Through an open letter to the President of the Republic, Sebastian Piñera, senators and opposition deputies asked the Government for particular concern about one of the sectors hit by the pandemic. Culture. The signatories request that part of the 2021 budget be allocated for the arts, cultures and heritage and to allow for a comprehensive reconstruction of the post-pandemic country.
«The onset of the pandemic was particularly cruel to the sector. By its characteristics, from the outset it was directly affected by the closure of the broadcasting spaces and the suspension of virtually all planned activities to this day,
all their disciplines and expressions,» the MPs explain. In addition, they add, that «none of the measures implemented by the government has accounted for the special characteristics of the sector, so in practice, its workers, organizations and companies have been excluded from them».
While they acknowledge that there has been significant progress in institutional strengthening of cultures and the arts in recent years, unfortunately, they say, «in the processing of budgets for the years 2019 and 2020 we have encountered projects that freeze resources towards the sector, when they do not reduce them.» Fortunately, however, «the cross-cutting work of parliament allowed these rebates to be reversed and has raised in these discussions the need to deliver greater resources and strengthen the culture, arts and heritage sector,» they commented on the missive.
Against this stage, and in view of the beginning of the processing of the public budget for the year 2021, it is essential for parliamentarians who sign the letter «to make public opinion, the various actors of the cultural sector and in particular the government, our opinion on that budget, in order to prevent what we believe can be a great mistake of the executive , not only for the cultural sector, but for the whole post-pandemic reconstruction and for the integral development of the country.»
«Those of us who subscribe to this letter, senators, members, senators and members, are convinced that culture should be a priority in the stage of reconstruction, because to pretend that it should only be material, is not to understand the depth of the crisis affecting the country and the profound emotional, social and coexistence damage that our families and communities live,» they declare.
Parliamentarians conclude that a country’s true development cannot be measured only by access to consumer goods and exemplify that countries that have understood it have budgets that reach between 1 and 2% of the total. «That is why we want to stress the need to achieve a sector budget equivalent to 1% of the country’s total public budget and that, as we have pointed out today, it barely exceeds 0.37%,» they said.
Read the full letter here.