The Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) began the construction of the first 26 branches of the Welfare Bank, of which 12 will be in military camps, and the rest on National Guard grounds, IMSS facilities and national goods.
Each branch will cost approximately 2 million 221 thousand pesos and the first will be in nine states: Chiapas, Jalisco, State of Mexico, Michoacán, Puebla, Tlaxcala, Chihuahua, Durango and Hidalgo, according to the investment project of the Ministry of Finance.
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La Sedena received 2 thousand 941 million pesos to build 1,350 banking headquarters this year, according to the collaboration agreement signed between the Welfare Bank and the unit on 20 February last year.
This is part of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s decision to deliver money to beneficiaries of social programs through the Welfare Bank, and since it has only 433 branches currently, the government will build 2,700 more branches, half in 2020 and the rest the following year.
However, following the coronavirus pandemic in Mexico, The Sedena put into operation the DNIII Plan to build hospital units, equip hospitals, distribute supplies and hire staff, so the construction of the bank’s branches will not go at the intended speed.
The priority is the attention of coronavirus, ensured dependence on this medium. In addition, the Sedena is also building the Felipe Angeles airport in the State of Mexico, following the cancellation of the project carried out by the administration of former President Enrique Peña Nieto.
In asking The Sedena why they decided to build the headquarters in military camps, the unit replied that «it was the bank’s decision.» However, the Welfare Bank referred that this project was an investment of the Ministry of Finance, as these were not resources from the financial institution. And in the investment portfolio, the construction of the headquarters is registered in the Treasury sector.
In fact, in reviewing the welfare bank’s quarterly report of expenditure from January to March, it is noted that when it came to «physical investment», only 57 million pesos were spent, of the 4.33 billion pesos allocated for the whole year, i.e. the 2 billion pesos received by The Sedena to build the branches would represent 67% of its budget.
The land for 12 branches in military camps will be «donated» to the Welfare Bank by the Sedena and will be in seven of the nine states selected in the first stage: Chihuahua, with a branch; Chiapas, with 5; Michoacán, 2; while State of Mexico, Puebla, Tamaulipas and Tlaxcala will have one, respectively.
In addition there will be branches in four lands belonging to the National Guard in Jalisco and Michoacán, with two branches each. Seven land on loaned in «comodato» will also be added for 15 years to the Bank at IMSS facilities in Chihuahua, Hidalgo, Michoacán, Tamaulipas and Tlaxcala. And three lands belonging to the nation and managed by the Institute of Administration and Appraisals of National Goods (INDAABIN), in Durango, Hidalgo and State of Mexico.
The branches will have a total construction area of 65 square meters and dimensions of 6.5 meters by 10 meters. This area includes 40 square meters of bank patio, which includes executive area, attention areas, ATM cabin, 20 square meters of security area (ATM area and vault) and 5 square meters of archive.
The beneficiaries of the programmes would be attended to: Sowing Life, Older Adults, Pension for the Welfare of Persons with Disabilities, Support for the Welfare of Children, Children of Working Mothers and Benito Juárez Scholarships.
So far only two investment projects have been registered in the Treasury in respect of the branches. The first will include the construction of 16 branches totaling 35 million 550 thousand pesos and whose construction is scheduled to take place between February and December of this year. Over 1.4 million pesos per year for maintenance from the third year of operation.
According to estimates from the Welfare Secretariat, «beneficiaries and/or users residing in the locality and areas of influence» amounts to 26 million 44 thousand people in Chiapas, Chihuahua, Jalisco, State of Mexico, Jalisco, Michoacán, Puebla and Tamaulipas, according to the investment project data sheet.
While the second investment project is for 10 branches that will serve 19 million 888 thousand beneficiaries and/or users residing in the locality and areas of influence, and will cost 22 million 218 thousand pesos. And maintenance costs of 888 thousand pesos are for maintenance from the third year of operation.
Order of the President
On January 3, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Tlaxcala announced when he began his tour of indigenous peoples in 2020 in Pablo del Monte, that the Sedena, in addition to building the airport, would also take charge of building 2,700 branches of the Banco del Bienestar.
On 16 January, the holder of the Public Works Control and Audit Unit of the Civil Service Secretariat «thought favourably of the subscription of the collaboration agreement between The Sedena and the Welfare Bank», according to the office number UCAOP/208/046/2020.
Four days later, the Public Procurement Standards Unit of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit determined that as it was «a collaboration agreement that is not governed by the Public Works Act», the agreement would not even be a procurement, but «an instrument that is carried out under the conditions set out in the clauses of the agreement of wills under Federal Civil Law», according to the office number UNCP/700/NOP/0.-008/2020.
While the president sent the office number PRESIDENCIA-003-02-03-2020 to the Secretary of the Treasury, Arturo Herrera, to make it «from the knowledge the instruction turned to the bank to transfer to the Sedena 5 billion pesos for the construction of 1,350 branches», on February 3, 2020.
And on February 20, the Bank and the Sedena signed a collaboration agreement aimed at «making available to The Sedena the amount of 2 thousand 941 million pesos 783 thousand pesos as a financial instrument to comply with the branch expansion plan approved by the Board of Directors of El Banco, referred to in antecedent VI subsection B (the branch expansion plan for the construction of 2,700 branches, starting with 1,350 in 2020 and the remaining 1,350 in 2021)».
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