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Daily News - 14 August 1998

Chamber of Deputies approves US$160 million in loans
The Chamber of Deputies approved loan projects for US$160 million yesterday. These had been approved by the Senate the day before. The loan contracts were approved in a session that took place from 7 to 9 pm. The president of the Chamber of Deputies waited from 11 am for the necessary quorum.
During the session, the execution of the budget during the 1990-93 years of the Balaguer administration was passed. Then the deputies passed the loans that will primarily benefit the health sectors. Of the total US$105 will go to health programs. Most of the loans are granted by the Inter American Development Bank and the World Bank.

Who will be the next president of the Chamber of Deputies?
Will the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Hector Rafael Peguero Méndez, PRD-Independencia, win over the sufficient deputies to be re-elected as president of the Chamber of Deputies on Sunday? Will the hard-line positions adopted by the PRD board divide the nation's leading opposition party?
So far, the party's board has expelled dissident Peguero Méndez and several other PRD party members. These contest the expulsion saying it is illegal as the board did not follow party procedures.
Meanwhile, Peguero Méndez continues to gain followers that dispute the decisions of the board.
The local press reported that the board recently booed a petition from Peggy Cabral, the widow of former PRD leader, who sought to reconcile interests by choosing a third person as candidate to preside the Chamber of Deputies. And in a late development, the Listín Diario reported that the son of the former leader of the party, PRD-deputy elect Jose Francisco Peña Guaba, could ally with Peguero Méndez.
Other PRD members that are mentioned as possible voters for Peguero Méndez are Dolores González, Rafael Vasquez and Radhamés Castro, National District; Tony Pérez and Manolo Mesa, San Cristóbal; Emilio Crespo, Valverde; Fátima Pérez, Baoruco; Adriano Terrero, Pedernales; and Pedro de León, San Pedro de Macorís.
To win the president of the Chamber of Deputies, 75 of the 149 votes are necessary.
Peguero Méndez is also counting on the votes of the PRSC and the PLD that would add up to 66. President Leonel Fernández himself has said that his party's deputies could vote for Peguero Méndez. The PLD has a total of 49 votes.

Reshuffling within the PRD?
Orlando Gil, political commentator of El Siglo newspaper, speculates that with the late Dr. José Francisco Peña Gómez gone from the PRD, there could be a reshuffling of the affiliations of several senators. He mentions senator Fernando Alvarez Bogaert of the Unión Democrática, Ginette Bournigal, PRD-Puerto Plata and Bernardo Alemán, PRD-Monte Cristi could become PRSC allies in the near future, disregarding PRD party directives. Bournigal's husband was once senator for Puerto Plata for the PRSC.

New commission to push ahead Rosario tender
President Leonel Fernández appointed a Special Commission to complete the process to choose a strategic partner for the exploitation of the sulfide ore deposits of Rosario Dominicana. Proven sulfide ore reserves are estimated at more than 100 million tons, which could generate an estimated US$2 billion durin the well over 30 years life span of the mine. Decree 294-98 establishes that Eduardo Rodríguez will preside the commission. Other members are Andres Julio Espinal, Octavio Lopez, Silvestre Aybar and Frank Marino Hernández. A U.S., a Canadian and an Australian company dispute the tender that has been affected by strong lobbying.

Government criticizes others, then signs contract granting privileges
The acting president of the Partido Reformista Social Cristiano, Donald Reid Cabral complained that the government signed in March of this year a contract that exempts the company operating the Cayman Power Barge I from the payment of import duties, makes the state responsible for supplying and paying for the fuel to be used by the plant, in addition to paying US$0.04 per kilowatt produced, and other benefits. Furthermore, the contract grants commercial character to the contract, in detriment to the state. Donald Reid Cabral said that signing contracts like this one are contradictory to the privatization process announced by the government.

