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      Software Upgrade and Possible "Profile Update Needed" Notification   07/23/2017

      The software that drives our Chiriqui.Life website underwent an upgrade earlier this afternoon. This upgrade includes several functionality enhancements that are being scheduled for roll-out in the future. Additionally, there are some cosmetic changes that may become apparent to our regular CL members. For instance, you may now see more details about who and why someone "liked" something that you have posted. One undesired side effect of this software upgrade is that some CL members may see a message when first logging onto CL to the effect that their profile is only partially complete, and that it needs to be completed. Here is one version of that dialogue -- note the part that is highlighted in read. There are two ways to get rid of this dialog. One is to complete your profile, which basically means to provide information in the text box that is "About Me". The other method is to click on the "Dismiss" link, which is not prominently displayed but visible in the upper right area of the message that is highlighted in red. Either method will work. We regret if this is an inconvenience, but it is something over which we have no control.   To provide general feedback or ask for help regarding Chiriqui.Life, please leave a posting in Problems, Feedback and Suggestions or email support@chiriqui.life or private message to @Admin_01.  
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      Enhanced Reputation ("Like" and "Dislike") Functionality Here on CL   07/24/2017

      With the recent software upgrade, CL now has a slightly enhanced and more descriptive "reputation" functionality. The reputation is what CL members can click in the lower right corner of each posting (forums, blogs, calendar events, etc.) to indicate their "like' or "dislike" of that posting. This functionality, previously known as a member's "reputation", has been enhanced and is now known as a member's "reaction". Instead of having only two choices ("like" or "dislike", represented by a +1 or -1), there now are seven different "reactions" that a member can express, including the simple "Like" and "Dislike". As was the case previously with reputations, Administrators of this website cannot be given reputation/reaction, however Moderators can, just as all regular members can. Here in graphic form is the complete list of options in word and emoji form, along with the associated numeric value: The "Like" and the "Upvote" and the "Downvote" are essentially the same as the prior "like" and "dislike" reputation. Those are similar to what is available on some of the larger social media, such as Facebook. As in the past with reputation, the use of reactions is optional. Reputations (now "reactions") are not favored by everyone. Prior feedback indicates approximately 30% of CL's members prefer that "reputation" [and now "reactions"] be disabled. However, the majority of CL's members prefer having the ability to indicate their "like" or "dislike" of a posting. The new, enhanced functionality means simply that CL members have more granularity as to what they can indicate to the viewers. If anyone would like to see additional "reactions", please contact CL management, and include a short discussion of what you would like to see and perhaps an emoji to suggest that reaction. Two new reactions that have already been suggested are "I agree" and "I disagree", which might be expressed respectively with green check mark (or thumbs up) and red X-mark (or thumbs down) style emoji. The reactions functionality is currently configured to display who expressed that reaction. If there is sufficient feedback, we can hide the member's Display Name, and show only the cumulative reactions.           To provide general feedback or ask for help regarding Chiriqui.Life, please leave a posting in Problems, Feedback and Suggestions or email support@chiriqui.life or private message to @Admin_01.  

Recommended Posts

Keith Woolford    297

This proposal, imo, is being put forth by a couple of opposition Deputies who seek to gain attention by appealing to anti-immigration sentiment which is directed towards Venezuelans and Colombians who are perceived as having overstayed their welcome and stealing jobs from Panamanians. It is not likely to become law. Coming from the south, they enter Panama by air, usually at Tocumen.

The statement made by one of the two Deputies claiming that immigration is uncontrolled and there are over 1,000,000 foreigners in the country seems absurd.

 

Edited by Keith Woolford
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Hil    39

No one knows how many illegals cross at Paso Canoas everyday. It's a wide open border.

Edited by Hil
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MarieElaine    27

Someone should study the number of Jubilados who live in Panama and what their total contribution to the economy is.  Putting those numbers out there might change sentiment.

 

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Doug Tyler    11

The vast majority of Jubilados are Panamanian, aged over 58f or 62m. I AM interested in the number of expats with Tourist Visas, Pensionados and those with E-cedulas or have become full citizens and how much they respectively contribute to the economy. 

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Roger B    215

Well people.  As I have posted in the Boquete News Facebook page we should clearly know what is really going on.  What is really the genesis of the problem and what is the main intention of some people regarding a new immigration law.  I understand that Diputada Zulay Rodriguez is very passionate on her speech, that she is a 100% politic and her speech is also totally political but knowing the REAL FACTS will make you understand whats is the problem and what is the objective of a new law.  I have to say that I am not a supporter of Zulay Rodriguez and the party she represents.  I am not agree on some of her daily rants at the National Assembly.

