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809 in English

President Abinader strengthens border security

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Dajabón – President Luis Abinader announced this Sunday, 9 October, the strengthening of border security with the commissioning of robust military equipment and the creation of the Dominican Republic Air Force Southern Command in Barahona, among other measures.

The acquisition of new military equipment includes the replacement of 6 Huey II helicopters, ten new reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft, four anti-riot trucks, to modernize the fleet of the Dominican Republic Army, and 21 armored personnel carriers, equipped with automatic weapons for self-defense.

These armored vehicles, Uro brand, Vamtac ST5 model, with a capacity to transport nine troops, are of the latest generation and constitute the largest acquisition of this type of vehicle by the Dominican government in the last sixty years.

In addition to the purchase of the vehicles, the Dominican government has ordered the updating and modernization of the radio navigation aids, the construction of a new control tower and the transformation of the lighting system at the San Isidro Air Base.

The new helicopters will effectively perform tasks such as aerial reconnaissance and surveillance, tactical operations, personnel transport, search and rescue, medical evacuations, cargo transport, forest fire fighting and training.

In addition to this equipment process, the government has taken measures to improve the living and working conditions of the soldiers serving along the border line, such as the members of the 10th, 11th, 14th and 16th Infantry Battalions, who as of next November will receive an extraordinary monthly incentive of three thousand five hundred pesos in addition to their salary and the benefits they currently receive.

President Abinader also announced the construction of a new housing complex to house 400 new soldiers in a dignified and comfortable manner, and a 5% salary increase, valid for retirement purposes, to all soldiers to be made as of January 2023, in recognition of their years of service to the country as the backbone of national security.

The new measures include the remodeling of the Beller Fortress, in Dajabón, seat of the Tenth Infantry Battalion of the Fourth Brigade of the Army of the Dominican Republic, which will consist of a new hangar for helicopters and armored vehicles, dining room, multipurpose room and other facilities suitable for this type of facilities.

These decisions on equipment, border control and improvement of the living and working conditions of the military, announced by President Abinader, come after repeated calls by the Dominican Government to the international community to take measures to solve the severe Haitian crisis, aggravated after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, and the violent armed gangs that have taken control of an important part of Haiti.

The measures place special emphasis on the Dominican Government’s determination to control the illegal entry of immigrants, safeguard the border zone and contribute to formalizing trade for the benefit of both countries, especially in the current unstable conditions in Haiti.

In that order, on February 20, 2022, the Dominican Government started the construction of the first stage of a 54-kilometer intelligent border fence, made of reinforced concrete and metal structure, with 19 surveillance and control towers, 10 access gates for patrolling and 54 kilometers of roads for surveillance and maintenance on both sides.

This fence will have motion and thermal sensors, security cameras and high-capacity military-type drones, among other features. It will be continued with a second stage that will complete a 173-kilometer extension of the 391.6-kilometer border line.

Since his arrival to power, President Abinader has promoted actions to regularize and improve Dominican-Haitian relations, for which he has made it clear, even before the United Nations General Assembly, that although Dominicans are in solidarity with the inhabitants of the neighboring country, the solution to their problems are only their concern and that there will never be a Dominican solution to the Haitian crisis.

During his visit to Dajabón, President Abinader was accompanied by the First Lady Raquel Arbaje; the Minister of Defense, Lieutenant General Carlos Luciano Díaz Morfa; the Commander General of the Army, Major General Carlos Antonio Fernández Onofre; the Director of the Specialized Corps for Border and Land Security (CESFRONT), Brigadier General Frank Mauricio Cabrera Rizek; the Governor of Dajabón, Rosalba Milagros Peña and Congressman Darío Zapata.

Also present were the mayor, Santiago Riverón Arias; the director of the San Ignacio de Loyola Polytechnic, Father José Núñez; the general director of Border Development, Ramón Ernesto Pérez Tejada; the provincial director of Civil Defense, Luciano Domínguez.

Also in attendance were the president of the Chamber of Commerce, Quirino Escoto; the president of the Union of Neighborhood Councils of Dajabón, Blas Hipólito García; the president of the Board of the Livestock Cooperative, Leónidas Ignacio Caraballo; of the Dajabón Tourism Cluster, Carmen Iris Rodríguez; of the Federation of Merchants, Freddy Morillo; of the Union of Mothers’ Centers, Doris Margarita González; and of the Union of Pastors, Fermín Taveras.

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809 in English

«Unfounded, untimely and unhappy» qualifies MIREX statement from the US Embassy 

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Santo Domingo. – Manifestly unfounded, untimely and unhappy» considered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on November 20, the communiqué «Alert: Reinforcement in the course of migration in the Dominican Republic», issued by the Embassy of the United States of America in the D.R. on November 19, to which it expressed «its most energetic rejection».

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809 in English

Abinader urges OAS countries to improve citizens’ quality of life

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Santo Domingo. – On November 17, at the V Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities of Social Development, President Luis Abinader urged the member countries of the Organization of American States (OAS) to work together to address the current crisis affecting the world, with the firm purpose of ensuring sustainability and, especially, improving the quality of life of citizens.

He recalled that the governments of the region have had to deal with a pandemic scenario that paralyzed the world economy, causing serious financial difficulties: «under these difficult circumstances, the great social and economic inequities that still affect us have been exposed, caused by historical debts and social policies that are often insufficient and not very resilient, as well as the climate shock that represents a high cost in the GDP of our countries».

