Monday 4th December 2023.

December 3, 2023


The strike of teachers in the official sector ended, on December 2, with the signing of an agreement by the representatives of 26 teachers’ unions with the Ministry of Education (Meduca) , which contains several points, which were debated for space of 14 hours between both parties.

Humberto Montero, spokesperson for the Veraguense Teachers Association (Amave) and one of the signatories of the agreement, indicated that the school calendar remains until December 29.

He added that they will comply with the commitment agreed in this document by the end of the school year. The situation in which education finds itself at this moment is due to the bad decisions of this government, Montero added.

The document, which bears the signature of the Minister of Education, Maruja Gorday de Villalobos , and the representatives of the unions, the educators commit to restarting classes today, Monday, December 4.

The agreement details that the recovery of academic content must be prioritized using various pedagogical strategies, favoring the leveling and recovery processes, culminating on December 29 of this year.

In addition, educational centers with graduating students will make the pertinent adjustments in coordination with the regional directorates and educational communities (graduating activities, graduation activities, leveling and academic recoveries and others).

In fact, in the document, Meduca undertakes not to take economic, administrative and disciplinary reprisals against educators, regardless of their status of appointment, vocational instructors, supervisors, directors, telebasic, commissioners, teachers, students and all staff. administrative staff who participated in the strike.

Another agreed point is that Meduca, together with the Ombudsman’s Office and the teachers’ unions, will request the Ministry of Government to install a commission in order to ventilate and follow up on cases related to administrative justice, of teachers during this period.

Meduca will also create a commission with the unions, whose first meeting will be on December 16 , to present proposals for a postmortem recognition of the murdered teachers and make visible the support that their loved ones require.

In one of its points, the agreement states that the directors of educational centers, department and leveling coordinators, in coordination with educators, may carry out flexibility actions aimed at strengthening the leveling and recovery of learning from the third quarter to through curricular adjustments to the programmatic contents and other actions aimed at achieving educational purposes, in accordance with Executive Decree 68 of December 22, 2022, and the actions agreed upon in the document.

The Minister of Education committed to the teachers to formalize before the competent authorities a request for the inclusion of the teaching unions as observers in the process of orderly closure of the mine (Minera Panamá).

The teachers have not taught classes since last November 23, when they went on strike in rejection of Law 406, which approved the contract between the State and the Canadian company First Quantum Minerals.

The President of the Republic of Panama, Laurentino Cortizo , traveled to the United States this Sunday afternoon, December 3, 2023, to undergo control and evaluation exams at MD Anderson, a medical institution and research center dedicated to the treatment of cancer. which is located in Houston, Texas.

This was reported by the Presidency of the Republic in a statement.

The Panamanian president, 70 years old, will undergo a new medical evaluation, due to the myelodysplastic syndrome that was diagnosed last year, it was reported.

The medical examinations will take place on Monday, December 4, while ruler Cortizo will return to the country on Tuesday, December 5.

The president of Panama traveled to the city of Houston in the company of the first lady Yazmín Colón de Cortizo.

Following the ruling of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) in relation to Law 406 of 2023, “it is imperative that a series of steps and processes be quickly taken that establish the bases to carry out an orderly and responsible closure of operations. mining in the district of Donoso”, province of Colón.

This was expressed by the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (Cciap), in the Sunday column the Chamber Opinions of this December 3, 2023, where it raises some observations after the plenary session of the Court declared that Law 406 of December 20 October 2023 – which adopted the contract between the Panamanian State and Minera Panamá, SA – is unconstitutional .

“Given the complexity of this process that requires ample time and a significant investment, it is urgent to immediately define the steps that will lead us towards an ideal scenario,” says the organization, led by Adolfo Fábrega.

The business union pointed out that, in the absence of a studied and agreed upon action plan, “it is necessary to urgently activate a multi-sector technical committee, led by individuals of recognized credibility and supported by various civil groups.”

