NEWS JANUARY 2008

Senate Passes RD $300B Budget, Returns to Chamber of Deputies


25 votes in favor

The Senate declared it urgent and approved the bill of the 2008 Budget of RD $300.9 billion, with an adendum submitted by president Leonel Fernandez with the previously agreed changes.

The bill was approved with 25 votes in favor, including one of the senators of the oppositoin PRSC party, and two against: those of PRD party spokesman Roberto Rodriguez and his colleague Mario Torres.

The legislation will return to the Chamber of Deputies, who’ll session next week, when they’re expected to approve it without changes.

Dominican Republic Live, 05.01.08

The Director of the IDAC Announces The Beginning Of a Project


Airplane Quality standards maintained

The Dominican Institute of the Civil aviation (IDAC) announced yesterday the beginning of the Project of Implementation of an Integral System of Quality Management, Security, Risk and Environment, with which it will maintain the quality standards required by the category 1 of the country.

The general manager of the IDAC, José Tomás Pérez, ensured that this project will carry out this institution “to excellence and that its beginning marks an important step in the process of re-engeneering whose it is the object.”

Pérez said that the IDAC intends to be one the most modern institutions of the country, especially with the beginning of this project.

Regarding the quality certification, under ISO-9001-2000 standards, the holder of the IDAC said that this implies not only the quality management, but as well of the environment and as it acts of a process which requires a lot of devotion and of effort from all involved people.

“Within this institution we have like parameters of comparison the institutes of civil aviation of the whole world. The quality standards which we must develop are based on the same ones as carry out by institutions equal to ours on a world level”, underlined Pérez.

Dominican Republic Live, 08.01.08

Dominican Deputies Pass RD $3B 2008 Budget


Chamber of DeputiesThe piece had the favorable votes of 94 deputies

In a drawn out session pocked with accusations and in which lower Chamber president Julio Caesar Valentin denounced the alleged inclusion of « ghost » nongovernmental organizations, the deputies approved this year’s RD $300.9 billion Budget, already passed in the Senate.

The piece, which will be sent to the Executive Branch to be signed into Law, had the favorable votes of 94 deputies of the ruling PLD and the opposition PRSC parties, three voted against, with 34 abstentions.

The deputy Radhamés Castro, of the opposition Popular Christian Party, denounced that several senators, to whose names he didn’t reveal, included NGOs they « godfather » even when they manage as much as RD $13 million annually through « little barrels. »

Valentin said in the next legislature he’ll submit a bill to exclude those organizations and to assign their funds to charitable institutions.

Dominican Republic Live, 10.01.08

Development of a Luxurious Boutique Hotel in Playa Grande


Playa GrandeFamous world hotel chain

The hotel chain Amanresorts and the investments Dolphin Capital Investors announced their participation in the project Playa Grande, in partnership with the current investors, to the development of an exclusive tourist complex in Playa Grande, Rio San Juan, on the Northern coast of the Dominican Republic.

This hotel will be the second of this chain located in the Caribbean.

It will be equipped with 40 rooms and with a residential complex of 40 villas.

Moreover, the project of Playa Grande will include a five stars golf hotel of 200 rooms and residential beach, golf and mountain villas, conceived by Jean Michel Gathy, architect of world reputation specialized in the tourist hotels and resorts.

A declaration of Playa Grande Holdings, Inc says “that they are happy with the entry in the project of this exclusive hotel brand name and that they are convinced that the arrival on the Northern Coast of the Aman group will be beneficial for the revival of this zone of the country towards high level tourism, while helping to diversify the hotel offer, by accelerating the investments and by creating a greater offer of employment”.

Dolphin Capital Investors is one of the principal investors of the real tourist developments on the Mediterranean coast and one of the large real companies quoted in Londonstock market.

Amanresorts is a chain of world fame with its 18 luxurious boutique hotels located in 12 countries, of unique design and situated in exceptional landscapes.

Dominican Republic Live, 08.01.08

Jet Blue Begins Flights Between New York and Puerto Plata


Jet Blue airplane Daily services

The airline company Jet Blue Airways inaugurated last Thursday its operations between the airports John F Kennedy of the town of New York and General Gregorio Luperón of Puerto Plata by the means of an inaugural flight.

Jet Blue Airways will be the first low-cost airline company which serves this province, by providing daily services without stopover during all the year to the principal terminal of the city of the skyscrapers with a connection to 12 other destinations of the United States.

