Strong questions faced parliamentarians of the People’s Party (PDG) and the Republican Party in social networks, due to the millionaire operational expenses that appear on the website of the Chamber and that all the deputies have made until May of this year.
Among those questioned are Republicans Chiara Barchiesi and Luis Sanchez, as well as PDG militants Victor Pino and Karen Medina, who exceed the average spending for “translation,” although this — according to the legislators’ defense — could even be something positive.
In the case of Deputy Pino —representative of the Coquimbo Region—, for example, these operational expenses reach almost 4 million pesos, while in activities aimed at interaction with the community the amount is $0.
Comments on social networks made reference to the fact that these are excessively high amounts to go from your home to Congress, however, those involved defended that this item goes far beyond making a single tour.
It is worth mentioning that, according to the current Constitution, one of the functions of the deputies is to represent their constituents, for which they must visit each of the communes they represent, listen to the citizens and collect their opinions. For this reason, the External Committee on Parliamentary Appropriations has established the use of operational expenses, linked to this function: the expenses of transfer or transfer.
The transfer expenses, as explained in the information of each deputy on the institutional site, include the items of per diem, gasoline, vehicle rental, amortization, tolls, accommodation and food, either own or its staff, as well as other similar expenses, as approved by the Resolutive Council of Parliamentary Appropriations.
Deputy Roberto Arroyo (PDG) came out against the criticism of his counterpart Victor Pino. He stressed that “in the expenses of translation are included the expenses of transfer, fuel, tolls, rental of vehicles, food, accommodation, etc., not only of the deputy but of all his territorial team and in the case of the region of Coquimbo is the one that has the largest territory and includes 15 communes “.
In his opinion, highlighting that Deputy Pino is one of the most deployed in the field, “it is not strange that in these conditions it is reflected in the cost of transfers.”
The also deputy of the PDG Rubén Oyarzo ruled out that the expenses are excessive and in passing maintained that his deputation is “the most austere of the 8th district with the lowest operational expenditure.”
“We are working to further reduce costs by seeking concrete solutions such as occupying vehicles less and using buses or optimizing the use of vehicles, we must also consider that we are the deputation without renting parliamentary headquarters or renting vehicles. That is the explanation,” said the deputy for Maipú, Cerrillos, Central Station, Pudahuel, Quilicura, Lampa, Colina and Til Til.
To clear doubts I share information that makes operational expenses transparent and that highlights my deputation as the most austere of the 8th district @VeritasCapitur @CNNChile @canal13 @24HorasTVN @meganoticiascl @biobio @Cooperativa @adnradiochile @AgriculturaFM @latercera @elmostrador https://t.co/On60ql9pys
— Deputy Ruben Oyarzo (@RUBENOYARZOF) October 25, 2022
From the Republican bench, Deputy Luis Sánchez pointed out that this transfer item “is not simply the route from my house to Congress.” This, “would be crazy, because I live in Concón.” He affirmed that this expense is “to make the tours we make through our districts” and explained that in his case he represents 12 communes of which two are islands.
“It is important that the deputies have contact with the citizens, that we have territorial work in our districts, and we reach each of the corners of the spaces that we have to represent,” added Deputy Sánchez, inviting that “if there is a real concern of certain sectors for the cost of gasoline and the cost of using vehicles, We can eliminate at least temporarily the specific fuel tax paid by each of the Chileans.”
From the Chamber it was emphasized in a statement dating from 2015 that “the transfer expenses of each deputy vary depending on the geographical and demographic characteristics of their district”
And he adds: “The operational expenses of the deputies are permanently audited, first by the internal control bodies and, then, by the Parliamentary Audit Committee, the entity responsible for reviewing the use of public funds that each Chamber makes available to deputies to finance the exercise of its function”.
Additionally, the Chamber of Deputies is subject to Law 20,285, on Access to Public Information, with which it strictly complies, making available to citizens all information related to the use of public resources through different channels: its website, www.camara.cl; the Transparency Unit; and its various information, physical and electronic media. This, despite the fact that the data is updated only until May of this year.
Another of those questioned was the independent and former Republican militant Gonzalo de la Carrera, who defended himself through a video published on his social networks.
Left-wing media lie claim that I spend 2.5 million on gasoline. The truth in this video. pic.twitter.com/l9IAo57tdP
— 🎸 @carreragonzalo MEP 🎸 (@carreragonzalo) October 25, 2022
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