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Businessman Joel Santos, a former president of the National Association of Hotels and Tourism of the Dominican Republic (Asonahores), said on Thursday, 4 June 2020 that it is extremely important that the certification of the protocols to reopen tourism activity in July include the entire chain of the sector.

Santos, of Coral Hospitality Corporation, urged advancing on the protocols to ready the industry to reopen this July. As reported in El Caribe, several tourism sub-sectors complain the Ministry of Tourism has been slow in directing actions that are vital for the reopening.

As reported, Asonahores had delivered recommendations for the protocols several weeks ago to the High Commission for the Prevention of Coronavirus and the Ministry of Tourism. These were not returned until Tuesday, 3 June. The government needs to make official the approved protocols.

Elizabeth Tovar...

The general manager of the Punta Catalina Thermoelectric Plant, Jaime Aristy Escuder says the outdoor deposit of the rock ash waste from the power plant was designed and built to meet local and international standards, specifically the World Bank’s IFC Guidelines. He said local cement plants have purchased loads of ashes. Other companies are interested.

The National Committee to Combat Climate Change (CNLCC) warns of the dangers to health and environment of the rising piles of the toxic waste.

Aristy said that the area where the wastes is deposited has a bottom liner to prevent its release into the ground. He said the company has been carrying out monthly tests of the underground water that show there has not been contamination of the subsoil and that the design and waste management controls are effective.

He said the plan is to eventually close off the area. Solar...

The Mayor’s Office of the National District (ADN) says garbage has accumulated in several National District neighborhoods because of the limitations on collection caused by the 7pm curfew. The explanation was provided after N Digital showed videos of garbage piled up in many neighborhoods. The ADN explained that most of the garbage collection operates have been traditionally carried out in the evening-dawn schedule, to take advantage of less traffic. The curfew has caused the collection trucks and personnel who normally work 16 hours a day to reduce the workday to eight hours.

“The garbage collection schedule is limited to five o’clock in the afternoon, because the curfew begins at 7:00 at night, so it is from 6:00 to 9:00 in the morning when more garbage can be collected,” explains the ADN. The city government said garbage collection work was also destabilized when access to the...

According to Coronavirus Bulletin #77 of the Ministry of Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology, the Dominican Republic has 18,319 confirmed cases, 279 new confirmed cases and 520 deaths, including fours new deaths. 2,093 patients are hospitalized. 100 patients are in intensive care units. The results are from 88,056 PCR diagnostic tests.

Previous bulletin results have been:Bulletin #76: 18,040 confirmed cases, 288 new cases, 516 deaths, 86,285 PCR testsBulletin #75: 17,752 confirmed cases, 180 new cases, 515 deaths, 84,638 PCR testsBulletin #74: 17,572 confirmed cases, 287 new cases, 502 deaths, 83,444 PCR testsBulletin #73: 17,285 confirmed cases, 377 new cases, 502 deaths, 81,647 PCR testsBulletin #72: 16,908 confirmed cases, 377 new cases, 498 deaths, 79,172 PCR testsBulletin #71: 16,531 confirmed cases, 463 new cases, 488 deaths, 76,930 PCR testsBulletin #70: 16,068...

Some 5,363 Dominicans became Spaniards in 2019, according to the Spanish government. Its National Institute of Statistics (INE) reveals that 98,858 foreigners acquired the nationality in 2019. Of the total acquiring the Spanish nationality, 76,842 did so by first acquiring residency in Spain.

Latin Americans make up most of the new Spanish citizens. The top ten list of nationalized Spanish citizens is:Morocco (24,544), Ecuador (8,145), Colombia (7,512), Bolivia (7,404), the Dominican Republic (5,363), Peru (3,795), Cuba (3,090), Pakistan (3,048), Honduras (2,739) and Brazil (2,734).

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In 2007, the foreign energy company AES was fined with US$6 million for importing rock ash wastes to the Dominican Republic. The rock ash was deposited in Samaná and Montecristi. AES paid the money in a deal where the Dominican government agreed to withdraw its claim against them in US courts. The money would be used for the final disposition and proper treatment of rock ash that had been shipped from AES power plants in Puerto Rico.