Iglesias and De la Renta residential community inaugurated
Spanish crooner Julio Iglesias and world renown designer Oscar de la Renta will host President Leonel Fernández and other guests at the opening of the Corales de Punta Cana residential touristic community in Punta Cana. On the same day, the President will participate in the inauguration of the Corporación Eléctrica Punta Cana, that has a generation capacity of 5 megawatt, expandable to 15 megawatts in the future. Also to be opened is a marina with two full service (cable TV included) docks with capacity for 40 yachts. A seafood restaurant and panoramic bar are part of the marina.
Boat tragedy to harden restrictions against pleasure boats
Minister of Tourism Felix Jiménez said that if the operators of boats in the beach areas do not subject themselves to the boat channels, the use of boats will be banned. He spoke in a press conference addressing the case of a 25-year old tourist seriously injured by a motor boat that was pulling a banana boat in the Punta Cana-Bávaro area. The Minister said that motor boats have caused 12 accidents, with the latest seemingly being the most serious. Recently, the operators of jet ski businesses in beach areas took the minister to court for restricting the use of jet skis in beach areas. It now seems unlikely, the jet ski owners will be able to win their case.

25th anniversary of National Theater
The National Theater will commemorate its 25th anniversary with the staging from 19-23 August of "La Traviata," the Giuseppe Verdi opera. Maestro Carlos Piantini is the artistic director of the production that includes a selection of the choir of the Cathedral and the National Symphony Orchestra. Invited artists are Amy Cofield, Alexandra Zalska, Maria Francisco Moreno, Paul Mclivaine, Ed Pierson, Fernando Geraldes, Alejandro Penzo, Oved Ureña, Diomedes Ogando, Modesto Acosta, Gan Porcella.

DR is sixth in Central American Games
The Dominican Republic is in sixth place in the Central American and Caribbean Sports Games behind Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia and El Salvador. The DR won five medals on Thursday, the fifth day of competition, bringing to 25 the total medal count. The DR has won four gold, six silver and 15 bronze.
Press reports also indicate that the DR has ensured 27 votes in its aspirations to secure the year 2003 Pan American Sports Games.

Fishing Tournament in Punta Cana
Anglers from Spain, the US, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic are participating in the First International Fishing Tournament sponsored by Texaco and Grupo Punta Cana at the Marina Punta Cana. The event opens today at 4 pm. Anglers will fish under the rules of the International Game and Fishing Association (IGFA) that establishes that, with the exception of blue marlins, all captured fish must be set free.

Equestrian championship in Santo Domingo
The "Felix Santiago" World Championship of Riders and Amazons is taking place in the Ciudad Ganadera of Santo Domingo, this weekend 14-16 August. Competitors from 10 countries have registered. The DR, Colombia and Panama are the favorites to win the most first places in the event. The event is organized by the Asociación Dominicana de Caballos de Paso. Competitions will be held in the 4-6 year old age category, 7-8, 9-11, 12-14, 15-17 and 18-24 years.

DR to defend title at Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships
More than 160 golfers and 200 special guests from 10 regional countries have registered for the Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships, the Hoerman Cup, at Casa de Campo in La Romana. With the participation of golfers from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados, Bahamas, Cayman Islands and Turks & Caicos, the tournament will take place Sunday, 16 August through the 23rd.
The tournament is held in different categories - Hoerman Cup, Senior, Super Senior and Women. The Dominican Republic is the defending champion of the Hoerman Cup.
Dominican team members are Robert Smith, of Club Cajuiles of La Romana; Carlos Arias, of the Santo Domingo Country Club, Antonio Olivo and Alfredo Campechano, and Michael Gil, La Romana and Jonas Fernández of the Santiago Golf Club. The DR will also be represented by Rafael Canario, José Marmol, Homero Saviñón and Enrique Ureña. Arturo Pellerano, Miguel Subero, Jocelyn de la Hoz and Francis Redman. Female players will be María Hurtado, Dominique Gagnon, Teresa García and Carole Tremblay.
This is the 42nd year of the tournament that rotates among Caribbean participants.
The event is organized by the Dominican Golf Association.
The Dominicans won the men's title, last year in Grand Cayman, a first in 30 years of participating in the event.
The finals will take place 21, 22 and 23 August.

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