14/07/2012 - The Chairmen of the Panamanian Association of Business Executives (Apede) and the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture do not support the direct contracts awarded at Tocumen International Airport.
Apede’s Chairman, Félix Cuevas said to Prensa.com the position of this organization has always been to obtain benefits for the government through bids. “We do not agree with direct contracts”, he said.
On the other hand, Cciap Chairman, Irvin Halman said companies like Tocumen S.A. which belong 100 percent to the government must fulfill with the processes the law and its regulation has established for awarding the concessions so contracts are not only functional but impartial and unquestionable.
The statements given by both chairmen refer to the investigation made by La Prensa in which a new direct contract mechanism through invitation, without the need of making it public, approved by Tocumen, S.A.’s Board of Directors in July, 2010, by which Republic Parking Tocumen, S.A. was chosen to build, manage and operate the parking lots of the passenger and cargo terminal, increasing in 66 percent such service cost.
Republic Parking Tocumen, S.A. was created four months before the current government awarded the concession at Tocumen International Airport. Such company has connections with Consorcio Asociación Accidental RPS formed by Republic Parking System International, LLC and Republic Parking Albrook, S.A., which was awarded with a $3.4 million contract with the Civil Aeronautics Authority (AAC) for the study, design and concession of the parking lot plaza of Marcos A. Gelabert Airport, and the restoration of the access road to the terminal.
La Prensa’s investigation also stated that Tocumen, S.A. has awarded around $3 million in direct contracts to companies related to employees and relatives of Javier Pariente, who was appointed by President of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli as directive of the Panama Pacifico Special Economic Area.
Productos y Procesos Industriales, S.A. (Propinsa), whose president is Javier Pariente, is one of the companies awarded with direct contracts with Tocumen Airport during the current administration.
Pariente was Executive Vice-president of Importadora Ricamar (Super 99’s corporate name) and currently appears as dignitary of several companied along with President Martinelli.
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