Now rock ash is being made in the Dominican Republic. The Punta Catalina coal-fired thermoelectric central, the largest infrastructure work carried out by the Medina administration, is producing the toxic waste and storing hundreds of thousands of tons of it outdoors. The National Committee for the Fight Against Climate Change (CNLCC) denounces more than 400,000 tons of rock ashes have already been deposited in an embankment located in the Batey San José, less than two kilometers from the power plant and less than 4 kilometers from Paya, that has a...

In 2007, the foreign energy company AES was fined with US$6 million for importing rock ash wastes to the Dominican Republic. The rock ash was deposited in Samaná and Montecristi. AES paid the money in a deal where the Dominican government agreed to withdraw its claim against them in US courts. The money would be used for the final disposition and proper treatment of rock ash that had been shipped from AES power plants in Puerto Rico.

Now rock ash is being made in the Dominican Republic. The Punta Catalina coal-fired thermoelectric central, the largest infrastructure work carried out by the Medina administration, is producing the toxic waste and storing hundreds of thousands of tons of it outdoors. The National Committee for the Fight Against Climate Change (CNLCC) denounces more than 400,000 tons of rock ashes have already been deposited in an embankment located in the Batey San José, less than two kilometers from the power plant and less than 4 kilometers from Paya, that has a...

According to Coronavirus Bulletin #76 of the Ministry of Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology, the Dominican Republic has 18,040 confirmed cases, 288 new confirmed cases and 516 deaths, including one new death in San Cristóbal only. 2,054 patients are hospitalized. 110 patients are in intensive care units. The results are from 86,285 PCR diagnostic tests.

Previous bulletin results have been:Bulletin #75: 17,752 confirmed cases, 180 new cases, 515 deaths, 84,638 PCR testsBulletin #74: 17,572 confirmed cases, 287 new cases, 502 deaths, 83,444 PCR testsBulletin #73: 17,285 confirmed cases, 377 new cases, 502 deaths, 81,647 PCR testsBulletin #72: 16,908 confirmed cases, 377 new cases, 498 deaths, 79,172 PCR testsBulletin #71: 16,531 confirmed cases, 463 new cases, 488 deaths, 76,930 PCR testsBulletin #70: 16,068 confirmed cases, 345 new cases, 485 deaths, 74,612 PCR...

A news story in El Nacional says that the Ministry of Economy confirmed on 3 June 2020 that the country’s coronavirus economic recovery program establishes that the tourism sector reopens 1 July.

Economy Minister Juan Ariel Jiménez is a member of the Coronavirus Emergency and Health Response Committee. As reported, one of the minister’s collaborators had confirmed to the newspaper that there has been no change to the country’s economic reopening calendar and that the hotel sector is included in phase four of the reopening program, as are airports, international flights and restaurants.

Nevertheless, the government has yet to issue official notifications. Frank Rainieri, of the Punta Cana International Airport, said that tourism companies need 30 to 45-day advance official notice to coordinate their opening. Rainieri alerted if the government does not issue the...

The Dominican Republic is alarmed by the daily announcement of the death toll of the coronavirus. There are 516 deaths so far this year from Covid-19. But more shocking is that 203 persons, or 40% of the coronavirus deaths, have passed away this year from drinking toxic alcoholic beverage known here as “cleren.” Beverages made from methanol continue to be sold clandestinely in the Dominican Republic.

The Ministry of Public Health says that as of Epidemiology Department statistics for 2 June 2020, there were 326 cases of methanol intoxication. Of these 35 are women and 291 men. Of these, 16 women died and 182 men. Public Health Minister Rafael Sánchez Cárdenas, during the 3 June 2020 press briefing on coronavirus, said that while Covid-19 has a lethality rate of 2.86% in the Dominican Republic, the lethality rate for clerén is 62% in men and 45% in women. Dr...

In 2007, the foreign energy company AES was fined with US$6 million for importing rock ash wastes to the Dominican Republic. The rock ash was deposited in Samaná and Montecristi. AES paid the money in a deal where the Dominican government agreed to withdraw its claim against them in US courts. The money would be used for the final disposition and proper treatment of rock ash that had been shipped from AES power plants in Puerto Rico.

