Audience to the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Ponta Delgada (CCIPD)
Nota de Imprensa
June 14, 2024 President of the Government receives President of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Ponta Delgada The President of the Government of the Azores, José Manuel Bolieiro, received the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Ponta Delgada (CCIPD), Mário Fortuna, at an audience held today. During the audience, the President of the Government voiced his opposition to the implementation of a regional tourist tax, after joint reflection with the CCIPD, the Association of Hotels, Restaurants and Similar Services of Portugal (AHRESP) and the Association of Local Accommodation of the Azores (ALA). José Manuel Bolieiro also stressed the importance of ensuring that municipalities remain responsible for creating tourist taxes. In this regard, he considered that local authorities should handle this matter, aligning it with territorial competitiveness. "This must be done through local government and territorial competitiveness. The Government of the Azores is clear and objective: it neither considers it opportune nor appropriate to create a regional tourist tax," noted José Manuel Bolieiro. The President of the Government also reiterated his commitment to working together with organisations representing the tourism and economic sectors to promote the sustainable development of the Azores, without burdening visitors or compromising the competitiveness of the destination.
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Artigo sem Imagem
Nota de Imprensa
June 14, 2024 Renovation of Residential Structure and Day Centre to provide more responses for seniors in Pico The tender for the establishment of another support centre for the elderly in the municipality of São Roque do Pico has been launched. The Santa Casa da Misericórdia de São Roque do Pico has launched the public tender for the expansion of the Residential Structures for the Elderly (ERPI) and create a Day Centre in São Roque, which will provide a new response capacity in this area, namely 60 vacancies for ERPI users and 20 Day Centre users. This initiative reflects the investment made by the Regional Government to increase the number of ERPI vacancies to provide a more effective response to existing waiting lists and meet the real needs of the population. This is an overall investment of €4,778,640.00, with a base price of €2,995,825.95 + VAT. It is coordinated by the Regional Secretariat for Health and Social Security, through the Regional Directorate for Social Solidarity, and financed under the Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP), with a completion deadline of 540 days. The tender was published in the Official Journal of the Autonomous Region of the Azores, II SERIES - no. 113, under Announcement no. 233/2024 of June 14, 2024. With this initiative, the Regional Government intends to continue implementing quality social responses and support for all Azorean citizens, particularly when it comes to assisting the most vulnerable citizens as well as reconciling the personal and professional lives of families.
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Nota de Imprensa
June 14, 2024 Proposal for new Network of Marine Protected Areas of the Azores submitted to Regional Legislative Assembly The proposal for the new Marine Protected Areas Network of the Azores (RAMPA) was submitted today to the Regional Legislative Assembly, a significant step in protecting the Azores Sea. The proposal for the revision of RAMPA was approved on Wednesday by the Council of the Government and has now been submitted to the Regional Assembly for discussion. This is another important step towards ensuring that 30 % of the Azores Sea is protected by 2030 in a commitment that meets national and international consensus and where the Azores have taken a leading role in pursuing this goal. The law stipulates deadlines for effective implementation and the framework to restructure the fisheries sector, and for improved monitoring and inspection. In addition, this proposal provides for a principle of adaptive management, allowing for a cyclical revision in line with the most up-to-date scientific knowledge. The new RAMPA will be a fundamental tool in the recovery and conservation of marine biodiversity, from which a truly sustainable blue economy can be fostered.
