Isthmian Update – August 18

Toys for Darien

Darien, one of the poorest provinces in the country, will receive funds to buy more than 500,000 toys. A total of $2.5 million will be spent by the First Lady’s Office of Lorena Castillo de Varela for the purchase of 513,700 toys to be distributed over Christmas this year.

High birth rate

Data coming from the last Minsa report on the number of pregnant adolescents shows that during the first half of this year, the Ministry of Health (MINSA) registered the pregnancy of 5,782 young people between 10 and 19 years of age. When evaluating the figures, it is evident that in the country there is an average of 27.2 pregnant women giving birth each day.

Revenue deficit

The deficit in the collection of current revenues of the Central Government amounted to $327 million in the first half of 2017, according to figures from the Department of Revenue of the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF). According to the MEF report, in the first six months of 2017 they were supposed to raise $3,740 million, but raised only $3,413 million.

Uber problem unresolved

The Secretary of State Communication, has decreed that the Ministry of Government (Mingob) is the identity that will establish the regulations and provisions to regulate the transport activity offered by technology platforms in the country.

Conjunctivitis epidemic

With the updated figure of the Ministry of Health (Minsa) which details 25,057 cases of acute viral conjunctivitis, Panama is one of the countries most affected by the epidemic, among those which have been reported in the region. According to data from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) 13 American countries reported increased number of cases of conjunctivitis, among them Bahamas, Brazil, Costa Rica, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Turks and Caicos Islands, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, the Dominican Republic, San Martin , Saint Lucia and Suriname.

National Minimum Wage Commission installed

After a month of delay, the National Minimum Wage Commission was installed on Wednesday, August 16. The leader of Convergencia Sindical, Eduardo Gil, said that it will be a complicated negotiation because of the position of the employers on the salary policy.

“There is no willingness on the part of employers and the government to improve the salary conditions of workers,” he added.

15% to 30% increase on dairy imports

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MICI) met today with dairymen in the Chiriquí region to discuss the challenges facing the sector against the importation of the product. The meeting comes after the Cabinet approved a 15% to 30% increase on the import tariff of cheeses and milk substitutes, which were causing a negative phenomenon on the sector.

Water supply affected

The National Aqueduct and Sewer Institute (IDAAN) reported that the Federico Guardia Conte water treatment plant in Chilibre has electrical faults, which have caused several points in the capital city to be without the water supply. So far, without further details, it has only been mentioned that the technicians are evaluating the situation and will then give a detailed report on the fault.

Judge opts for jail instead of house arrest

Attorney Gonzalo Moncada revealed that former Supreme Court judge, Alejandro Moncada Luna, will no longer apply for a house arrest measure and will finish his sentence at the El Renacer jail. Moncada Luna expressed to his lawyer, Ramiro Jarvis, that he would make the personal decision to withdraw the request, not trusting the Panamanian authorities or the Institute of Forensic Medicine and Forensic Sciences.

Propertry tax exemption criticized

Unconstitutionality and discriminatory are the words used to criticize the Bill that increases the exemption range of the property tax to residences of up to $120,000, whose exemption would be done through the Family Patrimony Tributation (PFT).

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