DR1 Daily News - Dominican Republic

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Environment Minister Orlando Jorge Mera says that the Dominican Republic seeks a dialogue with Haiti and calls for the adherence to the treaty signed in 1929 whereby both countries agreed that neither can detour the waters of the river if this affects the other country. Sources in Haiti say that the construction of an irrigation canal to detour the waters of the Masacre River has the backing of the Haitian government.

Jorge Mera spoke when interviewed by Guillermo Gómez for “Aeromundo.”

The Masacre River is born in the Pico del Gallo mountain of Loma de Cabrera, Dominican Republic. It flows into Haiti and then ends in the Bay of Manzanillo in Montecristi on the northwest of the country. Several lagoons are formed that are part of the Montecristi National Park.

Jorge Mera says that from his start at the Ministry of Environment in August 2020, he has been...

The Central Electoral Board (JCE) announced that as of Tuesday, 11 May 2021, 12 more civil registry offices nationwide are incorporated in the “Project for the Elimination of the Legalization of Civil Status Records (ETLA).” The project began to be implemented on 5 April 2021.

The new offices are:16th District in Los Alcarrizos3rd District of the National District1st and 2nd District of Moca1st and 2nd District of La Vega

Also the civil registry offices in Cabral, Hato Mayor, Villa González, Jánico, San José de las Matas and Altamira.

A total of 27 civil registry offices are now incorporated into the program.

Rhina Alessandra Diaz Tejada, interim director of the Civil Registry, said that the criteria for incorporating an office to the project is a hybrid between offices that have the larger number of certificates issued at a national level and also those that have the...

The judge of the Permanent Attention Office of the National District, Kenya Romero ordered that the accused in the Operation Coral corruption case serve 18 months preventive jail in the Najayo Men’s and Najayo Women’s jails. The accused are accused of heading a religious-military network that incurred in fraud to the state treasury and asset laundering.

According to the judge’s ruling, Major General Adan Cáceres Silvestre, police colonel Rafael Núñez de Aza, police corporal Tanner Antonio Flete Guzmán, and Navy sergeant Alejandro José Montero Cruz, must serve their sentences in the Najayo Men’s Correction and Rehabilitation Center (CCR Najayo). Evangelical pastor Rossy Guzman Sanchez is sent to jail at the Najayo Women’s jail.

Meanwhile, army mayor Raul Alejandro Girón Jiménez, will serve house arrest under the custody of the Attorney General’s Office. The...

Lawyers Anderson Vargas Franco, Antonio Figueroa Pontier and Jhonny Peña Peña deposited on 10 May 2021 in the commissions of Justice and Human Rights of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, communications where they urge the legislators draft a law for extinction of domain law in favor of the state in the Dominican Republic. The law orders the loss of rights that a person has, in connection with patrimonial assets whose legitimate origin cannot be proven, particularly those that are instrument, object or product of illicit acts. The law would enable the state to recover numerous assets in possession of corrupt government officials and drug traffickers.

“From the proclamation of the 26 January 2010 Constitution, the Dominican state introduced the legal recourse of the extinction of domain, however, more than 11 years after that proclamation, the country does...

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #417 reports 560 new PCR cases for the Sunday, 9 May 2021 deadline. The cases reported compares to the 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases that is 634.

As per Bulletin #417, with the deadline of 9 May 2021, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 272,108 confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020. Labs carried out 6,514 first PCR tests. The number of PCR tests compares with the 14-day average now at 3,699.

The national 4-week positivity rate is 11.38%, similar to the previous day. The 24-hour positivity for the day is 8,60%, significantly down from the day before.

The number of reported active Covid-cases increased to 36,605, up (+375) from the previous 24 hours.

The nation is immersed in a nationwide vaccination drive as batches of vaccines are received...

Several Dominican Public School Teachers Association (ADP) members are keeping their position against the reopening of the nation’s public school system. Public school teachers are paid the same with schools open or not

So far, the Ministry of Education has opened schools in about 60 municipalities where the positivity rate for Covid-19 is less than 5%.

A former president of the ADP, Eduardo Hidalgo, told reporters that he felt that the reopening would be “imprudent” since it would expose teachers, parents and students to the virus. Hidalgo noted that there were thousands of teachers and administrators that have yet to be vaccinated. For weeks, the National Vaccination Plan has been vaccinating teachers nationwide. As of 10 May 2021, the vaccination plan enters Phase III calling for all documented persons of 18+ to be vaccinated at any of the thousands of...

