Isthmian Update September 20

Protecting the environment

Isthmian Update September 20. President Juan Carlos Varela has passed Law No. 40 of 2016, through which Panama adheres to the Paris Agreement, an instrument that seeks to address climate change and prevent the planet’s temperature from increasing by two degrees Celsius. With this, Panama becomes the 28th nation to ratify the agreement on environmental protection. During the act of sanctioning, Varela said the government has the will to act to protect the planet before it is too late.

Bad advice

Insufficient results or foolish decisions made by various ministries and institutions raise questions about the effectiveness of the 504 government advisers, taking into account that $1,241,910 a month is paid to them. Government mistakes have cost the current administration a barrage of criticism from various sectors, which question the work of the directors.

Fast track school construction

The government gave the “go ahead” to the construction of a short-term training institute for technical careers in Tocumen, which is expected to meet the need of the private sector for more than 67,000 people with skills to perform tasks related to hospitality, tourism, logistics, construction, aviation, agriculture and other disciplines, in addition to proficiency in a second language. With the delivery of the order to proceed from President Juan Carlos Varela, the companies Constructora Meco and Central Rapiparedes Edificadora S.A., must build the ‘Instituto Tecnico Superior Especializado’ (ITSE) in no more than 26 months.

Tough bill

Companies that are registered in Panama and have operations in the country will be subject to economic sanctions and suspension of rights and even dissolution if they are in arrears with payment of the Tasa Unica for an extended period. This is foreseen in the bill that also creates the obligation for these companies to maintain operation’s accounting records in Panama. The project was approved by the Cabinet and will be taken to the National Assembly for discussion.

Offshore companie’s woes

Panamanian companies that do not have operations on national territory, the so-called offshore companies, will be required to keep accounting records of their transactions, according to a Bill approved last week by the Cabinet, which will be taken to the National Assembly for debate. This gives a mechanism to the authorities, which will have information about offshore companies’ transactions, something that has never happened before.

Equal port rights

In the next few days the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) will present a bill to give the same incentives which other ports enjoy to the future Port of Corozal. A source told the daily La Estrella de Panama that more than likely a State minister linked to fiscal matters will present the legislation rather than an executive of the ACP. This could be Dulcidio De La Guardia, Minister of Economy and Finance, indicated a source connected to that authority.

A new model

The president of the Colon Free Zone Users’ Association, Usha Mayani, refuses to accept that the model of the Colon Free Zone (CFZ) “is out,” as the government keeps repeating. She advocates making structural changes so that this free trade area can “reinvent itself”. She says that for this to happen reengineering is required, which would involve changing the management model that is under the control of the State. According to Mayani, the Colon Free Zone cannot continue to be managed by a State institution, which is affected by bureaucracy and hinders its operations.

Isthmian Update September 20: Food safety

Panama was commended by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Administration (FAO) for its advances in food safety and reducing by half the number of people suffering from malnutrition. The assessments were made in the context of the presentation of the Law on Food and Nutrition Security as part of policies to strengthen legal frameworks for food security in the country and implement the Plan for Food Security and Nutrition 2016- 2020.

No problem moving

The Panama Metro confirmed that the supermarket, Super 99, located in San Miguelito, has until September 30 to relocate before the work on Line 2 begins. At the same time, peddlers who are located in the plaza of the Gran Estacion have a few days to do the same. Hector Santos, legal representative of Super 99, said that they remain in constant talks with the Panama Metro, but he denied having lodged any appeal and also clarified that the site is rented.

Apps for conferences

There are more people becoming interested and involved in the second version of the Regional Congress of Hotels and Tourism which will be held in the capital city on September 27 and 28, according to the Panamanian Association of Hotels (APATEL) which has made its new application, Mobile Corehotu 2016, available to its partners. This application allows the user to obtain information on the Congress, which can be downloaded from mobile devices. The app will enable stakeholders to register and have access to all the Congress information and receive news and messages in real time.

Coalition against illegal immigrants

The creation of a diplomatic coalition between the countries effected by the immigration crisis in the region, was proposed by the Vice Minister of Public Security, Jonattan Del

Without permission

The Board of the Panama Canal Authority, through a statement, has clarified that it has not granted any permission to the company North Properties to deforest areas within the area of compatibility of the waterway. After detecting the effects of this project, the Board of Directors of the Canal has demanded that the company, which started operations in 2014, respond for damages and it must also comply with the mitigation measures for the environment, soil and nearby water sources.

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