Monday 19th June 2023.

June 18, 2023


Panama needs to define a mining policy through a new Mining Code, which establishes the specialized parameters for metallic and non-metallic mining. This to move away from “obsolete practices” and proposing the mechanisms that allow responsible mining to be carried out, in constant review and updating in the face of the continuous modernization of the industry.

This was stated by the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (Cciap), after it was announced that the Cabinet Council, in its session on June 14, 2023, approved the new State contract with Minera Panama, a subsidiary of the Canadian First Quantum, to maintain its concession in Donoso, Colón.

The evolution of the negotiations of this new contract “made it very clear that Panama has before it the critical urgency of establishing a new, strong and adequate institutional framework to manage an issue with so many social, environmental and economic implications,” the organization stated in the Sunday column The Camera Opina .

The business union, chaired by Adolfo Fábrega, stressed that it is a complex industry that must work responsibly, with good environmental care plans to ensure that there is no strong impact on the environment. Mining, by nature, generates significant risks, which must be managed effectively and in a timely manner by those who carry out this activity, sparing no effort, using best practices, in strict compliance with the law and with strict supervision by the State, he added.

Therefore, the Cciap indicated that the approach to mining activity cannot be taken lightly; it must be accompanied by knowledge and technical advice. The first step −detailed the organization− should be to rigorously finish developing the current contracting, seeking the best interest of the country and its citizens. “Let’s prevent populist or electoral interests from intervening in the negotiations,” he urged. Subsequently, it is key to carry out a “general evaluation” that allows progress towards a new stage of serious and responsible management, with accountability for all the actors.

“Natural resources belong to all Panamanians and their treatment should be similar to that given to other critical issues that impact us all,” he said.

“We demand more than a tweet; cancer does not wait! This is the title of a statement issued by a group of applicants for different popularly elected positions for the 2024 elections, through free application.

The public pronouncement has caused a clamor for the President of the Republic Laurentino Cortizo to grant the necessary funds so that the National Oncology Institute (ION), the only public hospital that cares for cancer patients, can buy medicines and supplies to continue the treatment of patients during the months of October, November and December

“Cancer does not wait and every minute counts in the battle to receive treatments on time to combat it,” said the note after reminding President Cortizo that he recently spoke in a tweet in which he assured that he would provide the National Cancer Institute with the necessary financial resources.

“As independent candidates, concerned about the well-being of all Panamanians, especially those most in need and without a voice, we are not satisfied with a simple tweet and we demand that these words be translated into immediate actions,” the statement read.

Last Wednesday, June 14, the Budget Committee of the National Assembly approved a credit of $3.8 million to the ION. However, these resources are insufficient, since that figure is to pay bills. There is still $8.6 million missing to buy the patients’ medications for the months of October, November and December of this year.

In this regard, the statement from the pre-candidates says that “it is frustrating” that the funds requested by the ION “seem insignificant compared to the 202 million distributed “irresponsibly” by the Decentralization Authority, without any form of accountability. Referring to the money distributed in the so-called parallel decentralization, money that has mainly been diverted to local governments in the hands of the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD).

The group of candidates for a popularly elected position also warns that depriving the ION of the basic budget constitutes “a flagrant attack against the fundamental human right of Panamanians to access health and, in many cases, to fight for their survival and achieve a better quality of life”.

“In 4 months, we will see all the State agencies, its more than 91 institutions, including secretariats, directorates and ministries, dressed in pink and blue, public events, millions in advertising campaigns, it is completely ironic, a mockery for the people. We emphatically demand the Executive to reassess its budgetary priorities and attend to the pressing needs of the many Panamanians who depend on the Oncology Institute.” they warn. The statement is signed by 21 pre-candidates for deputy, three aspirants for mayor, and 10 who seek to be candidates for representative of the corregimientos.

The Traffic Operations Directorate of the National Police reported this Saturday that so far in 2023 there have been 179 fatalities due to traffic accidents.

