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Daily News - Thursday, 17 July 2014

First Lady hosts Yoo Soon-Taek
First Lady Candida Montilla hosted Yoo Soon-Taek, the wife of Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, yesterday, 17 July 2014 at the Center for Integral Care (CAID) where persons with special needs are taught skills. Soon-Taek visited to accompany her husband, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on his two-day trip to the Dominican Republic. A video and tour were provided during the visit to the CAID.


Fingerprints not necessary for health plan drugs
The Superintendence of Health and Labor Risks (Sisalril) tells consumers that fingerprinting receipts for drugs is not necessary when purchasing these using ARS health plans. Fernando Caamano, superintendent for Sisalril, said that while fingerprinting required by some health providers or ARSs is well intentioned, as it seeks to better control costs and avoid frauds, it is not authorized by the Superintendence and therefore consumers do not need to abide by the requirement.

Global Environment Fund in the Dominican Republic
The Global Environment Fund has approved a fund for US$1.3 million to promote electricity-generated by biomass for industrial use in the Dominican Republic. The plan is to improve industrial competitiveness by reducing the cost of power for industries and at the same time reducing green house gas emissions.

The project "Stimulating Industrial Competitiveness through the Use of Biomass to Generate Electricity" will be developed by a public-private alliance over a period of four years, under the leadership of the National Energy Commission and the National Council of Export Free Zones. Also participating will be consultants from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.



Senate passes bill allows government to generate power
The government is authorized to own or indirectly participate in power generation through the Dominican Public Electricity Corporation (CDEEE). The law establishes the initiative is temporary providing for the government to supply the demand for power. It also relieves the state from the procedures of Government Procurement Law 340-06 when contracting generation projects under the new bill.


Ban Ki-moon asks Dominicans to take responsibility for Haiti government lapse
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations has asked the Dominican Republic to bear the burden for the lack of responsibility of the government in Haiti in providing legal documentation to those born in Haiti and their descendants.

Most people living in Haiti are "stateless" because the government has traditionally not given priority to providing documentation. As a result most people do not have any legal documentation. Another reason for lack of documentation in Haiti is the red tape and the fact that the government of Haiti charges for documentation contrary to the Dominican Republic where birth certificates and first IDs are free. This creates massive "stateless" situation when these people migrate to a country where documentation is an issue.

Speaking at the joint session of the General Assembly of legislators of the Dominican Republic yesterday, 16 July 2014, Ban Ki-moon called for all the men, women and children of Hispaniola to have the opportunity for a decent living and for the Dominican Republic to grant Dominican nationality to the "stateless" of the island. He disregarded that the Haitian constitution grants Haitian nationality to all born to a Haitian, regardless where the birth takes place. He also disregarded that the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic requires legal residence status for granting Dominican nationality to the offspring of a foreigner.

In response, president of the Senate Reinaldo Pared Perez asked the Secretary General of the United Nations "to help control the fragile and undefended border through which firearms, people and drugs are trafficked". He said that throughout the year, with ups and down, the Dominican Republic and Haiti have been able to keep brotherly relations and peaceful co-existence. He denied Haitians are discriminated for race or color. He said the country has confronted a serious migration problem for decades and after the issuing of ruling 168-13 of the Constitutional Court has been victim of an international campaign. Pared Perez read the Juan Pablo Duarte statement that calls for the separation of the country with the Haitian government and the instating of a free, sovereign and independent nation. This marked the independence of the Dominican Republic in 1844.

Pared Perez said that what the country has to do is adhere to the law. "Those that meet the conditions will receive documentation. Those that do not will need to regularize their status, not only the Haitians for all that live irregularly in our country," said the president of the Senate.

After the event in Congress, the secretary general of the United Nations met with officers of the Agency for Special Programs of the Presidency (Digepep) at the Edificio de Oficinas Gubernamentales. Ki-moon highlighted the importance of education, commenting that his mother never went to school, but took great pains to educate her children, and thanks to her today he is secretary general of the UN.

Ki-moon left at around 7pm by way of Las Americas International Airport, after a 48-hour visit on 15-16 July.





Fiscal Responsibility Bill to curb wasteful government spending
Economist Ernesto Selman called for the passing of a Fiscal Responsibility Bill to put a halt to unbridled borrowing by the government. The executive vice president of the Centro Regional de Estrategias Economicas Sostenibles (CREES), an economic think tank, highlighted that in the 90s, the public debt of the Non Financial Public Sector had dropped 27.9%. But from 2000 to April 2014, the government has increased the debt 639%. The debt is now at US$23.97 billion. Selman said prudent fiscal policies call instead for the government to not spend more than it receives. He calculated that government spending has increased six times when compared to 1990.