Now rock ash is being made in the Dominican Republic. The Punta Catalina coal-fired thermoelectric central, the largest infrastructure work carried out by the Medina administration, is storing hundreds of thousands of tons of rock ash outdoors. The National Committee for the Fight Against Climate Change (CNLCC), denounces more than 400,000 tons of rock ashes have been deposited in an embankment located in the Batey San José, less than two kilometers from the power plant and less than 4 kilometers from Paya, that has a population of more than...

The Central Electoral Board (JCE) rejected a report to the contrary published in Listin Diario on 3 June 2020 and said that the institution has no difficulties at the local level for the makeup of the teams of officers that will work the polling stations for the presidential and congressional elections of 5 July

The director of elections, Mario Nuñez, said the JCE has a list of 222,000 people eligible to participate in the polling stations.

He said that for the presidential and congressional elections, 16,001 polling places will be opened, and to set them up, only 80,005 people will be needed from the 222,000 persons that have expressed their willingness to work.

The official indicated that the schedule for the organization of the election is being implemented.

The JCE rejected a report that had been published in the Listin Diario on 3 June that...

Some media reports show long lines of people waiting to board public transport. Others, such as El Nacional, say there were few passengers on the first day of the resuming of the remaining private transport services, Wednesday, 3 June 2020.

The large private transporter, Fenatrano resumed their operation on the 27 de Febrero route.

The bus stop of the National Confederation of Transport Organizations (Conatra), located at kilometer 9 of the Duarte highway, which transports passengers to the northern region, was empty. Conatra president Antonio Marte is demanding from the government about $17 billion to try to recover some of the money that the drivers of that union stopped receiving after the lockdown order. Marte says he is leaving up to the individual operators to decide whether they are going to go back to work or not. He argued that the new...

The new operations director for the Gonzalo Castillo presidential campaign, Santiago Mayor Abel Martínez defended the use of donating propane gas in city streets as a tactic to gain voters. He said the accusations against the practice have been made by the opposition, the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), in its desperation to gain votes.

Martínez was recently named operations director for the Castillo campaign. Castillo is running for president for the ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD).

During an interview on “Esta Noche con Mariasela” on 3 June 2020, the mayor of Santiago admitted to the ploy but denied it is illegal nor that the action violates the propane gas vending and the hydrocarbon regulations in the country and the new social distancing health guidelines. Martínez says what is prohibited is selling and not the donating of propane gas. He says the propane...

The legendary former police lieutenant, Fernando de los Santos (La Soga), who is said to have murdered upwards of 30 people during his career in the police and after, died on Wednesday, 3 June 2020. He was murdered by unknown assailants who witnesses say fired more than 30 bullets at him from a motorcycle. At the time, he was near his home in Gurabo, Santiago. He served in the force for more than 18 years and was the tough cop sent to “straighten out” areas of high crime. He would later crossover and was known as a contract killer. He was free on bail after being accused by two of murder.

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According to Coronavirus Bulletin #75 of the Ministry of Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology, the Dominican Republic has 17,752 confirmed cases, 180 new confirmed cases and 515 deaths. 1,989 patients are hospitalized. 111 patients are in intensive care units. The results are from 84,638 PCR diagnostic tests.

Previous bulletin results have been:Bulletin #74: 17,572 confirmed cases, 287 new cases, 502 deaths, 83,444 PCR testsBulletin #73: 17,285 confirmed cases, 377 new cases, 502 deaths, 81,647 PCR testsBulletin #72: 16,908 confirmed cases, 377 new cases, 498 deaths, 79,172 PCR testsBulletin #71: 16,531 confirmed cases, 463 new cases, 488 deaths, 76,930 PCR testsBulletin #70: 16,068 confirmed cases, 345 new cases, 485 deaths, 74,612 PCR testsBulletin #69: 15,723 confirmed cases, 459 new cases, 474 deaths, 73,121 PCR testsBulletin #68: 15,264 confirmed cases, 191 new...

The coordinator of the High Commission for Prevention of Coronavirus, Presidency Minister Gustavo Montalvo says the spread of the coronavirus in the country has plateaued and lethality has kept relatively low. He announced the start of phase 2 of the economic recovery with the authorization of interurban transport and private collective transport services as of 3 June 2020.

Betting shops are cleared to open, not so casinos. Shops in the shopping malls may remain open, but the food, play and recreation areas will remain closed to avoid crowding.

