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Daily News - 02 July 1998

President announces measures to control government spending
Addressing the nation on television last night, President Leonel Fernández announced measures to control government spending. The President authorized a freeze on government payroll spending to levels of May of this year. The President ordered department heads of central and autonomous government institutions to reduce non-priority expenditures. He ordered that heads of government institutions establish the priority of works under construction. Moreover, he announced measures to restore credit worthiness to the government, by way of a system of improved budgetary execution. He announced the creation of the Commission of Budgetary Follow-up with caps on expenses established for each trimester. The commission will be head by the Technical Secretary of the Presidency, and the members are the Minister of Finance, Administrative Secretary of the Presidency, and the directors of the Budget and Planning Departments.

Maternity Hospital reopened
The Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia Maternity Hospital, the principal obstetrics center in the DR, reopened after almost six months of renovations. The hospital had been closed for the improvements. The government invested over RD$300 million to reconstruct, expand and equip the important hospital.

Government announces dredging of Puerto Plata port
The government ordered the dredging of the Port of Puerto Plata at a cost of RD$100 million. The government has also allotted funds for the placing of signs on main highways and streets of Puerto Plata. The authorities also committed to complete this year the Cupey and Guzmancito highways and public schools already under construction.

Government to establish limits to tobacco planting
The director of the Instituto Nacional del Tabaco, agronomist Gaspar Polanco confirmed there has been an overproduction of tobacco in the DR. He said that the excellent prices farmers were paid for their crops in 1996-1997 lured farmers of other crops to switch to planting tobacco. While the 1996-1997 harvest was 591,000 quintals, the 1997-1998 harvest surpasses 900,000 quintals. He explained that last year there were 92 factories, today there are 108. Agronomist Polanco says there is a glut of the crop.
The Instituto Nacional del Tabaco is a dependency of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Polanco says that the government is taking measures, such as the restriction of credit, to impede that tobacco be planted outside of the zones that are most adequate for this crop.
In 1986 some 242,717 tareas (629 square meters to the tarea) were planted with tobacco. In 1998, some 487,696 tareas were planted.

Power generation up, says government
The Corporación Dominicana de Electricidad announced a record production of energy. The CDE said that power plants were producing 1,300 megawatts during peak hours, a high for recent years. Production is up about 10%. Blackouts have been considerably reduced, but there are government plants to implement major plant maintenance works in September.

Look who's running for President
The most likely candidates for President in year 2000 are Milagros Ortíz Bosch for the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano, Jacinto Peynado for the Partido Reformista Social Cristiano and Jaime David Fernández Mirabal for the Partido de la Liberación Dominicana, according to results of the Hamilton & Staff poll commissioned by Hoy newspaper and carried out 5-12 June. Of the three, Ortíz Bosch leads with 43%, followed by Peynado with 31% and Fernández Mirabal with 26%.
Ortíz Bosch, 61, is senator re-elect for Santo Domingo, Jacinto Peynado, 57, has twice been senator for Santo Domingo, Vice President of the Republic and a candidate to the presidency. Jaime David Fernández, 41, has twice won the senate seat for the province of Salcedo, and is the present Vice President of the Republic.
Ortíz Bosch is a graduate of law from the Universidad de Santo Domingo, Peynado is graduate in economics and business administration with a masters from the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania.
Fernández Mirabal is an agronomist and psychiatrist who has studied in INTEC in Santo Domingo with post graduate studies in Spain.
The newspaper's political editor, Gustavo Olivo Peña points out that 90 out of every 100 Dominicans surveyed feel that men and women are equal in politics, and would not think twice about voting for a woman. He was referring to the possibility of Milagros Ortíz Bosch being the candidate of the party in the year 2000 elections. This would be a first time that a woman runs for President in the DR with the support of a major political party.
The PRD is the strong party, with an estimated 50% of the vote. The PRD has to overcome internal conflicts, a normal occurrence within the party. Three factions seek the presidency - Hipólito Mejía, Rafael Suberví Bonilla and Hatuey Decamps - aside from Ortíz Bosch, who in polls has received the most points, and is now in a "why not" attitude about running for President. She had been proposed as a vice presidential candidate by the other factions.
Peynado has in his favor that in a recent Hamilton & Staff survey, he received more points than the PRSC party leader, former President Balaguer. 31% favored Peynado over 26% who favored nonagenarian Balaguer.
Fernández Mirabal has kept a low profile as Vice President. He is not associated with the errors of government and is a refreshing and popular figure.

