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Daily News - 06 August 1999

What’s going on with the garbage collection contract?
The city of Santo Domingo had hopes of a significant improvement in garbage collection after it was announced that a Spanish firm was purchasing the Dixi Sanitary Services contract to collect garbage in Santo Domingo. Dixi has a contract to collect 1,700 tons of garbage in Santo Domingo, about 80% of the total, that expires on 11 May 2003.
Tons of new equipment would be imported including cistern trucks to wash city streets. Now all this is at a standstill.
News reports carry a confusing story of how two Spanish firms Urbaser S. A. and Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas debate the ownershp of the same contract. As a result, the Presidency is postponing the transfer of the garbage collection contract to the Municipality.
According to the Listín Diario, Dixi sold its contract to collect garbage in Santo Domingo to Urbaser on 30 June 1999. The Municipality of Santo Domingo then reached an agreement with Urbaser on 14 July. President Leonel Fernández assigned legal rights to Administrative Secretary of the Presidency Simón Lizardo Mezquita on 16 July 1999 to transfer the contract to the municipality.
On 19 July, the board of director of Urbaser, S.A. approved the Dixi-Urbaser deal.
On 23 July 1999, in a confusing operation, Dixi was sold to Fomento de Construciones y Contratas that now says it is the owner of the Dixi contract.
The Listín Diario questions the way Dixi has done business in this country which is again reflected in the obscure negotiations behind the Santo Domingo garbage collection contract.

Restoring dwellings in the Colonial City
A French non-governmental organization, Pactarim, will soon begin work to restore 30 dwellings in the Colonial City of Santo Domingo. The 30 dwellings are a first phase of a total of 120 Pactarim will restore after signing an agreement with the Dominican government. The repairs of the homes located within the walls of the first city of the New World is part of a four-year program sponsored by the French government. Architect Nelson Toca is in charge of the project. He said that 60 dwellings in the Colonial City urgently need repairs.

US$20 million to train former government employees
The Interamerican Development Bank is lending the DR US$20 million so that personnel fired from the governmental companies that are being capitalized can adquire skills necessary in the job market. Rafael Camilo, of the National Planning Office (Onaplan) said that the government seeks to relocate employees that will be displaced in remunerative jobs. The companies that have won tenders for the privatization of state enterprises are rehiring a large portion of their personnel, but others will need to find jobs elsewhere.

DR is doing well, but should watch out for monopolies
The Secretary General of the UNCTAD, Ruben Ricupero praised the investment climate in the DR. He pointed to what he called the nation’s enviable political and macroeconomic stability. Ricupero also had praise for the success in diversifying the Dominican economy. In the 70s, the Dominican economy was dependent on the export of raw sugar. Today, tourism, assembly industries and remittances of Dominicans living abroad are the major sources of hard currency.
Ricupero alerted that the DR needs to instate policies that reduce governmental red tape and favor the creation of jobs in small and medium-sized businesses. He alerted that the government should not encourage the entrance of large companies that may set up monopolies whose business strategies may not coincide with the country’s development goals at a given time.
Ricupero visited to participate in two important regional trade think tank meetings to coordinate the Latin American and Caribbean position before the Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization to be held in November in Seattle, Washington and the UNCTAD meeting set for Thailand in February 2000. The events were hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Relations and the Technical Secretariat of the Presidency.

Trauma Center restricts visiting hours
The Dario Contreras Public Hospital has become the first public hospital to limit visiting hours. The hospital, alarmed by an increase in expenditures, increase in internal theft and concerns about the cleanliness of wards, and safety of patients, said it will no longer allow relatives and friends to spend the night with patients. It was estimated that any given evening, there were an additional 400 persons walking around within the hospital. The hospital is now placing an extra work burden on its hospital personnel that in the past relied on the help of the visitors to keep on eye on the patients. Visiting hours are now limited from 1 to 4 pm.

US$31 million for frontier projects
The Lomé Convention has available US$31 million for projects to be implemented along the frontier with Haiti. Max Puig, chief of the Lomé Convention programs in the DR, said the money includes US$2 million in credits for frontier area farmers, and US$4 million for environmental programs. An additional US$25 million will be invested in the improvement of highways and Port Manzanillo, on the Northwest Coast.

Zip codes for the DR
The Instituto Postal Dominicano (INPOSDOM), the government department in charge of mail, hopes to soon implement a zip code program in the DR. The program will permit the automation of mail classifying services, increasing the effectiveness as well as the security of mail services. The Oficina Nacional de Estadísticas, Instituto Cartográfico Militar and Instituto Geográfico Universitario are assisting INPOSDOM in drawing up the bill that will be pesented to Congress.

