NEWS MAY 2008

Fernandez Inaugurates Works Costing RD $567M in Puerto Plata


Plaza Independencia, Puerto PlataRemodeling of the San Felipe Cathedral and Plaza Independencia park

PUERTO PLATA.- President Leonel Fernandez headed ribbon-cuttings for several works in this province Thursday, built at a cost of RD $567 million, among them the remodeling of the San Felipe Cathedral and Plaza Independencia park.

Fernandez also inaugurated a sewage system for 23 of Puerto Plata’s southern barrios, as well as streets and sidewalks, and an aqueduct for the sector Padre Granero.

The works for the cathedral and the park, destroyed by the earthquake that shook this province in 2003, cost RD $ 442 million.

Dominican Republic Live, 09.05.08


Dominican Resorts Will Help Workers Cast Their Votes

Dominican resorts and beach The country’s tourist resorts will make it easier for their personnel to go to the ballot boxes on Friday

Employees who vote in localities far from their work places will have a more flexible schedule, said Hotels and Restaurants Association (Asonahores) executive vicepresident Arturo Villanueva. “They’ll receive facilities. That’s an inalienable right of the worker, to be able to vote.”

He said if interested, each employee will coordinate their temporary absence with their area manager. “Turns will be organized so the work in the hotel isn’t detained.”

Villanueva asked politicians and the population to behave in a civilized manner on elections day, so the productive work immediately recovers its normality. “The country has advanced much, this is a mature democracy.”

Dominican Republic Live, 12.05.08

Dominican Republic’s 57 Call Centers Account For 25,000 Jobs


Call Centers in Dominican Republic57 companies operating in the country

Dominican Republic Exports and Investment Center (CEI-RD) director Eddy Martinez yesterday said Call Centers generate 25,000 direct jobs, from the 57 companies operating in the country.

He said in the next two years those centers are expected to create 30,000 additional jobs, which when added to the indirect ones are more than 192,800 in

The official said almost all of the data and information technology centers have been installed country in the past three years.

Martinez said the average starting salaries is between RD $18,000 to RD $22,000 in the Call Centers, whose strong growth in the country increasingly require more staff.

However, he noted that those companies’ failure to secure a supply of skilled manpower causes higher costs which affects competitiveness..

Dominican Republic Live, 13.05.08

No work As of Noon Thursday So Dominicans Can Vote


The PalacioDecree published by the Presidency’s Press Office

To make it easier for Dominicans to vote the government declared a holiday from noon Thursday to 6 a.m. Saturday, a decision contained in decree 193-08 published Wednesday by the Presidency’s Press Office.

This measure excludes public service agencis such as firefighters, hospitals, transport and others which provide continuous service.

Thousands of people will travel to their hometowns to vote May 16, because they have to cast their ballots in their registered residence.

Dominican Republic Live, 14.05.08

No More Politicking


Leonel Fernandez, Aristy Castro and Miguel Vargas Maldonado Dominicans have 24 hours to think

After several months of intense campaigning the electoral campaign to choose a President and Vice president for the 2008-2012 period, came to a sudden halt last night, amid a great waste of funds in ads through the media.

The Central Electoral Board (JCE) officially opened the electoral process January 16 and concluded at 12 midnight last night, with the two major contenders, the ruling PLD and the opposition PRD parties, closed their activities via a nationwide network of radio and television stations.

Should none of the candidates get 50 percent plus one vote a second ballot will take place June 30, with the two who get the highest number of votes in the first ballot.
Reflection

The suspension of campaign activities 48 hours before the voting on May 16 opens a period of reflection for the citizens on the different electoral platforms, in an atmosphere uncontaminated by the constant politicking dominated by the parties with the most money.

In addition to prohibiting public manifestations and the broadcast of electoral propaganda by the media or other methods the Electoral Law also bans, 24 hours before the elections, the sale of alcohol up to three hours after the voting ends, as well as the bearing of firearms near polling stations.

