2020 was the year in which the parliamentary body sanctioned loans for this cause the most
Since the first case of covid-19 was registered in the country, on March 1, 2020, to date, the National Congress has approved loans for US $ 1,498 million contracted in support of social policies in order to face the pandemic .
The loans, ratified by both chambers and proposed by the Executive Branch, include the advance payment of vaccines to counteract the virus, as well as loan contracts with banks and international agencies.
2020 was the year in which more loans were approved for this cause.
Only in the first two ordinary sessions of the Senate this year, a total of 500 million dollars was approved in two games: US $ 200,000,000 last Tuesday and US $ 300,000,000 on January 5. These loans had already been sanctioned in the Chamber of Deputies.
The legislative body endorsed the US $ 200 million agreement, signed on July 28, 2021 between the Dominican Republic and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), to be used to finance the program to strengthen public policy and management. fiscal, in response to the health and economic crisis caused by Sars-Cov-2.
Likewise, it approved the contract between the country and the Andean Development Corporation (CAF) for 300 million dollars, to finance the support program for the emergency caused by the disease. This loan has a term of 15 years to be repaid and includes a grace period of 72 months, which will begin to run from the effective date.
” In order to finance strengthening programs focused on addressing the economic and health crisis that was emerging in the country as a result of the disease, on October 21, 2020 the deputies signed two loan contracts; each of $ 250 million, for a total of $ 500 million. That day, the spokesman for the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) in the Lower House, Gustavo Sánchez, urged the purple bloc to vote in favor of the agreement.
More than US $ 356 MM in purchase agreements and loans
Apart from the 500 million, the Senate of the Republic and the Chamber of Deputies sanctioned three loans for the same cause, the amounts of which amount to 356 million 076 thousand 880 dollars. The first credit agreement, signed between the Dominican Republic and the French Development Agency, was for 236 million 80 thousand dollars, to finance the program to strengthen fiscal policy and management and address the health and economic crisis that caused the coronavirus. The execution period is four years and has a grace period of five.
On November 25, 2020, the Chamber of Deputies endorsed in a single urgent reading a loan of 100 million dollars with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), known as the World Bank, also for the “policy program Development in Support of the Dominican Republic’s Response to the Covid-19 Crisis ”. The benefit had already been sanctioned in the Upper House on the 11th of that same month.
Because the resolution was released from going to committee and reading, at the request of the spokesman for the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), Julio Fulcar, it did not have the support of the PLD, the Social Christian Reform Party (PRSC) or of Alianza País.
Added to the list, about $ 22 million 889 thousand 280 corresponding to a compromise agreement (compromised purchase arrangement), dated September 18, 2020, signed with Gavi Alliance, a non-profit organization established in Switzerland, for the purpose of that the Dominican Government participate in a self-financed manner, with said amount, in the Covax mechanism, to ensure, in principle, access by 10% of the population “to safe and effective vaccines against covid-19.”
In May of last year, the Chamber of Deputies will hold an extraordinary session just to know the addendum to a contract that the Government made with the Pfizer Free Zone Panama, for the additional purchase of 2 million 115 (2,000,115) doses of vaccine against covid -19, for an amount of US $ 24,001,380.
The resolution is added to the contract that the Executive Branch had signed with the pharmaceutical company to buy 7 million 999 thousand 875 doses. Both initiatives, approved by Congress, total about 9,999,990 doses of vaccines, for an amount of US $ 119,999,880. Each unit of the antigen cost the Dominican State $ 12.
Finance Commission explains reasons
The president of the permanent finance committee of the Chamber of Deputies, José (Bertico) Santana, told elCaribe that the loans that are approved in the National Congress must go through procedures before being known and endorsed by the legislative chambers. “Many of them (agreements) have been hired not necessarily now. Only that the loan was contracted at one time and the financing came now, “explained the Perremeista congressman. In that sense, he announced that there are contract resolutions that were approved in different budgets in the years of the Dominican Liberation Party government and it was in the present administration that they have been materialized. “As the execution of these projects is materialized, the financing must be approved.” Santana assured that in 2020, when government revenues closed, a lot of financing had to be taken.