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Daily News - Wednesday, 28 May 2014

National chikungunya day
President Medina met with 17 government officials at the Presidential Palace yesterday, Tuesday 27 May 2014, to step up efforts to eliminate mosquito breeding areas to slow the pace of spreading of the chikungunya virus nationwide. Medina announced that this Friday, has been designated national chikungunya day to raise public awareness. Some 300 to 400,000 volunteers are expected to participate in the event.

The Ministers of Education, Public Health, State Works, Administrative to the Presidency, Agriculture and Environment, the director of the National Housing Institution (INVI), the supervisor of State Works, of Water Resources (INDHRI), of Santo Domingo Water and Sewage (CAASD), of the National Water and Sewage Institute (INAPA), State Electricity (CDEEE) and others attended the meeting.


Globalia wants to build more hotel rooms
Spanish investor Juan Jose (Pepe) Hidalgo, president of Globalia has announced that the company will be increasing its investment in the Dominican Republic.

Following a meeting with President Danilo Medina in the Presidential Palace yesterday, Tuesday 27 May, he said that they would soon be expanding the number of hotel rooms they had in the country by 1,500 if legal matters are resolved in the Uvero Alto area, in northern Punta Cana. The company's hotels operate under the BeLive brand. He announced that the renovations and expansions at the Hotel Canoa in Bayahibe would be completed by December 2014.

Hidalgo, who is also president of Air Europa, currently the leading carrier for the Spanish market, announced that he and President Medina had discussed the need for better connections between San Juan, Puerto Rico and Santo Domingo as well as with Europe. This, he said, would enable tourists to spend three days in Santo Domingo and four in Puerto Rico.

Hidalgo is interested also in offering flights from Santo Domingo to New York and return. Hidalgo was accompanied by Matias Sanchez, investment director for Globalia in the Dominican Republic, Paco Perez, regional director and Javier Blanco, director of Be Live Hotels. He explained his company investment is around US$450 million, and some 4,000 persons are employed in the Dominican Republic.


Schools opened in Hermanas Mirabal
President Danilo Medina inaugurated another 37 classrooms yesterday, Tuesday 27 May in the north-central province of Hermanas Mirabal (Salcedo) where 1,295 students will now benefit from the extended school day program.

The President attended an inaugural ceremony at the Julian Javier High School in Tenares. Other schools that are ready are Maria Dolores Zeno school in Conuco, and the Antonio Villar, Ignacio Marte Guzman and Ana Capellan primary schools and the Altos de Piedra polytechnic.

The schools have science laboratories, IT areas, libraries, administrative areas and kitchens and dining rooms.

Minister of Education Carlos Amarante Baret and the director of the Office of Supervising Engineers for State Works, Miguel Pimentel Kareh, spoke during the inaugural ceremonies.


First Lady presents top award to La Vega mom
First Lady, Candida Montilla has presented over the First Prize in the Exemplary Mother Award 2014 to Ana Iris Caceres Santos, from Jima Abajo, La Vega.

A further 25 mothers from the capital and the National District were honored during the event held at the El Embajador Hotel in Santo Domingo on Monday 26 May, bringing the total number of women who have taken part in the event around the country to 100.

Montilla has already held ceremonies in Santiago for the north, Bani for the south and La Romana for the east.

Ana Iris Caceres Santos, the overall winner, said that she had raised her eleven brothers and sisters after they were all orphaned, and then her own three children. They are all contributing to society now, academically, in the community and as good human beings.


BanReservas signs agreement with China
The general administrator of the Banco de Reservas, Enrique Ramirez Paniagua, has announced that the governmental bank has signed a series of financial cooperation agreements with public and private banks in the People's Republic of China.

Ramirez Paniagua declared that these agreements would lead to better connections between both countries, especially in the import and export sectors and for companies engaged in bilateral business.

He went on to say that transnational payments in the Chinese currency, the yuan, would also be easier and that the Chinese were interested in Dominican products, especially cigars, tobacco, coffee, ginger, rum and cocoa.


ANJE urges better controls on public spending
The National Association of Young Entrepreneurs (ANJE) has renewed its call for improved controls on public spending. ANJE says that the government urgently needs to comply with Art. 25 and 36 of the National Development Strategy 2030 Law and enact a fiscal responsibility bill to establish consequences for omissions and deviations in the management of government revenues. "The country will not develop if the principal manager of the public funds, the government, acts without controls, without accountability, without consequences, executing public funds outside of the law," says ANJE in a press release.

ANJE observes that the Ministry of Hacienda has yet to publish information on the implementation of the 2013 National Budget, in violation of Law 423-06 on the National Budget. It describes the Chamber of Accounts report on last year's budgetary execution as "alarming". The report detected deficiencies, omissions and deviations in registration of spending and public debt that affects the credibility of the reports presented by the government and could distort the reality.