Puerto Plata is the third city served by Jet Blue in Dominican Republic and it tenth in the Caribbean and the Atlantic, including Aruba, Bermuda, Nassau, Aguadilla, Ponce and San Juan in Puerto Rico Rico, as well as Santiago and Santo Domingo in Dominican Republic, and as from January 17, Saint Marteen in the Dutch West Indies.

The speech of welcome of the inaugural flight was made by the director of the International airport General Gregorio Luperón, Ted Foster, who by greeting the president of Jet Blue, Dave Barger, and the other executives of the American company, committed providing the necessary efforts to satisfy the hopes of the users of the services of the Dominican Airports Century XXI (AERODOM).

On her side, the director of AERODOM, Astrid Díaz Menicucci, expressed her pleasure of inaugurating the flight of Jet Blue from John F Kennedy to the International airport Gregorio Luperón, since it will make possible to connect Puerto Plata to 12 other destinations of the United States, thus promoting tourism in Puerto Plata and over all the Northern Coast of the country.

In the same way, the president of the company Jet Blue, Dave Barger, underlined the low costs which the company offers, the facilities of connection with 52 destinations, the professionalism of the crew and thanked for their support the secretariat of Tourism, the Airports Dominican Century XXI, the hotel keepers and the Committee of the « Puertoplateños » established in the United States, chaired by Jesus Burgos.

The provincial governor, Cesar de los Santos, emphasized the incalculable benefit that represents for local tourism, for the development of the real businesses and the trade, the beginning of the operations of Jet Blue.

He underlined the efforts carried out by the Government, the secretariat of Tourism, AERODOM, the Committee of the « Puertoplateños » established in the United States to convince the executives of Jet Blue to create this new road and congratulated President Leonel Fernández for the efforts carried out to boost this destination and all the

Northern Coast of the Dominican Republic.

Dominican Republic Live, 12.01.08

Another Good Year For Dominican Banks


Popular Bank Multiple banks are the real estate and construction industries’ preferred lender

Banks superintendent Rafael Camilo said the year closed with Dominican banks having a 13.2 percent solvency index, when the law stipulates 10 percent.

This behavior is playing its part to attract savings and promote investment, said the official, adding that he expects the financial organizations to profit in 2008, after last year’s 50 percent jump. “There’s still no a recession in the United States, rather the concern that it could happen, which added to the inflation and the cost of energy, could influence by lower remittances and in tourist arrivals from that country.”

Camilo said credit rose RD $56 billion in 2007, spurring a solid advance in the economy, with the highest loans going to retailers, consumption and mortgages, which reached RD $16 billion.

Multiple banks are now the real estate and construction industries’ preferred lender, he said.

Dominican Republic Live, 15.01.08

Florida-Dominican Republic Sailboat Racing to Begin Next Year


Dominican Republic sailboat racingCasa de Campo Race

With the announced bi-annual Casa de Campo Race in February, 2009, promoters say a new sailboat distance racing tradition is born. The race to the West Indies will start February 13 from Fort Lauderdale and finish in the exclusive resort, in La Romana (east), the Web site www.sail-world.com reports.

“Casa De Campo, popular to golfers around the world for its acclaimed Pete Dye courses, will showcase their new 370 slip marina, the most complete and prestigious in the Caribbean. The International Farr pr class recently announced that they will have their Rolex World Championship there in 2010,” it said.

The sailboats in the race, to cover a distance of 900 miles, will skirt the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and then head to Dominican Republic’s eastern tip, before turning south for the run to the finish, sail-world.com said.

“A unique welcome to each and every boat headlines a long list of dividends for participants. A gala awards party, access to the top ranked golf course in the Caribbean and 2 days of windward/leeward racing for the Casa de Campo Cup are included in this exciting package,” adds the report

The destination’s appeal would attract a « meaningful » fleet, said Storm Trysail Commodore John Fisher. “Casa de Campo is committed to making this a special experience for all who participate.”

Dominican Republic Live, 17.01.08

They Forecast an Increase in The Foreign Investments in Dominican Republic


Dominican beachImprovement of the business climate

The foreign investments in Dominican Republic will continue upwards this year thanks, among other factors, to the entry into force in 2007 of the Treaty of Free Commerce (TLC) signed with the United States and the Central America, forecast today the Center of Export and Investment of the country (CEI-RD).

That will also influence the improvement of the climate of the businesses in the country and the increase in exports, as explained in a press release the director of the CEI-RD, Eddy Martínez.

