City urges water conservation as rivers near record lows; IESS opposes Lasso in court; Debate details announced; Shrimp overtake oil as top export

Sep 28, 2023 | 0 comments

Miércoles, 27/9/2023

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

Tres presentaciones de títeres – ‘Abya-Yala: Tierra de Leyendas’ (Abya-Yala: Land of Legends) will present 3 days of stories in which puppets star. Today’s is over, tomorrow’s will be a las 10:30 in the Centro Cultural de Baños, and on el viernes it will be in the Teatro Sucre a las 15:00. Free.

Presentación de libro de poesía – The Dirección de Cultura del Municipio de Cuenca will present a book of poetry, “Antología de la poesía cuencana modernista,” for which Jaqueline Verdugo made the selections. The book launch will be el 28/9 a las 11:00 in UDA (U. of Azuay) with the participation of Carlos Pérez.

Titular –

The Rio Tomebamba and other Cuenca rivers are flowing at near-record low levels due to the ongoing drought. (El Mercurio)

Rechazo a decreto-ley para IESS (Rejection of decree-law for IESS) – The decree-law for el Equilibrio, Organización y Transparencia de las Finanzas Públicas (Equilibrium, Organization and Transparency of Public Finances) that Pres. Lasso sent to the Corte Constitucional (CC) last 5/9 was analyzed yesterday at a hearing. It received various questions as to the legal impossibility for the Government to make cuts to the payments it should make to the IESS Health and Pension funds.
The President is proposing that all of the interest owed by the Government to IESS for the delay in payments into the Pension Fund be deleted.

Finance Vice-Minister Daniel Lemos said that the Government doesn’t know what the amount of interest is, but the IESS said that the amount the Government wants to write off is $1,080 billion in interest, and the debt for the contribution to the pension fund is $3 billion. Vice Minister Lemos said that not paying this money will not affect the finances of IESS because it is not money that is being paid. <Huh? Can any of you financial wizards out there make sense out of this reasoning? Or is it just that it’s way above my pay grade?>

Magdalena Toro, a legal representative for IESS, said that eliminating interest payments as the government is proposing, is illegal, unconstitutional, and puts the financial stability of IESS at risk. It is also contrary to the constitution which is clear that the funds or reserves of IESS belong to the IESS and are distinct from those of the treasury. It is also contrary to Article 50 of the constitution which guarantees specialized and free care for citizens suffering from catastrophic or complex illnesses. <Even to gringos who are skating on ethical thin ice by making their contributions based on the minimum Ecuadorian salary and not (in the case of people on retiree visas) the minimum $800 income that was required for that visa.>

Cuenca –

De El Mercurio del martes, 26/9/2023 (2 articles):
Cuenca está cerca de sufrir récord de estiaje (Cuenca is close to record low water levels) – El lunes marked 28 days without significant rain in the city which has drastically reduced the flows through the rivers. The record of 33 rainless days was set in 1981. You can see it in the río Tomebamba where the rocks on the bottom are half dry. Normally the flow is at 5 cubic meters per second, but a las 8:00 el lunes, it was less than one, at .89 cubic meters. ETAPA is asking people to reduce their use of water, but is not planning on rationing water <yet?>.

Cómo cuidar el agua (How to take care of water) –
Don’t use potable water for washing the car.
Collect the water you run until the shower gets hot. Use it for watering plants.
Optimize water use when washing dishes – don’t leave the faucet running.
Collect the water you use for washing produce and use it for watering plants.
If you have a leak, call 188 for ETAPA to follow up.
<I’d add embracing the Marin County, CA. reminder from a late 1970’s drought in California. A new wine, Pinot Pudeaux, was invented. I have no idea how to spell what was pronounced, Pee No, Poo Do as a reminder to only flush #2 and not #1. Challenge yourself – see how far you can lower your water bill. Actually, share the information in the comments section – what your pre and post drought bills are.>

Nacional –

Sismo en Esmeraldas – There was a 4.2 earthquake in Esmeraldas Province ayer a las 14:24. There were no reports of victims or property damage.

CNE define orden de intervención del debate presidencial (CNE defines order of intervention of the presidential debate) – The full CNE (Consejo Nacional Electoral), notario 58, José Washinton (sic) Serrano, and delegates of the candidates, attended the drawing. Daniel Noboa will lead on blocks 1 & 3 which correspond to the issues of Economics and Social. Luisa González will start on blocks 2 & 4 which cover issues of Security and Policy. Noboa will take atril (lectern – your word for the day) #1 to the right of the moderator, Ruth del Salto. González will be at atril #2 on the moderator’s left side. Distribution of election materials to the 635 polling places abroad started ayer. The ballots and electoral documents will be distributed to the consular offices by el 10/10.

De El Mercurio del martes, 26/9/2023 (1 article):
Camarón, por primera vez, más rentable que petroleo (Shrimp, for the first time, more profitable than oil) – From enero to julio, 2023, exports of shrimp reached $4.396 billion and crude oil reached $4.082 billion according to Banco Central de Ecuador data. <And shrimp tastes better than oil, too.>

Descuentos y compras –

Self-Realization Fellowship – Free Conference with Guided Meditation, “Meditation, The art of finding inner peace and joy” – jueves, 28/9 a las 19:00 – Teatro Carlos Cueva Tamariz (av. 12 de Abril y Agustín Cueva).

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –



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