In a Transit Operations report, it is specified that of the total number of fatalities, 53 were due to being run over and that among the causes are excessive speed, not using the elevated bridges, consumption of alcoholic beverages, not using the seat belt and the distraction while driving.

César Marciaga, from Traffic Operations, reminded pedestrians of the importance of using the raised bridges, crossing at the designated crossings and avoiding crossing in dark places.

He calls on drivers to respect speed limits and traffic signs, not to use the cell phone while driving, to avoid drinking alcoholic beverages and when you see a pedestrian crossing the road, stop the vehicle and give them courtesy of passage.

The National Police reported that this weekend they dismantled five clandestine parties or parking lots in various parts of the San Miguelito district.

The interventions occurred in the early hours of this Sunday, June 18, in the sectors of Don Bosco, La Providencia, Altos de La Torre, El Valle and La Boca de Lobo.

Citizen complaints reported high levels of noise and the intake of alcoholic beverages outside the residences where the police officers attended.

According to the police report, about 35 people were staying in a house in Altos de La Torre. After suspending the activity, a call to attention was made to the owner of the residence.

On several occasions, the Police have asked the public not to participate in these clandestine activities since most of the time they end up with injuries or victims.

A soccer team from Panama made history this Sunday.

The U-23 team won by a score of 4-1 against their counterpart from Mexico in the final of the Maurice Revello Tournament, held in France.

The goals for Panama were scored by Ricardo Phillips, José Bernal, Kahiser Lenis and Ángel Orelién.

The goal of honor for the Mexicans, scored by Heriberto Jurado, came almost at the end of the match.

It must be remembered that those led by Jorge Dely Valdés had arrived undefeated in this tournament, having won one and drawn two in the group stage, while in the semifinal they beat Australia by a score of 2-1.

And yesterday the Canaleros players demonstrated total superiority against the Mexicans, going to halftime with a 2-0 victory, through Ricardo Phillips (who scored a penalty at minute 41) and the player Bernal (at minute 50).

In the second half, the game was just as exciting. The Mexicans tried to get into the game, however, a solid defense frustrated their plans.

The Panamanian player Lenis almost completed the final game by scoring a goal in the 59th minute, however, there was time for one more, which occurred after a solitary run by Orelién, who had just entered the pitch.

In this edition of the tournament, Australia took third place by beating the French hosts by a score of 2-0.

This Sunday, the Panamanians obtained the first championship of this tournament, a Canalero team that in the previous edition had been in seventh place. This is the first time in history that a Central American country has won this international youth tournament.

The El Niño phenomenon has arrived and the Government must be prepared for what lies ahead, since with its presence there will be three climatic trends: decreased rainfall, increased maximum and minimum temperatures, and much more evaporation.

Specialists point out that during the next few months its effects will be mild; however, between January and March of next year, the situation could be much more serious, when the phenomenon coincides with the summer months.

In Panama, a state of climate emergency has already been declared, calculating that the average duration of El Niño is between 9 and 18 months. The director of the Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology, Luz Graciela de Calzadilla, in an interview with La Prensa, warned that this means that it could be extended until March of next year or, in a highly complex scenario, for almost all of 2024.

“Yes, you have to worry, because the strongest effects will be felt in the dry season of 2024,” said the specialist, who considered that all sectors will be affected, mainly the agricultural sector, the energy sector and that of drinking water.

She explained that, since last April, meetings have been held with the agricultural sector, the National Association of Livestock Farmers of Panama, representatives of the rice chain and authorities of the Institute of National Aqueducts and Sewers (Idaan).

“We have indicated to the agricultural sector that they must store rainwater for the coming months and produce food such as bales, to feed the cattle,” she said.

If the current weather conditions worsen and the levels of the lakes do not improve, the Canal contemplates the implementation of extreme measures that would include limiting the number of daily transits through the Canal.

“Currently, we transit between 35 and 36 ships per day. It would have to go down to 32 and 28 transits per day,” warned the administrator of the Panama Canal Authority, Ricaurte Vásquez Morales.



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