“All the tendencies indicate that in 2008 our country will be an excellent destination to receive a greater quantity of foreign investment”, said the civil servant, who pointed out that this year will take place the launching of the international campaign « country- brand names ». According to recent statistics’ of the Economic Commission of the Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLA), provided by the CEI-RD, the direct investments inDominican Republicare going up.

During the last three years, those increased from 1.023 million dollars in 2005 to 1.183 million dollars in 2006 until reaching 1.393 million dollars in 2007.

Martínez underlined the reduction of the administrative barriers for the creation and the operation of companies in the country, while drawing the attention to the increase in the exporting companies which went from 2.307 to 2.800 during the last years.

“The exporters market more the national articles in the other countries, because they are now aware of the importance to develop the marketing of their products on other markets”, Martínez insisted.

According to the World Bank (WB), the Dominican Republic improved the last year the climate of businesses after having reduced from 73 to 22 the necessary days to constitute a company.

According to the study « Doing Business » of the WB, the nation of the Caribbean went from the place 117 which it occupied in 2006 to the place 99 in 2007, gaining 18 levels.

It is estimated that exports of the Dominican Republic exceeded 2.100 million dollars the last year. 77 p

ercent of exports of Dominican Republic are sent towards the United States, 12.41 in Europe, 4.8 in Asia, 0.62 in Central America and in the Caribbean and 0.24 percent towards the English Caribbean, explained Martínez in his official statement.

Dominican Republic Live, 18.01.08

Thousands of People Celebrate Today The Worship of The Altagracia Virgin

Protector of Dominican people

HIGÜEY.- Thousands of people of various localities fill since dawn the basilica of Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia, where the pilgrims continued to arrive and where the principal religious ceremonies in honor of the Virgin of Altagracia, considered like the protector of the Dominican people, are celebrated.

Many pilgrims are already here since yesterday, thanking the Virgin for having answered individual wishes, praying for their health, for parents or attending the event simply by tradition.

Although religious ceremonies were celebrated during all the weekend, the principal one is programmed for 10 o’clock this morning with a mass celebrated by the bishop of the diocese of Higuey, Monseigneur Gregorio Nicanor Peña Rodríguez, to which will assist the presidential candidates Leonel Fernández, Miguel Vargas Maldonado and Amable Aristy Castro.

The agent, in addition of taking part of the official ceremony of the Basilica, will participate in a program of inaugurations of works which include a « polideportivo ».

He also planned to meet with tourist contractors.

 

The devotion for the Virgin of Altagracia by the catholic population started in the country in the colonial period, from where it extended to other areas of America.

Pope John Paul II, at the time of his visit to the country on January 25, 1979, had personally crowned the image with a gilded silver diadem, his personal gift to the virgin.

Dominican Republic Live, 21.01.08

Seven Dominican Regions Could Decide The Presidency


/Central Electoral Board’s most recent report

Of Dominican Republic’s 32 electoral demarcations, seven could decide next May 16’s presidential elections, as they hold 61.51 percent of the votes.

The National District and Santo Domingo, Santiago, San Cristóbal, La Vega, Duarte and Puert

 

o Plata provinces have 3.53 million voters, of the total of 5.75 million registered.

Santo Domingo province has the highest electoral base with 1.13 million citizens of voting age, followed by the National District’s 761,332 voters; Santiago, with 646,111; San Cristóbal, with 312,810 voters; La Vega, with 264,220; Duarte, with 211,293, and Puerto Plata, 201,038 voters.

The figures are from the Central Electoral Board’s most recent report, released on January 17.

Dominican Republic Live, 22.01.08

Punta Goleta Aims To Be North Coast’s Major Real Estate Tourism Project


5 stars project

After two decades of services to the tourism industry, Punta Goleta, located in Cabarete, undertakes a new stage, in which it offers a different real estate tourism in Puerto Plata.

The new project’s 250,900 square meters will feature the enchantment of its beaches, considered one of the country’s most attractive zones.

The first stage, Seawinds, will offer 82 apartments, is outlined as a 5 star exclusive project with luxury finish. Among the planned projects are the apartments on the beach, residential towers, beach villas, club, spa, lots, and shopping plaza.

 

Views to the sea can be enjoyed from its attractive residences, along its 600 linear meters of beach.

Dominican Republic Live, 23.01.08

NH Hoteles Spanish Group Begins Operations in Dominican Republic


Punta Cana beach

The NH Hoteles Spanish Group opened the Edenh Real Arena establishment in Dominican Republic, the first one of the consortium in this Caribbean Nation market.

