Week in Review July 26

Good grades

Marsh Risk Consulting, in partnership with RIMS (Risk Management Society) conducted a study on the integrated risk management of the Panama Canal. The report was shared with senior management, noting that good risk management had a positive impact, assuming that it is everyone’s responsibility, which promotes a competitive and resilient organization, Marsh Semusa said.

High wages

The expansion of the Panama Canal has brought revenue to the country, due to the transit of larger ships and the opening of new services, but the salary expenses of almost 10,000 canal workers has also come to represent a high toll on the company’s finances. During fiscal year 2016, the cost of the payroll was $599 million, that is, 25% of $2,483 million of income from the Panama Canal (ACP) expansion.

Supporting the GESE Editorial Group

At least six former presidents of the Republic, two former vice presidents, several former foreign ministers, ex-ambassadors of Panama in the United States, political leaders and public opinion, as well as spokespersons from various organizations joined in a public statement in which they express their support for the cause of Grupo Editorial El Siglo y La Estrella de Panamá (GESE) affected by the inclusion of its main shareholder, Abdul Waked, on the “Clinton List”, who has been accused of money laundering.

Improving connectivity

The latest tools and solutions of connectivity and telecommunications, designed by C & W Business for Panamanian companies and businesses, will be presented in the “Move On”. The event will take place on July 25, at the Megapolis Convention Center, starting at 9:00 a.m. It will have the participation of outstanding national and international speakers, who will lecture in more than 19 scheduled talks, where they will address diverse topics of technology, connectivity and innovation, the organizers reported.

Angry truckers

A group of truck drivers protested for the last few days demanding the suspension of Law 51 of June 28, which establishes a new regulation for the transport of cargo in the country. The drivers announced that they were not taken into account when this regulation was discussed and denounced that it has been studied only by a large group of businessmen.

Red Tape

State bureaucracy continues to affect the containers transshipment business in the country, as well as investments in infrastructure. Ports in the country are beginning to lose customers. “Customs bureaucratic procedures, the Ministry of Agricultural Development (Mida) and the Food Safety Authority (Aupsa) are affecting the transshipment activity in Panama,” says the former president of the Panama Chamber of Shipping, Rommel Troetsch.

Almost finished

There is a 75% advance in the expansion work of Tocumen International Airport. The information was given by the head of the T2 project, Juan Tuñón, during a visit by El Siglo to the project. Tuñón said that Terminal 2 will have 20 boarding gates and be able to handle between 18 to 20 million passengers. In addition to these doors, there will be another 53 additional contact doors to the eight remote positions that are in operation.

An agreement for COPA

The Labor Minister, Luis Ernesto Carles, ratified the new collective agreement for four years agreed via conciliation between Copa Airlines and the Panamanian Commercial Aviators’ Union (Unpac). This agreement benefits 1,072 workers and includes the creation of a retirement plan, increased coverage of insurance, allowances for uniforms and food on board (additional snack on flights for more than six hours).

Breaking point

Gambling operators have been red-tagged for three years and have called it the “chronicle of an announced death” since the government imposed 5.5% tax on chance games in 2015. To survive, casino owners have had to cut gaming tables by 50 percent, laid off more than 2,000 employees out of the 7,500 workers they had and are now considering eliminating one shift and leaving only two.

Nefastous immigration

Informal work in recent years has increased from 463,000 to 583,940 people, driven mainly by the migratory movements of countries such as Colombia, Venezuela and Nicaragua, among others, which has affected the national economy, wages and employment opportunities for Panamanians. The outlook extends even to the formal sector, where 87,736 workers were hired under informal conditions in 2016, but to date they total 323,906, representing 17% of the economically active population, according to economist Maribel Gordón.

Protecting the newborn

Law 55 of protection to the newborn came into force, which exempts from criminal responsibility the mother who does not want to keep her child and delivers it to a receiving center. This rule, which aroused controversy among interested parties, establishes in article 12, which modifies article 148-A of the Criminal Code, that a woman who first surrenders a newborn to a receiving center within the first seven days of life, certified by a pediatrician or medical doctor, will be exempt from criminal responsibility.

Green initiative

Experts and government representatives from 12 Latin American countries met in Panama to discuss how to increase funding for sustainable forest management, enabling them to take advantage of forests without deforesting or degrading them. The region loses 2.18 million hectares of forests each year. Globally, since 1990, 129 million hectares have disappeared.


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