Dominican Republic Live, 15.05.08

« Exemplary » Electoral Process According to The JCE


Dominican presidential election sFirst press conference

The Dominican presidential elections proceeds in an exemplary and massive way in all the country, declared this Friday the Central Electoral Board. “It is an exemplary process where the Dominican people went massively to the ballot boxes for this civic event” , said the president of the JCE, Julio César Castaños Guzmán at the time of the first press conference.

He was accompanied by other members of various electoral organizations.

However, the president of the JCE reiterated his warning in the sense that “nobody must declare himself as winner as long as the JCE will not have announced its verdict” . “The provisional results will be announced only by the Central Electoral Board” , he specified.

On his side, Roberto Rosario, President of the Administrative Chamber, ensured that the electoral process proceeds in “calm and peace and quietness” .

During these Dominican elections, 5.700.000 persons have the right to vote, who will vote in 13.500 electoral colleges of the country and outside.

Dominican Republic Live, by Ramón González, 16.05.08

Elections 2008

Final Bulletin of the JCE

The Central Electoral Board emitted its Final Bulletin of the computed electoral colleges, Leonel Fernandez and the Party of the Dominican Liberation counts with 53,83% while reaching 2.199.734 votes.

The Dominican Revolutionary Party and its candidate Miguel Vargas Maldonado have 40,45%, when obtaining 1,654,066 votes.

Amable Aristy Castro has 4,59 %, with 187.645 computed votes.
The Revolutionary Social Democrat Party and its candidate Eduardo Estrella and allies, has 19.309 votes, representing 0,47 %, the Independent Revolutionary Party – PRI -, and its candidate Trajano Santana, obtained 1.533 votes, equivalent to 0,04 %.

The Independence Unit and Change Movement, (Miuca), headed by Guillermo Moreno has 18.136 votes for a 0.44%; The Alianza Popular Party (PAP), and Pedro de Jesús Candelier obtained 6.118 votes, for a 0,15 %.

With a register of five million 764 thousand 387, four million 113 thousand 644 votes emitted for a 71,36 percent, 27 thousand 103 null votes and four million 86 thousand 541 valid votes (99.34%), which reflects an abstention from near a 29 percent

Dominican Republic Live, 17.05.08 at 7:17pm

Declarations of Leonel Fernández

Margarita Cedeno de Fernandez and Leonel Fernandez Reelected President talked to the people

In front of thousands of his supporters gathered together in the national headquarters of his Party, the Dominican Liberation Party, Leonel Fernandez congratulated the Dominican people for the exemplary behavior during the civic consultation of Friday and also the Central Electoral Board for having organized an electoral process without errors.

President Leonel Fernandez, re-elected in the elections of this Friday, said that the people decided in the ballot boxes to continue with the progress, the stability and the modernism.

Fernandez said that it was a great triumph due to the effort and to the work of the Party of Dominican Liberation (PLD), meanwhile he thanked the voters for their civic and exemplary behavior during the course of this electoral campaign in these elections.

He congratulated the PLD, the allied parties and the support movements to his candidacy as well as his wife Margarita Cedeño de Fernández.

He also congratulated the Central Electoral Board and the Dominicans for the support given in these four years of government.

“This confidence renewed today is to continue by the way of stability, growth, progress and well-being of the Dominicans”, he indicated.

He emphasized that this triumph in the first round means that he does not lose a minute nor a second to begin working for the consolidation of the stability and the economic growth.

Leonel Fernandez said that if there is somebody he feels proud of, is his companion Professor Juan Bosch, and he also dedicated his triumph to the deceased leader Quilvio Cabrera, who died during the acts of the political campaign.

He said he will initiate a new government from August 16 because the people decided to continue with the progress and the well-being, and that this decision has been the expression of the will of the Dominicans in the ballot boxes in a democratic, free and transparent way giving an unquestionable legitimacy.

He finalized his speech in the National House with his habitual slogan “E Pa Lante que Vamos”.
CNN Interview

Doctor Leonel Fernandez defined himself as a leader of the century 21 and a realistic President of the today world in an interview with CNN.

He indicated that the unification of all the sectors of the Dominican Republic is necessary to allow the progress of the country.

“The campaign is terminated, we are no longer in elections; the parties and the country must come back to the unification and to thing like a nation in order to face the coming challenges”, he said.

