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Daily News - 27 October 1999

Protected business holds on to privileges
Ignacio Mendez, president of the Federation of Industrial Associations (FAI) says that Dominican business interests are behind the delay in Congress passing of the tax reform bill. He said several large companies prefer the status quo so they can keep their privileges and not have to compete on equal terms with other companies. He also attributed fault to the Executive Branch that has merely sent the bill to Congress and has not lobbied aggressively on its behalf. He also said that Congress is not without blame because it has fallen prey to the business group interests and not been able to make a decision and pass the bill that would be in the best interest of the majority of the Dominican people. He favors the bill that was sent to Congress by the National Planning Office and the Technical Secretariat.
The bill proposes primarily to reduce import tariffs and increase the ITBIs tax.

Sales up 20% so far this year
The Dirección General de Impuestos Internos, the local internal revenue department, says that retail sales have increased more than upwards of 20% this year. The DGII reports there has been an increase of RD$553.5 million in ITBIs sales taxes this year, or 19.8%. Retail sales from January to September (reporting for the ITBIs tax) reached RD$41,703.7 million. The DGII collected ITBIs worth RD$3,336.3 million. Consumer goods in the DR are levied an 8% ITBIs tax. This tax does not affect basic food products.

Congress gives airport privatization a go
The National Senate approved the agreement signed between the Dominican government and Aerodom that provides for the lease of four Dominican airports. Twenty-five of 30 senators voted in favor of the approval of the lease contracts. The Senate had earlier sent these to the Executive Branch with its suggestions for modifications. The Executive Branch returned the agreement to Congress with an addendum incorporating the recommendations. Aerodom now has the go ahead to begin plans to improve operation of the Gregorio Luperón (Puerto Plata), Las Americas (Santo Domingo), Arroyo Barril (Samana) and Maria Montez (Barahona) airports. Aerodom and its minority foreign parties have been contracted to make millionaire investments in the expansion and improvement of these airports.

Sports park to be transport center for November Summit
The Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Center will be closed to the general public from 17-30 November. Juan Marichal, Minister of Sports, said that entrance to the park will be restricted, primarily on the southern side of the Olympic Center, near the Volleyball Pavilion and the Sports Palace. During the last two weeks of the year, the sports center will be center of operations for the staff and vehicles that will provide the security for the 72-visiting heads of state and government. The Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Heads of State and Government Summit will bring over 2,000 delegates to the DR from Africa, the Caribbean, Pacific Basin countries, as well as Europe and delegates from international organizations. This will be the largest summit ever held in the Americas. The Officers Club of the Armed Forces Ministry will be the official site of the work sessions, of the event that will open at the National Theater.

Cardinal López says DR has helped Haiti a lot
Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez feels the Dominican Republic has already done its share to help out Haiti. Haiti continues to be the most economically-depressed country of the Americas, and to suffer from political instability.
The head of the Dominican Roman Catholic Church feels it is unacceptable for the international community to think that Haitian migration to the DR can be that country's solution to its problems. Instead, he called for the international community to come to the rescue of Haiti. In his opinion, the magnitude of Haiti's problems are more than the DR can handle. He commented that the DR has already made major contributions by providing free medical and education services to the thousands of indigent Haitians that are crossing the frontier.
Cardinal López Rodríguez favors creating conditions so that Dominican capitals and those from other countries can invest in Haiti. He feels this is a definitive way to help that nation and avoid the massive exodus of work-seeking Haitians to Dominican territory. He said he made this proposal several years ago but it has not prospered because of the political instability in Haiti.
Now, there are a series of conditions that may make the effort to promote Dominican investment in Haiti worth a second try. The Caribbean Common Market (Caricom) has admitted Haiti, providing conditions for intra-Caribbean duty-free trade of goods manufactured in Haiti. Likewise, Haitian textile exports are not restricted by quotas or limited to using US materials as are Dominican apparel exports.
Cardinal López Rodríguez spoke to journalists during the signing of a US$82,000 donation by the Japanese government. The money will be used to build an orphanage in San Isidro, on the east side of Santo Domingo.

PRD presidential candidate on Haiti
PRD presidential candidate Hipólito Mejía says that the best way to approach the Haitian migration problem is to implement a program to develop the frontier between both countries. In his opinion, the DR's most important neighbors are Haiti and the US. He emphasized that Haiti is an important market for Dominican produce. Thus, he said that the Haitian migration issue has to be handled without conflicts and without seeking political gains as has occurred in the past.

Journalist suspect assassin could be extradited in two weeks
Marc A. Winstein, of the South District of Manhattan said that former Dominican military, Mariano Cabrera Durán may be extradited to the DR in 15 days time. Cabrera is accused of having fired the bullet that killed the journalist in 1975. The case is being debated in Dominican courts, and the return of Cabrera is expected to give it a push.

Marine habitat created for delight of Juan Dolio scuba divers
The Juan Dolio and Guayacanes Tourism Association sponsored the sinking of the Tanya ship in front of the Coral Costa Caribe hotel. Juan Dolio and Guayacanes is a beach strip located east of Boca Chica Beach, and about an hour from Santo Domingo. The Navy and the National Aquarium participated in the sinking. The ship will soon become a marine haven for thousands of fish and water creatures to the delight of scuba divers. The sinking of the Tanya was an initiative of José Ramón Martínez González, president of the Association. Similar ships have been sunken in the proximity of Boca Chica beach, and Dominicus beach, further east.

