Santo Domingo.- Wages of up to RD$34,685 (US$752) monthly (RD$416,220 yearly) don’t pay income tax, according to the Internal Taxes Agency’s (DGII) inflation adjustment.
A DGII statement says the adjustment based on the Tax Code uses the Central Bank’s Consumer Price Index. “Every year the DGII publishes a notice in January informing the table with the adjustments. The indexation was suspended for three years, from 2013 to 2015, by provision of law 253-12, fiscal reform for the financial sustainability of the State.”
“This suspension of the inflation adjustment to the minimum exempt from the individual’s income left without being indexed or not corrected for inflation totals around RD$3,500 per month.”
Jan 18, 2017
UPDATE Jan 18th: The corpse of foreigner Frank Joachim Ebert was found buried in the courtyard of the house of one of the detainees in Santiago. They German denounced as abducted; Four of them, including his wife were involved.
PUERTO PLATA.- It’s been more than 48 hours since the kidnapping and possible murder of a German agricultural entrepreneur who has been living in the Loma Blanca community in Sosúa. Judicial and police authorities still have no reliable clues of whereabouts of the German.
The missing foreigner who was allegedly abducted or murdered is a German citizen, Frank Joachim Ebert, since around his disappearance the National Police has reported that about fifteen people have been investigated about the assault and beating that he received in his residence last Friday night from three hooded and armed attackers.
Also in connection with the disappearance of the German Frank Joachim Ebert, the Public Ministry reported that Mrs. Maria Nunez, his wife, when questioned said that three hooded men arrived at his residence at about 11:00 pm last Friday. They knocked on the door and she opened it. They asked her for her husband, and immediately two of the antisocials went into the room where her husband was attacked.
One of the attackers stayed with Nunez holding her, while she could hear the cries of her husband by the blows received and minutes later the body of Frank Joachim Ebert was thrown into the trunk of a Mitsubishi of white color. Later they abandoned the vehicle after the Altamira tunnel in the western part of Puerto Plata.
This incident has caused a lot of stir and speculation in the tourist town of Sosúa, while several officers from the Central Criminal Investigation Directorate (DICRIM) of the National Police, arrived from Santo Domingo, have integrated to the investigations carried out by the Public Prosecutor’s Office since the alleged abductors of the German have not reappeared to ask for compensation.
The advance of the investigations on the vandal action, has presented difficulties since when the investigators arrived at the place, the agents of the National Police had already been there and contaminated the whole scene out of clumsiness.
Frank Joachim Ebert came to the country after having retired and lived in Loma Blanca de Sosúa. He was involved in agricultural production, he bought a large land to plant avocados and other fruits that he was selling in the regional market.
Source: Puerto Plata Digital
Jan 18, 2017
Santo Domingo.- The social and citizens’ organizations that have called for a march on Sunday to demand prosecutions in the Odebrecht scandal on Tuesday asked the Accounts Chamber to review the financial statements of some 30 officials and former officials with links to the Brazilian company since 2001.
The request includes the statements submitted by president Danilo Medina, former presidents Leonel Fernández and Hipólito Mejía, as well as former Public Works ministers Victor Diaz Rúa and Miguel Vargas as well as current minister Gonzalo Castillo, among others.
Group spokesman Carlos Pimentel said the senators and deputies should also be included.
In a statement delivered to the Accounts Chamber office which evaluates and inspects the financial statement submitted by government officials, group representatives María Teresa Cabrera, Fernando Henríquez and Bartolomé Pujals stress the need to verify and identify potential embezzlement.
Jan 18, 2017
PUERTO PLATA.- Moments of tension were experienced last night in the community Sabaneta de Cangrejos located on the Sosúa-Montellano highway, after a fire arose from the explosion of a dispenser in the propane gas bottle owned by the company Tropigas, which generated a tremendous “flare”, but no people were injured.
The fire occurred at 9:05 p.m. on Monday night, after a dispenser of the bottling plant exploded unexpectedly generating a flare that consumed the roof of the gas fuel station and the damages were reduced due to the fact that the fire emergency system was activated and closed the safety valves, thus preventing the flames from spreading towards the rear where the main tank is, which would have caused an explosion of unpredictable consequences.
As soon as the explosion was reported, several units of the Sosua fire brigades arrived to the site – Montellano and Puerto Plata, as well as brigade personnel and qualified personnel from the rescue and relief agencies such as Amber Rescue, Civil Defense and the SAR Rescue Unit of the Puerto Plata Air Base, who suffocated the flames
The mentioned incident kept the residents of the area extremely nervous, in addition the vehicular traffic got paralyzed fot more than 20 minutes in the section Montellano-Sosúa. Also it’s known, that the same plant packing of propane gas exploded in the 1990s, killing two people and where its owner Jose Castillo Capellán was severely injured trying to help several employees.