The Ministry of Defense issued a public statement on Friday, 7 May 2021 indicating:“We consider that what is being questioned these days is provoked by information on alarming criminal activities that, if proven in the justice system, DO NOT involve the military institutions nor the generality of the women and men that compose them.

“Military institutions are not exempt from the general problems that affect society, but their members are mainly men and women motivated by their dedication to the patriotic mission assigned to them by the Constitution of the Republic. They are people with a vocation of service, dedication and sacrifice, proud of the history of the Armed Forces and the opportunity they offer to serve the country.”

The statement came after one of the accused, the former technology director for the Tourism Specialized Security Corps (Cestur) gave...

As of Monday, 10 May 2021, the National Vaccination Plan opens for those 18 years or older. The Ministry of Public Health announced the early start of Phase III covering those of the age group of 18-49. The category would have started in August 2021, but the arrival of a batch of two million vaccines from China has enabled the government to get ahead in vaccinations.

Vaccinations are free, at more than 500 vaccination sites around the country, including 57 in Greater Santo Domingo.

The country purchased the two million Sinovac/Coronavac vaccines China at the cost of US$1.2 million.

So far, there have been zero reported reactions from the Sinovac/Coronavac vaccine. Although the efficiency of the attenuated virus vaccine is said to be less (so far) than that of Pfizer or Moderna, local physicians say it does protect against really serious cases of the virus.

President...

With most everyone in the Dominican Republic vaccinated with the Sinovac/Coronavac vaccine, locals are naturally interested in the global recognition of the vaccine. The Dominican Republic has received 4,268,000 Sinovac/Coronavac vaccines and another 50,000 of Chinese-manufacturer Sinopharm. It has also received 141,200 vials of the AstraZeneca vaccine (91,200 of Oxford-AstraZeneca and 50,000 of India Serum Institute AstraZeneca).

The good news is that last week the European Medicines Agency (EMA) began the rolling review of China’s Sinovac (Covid-19) Coronavac vaccine. The EMA is the European Union’s top drug regulator. The approval is necessary for the potential use of the vaccine in the European Union.

This means by summer, the Sinovac/Coronavac vaccine could be approved by the European Union. So far, only vaccines manufactured by Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson...

Punta Cana was the setting for the Tourism Ministers of the Americas Meeting from 6 to 9 May 2021 with the World Tourism Organization secretary-general. President Luis Abinader gave the welcome address. Abinader is the chair of his government’s Tourism Cabinet.

President Abinader told the audience that “unity, determination, focus and a combined vision of the future of regional tourism is the way to face the challenges the Covid-19 pandemic has forced on the industry”.

The Punta Cana meeting was organized by the World Tourism Organization (WTO) and it brought together ministers of tourism of the Americas to discuss the future of tourism in the Americas. Frank Rainieri, the president of the Punta Cana Group, who hosted the meeting, told reporters that the recovery was moving along faster than was expected, at a faster pace than in Europe or the United States. Most of the ministers...

Air Canada has just announced the renewal of flights to the Dominican Republic starting on 26 June 2021. This is just in time for the peak of summertime travel.

Spokespeople for the airline congratulated the Dominican government authorities for the tourism industry’s performance and the reactivating of the major tourist areas. The airline is especially interested in resuming its flights to Puerto Plata, Samana and Punta Cana.

The Canadian announcement comes when the US State Department is advising US citizens not to travel to most countries around the world, including the Dominican Republic. Germany, on the contrary, is encouraging its citizens to vacation in the Dominican Republic.

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Over the weekend, Dominican ambassador in Russia, Hans Danenberg shared a tweet by Russian astronaut, Oleg Novitsky in which he posts a photograph of the Dominican Republic taken from the International Space Station (ISS). The astronaut called the country a “paradise on Earth” in his tweet. It is not known if the astronaut has visited or was speaking from observations made by Russian tourists who have visited and marveled at the good weather, beaches and wonderful people.

“I looked out the window, and saw the most visited country in the Caribbean – the Dominican Republic. This paradise on Earth impresses the guests for its fantastically beautiful views and nature, which amazes so much that one wants to become a part of it,” wrote Novitsky in Twitter.

President Luis Abinader was quick to comment, saying that he appreciated the kind words from the astronaut...

The creations of emerging Dominican graphic artists Alejandro Soto and Isabella Fernández are the finalists in the contest for the nation’s country brand. The young talents were backed by leading Dominican country brand authorities to create the logos.

