Wednesday 5th April 2023.

April 4, 2023


High-profile officials left to the last minute or have not formalized the presentation of their affidavit of private interests.

This despite the fact that the rule governing conflict of interest in the public administration came into force on February 18 and officials were given until April 5 to deliver their information.

Of the 20,000 officials required to submit this statement to the National Authority for Transparency and Access to Information (Antai), only 41.58% have done so. This is so, because at the cutoff on Saturday, April 1, only 8,316 officials had delivered their statements.

Among them, 11 state ministers, 30 deputies, 15 mayors and 148 corregimiento representatives, Antai reported. This is the last calculation that Antai had yesterday, Monday at the close of this edition.

The entity reported that the new calculation could increase the figure, but that it would be done last Monday night because there were still officials presenting their reports at the different headquarters of the institution.

With the entry into force, last February, of Law 316 of August 18, 2022, which punishes the conflict of interest, they are obliged to declare their paid or unpaid activities, of a professional, labor, economic, union, personal or charity, before the Antai, the ministers and deputy ministers.

Also the attorneys of the Nation and of the Administration; the comptroller and deputy comptroller general of the Republic; heads of diplomatic missions; the Ombudsman; the superintendents of Banks, Insurance and Securities, and the members of the boards of directors of state companies. The mayors, vice-mayors, corregimiento representatives, governors, deputies of the National Assembly and magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice.

It should be noted that the first to present their statement were the deputies of the independent bench of the National Assembly (Juan Diego Vásquez, Edison Broce, Raúl Fernández and Gabriel Silva) and some officials of the Social Security Fund, such as the director of that entity Enrique Lau Cortes.

The plenary session of the National Assembly approved on the afternoon of this Monday, April 3, the proposal to summon the director of the Institute of National Aqueducts and Sewers (Idaan) , Juan Antonio Ducruet, to that chamber to answer a questionnaire of eight questions.

The questions are related to the lack of water in West Panama, which has led to a series of demonstrations in that sector. The last protest was on Sunday, April 2, when the residents of several neighborhoods decided to close the Arraiján-La Chorrera highway for more than 10 hours.

The demonstrators said that they reject the sectorization program of the drinking water supply. The Idaan had to suspend the measure for people to open the road, after 9:00 p.m.

Among the questions that appear in the questionnaire prepared by the deputies are: What is the current situation of the Howard water treatment plant? What is the drinking water production and distribution capacity of the Idaan in Arraiján, La Chorrera and the rest of West Panama? What investment plans do you have in mind to meet the demand for drinking water in this region in the short term? What is the sectorization plan for drinking water in Arriján and La Chorrera?

A technical table set up by the Government Commission of the National Assembly began this Monday, April 3, the discussion of bill 625, on extinction of domain of illegal assets.

The meeting, chaired by deputy Corina Cano, from Molirena, was held in the Blue Room of the legislative palace with the presence of representatives of the Bar Association, the Judiciary, the Public Ministry and the Accounts Prosecutor’s Office.

This table began with the review of each article of the project, presented by the Ministry of Public Security.

“At this moment, some opinions are being advanced with respect to this project, where the lawyers maintain a legal discussion about each of the articles of the proposal, in those conceptual aspects, fundamentally about whether it should be based on criminal, civil jurisdiction or it must establish a special jurisdiction”, explained the deputy Cano.

He added that some discrepancies were exposed at the table on “the constitutionality of a special jurisdiction, an issue where there is no definition in this regard.”

The technical table has a period of five sessions: Monday 3, Tuesday 4, Monday 10, Tuesday 11 and Monday 17 April. If those days are completed, the Government Commission must approve it in the first debate and send the document to the plenary session of the Assembly for their respective second and third debates.

The plenary will have until April 30 to approve it, since the ordinary sessions conclude that day. From May 1 to June 30, the plenary session goes into recess.

Recently, the president of the National Assembly, Crispiano Adames, promised that project 625 would be approved before June 30 of this year.

A strong earthquake was reported on the afternoon of this Tuesday, April 4, near Coiba Island. According to the Institute of Geosciences of the University of Panama, the earthquake registered 6.8 on the Richter scale, 71 kilometers from the island.

A second earthquake was reported minutes later, with an intensity of 4.2, 67 kilometers from Coiba.

The tremor was felt strongly in Chiriquí and Bocas del Toro as well as in the rest of the provinces, but with less intensity.

At about 5:30 pm, the residents of various regions of Chiriquí were frightened by the strong movement. Some telephone lines were temporarily blocked as a result of the registered event.

Sinaproc began monitoring in the province of Chiriquí and so far no people affected or structural damage have been reported. They maintain surveillance throughout the area, said Armando Palacios, regional director of the entity.

The Ministry of Public Works (MOP) received two proposals within the tender for the maintenance contract for the Centennial Bridge, a structure that crosses the channel of the Panama Canal and was inaugurated on August 14, 2004.

The MOP had set the cost of the work to be carried out in a period of 540 days, about 15 months, at 5.6 million dollars.

During the phase prior to the delivery of proposals, 8 groups had shown interest in the contract, which, in addition to maintenance along the structure’s thousand-meter length, also contemplates the general cleaning of the bridge, along with the cleaning of debris and removal of vegetation of the accesses.

But, in the end, only two applicants applied.

The Centennial Bridge Rehabilitation Consortium, made up of the companies Centroequipos SA, ARD Engineering SA and ATP Electronics SA, offered 6.2 million dollars.

The Centroequipos company is currently rehabilitating the streets in the township of El Chorrillo, as well as improvements in some sectors of the Pan-American highway.

The second offer has a value of 5.1 million dollars and was presented by Doloopo Panamá Corp, the company responsible for the improvements to the La Pintada branch pluvial system, Coclé province.

The company that wins the contract will also have to install a smart lighting system. In addition, the contract establishes that the contractor must submit a report on the current damage to the roadway of the bridge.

The commercial reactivation of the Enrique A. Jiménez Airport in the province of Colón will be concessioned in the coming months, the administration of the Tocumen SA International Airport announced this Tuesday, April 4

In a statement from the entity, it is highlighted that the tender includes the provision of non-aeronautical services, for consideration, for the commercial exploitation, construction, maintenance and operation of areas within the passenger terminal, cargo area, parking lots and airport accesses international.

It is highlighted that the call for the concession process will allow the participation of national and international companies, and those interested will be able to purchase the specifications of the public act between April 10 and 14, 2023 at the administrative offices of Tocumen SA In addition, that the tender It is scheduled for June 26, 2023.

The general manager of Tocumen SA, Raffoul Arab, explained that the administration and development of air terminals through specialized operators is a successful and extended practice in many countries.

A group of dump truck drivers closed Balboa Avenue this Tuesday morning, in the vicinity of the Comptroller General of the Republic, but about 30 minutes later they withdrew from the area.

Vehicular traffic was affected in both directions after trucks were parked in the middle of the tracks as part of the protest. However, the drivers moved from the place.

Drivers claim payment for services provided to the Home Cleaning Authority for garbage collection.

The leaders of this group reported that the contract, for about 1.2 million dollars, was endorsed by the Comptroller’s Office and that it corresponds to four months of work by some 200 truckers.



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