Said committee must carry out a process where a comprehensive action plan is defined in environmental, legal and economic aspects. Furthermore, it is essential that it has the corresponding legitimacy so that its decisions are binding, stressed the Cciap, who highlighted that this is an “eminently technical matter that must be addressed seriously and quickly.”

In fact, the union indicated that this matter must be organized “in a matter of days so that the country quickly has a clear route of what should happen,” so that the outcome is not an environmental disaster or the illegal exploitation of areas, such as It has happened in other countries.

The Cciap also highlighted that, in addition to addressing the future of mining activity, it is essential to consider a recovery plan for the affected economic sectors, as well as for students who have experienced delays and the country’s international reputation that has been harmed. In turn, it is “necessary to design a preparation plan for the potential loss of investment grade and its future recovery,” he indicated.

The unanimous decision that was communicated by the magistrates in recent days had the country in expectation, since since the approval of the aforementioned law and publication in the Official Gazette , on October 20, Panama was immersed in an economic and social crisis. conditioned by road blockades and demonstrations at the national level. As announced by the full Court, the controversial rule violates 25 articles of the Constitution .

The cruise season that began at the end of October and lasts until April 2024 has several peculiarities this year and that is that some companies have decided to return to Panama and have their base port or home port for tours of the Caribbean and not only as a stopover of the voyage in Colón and Amador.

On Saturday, December 2, the Royal Caribbean International ship Rhapsody of the Seas arrived in Colón , offering seven-night tours from the Panamanian port including destinations such as Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, from Colón, Panama, and also from Cartagena, Colombia.

“We are happy to return to Latin America this year, where we will be until April 2024 with an adventure that allows our guests to enjoy a great vacation without having to travel to the United States or have a Visa,” said Alberto Muñoz, associate vice president of Latin America and the Caribbean, Royal Caribbean International.

He explained that they adapted the service offering to the preferences and needs of the Latin market, from more Spanish-speaking crew, more dancing options, and extended hours in Adventure Ocean, the children’s space, during the night.

The itinerary will have some thematic outings. One of them focused on meeting people under the concept of Singles and Friends , with the journey that departed from Colón on December 2. The ship is currently in Cartagena to continue its journey through the Caribbean.

Representatives of Royal Caribbean International indicated that the arrival of Rhapsody reinforces the upward trend of cruises to the destination of Panama, which registered a 557.1% increase in the arrival of cruise passengers in the first quarter of 2023.

According to data from the Panama Tourism Authority, between January and March of this year when the 2022-2023 cruise season was in progress, 188,114 cruise passengers arrived in the country, compared to the 28,628 that were received in the first quarter of 2022 when the They were reactivating some routes after the pandemic.

The administrator of the ATP, Denise Guillén, said this week that although 10 cruise operations had been lost for the 2023-2024 season, due to the protests, others are maintained and operations are increasing, such as the arrival of Royal Caribbean as a home port yesterday, Saturday. December 2 and the arrival of Norwegian Cruises Line is also expected the other week with the Norwegian Joy that will be in Amador but ends in Miami on December 16 and will be the last boarding in Panama for this season.

Guillen said that by January 2024, the Amador cruise port, in the Panamanian Pacific, will be fully equipped.

Educators from the official sector – who were on strike since last October 23 as a protest measure against the law that endorsed the contract between Minera Panamá and the State – will return to the classrooms starting this Monday, December 4.

In view of this, the National Directorate of Transit Operations (DNOT) announced that lane reversal operations will be carried out.

“These operations will generally be in the northern, western and central sectors of the city,” reported Rony Robinson, from the DNOT.

Lieutenant Robinson explained that this is how this road operation will work:

– Starting at 4:00 am, from the Arraiján – La Chorrera highway, Arraiján Cabecera (West Panama).

– In the Los Pueblos area (Juan Díaz) the operation begins at 5:00 am, until the Balboa area.

– While from the northern area, the plan begins at 5:30 am from Villa Zaíta, culminating towards the city center at 6:00 am

– Later, that is, from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm, the operation is towards the western area.


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