The general public is now asked to vote for the country brand by Sending A for Alejandro Soto and B for Isabella Fernandez to Whatspp 809-440-9159 or SMS to 9669. The vote is free.

In the Sunday, 9 May 2021 late evening show where the two finalists were announced, the jurors slanted in favor of the country silhouette logo by Alejandro Soto for its uniqueness, highly identifiable with the country and graphically friendly conditions.

None of the six finalists had included the full name of the country in their original conceptions, but for the final country brand presentation, all of the logos featured the full name of Dominican Republic.

In the presentation of the logos for the vote, the organizers of the contest did not...

In many major metropolitan areas, members of the Dominican Medical Association (CMD) are on a walkout against the Mapfre HMO in their quest to receive better pay from the local health administrators. The Dominican Association of Health Risks Administrators (ADARS) has rejected the strike call by the CMD, and they called upon the group to remember that the patient’s health comes first. The ADARS said that they were willing to collaborate with the National Social Security Council (CNSS) to solve the issues.

On the one hand, the Dominican HMOs have recently increased rates by as much as 66% in some cases, but doctors continue to receive the same pay. The CMD has called for the work boycott against ARS Mapfre Salud, a major player in the health insurance field. Mapfre says it will reimburse its affiliates for doctor consultations. Mapfre did not give details on how much would...

The Central Electoral Board (JCE) plenary approved on Thursday, 6 May 2021, the final investigation report regarding the vote of Dominicans abroad for the 2020 presidential election.

The report investigated the voter registration and voter organizing offices for the JCE in New York, Boston, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Reading, Washington, Orlando and Miami, corresponding to District 1 abroad in the United States.

The Investigation Committee was integrated by the president of the JCE, Román Jáquez Liranzo, and JCE members Rafael Armando Vallejo Santelises and Samir Chami Isa.

The plenary of the Central Electoral Board (JCE) ordered the firing of the director of the Expat Voter Office, Gilberto Cruz Herasme and other officials for irregularities in the handling of US$4 million disbursed during the past presidential elections abroad in 2020.

In addition to Cruz Herasme, administrative...

Angels at Orioles 5/11/19

The Los Angeles Angels general manager and club president John Carpino called future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols into a meeting late last week. They informed him that they were designating him for assignment. The Pujols’ era with the Los Angeles Angels lasted 10 years. Now 41 years old, it seemed unlikely that Pujols would play this year. Not to worry, he is still owed over US$30 million of his US$240 million contract, no matter what.

Pages have been written and will be written about the truly magnificent career of Albert Pujols. He is fifth all-time in home runs, second in RBIs, 14th in hits (3,253). He has won the National League MVP awards, two Gold Gloves, and six Silver Slugger awards, and was invited to play in 10 All-Star Games.

His first decade with the St. Louis Cardinals (.331/.426/624), 408 homers and 1,230 RBIs can be argued to be the...

The first Aro y Pedal bicycle store, located on 27 de Febrero Avenue, in the Don Bosco sector, was completely consumed by a strong fire, causing losses in the millions of pesos. No casualties were reported. To put out the fire, the fire department used more than 15 units and about 80 men. The store is located near the Centro Médico Otorrinolaringología.

“I have never experienced this situation; this is the first time this has happened to me. May God help us with all this,” said store owner Juan Luis Rodríguez, who for many years was also president of the Dominican Cycling Federation (Fedoci).

Social media reported how many of the neighbors helped remove the bicycles in time so these would not be consumed by the fire.

The fire occurs at a time when bicycle sales are on the increase.

The company has several branches in different parts of the country and...

The general public that had followed the plight of beloved singer Manny Cruz and his wife dancer Yeri Peguero delighted in the photos of their baby Montserrat, the couple recently shared with their fans on social media.

Yeri Peguero had caught Covid-19 when in her final weeks of pregnancy. Baby Montserrat was born prematurely, but mom entered into intensive care and Cruz called for prayers from all Dominicans to help her recover soon.

Fortunately, Peguero has recovered significantly and the family celebrates sharing the photos of lovely Montserrat.

Follow the story in Spanish:

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #416 reports 948 new PCR cases for the Saturday, 8 May 2021 deadline. The cases reported compares to the 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases that is 587.

As per Bulletin #416, with the deadline of 8 May 2021, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 271,548 confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020. Labs carried out 6,736 first PCR tests. The number of PCR tests compares with the 14-day average now at 3,446.

