President Luis Abinader is seeking the approval by the National Congress of a special transitory law to finish unfinished and high priority works, initiated in 2012 and which are suspended due to lack of budget allocations.
These are 636 school buildings, including 63 campuses that have not started due to lack of assigned lots for the execution of the works and of which 32 received payment of the advance for RD$297,878,472.10.
In addition, there are 180 sites in the legal process of rescission for different causes and 393 that are in the execution phase with progress percentages and which could be completed in the next 3 years if the transitory bill is approved. In addition, 344 facilities that were completed and inaugurated, but have final payments pending and that would be added.
There are also 15 hospitals that have more than 25% of the initial amount of the contract in progress and whose completion, according to the bill, are essential for the provision of the public health service; “especially in the current circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Likewise, the road works for the Circunvalación de Azua, sections I and II; and the Barahona-Enriquillo highway.
“That the construction of schools, hospitals and road works are in a process of progressive deterioration due to work stoppage, which represents an important risk for public investment and, in addition, said state investment is not yielding the benefits for society that were intended at the time of contracting them, at the same time that there is a legal limitation that provides for a ceiling on the increase of works contracts up to 25% of the contracted amount,” refers the initiative that was submitted to the Chamber of Deputies.
It argues that the problem of the construction of schools, hospitals and road works merit a decision that leads to a general, integral and definitive solution, being common to all cases the restriction of contracting the amounts necessary for the completion of the works based on addenda, due to the percentage limit established in Law 340-06 on Purchases and Contracting of Goods, Services and Works.
Details of the project
The purpose of the special transitory law is to allow and guarantee that the construction of schools, hospitals and road works that are suspended due to the lack of budget allocations, will be able to be cubed, due to the fact that the same exceed 25% of the initial amount contracted.
It seeks to allow the Ministry of Education (MINERD) and the Office of Supervising Engineers of State Works (OISOE) or its legal successor to develop the plan for the completion of the works in coordination with the Ministry of Public Works and Communications (MOPC) and the National Health Service (SNS).
It provides that the public entities authorized to execute new addenda that exceed 25% must submit a report to the President of the Republic at the end of the contracts, which will be submitted to the National Congress in the accountability established by the Constitution.
It mandates the Ministry of Public Works within 30 days to update the general prices for the execution budgets of the schools that are under execution or paralyzed, as well as hospitals.
“The President of the Republic will designate a commission for the supervision of the execution of the present law, which will be coordinated by the General Directorate of Ethics and Government Integrity”, refers Article 15 of the bill.