Tax reform debate begins in Nat’l Assembly; Local economy shows growth; Funds allocated for highway projects, including Cuenca-Machala and Molleturo
Hola, Todos –
Rehabilitan tramos de la Cuenca-Pasaje (Rehabilition of sections of the Cuenca-Pasaje) – There will be interventions taken at at least 13 locations on the vía Cuenca-Girón-Pasaje where there are a large number of problems. MTOP (Ministerio de Transporte y Obras Públicas) will contract with the Azuay Province’s asphalt company to improve the first stretch – km. 16 to 60. The equipment will start at km. 37 at the bridge over el río El Chorro and continue until km 60 in the Léntag sector. Depending on the state of the roadway, work could include repositioning of the asphalt or paving, construction of drains, rock walls, or other needs to improve the road structure. The work should be finished within 60 days at the end of enero, 2022, at a cost of over $1 million.
Los Pichaybot han tenido buena aceptación (The Pichaybot has been well accepted) – Of the 7 PET plastic bottle recycling machines, 6 are working. Three of the machines were paid for by EMAC, and 4 by Elecaustro. They have been installed in the El Paraíso, Guzho, and De La Madre parks and in the rural zones of Checa, Chiquintad, Baños and San Joaquín. San Joaquin’s machine only worked el 16/10, the day on which it was inaugurated. It collected a record number of bottles, and officials are hoping it gets fixed since there was a lot of support from the parrish for the project. Since the first machines went into operation in the parks on el 16/9, 1.06 tons of bottles have been collected. The newest machines also include a solmáforo (meter that tells you the UV index) <It reads reflected light from your face so if you’re a melanin-challenged type, it’ll know that you’re at a higher risk for sunburn. If you hear the machine beeping manically like a runaway truck in reverse, put your hat on and go home immediately. And if you believed that, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.>
Wolfram Palacio, nuevo gerente de la EMAC (Wolfram Palacio, EMAC’s new manager) – Este lunes, Wolfram Palacio Baus took over as new general manager of the Empresa Pública Municipal de Aseo de Cuenca (EMAC EP – Garbage company). The installation was presided over by Mayor Palacios. Wolfram Palacio is an attorney for the Universidad Católica de Cuenca with a masters in International Commercial law with a diploma in Sistemas de Gestión Anticorruptión, Implementación de ISO 37001 (Anti-Corruption Management Systems, ISO 37001 Implementation).
Maestros piden permiso para construir (Teachers request permission to build) – The members of the housing corporation, Frente de Reivindicación del Magisterio del Azuay (FRMA – Azuay Teachers’ Claim Front), are asking the City of Cuenca for permission to build a housing development on a 109,427 m. site in Los Trigales Altos. The city says that the land has slides and unstable soils. In 2004, it suspended any work on the site until geological, geophysical, geotechnical and engineerings studies were done. A study done in 2005 said the site was buildable if the construction met measures to avoid future problems. <Like throwing a lot of concrete and steel and deep piers into the mix.> FRMA got authorization to utilize 30,900 m. of the site, with the rest considered unstable because of slides, proximity to creeks and slopes exceeding 30%.
Plan de bacheo municipal (Municipal pothole patching plan) – The Dirección de Obras Públicas (Department of Public Works) is planning to fix potholes in different sectors of the city. To date, there has been work at 120 sites. Every week, there are 32 project locations in different barrios of the city. 9 crews are in charge of maintaining the asphalt, lastre <DeepL Translate says ballast, but gravel makes more sense>, and paved roads at a cost of about $300,000. The work is being done directly by the city with asphalt from its Guangarcucho asphalt plant. Some of the sectors receiving intervention are av. España, Abelardo J. Andrade, Hurtado de Mendoza, Paseo de los Cañaris, de Las Américas, Ricardo Durán, & Diez de Agosto.
Today’s political cartoon is titled Oferta y demanda (Supply and demand) and has 3 panels with 3 characters. The first is labeled businessman who says “Vendo contaminación” (I sell pollution), the second is labeled narco who says, “Vendo muerte (death),” and the 3d is labeled politician who says, “Vendo humo (smoke).” <Most of these cartoons are not easily described – a picture being worth a thousand words and all that.>
USD 50 millones asignan al Austro ($50 million allocated to Austro) – Included in MTOP’s budget for the next year is more than $50 million for the provinces of Azuay, Cañar, and Morona Santiago. Viceminister Carolina Ormaza said that $10 million will be earmarked for Cuenca-Girón-Pasaje. There will also be money for Cuenca-Molleturo-El Empalme, and the vías Gualaceo-Plan de Milagro-Limón, Sígsig-Chiguinda-Gualaquiza and Paute-Guarumales-Méndez which provide access to Morona Santiago. There will be $2 million to finish studies to increase the road to Gualaceo and Paute to 4 lanes, and $17 million for a definite solution to the access to the bridge over the río Upano in Macas.
Reforma Tributaria se debate mañana en la Asamblea (Tax Reform to be debated tomorrow in the Assembly) – The Tax Reform presented by Pres. Lasso will be debated in the full Asamblea Nacional miercoles. The legislature has 30 days, starting este sábado, to approve or disapprove the law. Areas of disagreement include an income tax increase with the president’s first proposal applied to earnings over $2,000 per month. The Comisión de Desarrollo Economico (Economic Development Committee), which analyzed the bill before sending it to the full assembly, increased the amount to $2,600; and political blocks such as the correísta want it at $5,000 so as not to affect what they consider the middle class. Other areas of disagreement are over taxes on alcoholic beverages <That one might hit some of you hard drinking gringos in the wallet.>, bringing foreign capital into the country with the payment of a tariff, the collection of a special contribution from estates, and others.
Aumenta la recuadación tributaria en Azuay (Tax collection increases in Azuay) – From 1-10/2021, tax collections were $436.81 million in Azuay reaching 110.6% of the goal set, and an increase of 29% over the same period in 2020. The SRI collected $140.74 million in IVA, $125.22 million in income tax, $19.78 in motor vehicle taxes, $10.39 million in special consumption taxes, and $5.31 in taxes on money leaving the country <Looks like all that money that went into accounts in tax havens wasn’t taxed. The Gov’t should repatriate that money as well as the taxes owed.> The director of Zone 6 of the SRI said that this indicates an improvement in the economy. He said the main economic activities in Azuay are commerce, manufacturing, supplying electricity, education and public administration.
And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –