With the intention of overcoming the backwardness in road infrastructure that affects the competitiveness of Costa Rica, Mario Redondo, member of the Alianza Democrata Cristiana, presented a bill to declare a national emergency.
The initiative would allow the Government to use the urgency procedure referred to in the Law of Administrative Contracting, and thus, make direct contracts.
It would also require public institutions to prioritize infrastructure works that are deemed the most crucial.
The bill intends to cut in half the time that passes between the planning and implementation of a work, Redondo said.
Of course, the rules could only be used for projects that are expressly authorized by law, in order to not leave open legal pathways that favor corruption.
Principally, Redondo proposed to declare a national emergency for the route San Jose-San Ramon, the extension of Route 32 to Limon, and improvements in the routes: Florencio del Castillo-Garantias Sociales, Circunvalacion Norte, Bernardo Soto-Sifon and Palmar-Norte Paso, among others.
“Our administration is far from being efficient or fast because of its technical-legal structure. It is saturated in controls, and it has bad administrative management and complex procedures for project development. One of the main causes of the backwardness in road infrastructure is the lack of good and adequate planning for the fulfillment of objectives,” added Redondo.
To prevent public administration from causing a delay, the initiative also establishes a fine of up to 5.2 million colones for whichever bureaucrat who by negligence, incompetence, or fraud unjustifiably delayed projects.
The exceptional infrastructure regime would stimulate the economy, generate employment, and lead to investment at a time when the Government requires that more taxes be imposed to mitigate the effect of the deficit.
Costa Rica’s infrastructure has been backwards for the last 30 years, and it currently occupies global position 106 out of 114 in general infrastructure, and position 119 in roads, according to the Global Competitiveness Index.
Redondo’s proposal would help unlock several projects that have not been able to advance very quickly, like in the case of Route 32, the road to San Ramon, and the highway Florencia del Castillo.