Compu Expo is leading event of weekend
Compu Expo, the local computer show, is taking place at the Hotel Dominican Fiesta this weekend. In its 15th year, the fair showcases telecommunications and informatics goods and services available in the DR. A complete program of conferences and talks is held parallel to the trade exhibition. The fair runs through 31 October. For more information, see www.compuexpo.com

Play Ball!
The Dominican Winter Baseball League Season begins today with games at 8 pm in Santo Domingo at the Quisqueya Ball Park and in Santiago at the Cibao Ball Park. Pedro Martínez, US Major League baseball's best pitcher, is expected to throw the first ball in the Licey vs. Escogido Lions game at the Quisqueya Park. Manuel Aybar, of the St. Louis Cardinals will be the opening pitcher for the Licey. Jesus Sánchez, of the Florida Marlins, will open for the Escogido. In Santiago, Efraín Valdez will open for the Aguilas Cibaeñas, and Fernando Hernández for the Pollos del Cibao. The fifth team of the league, the Estrellas Orientales of San Pedro de Macorís will start playing on Saturday. In that game, Sammy Sosa is expected to throw the first ball.

Licey Roster:
Manager: Ron Washington
Coaches: Dave Rajsich, Elvio Jiménez, Teodoro Martínez, Guadalupe Jabalera, Julio Valdez, Carmelo Castillo, Juan Espino, Milcíades Olivo.
Catchers: Henry Mercedes, Angel Peña, Sammy Rodríguez
Pitchers: Manny Aybar, Rafael Roque, Pedro Aquino, Vladimir Pérez, Héctor Almonte, Francisco de la Cruz, Claudio Galvá, Yon Germán, José de León, Felix Perdomo, Ben Ford, Mike Matthews.
Infielders: Willis Otañez, Rafael Martínez, Ronnie Belliard, Jorge Alvarez, Joé Guillén, Eric Almonte, Yoel Ramírez, Aramis Ramírez
Outfielders: Manny Martínez, Israel Alcántara, José Soriano, Daniel Ramírez, Omar Rosario, Julio Ramírez, Saturria Luis, Jhensy Sandoval.

Escogido Roster
Manager: Dave Milley,
Coaches: Derek Botelho, Mike Rojas, Juan Ramón Bernahardt, Jesús Figueroa, Manuel Castillo, Jesús de la Rosa, Silvano Quezada.
Catchers: Franicsco Morales, César King, Johanny Valera, Vance Wilson
Pitchers: Jesús Sánchez, Víctor Santos, Pascual Cocco, Rómulo Martínez, Máximo Núñez, Wáscar Serrano, José Ramírez, Dave Pavlas, Eddie Priest, Pedro Minaya, Jim Crowell, Francisco Montero
Infielders: Freddy García, Abraham Núñez, Juan Melo, Rafael Furcal, Amaury García, Fausto Solano, Sandy Guerrero, Elvis Penna, Fernando Tatis
Outfielders: Charles Carpenter, Wady Almonte, Ramón Espinosa, Rubén Mateo, Amaury Nina.

Aguilas Roster:
Manager: Tony Peña.
Coaches: Juan Jiménez, Víctor Ramírez, Ramón Pérez, Alex Taveras, Julio Martínez.
Catchers: Alberto Castillo, Melvin Rosario.
Pitchers: Fernando Hernández, Wayne Franklyn, Máximo de la Rosa, Wilson Guzman, Juan Perez, Benito Baez, Jesus Peña, Santiago Morillo, Elvin Hernández, Leoncio Estrella, Luis Vizcaino, Leiby Guzmán, Fernando Ramos, Aaron Fultz, Mike Riley, Ryan Jensen.
Infielders: Guillermo García, Franklyn Taveras Jr, Sergio Núñez, Dionys Cesar, Eddie Lara, Felix Martínez, José Santos Ortiz, Jose Fernández and José López.
Outfielders: Darrel Whitmore, Bill Selby, Omar Ramírez, Mario Encarnación, Patricio Claudio, Jose Taveras.

Estrellas Roster:
Manager: Alfredo Griffin
Coaches: Arturo de Freites, Carlos Juan Bernhardt, Rafael Ramírez, Luis Natera, Julio César Paula, Santos Alcalá, Rico Carty, Enrique Costante, Marciano Alvarez.
Catchers: Pascual Matos, César Devárez
Pitchers: Chris Michalak, Robbie Beckett, Matt Ryan, Vicente Padilla, Mike Saipe, José Mercedes, Salomón Torres, Ravelo Manzanillo, Julián Heredia, Domingo Jean, Máximo Heredia, Martin Sánchez, Yovanny Lara
Infielders: Desie Wilson, Pablo Osuna, Carlos Casimiro, Andújar Cedeño, Julio Lugo, Manny Alexander, Tomás de la Rosa, Raymond Núñez, Héctor Roa
Outfielders: Rob Ryan, Alejandro Díaz, Carlos Adolfo, Juan Carlos Tolentino, Hector de la Cruz, Pedro Santana

Pollos Roster:
Manager: Miguel Dilone
Coaches: Adriano Rodríguez and Nelson Silverio, Herminio Silverio,
Catchers: Sandy Martínez, Angelo Encarnación, Juan Brito and Carlos Mota.
Pitchers: Efrain Valdez, Miguel Batista, Jose Martínez, Roberto Durán, Delfino Mejía, Damaso Marte, Dennis Brito, Isabel Girón, Gerardo Padua, Roberto Manzueta, Juan Aracena, Simon Sánchez, Fraklin Núñez and Edwin González.
Infielders: Fausto Cruz, Santiago Pérez, Tilson Brito, Luis García, Julián Yan, Franklin Parra, Santiago Henry, Teuris Olivares, Enohel Polanco, Julio Bruno
Outfielders: Jesus Campo, Juan Silvestre, Ramón Moreta, Wilton Guerrero, Ramón Gómez, Juan Diloné, Lisandro Roger and Juan Sosa.

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