President Luis Abinader participated this Thursday in the eighth edition of the Mesa de la Vivienda de la Asociación Dominicana de Constructores y Promotores de Viviendas (Acoprovi), where he announced that the Government will promote a broad mechanization program to reduce and reduce to a minimum the hiring of foreign labor.
The President said that funds are already being delivered to the Development and Export Bank (Bandex) to finance mechanization in the different construction sectors.
“But we have to reach a consensus, as is the spirit and nature of this Government, we have to reach a consensus with you in order to transfer all that construction, which there are still many artisanal cases, to mechanize it”, he said.
The President mentioned that there are already some very successful experiences in the country and at the same time insisted on the need to work on this aspect and to set the goals in place to achieve it.
He emphasized that mechanization will make the country more efficient and that for this, the sector can count on a government that will support them in terms of regulations, rules and also financing so that the acquisition of such equipment can be achieved.
In this regard, President Abinader called on representatives of the construction sector and housing developers in the Dominican Republic to work together in the creation of a National Consensus Plan to reduce and diminish to a minimum the use of foreign labor.
“I can tell you here as President of the Republic, from all the information we have, that this project is an objective of national interest for our country. Therefore, I ask ACOPROVI to set a goal and before the end of the year to have a National Consensus Plan to go in a gradual process, in a period of three to four years, to reduce and diminish to its minimum expression the use of foreign labor”, he said.
The President stated that, in view of this historical juncture, it is necessary to work on this planning for the sustainability of this sector, but also for the good of the national interest and security.
“I can tell you that the days of foreign labor are numbered in the Dominican Republic,” said Abinader.
The head of state said that he will form a commission from the Government to work with the sector and before the end of the year to have a clear policy in relation to the gradual but necessary decrease and establishing goals with foreign labor.
He specified that, in the case of the Government, this measure will not only be in the construction sector, but also in the agricultural sector and others.
He said that they will continue working together, the Government and Acoprovi, so that the housing market is not only maintained, but can be increased.
The construction sector is fundamental in the Dominican economy.
President Abinader also referred to the importance of the construction sector, which he said is fundamental to the Dominican economy.
He highlighted that the construction sector moves an important 15% of the GDP and that, of this, 75% corresponds to the private sector and 25% is public sector, which, he added, is very positive for the Dominican economy and is also fundamental for the public policies of the Government because by encouraging and improving the private sector then it moves and helps the economy.
The president emphasized that, in order to continue boosting this sector, the Government has made credit more flexible in recent times and that this has helped both in August and September the construction sector to continue moving in the right direction.
“Also the increase in prices that we saw in the last year and a half, in some cases has stopped and in other cases it has also decreased slightly, never as much as we would like, but it has decreased slightly, which stabilizes the sector in terms of inflation,” said President Abinader.
He also mentioned that in order to encourage construction, important steps have been taken to improve the reduction of permitting times and acknowledged that a challenge remains pending, which is the improvement of the regulations of the Ministry of the Environment, on which, he assured, they are working tirelessly to change it and make it efficient, as in the case of Zero Bureaucracy and the improvements in the General Directorate of Customs.
“There is another project that is fundamental and that we are promoting and that we will also immediately call our congressmen to promote the modification of the Rent Law. We agree with this project and we know that it is a necessary legal framework to guarantee investments in this sector and that it is a win-win for everyone,” he said.
In this regard, he said, he will push to see if this amendment to the Rent Law can be approved in this legislature.
For her part, the president of Acoprovi, Annerys Meléndez, declared Luis Abinader as a housing president, for promoting an important growth for the construction sector.
She said that the sector she represents has a high impact on the economy considering that more than 80% of private sector construction in 2022 was housing.
Meléndez explained that in the coming weeks they will be opening work spaces and participatory meetings with the various public, private and social sectors to evaluate and analyze a series of actions in each of the axes determined in a line of multi-sectoral collaboration to ensure a holistic approach in the proposed urban and sectoral solutions.
Present were the Minister of the Presidency, Joel Santos; the Superintendent of Banks, Alejandro Fernández; the Deputy Minister of Standards, Regulations and Procedures of the Ministry of Housing and Buildings, Vivian Reyes; the Deputy Minister of Investment Projects, Camel Curi, and the Executive Director of ProConsumidor, Eddy Alcántara.