Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Juliette was a speaker at the Ashgabat Transport Business Summit



Juliette was a speaker at the Ashgabat Transport Business Summit, co-organized by the Government of Turkmenistan and IRU-led Global Partnership for Sustainable Transport (GPST), the Summit brought together representatives of global transport companies, governments, international development agencies and banks. Participants considered the future of sustainable transport within the context of public-private-partnerships.  The Summit has resulted in the adoption of the Ashgabat Transport Business Summit Declaration, which was endorsed in the UN Global Sustainable Transport Conference outcome document, the Ashgabat Statement on Commitments and Policy Recommendations.


For a copy of her presentation, please email jpasser@prodigy.net 

For a quick tour of Ashgabat, visit her photo montage:  https://goo.gl/photos/QLeCKEBiaB6Q13NP9

Juliette was a speaker at the Ashgabat Transport Business Summit



Juliette was a speaker at the Ashgabat Transport Business Summit, co-organized by the Government of Turkmenistan and IRU-led Global Partnership for Sustainable Transport (GPST), the Summit brought together representatives of global transport companies, governments, international development agencies and banks. Participants considered the future of sustainable transport within the context of public-private-partnerships.  The Summit has resulted in the adoption of the Ashgabat Transport Business Summit Declaration, which was endorsed in the UN Global Sustainable Transport Conference outcome document, the Ashgabat Statement on Commitments and Policy Recommendations.

For a copy of her presentation, please email jpasser@prodigy.net For a quick tour of Ashgabat, visit her photo montage:  https://goo.gl/photos/QLeCKEBiaB6Q13NP9

Thursday, February 18, 2016

New Panama Canal Locks repairs are complete

New Panama Canal Locks repairs are complete
External consultants of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) reported yesterday that the repairs to the third set of locks, which were completed in January, are satisfactory.
The reliability of the structure was verified by the same tests which revealed leaks in the locks in August 2015.
According to the ACP and the consortium Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC), the failure was due to an error in the design, which called for the use of less steel than should have been installed.
ACP Administrator Jorge Luis Quijano said that the repairs cost about $40 million, and that the cost will be the responsibility of GUPC, which subcontracted the design to Montgomery Watson Harza.
The work on the third set of locks now enters a period of final examinations. They will likely be ready for opening at the end of June.


Source: LA PRENSA
Photo by Juliette Passer

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A new Panama law proposal to exempt from income tax payments of educational expenses

A new Panama law proposal to exempt from income tax payments of educational expenses

Twelve deputies from different political parties in the Panama National Assembly proposed a law project so college studies expenses can be deducted from the income tax declaration.

This is the law project supported by 115   deputies from five parties in addition to the independent legislator Ana Matilde Gomez.

These expenses will be deductible if incurred with respect to third level education or higher education of the adult  dependents of the taxpayer, still under their custody, relating to the payment of tuition and credit hours. This deduction may also be applied to taxpayers who pay for their own studies.

Income tax deduction mechanism would also apply to minor children.

The school fees incurred with respect of minor dependents of the taxpayer, including tuition and school fees, school supplies and school transportation, related to the first level or basic general education or secondary education will be deductible.  

The project law is now under review by  the commission of Economy and Finance of the Panama National Assembly.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

President Varela: PAN projects now to be handled by the Secretariat of Goals


President Varela: PAN projects now to be handled by the Secretariat of Goals

President Juan Carlos Varela announced today that unfinished projects initiated by the defunct National Assistance Program (PAN) will be administered by the Secretariat of Goals within the Presidency of the Republic.

"This is to ensure these projects are completed and the structure is dismantled to restore the credibility with the population. I personally will work with the secretariat," said Varela.

He said that while the PAN has been rife with corruption, he will not abandon those projects that have been started.

"I will not leave people without water or buildings half-built," Varela said. "We have to try and clean it up."

The Head of the Secretariat Carlos Duboy said there are over 100 projects that will require an estimated $150 million to finish.


"They are to be reviewed together with the Comptroller's Office and the Ministry of Economy and Finance to go looking for a solution," he said.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Politica: 'Me siento tranquilo... el ministro va a salir bien de esa investigación': Varela

'Me siento tranquilo... el ministro va a salir bien de esa investigación': Varela

El presidente Juan Carlos Varela aseguró la noche de este jueves que está “tranquilo” y que espera que el ministro de Vivienda, Mario Etchelecu, salga sin cargos ante la investigación de oficio que anunció el Ministerio Público por las presuntas irregularidades en compras de equipos para el programa Techos de Esperanza a través del Programa de Ayuda Nacional (PAN).
“Eso es ver la democracia funcionando... Yo siento que el ministro va a salir bien de esa investigación, pero tiene que pasar ese proceso”, respondió el mandatario durante la inauguración de la feria de Boquete, en Chiriquí. 
Varela defendió incluso la nueva Dirección de Asistencia Social (DAS), la cual reemplazó recientemente al PAN.
“Es muy diferente el DAS. Si quieren un debate de cómo se manejó el PAN en la administración pasada y en los últimos 18 meses, vamos a debate. Al exdirector del PAN [Rafael Guardia] se le encontraron 40 millones [de dólares] en sus cuentas bancarias, casi 40 millones... [y ahora] he escuchado cuestionamientos al director actual del PAN [Rafael Stanziola] por cómo se compraron unos equipos para arrancar el proyecto de Techos de Esperanza con la agilidad que el pueblo quería y que ya ha beneficiado a más de mil familias”, destacó.
Según Varela, ahora le tocará a la justicia realizar su labor para determinar si hubo o no mal procedimiento en esas compras.
“Me siento tranquilo con los precios de compra, porque he recibido opiniones de que los que compitieron y perdieron, incluso los que hicieron la carta [de denuncia] se retiraron... ese es un tema de agosto de 2014. Y llama mucho la atención que un tema del 14 de agosto de 2014, que ya fue público, sea noticia el 14 de enero de 2016, eso es positivo porque quiere decir que las cosas caminan bien”, añadió.
Indicó que siente mucha confianza hacia el ministro Etchelecu, y su gestión se fundamenta en eso, pues sería el primero que pediría su renuncia de comprobar que han cometido irregularidades, así como ocurrió con el exdirector del Instituto de Mercado Agropecuario (IMA), Edwin Cárdenas.
Una investigación publicada por este diario reveló que entre noviembre de 2014 y abril de 2015, el  Ministerio de Vivienda y Ordenamiento Territorial (Miviot) otorgó, al menos, $15.3 millones mediante licitaciones abreviadas y contrataciones a través del antiguo PAN, para su programa Techos de Esperanza. 
El dinero fue repartido entre las empresas: Royal Construction Panamá, Fiorazio de Panamá y Airco, S.A. Esta última pertenece a Pedro Vallarino Trombetta, quien al momento de las contrataciones formaba parte de la junta directiva de la Caja de Ahorros. 

Según Rafael Stanziola, director de la DAS, los criterios de contratación fueron los correctos. Explicó que las contrataciones se hicieron con presupuesto de 2014, comprometido por la administración anterior.