When we give a look to the past, based on all the circumstances, the historical context, the mistakes, the achievements of each stage, life gives us an opportunity. Only a few will learn and improve, and others will only hate and repeat those mistakes.
Because there is a group that particularly always uses the past as an excuse, as a justification for the errors, rogueries, the lack of responsibility in the present, i.e., they did not learn anything.
And I say so, Mrs. President in charge and fellow assembly members, because after 8 years of government, in which $230 billion have been administrated (an unthinkable figure for any government only 10 years ago), the minimum expected is to take responsibility, to assume decisions, and the consequences of these decisions.
Because we cannot live in the past, we must learn from the past. And for that reason it is not appropriate to hide behind parliamentary majorities to change criteria, to change opinions according to what the “presi” indicates in one of his weekly addresses. Without loosing your temper Mrs. President of the Workers Commission, I want to tell you that what you say about the collective construction is not true.
OIT members visited us months ago in this assembly, and among the advices and recommendations they gave to us, was to build up a modern tool, a tool that respects the workers rights, but a tool that inserts Ecuador in international markets, based on productivity and competitiveness criteria, and of course, that tool would be juridic, product of the tripartite consensus among workers, employers and the Ecuadorian state.
That did not happen here, the impositions from the executive branch and its political and economic purposes have prevailed. Not all the standard or the reform is bad. I must admit that if I could vote section by section, I would vote in favor of some proposals, such as the case of pregnant women, the protections made through unfair dismissal.
How could I disagree with the trade union forum?, this is included in international agreements, a protection given to people who carry out these functions. The monthly payment of the annual bonuses, though it was not included in the debates, I share the criteria that it could be paid according to the discretion of the employee.
But bad things overcome positive things Mrs. President and fellows. For example, the subject of the affiliation of housewives to the social security: the Constitution is very clear in Section 369, paragraph 2, by stating that these benefits and affiliations (I have always considered fair, and which are good). It is a right of housewives being included in the social security system. This has to be funded by the Ecuadorian State.
But the reform as it is posed does not present conditions, it does not include the realities of the housewives, as in the case of 50, 55 year-old women, it does not include the health benefit, which was one of the aspirations of the housewives, and of course I cannot allow that this benefit is funded by putting the hands in the pockets of private workers, 16,000 workers, whose profits have been set a ceiling, in order to take those resources to fund this benefit.
Being that I speak about the profits issue Mrs. President, I have seen with proud many young Ecuadorians fighting, demonstrating on the streets, mobilizing in the fight for their rights. I reject the amendment to Section 97 regarding the profits issue, because is regressive, unconstitutional, illegal, discriminatory, as it sets a ceiling to the profits of these workers, who had already projected their resources for the future.
I ask, many of you have mortgages, and have acquired debts, put yourselves in the place of these workers, what are they gonna do with the future of their families? And I cannot consider this as solidarity. In the Comprehensive Criminal Code the criminal definition is very clear, that is robbery, that is robbery, putting the hands in the pockets of private workers.
This is regressive, this is a regressive amendment, progressive in any way. Regarding the social security issue, the bomb exploded two Saturdays ago, even when we have been treating this proposal for several months, but the president put it in the political agenda. This blatant attempt of eliminating the state contribution, which was ordered by the president, ignoring the debt, and ignoring as I have told you in many interviews, all the payment agreements signed by the finance ministers, recognizing the explicit debt regarding the contribution for the retirement pensions, and also recognizing the commitment to pay the health debt, in terms of the health fund and health benefits of our affiliates.
You have not thought that this proposal is anti-technical, irresponsible, you say because you say so, there would be money to pay to the retirees in the next 10 years, but what will happen to workers of the future and the retirees of the future? This reform harms 3 million Ecuadorians who are affiliated to the social security system.
Assemblyman Cayambe accused me on national TV of allegedly forging public documents, I am still waiting for your apologies Mr. Assemblyman, if you are a man of good will. Here I have the document, endorsed by the Comptroller General of the State, dated March, 2015, in which is clearly stated the debt of the Ecuadorian state with the health fund, the president says I mistook the funds, I perfectly know what a fund and a debt mean. The debt amounts to $ 1.875 billion, this is a document I have already delivered and I´m requesting to the Comptroller´s office the special analysis that was made on this debt, so these documents do not “disappear.”
Regarding the scenarios posed by Assemblyman Byron Valle, about increasing the retirement age, increasing the contributions, We do not say that Byron!, that is provided in the “alleged” report submitted by IESS officials, according to scenarios the IESS should have tackled, in the case of not having the money to pay the benefits, against the default of the state of this 40%.
To sum all this up, fellows, they say there is no debt, right? “Nothing is gonna happen to the IESS if there is no state contribution to pay retirement pensions,” but this is a personal, extremely personal judgment of the delegate of the president of the IESS board, who by the way, has not had the courage, nor has faced the consequences by not coming to the commission or to the plenary of the Assembly to held accountable for his management, his new management of course, because this is not the same criterion shared by the representatives of the workers and employers, who warn about the risks the institution could face with the elimination of this contribution the state is obliged to pay.
I would like to conclude, Mrs. president, evidencing the lamentable servility this National Assembly shows in front of the president Correa´s orders. I know many of you disagree with this amendment. I know many of you would like to vote against it, in fact I see some empty seats, I see that you have sent some substitutes.
Yes! the same respect you ask for when someone says things you do not like, is not the same you ask for us when we tell the truth in your faces. It is lamentable Mrs. President, I want to conclude this by saying that the Ecuadorian people, the Ecuadorian citizens will take their toll, a very high toll, specially if you have the nerve to go on elections again. The subject of indefinite reelection too, I know you all are behind this.
I would like to know, if you are so convinced as courageous of this amendment, if you are so confident about technical analysis, about nothing is gonna happen to the IESS and the amendment does not infringe rights, I request, in accordance with Section 142, paragraph 3 of the Organic Act of the Legislative Branch, the roll-call vote, so that each assembly member reason his/her vote, and say why they vote in favor or against the reform.
Needless to say, in spite of the shouts, which I know by heart, with Dr. Andrés Páez we will submit the minority report, and we will continue fighting, the fight will be on the streets. Beware, the political cost will be high.