The nationwide 4-week positivity rate is 11.49%, similar to the previous day. The 24-hour positivity for the day is 14.07%, down from the previous day.

The number of reported active Covid-cases dropped to 36,371, down (-375) from the previous 24 hours.

The nation is immersed in a nationwide vaccination drive as batches of vaccines are received from abroad. The...

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #414 reports 774 new PCR cases for the Thursday, 6 May 2021 deadline. The cases reported compares to the 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases that is 487.

As per Bulletin #414, with the deadline of 6 May 2021, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 269,958 confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020. Labs carried out 5,441 first PCR tests. The number of PCR tests compares with the 14-day average now at 3,153.

The nationwide 4-week positivity rate is 11.56%, up from the previous day. The 24-hour positivity for the day is 14.23%, up from the day before.

The number of reported active Covid-cases increased to 35,496, down (-141) from the previous 24 hours.

The nation is immersed in a nationwide vaccination drive as batches of vaccines are received from abroad. The...

State prosecutors describe Operation Coral as the military arm of the corruption ring in the high echelons of the former Medina administration. Yet, the revelations tell much of the modus operandi of corruption in government.

Judge Kenya Romero is in charge of the hearing for the presentation of accusations by prosecutors and the declaration of whether there is a case or not and whether preventive custody measures are necessary to avoid the accused not being present for the actual trial. But as occurred during the previous Operation Octopus hearing, the court allowed the prosecutors and defense to turn the hearing into a pre-trial instead of a simple trial preparatory procedure. The videos on the pre-trial hearings are available on YouTube for whoever missed the presentations.

On Thursday, 6 May 2021, the head of the security of former President Danilo Medina, Major...

A video went viral on social media showing how the presenter of the winning number most likely already had a number in her hand when she supposedly received the winning ball from a blind person on Saturday, 1 May 2021.

The manager of the National Lottery said he has deposited a complaint in the Attorney General Office against the results of the lottery of 1 May 2021, when the irregularity was detected. The winning number was 13.

As reported, the National Lottery is revising the videos of the lotteries from 2011 to 2021 when an insider gang supposedly took advantage of their roles in the lottery.

The National Lottery announced seven employees have been suspended for their participation in a number rigging fraud that apparently has operated at the state lottery for years. Around 30 persons are under investigation.

Follow the...

El director de la Dirección General de Impuestos Internos (DGII), Magín Díaz, dijo este lunes que en el primer cuatrimestre del año se recaudaron RD$152,500 millones, por encima de los RD$147, 500 millones que se habían estimado para ese período.

Magín Díaz, director de la DGII

Foto: © Edgar Hernández

Fecha:1/05/2018

The recovery of the Dominican economy is apparent. The Tax Agency (DGII) says that tax collections in April 2021 reached a record-breaking RD$68.78 billion. This is 154.5% more than the estimate for the month.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund gives the Dominican Republic a good report card for its performance during the present economic and health crisis.

The IMF highlights “the ongoing vaccination campaign, the global recovery and strong government support to the tourism sector are placing the economy on a dynamic recovery in 2021, instrumental for raising...

The general public is invited to vote for the two finalists jurors will announce for the selection of the Dominican Republic country brand. The vote is set for Sunday, 9 May 2021 at 9pm on Color Visión, Channel 9.

Six logos are competing. They are by graphic artists Marian Rodríguez, Sulamita Javier, Isabela Fernández, Natalie Coste, Alejandro Soto and the trio of Eric Alvarez, Katherine Yuen and Antonio González.

The logo contest is called to accompany the slogan approved by the Country Brand Committee that is “a Republic for the World.”

The Ministry of Tourism has explained its campaigns will keep its “The Dominican Republic Has it All” slogan.

Read more in Spanish:

Tune in to CERTV (Channel 4) on Sunday, 9 May 2021 at 6pm to enjoy the leading lyrical voices of the Caribbean. The concert coincides with the celebration of Europe Day.

The European Union mission in the Dominican Republic and the Symphony Foundation (Fundación Sinfonía) are sponsoring the presentation of the Caribbean Lyrical Signing Festival 2021. The event seeks to motivate youths in the Caribbean to take up a career as tenors and sopranos. It also seeks to promote cultural exchanges in the region. The event has the backing of the Ministry of Culture in the Dominican Republic.

