Tuesday 22nd August 2023.

August 21, 2023


The Trade and Economic Affairs Commission of the National Assembly began this Monday, the discussion of the contract between the Panamanian State and the company Minera Panamá, for the extraction of copper in Donoso, province of Colón.

This moment was one of the most anticipated, after a complicated and controversial negotiation between the parties.

So much so that before the session began in the commission on the outskirts of the Assembly, groups for and against the contract gathered.

Members of environmental groups chanted anti-mining slogans, while mine workers showed their support for the project at the same location.

The third period of Etelvina Medianero de Bonagas began as rector of the Autonomous University of Chiriquí (Unachi) . The teacher took possession of that position for the period 2023-2028 on the morning of this Monday, in an act held at the university center.

The event was attended by around 300 people: teachers, Unachi officials, and students, among others. The government of Laurentino Nito Cortizo , was represented by the vice minister of education Ricardo Sánchez.

In her speech, Medianero de Bonagas promised that she will make his vocation and energy available to the university body to lead the institution, as she says she has shown “a broad sense of belonging, loyalty, and experience.” She also mentioned “the criticisms and diatribes of his management.” She assured that these arise from “media campaigns riddled with bad intentions and arguments without legal foundations and lacking leadership.”

The rector was re-elected for a third term in elections held on April 26. In those elections, Medianero de Bonagas competed against Edwin Samudio, dean of the Faculty of Humanities; and with Professor Pedro González. The rector obtained 57.64% of the votes. Samudio got 38.83%, while González had 4.52% of support, according to the Unachi Superior Elections Tribunal.

Etelvina Bonagas de Medianero has held the position of Rector of Unachi since 2013. She earns $13,891 a month and her management has been harshly criticized by the students and some administrators, after accusing her of nepotism and appointing politicians from the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party. Deputies from that party, led by Raúl Pineda, promoted the law that re-elected her.

The Autonomous University of Chiriquí  is one of the houses of higher education in the country, which will benefit the most from the new income and expense budget for next year 2024. It will have $104 million.

And if Unachi’s budget is divided by the number of students, which is about 22,660, each student would cost the State $4,589. This cost is less than the average for a UTP student, which is of $5,846, but higher than that of a UP university student, which fluctuates at $3,344.

The Budget Commission of the National Assembly began this Monday, the budget hearings with the participation of the state entities that will support the budget for the fiscal period of 2024.

It corresponded to the National Council of the Savings System and Capitalization of Pensions of Public Servants (Siacap) to be the first entity to present the support of its budget, which amounts to $1.6 million.

Rolando Mejía, executive secretary of Siacap, reported that until July 31 the system’s equity is $854.9 million.

The second entity to support its budget was the National Land Administration Authority, whose recommended budget for next year is $21 million.

The Accounts Prosecutor’s Office, the Superintendency of Banks, the Superintendency of Stock Market and the Superintendency of Insurance and Reinsurance also attended this first day.

Electronic invoicing is not the future, it is the present in the Panamanian economy, as expressed by the General Director of Revenue (DGI), Publio De Gracia, who pointed out that the process will be accelerated so that more companies, economic and professional sectors adopt this system.

At the end of August 15 of this year, the number of users who have adopted electronic invoicing reached 47,974 and is expected to reach 48,400 users in the coming days, reported Lían Vásquez, head of fiscal invoice of the Directorate General of Income.

In the Café con La Prensa forum on Electronic Invoicing and its importance given the new regulation that was carried out in David, Chiriquí, the director of the DGI, together with Lían Vásquez and Jenny Hernández, general manager of EBI, explained the advantages and benefits of adopting this billing system.

Lían Vásquez explained that the adoption has been progressive, starting with 537 users in 2021, to achieve that 23,159 users join the system at the end of 2022.

By July 31, 46,490 users had been registered, a 101% increase in the number of taxpayers compared to 2022.

So far in 2023, 182 electronic billing documents have been issued for a total of 775 million dollars reflected in the Transfer Tax on Movable Goods and Services (ITBMS).

He specified that the goal is to achieve this year that 100,000 taxpayers use the system, which has two modalities.

Free electronic invoicing that is for those who have a billing of up to one million dollars a year or 200 thousand bills a month.

And the modality for taxpayers who have a higher billing, who can opt for the services of one of the 20 companies that operate as Qualified Authorized Provider, known as PAC.

It is estimated that 80% of all users of electronic invoicing do so free of charge because they are small and medium-sized companies or natural persons, and 20% through the PAC service.

Lían Vásquez recalled that according to Law 256 that establishes electronic invoicing, all new single taxpayer registration (RUC) from 2022 must have the electronic invoicing method. Through this route of the new RUC, 4,206 users have been incorporated so far this year, which added to those of last year reach 10,500 new users who have this billing method.

Only one company presented its economic proposal on August 18 in the public tender for the best value for Christmas lighting this year 2023 in parks and public spaces in the capital.

This is the company Disaroca Group, SA, which submitted an offer of $3.2 million, much higher than the reference price established by the Municipality of Panama, which is $2.9 million.

Now, the process will pass into the hands of an Evaluation Commission that will analyze with the documentation presented by the company.

On June 13, the Municipal Council of Panama gave the mayor of the Panama district, José Luis Fábrega , the green light to begin the selection process for the contractor for the Christmas lighting of parks and public spaces.

Last year this project received criticism because the lighting presented serious deficiencies in the parks where it was installed. That time the cost of lighting was the same, that is, $2.9 million and was awarded to the company Contraseña SA

The Panamanian Gianna Woodruff advanced to the semifinals of the World Athletics Championships, which takes place in Budapest (Hungary), by finishing in third position in her heat of the 400 meter hurdles.

Woodruff registered 55.31 seconds in the second heat of the specialty, being surpassed by the Jamaican Janieve Russell, who dominated with a time of 54.53 and the American Anna Cockrell, who occupied the second position with 54.68.

The first four places of the five scheduled heats and the next four best times of the entire tie qualify for the semifinals.

The semifinal tests will take place this Tuesday, August 22 at approximately 1:25 pm, Panama time.

In the general classification for the semifinals Woodruff was placed in the position.

According to data from the International Athletics Federation, Woodruff will compete this Tuesday in the first qualifying series of the semifinals.

In this stage, the best two of each of the three qualifying series and the two best times of the remaining competitors qualify for the final.

The Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology of Panama (Imhpa) issued a surveillance notice, which will be in force until 7:00 pm this Wednesday, August 23, due to the incursion into the region of tropical storm Franklin.

According to the entity, the areas that are under warning are the Pacific slope, maritime areas of the Pacific, central and western Caribbean, and the central mountain range.

The Imhpa reported that the storm is developing through the Caribbean basin in a west-northwest direction and that by Tuesday it is projected to head north, distancing itself from the country.

“However, it will be generating indirect effects such as strengthening low pressures near Panama and generating favorable wind flows for abundant rains,” the Imhpa notice detailed.

For its part, the National Civil Protection System (Sinaproc) recommended that the population be careful with river floods, soil saturation, causing some landslides and not try to cross water currents.


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