DR and U.S. importance in Manzanillo Port participation

Governments of the DR and the US highlight importance of community participation in the development of the Port of Manzanillo

The Ministry of the Presidency (MINPRE), together with the Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of the United States in the Dominican Republic, Robert W. Thomas, presented the results of the workshops held with the community of Manzanillo for the elaboration of the Master Plan for the Development of the Port and the Northwest Region, where they highlighted the importance of community participation.

Technicians from the governments of the United States and the Dominican Republic also participated in the meeting.

Minister Lisandro Macarrulla pointed out that the spirit of this management is to do things in an organized and transparent manner, but, above all, in an inclusive manner with the community.

“Without the enthusiasm of the community it is impossible to develop. We will not let the community down,” he said.

Macarrulla specified that the Government is committed to bring this development to this and other communities in the country that need it so much.

He also said that it is essential to communicate clearly the benefits of the works to be developed in Manzanillo and that, if necessary, adjustments and corrections will be made so that all Manzanilleros can take ownership of this project.

The Chargé d’Affaires of the United States Embassy in the Dominican Republic, Robert W. Thomas, congratulated the Ministry of the Presidency and the technical team of the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for the development of the workshops held during a week in Pepillo Salcedo, after indicating that this type of activity, where the community is included, guarantees that all voices are heard.

“The port and the economic development around it will not be successful unless the people support it. The open nature of that consensus is critical; openness builds trust between communities and government and that trust is critical to a strong democracy and an emerging economy,” he said.

In this regard, the Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic, Robert W. Thomas, highlighted the commitment of the U.S. Government to continue working closely with the Ministry of the Presidency to continue collaborating in the promotion of transparency in this and other projects in the country.

During the meeting, held last Wednesday, the technical team of the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) presented an executive summary of the results obtained after five days of work with the community members.

They also detailed the methodology used to develop the process and the selection of the courses of action with which the bases of the Master Plan will be created.

Miguel Torres, an engineer with the consulting firm WSP and moderator of the meetings, detailed the issues that are essential for the community, the level of integration and participation of the Manzanilleros and their desire for the area to develop in a sustainable manner.

Torres praised the openness of the residents of Manzanillo to the construction of both the port and the power plants. He explained how important it is for the community to maintain Los Coquitos beach, as well as to improve basic services to increase the quality of life and job growth.

“They understand that there are great opportunities in terms of the development of the port and the surrounding areas. They see an opportunity to generate more jobs and growth in their society-community environment,” he said.

The workshops for the Master Plan

The workshops were held in the provinces of Santo Domingo, Santiago and Montecristi. This was the first day of planning for the elaboration of the Master Plan for the Development of the Port of Manzanillo, in which interviews, surveys and work sessions were carried out with the community and stakeholders, with the objective of gathering data and information for the elaboration of the Master Plan in all its components.

The Master Development Plan involves extending all port activities, so that more ships can come to boost economic, logistic and industrial activities in the area. Due to its natural conditions and strategic location, the Port of Manzanillo will be the main port terminal in the northwest of the country. This project is part of the Manzanillo Development Plan, promoted by President Luis Abinader, through MINPRE.

The activity was supported by the Ministry of Public Works and Communications, the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, as well as the Ministry of Agriculture and Housing. Also, the Mayor’s Office of Pepillo Salcedo, the Dominican Port Authority, the National Authority of Maritime Affairs, the National Institute of Drinking Water (INAPA), the Electricity Transmission Company (ETED) and the National Institute of Transit and Land Transportation (INTRANT), among others.

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