The government and the Ministry of Education has seen the light. After schools have been closed for in-person learning since mid-March 2020, matters are changing now.

The Ministry of Education issued a short notice where it announces it will adhere to the decisions of the Ministry of Public Health and the Health Cabinet regarding the resuming of in-person learning nationwide.

The note from the Ministry of Education follows a statement calling for return to in-person learning in schools by Vice President Raquel Peña. On 5 May 2021, Vice President Raquel Peña, who is the coordinator of the Health Cabinet, stated that she has always favored the reopening of in-person learning. She was reacting to demands from parents, teachers and director of private schools that were hard-pressed to understand how restaurants, bars, entertainment and sports centers were all open...

President Luis Abinader is set to mingle with ministers of tourism from the Americas during the meeting set for Punta Cana 6-9 May 2021. The World Tourism Organization has convened this extraordinary meeting of tourism minister of the Americas. Tourism ministers are here to discuss the recovery of the tourism industry.

The Ministry of Tourism (Mitur) of the Dominican Republic is hosting the event.

Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary-general of the UNWTO, Tourism Minister David Collado will speak during the event. Also, Frank Rainieri, president of the Puntacana Group.

Mitur says that the visiting ministers are: Miguel Torruco, Minister of Tourism, Mexico; Denise Guillén Zúñiga, Deputy Minister, Panama; Julián Guerrero Orozco, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Colombia; and Matías Lammens, Minister of Tourism and Sports, Argentina.

Melvin Cintron, regional director of the...

The Criminal Chamber of the Court of Appeals sentenced former Deputy Minister of Youth Odalis Junior Ledesma Hernández Ledesma to serve 15 years in Najayo Jail (CCR Najayo) for the rape of a Canadian citizen, Joanna Linda Kocsis on 4 April 2017. Ledesma was ordered to pay RD$5 million in indemnity to the victim.

Kocsis had come to carry out research for her doctoral thesis. Ledesma would have assisted with the needed data. As reported, he showed her an apartment to rent, where the rape occurred.

All throughout the procedures, Ledesma argued Kocsis could not prove her case. In her favor, was that she had consulted with the Canadian Embassy that advised her to immediately leave the country and undergo rape certification procedures in Canada.

The Dominican investigators later asked the Canadian authorities to provide the rape kit taken from the victim and the...

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #413 reports 623 new PCR cases for the Wednesday, 5 May 2021 deadline. The cases reported compares to the 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases that is 426.

As per Bulletin #413, with the deadline of 5 May 2021, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 269,184 confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020. Labs carried out 6,062 first PCR tests. The number of PCR tests compares with the 14-day average now at 2,912.

The nationwide 4-week positivity rate is 10.28%, down from the previous day. The 24-hour positivity for the day is 11.67%, down from the day before.

The number of reported active Covid-cases increased to 35,637, up (+38) from the previous 24 hours.

The nation is immersed in a nationwide vaccination drive as batches of vaccines are received from abroad. The...

The former director of the Tourism Security Corps (Cestur), Brigadier General Carlos Torres Robiou sat for an interview with Julissa Céspedes of CDN (Channel 37) that aired on Tuesday, 4 May 2021 to tell his side of the Operation Coral under investigation by the Attorney General Office. State prosecutors say that RD$3 billion in payments made for services to hundreds of military and police on the Cestur payroll were regularly detoured to companies and accounts in the name of four principals accused of being part of a high-level fraud. These are former head of the military aides of former President Danilo Medina, Major General Adan Cáceres, lawyer-pastor Rossy Guzmán, and the former financial director of the Cestur, Police mayor Alejandro Girón Jiménez, and former payroll director, Police colonel Rafael Núñez de Aza.

The modus operandi revealed in the prosecution...

Vice President Raquel Peña and Minister of Public Health Daniel Rivera spoke up on Wednesday, 5 May in favor of the restart of classes. Vice President Peña said she has always been in favor of the restart of classes. Public Health Minister Daniel Rivera now says that schools are the safest place for children.

Dr. Rivera spoke during an interview with the Corripio Media Group. He highlighted that with the arrival of the latest 2 million doses of vaccines from China there is enough to start vaccinating those older than 18 years starting on Monday, 10 May 2021. He is optimistic the country could reach herd immunity by August 2021.

Education Minister Roberto Furcal has argued schools should only restart in municipalities where the positivity is 5% or less and has opposed the restart of classes in private schools. He has refused to inspect schools in Greater...