He stated that at this juncture, characterized by the uncertainty generated by the prolonged effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sustained increase in the main international commodities, the global impact of the war in Europe and the onslaught of b, all the nations of the world find themselves in a state of latent vulnerability that affects the normal development of their country projects.

He highlighted the contributions made by the OAS since 1948 as an entity called to defend peace and justice, to promote solidarity among countries and to defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of the nations of the hemisphere and recognized that our region has the privilege of being the first in the world to form a regional organization called to promote cooperation and dialogue without limits of cultures, economic differences and geographical demarcations.

The Dominican government, said Abinader, has taken a series of measures aimed at combating inequalities, strengthening the welfare state to guarantee the future of the next generations, citing among them, the affiliation of 2 million citizens to the family health insurance of the subsidized regime, reaching a coverage of just over 98% of the total population.

The theme of the V Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities of Social Development is «Strengthening Hemispheric Cooperation towards Resilient Reconstruction and Sustainable Social Development in the Americas» and, in this regard, the President highlighted the priorities of the Dominican Government in the aftermath of the pandemic. 

«We have focused our work on two major areas: first, on the rapid recovery of economic activity and employment in the country, compared to the losses that the COVID-19 epidemic meant for our countries and, second, on improving social care through a new strategy to overcome poverty and vulnerability, which promotes the resilience of the population in vulnerable conditions from a multisectoral approach that allows the exit from poverty and prevents new people from falling into it,» said Abinader.

He added that from the government over which he presides «we have initiated several massive programs for the reconstruction of low-income housing and improvement of access to water and sanitation services in the country. We are promoting the largest program for the delivery of housing and land titles, favoring the most socially vulnerable population«.

He listed the government initiatives in the re-launching of the conditional cash transfer programs, today Supérate, introducing new components for labor and productive insertion and entrepreneurship of women as beneficiary population; and the increase in the coverage of these programs, doubling the amount of direct conditional aid, including the Aliméntate program and subsidies for the use of fuel for cooking and the payment of electricity.

«We have continued working on strengthening our social protection system, which has involved declaring as a priority the formation of the Universal Social Registry of Households and the Single Registry of Beneficiaries for the better allocation of public resources. Additionally, we are in the process of consolidating the Payment System of the Social Subsidies Administrator», the President emphasized.

He also mentioned the creation of the 14-24 Opportunity Program, as a comprehensive strategy to provide opportunities to young people who neither study nor work, so that they can be safely inserted into the labor market and the formal sector of our economy through training and other programs, in order to keep them away from paths that are not very beneficial for their future.

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809 in English

President Abinader highlights DR capacity to face natural disasters

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Santo Domingo. President Luis Abinader highlighted on November 17, the Dominican Republic’s capacity to respond to natural phenomena at the Fifth Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities of Social Development of the member countries of the Organization of American States (OAS). 

He indicated that «thanks to the articulation of the Social Protection System in conjunction with disaster management institutions, we have increased the capacity to respond and prepare for disasters with adaptive instruments to respond to emergencies, being able to identify those affected in a short time».

He referred that, since the beginning of the Government and in the middle of the pandemic, «we have reacted immediately to emergency contexts, from Quédate en Casa, as well as the Bono Familiar to mitigate the inflation produced in the middle of this year 2022 and the Bono de Emergencia for the recent hydrometeorological event Fiona».

According to the President, the Dominican Republic has already been an example in the region, thanks to the responses that we have been implementing through adaptive social protection, explaining that these experiences have been shared in forums of this type in counterpart countries and joint plans have been coordinated for the prevention and mitigation of disasters.

Activities of the nature of this ministerial meeting are intended to provide a forum for substantive public policy dialogue among member states on issues of hemispheric interest, according to the Secretary for Access to Rights and Equity of the Organization of American States, Maricarmen Plata.

These dialogues seek to identify common trends and priorities for regional cooperation, enable the exchange of experiences and best practices on policy development and implementation, and identify opportunities for cooperation, in order to establish the OAS work agenda to support Member States in advancing these priorities.

For this reason, the coordinator of the Social Policy Cabinet, Tony Peña Guaba, in highlighting the importance of sharing experiences, emphasized that the institution he heads has more than 12 projects of high dimension, among which he highlighted Supérate; Opportunity 14-24 for educational reinsertion, employment and support for youth entrepreneurship.

He also mentioned «Transformando Mi País» (Transforming My Country), dedicated to rebuilding homes, providing family and housing bonds and donating high-cost medicines, and the implementation of study programs and university internships, among others. «Distinguished colleagues, there are no individual solutions to this health, economic and social crisis, the solution must be collective,» he said. 

The event was attended by the Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Néstor Méndez; the Deputy Minister of Multilateral Foreign Policy, Rubén Silié; the General Coordinator of the Social Policy Cabinet, Francisco Antonio Peña Guaba; the President of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI), Ambassador Yolande Smith, and the Secretary of Access to Rights and Equity of the Organization of American States, Maricarmen Plata.

Also present were the Minister of Labor, Luis Miguel de Camps; the directors of Supérate, Gloria Reyes; of the Social Plan of the Presidency, Yadira Henríquez; of Adess, Digna Reynoso; of Inaipi, Manola Santana; of the Economic Canteens, Edgar Féliz; of the Community Technology Centers, Isidro Torres; of the Presidential Commission for the Support of Neighborhood Development, Rolfi Rojas; of SeNsA, Santiago Hazim, among others.

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