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Daily News - Tuesday, 02 September 2014

Medina sends bill to up incentives for manufacturing
The Executive Branch has sent a bill to Congress aimed at modifying Pro-Industria Law 392-07. The bill adds incentives for manufacturing, including a provision that would extends time given for renewal and modernization of industries that qualify. Art. 50 would be modified so that the provision that had set five years for the renewal of the companies is extended for an additional three years. The new bill establishes that during that time the industries can apply for a procedure for accelerated depreciation, thus duplicating the depreciation percentages that apply to the different asset categories. They will also be able to deduct investments made in machinery, equipment and technology for up to 50% of the taxable income.

The bill mandates industry will pay the Customs Agency (DGA) at a rate of 1% of ITBIS (VAT) on the import of raw materials detailed in Art. 24 of Law 557-05.

Herrera Industries Association (AEIH) president Victor Castro praised the Presidency for submitting the bill to Congress in response to requests made by manufacturers.

Peso stability forecast by Central Bank
In its 31 August 2014 report, the Central Bank forecasts that the exchange rate will be stable given the reduction in the fiscal deficit to levels higher than expected and better performance of external economic indicators. The Central Bank says that while government revenue has been greater than budgeted, there has been a moderation in government spending, which has resulted in the lower fiscal deficit, as reported in El Caribe.


New bills to Congress to benefit renewable energy
President Danilo Medina sent a bill to the Senate yesterday, Monday 1 September 2014 aimed at increasing the incentives in the National Renewable Energy law 57-07.

The bill modifies Art. 5 of the law, eliminating the limit on incentives for biomass production. The Executive Branch also submitted a proposal to change the same law so that it encompasses initiatives for the energy production from primary sources of urban solid waste and steam.

National Theater now to close in January 2015
The Ministry of Culture has announced that the National Theater Carlos Piantini main hall will remain open this year to honor commitments throughout the year. The closure was announced after a major rainstorm caused extensive leakage in the main hall. The Ministry of Culture had planned repairs for January 2015, but decided to rescind contracts to start the repairs early, only maintaining shows contracted by the Ministry itself.

But apparently pressures from promoters have made the Ministry to decide to continue with the original plan of closing in January 2015.

10% tip for take out?
ProConsumidor, the Dominican government consumer protection agency, has asked the Ministry of Labor to issue a resolution clarifying whether take out restaurant and food outlets should be charging their customers the 10% legal tip. Consumers have complained that the 10% should only be charged to customers who eat in the establishment, not for takeout, as reported in Diario Libre.

A spokesman for one food franchise said that the application of the charge began after the installation of the Tax Agency (DGII) integrated cashiers (impresoras fiscales).

Orquidea Nunez of the Herrera DGII office defended the charge, as reported in Diario Libre. She said staff still served the goods to the customer, even if they were for takeout.

Altagracia Paulino of ProConsumidor said that when the measure was included in the Labor Code there were not so many delivery or takeout services. She said she has been asking the Ministry of Labor to resolve the situation since she started in the post five years ago.

Many businesses use the income from the 10% tax to distribute additional revenues among employees given that they do not accumulate for severance payment. In some cases, the 10% received is more than the base salary.

No reason for chicken price increase
Consumer Association (ProConsumidor) director Altagracia Paulino says that there is no justification for the increase in the price of chicken as the cost of inputs has decreased in the international market.

According to international prices, a metric ton of corn costs US$182.70 that is US$26.60 less than in July last year. Soya flour, used in feed for the hens was RD$592 a metric ton in December 2013 but now has dropped to US$502.

However, the price being charged for a pound of chicken has now been increased by RD$13, from RD$45 per pound last month to between RD$55 and RD$60 at present, and even as much as RD$65 in some supermarkets.


Chaos for all
In her page 2 editorial column today, Tuesday 2 September 2014, Diario Libre's Ines Aizpun expresses her disbelief that the PLD, a party known for its rigid internal discipline, has been so lenient in allowing what she describes as "chaos" to affect Dominican society.

