Five months after the arrival of President Luis Abinader to power, a period comprised of ambitious initiatives due to the circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Access to health for all, with the announcement that more than a million people would be integrated into Senasa, the salary increase for police and military, the delivery of 100 million pesos to artists, the provision of strict measures to prevent the spread The coronavirus, the promotion of tourism, the economy, relations with Haiti and, the most recent, the National Housing Plan, are some of the points that have characterized the Government in this period.
In his promise of decent housing for every Dominican, on January 13, the president presented the National Housing Plan “Happy Family”, with which he plans to impact 61,000 families in four years.
This project aims to build 11,000 new homes only in the first year of implementation and 17,000 in the following years. Likewise, according to the president, it would generate more than 100,000 direct and indirect jobs during the next 4 years.
However, by the first week of January the president had delivered 2,789 certificates of definitive titles to owners of plots, houses and apartments in 23 provinces of the country.
Economy and tourism
Abinader has combined the efforts of all sectors of the population to get ahead economically. He continued with the aid programs that began the previous mandate of Danilo Medina: The Employee Solidarity Assistance Fund (Phase 1) and “Stay at home” programs have been extended until April of this year at a cost of RD $ 21,000 million.
The economic sectors that have recovered the most in these days are the industrial, agricultural, free zones, construction and mining. The main challenge has been the bars, restaurants and tourism.
For the tourism sector, several investments have been initiated and a plan was even created to promote it at the local level, in which many five-star hotels would be on sale, as well as interest-free loans for family vacations.
“By the beginning of the school year, all children and young people in schools and high schools in the Dominican Republic will have a tablet or laptop,” Abinader told the National Assembly on August 16.
The second period of the school year has already started and the promise has not been fully fulfilled; Instead, the National Education Plan was implemented, which included that students without internet access or digital devices received classes through national television and radio.
As for the school breakfast, food kits made up of non-perishable products are distributed among the students’ families.
Another of the most recent projects is the salary increase for members of the National Police (PN). The adjustment would consist of an increase between 10 and 40 percent, starting this January.
In addition, at the end of December, Abinader announced the inclusion of more than 39 thousand members of the PN to the Premium service of the National Health Service (Senasa), without additional payment and with a drug coverage of 19 thousand pesos per month.
Likewise, the Government established that the passage will be free on the OMSA buses, the Santo Domingo Metro and the Cable Car.
The military will also benefit from wages, although the amount of the increase has not yet been revealed. However, the head of state ordered more than 49 million pesos for the Ministry of Defense to pay retroactive arrears since 2015 to retired military personnel and widows of the Armed Forces.
When he assumed his mandate, Abinader announced the increase in the health budget by more than RD $ 66,000 million during his first four months of government to face the health crisis produced by the pandemic.
The country is waiting for 10 million doses of the vaccine, which are expected to arrive in February. Although this Friday the Health Cabinet reported that the government signed an agreement with the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech, thereby ensuring 7.9 million doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine, against Covid-19 for the second quarter of 2021.
The country has already experienced 17 curfews since the pandemic began in March 2020. The last seven were ordered by Luis Abinader, the penultimate being the strictest by prohibiting the movement of people after noon.
Other provisions have been the future 30% increase in the base salary of doctors and incentives, he promised to affiliate 2 million Dominicans to the National Health Insurance (Senasa) and the investment of millionaire figures to build and finish hospitals in the country.
Relations with Haiti
Since its inception, the current government has shown its interest in promoting diplomatic relations with Haiti through visits by the president to the border limits, as well as meetings arranged with diplomatic entities from the neighboring country.
An agreement was recently signed between the two nations that includes working to register Haitian citizens who are in Dominican territory in the Haitian civil registry. It also deals with the construction of hospitals in Haiti and the opening of negotiations for the maritime delimitation between the two countries.