Interviewed by the journalist Claudia Palacios, reporter of CNN, Fernandez also said that he is an executive chief neither from the right nor from the left.

He said that the acceptance of his candidacy from the supporters of allied parties and opposition responds to a combination between the candidate and the partisan organization.

Dominican Republic Live, 19.05.08

PRD Went Up With 10 Points Compared to The Elections of 2004


Miguel Vargas MaldonadoMiguel Vargas recognizes the defeat

The candidacy of Miguel Vargas, of the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano (PRD), obtained a rise to 40.48.6% in the presidential elections of last Friday in comparison to the 30,6% reached in the 2004 elections.

This was obtained although the PRD participated in these elections with only three small allied parties that brought 76.655 votes, the 1,92% of the total.

In the 2004, when the PRD re presented President Hipólito Mejía, it participated in the elections with five allied parties, that brought 107.528, the 2,98% of the general voting.

In the elections of the past Friday, the PRD had allies as the Alternative Democratic Movement (MODA), the Democratic Social Alliance and the Green Party, Unidad Democrática (PUVD).

In addition, hundreds of support movements were added, that did not appear in the ballot papers because they were not made official. Between the most outstanding they were the Movement in Line and the Rebellious Movement.

Other important supports were coordinated by the Sector Externo Victoria Electoral (SEVE) headed by Doctor Jose Joaquin Puello, who was companion of ballot paper of Vargas. Also the National Commando of Crecimiento stood out (CNC), under the responsibility of Senator Jesus Vásquez Martinez.
Miguel Vargas declarations

During a press conference in the premises of his campaign commando, on Friday 16, Miguel Vargas said that he is a “democrat who respects the Constitution and the laws” and that he welcomes the electoral results.

“I accept and I recognize the results of these elections, although these results reflect in a significant way the charge of the most shamelessly use of the resources of the State to impose a re-election,”he expressed.

In the press conference, Vargas Maldonado did not answer the questions of the journalists. He just read a document in which, in addition, he congratulates the Dominican people for the order and the discipline demonstrated during this electoral process.

Dominican Republic Live, 19.05.08

PRSC Faces Dull Participation in the Elections


Logo ocial Christian Reformist Party The Reformist Party enters in a questioning process

After its dull participation in the elections, in which it was in a distant third place, the Social Christian Reformist Party (PRSC), seems to have entered in a questioning process.

Yesterday, a group of leaders raised a re launching of this political organization with a new leadership. In parallel, the ex–leader of the oganization, Humberto Salazar, asked for the resignation of Federico Antún Batlle and Victor Gómez Casanova, President and General Secretary General of the party, respectively.
Deputy Ito Bisonó acted as spokesman of the group that asks for a new leadership. He proposed a debate with all the leaders so that the present authorities can stop.

The legislator ensured that the message given by the voters to the PRSC, in the past elections, in which it obtained 4,59 percent of the votes, evidences that the organization goes to the “extinction way”.

“Enough party without ideological content and solely mercantilists aims; enough party full of leaders and more and more empty of voters and partisan young people. Enough party more interested in the well-being of its leaders that in a long-term vision for our country,” he expressed.
Minority party

The Social Christian Reformist Party (PRSC), led by Joaquin Balaguer and which obtained six triumphs in the electoral votes of Dominican Republic is not anymore from Friday, a political organization of the majority ones.

The elections in which Leonel Fernandez won with more than two million votes, placed a minority sticker to the PRSC, that only obtained 4,59% of the votes.

The PRSC obtained 187.645 votes in distant a third place, his worst performance from its foundation.

According to the results of the elections, the Dominican political system is polarized between the Dominican Liberation (PLD) and the Dominican Revolutionary (PRD) parties.

Dominican Republic Live, 19.05.08

Dominican Government Will Focus Subsidies on Fuels, Food


Luis Manuel BonettiGovernment’s policy on subsidies will be reviewed

The Industry and Commerce Ministry today said the Government’s policy on subsidies will be reviewed to focus that of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for domestic use and those applied on foods.

Melanio Paredes said the maintenance of all subsidies is “unbearable” for the public finances, and require a redefinition.