As was established previously, micro-enterprises with between 1 and 10 employees will be able to work with all their employees. On the other hand, small companies, which have between 11 and 50 employees, will be able to incorporate 75% of their workers, while medium and large companies will be able to work with 50% of...

The large interurban transporter, Caribe Tours announced the start of its bus operations following new health guidelines. The bus companies says that facial masks and physical distancing is mandatory on the bus service. Passenger temperature screening is being carried out and buses are disinfected after each arrival. Only one passenger per row of seats is allowed. The company has placed disinfecting rugs in boarding areas and disinfectant gel is available for use by the passengers.

Meanwhile, Antonio Marte of the Conatra transport group says he is leaving up to the individual operators the decision of whether they are going to go back to work or not. He argued that the new guidelines impede the units to turn a profit.

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In an interview for El Día TV with Huchi Lora and Amelia Deschamps, Yokasta Guzmán, the director of the Procurement Agency, dismissed allegations of corruption in purchases at the Center for Emergency Operations with the explanation that the terms for the contracting were just not clear in many of the procedures..

“Of the cases we saw, there were no clear specifications or evaluation criteria and, therefore, it was a little discretionary,” Guzman said during the interview for El Dia TV. “If there are no clear technical specifications, the contract can be awarded to anyone. I spoke with him [the COE director General Juan Manuel Mendez] and his team and told him that we had reviewed several procedures and that there were no clear technical specifications in many of them,” Guzmán said.

Investigative journalist Edith Febles recently revealed that the Center for Emergency Operations...

The mayor of the National District, Carolina Mejia, arrived at her office on Tuesday on a bicycle. Her office wants to promote riding a bike in the city. She says that by doing so herself, she wants to encourage her employees to use bikes. The capital city government is reading to inaugurate a new bicycle route in Santo Domingo.

Mejía and Beras also announced an increase in efforts to make Santo Domingo a more bicycle-friendly city. They announced a new bike circuit as of 3 June, with the inauguration of a pilot program on Bolívar Avenue. The bicycle route starts at Km Zero in Independence Park to take Bolívar Avenue, turn south at Abraham Lincoln Ave. and a return via Independencia Ave to Km. Zero (Independence Park).

During his term as mayor her predecessor, David Collado, launched the city’s first “bici-ruta” in the National District, down tree-laden Winston Churchill Avenue...

Presidential candidates presented their government plans to reactivate the economy for the YouTube Live presentation of the Association of Industries of the Dominican Republic (AIRD). Luis Abinader for the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), Gonzalo Castillo for the ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) and former President Leonel Fernández for the People’s Force (FP) explained their proposals. Among the projects presented, Abinader spoke of stimulating manufacturing sector exports by eliminating the pre-payment tax for these; Castillo emphasized his actions to stimulate job creation; Fernández spoke of simplifying the fiscal red tape.

The Central Electoral Board (JCE) presented to the political parties on Tuesday, 2 June 2020 the schedule of key dates for the celebrating of the extraordinary elections abroad on 5 July 2020. These are in Act No. 39-2020 that was approved by the JCE plenary on 29 May 2020. The measures establish the program for the organizing of the elections. Voters will be able to verify themselves online as of 6 June 2020.

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The Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) continues to accuse ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) candidate, Gonzalo Castillo of taking advantage of the curfew and relaxed rules for government procurement to advance his chances in the 5 July 2020 presidential election. The Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) on Wednesday, 2 June 2020 requested the Central Electoral Board take measures to impede that presidential candidate Gonzalo Castillo, violate the curfew. The opposition party also accused the official candidate of illicit trade and legal provisions and security measures governing the transport and distribution of propane. Videos have shown Castillo campaign members distributing propane in city barrios.

“All these violations violate the legitimacy and strict adherence to the law that should characterize electoral campaign actions,” said Orlando Jorge Mera, political...

The former president of the Dominican Association of Show Business Writers (Acroarte), Emely Baldera, is running for deputy for the National District for the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD). Among her proposals is to make the capital city, “The City of Merengue.” Emelyn Baldera says if she is elected, she will promote legislation to make this happen. She says this will be a way for tourists to visit more of the city, enjoy its music, gastronomy and arts and crafts, and visit other areas, not just the Colonial City.