She highlights some examples, including the case of Central Romana versus those who claim to own lands on their properties, and Falcondo demanding the right to mine in Loma Miranda. She also mentions District Prosecutor for the National District Yeni Berenice Reynoso's complaint about the corruption of a justice system that does not want to admit her efforts to take former Minister of Public Works Victor Diaz Rua to trial. Or the case of the students at the National Music Conservatory protesting the noisy takeover of the park area by city Mayor Roberto Salcedo, and the Mercado Nuevo that is taken over by vendors who disrupt traffic flow. She also mentions that the city sidewalks have almost disappeared.


Protest against Loma Miranda park
Hundreds of people gathered at Km 83 of the Duarte Highway yesterday, Monday 1 September 2014 to urge President Danilo Medina to authorize Falconbridge Dominicana to start operating their mining concession in Loma Miranda.

Luis Rosado, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce and Production from Monsenor Nouel province had called on all shopkeepers to close their doors to customers from 2pm and news reports say that about 90% obeyed the call. He asked the President to take note of what is happening to businesses in the area and said that that the shutdown of Falcondo operations would lead to the closure of many others.


Shippers criticize ground transport monopoly
The Dominican Republic Shippers Association (ANRD) says that the Santiago labor court decision revoking the registration of unionized truckers to impose a monopoly on transport in Puerto Plata should be applied nationwide.

"A company owner in the Dominican Republic should be able to send and receive merchandise through our ports easily, but that does not happen. They are forced to use the unionized trucker ground transport, without being able to choose which company to transport the cargo," stated ANRD spokesman Teddy Heinsen, as reported in El Caribe.


Water levels rising in dams
National Institute of Hydraulic Resources (INDRHI) executive director Olgo Fernandez says that water levels have risen in almost all of the dams in the country, benefiting water supplies and electricity generation.

Fernandez listed the dams that have registered an increase as Lopez-Angostura, Contra Embalse de Moncion, Jimenoa, Rio Blanco, Valdesia, Aguacate, Sabaneta, Las Barias and Sabana Yegua.

He said that according to the weather forecast of fronts and tropical waves in the vicinity more rains are expected over the next few days, which will continue to increase water levels in the dams.

He pointed out that the dam in Sabana Yegua was being repaired to reduce flooding of the Yaque del Sur River.


Iberia returns to Santo Domingo
The Dominican Civil Aviation Institute (IDAC) has welcomed back the Spanish airline Iberia to the country as it restarted its Madrid-Santo Domingo route on Monday, 1 September 2014.

Iberia will fly to Las Americas International Airport (SDQ) five times a week with connections to more than 70 destinations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, using the new Airbus A330 planes with a capacity for 278 passengers.


Three suspects arrested in case of Jose Feliciano luggage theft
The Police have announced the arrest of three people in a case involving the theft of luggage from the Plaza Brisas Bavaro hotel in Punta Cana. Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Jose Feliciano was in Punta Cana with his wife when the luggage was stolen from his room. The Police recovered all his belongings, including his passport and credit card, but not the US$1,500 in cash, as reported in Diario Libre. Feliciano was in the DR to discuss making investments and a possible concert in December as well as a visit to the Punta Cana Music Academy in Cap Cana.

Police search for killers in Santiago
The National Police is investigating two people in connection with the killing of 38-year old Gilberto Deschamps, son of the regional director of the Ministry of Public Health in Santiago, Austria de la Rosa.

Yesterday, Monday 1 September 2014, Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito was in Santiago to personally assist in the investigation under the chief of the Police in Santiago, General Olivence Minaya.

Deschamps' body was found with shot through the left eye in La Brena, in Ingenio Abajo, in the north west of Santiago, covered by a tarpaulin from a BMW car. However, according to the police an SUV belonging to his mother was found burned out in Navarrete.

Cibao Central Police spokesman Colonel Damian Arias Matos said that the police had raided a home in Henriquez housing project and found a BMW from which the tarpaulin apparently came.

