Monday 7th August 2022.

August 6, 2023


In the midst of the effects that the El Niño phenomenon is causing on the climate, Lake Alajuela registered this Sunday its minimum level to operate normally.

According to data from the Panama Canal Authority ‘s reservoir registry , this Sunday, August 6, Lake Alajuela registered 215.9 feet above sea level.

With the lengthening of the dry season, the main lakes have been slow to recover their normal operating levels. The Alajuela is the main tributary that supplies the Chilibre water treatment plant, for the distribution of drinking water in the province of Panama.

A month ago, the level was 208.7 feet and the maximum level of the lake is 252. Despite the low levels of Alajuela, the authorities of the Institute of National Aqueducts and Sewers reported that the water supply to the population has been maintained .

On the other hand, Gatun Lake has remained in recent weeks averaging 79 feet above sea level.

The Gatun and Alajuela lakes are the two reservoirs that are fed by the rains that fall in the Panama Canal Hydrographic Basin and that supply raw water to the water treatment plants that supply approximately 2.5 million inhabitants of the country, concentrated in the provinces of Panama, Colon and West Panama.

The low level of the lakes has led the Panama Canal Authority to impose restrictions on the passage of vessels through the interoceanic route. The most recent came into force on July 30 (until further notice) and consists of reducing the daily transit of ships to 32. An average of three to four fewer ships per day.

The diversification of technical education for young people is a tool that contributes to the development of the country and for the Panamanian business sector it is urgent to strengthen this area.

In its weekly letter, the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (Cciap) recalled that various sectors such as hotels, information technology and electronics, logistics, automotive technology and health sciences, among others, require highly trained professionals to promote the economic and social development of the country.

It is recalled that private companies are committed to promoting technical education and that collaboration with educational institutions will benefit both the economic and social sectors.

In this sense, it is emphasized that strong support is given to the Specialized Higher Technical Institute (ITSE) and its Board of Directors. In addition, the contribution of the dual training given by the National Institute of Vocational Training and Training for Human Development (Inadeh) is recalled.

In the same way, the importance of internship or internship programs in companies is highlighted, which allow young people to acquire experience and develop relevant skills for the labour market.

“The lack of technical skills is a barrier to the employment of thousands of young Panamanians. This phenomenon contributes to youth unemployment and in many cases to social marginalization. However, technical education has proven to be an effective tool for social inclusion. Training in specific technical skills gives young people the opportunity to improve their living conditions, reduce poverty and contribute to the economic development of the country”, is reflected in the Cciap message.

Another aspect that the business sector highlights is the Law that was approved for the improvement and well-being of teachers. This improvement of the teaching staff will make it possible to positively influence the transformation of the quality of education in the country.

“It is imperative that our educators have the tools necessary to train the next generation of highly skilled professionals. Hopefully their postulates come true quickly and efficiently.

In an environment of rising interest rates locally and internationally, bank credit indicators showed robust results in the first half of the year, according to information from the Superintendency of Banks of Panama.

Between January and June, entities with local operations disbursed loans for $10,926 million, a figure that represents an increase of 14.5% when compared to the same period of the previous year.

For its part, the balance of the local credit portfolio was located at $59,614 million, that is, 5.3% in relation to the previous year. Both indicators show an increase in disbursements to the public sector, and also to the private sector.

The superintendent of banks of Panama, Amauri Castillo , told La Prensa that there is still a demand for qualified credit and sufficient liquidity and risk appetite on the part of the banks, and that the combination of these factors is what the numbers reflect, considering also an environment of economic growth.

The regulator analyzes in its latest banking activity report the evolution of interest rates in the local market until the end of the first semester.

In 2022, the Federal Reserve (Fed) began to execute an aggressive strategy of raising interest rates with the aim of containing the rise in prices.

As the industry and the banking regulator had anticipated, the effect would reach Panama with some delay and in a more attenuated manner.

Between March 2022 and June 2023, the Fed raised benchmark interest rates by 500 basis points, or 5 percentage points, to put them in a range between 5.00%-5.25%. In the last meeting in July -after the period analyzed by the Superintendency- the Fed raised rates again to a range of 5.25%-5.5%.

A group of citizens from Colón protested this Saturday, in front of the facilities of the electrical distribution company ENSA located in this province.

Citizens complained about the high cost of electricity and about frequent power outages in the region.

In fact, the complainants proceeded to throw several electric items at the ENSA offices and which, according to the complainants, have been damaged due to the constant interruptions in the service.

In the protest, greater speed was requested when responding to the claims that have been presented on this issue.

Between January and July 2023, the actions against illegal activities undertaken by the Public Ministry and the National Police record the confiscation of close to one million dollars.

According to the National Police, during this period 10,252 raids were carried out and that because of these proceedings, $924,763 dollars and 79 cents have been seized in cash.

According to the entity’s report, these actions were carried out against crimes such as money laundering, micro-trafficking and drug trafficking, among others.

It is specified that the confiscated money has been located in suitcases, transported in vehicles or inside buildings.

It was also reported that so far in 2023 the Judicial Investigation Directorate (DIJ) managed to apprehend 150 people allegedly linked to crimes of aggravated fraud and financial crimes.

A good part of these cases have been reported in the provinces of Panama, Colón, Chiriquí and Panama Oeste.

The National Police highlights that one of the criminal modalities that they have detected the most is what is known as ‘Phishing’, which scammers carry out through electronic media, digital platforms, social networks, text messaging or phone calls.

Wladimir González, from the DIJ, stressed that these crimes are perpetrated through false accounts, which are disseminated through social networks and offer products and services.

Another way is that they make calls from alleged relatives or acquaintances, promoting personal loans, requesting financial aid shipments, parcels and luggage that the possible victim must receive.

To avoid being victims of these criminals, the authorities reiterate to the public not to accept invitations on social networks from unknown persons and to eliminate emails of dubious origin. Regarding calls requesting money for financial aid, it is recommended to confirm with other relatives, through video calls.


More articles