For those who are impatient regarding prosecution of corruption, Attorney General Miriam German gave an interview to Huchi Lora and Edith Febles of El Dia TV morning talk show and provided insights into what the Attorney General Office is working on. She said they have inherited 400 investigations, many more than 10 years old, and have opened more than 100 new cases.

During the interview, the former Penal Chamber judge of the Supreme Court of Justice highlighted that the former authorities in charge of the Chamber of Accountability (Camara de Cuentas) were an obstacle to combat corruption. She mentioned the lack of trustworthy information and the actions they have detected on behalf of the auditors to accommodate audits. The Chamber of Accountability now has new members.

German said the first time she met President Luis Abinader was the day he swore her in and that she would leave...

The Administrator of Social Subsidies (ADESS) director, Digna Reynoso says that 275 stores are under investigation for a millionaire fraud related to the Stay at Home welfare program implemented since April 2020 to benefit the poor at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. ADESS director estimates at RD$294 million the fraud against the government program.

The Department of High Technology Crimes of the National Police is investigating fraud. Reynoso explained thousands of irregular transactions were carried out when the businesses were closed.

Reynoso is the wife of the president of the Chamber of Deputies. Formerly, she was deputy mayor for the National District.

Read more in Spanish:

State prosecutors requested 18 months preventive custody for those accused in the Operation Coral in the hearing on 5 May 2021. These are former head of the Security Corps of former President Danilo Medina, Major General Adan Caceres, lawyer-pastor Rossy Guzman and her son Tanner Flete Guzman, and police colonel Rafael Núñez de Aza and Police mayor Raul Alejandro Giron Jimenez. Judge Kenya Romero will hear the arguments of the defense on 6 May 2021. The accused are held responsible for profiteering using their high positions in government. The prosecutors accuse Cáceres and Núñez of being the heads of a major corruption network.

San Lazaro defeated Barrio Mejoramiento Social (Bameso) in the 45th National District Superior Basketball Tournament opening. Most of the best Dominican basketball players participate in the tournament. The general public was allowed inside the arena, keeping social distance protocols.

Read more in Spanish:

President Luis Abinader received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. As most Dominicans, he received a first dose of Sinovac/Coronavac vaccine. First Lady Raquel Arbaje and Vice President Raquel Peña had been vaccinated on Monday, 3 May 2021 with the same vaccine. The President and the First Lady had caught Covid-19 in June 2020.

The President got his shot at the Club San Carlos in the National District that is located near the Presidential Palace.

President Abinader urged all Dominicans 50+ to get vaccinated this week.

Read more in Spanish:

The Dominican government received 2 million Sinovac/Coronavac Covid-19 vaccine doses and 5 million syringes on 5 May 2021. The vaccines cost US$37,240,000. Vice President Raquel Peña explains the dose of the vaccine cost US$18.62 and have a transportation cost of US$0.63 each.

Vice President Raquel Peña and Public Health Minister Daniel Rivera were at the Las Americas International Airport to receive the shipment that arrived on board a TUIfly flight from Brussels, Belgium.

People’s Republic of China ambassador Zhang Run received the plane for the Chinese government.

The Dominican Republic has so far received 4,459,200 doses of vaccines, of which 4,318,000 have arrived from China through two companies, Sinovac and Sinopharm, representing 96%. From India, the Dominican Republic has received 50,000 Covishield (AstraZeneca vaccines) and 91,200...

Public Health Minister Daniel Rivera explains why the government has desisted from covering PCR tests for persons with ARS insurance plans. He was interviewed for the Corripio Media Group lunch on 5 May 2021.

The Ministry of Public Health says the PCR tests continue to be available for free at select points in Santo Domingo and Santiago. But previously, they had been covered by insurance and available at leading private labs – Referencia and Amadita. The government is in arrears with the labs for the coverage of the tests.

Public Health Minister Daniel Rivera said that the government had sought a reduction in the cost the labs are charging the government. He said the labs refused to reduce the prices they are charging. He explained the private lab PCR charges is much more than the cost of the Dominican state that is only US$10, and an antigenic test costs US$4...

The Dominican Constitutional Court ruled on Tuesday, 4 May 2021 that it is up to the parents to establish the order of surnames that their children will have when they are declared.

The historic sentence was issued in virtue of a case that had been pending for eight years: a petition by Romina Betsabe Santroni and Fernando Javier Figueroa, who had petitioned the court to declare the obligation to first place the father’s last name is in violation of the Constitution and Article 46 of Law No. 659, on Acts of Civil Status, of 17 July 1944, and Article 57 of the Dominican Civil Code.