He revealed that the victim's wife, Elda Alfonsina Jimenez Onore, told investigators that Deschamps had turned up at her home at 3am with another man she could not identify, looked for a shotgun and then left.

His body was taken to the Forensic Science Institute in Santiago for autopsy.


Case dropped against Father Johnny for sexual abuse
The public prosecution service in Constanza has decided to provisionally archive the complaints against priest Juan Manuel Mota de Jesus (Father Johnny), after a yearlong investigation failed to provide evidence that he had sexually abused underage girls.

Several months ago a court in Bonao also dismissed charges against another priest, Alberto Zacarias Cordero Reyes, who was accused of seducing a minor.

Representatives from the prosecution office in Constanza said that there was not sufficient proof for a case and there was no possibility of any new elements appearing.

The underage girls who accused Father Johnny were Alejandra Soriano Reyes, Yuderkis Trinidad Reyes and Paula Capellan Corcino.

The priest has always denied the accusations and said he could demonstrate his innocence in court.


Dominican is third in equestrian event in Nanjing Youth Games
Dominican Maria Gabriela Brugal has won the bronze medal in jumps in the Youth Games taking place in Nanjing, China. She will next compete in the FEI World Jumping Challenge Final 2014 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Dominican Republic competed with 10 athletes in the event.



Victor Estrella returns victorious
Dominican tennis player Victor Estrella described his performance in the 2014 US Open in New York as "special" when he was spoke to the press yesterday, Monday 1 September 2014, on his return to the country at the Cibao International Airport in Santiago.

The 34-year old player, who made it to the third round of the US Open said that the response he received from the Dominican crowd was excellent, as well as all the messages of support he received via social media.

He said that he was pleased to have competed against highly ranked players and now he was ranked 69th in the world, which was a dream come true.

Estrella said that he would now have a couple of days off and then get back into training for competitions in South America and Europe. His next competition will be in Ecuador.


Led Zeppelin Tribute Band at the Terrazas del Meson
The Led Zeppelin Tribute Band will be entertaining rock fans at Terrazas del Meson de la Cava in Santo Domingo this evening, Tuesday, 2 September 2014 from 8:30pm. Go for dinner and enjoy some good music. Av. Mirador Sur No. 1, Tel 809-930-1840.

La estrategia at Sala Ravelo
The drama, The Strategy, opens at the National Theater's Sala Ravelo on 26 September. The play is directed by Johnnie Mercedes, with leading roles by Karina Larrauri, Karina Valdez, Gabi Desangles, Mangui Rodriguez, Evelyna Rodriguez and Cindy Galan. The play focuses on abused women, and is a tale of intrigue.

Art of Living: The Planet Meditates 2014
Thousands of people will gather at 4pm Plaza de Espana in Santo Domingo on Sunday, 21 September for an afternoon of meditation for world peace. The event is organized by The Art of Living branch in the Dominican Republic as part of a global event being organized by the Art of Living foundation in 100 countries.

The event is described as the largest worldwide simultaneous meditation for peace event.

Event coordinator Carmen Julia Gomez Carrasco says that the event seeks to promote peace in our minds as a step to reaching peace in society.

"It is scientifically proven that feelings are contagious and when a significant number of individuals can become serene, we strengthen the culture of peace for the rest of society."

The Art of Living organizes activities to achieve a stress-free mind, a disease-free body and a violence-free society.

The event, which has the sponsorship of the Ministry of Tourism, is being held in support of the United Nations "International Peace Day" celebrated 21 September every year to strengthen the ideals of peace among all nations.

The event is free and no previous experience is required.

There will be music from the group Ciguapiando, stretching exercises and breathing exercises as part of the event. If you plan to attend, bring your own yoga mat if you have one, or a large towel or blanket for placing on the ground, and wear comfortable clothing

For more information, contact Arte de Vivir on 809-338-4404, 809-982-5705 (Carmen Julia Gomez cell phone), or by writing to [email protected].

Read more about Art of Living in the Dominican Republic at http://www.artofliving.org/do-es

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

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