Here comes the ferry
The "Regal Voyager" makes its first trip on the Santo Domingo-Mayagüez, Puerto Rico route today. The ferry that is linking Puerto Rico and the DR is offering round trips from US$101 per person. Vehicles are transported from US$171.
The ferry has on board a casino, bar, cafeteria, restaurant, movie house, discotheque, duty free stores, gymnasium with sauna and jacuzzi, cabins, conference room. The ship has capacity for 550 passengers, 3,700 feet of lineal cargo and 250 automobiles.
The crossing takes 12 hours.
There is a long list of requirements to transport a vehicle to Puerto Rico, and persons interested in traveling with their vehicles should make plans with a week in advance. The ferry restricts vehicles to traveling only with the owner, or with a spouse that needs to present a marriage certificate. Vehicles need to return with the owner to the country of origin. Drivers need to present proof of ownership. If the vehicle has been bought on an installment plan, authorization of the creditor is necessary as well as a full insurance covering the vehicle. The ferry also requires a photo of the front, right and left sides and rear of the vehicle. Only vehicles in excellent condition using unleaded gasoline will be transported.
The ship will arrive to Santo Domingo on Tuesday at 7 am to depart that evening at 8 pm. It will return on Thursday at 7 am, departing that evening at 8 pm. On Saturday, the ferry will arrive again at 7 am, but will remain in the Port of Santo Domingo that evening, departing on Sunday at 8 pm.

Limiting the use of jet skis on DR beaches
The Ministry of Tourism has prohibited as of 6 July the use of jet skis in the beaches of Boca Chica, Playa Caribe, Guayacanes, Juan Dolio, Villa del Mar, La Romana, Isla Catalina, Bayahibe, Boca de Palmilla (Samana), Cayo Levantado, Las Terrenas desde Playa Moron hasta Playa Coson, Matancitas, Playa de los Gringos, Caletón (Río SanJuan), Playa Grande, Playa Bretón, El Caliche, Diamante, Playa Magante, Cabarete, Sosua, Playa Dorada, Costambar, Cofresí, Long Beach, Poza del Castillo (Puerto Plata), Luperón, Los Patos (Barahona), Bahía de las Aguilas (Pedernales).
The prohibition was decreed to preserve the safety of the persons using these beaches.
The use of jet skis is allowed within established limits at the Playa de la Caleta in La Romana, Playa de Baní, and Playa Salinas from Monday to Thursday, with the exception of holidays.
Their use is also authorized for the Playa de Andrés, Boca Chica from the Santo Domingo Yacht Club to the Port of Boca Chica.
Jet Skis are also permitted in the Playa Boca de Yuma and Boca de Maimón to Sabana de la Mar. From Sánchez to Arroyo Barril in the province of Samana. From Playa Buen Hombre and from the Yacht Club to Navy station in the Playa de Punta Rucia and Playa de Montecristi.
Their use is also authorized in the area of the Playa de Maimón in Puerto Plata, one kilometer in the direction North-South to either side of the Navy station.
The Police and the Navy are in charge of enforcing the resolution of the Ministry of Tourism.

Five Dominicans in Major League All Star Game
Dominicans Bartolo Colón, Sammy Sosa, Pedro Martínez, Alex Rodríguez and Moisés Alou were chosen to play in the All Star Game of the Major Leagues, this 7 July at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado.
They are among a record 17 Latin American players chosen. Last year, 14 Latin Americans were chosen for the All Star Game.
Puerto Rico has the most players chosen for the game, six in total.
Bartolo Colón (Cleveland Indians), Player of the Month of the American League, has a record of eight wins and 2.51 pitching average.
Moises Alou (Houston Astros) has hit 18 home runs, 67 RBIs and is averaging .320.
Pedro Martínez (Boston Red Sox) is pitching for 10-2 and a 3.02 average.
Sammy Sosa (Chicago Cubs) is tied for second most home runs hit this season, with 33, has 79 RBIs, and is batting for a .327 average in the first 79 games of the season.
Shortstop Alex Rodríguez (Mariners of Seattle), 27 home runs, .310 average.

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