Tuesday 19th September 2023.

September 18, 2023


The deputy of the Democratic Change Party (CD), Ana Giselle Rosas , presented a protection of constitutional guarantees against the decision of the president of the National Assembly, Jaime Vargas , not to accept the process of forming the parliamentary faction “The good is coming.” .

Rosas explained that since last July 4 they presented the requirements established in articles 221 and 222 of the Internal Regulations of the National Assembly for the formation of that parliamentary faction, but that Vargas has not explained why the procedure for the recognition of your right.

She said that Vargas, as president of the Assembly, has not given an official response regarding his refusal to recognize the new parliamentary faction “The Good Comes.”

She alleged that the legal representation of CD is the new parliamentary faction, since there are other members who are deputies of that political conglomerate who are trying to run for other political parties.

The new bench, which is separated from the current CD bench, is made up of Rosas and her colleagues Rony Araúz, Edwin Zúñiga and Génesis Arjona.

Yesterday Monday the period established by the National Directorate of Pharmacy and Drugs of the Ministry of Health (Minsa) expires to receive envelopes from companies interested in obtaining the manufacturing license for medicinal cannabis derivatives.

This was reported by the entity’s national director of Pharmacy and Drugs, Elvia Lau, who explained that this week the envelopes of the proposals presented will be opened.

Last June, about 20 companies participated in the approval meeting with a view to obtaining a license to manufacture medicinal cannabis derivatives.

The concerns presented by the businessmen were brought to the Cannabis Technical Council, an entity that can make addendums to the rules, the entity assured.

In fact, the rules indicated that interested parties had until August 29 to request clarifications and ask the corresponding questions on the website and the National Directorate of Pharmacy and Drugs had until September 5 to answer them.

In around 20 countries, medicinal cannabis is legal and both the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have recognized derived medicines. of said product.

Panamanian law specifies that medicinal cannabis is indicated to relieve chronic pain or nerve injuries; to control nausea and vomiting, as well as conditions such as Alzheimer’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, human immunodeficiency virus and AIDS, cancer, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, seizures, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis and muscle spasms.

The voices of concern and questioning about the possible construction of a reservoir in the Indio River area that increases the volume of water for consumption and Canal operations, in addition to the length of the decision, were heard in the Budget Commission of the National Assembly. In the midst of the first debate of bill 1076, which dictates the budget of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) for the fiscal year 2023-2024, some deputies asked the directors of the canal institution about the option of building a new reservoir.

Although 15 deputies were on the agenda to intervene on the issue of the ACP budget, only 4 spoke due to the little time they had, among them Juan Diego Vásquez, who also raised his voice over the difficult decision that lies ahead: to build a reservoir to provide water to the population and the Canal, but at the same time it will affect a community like Río Indio.

“There is no easy decision in what the Canal administrator plans, although they are changes that will benefit the majority of the country, they will harm a certain number of the community in the area,” said deputy Juan Diego Vásquez.

For her part, deputy Yanibel Ábrego, who has been accused of purchasing state land for cents per square meter in the Capira area, maintained that the Indio River crosses three districts of the circuit she represents and said that on several occasions she consulted and the response she had received is that it was not the option.

“I would like to know categorically if the study that you have been working on has to do with the Indio River?” Ábrego questioned.

The administrator of the ACP, Ricaurte Vázquez, explained that there is currently a limitation for the Canal to build a reservoir on the Indio River, due to Law 28 of 2006 that approved the expansion referendum and which established that “reservoirs will not be built.” for the operation of the third set of locks.” And to proceed, that law would have to be reformed or repealed and allow them to build the reservoir.

“For the Panama Canal at this moment and especially for the consumption of drinking water, the Indian River solution is the most important and is the first,” confirmed Vásquez.

The Minister of Canal Affairs and president of the board of directors of the ACP, Aristides Royo, took the floor. Royo maintained that all the communities that have been affected throughout the history of the construction of the Canal, such as the populations that lived in the area where Gatún Lake is located and others, have been compensated.

What you can be certain and certain about is that if it is the Panama Canal, they will be talked to and compensation will be given and they will be transferred to another place, that is, no harm will be done to the residents,” said the Minister Royo.

“We are going to fight so that this does not become complicated for us by giving a fair and compensatory solution to those who populate that basin,” Royo added.

The Province of Bocas del Toro will be the most affected by the effects of Climate Change due to the projected increase in sea level, which will have consequences on coastal and island populations.

This is according to a study prepared by the Climate Change Directorate of the Ministry of the Environment, led by Ligia Castro de Doens, which indicates that 6.18% of Bocas del Toro may present coastal flooding.

The study details that the four districts of this province (Almirante, Bocas del Toro , Changuinola and Chiriquí Grande) are at risk of flooding.

By 2050, Panama will lose 2.01% of its territory due to the rise in sea level, warned Ligia Castro de Doens, director of Climate Change of the Ministry of the Environment, who explained the challenges that the country has in environmental matters and climate change.

“If the climate crisis continues to accelerate, this loss will occur before 2050,” the official said in a workshop organized by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The impact of climate change will be both social and economic since some of the communities that live in island areas such as the Guna Yala Region will have to be displaced because those islands will be submerged.

“We have identified the 63 communities that will be affected in the short term by the rise in sea level, so we are working on a national strategy for displacement and relocation due to climate change of these communities with the Ministry of Housing and Territorial Reorganization, to “That is not a government plan but rather a long-term one,” he said.

He reported that the first indigenous community that will be displaced is from the island of Guna Yala, Cartí Sugdupu (Gardi Sugdub); 300 families with approximately 1,200 people will be relocated to the mainland. Likewise, another from a community in Volcán that will be displaced by an extreme natural event due to the tail of the hurricanes, Castro detailed.

The Mayor’s Office of Panama is allocating $6 million for the Christmas festivities , an amount that increased by $300 thousand compared to last year.

The increase is due to the fact that this time Christmas lighting will cost more than last year. In 2022, the lighting cost $2.9 million, while in 2023 it will cost $3.2 million.

The lighting was awarded by the Mayor’s Office of Panama to the company Disaroca Group, SA. The reference price that the Municipality of Panama had established in the specifications was $2.9 million, but finally the company offered $3.2 million.

Last year, the Christmas lighting received criticism because the lighting wiring presented serious deficiencies in the parks where it was installed. That time, the cost of the lighting was $2.9 million, awarded to the company Contraseña, SA

According to the Mayor’s Office of Panama, Disaroca Group, SA presented an offer to decorate 36 public spaces in the capital district as part of the activities scheduled for the end of the year holidays.

Red, blue, green and warm white were the colors chosen to decorate 36 public spaces in the 26 townships, with the purpose that more people can enjoy the seasonal decorations, the note says.

In parallel, the Mayor’s Office of Panama carries out a tender for the “logistics and production” of the 2023 Christmas Parade.

At the public event, whose reference price is $2.8 million, only the company Festieventos appeared with a proposal similar to that amount. This is the same cost as last year’s parade.

The winning company must be in charge, among other things, of holding the press conference about the parade, the installation of awnings for makeup and changing rooms, a tent for guests, an area for people with disabilities, coordination of 500 professional dancers, a stage, audio, hiring of artists, bathrooms, transportation, floats and pyrotechnics.


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