The director of the Department of “Espectaculos Publicos”, the government entity that regulates what is seen and heard on television and radio in the D.R., says that there are not enough resources available to do an acceptable job. Venecia Joaquin told television producer Freddy Beras Goico on his program “Gordo de la Semana” that Espectaculos Publicos does not have video recorders necessary to monitor local television programming, nor does it have sufficient personnel to detect all that is considered unacceptable to the regulators and the public in general.
Mrs. Joaquin explained that the department works on a budget of RD$55,000 per month, with 33 employees making between RD$1,000 and RD$2,000. She called those who work in Espectaculos Publicos “volunteers” because of the extremely low salaries and the fact that they must have other jobs in order to survive.
The interview with Mr. Beras Goico stems from a controversy between the two over the recent prohibition of a satirical depiction of homosexuals on television before 9 pm. Mr. Beras Goico, whose popular program “Punto Final”, does not begin until 9:30 pm, decided to suspend the portrayal of two of his satirical characters as a protest against the measure, since in his opinion they do not demean nor humiliate homosexuals in any way.
Mrs. Joaquin has been in the news during the last year for prohibiting several merengue songs with heavy sexual and drug overtones, and for forcing the modification of a very suggestive television commercial by a local rum producer.