On Thursday, President Sebastián Piñera announced that US$290 million will be made available to municipalities in May and June to counteract a decrease in municipal government income.
“The Mayors and the Government are on the same team. Our shared adversary is the Coronavirus, and our mission is to ensure that Chile and the Chilean people address the health pandemic of the Coronavirus and the social pandemic of the recession as best we can,” the President said after meeting with municipal association representatives and mayors. He was accompanied by Interior Minister Gonzalo Blumel and Regional and Administrative Development Undersecretary (Subdere) Claudio Alvarado.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a need for measures such as delayed vehicle registration and tax payments, which has had a significant impact on municipal income.
In this context, the President has chosen two strategies to support municipal management.
First, the flows from the Municipal Shared Fund for the months of May and June will be brought forward, for a total of 155 billion Chilean pesos. Second, the President has made available an additional solidarity fund totaling 81 billion Chilean pesos, which will go directly to the municipalities to help families identified by the municipalities whose income has been severely impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.
These measures will increase municipalities’ income by 235.92 billion Chilean pesos (around US$290 million) over the next 60 days.
Furthermore, the Health Ministry, regional governments and Subdere have transferred 113 billion Chilean pesos directly to municipalities since March.
These resources come in addition to those that are already being distributed to combat the pandemic and provide primary healthcare support for the most vulnerable families in each municipality and to make local investment more dynamic during the economic downturn.
“We are facing very difficult times that require the Mayors and the Government to act with a great deal of sensitivity, closeness, empathy and understanding of what our citizens are experiencing and suffering,” the President said.
These announcements reflect the real and effective support that President Piñera’s Government is providing to the country’s municipalities so that they can fulfill their fundamental role in attending to the social and healthcare needs and local investments of the people in their district.