Lawyer Fernando Carreira, who represents the Association of Panamanian Shipowners (Arpa), spoke about the status of bill 598 that regulates the cabotage and the activities of internal trade in the jurisdictional waters of the Republic of Panama.
According to the lawyer Carreira, this law contemplates the protection in a certain way for the Panamanian shipowners or shipping companies of the country, as well as it is contemplated in the jurisprudence of other latitudes.
“Once (the project) arrived at the Assembly, the commission, chaired by Deputy Ábrego, sent it to a subcommission chaired by Deputy Pineda and in that subcommission public hearings were held, not only on the Assembly stage but also in the Parlatino, where the parties interested in this project attended and after several public hearings, after an exchange of all opinions, the project was approved by the Assembly, what has happened since then is a bit mysterious, we can say, since some public officials have been surprised, and I am referring specifically to the Minister of Commerce and the direction of the ARAP (Authority of Aquatic Resources of Panama), since after the project reaches the Presidency of the Republic they suddenly begin to appear written, notes asking the president not to sanction that law, “said the lawyer.
According to Carreira, the notes sent to the president are directed against the most controversial article of the law, in which the cabotage issue is reserved for 75% owned by Panamanians and highlights that this arises to protect the interests of some foreign companies that They operate in Panama and come from countries where no Panamanians can carry out any similar activity, since there they are restricted to their nationals.
The lawyer indicated that there are foreign companies that do not pay social security to their workers and operate with some advantages in violation of Panamanian labor laws; and he stated that they are being defended by officials who agreed with the public discussions that were held on this bill.