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Shuttle access to Lagoa do Fogo
Nota de Imprensa
June 14, 2024 Shuttle to Lagoa do Fogo returns this Saturday Starting this Saturday, June 15, the shuttle to the Lagoa do Fogo viewpoint resumes its activity, which will run until September 30. Implemented by the Regional Government through the Regional Secretariat for Tourism, Mobility and Infrastructures, the service is free for residents and was set up in 2023 with the aim of regulating vehicle access to the Lagoa do Fogo viewpoint, which has seen a very significant increase due to the increase in the flow of tourists. Hence, between June 15 and September 30, traffic on the road linking Caldeira Velha (Ribeira Grande) to Casa da Água (Lagoa) will be restricted to non-residents and all vehicles. The exception applies to tourist entertainment companies, travel agencies, taxis and residents of the Azores. It should be noted that the route included in this service covers 14 km between the Caldeira Velha and Casa da Água car parks and operates every day from 9 am to 7 pm, including public holidays. This year, it has been readjusted to ensure more frequent journeys and reduce waiting times. There will be four buses for the Red and Green lines and five tourist stops. Passengers with the same ticket can take one or both routes, get off the bus at one of the stops and resume their journey whenever they wish. The Red Line starts at Caldeira Velha (Ribeira Grande), passing by Bela Vista Viewpoint, Pico da Barrosa, Lagoa do Fogo Viewpoint and returning to Caldeira Velha, while the Green Line starts at Casa da Água (Lagoa), passing by Pico da Barrosa, Lagoa do Fogo Viewpoint and returning to Casa da Água. Tickets for the shuttle, which cost 5 Euros for non-residents over six years of age, can be purchased online at https://lagoadofogo.pt and at the tourist resorts in São Miguel that have subscribed to the respective sales system. As was the case last year, tourists travelling individually or in groups should park their vehicles in the Caldeira Velha or Casa da Água car parks and use the shuttle service from there. In 2023, about 50 thousand people used this service to visit Lagoa do Fogo. "With this service, we have created better conditions in the area for a much more peaceful experience. There has been a reduction in road traffic and even in the use of the car parks at the viewpoints," says Berta Cabral, Regional Secretary for Tourism, Mobility and Infrastructures. "This figure demonstrates the success of the initiative and the suitability of the solution for reorganising tourist flows and visits to one of the Azores' most emblematic attractions. This kind of service aims to respond to the development of the tourism sector while respecting one of our greatest natural assets," she said.
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Esclarecimento
June 14, 2024 Clarification from the Regional Secretariat for Health and Social Security In 2021, an agreement was reached between the then Regional Secretariat for Health and Sport and the nurses' unions, with the aim of replacing, in the nurses' performance assessment, the awarding of one (1) point, as had been agreed between the previous government and the Portuguese Nurses' Union, with one and a half (1.5) points, a situation more favourable to these professionals. This situation led to the negotiation of an agreement for the retroactive payments due, which runs until December 31, 2028, and has been paid out by the Regional Health Service institutions as agreed. From the time the current Regional Secretary took office on March 8, 2023, until April 30, 2024, approximately 3.3 million Euros have been paid to nurses in the Autonomous Region of the Azores, corresponding to retroactive payments covering the said agreement, as well as amounts relating to the César bonus, and repositioning under Decree-Law 22/2023A, which authorised the awarding of 1.5 points from 2019 onwards to nurses. Since this agreement was signed, about 10 million Euros have already been paid to nurses in the Autonomous Region of the Azores. Therefore, it is false that the Regional Government of the Azores owes 10 million Euros to nurses, as the Regional Health Service institutions have been complying with the agreement, through phased payment, processed with the due salaries, which will continue to take place until the agreements are fully complied. The current Regional Secretariat for Health and Social Security would like to reiterate that the Budget of the Autonomous Region of the Azores was voted on and approved on May 24 but has yet to be published. It should also be noted that, since December 2023, the Regional Government has been under the twelfths system, so it was no longer possible to proceed with retroactive payments, as these were not provided for in the 2023 Budget (drawn up in 2022). The Regional Government has always been available to solve this situation once and for all, as can easily be concluded from the facts mentioned earlier and proven by the various repositionings that have taken place to date. A working meeting was held on May 3. It was attended by the three unions representing nurses in the Azores, the Portuguese Nursing Association and the Regional Secretariat for Health, and all these matters were discussed. After the Regional Budget for 2024 is published, the Government will analyse this matter.  Moreover - it was this coalition Government that, in a fair and dignified manner, proceeded to pay nurses, recognising the work of excellence provided to Regional Health Service users, and this will continue to be the case until the end of its term. 
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