Daily Archives: November 22, 2012

More autonomy in Bolivia after the 2012 Census

Roberto Mendez reports for El Dia:

In 4 levels you can plan development policies

The 2012 census arrives with the demand for more autonomy

Analysis. Experts, Government and opponents agree that the results must be interpreted by the central Government, governorates, municipalities and indigenous people.

In Bolivia we come tomorrow [Nov/21/12] to the population and housing census number 10, in 187 years of independent life, with neighboring conflicts in six regions, a draft law of extinction of domain of goods [assets] have public transport drivers and small informal commerce leaders at foot of war and a query for the construction of a paralyzed highway in the Tipnis, and with a common denominator on which analysts agree with opposition and pro-Government: an order that not only the central level decided, but also the governorates, municipalities and indigenous people, the time to interpret the results because from 2010, our country has multinational and regional character.

“Now the central Government can make laws, but as never before, also the municipalities, governorates and the indigenous autonomies can do,” said Carlos Hugo Molina, public policy expert and one of the creators of the Popular Participation Law, which is based on to assign to each region, certain amount of resources, according to the number of its inhabitants.

He said that it is an act of trust that we open the door of our house to the State but also demands transparent answers which are translated in the equitable distribution of resources, political representation and public policymaking.

Not to disguise autonomy. For its part, the Vice-Rector of the Universidad Autónoma Gabriel René Moreno, Oswaldo Ulloa, noted that although in fact, the central Government distributed resources in a disguise of autonomy, now, after the Census requires greater involvement of the regions, municipalities and indigenous communities, as well as health and educational institutions who can be benefited with better development programs, according to the photograph that is taken out.

“In the case of the Universidad Gabriel René Moreno, it was deprived of Bs16 million annually because they have no up-to-date census data”, he said.

In that regard, he appealed to the conscience of people to open their doors to Census and also the State and intermediate levels to read the results in the most accurate manner possible.

Resources and transparency. The Finance Secretary of Santa Cruz, José Luis Parada, says that everything happens for the State to distribute all resources that now perceives with greater transparency in the regions. Bs7 billion were until 2011 and are now almost Bs42 billion, six times more per emerging income of the direct tax on hydrocarbons and the equivalent of emerging debt discounts (program relief for poor countries who are highly indebted HPC).

Parada points out that this radiography must allow an equitable distribution of resources, whereas some towns such as Santa Cruz, should address emerging of migration health and education services.

Ruling party and opposition. The head of the  National Convergence (CN) caucus in the Chamber of Deputies, Luis Felipe Dorado, said that if either the population and housing census has not been well planned by the Government, “would be a mistake not to open the door to the people doing the census”.

And also agreed that the reading of the results must involve all levels of decision-making.

For its part the Minister of planning Viviana Caro, speaks of the three axes: public policies, the fiscal pact that will allow the distribution of income and the deepening of the political process and regional, as a result of the census data.


So, there is greater challenge for all politicians: to plan accordingly and allow regions to have more autonomy, not just nice phrases but current control on the budget. Central government must release funding regardless of political preferences. It is after all our money, our taxes, our lives!