Monday 3rd April 2023.
April 2, 2023
A legislative initiative affecting those who provide the transport service through digital platforms ( apps ) and a sector linked to the taxi service.
The issue became heated as of March 23 when the Communication and Transportation Commission of the Assembly accepted bill 185, which establishes “the regulatory framework for the use of information and communication technology platforms, in the service luxury taxi.
The initiative would seek that the concessionaires of the selective public transport service (taxis) control the technological platforms of transport service (Uber, Didi, among others).
In the spotlight is article 5 of the proposal, which states, among other things, that “companies dedicated to the development and commercialization of technological platforms, for the use of intermediation in the provision of the selective public passenger transport service, may only hire with the companies providing selective transport so that the concessionaires of the operation certificate of these companies can opt for the provision of this form of luxury taxi service in their respective work area at the national level…”.
A group of drivers who provide the service through apps recently protested on Calle 50 against the initiative. In addition, the website https://www.change.org/ requests support for the collection of 2,500 signatures rejecting the document. “Let’s say NO to bill 185 that will leave more than 8,000 Panamanians unemployed!” is part of the message.
For his part, Martín Franco, from the National Chamber of Transport, who agrees with the project, assures that the proposal allows the National Transit and Land Transport Authority “to bring those who provide the service irregularly, such as pirates and private cars”.
He points out that the user will not be affected because the platform is not being asked to leave, but now “we taxi drivers are going to provide both services. That is what the law is for, so that it allows us to provide the service of private cars and yellow cars, the user is the one who is going to choose what kind of car he wants ”.
While there are other transportation leaders, such as Rafael Reyes, who consider that the proposal would affect everyone.
For now, there is no agreement, so the Communication and Transportation Commission, chaired by PRD member Abel Beker, one of those who presented the initiative, asked the transportation sector at the national level to present a written report to that legislative body with the concerns they have.
The six lanes of the Arraiján-La Chorrera highway, one of the main roads in Panama Oeste, was closed since 10:00 am this Sunday, because residents of the area came out to protest the lack of drinking water. and constant interruptions in the electric power service.
Hundreds of drivers had to opt for alternative routes, such as the internal streets of the La Chorrera district.
After 5:00 pm yesterday , the authorities still did not have an answer for the protesters, who announced that they will maintain the measure and will not accept palliatives.
The deputy from Arraiján, Kayra Harding, tried to be the mediator to achieve the opening of the road, but she was unsuccessful in that effort.
Shouting slogans and banging pans, residents of several neighborhoods, including Las Arboledas, Villa Nazareth, Quintas del Pacífico and Mirador del Mar, demand that the authorities solve the lack of drinking water in their homes as soon as possible.
In addition, they required electric power companies to find ways to maintain optimal service 24 hours a day.
In recent weeks, the inhabitants of Arraiján and La Chorrera have increased their protests over the lack of water.
In a five-page note addressed to the Minister of Commerce and Industry , Federico Alfaro Boyd, the Administration Attorney, Rigoberto González Montenegro, recommended that the current consultation process on the proposed contract law for mining exploitation in the province of Colon must expand.
In the letter dated March 31, Attorney General González stated that: “…we consider it necessary to recommend that the period of the Citizen Consultation be extended beyond the thirty (30) days announced in the notice of the public consultation, made on March 24 of this year and not limit itself only to making the content of the aforementioned Contract publicly known…”
In the same note, the Administration attorney explained that the jurisprudence of the Third Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice, based on Law 6 of 2002, (on transparency and access to public information) has said that “…with respect to the obligation to guarantee citizen participation in its different modalities, that non-compliance entails the nullity of the act, as illegal”.
In addition, Minister Alfaro Boyd is recommended to carry out “positive activities” including “Forums/or Workshops” and to involve “educational centers; universities, civil society”…
President Laurentino Cortizo spent a total of $298,214 from the discretionary item during the month of January 2023.
This is indicated by a recent report published in the transparency section of the Ministry of the Presidency of the Republic. Since he took office in July 2019 to date, Cortizo has used $22.2 million from this item.
The January report indicates that for the line of disaster mitigation and home improvements, the president disbursed a total of $221,976.
For conventions, forums, seminars, contests and local tours, the president allocated $34,435.
While for the sponsorship of cultural and sports activities he used $16,108; for medical expenses abroad $15,306; and for local medical expenses $10,388.
The only consortium that participated in the tender for the construction of a cultural center on the coastal strip, in front of El Chorrillo, passed the filter of the evaluation commission of the Municipality of Panama.
A report from said commission, made up of Alfredo Graell, Jeremías Acevedo and Obeth Ponte Ponce, details that the Gadpin consortium meets the mandatory minimum requirements and achieved a score of 99% after an evaluation of financial and administrative aspects.
The report was prepared on March 30,and published on the Panama Compra portal.
Gadpin, which is made up of the companies GA Desarrollo de Infraestructura e Ingeniería y Pinturas Garantizadas, presented during the bidding process an offer very similar to the reference price, that is, $3.8 million.
The work includes the design, construction and equipping of 225 parking lots for cars and 18 for buses, vehicular and pedestrian roads, with connection to surrounding streets and stops.
If you are going to sell or buy something through a digital platform, you must be cautious, since the crime of fraud and scams has become one of the most frequent in the country.
At least that is the recommendation that the authorities of the Public Ministry have been making, an entity whose statistics reflect a trend to take into account: every day 13 people are victims of fraud throughout the country, especially in the provinces of Panama and Chiriquí, which are the areas where most cases are reported.
The reports specify that between January and February of this year, 784 complaints of scams and fraud were registered, while in the same period of 2022 the number was 849 cases. Although there was a slight decrease, of 8%, for authorities and specialists in the subject, the figure remains very high.
After Panama, with 391 complaints, Chiriquí is the province where the most cases of scams and fraud have been reported, with 104. In third position is Panama Oeste with 84 cases.
It is a type of crime in which technological tools such as the internet or mobile phones have been used.