Some people says it is a law against tourist.   FALSE.  Some people forget the definition of what a tourist really is:   someone who visits a place for pleasure and interest, usually while on holiday for a limited period of time.   

It is a secret well known that Panama is receiving a huge influx of foreign people coming from two South American countries and one of them have serious political problems and also big economical problems.  Those people come to Panama as TOURIST but remains in the country as illegal aliens.  

Some people says it is a law against foreign residents.  FALSE.  All foreign residents in Panama that have done all their immigration paperwork correctly and have a legal resident status and show proudly their ID CARD, Visa or Cedula are protected by our laws and constitution and could enjoy freely and without problems all the benefits this country offers to all citizens and legal residents.

It is a pretended aw to regulate the uncontrolled and probably corrupt situation at MIGRACION offices by allowing to much people, specially from those two countries, enter Panama and stay here without doing any paperwork to legalize their immigration status.   It is not a tourist problem it is an immigrant problem.  Some of those immigrants that are entering the country came with not enough economical means to be a tourist.  They came Panama to look for new opportunities, to start a new life in a country that has to offer more than what they can get in their country of origin.  But Panama is a small country with barely 4 million people.  Panama has a lot of problems yet unsolved in areas like health, education, housing, infrastructure, etc and those problems are being aggravated because those foreigns people are now a heavy burden for the system.  They are not helping our economy.  They could be causing in short, medium and long terms problems in the country.  Government agencies dont provide the exact number of foreign people in the country with this irregular situation probably because they wont like people to know what exactly is the size of the problem.  

Some people says:  Border hoping is not illegal.  That is correct.  It is not illegal.  It is not considered in the actual law as an illegal act.  It is a hole in the law that some people took advantage of it without any problem.  Something could be legal but not necessarily is right.  It is not illegal to do that but according to the normal procedure people should legalize their status to remain in the country as legal residents and not as "eternal tourist".   Here I stress again the real meaning of TOURIST versus RESIDENT.

 

Regarding how a law is proposed and done.  Zulay Rodriguez is proposing a new law to modify the current immigration laws in Panama.  She must submit it to the National Assembly to be considered for discussion.  If approved to be discussed it will have to pass three debates.  On each debates the other Diputados of the National Assembly will discuss the law and ask for advice to the groups, government officer, etc about each article of the law.  Even if the law is in its third and last debate, if there is one or more polemical articles of the law that did not have the consensus of all other diputados they could return this law to a first debate again.  The main objetive of those debates is to make corrections to those polemic articles and rewrite the accordingly to the law and constitution of Panama.  When the law passes the three debates it is sent to the President of the Republic and he could approve it or veto it and return it back to the National Assembly.  

 

So there is no need to fear.  This particular situation has its genesis because the exagerate influx of South American immigrants that came to Panama and are wandering in the streets looking for job and others recently involved in criminal cases.  Legal residents have your cold beer and watch the news quietly and with a big smile.  Do not put attention to those people who present this news with the intention to scare a population of legal foreign residents and real tourist.  

 

 

 

 

 

fear-300x300.jpg

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Bonnie    390
3 hours ago, Hil said:

Doug it would be easy to calculate this figure based on proof of life time income of $1000 per month required to get a Pensionado. The other visas have different requirements. That would be the baseline. I've heard there are over 50,000 (rumor) Pensionados in Panama. I'm guessing there is no way to understand the other  money spent here by foreign pensionados. Renters, owning a home, visiting, and tourist here provide a good chunk of money but it wouldn't bankrupt Panama if most of it left. I rarely use the Jubilado discount except for expensive items. The last administration and this one welcomes outsider's money. They aren't stupid!!! Anyone that thinks they can figure out what a Panamanian can or will do ahead of time (especially a politician here)---- I suggest you bottle and sell this information!!!! Glad I got my residency. Change is coming on immigration (i'm not rubbing my crystal ball this morning.)

If I'm reading you correctly, you're suggesting that all or most pensionados are living on social security or other income of $1000 a month. I would guess that most have a significantly higher annual income. And many in both groups bought property or made other significant investments when they came to Panama.

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Roger B    215

Regarding some complains of foreign nationals in their working age in Panama is the fact that some business owner are taking advantages of their legal situation in Panama.  Panama has the highest minimum wage of Latin America.  Panama has a social security program that the worker and the employer has to pay.  It cost to the employer about 30% of the wage paid to the worker.  If you pay a worker a salary of $1,000 a business have to pay about $300 in social security, professional risks, etc.  