The parents argued the articles violate the right to equality and consequently, the right to privacy, personal honor and family law.

The Constitutional Court ascertained that Dominican laws do not establish an order of surnames and ruled that the decision of whose surname goes first on a...

To commemorate the International Firefighters’ Day (4 May), the Ministry of Environment met with a group of businessmen and announced a plan to support the important work that these men and women have been doing to preserve trees, especially in protected areas of the country.

Environment Minister Orlando Jorge Mera and businessman José Miguel Bonetti highlighted the work carried out by the firefighters to preserve the forests and mountainous areas.

“I have said it on previous occasions, but this is a special date on which I must reiterate that forest firefighters are heroes of the environment who deserve all our recognition and support,” said Jorge Mera.

Donations are sought to better equip and fund the environmental firefighters.

In addition to Jorge Mera and representatives of the business sector, the activity was attended by several forest...

The Senate passed the two readings to eliminate the payment of inheritance taxes when a person inherits the pension funds left by a deceased affiliate. The decision will simplify the procedures and speed up the processes in favor of the relatives of deceased AFP pension holders. There is a bottleneck affecting 75,000 families that have not been able to have access to the funds.

The bill now needs to move to the Chamber of Deputies for approval.

Read more in Spanish:

Mapfre Salud announced on Wednesday, 5 May 2021 that it will reimburse affiliates for medical consultations if they are affected by the physician work stoppage announced by the Dominican Medical Association (CMD).

“The claims of the Dominican Medical Association (CMD) are beyond the competence of Mapfre Salud ARS, as well as that of any other insurance company, since the National Social Security Council is the institution that regulates the conditions of coverage, the governing body of the system, and of which the CMD itself is a member,” said Mapfre in a paid advertisement.

Meanwhile, Dr. Justo Nicasio, president of the Specialized Medical Societies, announced a nationwide healthcare services stoppage would affect the affiliates of Mapfre from 10 May to 16 May 2021. Dr. Nicasio is hopeful before then the situation can be resolved.

He reiterated that the protests against the...

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #412 reports 508 new PCR cases for the Tuesday, 4 May 2021 deadline. The cases reported compares to the 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases that is 394.

As per Bulletin #412, with the deadline of 4 May 2021, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 268,561 confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020. Labs carried out 4,157 first PCR tests. The number of PCR tests compares with the 14-day average now at 2,716.

The nationwide 4-week positivity rate is 11.72%, down from the previous day. The 24-hour positivity for the day is 12.22%, down from the day before.

The number of reported active Covid-cases increased to 35,599, up (+401) from the previous 24 hours. The number of active cases had been declining for the past five days.

The nation is immersed in a nationwide...

The Procurement Agency (DGCP) had annulled the contracting of the San Pedro de Macorís city government with a company owned by MLB baseball player Robinson Canó (RJC Clear) for irregularities in the contracting procedures. Nevertheless, the city government of San Pedro de Macoris says they will continue with the service. The decision of the Procurement Agency is in Resolution RIC-85-2021 that establishes multiple violations of Procurement Law 340-06.

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The Presidency announced the opening of 12 shelters for women that are victims of gender violence. The initiative is under the responsibility of the Ministry of Women. The government invested RD$200 million in the program. The shelter program covers women at risk and their children under 14 years of age. The shelters provide safe accommodations, food, health services, social, legal and psychological assistance, and have educational spaces for children.

President Abinader made the announcement at the Presidential Palace on 4 May 2021.

With the incorporation of these 12 new shelters, protection will be provided to approximately 7,735 women per year, representing an increase in coverage of 550% compared to what was available in the past government.

Abinader said that RD$300 million has been budgeted for the first-year operations of the shelters.

President...

The Customs Agency (DGA) director proudly announces that collections are up and spending is down. In a press release, Eduardo Sanz Lovaton reports that for the first four months of 2021, the DGA has exceeded the collection goals established by the Ministry of Finance by more than 30%. Furthermore, he said the entity from August 2020 to March 2021 has achieved administrative savings of RD$163.5 million.

The general director of Customs, Eduardo Sanz Lovatón, reported that between January and April 2021 it had collected a total of RD$53.57 billion which represents RD$12.79 billion more than budgeted.

