Cuenca presents its 7-year plan; VAT goes to 15% in April: What’s the difference between a consultation and a referendum?; Dance, watercolors on agenda

Feb 24, 2024 | 0 comments

Viernes, 23/2/2024

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

Taller de acuarela – There will be a watercolor workshop every jueves in marzo from 10:30-12:30 <Ending time perfect for going out to lunch somewhere in El Centro afterwards. Think maybe it was planned for that?> in the Museo de las Conceptas. The class is dedicated for women who are at beginning or intermediate levels. The cost for the workshop is $15 which includes materials. Register by calling 098 389 4797.

The city of Cuenca’s 7-year development plan includes new parks, highway interchanges and bridges, three hospitals, a wastewater treatment plant and the renovation of the Francisco Febres Cordero High School. (El Mercurio)

Obra de danza – The Compañía de Danza of the U. of Cuenca will present ECOS, a work that shows how sound stimuli affect the body. <The way a good dance band makes your feet tap or compels the rest of you to get up and boogie?> The show will be el 29/2 a las 20:00 in the Teatro Carlos Cueva Tamariz. Free, but voluntary donations will be accepted.

Titular –

Debate de Reformas al COIP se suspende (Debate on COIP reforms suspended) – See today’s CHL article for story.

Cuenca –

Municipio presenta hoja de ruta hasta el año 2031 (Municipality presents roadmap to 2031) – The Municipio presented its roadmap for the next 7 years including studies, projects and public works with the Plan de Acción Territorial “SOS – Cuenca en Acción” and the Strategic Infrastructure Agenda 2012-2031. The roadmap was written over 9 months and is the plan for the development of the canton subject to water sustainability, renovation and rehabilitation of public spaces and buildings, design and management of urban green spaces and sustainable public policies.

Projects to be done this year include construction of 3 hospitals in El Valle, Baños y Ricaurte, an interchange at av. Turuhuayco, remodeling the Cazhapata stadium, and more with a $50 million loan from the Banco de Desarrollo para América Latina y el Caribe. Other projects include the Ferrocarrril (Railroad) and Arco parks and the Patamarca bridge, Francisco Sojos stairs, and continuing the repaving program with an investment of $40 million. The wastewater treatment plant in Guangarcucho will be contracted in the last quarter of the year with an investment of about $70 million. Projects for 2025 & 2026 include parks such as de los Jóvenes and Botánico, the restoration of the former Francisco Febres Cordero High School, and the north transfer station. Both the plan and schedule can vary according to the needs of the population. There are also Q codes for those who want to download the plans. <Hopefully this roadmap can be followed without too many detours or delays or under the table payouts.>

Menor requiere de trasplante de riñon (Child requires kidney transplant) – The family of 4-year-old Romina Gómez is asking the public for help. Romina suffers from chronic kidney failure and needs a $30,000 kidney transplant. The family does not have the means for the surgery. If you would like to help, please deposit what you can into account 2203532243 or 2203532406 at Banco del Pichincha. The name on the account is Juan Antonio Gómez, cédula # 0705491116.

Consulta y referéndum: diferencias (Consultation and referendum: differences) – <This is our civics lesson for the day, and my use of the terms interchangeably has been wrong.> On el 21/4, voters should go to the polls to say yes or no 11 questions proposed by the President. Patricio Moscoso, an attorney and consultant in electoral law, said that while both are mechanisms to receive the opinion of the citizenry, they have differences.

The Consulta Popular is a source of citizen participation that gives possibility of consulting the population on aspects that affect them in the areas of politics, economics and society through a popular vote. A Consulta places very general themes that affect daily life in front of the voters. <I’d say the peoples’ safety is an important theme. Who’d want their kid joining a gang because his family was threatened if he didn’t join.>

The referendum convenes the electorate to change a specific theme or article in the Ecuadorian Constitution. Although there are cases of the results of a consulta changing articles of the Constitution, this is a different issue. A referendum is also a consulta but is deeper because it aims to modify a legal regulation or create a new one.

The Constitution says that when the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) accepts a petition for a referendum, popular consultation, or recall of the mandate (of an elected official?), it has 15 days to convene. These mechanisms can be proposed by the President, the Gobiernos Autónomos Descentralizados (GAD – Autonomous Decentralized Governments), or citizens in general. Compliance with the popular pronouncement is obligatory and immediate. <Consulta popular on oil exploitation in the Yasuni? Hello?>

According to the CNE, the budget for the Consulta Popular and Referendum 2024 is $60,022,933.86 with $21,414,241.63 for personnel, $8,821,311.54 for ballots and assembly of voting packages, $8,040,875.00 for the Armed Forces (FF.AA), and $4,372,883.00 for the Policía Nacional. Also in the budget is $2,387,359.23 for the Voto en el Exterior program (overseas voters), $3,533,845.43 to pay members of the Juntas Receptoras el Voto (JRV – poll workers), and $3,390,363.84 for voter information campaigns.

Nacional –

De El Mercurio del jueves, 22/2 (1 article):
Alza del IVA al 15% regirá desde abril (VAT increase to 15% will be effective as of April) – The Government expects to collect $1 billion from the increase in the IVA from 12% to 15% starting el 1/4. According to Juan Carlos Vega, minister of Economía y Finanzas, Pres. Noboa plans to increase the IVA to the maximum allowed by law and not stay with the 13% minimum due to the economic need of the country which is facing an internal armed conflict and El Niño.

Pres. Noboa sent the Proforma for the General National Budget for 2024 which increased to $35.536 billion and includes a deficit of $4.809 billion. The budget does not include the $1.5 billion that will be collected through the Ley del Conflicto Armado Interno (of which $1 billion is from the IVA increase). The $35.5 billion budget includes $9,823 billion for permanent employees which are concentrated in 4 sectors: education (38.7%), health (18.3%), defense (16.8%), and justice (5%). <I feel reassured about Ecuador’s priorities that more money is spent on personnel in education and health than on defense.>

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –

Jeanne
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Editor’s note: Jeanne’s Periodico is a translated digest of news from the Cuenca daily newspaper El Mercurio. If details, such as event dates and times, do not appear in the translation, they did not appear in the newspaper (please don’t ask her for them). If information is incorrect, it is the responsibility of El Mercurio. The text between the carrots, or guillemets (< … >), is Jeanne’s personal opinion and not part of the news translation.

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