Gov’t proposes IESS fee hike; A full cultural agenda; City gas sellers turn down the volume on Monday; A day for women; March is for symphony concerts

Mar 9, 2024 | 0 comments

Viernes, 8/3/2024

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

Agenda cultural –
9/3, 9:00 – Recorrrido (Tour) – Guided visit – Museo Remigio Crespo.
11/3, 9:00 – Muestra (exhibit) – Yo, Río – Museo Universitario.
12/3, 17:00 – Conversatorio (Discusion) – El camarote de Santa Marta – Auditorio de
las Monjas.
14/3, 20:00 – Concierto – Performance by Sinfónica de Cuenca – Iglesia de Todos Santos.

Hundreds of women joined an International Women’s Day march to Parque Calderon Friday, demanding equal rights and stronger laws against femicide. (El Mercurio)

Club Rotario – The Rotary Club Tomebamba invites the public to a performance of “Marujitas entre memorias y efemérides” (Marujitas between memories and ephemeris). It will be el jueves, 14/3 a las 20:00 in the Teatro Pumapungo. Proceeds will go to fund the social programs of the Rotary Club.

De El Mercurio del jueves, 7/3/2024 (3 articles/items):

Agenda de exposiciones – Various historic houses will be presenting different exhibitions in marzo. The Casa de Chaguarchimbana will show the work, El Herrero (The Blacksmith) and the Quinta Bolívar will show the Agonía de Bolívar y la vida de Manuela Sáenz. Hours for these shows are from lunes a viernes, 8:30-16:30. Free.

Actividades in bibliotecas (Activities in libraries) – The network of municipal libraries <And yes, there are libraries in Cuenca. Whether you can read anything more complicated than the stuff in the children’s section is another issue.> is organizing workshops, talks, reading activities, and teaching activities for both large and small. If you are interested, go to Free.

Marzo, mes lleno de conciertos sinfónicos (March, a month full of symphony concerts) – The Orquesta Sinfónica de Cuenca has scheduled a calendar of free concerts in marzo. On el 14 & 15/3 a las 20:00 the concerts will be in the Iglesia de Todos Santos with Mozart’s Requiem in D Minor, K.626. <I have no idea what K.626 means or even if it’s in Spanish. Those of you who know music probably have a better idea of what that is.> The chorus of the Conservatorio Superior “José María Rodríguez” will also participate. El 20/3 a las 15:00, there will be a chamber music concert in the Museo Pumapungo. The schedule ends on the 22 & 28/3. On the 22nd a las 20:00, the concert will be in the Teatro Pumapungo and feature pianist Ludovico Troncanette. Also on the 22nd, there will be another Chamber Music concert in the Centro Municipal Artesanal (Cemuart). <And your guess is as good as mine as to what’s on the schedule for the 28th.>

Titular –

Nacidas para luchar (Born to fight) – For the Día de la Mujer (Women’s Day) El Mercurio featured 4 women from 4 generations who have accomplished the impossible in reaching their goals. The women agreed in the need to defend their rights and hoped that institutions would fulfill their obligations to guarantee safe space.

Cuenca –

Cambios en venta de gas a domicilio, desde el lunes (Changes in home gas sales, starting Monday) – As of el lunes, 11/3, gas distributors who are in the Asociación de Distribuidores de Gas del Azuay (Asogastro <which sounds sort of like an intestinal disorder resulting in smells you hope no one will notice or which you will blame on the dog> will reduce the volume of the perifoneo (recorded message) used to sell tanks of gas. The distributors will change the music from sung words to instrumentals which causes less noise. This is part of the changes due to the Ordenanza de Control de Ruido en Cuenca (Cuenca Noise Control Ordinance) which has also determined that gas sellers should use an app. The ordinance will also sanction excessive noise from other sources.

Nacional –

Gobierno plantea elevar las aportaciones a IESS (Government proposes to raise contributions to IESS) – In 2 years, the Instituto Ecuatoriano Seguridad Social (IESS) will have very low inflows which will prevent it from providing the services it should give its members and retirees. To correct this, Eduardo Peña, president of the Directors and Government representative will present a legal reform to increase the percentage of contributions which is currently 20.6%, with employees paying 9.45% of their salaries, and the employer paying 11.15%. The proposal which will be presented towards the end of 2024, will increase the combined contribution to 30%. Peña did not explain what percentage of the increase would be paid by the employee and employer, but estimated that it would be equal amounts. <I know your question is going to be – how much is my payment to the IESS going to be? I doubt you’re going to be paying 30% of your real actual income since you’re probably not paying 20.6 or even 9.45% now.>

Additional economic problems were desencadenados (unchained/ triggered – your word for the day) when the last Governments failed to make their 40% contribution to the Retirement Fund. This was exacerbated by the increase in life expectancy for Ecuadorians in the 70’s which increased from 71 to 83 years. <Must be all those 100+ year olds in Vilcabamba skewing the average.> Peña expects/hopes that this reform will be approved at the end of 2024, but the timing of the increases could start immediately or be phased in gradually to reach 30% in 10 years. <Will there still be IESS hospitals in 10 years? Or will they all be repurposed into luxury condominiums?>

Also, part of the reforms will be in how the amount of pensions will be calculated. Currently, they are based on the 5 best years which allows abuse of the system. Some workers have opted to raise their contributions in their last 5 years of employment in order to substantially increase their pensions. The proposal would take into account all of the years of contributions. An announcement from the Cámara de Comercio de Quito (Quito Chamber of Commerce) expressed serious concern since an increase in the employers’ contributions would have a considerable impact on the productive sector which is facing multiple challenges. The president of the Frente Unitario de Trabajadores (FUT) are unwilling to permit anything that would affect the income of its members. They are anticipating protests and are planning their first march el 13/3. <Human nature – everyone wants the benefits, but no one wants to pay for them>.

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –


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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