Public entities and the private sector have activated plans to face the greatest traffic restrictions that have been in force in the country since March 17, 2020, due to the health emergency due to the coronavirus.
The government reached an agreement over the weekend with 40 representatives of the private sector to keep certain services running with the support of technology .
Among them are supermarkets, pharmacy chains, digital platforms, banks, Internet providers, said Andrés Michelena , Minister of Telecommunications.
One of the agreements with Claro and CNT is to double, at no extra cost, gigabytes to postpaid users. The operator Movistar will also offer extra gigabytes to these clients.
For prepaid customers, plans will be activated to double the amount of data. These measures are expected to take effect this week, Michelena said.
Supermarkets and pharmaceuticals will offer food , health and cleaning kits that will be delivered to your home through digital platforms. In addition, it has been proposed to enable boxes that serve only for the removal of products and, thus, avoid crowds.
Operators such as Cable TV , Directv , CNT and their play platforms will activate, at no extra cost, for their subscribers all channels and more than
5,000 free movies for your stay at home.
For Vinicio Carrión , a specialist in Telecommunications , this plan seeks to promote the digitization of society. But this brings with it challenges, because not all households have access to the Internet and, at the same time, the inclusion of more users to the network could slow down the connection .
According to the Telecommunications Ministry , 60% of the country’s households have Internet access and 80% access 3G and 4G mobile technology.
“Until now there has been no problem in duplicating the gigabytes for prepaid and postpaid customers. We worked with Internet providers to double the speed, “said the Minister.
The official assured that Ecuador is prepared so that there is no oversaturation .
The connection problems in the Grupo TVCable network in Quito recorded yesterday (March 16, 2020) were due to a cut in one of the fiber optic cables generated by heavy machinery work outside the company. The firm was working on repairing that infrastructure , authorities reported.
Instead, the Association of Private Banks of Ecuador will improve its digital channels for online transactions, analyzes offering a virtual credit card for digital payments and will offer a debt restructuring plan for clients affected by the health emergency.
Julio José Prado , president of that union, said yesterday (March 16, 2020) that each bank will contact clients who have problems paying their debts to refinance those obligations in better conditions.
In addition, the bank promised to give USD 12 billion in loans in the second half of this year. Of those, 65% will be for the productive sector and the rest for consumption , Prado said.
More term in obligations
The Internal Revenue Service (SRI) and the National Customs Service of Ecuador (Senae) suspended the terms and terms of the tax administrative processes and the prescription of collection action until the end of the month.
Instead, the Superintendency of Control of Market Power indicated that the administrative and investigative procedures that are being initiated or are pending are halted. This suspension will be maintained for the duration of the health emergency in the country.
The Superintendency of Companies reported that yesterday it suspended the terms and terms of all the administrative, coercive, tax and prescription processes of the collection action or other process for a month. That is, until April 16, although they do not rule out extending the measure if the situation so warrants.
The Ministry of Labor also issued two provisions that, on the one hand, facilitate the application of telework and, on the other, empower employers to reduce , modify or suspend the workday .
The first refers to teleworking aimed at public and private employees, who can carry out their activities from home. The employee will keep his rights intact.
To register the modality change, the private employer must enter the Unified Work System platform. And public entities must fill out a form available on the Ministry’s website.
The second resolution allows companies to reduce the working day to 30 hours per week. The salary will be paid according to this new schedule, said the Minister of Labor, Andrés Madero .
The emergency reduction will be given by mutual agreement, will not exceed six months and can be renewed for a similar period and for a single occasion.
The employer may distribute the workday, including Saturday and Sunday, without exceeding 40 regulatory hours and five days a week.
The suspension, on the other hand, will take effect in all those activities that cannot be carried out by telework and that cannot be applied by the reduction or modification.
The suspension of the day does not imply the end of the employment relationship . Once the contingency passes, the employer will be able to determine how to recover the time that was not worked. The worker who does not take advantage of the recovery will not receive their remuneration or, if applicable, they will have to return the salary they received during the suspension . The three work alternatives will end by agreement between the parties and when the health emergency ends.
The Quito Chamber of Commerce (CCQ) supports the Ministry’s recommendations and suggests to Social Security that, as far as possible, suspend employer liability for employer default and defer payment of the contribution.