In relation to this new case of explosion in a bottling plant of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), still the authorities of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Environment, or the state security agencies, have said nothing. Apparently in this country money can solve everything in spite of danger that always lurks for the citizens who live in the vicinity of those gas stations.
Source; Detras del Rumor
Jan 18, 2017
Santo Domingo.- Haitian president-elect Jovenel Moise arrived at Higuero International Airport Monday night and affirmed his desire for harmonious ties with the Dominican Republic, noting that his visit before taking office is evidence of the brotherhood between both nations.
Dominican Foreign minister Miguel Vargas received Moise, whose plane landed on Dominican soil at 7:08pm. After speaking with reporters Moise was taken to the National Palace where he met with president Danilo Medina.
Medina and Moise headed a State dinner with business leaders from both countries.
Haiti president-elect´s two-day agenda in the country include topics such as free zones, energy, health, agriculture and tourism, for which he’ll meet with business leaders of the Punta Cana regioni.
Moise added that Medina has been invited to his inaugural on February 8.
Jan 18, 2017
The BenjiLock, has been designated as a CES 2017 Innovation Awards Honoree in the Smart Home product category. The award was received by its inventor, Dominican Robbie Cabral. The awards are chosen by a panel of independent industrial designers, independent engineers and members of the trade media to honor outstanding design and engineering in cutting-edge consumer electronics products across 28 product categories.
The Benjilock is the world’s first traditional rechargeable padlock with fingerprint technology. It was unveiled for the first time at CES Unveiled on 3 January 2017 and displayed at the Eureka Park in the Sands Expo and Convention Center at CES 2017, which took place 5-8 January in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The padlock’s battery lasts a year with an average use of four times a day. It is waterproof and resistant to extreme temperatures. The new lock is being marketed under the slogan “the key is at your finger tips”.
Cabral said the padlock would be available for purchase as of September 2017, and the range of products will include small padlocks for luggage. He said the smart padlock would be for sale at around US$49.99, making it very competitive.
Source: DR1, Acento
Jan 18, 2017
Santo Domingo.- Dominican Republic’s Defense Ministry on Sunday asked the Executive Branch to place nearly 200 officers on retirement, including a general and an admiral and more than 30 senior, mid line, and junior officers of the Air Force, Army and Navy.
The list of future retirees also includes 9 non-commissioned officers.
Among the officers who’ll be pensioned figures Air Force Maj. Gen. Ismael A. Alvarado, who maintains a public conflict with the Defense Ministry over the control of the military Social Security funds.
Alvarado has yet to pay a RD$3.0 million loan taken when he was deputy Defense minister and chair of the commission to create the Armed Forces Co-Op.
He was also the target of scathing critique doing business with loans for members of the military, while managing the Co-Op’s loan portfolio.
Jan 18, 2017
Santo Domingo.- (Update) at around 9am Monday Angel Rondon´s attorney Robert Valdez arrived at the Justice Ministry to hand over boxes of documents, to comply with the deadline issued by Justice minister Jean Rodriguez.
FILE.Odebrecht general manager in the Dominican Republic, Marcelo Hofke is expected to handover the contracts signed in Brazil, as well as the names of those who received the bribes in exchange for infrastructure works in the country.
On Friday Justice Ministry spokeswoman Tessie Sanchez said they expect the documents delivered early Monday.
“According to the notification of the request, the deadline for Odebrecht to deliver documents to the AG expires on the third working day at 12 midnight, so if they did not deliver this Friday, then they must do so no later than the next working day, which is next Monday 16, in the early hours of the morning, ” the official said.
Angel Rondon, representative of of the Brazilian company and named as having received the US$92.0 million to pay bribes to Dominican officials, in a statement released Monday, said he had handed over the documents required by the Justice Ministry.
A source quoted by diariolibre.com.do said Justice ministry Jean Rodriguez and other prosecutors will start the interrogations of former ministers of Public Works, former directors and officials of national agencies and utilities with contracts with Odebrecht.
In the statement Rondón denied having received funds from Odebrecht and affiliates to make illegal payments or pay bribes.
