Thursday 10th August 2023.

August 9, 2023


The National Association of Nurses of Panama (ANEP) held a press conference this Wednesday, in which it raised a series of irregularities in the public health system and requested remuneration for shifts and payments for working hours.

“The same patients have come out to demonstrate. Medicines and supplies are required to provide better care to patients,” said Elidya Espinosa , president of Anep.

Espinosa asked the Minister of Health, Luis Francisco Sucre ; the director of the Social Security Fund (CSS), Enrique Lau Cortés , and the Minister of Economy and Finance, Héctor Alexander , a dialogue table so that they can listen to the demands and disagreements that nurses maintain in the country.

Among the claims is the breach of the salary agreements signed between the ANEP and that, in eight years of negotiation, are still not fully complied with.

In addition, the nurses want a 30-hour weekly workday to be granted (currently it is 40 hours), as has been given to other health unions.

At the press conference, ANEP denounced that some CSS authorities have applied disciplinary measures without due process, where they have suspended the nurses, and ask that the right to defense of these colleagues be guaranteed, whose cases are still pending. at the board of directors level.

The nurses declared themselves vigilant and on alert, awaiting a response from the Minsa and CSS authorities.

The indigenous people of Panama demanded this Wednesday that the Government of Laurentino Cortizo “respect” the agreement agreed this week to advance infrastructure projects in the Ngäbe Buglé region and asked that it not remain “dead letters” or they will protest again.

“We demand that this agreement that was made in a few days as a result of the protests be respected, that they not do it through politics because in a few months [it will end] and to get out of trouble they want to compromise,” said the president of the National Coordinator of Indigenous Peoples of Panama (Coonapip), Marcelo Guerra .

Ngäbe-Buglé indigenous groups put an end last Tuesday to a protest that blocked the Inter-American highway for almost a day, which crosses all of Panama and connects the country with Central America, after agreeing with the Government an investment of up to 150 million dollars in construction projects. infrastructure in their territories.

Guerra explained that “these agreements often remain dead letters” and recalled that the Ngäbe-Buglé indigenous protested because the Panamanian government “violated” the agreements already agreed upon long ago.

The indigenous leader announced to EFE that if they do not comply with the million-dollar pact agreed yesterday they will protest again, without giving further details.

Retirees and pensioners from the Azuero region closed the Inter-American Highway in the Divisa sector on Wednesday, causing a huge roadblock in both directions since morning.

The demonstrators demand that the government pay Christmas bonuses and increase pensions.

Hundreds of drivers expressed their discomfort over the situation on social networks since they have been trapped for hours by the closure.

Around 4:30 pm, it was reported that passage was only allowed in the direction of the province of Chiriquí. After and after eight hours of closing, the retirees and pensioners opened the Inter-American highway in both directions.

Claudio Escalona, ​​leader of the Retirees and Pensioners of the province of Los Santos, said that no one from the government gave them an answer, but they decided to open the road to avoid a confrontation with the crowd control agents of the National Police.

“We fulfilled the task and now we hope to have a prompt response from the Executive, so that our pensions are increased and the Christmas bonus is considered for us,” he stressed.

Retirees from Herrera, Los Santos, Coclé and Veraguas closed the important road from 9 in the morning, causing a huge traffic jam in both directions.

The proposal to include a fifth ballot in the 2024 general elections, with the purpose of having citizens vote for or against calling a constituent, could die in its cradle.

The initiative was presented last Tuesday, August 8, at the Citizen Participation Directorate of the National Assembly, by the Pro Quinta Balloteta Movement and Ciudadanos Unidos Por la Constituyente, whose promoters include lawyer and professor Miguel Antonio Bernal.

The movement proposes that in the elections of May 5, 2024 a fifth ballot be included where citizens are asked: do you want a Political Constitution through a National Constituent Assembly and once approved it is submitted to a national referendum?

In addition, it details what the process of winning the yes would be like. It establishes that the president-elect, within five business days of taking office, must designate three jurists with a recognized academic career in constitutional law, from a list of 10 people selected by the official universities, so that within six days following draft the draft constitution that will serve as study, consideration and discussion of the constituents.

It also adds that said academics will act with the support of the State through the Ministry of the Presidency, which must provide them with the technical facilities, once the document is finished, the president must deliver it to the Constituent Assembly on the first day of sessions.

However, the initiative would not have a future in the Legislature. First, it must pass the preliminary stage (meeting the requirements of a bill), then it must be sent to the Government Commission, headed by PRD deputy Leandro Ávila.

Precisely, this medium consulted Deputy Ávila about the feasibility of this proposal and he answered the following: “I do not see any feasibility.”

The plenary session of the National Assembly approved this Wednesday to summon the Minister of Public Works, Rafael Sabonge , to answer a questionnaire of at least 25 questions on the situation of the national road network.

The situation of traffic congestion towards West Panama, the rainwater bombs in the city of Colón, the progress of the fourth bridge over the Panama Canal and the change of route of line 3 of the Metro, are among the questions that Sabonge must answer.

Also, answer about the road projects from 2019 to date that have been completed and how many have not been completed at the national level.

Likewise, questions were prepared regarding the criteria for the selection of suppliers, the projects that are in execution, those that are to be done and the infrastructure maintenance plan at the national level are also in the questionnaire.

The National Secretariat of Energy announced this Wednesday the new fuel prices , which will be in force between Friday the 11th and Friday the 25th of August.

According to the price table, 95 octane gasoline will sell for $1.18 per liter ($4.47 per gallon), while 91 octane gasoline will be priced at $1.09 per liter ($4.12 per gallon).

Regarding low sulfur diesel, it is reported that the cost per liter will be $1.01 ($3.84 per gallon).

The increase, with respect to previous prices, is about five cents for gasoline.

These ceiling prices only apply in the cities of Panama and Colón, for the rest of the country the increase may be greater due to the transportation of fuels.

A report from the EFE agency highlights that the price of Texas oil (WTI) rose 1.78% this Wednesday. The cost of the barrel closed at $84.40, the highest since November 2022.

It is important to note that currently 91 octane gasoline and diesel have a fixed price of $3.25 per gallon. The State assumes the cost difference before the supplying companies.

The subsidy for these fuels will be in force until Monday, August 14, 2023.

It is important to highlight that 95 octane gasoline was excluded from the subsidy on April 22 and is currently sold at regular price.


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