translated from Spanish: Centralism hits communities in Valparaiso Region

A few weeks ago we witnessed some events that confirm the serious consequences of excessive centralism prevailing in our country. On the one hand, the President of the Republic Sebastián Piñera announced by national chain the purchase and distribution of 2.5 million box of food destined for the most vulnerable localities of our country; but, on the other hand, it was reported that in the Valparaiso Region, for the implementation of this measure, the resources of 6% of the National Regional Development Fund would be used.
During 2019, resources corresponding to 6% of the National Regional Development Fund (FNDR) were allocated to different social and community organizations for the areas of culture, sports and public safety. Initially the resources allocated were committed to transfer during the month of November 2019; however, after continuous delay, in March this year, a letter was sent to the awarding organizations reporting a 90-day extension to analyze and respond on the possible delivery of such funds. The justification for these dilations focused on the social moment that the country was experiencing and the coronavirus pandemic.
In this context, tremendous was the surprise when Mayor Jorge Martínez announced that, for the purchase and distribution of food boxes in the Valparaíso region, 4 billion pesos would be used from 6% of the FNDR.
While agreeing on the need to prioritize public resources to ensure food for vulnerable sectors of citizenship, we do not agree that the budget cut has been made to the budget of the Valparaiso Regional Government, let alone the resources of 6% of the FNDR. This situation is particularly worrying, as we have seen the Central Government hand over 8 billion pesos to the Metropolitan Intendency to meet the same food needs.
It seems to us to be extremely serious that the regions are postponed again, especially given that the resources used correspond to a significant number of social and community organisations in the Valparaiso Region, which with professionalism and dedication carry out numerous initiatives related to culture, sport and education.
These facts show us, once again, the importance of a decentralised State, with legislation preventing these situations from happening again; and together, with a policy designed by robust Regional Governments, with new skills and more resources. Only in this way will we be able to properly cope with health and social emergencies, such as those that we live in today and that affect citizens so much.

The content poured into this opinion column is the sole responsibility of its author, and does not necessarily reflect the editorial line or position of El Mostrador.

Original source in Spanish

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