For some business owners a local panamanian or legal resident with working permit are "expensive" in comparison to hiring an illegal immigrant.  First they take advantage of the precarious and difficult situation of that immigrant.  This poor people will accept any job to get at least a few pennies to live.  So they are not earning the same wage or salary as a local or legal resident.  The second thing is that the employer dont pay them the social security they have to for those employees.  So those workers are not medically covered and are not paying taxes in the country.  Those people are working as slaves.  

I visited a couple of months ago a Centro de Salud close to my house in Panama City and I was surprised to see that about 50% of the people looking for medical attention were foreign people.  They were not denied the medical attention, specially in a FLU time.  

 

Some people are aware and agreed that we like tourist in Panama.  We want and need foreign investors,  We like legal residents in Panama.  We have been always an immigrant country but... when things go out of control we should do something to regulate the amount of people staying in the country illegaly

 

 

 

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Keith Woolford    297
21 minutes ago, Roger B said:

fear-300x300.jpg

Approximately two years ago, I wrote about Diputada Rodriguez, her outrageous comments, and her previous failed Immigration reform bill.

Quote

It seems that it is one rather xenophobic PRD member, Zulay Rodriguez, who is determined to see Immigration reforms, Ley No.62, that would eliminate the Crisol de Razas Immigration fairs.Despite her rantings, the bill was sent back to the National Assembly for First Debate again.

http://www.panamaamerica.com.pa/nacion/diputada-insistira-en-la-eli...

Ms.Rodriguez had to publicly apologize yesterday for calling Colombians 'lowlifes and criminals' in the legislature.

http://www.prensa.com/in_english/Zulay-Rodriguez-colombians-Panama_...

The new Minister of Security, Rodolfo Aguilera, gave a report demonstrating that in fact, there have been very few criminal acts committed by immigrants who participated in the Immigration Fairs. In fact, the number of criminal acts committed by expats is much higher among those who obtained residency under other programs.

http://www.panamaamerica.com.pa/nacion/aguilera-defiende-crisol-de-...

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Roger B    215

Regarding CRISOL DE RAZAS IMMIGRATION FAIR

 

This was an activity that the last government had in order to regulate what they knew was an uncontrolled amount of illegal foreign people living in Panama.  The original idea was good and it was supposed to screen those foreign people who really deserved and needed to stay in Panama.  In some part of the road the idea degenerate at it became a business and they included in the program a lot of people beyond the needs and wants of the country and economy.

It was a good idea that was damaged at the end.

 

 

 

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Roger B    215
5 minutes ago, Keith Woolford said:

Approximately two years ago, I wrote about Diputada Rodriguez, her outrageous comments, and her previous failed Immigration reform bill.

Keith

So you have to know that she is a 100% full time politician.  WE all know what politicians do in order to look for getting attention and popular support.  She is thinking more in 2019 and is looking for any argument that could give her some advantage and possible voters.  

People in Panama, Specially the middle class professionals clearly understand what the real problem is.  We also understand that the problem is not foreign nationals and they do not support xenophobic acts or rants.  I have heard several diputados at the National Assembly talking trash but we know that, thanks god, a lot of their law proposals wont pass or if they go through it will receive severe changes very different the way the proposer of the law wanted to.

 

 

 

 

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Keith Woolford    297
3 minutes ago, Roger B said:

Keith

So you have to know that she is a 100% full time politician.  WE all know what politicians do in order to look for getting attention and popular support.  She is thinking more in 2019 and is looking for any argument that could give her some advantage and possible voters.  

People in Panama, Specially the middle class professionals clearly understand what the real problem is.  We also understand that the problem is not foreign nationals and they do not support xenophobic acts or rants.  I have heard several diputados at the National Assembly talking trash but we know that, thanks god, a lot of their law proposals wont pass or if they go through it will receive severe changes very different the way the proposer of the law wanted to.

Understood, Roger, and thanks for the input.

The last time the Diputada rabble-roused over this issue in 2014 even the Chamber of Commerce was embarrassed.

The Chamber of Commerce has issued a video calling for an end to attacks on foreigners on social networks. Chamber President José Luis Ford issued a video where he called for citizens to have respect for foreigners who come to Panama and who live in peace and with respect to national laws. "Those who come to Panama generally comply with the law and make this country theirs, because their country of origin did not give them opportunities. Many of them have contributed immensely to the development of Panama," Ford said. He also noted that most Panamanians can trace their lineage to a foreign country. "We come from a melting pot of races. And people do not want to come to a country where there are classes that express hate toward foreigners," he said. He said that Panama seeks to maintain its reputation as being open to the world. "It is important that those who come, who comply with our laws, are greeted with an attitude without arrogance," he said.

