Sunday 26 September 2021

What did the Government commit to with the taxi drivers?

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The Government on Wednesday night signed an agreement with the (formal) taxis following a day of protests, roadblocks and tortuguismo.

On Wednesday the taxi drivers blocked streets and applied tortuguismo on major routes before their leaders sat down for more than 5 hours with government representatives to negotiate the deal. Foto Jeffrey Zamora / La Nacion

Following are the ten points -eight by the Government and two of the taxi drivers to avoid further road protests.

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1. To intensify controls on transport services that operate “out of regulation” (services such as Uber).

2. To continue the dialogue as long as there are no blockages or tortuguismo that affect traffic on public roads. In case they are given, “the full weight of the law” will be applied to guarantee security and free transit, and the agreement will be suspended.

3. To guarantee the fulfillment of the regulatory law of the remunerated transport of people and to look for a “definitive solution” to the taxi transport problem, so that they give “quality, efficient and safe” service.

4. To mediate so that the General Superintendency of Financial Institutions (Sugef) and the National Council of Supervision of the Financial System (Conassif) cater to taxi drivers to know their concerns.

5. To convene a meeting with the Minister of Finance, Rocío Aguilar, and the taxi drivers to evaluate the tax implications of the operation of digital applications (apps) for the transport service.

5. The Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Economy (MIcitt) will “discuss” the scope of advertising guidelines for public transport apps.

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7. As of this Thursday, the Ministry of Foreign Trade will review whether the decree that allows the Uber app to operate within the free zone regime is fulfilled in scope and restrictions. It will give results no later than August 3.

8. The Minister of Public Works and Transportation, Rodolfo Méndez, and other senior managers of the MOPT will lead the negotiations. The Ministers of Labor and Science and Technology, as well as the vice-ministers of the Presidency, will accompany them.

And the taxi drivers?

1. Recognize the mixed work commissions created by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MOPT) to find solutions to their problems.

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2. They will formally submit a petition to the Governing Council to rule on the cessation of the Uber operation. The Council will respond in calendar 45 days, during which the talks will continue.

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