Sergio Vargas, himself a former deputy, encourages Baldera to move ahead the initiative. “It’s a good proposal, I myself will help you promote it as the merengue artist that I am. It’s surprising that being a city with so much history, we don’t take advantage of that,” Vargas, a famous merengue singer.

“We will work to make this proposal a...

Rapid response blood tests carried out to passengers of flight Air Europa special repatriation flight UX389 resulted in the detection of 14 passengers arriving with Covid-19. The passengers flew from Madrid to Santo Domingo on 25 May 2020. Upon arrival to Las Americas International, they were subject to the tests before being admitted to the country, as reported on Turama. There were 199 pasengers onboard. Of these, 57 carried a certificate that they had tested negative in PCR tests carried out in Spanish hospitals.

The Dominican travelers were allowed to enter the country, although they will have to comply with a mandatory 14-day preventive quarantine at their homes.

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Photo: Presidency

On Monday, 1 June 2020, the Senate passed the 12-day state of emergency extension as received from the Chamber of Deputies on Saturday, 30 May 2020. The new extension goes into effect from Tuesday, 2 June through 13 June 2020. This is the fourth extension after the curfew was imposed on 20 March 2020. Data shows the coronavirus pandemic has plateaued in the Dominican Republic with spikes mostly concentrated in Greater Santo Domingo, and in jails across the country. As of 31 May 2020, there had been 502 dead in the country and 17,582 confirmed cases.

On 1 June, technically, there was no state of emergency. This explains that no curfew enforcement measures were applied on Sunday evening.

On Monday, 1 June 2020, President Danilo Medina signed the resolution enacting the extension of the National State of Emergency.

According to the restart of the...

According to Coronavirus Bulletin #74 of the Ministry of Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology, the Dominican Republic has 17,572 confirmed cases, 287 new confirmed cases and 502 deaths. No new deaths were reported in Bulletin #74. 1,988 patients are hospitalized. 117 patients are in intensive care units. The results are from 83,444 PCR diagnostic tests.

Previous bulletin results have been:Bulletin #73: 17,285 confirmed cases, 377 new cases, 502 deaths, 81,647 PCR testsBulletin #72: 16,908 confirmed cases, 377 new cases, 498 deaths, 79,172 PCR testsBulletin #71: 16,531 confirmed cases, 463 new cases, 488 deaths, 76,930 PCR testsBulletin #70: 16,068 confirmed cases, 345 new cases, 485 deaths, 74,612 PCR testsBulletin #69: 15,723 confirmed cases, 459 new cases, 474 deaths, 73,121 PCR testsBulletin #68: 15,264 confirmed cases, 191 new cases, 468 deaths, 70,972 PCR...

The Senate passed the bill that approves a loan of EUR45 million for increasing the capacity of the Santo Domingo Metro line. The line connects the National District with Santo Domingo North. The French Development Agency is lending the EUR44,976,162. The credit had been signed on 30 December 2019.

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The largest private transporter of passengers, the National Central of Transportation Organizations (Conatra), warned on Monday, 1 June 2020 that the units of its 712 affiliates will not return to work unless the government meets their demands. According to the gradual phasing in of activities, private transport will resume as of 3 June 2020. But Antonio Marte, president of Conatra, says the government must first pay the RD$17 billion he says the government owes them. He says the amount has been adding up from the discounts on the fuel the state has made following an agreement with Conatra to remove dilapidated vehicles from city streets.

Public transport has been operating since the reopening of the economy on Wednesday, 20 May 2020 with the Metro, Skylift, and Metropolitan Office of Bus Services (OMSA) buses, plus taxis and multi-fare paying taxis.

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The Santo Domingo Aqueduct and Sewage Corporation (CAASD) announces that water service will improve as of this week in the city. Recent intense rains have improved the city system capacity. For the past month, several sectors had to source water by calling trucked water suppliers.

The CAASD says that by the end of this week, service should be back to the normal 420 million gallons per day normal.

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The Santo Domingo Aqueduct and Sewerage Corporation (CAASD) announced that during June, those paying their past due bills will get up to 50% in discounts. CAASD director, Alejandro Montas says the program seeks to motivate citizens to pay up their bills.

He said the discounts will range from 10 to 50%. Customers with up to three bills in arrears will receive a 10% discount. The 20% discount will be applied on the payment of service to users who owe four to six bills, 40% from seven to 12 and 50% to those who pay more than 12 bills in arrears.

