Isthmian Update February 6 2017

Delayed permits

Isthmian Update February 6 2017. The Panama City Municipal Council approved during a regular session, a resolution which establishes a moratorium on new construction permits in the sectors of Punta Pacifica, Coco del Mar, Paitilla and Viña de Mar, all in the suburb of San Francisco.

Don Bosco faithfuls

With a great procession, the Catholic community and especially the devotees of Don Juan Bosco, thanked for favors granted by the saint who is considered the father and teacher of the youth. The walk began at 5:00 p.m., covered part of the historic suburb of Calidonia and ended with a Eucharist as well as a family fair.

Lack of contributions

In 2016 government institutions and mixed companies contributed $1,171.2 million to the State coffers, according to a report from the General Revenue Department, an entity attached to the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF). The document reveals that the figure is higher by $36.2 million or 36.2% compared to the contributions recorded in 2015, which amounted to $1,134.9 million. Although there were companies that increased their contributions to the State coffers, others that reduced theirs, or did not contribute, such as the State Savings Bank (Caja de Ahorros) and Panama Ports Company.

Rubbish to produce energy?

A subcommittee on Trade and Economic Affairs of Panama’s National Assembly has revised and improved a Bill regulating the production of energy from solid urban waste, said an official source. The chairman of the subcommittee, legislator Samir Gozaine, said that he has a meeting with technicians from the Ministry of Environment (MiAmbiente), the Secretariat of Energy and the National Authority of Public Services (ASEP) to improve the bill.

Control your drugs

President Juan Carlos Varela called on his Colombian counterpart, Juan Manuel Santos and asked him to redouble his efforts to reduce drug production in the neighboring country, because this affects Panama. According to Varela, on the Panamanian coast there are a lot of drugs coming in from Colombia and this is due to the fact that the production of illegal substances in that country tripled over the last few months. He added that everyone received the peace in Colombia with applause, but the figures on drug production are high with record number of drugs being seized in Panama.

Odebrecht woes

Between the construction of the fourth bridge over the Canal and the hydroelectric concession Chan II, Odebrecht Panama, a subsidiary of the Brazilian company, has lost contracts worth more than $2 billion. The multinational company stopped participating in the tender for the fourth bridge over the Canal, whose cost is estimated at more than $1 billion. This is the second blow that the Brazilian construction company has suffered after it was discovered that it had paid “bribes” to senior Panamanian officials to win multi-million dollar contracts.

Protecting Ancón Hill

A team of students from the Technological University of Panama (UTP) began to draw the boundaries of Ancon Hill in order to transfer its protection to the Ministry of the Environment.

Protecting the works

Since 2016 the Department of Copyright of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries has received 771 application to register works. This was announced by the Deputy Minister of Internal Trade and Industries, Manuel Grimaldo, who also noted that this number of applications to protect works is the largest ever made over the past 16 years.

Preparing for a natural disaster

Raising public awareness about how to proceed in emergency situations was the objective of a citizen security forum that was held at the auditorium of the Panama International Maritime University. Present were the Rector, Aladar Rodríguez Díaz and, for the inauguration, Reyes Aguirre, coordinator of the Rotary Base of the National Civil Protection System (Sinaproc). Aguirre emphasized the country’s shortcomings in responding to natural disasters, which were in evidence during the presence of Hurricane, Otto.

Cruise ships ahoy

For this cruise season, which began in November 2016 and continues until May 2017, it is expected that about 175 cruise ships will arrive with more than 400,000 passengers at the port of Colón 2000. According to the season calendar in this month more than 20 cruises will arrive at Colón 2000. The Monarch cruise of Pullmantur continues to sail every Friday, with tourists coming from Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Central America and Panama.

Saving a bank

The Superintendence of Banks of Panama (SBP) reported that the intervened Balboa Bank & Trust Corp, has fulfilled three of the five stages necessary, which is why it decided to extend the reorganization of the financial institution that must be completed in 75 days. Panama’s banking regulator announced the intervention of the Balboa Bank & Trust Corp in May 2016 for its ties to the Waked family, owner of the tax-free La Riviera and other companies that were included on the Clinton List by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)) of the US Department of the Treasury for alleged money laundering and drug trafficking.

Less car transshipments

Vehicle movement in the port system fell 6.1% last year, according to preliminary statistics from the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP). Some 122,597 cars were mobilized at the ports of Manzanillo International Terminal and PPC Balboa, those figures were collected by the AMP collected between January and November of 2016. The activity decreased in the terminal of Manzanillo by 14.91%, with 65,551 cars transshipped, while in the same periods of 2014 and 2015 it registered 78,319 and 77,039, respectively.

Port of discord

The creation of the port of Corozal is the object of one of the most epic commercial struggles of modern national times. Panama Ports Company (Hutchinson) the largest port operator in Latin America on the Panamanian Pacific, is not willing to lose its main customer, Maersk, the Danish cargo carrier and the main user of the inter-oceanic route, which could look favorably at the new port that the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is pushing at a frenzy.

Subsidized transport

A total of $338 million has been given by the State to Mi Bus in the last three years to keep fares at 25 cents. This subsidy, which comes from the budget of the Transit and Land Transport Authority (ATTT), was $93 million in 2016, while in 2015 and 2014 raised to $106 million and $139 million, respectively, according to data to the tabloid, El Siglo.

Isthmian Update February 6 2017: Panamanian gastronomy in Spain

From February 1 to 5, Panama will participate in the XVIII edition of the International Gastronomic and Tourism Fair of Xantar, to be held in Galicia, Spain. The gastronomic club of Panama reported its participation this weekend, during a press conference at the Atlapa Convention Center. This country was invited to the event, through the Panama Tourism Authority (ATP) with the objective of promoting tourism and Panamanian gastronomy, since the fair of Xantar is considered a platform to show the countries of the world the tourist offers in the different segments.

House arrest for the General

After serving 27 years in prisons in the United States, France and Panama, the former dictator, Manuel Antonio Noriega, is in the apartment of his daughter Sandra, located in Coco del Mar, complying with the measure of house arrest. The arrival of the former general to the house of his daughter Sandra Noriega created reactions between the residents who live in this exclusive sector, since several began to beat pots and pans, just as was done at the time of the crisis, when Noriega was in power.

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