Cuenca disputes order to end mask mandate; Gov’t asks for input on short-term rental regs; Most sexual assaults in schools unpunished; SRI tax assistance
Hola, Todos –
Polémica por mascarillas (Controversy over masks) – The responsibility for managing the pandemic and establishing biosafety measures belongs exclusively to the Ministerio de Salud. Homero Castanier, Government vice-minister, made this clear to the cities of Guayaquil, Cuenca, y Samborondón that they cannot continue requiring mask use. The resolution from the COE asked the Asociación de Municipalidades del Ecuador (AME) to communicate with the 221 municipalities that the resolutions of 6&7/4/2020 are no longer in effect. Those resolutions gave the cantonal COEs right to control mask usage, and rescinding them makes the Ministerio de Salud the only agency responsible for public health policies in the country. <So if you believe strongly in states rights (or local rights) do you continue to wear your mask? Or ditch it as the federal government is telling you to do?>
The national decision was based on the epidemiological data that shows that even with a slight increase in cases to a total of 140 nationally, there hasn’t been in increase in hospitalizations, neither in intensive nor intermediate care. Cities cannot sanction citizens who do not wear a mask. <Although I think you are still required to wear a mask in hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities. Anyway, what kind of a**hole would stroll into SOLCA without a mask on?>
Cuenca insistirá (Cuenca will insist) – Mayor Palacios said that the 4/2020 ordinance that regulates the use of masks in closed and open spaces still isn’t repealed because the data on boosters in the 12-17 age group is still worrisome. He is counting on citizen support to maintain mask usage and said people have indicated to him that it is better to wait until the percentage of booster shots increases. He said that in spite of the Constitution and federal laws ranking above ordinances, a resolution from the COE is not above an ordinance.
Alerta por nuevo caso de abuso sexual (Alert for new case of sexual abuse) – A case of alleged sexual abuse of a 5 year old student in an el centro school by an older classmate is evidence of the lack of effective prevention of these crimes. This case was preceded by others this year such as a case in a school in Nulti where 8 teens abused a 9 year old classmate, another in Ricaurte where two 12 year olds beat and raped a 10 year old classmate, and a 3d in El Valle where an 11 year student tried to rape a 9 year old classmate. Carmen Samaniego, an educational psychologist, said there more cases that were not reported or made public. The 2 main reasons are that the victims are afraid, and inaction by school authorities. She said that schools need to have clear protocols and teachers need to know what they should do in these cases.
First is to care for the victim with immediate medical and psychological care, then to identify who is responsible and then report the case to the courts. Parents should be aware of changes in their child’s behavior which can include not wanting to go to school and being tense, nervous and irritable.
The Ministerio de Educación received 3,067 reports of sexual violence in schools between 2014 & 5/2020. There was a report of sexual abuse 2 years ago at the same school as the latest case. Since 2018, there were more than 4,000 cases of abuse of students in schools according to a report on the Connectas platform. Only 3% of the cases of abuse of students reach the trial phase. <And these unpunished underage abusers grow up to be adults and get married. No wonder violence in the family is a problem.>
Reglamento de alojamiento (Lodging regulations) – The Ministerio de Turismo (MINTUR) is inviting the citizenry to look at the draft of the Reglamento de Alojamiento en Inmuebles para Uso Turístico (Regulations for Lodging in Real Estate for Tourist Use) and submit your comments on the document. You can read it at www.turismo.gob.ec.
Rellenos sanitarios contribuyen al reciclaje (Landfills contribute to recycling) – 17/5 is the Día Mundial del Reciclaje to generate awareness about reusing material goods for the good of the planet. The Empresa Pública Municipal Mancomunada de Aseo Integral de la Cuenca del Jubones (EMMAICJ-EP) developed various processes related to environmental protection through the application of the Gestión Integral de Residuos Sólidos (GIRS – Integrated Solid Waste Management) model which promotes a circular economy. Solid household waste is classified at the source <that would be your house> into organic (green bags) and inorganic (blue bags) and by differentiated collection in Girón, Santa Isabel, Nabón, y San Fernando. At their center in the Eco Parque de Huascachaca-Santa Isabel, organic waste is made into fertilizer which is shared with sectors close to the landfill, and inorganic waste is sorted for recycling. Of all the garbage collected, only about 35-40% makes it into the landfill. <Cuenca also sorts garbage so put your household waste into the appropriately colored bags. Heck, SuperMaxi makes it SuperEasy since they pack your groceries into green (compostables), blue (recyclables) and black (common garbage) bags.>
Oficina tributaria ofrece servicios gratuitos (Tax office offers free services) – The Servicio de Rentas Internas (SRI – Internal Revenue Service) and the UPS opened a new office of NAF (Núcleos de Apoyo Contable y Fiscal – Accounting and Tax Support Centers) on Remigio Tamariz between Av. Loja y Lorenzo Piedra which is open from 13-18:00, lunes a viernes. There is a 2nd office at Vega Muñoz y Padre Aguirre. Services are provided by accounting and audit students and include declaring IVA, Income Tax, and IVA refunds for seniors. <You might get lucky and get an English speaking student, but then you might not. Better to learn Spanish and take luck out of the equation.>
US First Lady Jill Biden will start her visit to Ecuador tomorrow. She will be received by Ecuadorian First Lady María de Lourdes Alcívar and her daughter María Mercedes Lasso at the Carondelot Palace. After the ceremony they will visit a child development center and then a school with a program which is supported by the US government. The program is an accelerate learning program for Ecuadorian, Venezuelan, and Colombian teens to re-enter the educational system after dropping out.
Ahead of the trip, U.S. President Joe Biden talked by phone with President Guillermo Lasso on Wednesday. The two discussed trade, education and fishing issues according to the White House.
And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –