The vice consul in New York City, Julio Cesar Mateo (Yulin), said here that the administration of President Luis Abinader has invigorated the General Consulate of the DR in New York and strengthened its services to the community.
He informed that between 200 and 300 people come daily to the consular headquarters located on the fourth floor of 1501 Broadway Avenue, in the iconic area of Times Square, in Lower Manhattan.
He indicated that the consular headquarters houses branches of the Ministry of Interior and Police, National Passport Office, National Institute of Transit and Land Transportation (Intrant), General Directorate of Customs, National Health Insurance (Senasa), Technical Office of Titling and Happy Housing Project. There are also non-governmental offices belonging to the Central Electoral Board (JCE) and the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD).
He added that Dominicans go to carry out the most diverse diligences, most of them related to passports, route letters, birth certificates, driver’s licenses, use of firearms in the DR, validation of school grades, legalization of documents, etc.
He highlighted the rebate applied by initiative of President Abinader to payments for services. “For example, renewing a passport for six years we found it at US$190 and first we lowered it to US$130 and now it is at US$125. Renewing a passport for ten years we found it at US$295 and now it is at US$195. Obtaining a power of attorney to materialize any transaction cost US$160 and now it is at US$100. And the so-called route letters, which are used by people with passport problems, used to cost $100 and now it is only $50”.
Mateo, who is also president of the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) in New York, cited as a bright spot the installation of consular satellite offices in upper Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens that allow Creoles to receive the same services without having to go to the central dependency in Times Square.
“Many people think that the Consulate is a simple money box for the Dominican government and that is not the case. The Consulate is also a center for social assistance to the Dominican community, without taking into account any political party affiliation”. To support this criterion, he pointed out: “support is offered to the elderly, to sports groups, to people who need to transfer corpses to Santo Domingo and even to Dominicans who emigrated and want to return to the country for good and do not have the resources to do so”, he explained.
He recalled that “when the current government took office, there were 57 people performing the functions of vice-consul, several of them residing in Santo Domingo and being paid in dollars. Now there are only five vice-consuls, which gives an idea of the change registered. And the overall number of employees is 220 people”.
One aspect to which he conferred great importance is the promotion of the Senasa insurance, which allows Dominicans acquiring and residing in New York to receive medical assistance when they are in the DR.