Vote ‘yes’ for Yasuní, ex-minister urges; IESS pays some bills, restocks medicines; Weekend events; Alausí residents build a Pan Am highway bypass

Jun 24, 2023 | 17 comments

Viernes, 23/6/2023

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

E El Mercurio del jueves, 22/6 (1 article):
Agenda Cultural –
24/6, 11:00 – Celebración of Inti Raymi – Museo Pumapungo.
26/6, 9:00 – Exposición, “Fuego y color” – Galería Vitrina.
29/6, 19:00 – Muestra (show), Bargueños – Casa del Alfarero.
30/6, 18:00 – Música, Batalla de Maestros – Escuela Central.

Titular –

Hoy inicia admisión en la U. (Admission to the U. begins today)

Elecciones –

The management of the IESS health system reports that medicines have been restocked and bills to providers have been paid. It says that more debts remain to be paid but the overall financial status of the system has improved. (El Mercurio)

Acosta: la extracción en el Yasuní no es buen negocio (Acosta: extraction in Yasuní is not good business) – Ex-minister of Energía y Minas, Alberto Acosta was in Cuenca to present information on what oil exploitation in the Yasuní would leave, in contrast to what would be avoided in taxes and the damage from extraction. He said that payment of some $7 billion in taxes has been evaded in the country, with $1.9 billion in outstanding debts and $1.2 unpaid by oil extraction. He concluded that “No es un buen negocio para el paíz.” (It’s not a good business for the country.) For him, it’s important to return to the Yasuní ITT initiative to leave the oil in the ground, and take care of the Amazon for its biodiversity and benefits against climate change.

Padrón electoral (Voter registration) – A total of 635,051 people are registered to vote in Azuay. Voters in the province will get 4 ballots: one for President and Vice-President, one for the national assembly, a third for local assemblies, and the last for the referendum about oil extraction in the Yasuní. <So, you better vote so you’ll have the right to complain if your choice didn’t win.

Informe –

Alausí: la misma gente da solutiones tras alud (Alausí: the same people provide solutions after landslide) – There are 4 alternate routes to replace the stretch of the Pan American highway lost in the landslide on 26/3. The 1st is La Moya-Empalme-Gualla Grande-Charicanto and is about 18 km. The 2nd is Guasuntos, Tolatús-Cherlo-Gulag Huaico-Charicanto and is also about 18 km. The 3d is Alausí-Yocon-García Moreno-Totorillas and is about 32 km. The last is Alausí-Pueblo Viejo-Panamericana, and is about 5 km. with a weight limit of 3.5 tons. The last was built by the residents of Pueblo Viejo and 26 communities in the Tixán parish after they were frustrated with the slow response of the Government. It is an informal toll road with 4 women in the community who are in charge of collecting the voluntary support. Most drivers familiar with the effort the community made give a dollar and others more. <Another of example of Ecuadorian initiative. The Gov´t doesn’t get to it in a timely manner? Do it yourself and put in toll collectors to pay yourselves back. The pioneer spirit of can do is alive here in Ecuador. I think it up and died in the US.>

The work was started with 2 retroexcavadores (backhoes – your word for the day because you never know when you might need to rent one) financed by the community. After a few days they rented more equipment and added some from the Municipio de Alausí and the Chimborazo Provincial Government. The bypass road has a width from 8-12 meters with winding curves. There are no gutters to drain the water which is affecting the structure of dirt and lastre (gravel?). It also lacks lighting and adequate signage. <So your choice is 5 km. of bad road or 18 or 32km. of less bad road.> The residents hope that they can improve some dangerous stretches in 15 days, and enable 24 hour circulation of vehicles weighing up to to 3.5 tons. This road will serve until the city opens a new alternate road.

Alausí’s mayor said they have the studies and budget for the alternate. However, what’s lacking is that the Chimborazo provincial government hasn’t delegated the responsibility. The investment is $350,000, with the municipality, neighboring cities, and the province sharing the cost.

Cuenca –

Cuenca vive la Fiesta de la Música (Cuenca lives the Music Festival) – The 32nd Fiesta de la Música, organized by the Alianza Francesa de Cuenca and the Dirección de Cultura of the City of Cuenca, started with a concert in Parque Calderón and continues today (viernes) with concerts in private venues. There will be concerts Saturday in 4 public venues with Indie Fusion from 17:00-23:30 in the Plaza Portal Artesanal, Rock Metal from 18:00-00:00 in the Plaza del Otorongo, Electro Experimental from 18:00-00:00 at the Puente Roto, and Rap Hip-Hop from 18:00-22:30 in the Plazoleta de La Merced. <See you all at the Plazoleta de La Merced.>

El IESS se abastece de medicinas y ambulancias (IESS is stocked with medicines and ambulance) – Alfredo Ortega, executive president of the Consejo Directivo del Instituto Ecuatoriano de Seguridad Social (IESS) made 3 announcements about payment of debts to outside health service providers, procurement of medicines, contracting with medical personnel and acquiring ambulances. He said the debt is high since it has been increasing since 2009. Currently, it’s about $900 million. The previous system had problems. The current administration established a methodology where an special outside auditor was hired, and once an outside service is provided, it’s audited and paid for immediately.

Ortega said that since 2021, about $800 million including debts from previous administrations was paid. There was an acute shortage of medicines in 2022 when IESS hospitals were stocked with less than 35% of the needed medicines and less than 5% at the Seguro Social Campesino. Now the supply is at 78% with 83% at the the José Carrasco Arteaga hospital, an 35% in the 48 dispensaries of the Seguro Campesino. Ortega promised the supply would not decline. <Until the system runs out of money.> Patients are sent to outside providers because of a lack of medical personnel in all of the country. There is a shortage of about 2,000 professionals in the health facilities. In julio, 1,000 people will be hired in the medical area.

Fortalecen conocimientos para manejo de riesgos (Strengthening of risk management knowledge) – Los Gobiernos Autónomos Parroquiales de Cuenca (Cuenca’s Autonomous Parish Governments) were part of a forum on “Strengthening Risk Management in the Canton” to talk about coordinating prevention processes, effective response, and attending to the needs of the population in case of a dangerous event. Erick Gutiérrez, Cuenca’s Risk Management Director and organizer of the forum, said the country is exposed to different types of threats that come with the flooding, most of all in the coastal part of the canton. The councilmember for the rural area, José Fajardo, said in addition to coordinating with the different levels of government, the processes of prevention, organization, training, and equipping the relevant institutions should be solidified.

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –



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