Deputies approve state salary law
Santo Domingo.- After several hours of debates yesterday, the Chamber of Deputiesconverted the State Salaries Regulation bill into law, which sets a ceiling onpublic officials’ wages.
The bill was approved with 99 votesin favor, 6 against and 38 absentions.
This approval represents an acceptanceof the Senate’s rejection of the amendment introduced by the Lower Chamber toarticle 26 of the bill, which established that Congress would be ruled by itsinternal regulations.
The PRSC’s Ramón Rogelio Genao hadsuggested sending the proposal to a bicameral commission, but this was rejectedby 73 to 69.
Ruddy González, spokesman for thePRD deputies, expressed his opposition to the way it had been approved andproposed sending it to commission.
Deputies Víctor Gómez Casanova, CristianParedes, Juan Hubieres and Eugenio Cedeño claimed the bill wasunconstitutional and should be sent to a bicameral chamber.
Casanova said that the law violatesthe right to autonomy of the institutions involved with their own regime and budgetaryautonomy.
“We call on president Fernándezbecause we believe this law should be observed before the end of his mandate”, hesaid.
Nelson Arroyo called on hiscolleagues to vote for the modifications made by the Senate, “as there is nojudicial framework in this country that regulates salaries”.
Chamber of Deputies president Abel Martínez imposed his authorityto obtain the votes needed for approving the law, against resistance fromdeputies of all parties, even the PLD, who accused the senators of “lack ofrespect” towards the congress members.
Martínez said that the salariesbill had been a concern for all governments.
The deputies who voted against thebill were Guadalupe Valdez, Juan Hubieres, Víctor Gómez Casanova, ÁngelRamírez, Rafael Abreu and Nestor Cruz Pichardo.
According to the new law, thepresident of the republic will earn a monthly salary of RD$450,000, while thepresidents of the Senate, the Chamber of Deputies, the Supreme Court of Justice,the Constitutional Court and the vice president will receive RD$400,000.
The presidents of the HigherElectoral Court and the Central Electoral Board will earn up to RD$375,000 andthe president of the Chamber of Accounts will be paid RD$350,000.
Ministers, the Presidential LegalAdviser and the Comptroller General will get RD$300,000 per month, and thePublic Defender’s wage is RD$250,000.
The bill, which now goes to theExecutive Branch for approval, limits the use of government credit cards to thepresident and vice president, the heads of the legislative chambers, the SupremeCourt and entities and organs of a constitutional nature.