He said in the case of fuels the revision of the subsidies will be done by applying a policy to seek alternatives, such as the change from the LPG to natural gas in the case of vehicles and to promote the use of new generation of energies. He said it doesn’t imply an immediate elimination of subsidies rather a redesign so they don’t become an unsustainable burden for public finances.

The official said the revision of the subsidies policy results from the continued rises in oil prices worldwide, currently at least 30 dollars of that is blamed on speculation. He said the Government froze the internal fuel prices in the last two weeks expecting that the so-called speculative bubble would deflate.

However Paredes said it hasn’t happened and on the contrary, the price of oil has increased.

Interviewed by Luisín Mejía, Cristian Jiménez and Oscar Medina in Color Vision’s Hoy Mismo program, the Industry and Commerce chief also said a tax reform is possible.

He said that is so because the Government cannot depend on fuel prices for collecting taxes, mainly when those collections are weakened by vehicles changing from gasoline to LPG, which is subsidized for domestic use and transport. “But before anything, it’s necessary to determine from where will come the 23 billions pesos currently collected as fuel taxes.”

Dominican Republic Live, 19.05.08

Leonel Fernandez Will Make a Meeting of The Cabinet to Face the Oil Prices Rise


Meeting with Leonel FernandezYesterday evening, the crude closed at US $ 130.21 in New York

President Leonel Fernández will meet today with his cabinet in order to find alternatives to face the important prices of oil, at the time when various sectors express their concern as for the negative effects of this crude price rise on the national economy.

The civil servants of the energetic sector will have to present to the agent some proposals for a cost reduction, while the intention to continue to subsidize the electric sector is maintained.

Superintendent of Electricity, Francisco Méndez, said that the subsidy will be maintained as long as the expenses don’t affect the macro-economic stability.

The price of the barrel of petrol is still very high even if it dropped slightly yesterday and closed at US $130.21 in the New York Stock Market.

To face the rise of the oil prices and their negative effects on the local economy, the energetic sector experts suggest that the government reveals the costs of the crude and implies the population in the plan of economy of energy.

Dominican Republic Live, 23.05.08

Dominican Republic and Other Nations Will Implement a Plan Against The Natural Disasters


Storm Climatic change

The Dominican Republic, Barbados, the Bahamas, Jamaica, and Turks and Caicos are the five nations which will develop initially the project “Risk Management of Natural Disasters for Sustainable Tourism in the Caribbean”.

It acts to trace common strategies to face the presence of these phenomena, with emphasis put on the tourist areas.

The purpose will be to evaluate the potential scenes to which is constantly exposed the area of the Caribbean because of the passage of hurricanes, storms or other natural phenomena, but above all to define effective mechanisms and policies to forecast their negative impact.

A workshop of regional experts of organizations and of the Secretariat of Tourism (Sectur) will take place in the country.

The Agency for Emergency Response to Catastrophes in the Caribbean (CDERA), the Association of Tourism of the Caribbean (CTO), the Regional organization of the CARICOM for the Standards and Quality (CROSQ) and the University of the West Indies (WIU) will carry out with the selected nations the project, which is financed by the Inter-American Bank of Development for an overall cost of a million dollars.

Luis Simó, under-secretary of Sectur, emphasized the great value of this initiative to preserve us like a safe destination.

In this context – as he explained, a national committee of follow-up of the project, composed by Sectur, the National office of Meteorology, the National Commission of Emergencies, national associations of Hotels and Restaurants (Asonahores) and of Tour Operators (Adotur) was set up.

This organization will have to guarantee “that the tourist hotels and areas have a preventive plan which will enable them to face these urgencies, an action plan which will enable us to manage the risks and the catastrophes”, before an hurricane season like that of this year, which promises a greater frequency of the natural phenomena.

Dominican Republic Live, 26.05.08

Caribbean Islands Signed an Alliance


Submarine viewTo protect their marine spaces

Bonn (Germany), (EFE). – Five States of the Caribbean signed today in Bonn an alliance to protect their marine spaces with an aim of creating from now to 2010 a network of maritime sanctuaries which will include ten percent of their waters.

