Poverty June 7, 2016 | 9:18 am

Dominican town mired in poverty as tourism development beckons

Pedernales, Dominican Republic.- The lack of production at thefacilities of a cement plant and a mine has forced the layoffs of 500 workers,and unleashed a domino effect over the population, with a lack of business and adwindling Dominican-Haiti market.

The Dominico Venezolana Mining Company (Dovemco) has had tolay off around 300 workers as the bauxite and other minerals markets sputter. Listin.com.doreports that Dovenco has started to pull out its equipment, while its laid offworkers will get their severance pay.

For its part, Cement maker Cementos Andino Dominicanos alsosuffers from a stymied economy, while the binational market struggles with alack of money.

Pedernales’ binational market held Mondays and Fridays beganto show signs of stagnation yesterday, when products and merchandise remainedin shelves gathering dust.

Also suspended but without pay were around 80 workers ofthe packaging company EPZ, which markets used imported garments.

Quoted by Listin, EPZ administrator Fray Rodriguez said it workerswere suspended without pay because the company is refurbishing its facilities,and should be back to work as early as next week.

Adding to the economic woes was the firing of the more than50 workers designated by previous province governor Angel Odalis Zabala. The laidoff workers now await the government’s help in the form of temporary jobs as cleanupcrews, to ease the blow of unemployment.

Light at the end of the tunnel

The light at the end of the tunnel comes in the form of theprovince’s longtime promised tourism development, with the unrivaled sevenkilometers of pristine beach of Bahia de Las Aguilas.

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