Act No. 152 dated May 04, 2020 sets forth new social measures in light of the state of national emergency, and ordered the suspension of utility payments such as Internet, landline and mobile phone services, and electricity, for a four-month period as from March 1st, 2020, for customers whose income has been affected due to COVID 19 in Panama.
These social measures will benefit:
- Those with a household income of less than two thousand balboas (B/.2,000.00).
- Cases in which household income has decreased.
- Workers whose employment relationship has been suspended, modified, reduced or terminated as from March 1st.
- Freelancers, and micro- and small-sized companies.
- Restaurant, bar and casino owners.
- Public and private transportation.
- Retirees and pensioners.
Article 7 of the aforementioned Act also sets forth that the Government will assume the payment of a solidary bonus for workers of companies that have implemented the temporary suspension of the employment agreement’s effects due to the temporary shutdown order enacted by the Government.
Moreover, the agreement reached with Panama’s Bank Association provides for an extension of the financial relief measures announced in March and that would originally have a 3- or 4-month validity until December 31, 2010. These measures apply to workers whose employment agreement has been suspended or terminated, independent workers and commercial establishments which activities have been affected by health measures established by the Executive Branch.
It should be noted that the financial relief measures for bank clients are not automatic, and that each debtor must contact his/her financial institution to present his/her case and try to reach an agreement.
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