Isthmian Update Some of the news in Panama

Panama Canal Authority may reduce fine on North Korean ship

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced today that it can reduce from $1 million to $670,000 the fine on the North Korean ship that entered transit waters with undeclared weapons, if its leaders accepted the misconduct. The administrator of the ACP, Jorge Quijano, told reporters that the rules allow the Canal to lower the fine, but the North Korean authorities must accept that they were wrong by not declaring that they were carrying hazardous cargo on the ship Chong Chon Gang. “It had hidden cargo that could have been of some danger” to the security of the Canal, Quijano said.

Panama and Japan committed to stop overfishing of yellowfin and bluefin tuna

Panama and Japan have reaffirmed their commitment to preserve and develop yellowfin and bluefin tuna from overfishing, officials said. Various governmental and environmental organizations in Japan and Panama signed documents ratifying the agreement on comparative studies of development and sustainable use of yellowfin and bluefin tuna, which culminated with a technical evaluation meeting. The signing and press conference held at a hotel in Panama City was attended by the Aquatic Resources Authority (Arap), the International Cooperation Agency of Japan (JICA) in collaboration with the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (CIAT), Kinki University of Japan and the Agency for Science and Technology of Japan (JST) were also involved.

Agrotourism farms identified

The Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA), in Region 5 of Capira, has gone through the district looking for properties that can be certified as agrotourism farms. These journeys have paid off. The district has the most of this type of attraction in the area, according to Ruby Hidalgo, a coordinator of MIDA. “To date we have 35 farms that meet the requirements and have another 40 that are enrolled to start the certification process,” she said.

Holiday savings collected

Between $33 million and $35.5 million in holiday savings, which have become an option for many people, have been delivered since the first week of December from the National Bank and the State Savings Bank.

Biometric system to verify immigration status

The Ministry of Labor and Workforce Development (MITRADEL) will implement the Biometric System to facilitate the verification of immigration status in real time for the authenticity of work permits to avoid falsification of this document. The official launch of the new biometric system will be made by Darius Falcon Piraquive, Deputy Minister of Labor, said Mitradel and the National Immigration Service and it may verify the validity of work permits granted by the institution, and thus be integrated with information with the National Police Force for verification of the status of applicants.

The confiscation of property would be without compensation.

Casco Antiguo properties in jeopardy

According to the daily newspaper, La Prensa, The Executive could expropriate properties in the Casco Antiguo in Panama City, as an administrative measure against the owners of vacant lots and those property owners reluctant to invest in restoring or rebuilding. Last Thursday, the full National Assembly approved, on third reading, bill 433 which includes expropriation. Critics warn that although it is constitutional, and applies an administrative penalty without trial.

Retroactive property tax on revalued properties

The National Revenue Authority (Anip) will apply property taxes retroactively. The measure applies specifically to taxpayers who have declared improvements on their properties and gone through the process of revaluation. Yesterday, the administrator of Anip, Luis Cucalón, revealed what the government plans to do. On his Twitter account, he said, “Improvements reported in the Public Registry must pay taxes on the new value once it is registered. That will be charged retroactively.”

Riba Smith invests in food logistics center

Riba Smith, the supermarket chain, is contemplating an investment of $100 million to raise food technology in an industrial park: a logistics center from which it will produce and distribute all the fresh food sold by this company. All of Riba Smith’s renowned products such as its breads, the various cuts of meat, fruit and vegetables and milk products will be made and/or packaged in these facilities.




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