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Carolina Mejía, the new mayor of the capital city of the Dominican Republic, says that improving the flow of traffic in the city, adequate handling of solid wastes, and the lighting in the city are her priorities.

In an interview with Diario Libre, she spoke of new efforts to reduce the amount of wastes trucked to Duquesa, the city’s garbage dump. The program intends to get people to separate the rubbish so that what can be recycled stays in the National District and less is trucked to Duquesa. This would represent significant savings for the National District government.

Regarding transport, Mejía is working closely with Hugo Beras, who resigned his aspirations to run for mayor for the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD) to join Mejía’s campaign. She appointed him as her secretary-general. Beras spoke of 42 more one-way streets that have been approved for the city, pedestrian...

After ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) presidential candidate Gonzalo Castillo did not accept the invitation to participate in a face to face debate, the National Young Entrepreneurs Association has canceled the activity.

Already, the presidential candidates for the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), Luis Abinader and former President Leonel Fernández, now running for the People’s Force, had said publicly they would participate in the debate. ANJE says it received a communication from the campaign directors for Castillo, indicating the candidate already had a commitment for the scheduled debate date.

Castillo has not been available for interviews by leading independent TV, radio or print media. He has neither been available for daily news media interviews. He is carrying out a billion-dollar promotional campaign, speaking through his extensive campaign spots in all media...

Victor Gómez Casanovas, the executive director of the National Port Authority, announced he will seek to be named deputy for the National District. He will run for District 1 in the National District. He is running for the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD), a strong ally to the government party.

Gomez Casanova, had previously been deputy for the District 2 of the National District (2010-2016).

He announced he is taking a leave of absence from his position to dedicate himself fully to his campaign, in compliance with Electoral Regime Law 15-19.

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According to Coronavirus Bulletin #73 of the Ministry of Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology, the Dominican Republic has 17,285 confirmed cases, 377 new confirmed cases and 502 deaths, including 4 new deaths. 1,960 patients are hospitalized. 110 patients are in intensive care units. The results are from 81,647 PCR diagnostic tests.

Previous bulletin results have been:Bulletin #72: 16,908 confirmed cases, 377 new cases, 498 deaths, 79,172 PCR testsBulletin #71: 16,531 confirmed cases, 463 new cases, 488 deaths, 76,930 PCR testsBulletin #70: 16,068 confirmed cases, 345 new cases, 485 deaths, 74,612 PCR testsBulletin #69: 15,723 confirmed cases, 459 new cases, 474 deaths, 73,121 PCR testsBulletin #68: 15,264 confirmed cases, 191 new cases, 468 deaths, 70,972 PCR testsBulletin #67: 15,073 confirmed cases, 272 new cases, 460 deaths, 69,608 PCR testsBulletin #66: 14,801...

After heated debates, the Chamber of Deputies approved late on Saturday 30 May 2020 a 12-day extension of the National State of Emergency. The extension is less than half of the 25 days requested by President Danilo Medina that was rubber-stamped by the Senate.

The resolution from the Chamber of Deputies will now return to the Senate for approval in this all-too-familiar-scenario.

Once again, the deputies from the opposition parties have issued statements saying that this “is the last time” that they would approve an extension. But they said that the last time, too. Many analysts are opposed to removing the controls over social distancing, masks and curfews, saying that the “curve” of new cases and fatalities has yet to show any downward trend. Other articles in the press late last week indicated that the province of Santo Domingo is now...

The Central Bank of the Dominican Republic has placed in circulation a newly formatted $500 peso bill, with enhanced safety features. The main difference between the new bill and the old bills—which are still good—is the impression of a graphic representation of the Central Bank building and the vertical numbers 500 on the upper right part of the new bill’s face. The two persons on the front, Salome Ureña de Henriquez and don Pedro Henriquez Ureña, remain the same. The symbol of the Central Bank will change color under different lights while continuing to include the same safety features of the older bills.

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The Central Bank of the Dominican Republic (BCRD) has released the figures for the first quarter of the year 2020. They are not very encouraging: a RD$23.3 billion deficit amounting to 0.5% of GDP.