Highway and road signs soon to go up
The Ministry of Tourism announced that 14 companies are competing in the tender to create signs for the main highways used by tourists in the DR. The winner of the tender will be assigned the contract for the signs along the highways from Santo Domingo to Puerto Plata, crossing the country from the South to the North. This same company will be awarded the contract for the signposting from Santo Domingo on to Punta Cana on the East.
The runner-up company wins the contract for the signposting from Puerto Plata to Samaná, running from the northcentral region to the northeast of the country. The runner up also will place signs leading to the mountain vacation areas of Jarabacoa and Constanza.
As per the tender stipulations, the runner-up company designs must be adjusted to the look of the first place winning designs.

Meliá Santo Domingo wins most awards at Gastronomy Prix
The Santo Domingo Meliá Hotel was the big winner of the 25th National Gastronomy Festival held at the V Centenario InterContinental Hotel on Tuesday and Wednesday. Executive Chef Pedro Núñez was the proud winner of 15 first places for the city hotel. The Meliá’s next door neighbor, the Renaissance Jaragua was the runner-up winning 12 awards. Boca Chica Resort followed with nine, of which seven were won on the first evening. The host hotel, the V Centenario won six trophies. Hotel Santo Domingo and Pola Supermarket won three each, followed by Hotel Delta and Exquisiteces Virginia that won 2 each. Pastelería Suiza Le Monde and El Chef each won one award.
The Gastronomy Festival is the most imortant held in the DR. It is sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism, the National Association of Hotels & Restaurants, the Hotels Association of Santo Domingo, the Association of Chefs of the DR and the Caribbean Traveling Network, a travel television channel.
On the first evening, the best in soups, appetizers, salted dishes, meats, Dominican cuisine, rices, and pastries won prizes.
On the second evening, salads, pastas, poultry, fish, seafood, vegetable, sweet dishes and Dominican sweets were judged.
At this year’s event, Simón Romero, of the Ministry of Tourism, was honored for his many years at the helm of the event.

DR wins bronze medals in weightlifting and judo
Sención Quezada and Eleucadia Vargas won two bronze medals for the DR yesterday in the Pan American Sports Games. Both Quezada and Vargas competed in the 63 kilogram division.
The DR delegation has won four bronze medals and one silver medal. The DR is ranked in 19th place.
The DR lost its only gold medal when high jumper Juana Arrendel tested positive on the drug test. The DR still has hopes for a gold medal in weightlifting today.

"Cartas" at the National Theater
The best of Dominican ballet will go on stage at the National Theater on Friday, 6 August and Saturday, 7 August. "Cartas", gathers talented Dominican dancers. Mercedes Morales, Michele Jiménez, Soraya Franco, Silvia Crespo, Victor Ramirez, Raul Valdez, Edwin Silfa, Armando Gonzalez, and Monika Despradel. Choreography is by Alberto Méndez (Cuba), Juan Fidel Mieses, Lourdes Ramírez, Antonio Gómez, Carlos Veitía, Mercedes Morales, and Victor Ramírez.
The ballet is a drama and the script is based on legendary letters written by Gabriela Mistral, Manuel Magallanes, Pablo Neruda, Rodolfo Boulanger, Gustave Flauber, Minerva Mirabal, Manolo Tavárez, Virginia Woolf, Van Gogh, Frank Kafka and Juan Pablo Duarte. Co-starring is actress Monina Solá and pianist María de Fátima Geraldes.
The letters will be read by Mariasela Alvarez, Nuria Piera, Milagros Germán, Mariela Mercado, Jesus Torres Tejeda, Jose Antonio Rodríguez and Felix Germán.

Santo Domingo marathon set for 7 August
More than 300 runners will participate in the 4th Hispaniola Marathon, set for Saturday, 7 August in Santo Domingo starting at 4:40 pm. Organized by the Club de Maratonistas de Santo Domingo, the 21 kilometer race along the Avenida de la Salud of the Mirador Park will offer cash prizes for RD$100,000.
The competitors will compete in 18-29 years men and women, 30-34 years men and women, 35-39 years men and women, 40-45 years men and women and 45 years+ men.
Organizers are charging a RD$50 registration fee that can be paid from 2-6 August from 6-8 pm at the Mirador Park.

Presidente Summer Games
Presidente Beer is sponsoring what is being called its Summer Games. Sumo fights (with contenders inside inflated balloon sumo costumes), races, roulette, beach volleyball and other games scheduled. There will also be live music with some of the top rock groups, including Al Jadaqui and Toque Profundo, as well as the participation of leading DJs.
The locations are as follows:
  • 8 August: Playa Salinas, Baní
  • 22 August: Cabarete, Puerto Plata
  • 5 September: Boca Chica, Santo Domingo

Michael Camilo at the National Theater
Michael Camilo, one of the most talented Dominican musicians and performers of all times, will perform his Concert for Piano at the National Theater. He will perform accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra that will be conducted by Carlos Piantini. The performance is slated for Wednesday, 11 August at 8:30 pm. Tickets are for sale at the National Theater box office.

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