Another economist, Luis Loria urged the government pass the Fiscal Responsibility Bill that would include rules to regulate government spending and borrowing.

The Dominican Republic is ranked tops in wasteful spending in the world by the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2014.


La Informacion protests another Santiago municipality
In its editorial (Santiago versus Santiago Oeste) published on 16 July, La Informacion, the leading local Santiago newspaper, rejected the creation of the proposed Santiago West Municipality encompassing the Cienfuegos area in Santiago. This could be the start of Santiago following the model of Santo Domingo that was separated into four municipalities (Santo Domingo North, Santo Domingo Este, Santo Domingo Oeste and the National District).

Leading Santiago business groups have already expressed they reject creating more city bureacracy.

The newspaper editorialist comments that while Congress has divided the political geography of the nation creating sections, districts, municipalities, provinces, all these categories have only served to make city government less efficient, and have brought an increase in corruption and administrative chaos.

La Informacion says in its editorial that municipal administrations in the country are characterized by nepotism, lack of fulfillment of the Municipal Law, and promoting of particular business interests of persons in office contrary to the real role of the city government. Audits by the Chamber of Accounts have provided evidence on the many cases of municipal officers that have been accused of corruption and even criminal acts.

La Informacion urged the Senate to put a halt to the creation of new municipalities.

Last chance to make world volleyball championship
The Dominican Republic men's volleyball team has a last chance to qualify to play in the World's Men Volleyball Championship to take place in Poland in August. The qualifier will be played at the Guillermo Angulo Coliseum in Carolina, Puerto Rico from 17 to 20 July 2014.

Playing are Costa Rica, Guatemala, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

The competition will be played in a 'round robin' format and then the top two teams will play for the last spot to the World Championship on Sunday night July 20.

The Dominican Republic plays Guatemala on Thursday, Puerto Rico on Friday.

The winner of the playoff will join Cuba, United States, Canada and Mexico as representatives of the North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) at the World Championship in Poland.



Karl Towns wins prestigious Gatorade sports award
Dominican national basketball team player Karl Towns Jr. won the award for the United States National High School Athlete of the Year (2013-2014), and the national prep athlete of the year. He was honored on Tuesday, 15 July in a ceremony in Los Angeles, California sponsored by Gatorade. He was chosen for athletic excellence, academic achievement, exemplary character.

Towns is a 7-footer who will be playing with the University of Kentucky next year. At his St. Joseph High School in New Jersey, he led the team to three straight state titles. He plays for the Dominican Republic becoming a national through his mom who is from the DR.


Design Dominican Republic
The Center for Industrial Design of the Instituto Tecnologico de Santo Domingo (INTEC) and the Centro Cultural de Espana are hosting the Design Dominican Republic event at the Centro Cultural de Espana in the Colonial City. There are exhibits, workshops and conference, on the different disciplines of design, its role in the work force and repercussions in developing countries.

The presentations continue with the conference, "Follow your Instinct" on Thursday, 17 July at 7pm.

For more on the Design Dominican Republic program, read: http://www.disenord.com

Santo Domingo Theater Festival opens today
At the National Theater, with the showing of "The Womb of the Whale", the Santo Domingo International Theater Festival opens today. This is an adults only black humor, and looks into the tragedy of trafficking in organs, and the industry of wombs for hire. Productions from Colombia, Argentina, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, Venezuela and the United States (New York.)

The festival is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and is in its 8th year. The showings are at the National Theater at 7:30pm for the opening night and Friday, 18 July at 8:30, Saturday, 19 July at 8:30pm. Tickets are RD$100.


Fausto Rey at Lucia 203
Fausto Rey, the legendary romantic song singer, is booked for a performance on 26 July 2014 at the Bar Lucia 203 of Calle Hostos 203 in the Colonial City. Showtime is 9pm. Rey now lives in the United States and occasional returns to give concerts that are always enjoyed by the generations of Dominicans who remember his memorable songs.

Don Juan Tenorio at the National Theater
The Sala Ravelo of the National Theater presents a Dominican adaptation of the famous Spanish drama, Don Juan Tenorio. The adaptation is by Jose Zorilla. The play will be the weekend of 8-10 August at 8:30m on Friday, Saturday and Sundays at 6:30pm. The actors are Michelle Almanzar, Carmen Rodriguez, Esther Tejeda, Eleazar Acosta, Fernando Pucheu, Daniel Sosa, Alexander Corleone, Enmanuel Baez, Willy Taveras, among others.

For more on ongoing and upcoming events, see http://www.dr1.com/calendar

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