Year to year, this 2020 figure is slightly more than RD$9 billion higher than 2019. However, the Budget Office that the figure for 2020 is slightly lower than the RD$24.9 billion deficit that was detailed in the budget. According to the agency, the increase is due in large part to the loss of income resulting from the impact of the Covid-19. Just in March, the deficit was RD$14.0 billion.

The government spent RD$59 billion in March and only received RD$45 billion.

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Even with the official exchange rate nearing to RD$59.00 to the dollar, the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic says that there will not be any shortage of dollars or other hard currencies. The institution issued a call to have confidence in the fundamentals of the Dominican economy and the credibility of the Central Bank, currently keeping an eye on the inflationary tendencies at work in the country.

The current availability of hard currencies has been affected by the effects of the coronavirus. Tourism, export free zone exports, foreign investment and remittances have seriously been affected.

The Central Bank has been proactive, by placing US$400 million at the disposition of the financial entities from Repos in foreign currency, and another US$222 million through the freeing up of the required legal reserves, together with other measures. In addition to all of this, the Central...

Seeking to appeal to the young voter segment, the largest in the Dominican Republic, ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) presidential candidate Gonzalo Castillo announced that in his government students will not pay to ride government mass transport. He said Santo Domingo Metro, skylift and OMSA buses will be free for university students and vocational school student

“I want young people to have the same opportunities that I had to study and to realize themselves in life, that’s why the ticket in the Metro, Cable Car and the OMSA, will be free so that university and technical career students can go and return from their classes without that economic concern. This is not an expense, it is an investment,” he says in a new promotional video. He also indicated that in the next few days he will inform other sectors that will benefit from free transportation...

Pope Francis has just named Monsignor Jesus Castro Marte, who was working in the Dioceses of Santo Domingo and serving as the rector of the Catholic University of Santo Domingo, as the new bishop of the dioceses of La Altagracia. The most important Catholic shrine in the DR, honoring Our Lady of All Graces (La Altagracia), is part of this diocese. Archbishop Nicanor Peña had resigned due to age, in accordance to Canon Law. Monsignor Castro Marte has a long academic and religious history as an educator and in public service. He holds a doctorate in university management from the Universidad Alcalá de Henares, Spain (2014).

112 medical students have finished their studies at the Pontifical Catholic University Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) are asking that the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology (MESCYT) to allow the university to graduate them. This request was filed after the MESCYT ruled that these students were not eligible for graduation because they had finished their education online, affirming that the students needed to finish their practice in-person. This practice is also known as the Internship, which lasts for one full year, and would have ended in early May 2020, if it were not for Covid-19. It will be recalled that all of the interns serving in the public and private health facilities were withdrawn in mid-March after the epidemic’s onset.

The students argue they have completed their academic calendar online, as have students at many other universities...

As the Santiago Corporation for Water and Sewers (CORAASAN) closes the century-old Monsieur Bogaert Canal (the nation’s first major irrigation canal), the people in the outlaying municipal districts of La Canela and Hato del Yaque, to the South and West of the city, will have no water supply. The two-day closure is required to make the connections to the new system that will serve the entire area, including the soon-to-be-created Juan Bosch City, a 14,000-unit housing project. The new water system for the area is nearing completion and this is one of the final steps. The RD$589 million project will be supplying La Canela, Hato del Yaque and Juan Bosch City with clean water in the near future. The Coraasan recommended that folks store water for this 48-hour period.

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The news that another wave of sargassum is coming to Dominican shores has been in the news. However, Diario Libre ecology writer Marvin Del Cid says the waves of seaweed may bring much goods. He reports on research in the journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research on how the Sargasso Sea (located in the mid-Atlantic) retained around 19.3 million tons of CO2, an amount equal to the contamination emitted by Mexico City in a whole year. The research, led by Daniel Lardizabal Gutierrez from the Center for Research in Advanced Materials (Cimav) in Spain, found that the seaweed, just like mangroves, and marine grasses, captures huge amounts of CO2.

The sargassum retains the gas in three manners. The first is through photosynthesis. The second is indirectly, by means of the fauna that travels with the sargassum. This macroalgae, coming from Africa, and traveling towards America...

According to Coronavirus Bulletin #71 of the Ministry ofPublic Health’s Department of Epidemiology, the Dominican Republic has 16,531confirmed cases, 463 new confirmed cases and 488 deaths, including 3 newdeaths. 2,194 patients are hospitalized. 106 patients are in intensive careunits. The results are from 76,930 PCR diagnostic tests.

