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Daily News - Thursday, 15 May 2014

Foreigner legalization plan starts in June
The Medina government is working towards starting the National Foreigner Legalization Plan in June 2014, announced National Migration Council (CNM) chairman, the Minister of Interior & Police Jose Ramon (Monchi) Fadul. The plan was ordered by the controversial Constitutional Court Ruling 168-13, issued in September 2013. The plan seeks to legalize the status of all people living in the Dominican Republic. Hundreds of thousands of Dominicans as well as foreigners in the country live without legal documentation. During the process the authorities will probably issue more documentation to Dominicans than to foreigners, as there are hundreds of thousands who live here without documentation and are being given a fast-track opportunity to legalize their status. Many people in poor communities were not registered at birth, so when they grew up it was impossible for them to get birth certificates for their own children, creating an underclass that the plan seeks to correct.

Fadul announced that the forms have been printed and the offices are being installed at the provincial governors' offices. An advertising campaign will explain the steps, where to go and the human rights guarantees. Nevertheless, Fadul said that foreigners who do not regularize their status would be subject to deportation. The plan was ordered by the President in Decree 327-13.

The government announced that it has submitted today, 15 May 2014, a bill to the Chamber of Deputies that would provide for a special naturalization regime for persons born in the Dominican Republic but irregularly registered in the Dominican Civil Registry.



Senate approves CDEEE's return to power generation
The Senate has passed a bill that restores the Public Electricity Corporation (CDEEE) right to temporarily represent the state as promoter and/or participant in direct or indirect power generation.

The bill establishes that the negotiation and closing of deals for generation through the CDEEE will be exempt from the terms established under government procurement law 340-06. The law amends rules incorporated in General Electricity Law 125-01 that had privatized power generation with the exception of hydroelectric power generation.



Merca Santo Domingo fully open
President Danilo Medina was at Merca Santo Domingo today. The Ministry of Agriculture has announced that the wholesalers' market that is located on the outskirts of Santo Domingo is now officially open, as reported in Hoy. The government says that RD$5.2 billion was spent to build the country's largest wholesale produce center over 12 years. It was built in an area of 1.2 million square meters.

Nevertheless, the government reports that the complementary retail markets in Cristo Rey and Villas Agricolas will not be operating, due to the National District city government's lack of capacity. Meanwhile, the recently renovated Villa Consuelo retail market is only operating at half of its capacity.

Former President Hipolito Mejia ordered the construction of the market during his government. Former President Leonel Fernandez inaugurated Merca Santo Domingo in 2012, although it had not yet been completed. It was financed with two loans of US$69 million from the Deutsche Bank of Spain (2002) and US$45 million. It was built and set up by Consorcio Mercasa Incatema Consulting and Empresa Nacional Mercada, two Spanish companies specializing in wholesale market operations in Spain.

The market wholesalers must deliver clean goods. This is seen as an obstacle because of the high cost of the machinery. As reported in Diario Libre, in Constanza, only one farm producer has such installations.


Get your ID renewed on the weekend
Central Electoral Board (JCE) president Roberto Rosario has announced that starting next week the civil registration department will be issuing the new IDs for Dominicans on Saturdays and Sundays. He made the announcement when delivering the new ID to PUCMM University rector Monsignor Agripino Nunez Collado. A mobile unit is issuing IDs for university students and employees at the Santo Domingo campus, and Rosario announced that a similar center would soon be operating at the PUCMM in Santiago.

He also called for legal foreign residents to apply in time for their renovations. He said that US citizens make up the largest group of foreign residents.

The JCE president said that they are in discussion with the Ministry of Tourism and the Hotels & Tourism Association with a view to installing mobile units to help hotel employees obtain their IDs.

Public schools will no longer require original birth certificates
The Ministry of Education says that parents will no longer have to request original birth certificates through the usual civil registry offices of the Central Electoral Board (JCE) for the new school year that begins in August. A new JCE-Ministry of Education IT program links public schools with the JCE's identity registry records. Each student will be issued with a unique number that will become their ID number when they turn 16. The measure will save a considerable amount of time and money for parents who used to have to spend long hours obtaining the document.

The JCE added that it would no longer be mandatory to legalize the documents backing the new ID cards.

Cecanot offers quality medicine, says leading surgeon
During a recent visit to Santo Domingo, a leading European brain surgeon, Vinko Dolenc, visited the Luis E. Aybar Public Hospital's Centro Cardio-Neuro-Oftalmologico y Transplante (Cecanot) and praised the high quality of medical care being practiced there. The neurosurgeon encouraged the government to continue investing in the center, which he said could become a regional center for excellence in neurosurgery. He spoke highly of the medical team there that is led by Dr. Jose Joaquin Puello. He was accompanied by Senate president Reinaldo Pared Perez during his visit. Pared Perez presented Dolenc with an award in recognition of his contributions to the center.

Dr. Dolenc is an active member of 23 national and international neurosurgical associations and is a respected speaker around the world.

He is especially known for his pioneering work on the microanatomy and surgical compartments of the brain. Until his recent retirement, he was head of the Neurosurgery Department of the University Medical Center Ljubljana, in Slovenia.


There are debts, and there are debts
Today's Diario Libre editorial, Thursday 15 May focuses on the way the government has been constantly taking on debt. "Not all debts are bad," writes the editorialist, making the point that for both people and businesses borrowing is a need, not only in times of crisis, but as circumstances may require. "When the loans are used for capital investments or necessary spending, and they are within the paying range of the borrower, these debts are not bad."

