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ACODECO, the government agency that enforces these discounts and to whom you can complain about them, will be the presenters at the Tuesday BCP meeting at 10:30 on April 3. They will explain the procedure for making a complaint and how they go about enforcing the discount law. Come early as this promises to be a popular meeting.

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I know several people who say ACODECO worked wonders in resolving their problems. I also know that several restaurants in Boquete that initially refused to honor the jubilado discount now do so after being reported to ACODECO. Sorry that it didn't work well for Dottie.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Several people have asked me to post the Law (Ley 6) concerning jubilado discounts in Panama.

This will be a summary of the law in English rather than an exact word for word translation.

First of all the discount law applies to anyone:

a)    With a pensionado visa as long as the person is over 18 years old unless the age requirements are spelled out in the specific provision.

b)    Any legal resident of Panama who has attained the age of 55 (if female) or 60 (if male)

c)    The law does not apply to tourists or anybody who does not have some kind of residency visa.


Discount of 50% of the admission price for recreational and entertainment activities such as movies, sporting events, and other public shows. The discount is not applicable to charitable activities and fundraising events.

Discount on public transportation (other than inter-urban)

a)    30% for buses

b)    30% for trains

c)    30% for boats

d)    25% for airplanes

These transportations must originate in the country of Panama in order to receive the discount. The discount does not apply to the portion of the ticket for fuel surcharge or taxes.

Discount on hotels, motels, and hostels:

a)    50% from Monday through Thursday

b)    30% from Friday through Sunday

c)    In hotels that sell "all inclusive" packages there is a 20% discount applied Monday to Thursday, and a 12% discount applied from Friday to Sunday.

Discount of 25% on food consumed in non-fast food restaurants

a)    Doesn’t apply to fondas that don’t need a commercial operating license.

b)    The discount applies only to the qualifying persons, not everyone at the table.

c)    The discount applies only for a meal consumed on the premises; it doesn’t apply if the diner only orders a beverage or a dessert.

d)    If a restaurant is offering a special price for a meal, the diner has the option of paying the special price or obtaining the discount off of the regular price.

e)    The discount applies to all food except alcohol and sodas

Discount of 15% in fast food restaurants

a)    This is for places like McDonalds, Burger King, Food Courts and franchises.

b)    The diner has the option of paying a special promotion price or the regular price with the discount.

·         Editor’s note – both McDonalds and the cafeteria at Price Smart give 25% discount although they are not required by the law to do so.

Discount of 15% off the total bill for services at hospitals and private clinics.

Discount of 20% off of all medicines purchased in a pharmacy.

a)    If the medicine is offered at a special sales price, the buyer has the option of accepting the price or paying the regular price minus the discount.\

Discount off the following medical services:

a)    20% off the consultation fee for general practitioners, medical specialists, and surgeons.

b)    15% off the fee for dental services

c)    15% off the fee for optometrists

Discount for health insurance policies must adjust their premiums to reflect the discount for jubilados.

·         Editor’s note – the law doesn’t say what the percentage discount should be.

Discount of 20% of the charge for technical and/or professional services.

a)    Technical services include electricians, plumbers, building contractors, wood-workers, etc.

b)    Professional services include accountants, economists, lawyers, engineers, architects, etc.

Discount of 20% on the price of prosthetics and other handicap aids (crutches, wheel chairs, etc)

Discount of 50% on the fees and commissions for obtaining either a personal or a commercial loan.

Discount on the surcharge or encumbrances from a personal or commercial loan.

Discount of 15% off the interest charged by banks, financial institutions, credit institutions, etc on a personal or commercial loan.

Discount of 1% off the interest charged on a mortgage.

The freezing of the property tax on your primary residence that is in your name (not in a corporation or foundation).

Discount of 50% off the charge for a passport (Panamanian passport)

Discount of 25% on your monthly electrical bill (up to 600kwh).

Discount of 50% off the Airport taxes (usually included in your ticket)

Discount of 25% off the flat-rate monthly telephone contract bill when:

a)    The telephone bill is in your name

b)    The telephone bill is for residential usage

c)    The telephone bill is for a single phone

Discount of 25% of your water bill (whether from a public or private water company)

a)    The bill must not be more than $30

b)    The bill must be in your name

c)    The bill must be for a residence and be your primary residence

Exoneration of 100% in the Public Registry for paying registration and judicial fees for new organizations for retirees.

Discount of 20% for purchase of coffins and urns and for funeral services when the deceased qualified for the discount.

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  • 3 years later...

Hi Penny

I have come to this thread quite late. I have been having a bit of an argument with Copa.

You mention that the transportation discounts apply where 'These transportations must originate in the country of Panama in order to receive the discount. The discount does not apply to the portion of the ticket for fuel surcharge or taxes.'

I have tried with the help of Google Translate to understand the detail of the Ley which I found here. I have not found where these limitations are set out. I am sure you must be right, but can you tell me where they are to be found, please?


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