Wednesday 15th June 2022
June 15, 2022
Transporte Masivo de Panamá, SA (Mi Bus) —administrator of the public transport service in the districts of Panama and San Miguelito— surprised users last May when it announced that it was temporarily changing 25 trunk routes to complementary ones in response to the global energy and logistics crisis. The decision came at a time when people most needed public transportation to get around, as some began to choose to leave their cars at home after the progressive increase in fuel costs. Behind this measure there are two realities that the company Mi Bus faces: 300 metro buses are out of service waiting for spare parts and money is lacking because of budget cuts. The general manager of Mi Bus, Luis Campana, specified to this medium that, in addition to the 300 buses awaiting parts, there are 300 that must periodically receive maintenance.
President Laurentino Cortizo vetoed Bill 796 in its entirety, which sought to create the district of Bastimentos and three corregimientos in the province of Bocas del Toro. This is a political setback for the caucus of the Democratic Revolutionary Party in the National Assembly (AN), a group to which Cortizo also belongs. In the veto, which is dated June 1, the president argues, among other points, that the proposed district would not have the population required to be constituted. The support for the veto refers to the breach of Law 65 of 2015, which states that for the creation of districts there must be a population of at least 25 thousand inhabitants. Although there are no updated population data, given that a population census has not been carried out since 2010, the population estimates of the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC) for the year 2020 in the current corregimiento of Isla Bastimentos reach just 2 thousand 679 inhabitants.
The Colombian Ombudsman’s Office alerted the authorities of that country about the increase in minors who are crossing into Panama through the Darién jungle, some of them unaccompanied. In a statement from the Colombian entity, it is stated that in the month of May they observed the departure through Necoclí (Antioquia) towards the Darién gap of 169 boys and girls, from 0 to 12 years old, and 41 adolescents between 13 and 17 years old. Necoclí is one of several points from which irregular migrants leave for Panama.
The administrator of the National Authority for Government Innovation (AIG), Luis Oliva, announced on Tuesday that some 47,000 public transport vehicles are making use of the fuel subsidy. The government established through Executive Decree 13 of May 27, 2022 that the owners of public passenger transport vehicles (collective and selective), will be able to buy a gallon of 91 and 95 octane gasoline and low-sulfur diesel at a price flat rate of $3.95 ($1.43 per liter). This came into effect from June 3. It is important to highlight that the State will assume the difference in the cost of fuel with the subsidy. “We have more than 40,000 taxi drivers who have made use of the fuel benefit. We are talking about a daily average of $100,000 in subsidy that the national government is giving. In addition, we have more than 7,000 collective carriers who have already made use of the benefit,” said Oliva. Taking into account the figure given by the administrator of the AIG, in 11 days (from June 3 to 13) $1.1 million in fuel subsidies have already been managed.
The Mexican Foreign Minister, Marcelo Ebrard , said on the morning of this Tuesday, June 14, that the government of President Laurentino Cortizo gave the approval for Jesusa Rodríguez to be the new ambassador of Mexico. Ebrard stressed that the endorsement received by Rodríguez in Panama “enriches the female presence” of Mexico abroad, reported Forbes Mexico . Rodríguez previously served as an alternate senator for Olga Sánchez Cordero, while she was Secretary of the Interior.