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Daily News - Thursday, 27 November 2014

DGII reports 300,000 have renewed stickers; 700,000 remain
The director of the Department of Motor Vehicles of the Tax Agency (DGII) Virginia Gomez reported that as of this date around 300,000 vehicle owners have renewed their stickers or "marbetes", as reported in the Nuevo Diario.

She motivated the owners of vehicles to purchase the renewal stickers authorizing the vehicle to circulate. The official indicated that so far only 30% of the nation's vehicles have renewed.

The sticker can be renewed at the DGII website, and the online service will deliver the sticker to your house within 5 days. Renewal is also possible at authorized savings and loan associations around the country.

The cost for the renewal of the "circulation tax" is RD$1200 for vehicles from years 2009 and previously and RD$2200 for newer vehicles.

At the present time, Gomez says that DGII offices that were set up to provide this service are practically empty so that there will be little or no waiting. After 31 December 2014 there will be a RD $600 late charge and there will be no online service.


Pro Consumidor alerts imported bread may have potassium bromate
The director of the National Institute for the Protection of Consumer Rights (Pro Comsumidor) issued a call on Wednesday afternoon for residents to check for potassium bromate when buying imported bread. The ingredient is illegal in the European Union, Canada, Brazil and the DR after it was found to cause cancer in rats and mice, but is legal in the United States.

Altagracia Paulino, director of Pro Consumidor, the government consumer protection agency, warned "consumers not to buy it, nor to consume it."

Paulino was reacting to a complaint made by the Union of Medium and Small Flower Industries regarding bread being imported with the ingredient.

She explained that on Thursday there was a meeting of Pro Consumidor with the Ministry of Public Health to decide on the actions that would be taken regarding the sale of these items locally.

Only some transporters reduce fares
On some intercity urban bus routes fare reductions of RD$10 and RD$25 have been made, in compliance with agreements reached with the Technical Office of Ground Transportation (OTTT), as reported in Diario Libre.

Diario Libre reporters found RD$25 had been cut in the fare between Santo Domingo and Higuey, for instance. Passengers now can pay RD$250 instead of RD$275.

Apolinar Tolentino, a driver who carries passengers to La Romana feels that the government should continue lowering the price of fuel. He said then the transporters would reduce fares even more. One of his passengers, Orlando Payan, commented: "With the cost the fuels have on the international market, a more substantial reduction should be made for the clients. Ten pesos is very little."

A trip between Santo Domingo and Nagua costed RD$300, and now is RD$290. From Santo Domingo to Santiago, the cost is now RD$240 instead of RD$250. The trip between Santo Domingo and La Vega costs RD$190, when it previously was RD$190.

TSE turns down appeal for annulment
The Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE) declared as inadmissible by law a demand for annulment of the proclaimed winners of the XXX National Ordinary Convention of the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD) held last 20 July 2014.

Likewise, the high court said that it was evident that the plaintiff, Guido Orlando Gomez Mazara, did not correctly exhaust the procedures for challenging the results inside the political organization. He erred in starting the challenge before the National Organizing Commission (CNC), when according to Article 19 of the Conventions Regulations, that court is the second level of internal jurisdiction. Gomez skipped the first level of jurisdiction, the Local Organizing Commissions of the Convention (CLOs). By doing this, he violated the statutory mandates and regulations.

The tribunal told Diario Libre reporters that the intervention of the high court is conditioned to the claimant having previously exhausted the dispute resolution bodies according to the internal rules of the party.

Fallout from Banco Peravia collapse
The District Attorney of the National District Yeni Berenice Reynoso says that her department is waiting for the Superintendence of Banks to provide them with the technical report regarding the real situation at the Banco Peravia, so that they can speed up the process of investigation and request coercive measures to guarantee that the defendants are present in the judicial process to follow.

She revealed that so far 22 complaints against the executives of the Banco Peravia have been received. The complaints accuse bank officers of crimes that range from fraud to money laundering.

But El Nuevo Diario reports that the Superintendence of Banks says that it had not received a request for the report from the District Attorney of the National District.

News reports indicate that some of the principal executives of the Banco Peravia have left the country, in the midst of the claims by dozens of depositors that have requested their savings after the Superintendence of Banks announced the liquidation of the financial entity this week.

According to information from departure records at the Las Americas International Airport, Venezuelans Jose Luis Santoro and Gabriel Arturo Jimenez Aray left the country on 29 October and 20 November, respectively. Santoro traveled to Panama on flight 107 of COPA Airlines. According to the departure registry of the Department of Migration at Las Americas, Jimenez Aray, identified as the principal executive of the Banco Peravia, left on 20 November on flight 324 of Delta Airlines to Atlanta, Georgia.

Meanwhile, the Superintendent of Banks Luis Armando Asuncion said that the government will proceed according to the Monetary Law. He said there is a contingency reserve fund. The Monetary Law guarantees savings up to RD$500,000. As reported in El Nacional, the bank had 7,274 depositors and most with deposits of less than RD$500,000. Many were Venezuelans.



