Isthmian Update August 8

Another delay

Isthmian Update August 8: The restoration of the National Theatre must wait for the National Institute of Culture (INAC) to correct various deficiencies in the bidding process for the management of this project. This public event, worth $1.2 million was scheduled recently, but was canceled after mistakes were found in the specifications drawn up by that institution.

Uber strike

Passengers who use the Uber platform discovered it was out of service for nine hours last Monday. The Private Drivers Association of Panama (ACOPP) said the measure, which began at 3:00 a.m. and lasted until 12 noon, was to protest against the tariff scheme which threatens the sustainability and viability of their work. Uber operates through an application that is installed on mobile phones and the payment is by credit card.

Tourism advice

The Panama Tourism Authority (ATP) offered advice to mayors and municipalities to develop tourism projects, in order to make them sustainable and competitive over time. The administrator of the ATP, Gustavo Him, instructed the departments of Tourism and Products Planning in all regional offices to receive and evaluate proposals made by municipal officials.

Colombia to prevent ‘smuggled goods’

After Panama won the case against Colombia in the World Trade Organization (WTO) over high tariffs on imported clothing and footwear, the Colombian government announced that it will seek new measures to prevent the entry of “smuggled goods” from any part of the world. According to the Minister of Foreign Trade of Colombia, María Claudia Lacouture, her government will insist on this type of protection.

Biomuseum phase II

Another multi-million disbursement will be made by the State to the Biomuseum in Amador. It will be for $18 million to be used for the construction of the second phase of the facility, located in Amador. The Minister of Economy and Finance, Dulcidio De La Guardia, and Juan Carlos Fabrega, of the Amador Foundation, the museum curator, signed the agreement for the development of new galleries such as the “Oceans Divided-Aquarium”, “The Living Network” and “Panama is the Museum”, the creation of a botanical park and the incorporation of an audiovisual design. The “Framework Cooperation Agreement” between the MEF and the Amador Foundation will last three years and sets out commitments for both signatories.

Children at the Canal

About 200 children participated in the “Canal Kids Camp”, an initiative developed over nine years by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP). The children were received by the administrator of the ACP, Jorge Luis Quijano. At the camp the children learned, had fun and took a train ride to the city of Colón and the Observation Center at the Agua Clara locks.

Dominican insurance power

After three years in Panama, the Dominican-based insurance company, Vivir Insurance, has completed its portfolio of health services in the country. Eduardo Cruz, president of Human Group, the parent company of Vivir Insurance, said in an interview with La Estrella de Panama that after “the huge acceptance” of their local health insurance offers, they have decided to venture into other segment. “We will complete our offer with international health insurance,” said the Dominican executive.

Lack of work

Unemployment in Panama could rise above 6% by the end of 2016, if the government does not take appropriate measures to correct the course of the economy, say economists. According to figures from the Comptroller’s Office, the unemployment rate in Panama rose from 5.2% in August, 2015, to settle at 5.6% in March this year, i.e., about 104,000 Panamanians were out of works .

Isthmian Update August 8: Preparing for the next drought

To face the next dry season, about 60 producers in the Chiriqui province participated in a training program to learn about some activities that can be carried out. This year, drought strongly affected the livestock sector in the province of Chiriqui, so much so that some farmers lost their cattle or sold them without having achieved their proper weight.

Panama can do it

The Panamanian cardinal, Jose Luis Lacunza, said in Krakow, Poland, that, despite the doubts that many have, Panama will be able to organize World Youth Day 2019, a meeting expected to be “a revival of the youth, not only in Panama, but throughout Latin America”. Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Panama, José Domingo Ulloa, said that the next Youth Day in Panama “will be a blessing for the youth of Central America”, a region where “the vast majority of young people live in poverty, and are migrating or involved in drug trafficking and violence.”

A great fair

The Deputy Minister of Internal Trade and Industry, Manuel Grimaldo, who presided over the five days of the 39th National Handicraft Fair exhibition, expressed satisfaction with the great talent shown by our national craftsmen. “I feel great satisfaction, because this year our craftsmen exhibited competitive products in terms of quality and innovation that appealed to the public in textile handicrafts, wood carvings, pottery and ceramics, among others,” he said.

Insurance amendments

The Panamanian Association of Insurers (Apadea) calls for an amendment to the Insurance Act to facilitate the marketing of insurance through alternate channels. One of the innovations introduced by Law 12 April 2012 was the possibility that insurance companies could sell their products through unconventional channels, such as supermarkets or shops. In this way it was intended to increase the penetration of insurance, considering that they offer protection against possible accidents and will benefit the population, especially those with lower income.

Golfing destination

Panama is being promoted as a tourist and golf destination in the Route 21 program Canal + Golf in Spain, the only thematic channel specializing in golf and travel within the Movistar Plus (formerly Telefonica) platform, the most important television station in that country, according to the Tourism Authority of Panama in a press release. The document said that the director and presenter of Ruta 21, journalist Javier Varela, along with camera operator, José Antonio Vela, made videos from 20 to 26 July in several tourist destinations in Panama, and also from the golf course at Buenaventura on the Pacific coast, considered one of the best in Central America.

Young immigrants

Around 33.4% of the 58,000 immigrants who were regularized in Panama between 2010 and 2014, in the “melting pot” fairs were young people between 15 and 29 years, according to a recent report. Between 2010 and 2014, 57.569 residence permits were granted to immigrants with irregular status.

Wind power

Figures from the Comptroller’s Office reveal that wind energy has been the main force in Panama’s power generation in 2016. In the first months of this year, total electricity generation increased by 11.1%. It went from 4,109 to 4,576 kilowatts per hour (kwh), from January to May 2015 compared to the same period of 2016.

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