Called “Challenge of the Caribbean”, this alliance was signed during the Conference of the UNO on the Bio-diversity which took place in Bonn, by the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, Grenade, Jamaica, as well as by like the archipelago of San Vicente and the Grenadines.

Signatories of the insular alliance hope that during the next weeks, other countries will join this initiative.

The alliance starts with funds of 20 million dollars which will be used to create a protected marine space of three million hectares during the four next years.

The project exceeds the objectives laid down for this conference, in which it was only hoped to delimit the criteria which will have to be implemented for the marine sanctuaries everywhere in the world, this belonging to the plan of the Convention of Biological diversity (CBD) to establish until 2010 a network of terrestrial protected sectors and until 2012 a network of maritime sectors.

Less of one percent of the maritime surface of the Earth is currently under protection and the experts calculate that from now to 2050, 70 percent of the coral reefs will have disappeared if the rhythm of the current extinction is maintained.

The « Challenge of theCaribbean » belongs to the Total alliance of the Islands which already launched similar initiatives in other areas of the world, like Micronesia.

Dominican Republic Live, 27.05.08

New Flight For Air Europa

Inside the planeMadrid – Puerto Plata

Air Europa will add to its road to Dominican Republic the new flight Madrid-Puerto-Plata-Madrid, which will begin its operations as from this summer, informed the secretary of Tourism, Felix Jiménez.

The civil servant went to Spain, where he attended a meeting with the contractor Juan José Hidalgo.

The manager of the company exposed the new plans undertaken by Globalia, which consists in making of Dominican Republic the principal tourist destination of the Caribbean.

In the same way, during his promotional travel through Spain and Morocco, Jiménez also met with representatives of the Hotel Investors of International Level Association (INVEROTEL), to which he announced the new investments programmed by the Dominican government in the tourism sector.

Within the framework of this meeting, they reviewed the investments of the Dominican state in infrastructures, for a sum of 200 million dollars and the new proposal of investment for a value of 300 million dollars, that the Government is going to set up starting from the second half of 2008 and which will have as priority for the next years the zones of Samaná and of the Far East.

Jiménez said that the priority is put on construction of new roads and public axes, on expansion of the complementary offers among other work of interest in the mentioned tourist areas.

Dominican Republic Live, 28.05.08

Dominican South to Bear Brunt of Season’s 13 Storms

Hurricane2008 hurricane season will be more active than normal

National Meteorology Office (Onamet) director Gloria Ceballos today announced that the 2008 hurricane season, which begins Sunday, June 1, will be more active than normal as 13 named storms are expected to form.

In a press conference, the Onamet chief and the assistant director Miguel Campusano affirmed that of the 13 atmospheric phenomena, seven would become hurricanes and three could reach a category as high 5 in the Saffir-Simpson scale.

She said the South region is expected to be the most affected and the Dominican Republic is most vulnerable between August 15 and September 30.

Ceballos said the World Meteorological Organization and the Regional Hurricane Committee, assigned the 21 names for the storms which could form in the season which ends on November 30: Arthur, Bertha, Cristóbal, Dolly, Edward, Fay, Gustav, Hanna, Ike, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marcos, Nana, Omar, Paloma, René, Rally, Teddy, Vicky, and Wifred.

Dominican Republic Live, 29.05.08

Regional, Dominican Leaders Seek an Urgent UN Assembly On Crisis


They welcome Dominican Republic president proposal

San Salvador.- The heads of State of the Central American Integration System (SICA) and the President of Brazil yesterday asked for the called urgent meeting of the UN General Assembly to deal with the world economic crisis, brought about by the high oil prices.

Welcoming Dominican Republic president Leonel Fernandez’s proposal, the regional leaders approved the special notice requesting the UN to seek a real and pragmatic solution to the current crisis, “that brings about a reduction of oil prices and to design an integral plan of action oriented to the search of a mechanism sustained in time.”

“If we are capable of maintaining economic stability and the social programs aimed at the most vulnerable sectors, this conjuncture represents a threat of conflicts social and protests for our countries,” said Fernandez, who arrived in El Salvador’s capital yesterday, and returned to his country last night.

Dominican Republic Live, 30.05.08

 

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