Jan 18, 2017
Forty-seven hotels in the Dominican Republic received important national and international awards during 2016. Many of the hotels received top honors in various categories, such as: family, romantic, luxury, all-inclusive hotels, best restaurants and best golf destination, among others. The following are the hotels that received top awards:
- Tortuga Bay Puntacana Resort & Club: Received top honors among all hotels in Punta Cana, and the fourth in the Caribbean (US News & World Report); Five Diamonds from the U.S. Automobile Association (AAA); World Luxury Hotel Award 2016 and the Star Category Award (Forbes Travel Guide).
- Royalton Punta Cana Resort & Casino: “TUI to Superior Quality” and “Loved by Guests” (Hotels.com).
- Luxury Bahia Príncipe Cayo Levantado Don Pablo Collection: One of the world’s most popular all-inclusive hotels; Romantic Hotels of the Caribbean (Travellers´ Choice 2016); Holiday Check Award 2016 and TUI Holly 2016.
- AlSol Tiara Cap Cana (3,800 rooms): “Best in the Caribbean” (Travellers´ Choice 2016).
- Eden Roc at Cap Cana(34 suites): “Top 25 Resorts of the Caribbean” (Travellers´ Choice 2016).
- The Reserve at Paradisus Punta Cana: Included among top 25 most popular all-inclusive hotels in the world and the Caribbean (Travellers´ Choice 2016); Four Diamonds from AAA.
- Luxury Bahia Principe Samana: Best Hotels in the Caribbean List; Best All-Inclusive List in the Caribbean (Travellers´ Choice 2016).
- JW Marriot Santo Domingo: Best Hotels of the Caribbean, Best Customer Service in the Caribbean (Travellers´ Choice 2016); Four Diamonds (AAA).
- Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro: Top 25 Most Popular All-Incluisve Hotels in the World and the Caribbean; 25 Luxury Hotels in the Caribbean, (Travellers´ Choice 2016) and Holiday Check Award 2016.
- Eden Roc at Cap Cana(34 suites): Luxury Hotels in the Caribbean (Travellers’ Choice 2016); Four Diamonds (AAA).
- The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real: Included among the top 25 all-inclusive hotels in the world and the Caribbean; 25 Luxury Hotels of the Caribbean (Travellers´ Choice 2016); Four Diamonds (AAA).
- Sublime Samana Hotel & Residences: Luxury Hotels in the Caribbean (Travellers´ Choice 2016).
- Casa Colonial Beach & Spa: Luxury Hotels in the Caribbean (Travellers´ Choice 2016).
- Four Diamonds (AAA).
- Casa Veintiuno (Sosua): Best Small Hotels of the Caribbean (Travellers´ Choice 2016).
- Hooked Cabarete: Best Quality/Price in the Caribbean (Travellers´ Choice 2016).
- Villa Baya Aparta-Hotel, Bayahibe: Best Quality/Prince in the Caribbean (Travellers´ Choice 2016).
- NH PuntaCana: Best Quality/Price in the Caribbean (Travellers´ Choice 2016).
- Hotel Villa Iguana, Bayahibe: Best Quality/Price in the Caribbean (Travellers´ Choice 2016).
- Viva Wyndham Tangerine: Regional Winner 2015 (Cristal International Standard.
- AlSol Luxury Village: Four Diamonds (AAA).
- Be Live Collection Marien:Regional Winner 2015 (Cristal International Standard).
- Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana:Regional Winner 2015 (Cristal International Standard, Leading Hotel in the Caribbean (World Travel Awards 2016) and Four Diamonds AAA.
- Barceló Santo Domingo: Regional Winner 2015 (Cristal International Standard) and Certificate of Excellence 2016 (TripAdvisor).
- The Westin Puntacana:Recognized by Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
- Four Points by Sheraton: Recognized by Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
- Radisson Santo Domingo: Recognized for Top Hygiene Standards (Himax International).
- Casa de Campo: Top Golf Destination (Celebrated Living/American Airlines) and Four Diamonds (AAA).
- Barceló Bávaro Palace Deluxe: Certificate of Excellence 2016 (TripAdvisor).
- Barceló Bávaro Beach: Certificate of Excellence 2016 (TripAdvisor).
- Occidental “El Embajador:” Certificate of Excellence 2016 (TripAdvisor).
- Memories Splash: “Best Family Resort” (Monarc.ca)
- CHIC Punta Cana: “Best Restaurants” (Monarc.ca) and “Loved by Guests” (Hotels.com).
- Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus: Most Popular All-Inclusive Hotels in the Caribbean (Travellers´ Choice 2016) and Holiday Check Award 2016.
