in El Seibo over the weekend and announced RD$14.44 billion investments to build aqueducts, expand pipelines, and build and improve sewage systems in that eastern province.

While in El Seibo, President Abinader visited the construction of the Plaza del Toro, the bull-fighting ring. Bullfights are a tradition in El Seibo, and rodeos, auctions, livestock fairs, are popular events. Abinader said that more funds will be made available through the Ministry of Tourism budget to complete the facility.

The Presidency also announced the construction of a cemetery on land donated by the Central Romana.

Other works under consideration are a cocoa manufacturing plant with Special Fund for Agricultural Development (FEDA) funds and a high tech slaughterhouse.

El Seibo is where the new beach destination, Miches, is located.

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President Luis Abinader was in Santiago over the weekend and said the city skylift would be in operation by 2023. He also reviewed billionaire investments that are part of Santiago’s updated Strategic Development Plan, handled by the Santiago Strategic Development Council. There are also projects that will improve the use of the port facilities that are to be built in Manzanillo, to the north in Montecristi province. The infrastructure projects include the Navarrete Beltway. Other highways and roads are also in the works in and around Santiago. The Public Health sector is getting a renewed emphasis placed on primary care centers and preventive medicine.

Moreso, the action plan calls for efforts to support provincial and metropolitan organization/zoning project; the protection of the central and northern mountain ranges and the reduction of cattle...

The Administrative Minister of the Presidency José Ignacio Paliza announced that on 10 and 11 December 2021, President Luis Abinader will receive the heads of state of Panama and Costa Rica in a summit to be held in a hotel in the city of Puerto Plata.

President Carlos Alvarado Quesada from Costa Rica and President Laurentino Cortizo from Panama will participate, Paliza tweeted.

The presidents have backed President Luis Abinader’s efforts to motivate the finding of solutions for the crisis in Haiti given the regional impacts. Paliza explains that Haiti is top on the list of issues covered by the presidents.

The alliance of Panama, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic is named Alliance for Development in Democracy. It is a follow up after the presidents met during the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. A second meeting then took place in...

Speaking for the foreign ministers meeting for the First Meeting of Iberoamerican Foreign Relations Ministers in Santo Domingo, Chilean Foreign Minister Andres Allamand, told the press that the ministers would work together to contribute to solutions to the current crisis in Haiti. Allamand was elected secretary-general of the new dialogue group.

Dominican Foreign Minister Roberto Alvarez was the host for the event held at the Hotel El Embajador in Santo Domingo.

The representatives of 22 Latin American countries, Spain and Portugal agreed in an unanimous vote to seek a workable solution to the issues in Haiti. The ministers also called for more multilateral relations to reach agreements and consensus on new ideas to help recover from the economic downturn associated with the Covid-19 virus pandemic.

In the Declaration, they agreed to work together on key...

The National Intellectual Property Office (Onapi) has authorized select rum producers to use the prestigious Rum Denomination of Origin label on their produce. The announcement comes after eight years of local disputes over who could use the prestigious label.

Denomination of Origin is the protected designation of origin (PDO), known worldwide as a distinctive sign of a geographical nature used to distinguish those agri-food products that owe their quality exclusively or primarily to the place where they are produced and made. Other examples of Denomination of Origin are Champagne, Pisco and Tequila.

Different countries have different rules and regulations when it comes to rum. In the Dominican Republic, to qualify for the Denomination of Origin distinction, rum producers must harvest the sugar cane, ferment, distill, and age the alcohol in oak barrels for a minimum of...

In a notice issued on Friday, 26 November 2021, the Central Bank (BCRD) clarifies that the 50 points increase in the monetary police rate will not impact the rates of the credit facilities granted to stimulate the economy following the pandemic. In other words, the BCRD says the terms and conditions of loans channeled by financial intermediaries with funds obtained from the different liquidity windows of the Central Bank cannot be modified.

The Central Bank of the Dominican Republic (BCRD) says that the increase of the monetary policy rate from 3.00% to 3.50% does not apply to the liquidity facilities granted by the Central Bank for the financial intermediation entities to channel loans to the productive sectors, households and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to stimulate production and consumer spending.

The Central Bank has made...

Not former president Danilo Medina Sánchez, but rather his brother Alexis Medina Sánchez, is investigated for his participation in anomalies that add up to RD$43.2 billion in hospital procurement.