Concerning administrative savings, the director says the greatest efficiencies have been in hiring, reducing representation expenses, rationalizing fuel expenses, and eliminating the use of bonds for various purposes.

Sanz Lovatón said that every month there...

President Luis Abinader has created the Committee for the Preservation of the Colonial City. The entity is responsible for decision-making for the management and administration of the patrimonial and urban heritage of the historic area.

The committee was created through Decree 283-21. It replaces the Patronato de la Ciudad Colonial, the Fondo para la Protección de la Ciudad Colonial and the Comisión Rectora de la Ciudad Colonial, designated under past governments.

The new entity is presided by the Minister of Tourism (David Collado). Other members are the Archdiocese of Santo Domingo (Francisco Ozoria), who will serve as vice-president, the Mayor’s Office of Santo Domingo (Carolina Mejía) will be the secretary and an executive director, who will serve as treasurer.

Other members are the Minister of Culture, who will be represented by the Director of...

The plenary of the Chamber of Deputies returned on Tuesday, 4 May 2021, the Penal Code bill of the Dominican Republic to the Permanent Justice Committee. The Penal Code had passed a first reading. A second reading was pending prior to it being sent to the Senate for approval.

The bill was criticized for being soft on corruption. It instated a maximum sentence of three years in jail for administrative corruption. Likewise, the revised Penal Code removed the penalties for the crime of complicity of government officials in crime, the most common in the history of corruption accusation. The legislators also removed making political parties responsible for criminal acts.

After the protests over the lax treatment of administrative corruption, the Chamber of Deputies president, Alfredo Pacheco (PRM-National District) instructed the president of the Justice Committee, Alexis Jimenez, to...

The Abinader administration has upped the National Budget allotment to the Dominican Rehabilitation Association (ADR) from RD$84 million to RD$140 million. ADR is the leading rehabilitation center in the Dominican Republic. For years, it did the work of the government. In 2020, Rehabilitación provided 810,551 services in the different modalities and treatments, or 61% of what they offered in 2019.

During the meeting, in which the 2020 financial report of the non-profit entity was released, it reflected total assets amounting to RD$1.43 billion, total liabilities of RD$254 million and equity of RD$1.17 billion.

During the most recent general assembly, the founder of ADR, Mary Perez de Marrazini was declared president ad vitam.

Her son, Celso Marranzini highlighted the support of the government, which despite the economic crisis...

Defense Minister Lieutenant General Carlos Luciano Díaz Morfa named 43-year old Air Force Colonel Roberto Acevedo Tejada to head the Specialized Tourism Security Corps (Cestur). Acevedo replaces Air Force Brigadier General Pilot Juan Carlos Torres Robiu, who is under investigation for corruption in the Coral Operation case. Tourism Deputy Minister Patricia Mejía was present for the announcement.

Acevedo Tejada was assigned to Cestur in 2015. Before, he had worked in the Tourist Police Corps (Politur). With more than 25 years in the military ranks, he has an extensive record of service in various areas of the military.

Colonel Acevedo Tejada held positions in the Ministry of Agriculture, the Special Commando Force Headquarters and the National Drug Control Agency (DNCD). He had served as commander of the Northern Air Command and deputy commander of the Special...

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #411 reports 389 new PCR cases for the Monday, 3 May 2021 deadline. The cases reported compare to the 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases that is 369.

As per Bulletin #411, with the deadline of 3 May 2021, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 268,070 confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020. Labs carried out 1,581 first PCR tests. The number of PCR tests compares with the 14-day average now at 2,360.

The nationwide 4-week positivity rate is 11.83%, down from the previous day, after weeks when it had gradually been increasing reflecting the mobility of the Easter Week holiday. The 24-hour positivity for the day is 24.60%, up from the day before.

The 24-hour positivity rate has been increasing now that only the very sick are carrying out PCR tests after the...

The governor of Dajabón announced the suspension of a meeting between Haitian and Dominican authorities on the irrigation canal under construction in Haiti to divert the Masacre River waters. On the Haitian side of the river, a canal has been dug to irrigate farmland in Ouanaminthe, Haiti. 

The Masacre River is born in the Dominican Republic and runs into Haiti before returning to Manzanillo in the Dominican Republic. The irrigation canal would affect the level of the waters.

Dajabón governor Rosalba Peña Rodríguez says that the governments decided that the conversations be between the ministers of foreign relations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, Claude Joseph and Roberto Alvarez. She said these have been in touch. 

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