The Proteger Bonds program will have “its economic closure” in December with the forecast of having delivered to about 700 thousand people, as confirmed by the Minister of Human Development and Social Inclusion and Executive President of the Mixed Institute of Social Assistance (IMAS), Juan Luis Bermúdez. The hierarch ensures that a transition of the system is sought, where the platform can be maintained to help unemployed people, but in another way.
“Proteger was born as a temporary benefit and subject to the national emergency, this means that we had foreseen -from the beginning- that its existence would be limited,” Bermúdez said, indicating that with all the commercial opening processes that exist, it is expected that people can resume their jobs and generate income and, he added, that the intention is to keep active (through the platform) a process of training and intermediation with people affected by the pandemic at work.
The IMAS chief acknowledged that about 300 thousand people who registered on the platform would be left without the economic benefit, but added that they hope that many of these people will gradually enter the labor market.
To date, the Government has delivered the Proteger Bond to 684,735 people, some of them are still waiting for the second and third deposit. Others have already received their three planned transfers.
“We still have a group of around 12,000 people who we hope will be able to join in the coming weeks from the opening of bank accounts that are being carried out at this time and we hope that by the end of the year we will have closed with about 700,000 people served in a way, I would say, unprecedented in terms of coverage of social programs in a very short term, such as these emergency months have been,” he added.
According to these forecasts, 300,000 people who are already registered on the platform would be left without a bonus? The Minister of Human Development replied that “it is so, but of which we hope that in the opening process a good part of them can go back to work by the protocols of each of the activities that are being allowed”.
To date, the authorities assure that ¢ 256 billion have been invested in the delivery of Proteger bonds and assure that there are still resources from the differential, in the second extraordinary budget, and those that are on the way in the third extraordinary budget (¢ 1,000 million). In total, it is foreseen to be able to manage 12,000 more bonds.
Despite taking into account the budgetary limitations, authorities continue to receive applications, only in the last month, 22,501 people made the request, and, to date, there is a cumulative 1,015,220 people enrolled in the program.
Why are applications not stopped?
“Stopping receiving applications is an assessment that the Ministry of Labor has to make in conjunction with IMAS due to the last review of available resources, but it is also important that if we are going to transform the program, we must think about how to have a contact with the affected population to provide another type of alternative that will not necessarily be the subsidy, but will be options, for example, training or intermediation, for which it would help us if the platform continues to be open to meet the needs of the people”, declared Bermúdez.
The Minister of Human Development said that although the platform continues to receive requests, there is a clarification that is previously made to people, “they are sent a notification indicating that their request-given the limitation of financial resources- remains on a waiting list subject to the availability of additional resources, which at this time cannot foresee because we are already closing the financial year”.
For the hierarch this clarification is important because people have to know that due to the economic situation of the country there is no possibility of expanding the coverage of the program: “the situation of public finances does not allow us to visualize any greater slack,” said Bermúdez.