The Chamber of Accounts is calling ‘anomalies’ Alexis Medina contracts to supply hospitals that the Office of Supervising Engineers was remodeling for State Projects (OISOE). Domedical Supply SRL, belonging to Alexis Medina, billed the OISOE for over RD$43 billion between 2010 and 2020. The Chamber of Accounts 103-page report published on the agency’s website tells a tail of billion peso irregularities that probably would not have occurred if the last name involved was not Medina.

The auditors stated in the Diario Libre that “this is just the start of our reports…”

Meanwhile, former President Danilo Medina was active on Sunday, 28 November 2021 swearing-in new followers of the former...

Major General Eduardo Alberto Then stated last week on “El Gobierno de la Mañana” radio talk show that the National Police would not recruit the children of single mothers. And boy, did that kick up a storm on social media. Entities from the Ministry of the Woman to former Vice President Margarita Cedeño took very vocal exception to this statement. It is estimated that a single mom heads 40% of Dominican households.

The radio program, “El Gobierno de la Mañana” would remove the audio, but social media had already spread the unfortunate statement. Since then, the general has been backpedaling to anyone who would listen.

Major General Then has been in the news a lot lately since he was the commanding officer of the Barahona region when some of his agents took down a really huge stash of cocaine. At the time, nothing was published on the August 2021 “tumbe,” but when in...

The superior council of the Public Prosecutor Office announced the appointing of Viterbo Cabral, prosecutor of the Court of Appeals of San Francisco de Macoris to direct the investigation of alleged involvement of National District prosecutor Rosalba Ramos in the Cesar Emilio Peralta drug trafficking case, and her alleged involvement in the contracting by the Attorney General Office (2016-2020). Earlier, her defense had recused the appointing of prosecutor Juan Medina, who is the inspector general of the Public Prosecution Office, to carry out the investigation.

Rosalba Ramos was appointed to the post replacing then National District prosecutor Yeni Berenice Reynoso, over Attorney General Office regulations. She is regarded as a close associate and aide to former Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez, today awaiting trail in Najayo Jail for irregularities in office.

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Eddy Olivares Ortega, long time spokesperson and close aide to former President Hipolito Mejía, aspires to be elected president of the ruling Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) in 2022. Mejía had contended with President Luis Abinader for the PRM nomination for the 2020 general elections. The vice president of the party is Carolina Mejía, daughter of former President Hipólito Mejía, and current Mayor of Santo Domingo.

Olivares Ortega suggests that the aspirants take a leave of absence if they hold positions in the Abinader administration. Administrative Minister of the Presidency, Jose Ignacio Paliza is the current president of the PRM.

Olivares Ortega is a former member of the Central Electoral Board (JCE).

Olivares Ortega promised that before the end of the first half of 2022, the ruling party will modify its statutes and have new authorities. The present ruling...

The Dominican Republic basketball team defeated the US Virgin Islands to take the first game of Group C of the FIBA World Cup qualifier. Playing for a home crowd, the Dominican team delivered 87 points to 65 of the US Virgin Islands.

FIBA News reports that holding Virgin Islands to just 27 first half points, Dominican Republic dominated the floor and scored 48 of their own, and by the time the third quarter ended, they held a 28-point lead that would prove to be too much for Virgin Islands to overcome.

Victor Liz leading the Dominican team with 15 points, followed by Juan Guerrero adding 13 and Adonys Henriquez adding another 12. Jeromy Rodriguez handled the boards on both sides of the ball with 12 rebounds. FIBA News reports that the winning battles on the boards is what helped Dominican Republic pull away, especially defensively, allowing their team to get back...

The Licey has moved up to the important fourth place in the standing of the Dominican Winter Professional Baseball League. The Estrellas Orientales continue to lead, followed by the Gigantes del Cibao, the Aguilas Cibaeñas and the Tigres del Licey. Next are the Leones del Escogido and the Toros del Este. Nothing is decided yet because the difference between the first place team and the last place team is but five games.

The regular season ends 17 December 2021.

Follow the championship at: Lidom

29 November 2021

[b]The Ministry of Public Health Coronavirus Bulletin #619 with the deadline of 27 November 2021 reports 292 new cases, a record low since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. The low number of cases are evidence the spread of the fourth wave has passed. It coincides, nevertheless, with the outbreak of the Omicrom variant in Europe and Africa. Bulletin #619 reports active Covid-19 cases are at 3,161, another record low in months.[/b]

The number of active cases is minimal when compared to the peak of 55,773 active cases registered in July 2021, and is evidence the vaccines are working. With around 64% of the population vaccinated with least two doses of vaccine, and 77% with at least one dose, the fourth wave outbreak apparently is dissipating.

The most cases are in Greater Santo Domingo (the National District and Santo Domingo province) followed by...

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