Haitians replace Dominicans on the border with Haiti
In the Population Census for the years 2002 and 2010, there were population increases in four border provinces and decreases in three.

The director of the Department of Border Development, Miguel Bejaran says that the increases were due to immigration of Haitians. "Since the Census did not determine nationalities, I dare to say, because I have seen it with my own eyes, that what has occurred is a displacement of the nationality of people," said Miguel Bejaran. He assured reporters that in various schools of border cities 80% of the students are Haitians.

During his participation in the panel "National Development and Mining Potential of the Border Area", during the first Border Forum of the Ministry of Energy and Mines, the official supported his comments on comparative data of the 2002 and 2010 census.

The population between these periods in the seven provinces considered to be on the border with Haiti increased by 15,468, going up from 460,088 to 475,556. The provinces where the number of inhabitants has increased are Bahoruco, that added 5,833 new persons, reaching 97,313; Dajabon, with 1,909 more for an increase to 63,955; Independencia, with 1,756 more people, for a total of 52,589, while Pedernales increased 10,380 and now has 31,587 inhabitants.

On the other hand, in Elias Pina population fell by 850 persons, going to 63,029; Montecristi's population dropped by 1,407, down to 109,607 inhabitants, and Santiago Rodriguez lost 2,153 people and is at 57,476 inhabitants.

Beharan stressed that there is much poverty in these provinces. "Just among the youth, those between 15 and 35 years of age, the immigration to other cities is more than 70%. Entire families migrate, and only the elderly and the parents remain, he said.

US ambassador Brewster urges attack on corruption
The United States ambassador to the Dominican Republic James (Wally) Brewster, speaking before the local membership of the American Chamber of Commerce on occasion of the traditional Thanksgiving Day luncheon on Wednesday 26 November 2014, called for more involvement from business leaders in Dominican national affairs.

In his talk on "A Time for Global Transition: Are You Ready," Brewster said that the Dominican Republic is "at a pivotal moment in Dominican history."

He challenged business leaders to make more contributions to the improvements the DR needs. "Having moved decisively beyond a domestic-centered economy, the Dominican Republic is more integrated economically and socially with the rest of the world than ever before," he stated.

He challenged individual business leaders: "You are the engine that drives the economy; that provides the salaries for your employees and contributes to the tax base of the government. Your responsibility does not stop there; you must participate in the conversation with your government leaders and insist on cultural and social change that promotes long term solutions for a strong and stable democracy, a democracy that will allow your businesses to compete, to flourish and to profit."

Brewster called for Dominican society to confront corruption. "It is imperative to adopt a no-tolerance policy for corruption in the public and private sector," he stated. "If you see someone participating, they are taking money out of your pocket now and in the future. Corruption is the ultimate in selfishness and is theft from society."

Brewster stressed: "No one in this room can afford to sit on the sidelines and hope for change. Ask more from your government and yourselves to help create favorable conditions for Dominican industries to compete internationally and for society as well as your personal futures to prosper."

During the talk, he gave an overview of US government local programs. He spoke of the support of the US government to projects in education, human rights, energy, trade, narco trafficking, environment and citizen security. He mentioned the interception and destruction of US$50 million in drugs that would have entered the DR and the US. He highlighted that text for a new extradition treaty had been agreed on to modernize strong law enforcement cooperation.

"This will help in putting away not just the drug lords but other thugs and criminals hurting our societies," he said. He said soon another treaty would be announced that would be the first of its kind in Latin America.

Brewster highlighted the success of the 911 center with cooperation from the US government. "This center demonstrates to everyone what can be achieved when a government sets its mind to providing better resources that contribute to the lives of its citizens," said Brewster. He announced that additional support would be forthcoming to expand the service to Santiago, the country's second largest city.

Brewster also highlighted the multi-phase Customs Modernization and Border Management Program that fosters customs-reform dialogues between business and government stakeholders. He had praise for the American Chamber of Commerce's trade Facilitation Committee for its ongoing support to the program.

He spoke of backing from the US Department of Agriculture to enhance Dominican farm competitiveness. Likewise, he mentioned the US government Caribbean Energy Security Initiative for working to improve energy security through a comprehensive approach to energy that includes policy reforms, technical improvements, smart investments and responsible environmental stewardships.

He commented on US Embassy support to promote the DR to US companies as a place to do business through different programs, including the National Export Initiative (NEXT).

Brewster also called for Dominican businessmen to invest in the USA. He said he would be leading a delegation to the next Select USA Investment Summit in Washington, D.C. on 23-24 March 2015. "If you run a business and are considering opening or expanding operations in the US, the Select USA Summit is a must," he said.

Brewster also highlighted the positive change in facilitating getting visas with better customer service.

He highlighted contributions made to education, through programs such as USAID/AmCham corporate social responsibility program, university support programs and Fulbright scholarship programs. "We will continue to partner with the Ministry of Higher Education on English teaching and work with all of you to increase the number of Dominican students studying in the USA," he announced.