But there are debts that are not justified, as they are bad for people and for the state. These debts become non-reproductive liabilities that are spent in the present, but will have to be repaid by future generations without having receiving any benefits.

The quality of the borrowing, capacity to repay and the use of the money borrowed by the government need to be analyzed, writes the editorialist.


Puerto Plata to get windmill farm
Poseidon Energia Renovable (Poseidon Renewable Energy) will be setting up the first wind farm in Puerto Plata at Los Guzmancito in the municipality of Luperon. A total of 55 windmills will be installed in a first phase in the 800,000m2 area. The completed park will have capacity to generate 100 megawatts.

President Medina is expected to attend the symbolic start of installation on 20 May. The park will represent an estimated US$59 million per year in fuel savings. The project includes the installation of a power transmission line and the construction of an electricity substation.


Doubts that ship found is the real Santa Maria
Minister of Culture Jose Antonio Rodriguez says they are following Barry Clifford's announcement of the possible discovery of the remains of Christopher Columbus' flagship in his discovery of America trip with special interest. History in the Dominican Republic has always taught that the remains of the ship were used to build the Nativity Fort at the La Isabela settlement, marking the grounding of the ship on 25 December 1492. This version is based on the diary of Christopher Columbus himself.

Research is underway into the veracity of the claim that the ship found off the coast of Haiti in depths of just six meters could be the Santa Maria. As reported, many other Santa Marias came to the area in subsequent years, including one on which Columbus traveled on his fourth trip to the island.

Clifford became famous after having found the Whydah, a complete pirate ship.



Three die in fuel tanker blaze in southwest
A fuel freight truck driver and his two assistants died in a blaze yesterday, Wednesday 14 May. Heavy rain was hampering visibility, and the driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into an electricity pole on the road between Mella and La Colonia in the southwestern province of Independencia. The truck was transporting G-30 fuel to Haiti.

The tragedy occurred in the La Colonia sector of Duverge. The three victims were the driver and his two assistants who were trapped in the truck cabin.

Mancedo and Reyes win for the DR at the American Track League
Twenty one-year old Maria Mancebo broke the national record when competing in the 3,000- meter steeplechase at the American Track League Meet at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville on Friday, 9 May. Her time was 9:54.08, which makes her the first Dominican women to run the race in less than 10 minutes. Mancedo studies management at the Universidad Interamericana in Puerto Rico under trainer Jose Ludwig Rubio, who also coaches Luguelin Santos, silver medallist in 400m in the London 2012 Olympics.

Tayron Reyes of the Dominican Republic won the men's 800-meter run in 1:48.13 seconds in the meet.




Fefita La Grande gets her US visa
70-year old Manuela Josefa Cabrera (Fefita la Grande) had said she would not believe it until she had it in her hands, but it is finally true. After 13 years of being banned from traveling to the US, the grassroots merengue performer will again be able to play for her fans in New York. Fefita la Grande had been banned after committing immigration fraud to help a friend. It was announced that she would begin a first tour in New York to celebrate her 50 years as a merengue accordionist. She will then tour Boston and other US cities.

Pre-World Volleyball Cup in La Romana
The Dominican women's team is bidding for a slot in the 2014 World Volleyball Cup at the FIVB Women's Volleyball World Championship Qualification Tournament Norceca taking place at the Eleoncio Mercedes Arena in La Romana starting at 7pm today, Thursday 15 May. The Dominicans are the favorites to win the slot for the World Volleyball Cup that will take place in eight Italian cities in September.

Team captain Bethania de la Cruz has just returned from playing in the South Korean volleyball league where her team won and she was voted the Most Valuable Player of the All Star Game of the Korean Volleyball League. The DR is ranked 8th in women's volleyball by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) and number two of the Norceca league.

Team members are Jineiry Martinez, Marianne Fersola, Brenda Castillo, Niverka Marte, Candida Arias, Rosalyn Angeles, Erasma Moreno, Yonkaira Pena, Gina Mambru, Bethania la Cruz, Ana Binet and Brayelin Martinez. Their coach is Marcos Kwiek of Brazil.

Teams from El Salvador, Guadeloupe, Nicaragua and hosts Dominican Republic are competing in the Group P. Nicaragua is ranked No. 10 in Norceca, El Salvador is in 17th place while Guadeloupe is 32nd.

The tournament is played in a round-robin format before the first and second placed teams compete for the ticket to Italy.

The second-ranked team from the tournament and from four other Norceca third round competitions will get a chance to win the ticket to Italy in a final playoff to take place in Trinidad and Tobago from 2-9 June.

The Dominican Republic is one of the five seeded Norceca teams in the final phase of the continental qualification process that began in 2012. The others are United States, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Canada.

Competition Schedule:

May 15
5pm El Salvador vs. Nicaragua
7pm Dominican Republic vs. Guadeloupe

May 16
5pm Nicaragua vs. Guadeloupe
7pm Dominican Republic vs. El Salvador

May 17
5pm Guadeloupe vs. El Salvador
7pm Dominican Republic vs. Nicaragua

May 18
4pm Third Place vs. Fourth Place
6pm First Place vs. Second Place

For more on upcoming events, see www.dr1.com/calendar

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