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Roger B    215
7 minutes ago, Keith Woolford said:

Understood, Roger, and thanks for the input.

The last time the Diputada rabble-roused over this issue in 2014 even the Chamber of Commerce was embarrassed.

The Chamber of Commerce has issued a video calling for an end to attacks on foreigners on social networks. Chamber President José Luis Ford issued a video where he called for citizens to have respect for foreigners who come to Panama and who live in peace and with respect to national laws. "Those who come to Panama generally comply with the law and make this country theirs, because their country of origin did not give them opportunities. Many of them have contributed immensely to the development of Panama," Ford said. He also noted that most Panamanians can trace their lineage to a foreign country. "We come from a melting pot of races. And people do not want to come to a country where there are classes that express hate toward foreigners," he said. He said that Panama seeks to maintain its reputation as being open to the world. "It is important that those who come, who comply with our laws, are greeted with an attitude without arrogance," he said.

Keith

 

It is correct.  Most of the Panamanians can trace their lineage to a foreign country.  I know a lot of people who are descendant of Spanish, Italians, and a lot, really a lot of North Americans.  Former president Martinelli lineage is from Italy.  President Varela lineage is from Spain and we got thousands of examples.  So that is why I say that there is not need to fear.  Probably there will be some changes but not so drastics as Zulay would like to.  

We got a lot of laws.  The solution is just to enforce it and that's it.  No need for new laws.

 

 

 

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Bonnie    390
4 hours ago, Hil said:

no. it implies minimum requirements for pensionado. "baseline" doesn Not imply other income or property owned.

Then it is not anywhere near an accurate reflection of "how much they respectively contribute to the economy."  This is the information that Doug is seeking, but I don't think he will find it.

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Keith Woolford    297
4 hours ago, Bonnie said:

Then it is not anywhere near an accurate reflection of "how much they respectively contribute to the economy."  This is the information that Doug is seeking, but I don't think he will find it.

A nonsensical answer.

There's really no way of obtaining those statistics.

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Brundageba    306

Agree...you can't find stats...BUT you can step back and look at the cities where foreign residents reside in numbers and see how many charitable foundations, buildings,, activities  and functions there are that enrich the community in general; then you can compare to that of other cities.   It's fairly obvious.  Foreign residents generally contribute to the well-being of the community in general.  Feeding the poor, assistance to the handicapped, public library, volunteer labor to enhance school environments, contributions to the fire department, police and ambulance....there's a long list here in Boquete that has been provided by foreign resident.

If you were to read the history of Boquete from it's roots, you would find that foreign contributions physically and intellectually were part and parcel of Boquete's advancement from the time of the completion of the Canal. 

Read: "Boquete, Rasgos de su History" by Milagros Sanchez Pinzon.  

Edited by Brundageba
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Hil    39

no. it implies minimum requirements for pensionado. "baseline" doesn Not imply other income or property owned.

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MarieElaine    27

Well it would seem that Varela is trying to appease the masses by reducing the tourist stay from 180 to 90 days.  This will probably not affect anyone here illegally only those who make border hops to say legal.  So in the end, more money will be spent in Costa Rica rather than Panama.

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Pantah    9

I hope the authorities rethink their position. There are well over 100,000 Panamanians that are in the US with more liberal stay times. If the US decides to reciprocate like Brasil on visa issues, it will not bode well for them.

Also the most populous countries in the western hemisphere don't require attorneys for residency, and they issue 6 mo tourist visas.

I see a lot of tunnel vision here.

Furthermore I commonly see glib comments about deportation of non compliers. Panama simply doesn't have the budget for it.

I also hope someone in the Panama government sees this post, but doubt they will be able to shake the attorneys loose from their self serving positions regarding their role in this process,

Edited by Pantah
additional facts

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SP87    5

I am wondering with the change of the tourist visas now given for 3 months instead of 6, I'm wondering when I'll need to exit? I entered Panama on December 28th 2016 (before this change was announced) will I still get my 6 months or will I have to exit in 3 month? 

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Keith Woolford    297
9 minutes ago, SP87 said:

I am wondering with the change of the tourist visas now given for 3 months instead of 6, I'm wondering when I'll need to exit? I entered Panama on December 28th 2016 (before this change was announced) will I still get my 6 months or will I have to exit in 3 month? 

You should be allowed 180 days (not 6 months) from your entry on December 28th, as the Decree did not take effect until published in LaGaceta on January 10th.

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SP87    5

I just heard on a news interview on TVN, that this 90 day change is actually only for countries who require a visa to enter Panama. And that countries such as Canada and US still get their 180 days. Boy this is confusing. 

Edited by SP87

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