Chamber of Deputies says procurement adhered to the law
In response to widespread criticism, the Chamber of Deputies is insisting that the purchases made with RD$176 million pesos for Mothers' Day gifts to their constituents were in line with Law 340-06.

A press release by the Chamber says that the process was supervised by its procurement committee made up of five members and that the articles were bought from 19 companies that could be verified from the document attached to the press release.

The note went on to say that any member of the public could check the Register of State Providers and see that all of the purchases were made via the Integrated Financial Management System.

The release is in response to investigative journalism feature published by Diario Libre looking into irregularities in the companies that were favored with the tender for the purchase of the appliances. A Diario Libre newspaper editorial also highlighted that donating appliances is not one of the official functions of state legislators.


Satellite launch capsule found on beach
According to Air Force Colonel Enmanuel Souffront Tamayo, director of the Aircraft Accident Investigation Commission, an object discovered on a beach in Higuey resembling aircraft fuselage is in fact a satellite launch capsule from Arianespace Services & Solutions, makers of satellites and based in French Guyana.

He said that they had contacted the company for confirmation, and that these parts are usually destroyed in space but on rare occasions they fall into the ocean or onto land, which is what had happened in this case.

The satellite launch capsule was found last Sunday, 25 May on Playa Blanca beach in Boca de Yuma, Higuey.


Bomb scare causes airport chaos
It turned out to be a hoax, but a telephone call received at Las Americas International Airport control tower yesterday afternoon, Tuesday 27 May saying there was a bomb on board a Jetairfly plane from Brussels led to a major upheaval in flight operations. The Santo Domingo airport was closed to incoming and outgoing flights, and each of the 274 passengers and their luggage were checked by the canine unit and others under the airport security (CESA).

AILA communications director Yolanda Manan said that the airport emergency contingency plan was activated after the call.

She said that the first phone call warning that there was a bomb on board was received at 3:29pm. A subsequent detailed search of the airplane and passenger did not uncover any explosive device. Subsequently another call was received. State investigation organizations have worked to trace the two calls that were made from locations in Santo Domingo.

Manan said that whilst the search was going on, flights were suspended and the airport closed, affecting American Airlines (Miami), JetBlue (San Juan, Puerto Rico), Air Europa (Madrid) and Delta Airline (New York) flights and the JetairFly return flight to Brussels.




More illegal Haitians arriving
A total of 600 illegal Haitians have been returned to Haiti over the last five days, after being caught crossing the border by the Dominican army.

They were arrested by armed forces agents based in Dajabon under their new commander, Colonel Daniel Camino.

Camino said that since he took over command he has made it a priority to control the border, especially human trafficking and contraband.

The would-be migrants were trying to enter the Dominican Republic using areas where it is easy to cross the border such Santiago de la Cruz, Copey Canongo, La Aviacion, Don Miguel and La Vigia.

Since the Regularization and Naturalization Plan was approved, the number of undocumented Haitians arriving in the country has increased as rumors have been circulating that all Haitians in the DR, regardless of whether they are here illegally, will be given Dominican residence.

As well as arresting people trying to cross the border, a minibus was stopped in Mao taking 25 illegal immigrants from Haiti to Santiago. They were also repatriated.


Two more writs against same plastic surgeon
Plastic surgeon Edgar Contreras, who has been the subject of several malpractice suits, is once again being accused. Ana Felicia Rodriguez Nunez, 48 has filed a writ against him via her lawyers Jaime King Cordero and Eddy Guillermo Soto.

She says that she underwent liposuction and an abdominoplasty on 20 February but following the procedures she suffered fever, low blood pressure and breathing difficulties and had to be taken to the Center for Diagnosis, Advanced Medicine and Medical Conferences (CEDIMAT) by ambulance.

There it was discovered that medical errors had taken place and she was suffering from a bacterial infection that came from the operating room in the Contreras plastic surgery clinic.

Last week, another patient, Gissel Yorel also issued a writ against Contreras via her lawyer, Amin Polanco.


Coming in September: Invest in DR Forum
The Dominican Republic Center for Export and Investments (CEI-RD) wants to spread the word that the Dominican Republic is a good place for foreign investment. From 4-5 September 2014, the CEI-RD will host "Invest in DR Forum". Mexican businessman Carlos Slim, owner of Claro-Codetel, is expected to attend, said CEI-RD director Jean Alain Rodriguez. The agenda includes lectures, talks, investment opportunity presentations, and matching opportunities for investment. Rodriguez says they are inviting 5,000 of the largest companies from 50 countries around in the world. President Danilo Medina will attend the opening, which is scheduled to coincide with the inauguration of the JW Marriott Hotel.

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

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