According to specialists, the installation is located in the Punta Cana zone, and is the sixth one of the new Edenh mark, of the company.
The centre is located in a 17 hectares land, with a 375 meters virgin beach front; it disposes of 660 rooms and Spa services, a well as a conference room.

At proximity is constructed the Edenh Vip Bávaro, which will dispose of 375 rooms, with an opening programmed for the actual year, as well as the Edenh Marina Morelos, in the Riviera Maya (Mexico).

With these next inaugurations, Edenh will go up to eight establishments, since it counts moreover with the Almenara in Sotogrande, Villa Santa Andrea; Grand Hotel Timeo and Grand Hotel Bristol, in Italia, and the Bühlerhohe Schlosshotel, in Alemania.

 

Dominican Republic Live, 25.01.08

AERODOM Carries Out The Puerto Plata Airport-remodeling Program


Sped up works

PUERTO PLATA.- The remodeling and enlargement works that is carrying out by the Aeropuertos Dominicanos Siglo 21 AERODOM consortium, in the Puerto Plata International Airport Gregorio Luperón, with a cost superior to 300 millions of pesos, were initiated at an accelerate rhythm in this aerial terminal.

It was explained that the important work would be concluded in two steps through this year, firstly the enterprises want to finish the customs and vehicles parks areas enlargement works, which were already started, and that in a second step the remaining ones.

The new car parks will count with the capacity to receive 54 tourist’s metros auto buses, as well as another car park area, that will be used by employees, taxis and visitors.

In the first year of terminal works, the AERODOM enterprise submitted the airport Gregorio Luperón to a remodeling of its principal service areas, in which were included the aerial lines counters, the landing runway and the rubbish dump, the airlines desks and other important aspects.

With the works that are made now, the enlargement and remodeling of the customs of arrival and departures migration areas, as well as the frontal part of the terminal where operate the counters of the different airlines and car rentals are contemplated too.

Also, the plan foresees the enlargement of the tree luggage transporting belts in the arrival customs area to receive a greater amount of passengers’ luggage and bags at the same time.

The Gregorio Luperón terminal fills the second place when talking of tourists’ movements, only exceeded by the Punta Cana airport of Higüey, airport that is the principal tourist international airport of the country.

The 90 and 95 percent of the passengers that arrives in Dominican Republic by the Gregorio Luperón airport corresponds to foreigner visitors that come to vacations to the Northern coast hotels complexes.

In the past December month, according to the statistics provided by the airport authorities, 87 thousand passengers where mobilized, the great part were tourists that are the most consisting users of the aerostation.

Dominican Republic Live, 29.01.08

Dominican Education Free and Obligatory

Domincan school Until the baccalaureate

The Secretary of State of Education affirmed this Monday that all the managing personnel of this office will start the design of all the actions and strategies which will make it possible to declare free and obligatory the Dominican education until the baccalaureate, as announced by President Leonel Fernández.

Alejandrina Germán affirmed that the government already completed a significant work in this direction during the three last years.

She said that the Chief of the State outlined, in his speech of proclamation of last Sun

 

day, some of the new strategies which will be implemented to achieve the goal mentioned out regarding educational matter during the next 4 years, which will begin on August 16, 2008.

Germán indicated that during the next days, she will convene the under-secretaries of Education, the general managers, the regional managements, among other civil servants, to decide about concrete plans for quickly creating the conditions which will make it possible to declare free the public education until the degree of the baccalaureate.

“Some people asked me whether the Secretariat of State of Education had the economic resources necessary to start a public policy of this dimension, and I affirmed to them that I fully rely on Leonel Fernández”.

He already supported many actions as regards to school infrastructures like constructions or remodeling in order to increase the cover of the Medium Level in its general method and the training of the professional technicians.

The Secretariat of Education also proposes, she added, to equip in an adequate way all the educational centers, 5.807 buildings including 32.802 classrooms, with school furniture allowing giving an education of quality.

With regard to the quality of education, the idea is to reduce to 10 percent « over age », to three the absenteeism and four percent the redoubling in the Basic Level, an aim of making more effective the investment in education, of improving quality and equity and of increasing the percentage of promotion to the baccalaureate.

The Secretary of Education said that another important aspect is that they hope to definitively eradicate illiteracy in Dominican Republic for the year 2012.

Dominican Republic Live, 30.01.08

 

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