Decentralized autonomous governments study management models to execute campaign promises. The link with private companies is an option to optimize resources and reduce dependence on the State.
On the way to the 2019 elections, the menu of campaign proposals of candidates for prefects, mayors and presidents of parish councils is varied, but how to fulfill campaign promises with a low budget?
Representatives of the decentralized autonomous governments (GAD), provincial, municipal and parochial consider necessary a link with the different state administrations. But public-private partnerships are presented as valid options to meet the objectives. The Organic Code of Territorial Organization, Autonomy and Decentralization (Cootad) establishes the percentages received by the GAD from the General State Budget (PGE).
From there, resources are distributed for each level of government, according to their size, population density, and unsatisfied basic needs, among others. Of the total of the transfers that the State gives to the GADs, 27% is for the prefectures, 67% corresponds to the municipalities and 6% to the parochial boards.
The budget for 2018 was $ 2,996 million, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance. Of that amount, $ 809 million corresponded to the 23 prefectures, $ 2,007 million went to the 221 municipalities and $ 179 million to the 823 parish boards. Road and irrigation systems are the priorities of the prefectures
The prefectures manage 77,000 kilometers of rural roads, and for this they need approximately $ 11,500 million, explained Edwin Miño, executive director of the Consortium of Autonomous Provincial Governments of Ecuador (Congope).
Aware that the central government cannot fulfill this obligation, Miño considers it important to execute alliances at all levels of the Government and to work with management models that generate income to carry out works and maintain the roads.
The manager believes that road concessions are an exit, but should be in the form of repayment, that is, that in the Annual Average Daily Traffic (ADT) enough vehicles pass to maintain and justify the toll. Another option is to collect the special contribution of rural road improvements that is charged in vehicle registration. “Some prefectures already do it,” he said.
The second competition is the irrigation plans in the framework of the National Plan of the National Water Secretariat (Senagua), for which $ 2,800 million are required. Miño insists that a great national dialogue is required, both for irrigation and for roads, and thus establish a state public policy and achieve an agreement for about 20 years.
At that time the Ministry of Public Works, prefectures, mayorships and parish councils “we can work according to management models for each way, in which sustainability can be achieved,” he said.
Miguel Ángel Solórzano, president of the Association of Municipalities of the Province of Guayas (AME), explained that there are large cantonal governments that generate income from the collection of property taxes, among other options. There are also small municipalities that do not generate more than 10% of income at the territorial level, and they depend on 90% of the transfers made by the State.
The main needs are the provision of drinking water, garbage collection, solid waste management, rainwater and sanitary sewer care. They also assume new skills such as transit and mining.
To comply with the works, “it will not necessarily depend on what the Government contributes, but on self-management,” he said. For example, in the Santa Lucía canton, Solórzano signed agreements with the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion (MIES), for the creation of Child Development Centers (CDI), in which the municipality contributed with 20% of its budget and the National Government 80%.
Like this, several projects were implemented by knocking on doors to the Guayas Prefecture, the National Government and other State entities.
In the rural sectors there are needs that are competences of the municipal and provincial GADs. The parochial meeting is the first contact the peasant arrives at. Otto Ordeñana, provincial technical coordinator of the National Council of Rural Parochial Governments of Ecuador (Conagopare), considers that “articulation” between the three levels of the GADs is the way to satisfy campaign promises.
“It is necessary that we achieve concurrent management, complementarity and work together,” he said. The analyst Jorge Calderón, rector of the Argos Technological Institute, considers it important that the candidate for a dignity knows the budget and scope of functions, before making promises.
He also believes that public-private partnerships are an alternative important and viable to specify the plans and proposed projects. However, he adds, resources must be optimized and the State’s dependence must be reduced due to the crisis it is going through. “There is a reduction in funding, resources are not enough. To depend on 100% of the State would generate problems, “he said. (I)