- The BannisterHotel: Four Diamonds (AAA).
- Holiday Inn Santo Domingo: Safety Global Partner (InterContinental Hotels Group); Best Guest Experience (America IHG Rewards Club) and Certificate of Excellence 2016 (TripAdvisor) and Loyalty Champion Award.
- Puntacana Resort & Club: Gold Star in Eco-Friendly Green Resort Category (Travel Weekly).
- Pearl Beach Club: Silver Magellan in “Destinations and Beaches” Category (Travel Weekly).
- Catalonia Royal Bávaro: Gold Magellan 2016 in “Hospitality, Luxury and Design of Restaurants” category.
- Catalonia Hotels & Resorts: Gold Magellan 2016 in the “Hospitality and Social Media” category; and Four Diamonds (AAA).
- Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana: Four Diamonds (AAA).
- Dreams Punta Cana: Four Diamonds (AAA).
- Excellence Punta Cana: Best All-Inclusive Resorts in the Caribbean (Travellers´ Choice 2016); Four Diamonds (AAA).
- Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol: Four Diamonds (AAA).
- Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana: Four Diamonds (AAA).
- Sivory Punta Cana Boutique Hotel: Four Diamonds (AAA).
- Zoëtry Agua Punta Cana: Four Diamonds (AAA); World’s 25 Most Popular All-Inclusive Resorts (Travellers´ Choice 2016).
Source: Access DR
Jan 18, 2017
A couple struck down with severe illness while on holiday celebrating their Ruby Wedding anniversary will finally receive compensation after a ruling in the Court of Appeal.
Dennis and Margaret Wood, of Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, were celebrating 40 years together on an all-inclusive stay at the Bahia Principe resort in Cayacoa, in the Dominican Republic in March 2011.
But their two-week holiday was ruined when they both developed acute gastroenteritis after consuming contaminated food or drink at the four star hotel.
A judge awarded Mr Wood damages which included £16,500 for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life and his wife £7,500 – but TUI Travel plc trading as First Choice appealed against the finding of liability.
In London today, Sir Brian Leveson, Lord Justice McFarlane and Lord Justice Burnett upheld the decision given in Birmingham County Court which was based on the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982.
Bahia Principe is the sister hotel to the Bahia Principe resort in San Juan – where more than 500 tourists were awarded £3.5million after being struck down with illness in 2007.
Mr Wood said his dream break quickly turned into a nightmare.
‘From the very first night we noticed a range of problems, particularly with the food. Fish dishes were often very undercooked and we saw red meat being cooked on nothing more than a hot plate,’ he said.
The 62-year-old added: ‘We didn’t see any of these being cleaned before the staff added different meats to the same hot plate. I couldn’t believe anyone would think this was acceptable.
‘I suffered diarrhoea, stomach cramps, drastic weight loss and dehydration before being rushed to hospital after just days out there.
‘I stayed for five days and was diagnosed with both eyesight and bacterial problems – I was an absolute mess.
‘Once we got home I went to pick up our car but I suddenly felt very faint in the lobby of the building and collapsed.
‘I can’t remember too much but know I was taken to hospital by paramedics and stayed for five hours while they checked me over. I was advised to go and see my GP. Unbelievably he told me to go back to the hospital.’
The judges in the Court of Appeal said underlying the appeal was a concern that package tour operators should not become the guarantor of the quality of food and drink when it was provided as part of the holiday they were contracted to provide.
First Choice’s counsel said it could potentially become liable for every upset stomach which occurred during one of its holidays.
But that was not what the judge’s finding, or the conclusion that he applied the correct legal approach, dictated.
Rejecting the ‘floodgates’ argument, they said that the judge was satisfied on the evidence that Mr and Mrs Wood became ill as a result of food or drink which was not of satisfactory quality.
Simon O’Loughlin, of law firm Irwin Mitchell, said: ‘Dennis is understandably devastated by what happened to him and he has good reason to be.
‘But we are happy that he can now put this ordeal behind him.
‘Dennis and his wife went on holiday expecting an amazing relaxing break but it was ruined by the horrible illness he suffered.
‘And then, to add insult to injury, the tour operator has fought them through two court hearings to avoid liability by seeking to rely on a technical interpretation of the law.
‘The Court of Appeal judges have unanimously agreed in his favour and we see this as a victory for common sense.
‘The couple only ate food and drank in the hotel and Dennis suffered very severe gastroenteritis as a result.
‘Their holiday was ruined and they deserve a fair settlement to enable them to put it behind them and move on.’
Jan 18, 2017