Previous bulletin results have been:Bulletin #70: 16,068 confirmed cases, 345 new cases, 485 deaths, 74,612 PCR testsBulletin #69: 15,723 confirmed cases, 459 new cases, 474 deaths, 73,121 PCR testsBulletin #68: 15,264 confirmed cases, 191 new cases, 468 deaths, 70,972 PCR testsBulletin #67: 15,073 confirmed cases, 272 new cases, 460 deaths, 69,608 PCR testsBulletin #66: 14,801 confirmed cases, 379 new cases, 458 deaths, 67,940 PCR testsBulletin #65: 14,422 confirmed cases, 433 new cases, 458 deaths, 65,355 PCR testsBulletin #64: 13,989 confirmed...

On 29 May 2020, the Dominican Institute of Civil Aviation (IDAC) issued the Aeronautical Information circular (AIC) 03-20 that establishes that Dominican International Airports should remain closed to commercial traffic until 1 July 2020.

The notice continues to suspend commercial flights to and from airports in the Dominican Republic to that date. It establishes that cargo flights to and from airports in the Dominican Republic are operating normally. International flights are permitted only on ferry operations for foreigner repatriation until 1 July 2020.

The notice gives airlines a month to coordinate the start of commercial flights.

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On Friday, 29 May 2020, the Medina administration sought toextend the National State of Emergency for a fourth time. The president of the Chamber of Deputies, archi-loyal Radhames Camacho (PLD-National District), couldn’t get the deputies to put the extension on the day’s agenda.

Opposition legislators of the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), the Social Christian Reformist Party (PRSC) and the People’s Force (FP)had already said they would not vote to renew the National State of Emergency. The bill was received from the Senate. In the Senate, the government party is the majority and had passed the bill on Thursday. The ruling party does not have a majority in the Chamber of Deputies.Opposition deputies had voted for the extension in the past, “so they can’t blame us for spreading the epidemic.”

The president of the Chamber of Deputies Radhames...

The May 2020 Mark Penn/Stagwell- Noticias SIN poll says that none of the three leading presidential candidates are likely to get enough votes to win on election day. Mark Penn has said 39% will vote for Luis Abinader of the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), 37% for Gonzalo Castillo of the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), and 10% for Leonel Fernández of the People’s Force in the 5 July presidential election. This means a second round will be necessary. It is scheduled for Sunday, 26 May 2020.

In the second round vote, the findings of the poll indicate 46% will vote for Abinader and 42% for Castillo. Of the 10% that say they will vote for Fernández in the first round, half of these will vote for Leonel, and only 35% for Castillo.

Bernardo Vega, representative of Mark Penn/Stagwell in the Dominican Republic, says that Abinader has most of his followers among men and...

Best known for his catchy merengues, 80-year old JohnnyVentura has launched a new track, “Me Cayo del Cielo.” It is aproduction by Miami-based Emilio Estefan. Ventura is a legend in Dominican music.

He also opened doors for entertainers to becomepoliticians. He served as a legislator, named to the Chamber of Deputies for the National District from 1990 to 1998. He was mayor of the National District for the 1998-2002. Through those years he represented the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD).

Ventura ran for a new term as mayor of Santo Domingo inthe 15 March 2020 election for the People’s Force (FP). He did not win the bid.

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“Merengue do Brasil” is the new, unprecedented collection of seven iconic songs of Brazil arranged to the merengue’s beat. The songs are in the legendary voices of Milly Quezada, Maridalia Hernández, Víctor Víctor, Johnny Ventura. Víctor Tolentino and Bilma Olivence also are part of the album.

Producer and arranger Jochy Sánchez chose the songs:“Aquarela do Brasil”, “Berimbau”, “Insensatez”, “Desafinado”, “Madalena”, “Wave” and “Chega de saudade.” The songs are sung in Portuguese.

“Merengue Do Brasil” is available on Spotify,Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube Music and Deezer. The first promotional single “Aquarela do Brasil”, featuring a performance by Milly Quezada, is available on YouTube for free.

Producer Jochy Sánchez explains that the project was bornin 2008 but took him 12 years to launch. As time went by, in 2018 the merengue would be awarded the category of...

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