Social Security system will go broke without new funding sources; Universities build ventilators for area hospitals; Review of candidate positions

Jan 9, 2021 | 28 comments

Viernes, 8/1/2020

Hola, Todos –
My apologies for the long break from these Periodicos. 2020 ended badly with problems in getting emails, a kidney stone that was finally surgically removed 9 days after the first symptoms appeared, and then the computer not connecting to the internet. I hope that now, with a new operating system and hard drive, that the computer problems will be done with.

Because of the email problems, I have no idea if anyone noted the unApril Fool’s article last month. It was about the mini-driver’s test.

Actividades –

Del cuerpo del periodico –

Mediación lectora en el Museo de Arte (Reading mediation at the Museum of Art) – The art library in the Museo Municipal de Arte Moderno will have a reading of the story, “Julián en el Barranco” by Alexandra Moreno Vintimilla. This will be a virtual event on el sábado 9/1 a las 11:00. To participate, send your email address to Attendees will learn about el barranco through Julián who will narrate the story of characters of the city and its aborigenes.

Otras cosas –

Ecuador’s political campaign is underway ahead of the February 7 national election. Candidates and campaigners will be required to maintain social distancing. (El Mercurio)

Titular – Menos dinero para salud (Less money for health) – A new alert about IESS was given by the president of the Board of Directors about the Fondo de Salud (Health Fund). Jorge Wated said that it only has the resources to stay alive until 2022. Changes to fill the millions in shortfalls generated by unfinanced services provided by IESS are being proposed. This is in spite of the transfer of $1.527 billion from the Government to the IESS which repaid part of a debt of 40% of the Pension Fund. The Government still owes $3.8 billion to the Health Fund.

Wated said the main problem is that IESS is providing health services which are not being funded. It is losing $500 million a year to treat patients with catastrophic diseases and children of affiliates. Funds to treat catastrophic illnesses should be from the IESS, contributions from employers and workers, and from the Government, but IESS is currently funding 100%, and that needs to change. <Like charging gringos premiums based on their actual incomes and not the minimum wage? A drop in the bucket.>

Equipos médicos para pacientes con Covid 19 (Medical equipment for patients with Covid 19) – After research and testing, the U. of Cuenca with the help of UDA, 10 pieces of medical equipment to assist Covid patients with respiratory problems are being delivered to hospitals in Cuenca, Machala and Loja. These donated ambús ( Airway Mask Bag Unit​​) are automatic so that it frees a health care worker from having to manually inflate the bag. The equipment has the option of regulating the pulses per minute and the percentage of pressure. It also has sensors to verify that it is circulating the air correctly and is connected to the patient.

The ambús are greatly needed given that Covid cases are increasing. Yesterday’s report from th Servicio Nacional de Gestión de Riesgos (National Risk Management Service) said Azuay has 14,031 confirmed cases, Cañar has 2,915, and Morona Santiago has 3,761. Nationally there are 218,385 cases confirmed by PCR tests. The region currently has no more ICU beds due to the increase of Covid patients due to people celebrating the holidays.

Today’s political cartoon – The four panels show Pres. Trump first lighting kindling, then blowing on it. Panel 3 shows the flame setting his hair on fire, and Panel 4 shows a roast turkey. <Now you now what the cartoonist Rafa thinks of the Pres.>

Voto 2021 –

This will be a new section in the run up to the elections. El Mercurio is printing articles about the lists of candidates to represent Azuay in the Asamblea Nacional. Seats for the Asamblea will be calculated by the Webster method. <If you can figure out how that works, more power to you.> As a voter, you vote for the list of candidates rather than individual candidates as in previous elections.

Today’s paper has the 4th list. I will work through the backlog 2 lists at a time until I catch up.

From martes, 5/1/2021 –
25 leyes proponen candidatos de UNES (UNES candidates propose 25 laws) – UNES (Unión por la Esperanza) is an alliance composed of listas 1 & 5, the Centro Democrático and Fuerza Compromiso Social which supports Andrés Arauz for president. UNES identifies itself as leftist and calls its projects “Revolución Ciudadana.” The candidates are Juan Cristóbal Lloret who is a commercial engineer and currently serving on the Asamblea, Andrea Gonzáles who is an Architect and Designer and studying environmental engineering, Manuel Alvarado who is a commercial engineer, Valeria Gómez from Gualaceo and Renzo Gutiérrez from Camilo Ponce Enríquez. This list is the most geographically diverse with an average age of 36. <I bet the average age of the US legislature is at least 2 or 3 decades older.>

Their plan de trabajo (work plan – campaign promises?) include new laws including a Labor Code, universal Social Security, a social protection system, protection of children and adolescents, maternal care, transparency, corruption, economic development, social organization, protection of data, contraband, usury (through an anti-usury law which would penalize bank abuses), environment, sustainable mobility, and education.

From miércoles, 6/1/2021 –
La Alianza 2-18 propone una “Minka” (The Alliance 2-18 proposes a “Minka”) – The “Minka por la Vida” is composed of lists 2 and 18 with the Unidad Popular and Pachacutik movements which supports ex-prefect of Azuay, Yaku Pérez Guartambel for president. The 5 candidates all have university degrees and are student and union leaders with an average age of 49. The candidates are Bruno Segovia, Sofía Sánchez who is a student leader and lawyer, Oscar Reinoso who is allied with the university movement, Nelly Loja, and Flavio Londa who is a lawyer.

This alliance presented its proposals in the form of 13 “minkas.” Its plan de trabajo is based in health for a dignified life, effective Social Security, economic policies with social justice at its core, zero discrimination, education for the people, food sovereignty, redistribution and justice for the countryside, anti-extractive policies, and jail for the corrupt. The 13 point “minka” will need the help of all sectors of society. Some of the points include a “Minka Agroproductiva” for ecological agriculture and food sovereignty, protection of water sources, support for developing renewable energy, and support for entrepreneurship, tourism, culture, education and sports. 3 other proposals include having prisoners work in while they are incarcerated to pay for their own food and care, stiffer penalties for domestic violence, and lowering bank interest rates. <If you think traffic is bad now, wait until auto loan rates go down.>

A Minka contra la corrupción would investigate the corruption cases in the past years and establish laws to recover the country’s money, review purchases made during the health emergency, and review the agreements with the IMF.

And that’s all for today so la Hasta mañana –