US Embassy donates to Mirabal Sisters Museum
US Ambassador James Brewster was in Hermanas Mirabal province yesterday to donate US$47,450 for the restoration of the museum exhibits and collections.

The director of the museum, Luisa de Pena Diaz thanked the ambassador for the funds to help preserve the historic memory and identity of the Dominican Republic. "This is the start of a new phase where we fly the flag of cooperation working for a fairer society, where human rights are defended, and diversity is celebrated, but above all that is ready to resist inhuman acts and defend our democracy and achievements," she said. De Pena is also director of the Dominican Resistance Memorial Museum (MMRD) in the Colonial City of Santo Domingo.

The museum honors Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa Mirabal, the three sisters murdered by dictator Rafael Trujillo on 25 November 1960. In their name, the United Nations dedicated 25 November as International Day of No Violence Against Women.


Black Friday is here
For the third consecutive year, residents in the Dominican Republic are participating in Black Friday deals that have begun on Thursday mainly in Santo Domingo. The Black Friday event has been going on for more than half a century in the United States. The celebration follows Thanksgiving and starts the Christmas shopping season.

"It is a day I take advantage of to change any appliance in the house, and I also buy some things to sell later on," the 40 year old, Norma Surun, told Diario Libre reporters.

Stores at the main shopping centers of Santo Domingo are advertising discounts from 10% up to 80% on selected merchandise exclusively for that day. But many stores are turning it into a three day shopping event (27, 28, and 29 November 2014).

According to what was found in a survey carried out by Diario Libre reporters in shopping centers such as Sambil, Galeria 360, and Agora Mall, the majority of people have high expectations for Black Friday or "Viernes Negro" as it is known among Dominicans.

"In my first experience, last year, there were a lot of discounts. In my case I could buy dresses of very good quality at half price, this year I expect to see very good discounts," said a young 30-year-old.

Of 20 women surveyed, 17 said that they wait until Black Friday in order to "change their closets," taking advantage that day in order to buy clothes that they will wear during the Christmas festivities and the "presents for families and friends."

The men surveyed were in agreement that they had the option of buying electronic and technology items, such as cell phones and tablets at better prices on Friday.

The youngsters showed a lot of enthusiasm and great expectations, contrary to the older people. "I prefer to stay in my house, I don't wait in those long lines for anybody," said Roberto Rodriguez, 48.

Another option for Dominicans at the moment of taking advantage of Black Friday is buying online. According to the consulting firm HM consulting, purchases corresponding to Black Friday in the Dominican Republic are estimated to be more than US$50 million in the days before, during and after Black Friday. The online stores that are most used by Dominicans are eBay and Amazon, according to Hiddekei Morrison of HM Consulting.

The articles most purchased during Black Friday in the Dominican Republic are clothes, shoes, electronics, cell phones and tablets, according to those consulted.

In the Heights back at the Palacio de Bellas Artes
"In the Heights" the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical on Dominicans in New York City, is back at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Santo Domingo on Friday 5 December and Saturday 6 December 2014. This is an Amaury Sanchez production.

Tickets are RD$1,600-RD$1,100 and are for sale at the Bellas Artes box office.

Starring Javier Grullon, Laura Lebron, Checho Lora, Dolly Garcia, Hector Anibal, Diana Pou, Ian Castillo, Sonia Alfonso, Diomaris La Mala, Karla Fatulle, JJ Sanchez and Alejandro Moscoso. Directed by Waddys Jaquez, choreography by Isadora Bruno. Music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and the book by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegria Hudes.

"In the Heights" tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York's Washington Heights neighborhood n a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music.

It's a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind. The musical won the 2008 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Score, Best Choreography and Best Orchestrations.

Listen to music from the original musical at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSQFjtszBYg

Winter League baseball results
In San Pedro de Macoris, the Estrellas Orientales defeated the Leones del Escogido by a score of 9-0. Juan Diaz drove in 3 runs, Luis Jimenez and Jake Fox each drove in 2 runs as Stolmy Pimentel pitched 5 innings and struck out 6. This was the 8th straight victory for the Estrellas that as of Wednesday were solidly in first place with a record of 20-10.

In the Estadio Quisqueya, in Santo Domingo, Miguel Olivo drove in 4 runs, with 3 coming off his first home run of the season to lead the Tigres del Licey to a 5-4 victory over the Gigantes del Cibao. The victory brought the Tigres to within 3-? games of the all important fourth-place, which is occupied by the Gigantes.

In La Romana, Dan black hit a 2 run double and Willie Garcia hit a home run to lead the Aguilas Cibaenas to a 5-3 victory over the Toros del Este. This victory gave the Aguilas sole possession of 2nd place with a record of 18-13, and the Toros fell to 3rd place with a record of 17-14.

ESTRELLAS 20 - 10 .667 --
AGUILAS 18 - 13 .581 2.5
TOROS 17 - 14 .548 3.5
GIGANTES 15 - 15 .500 5.0
LICEY 12 - 19 .387 8.5
ESCOGIDO 10 - 21 .323 10.5

For more on the baseball games, see http://www.lidom.com

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

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