Local June 17, 2016 | 12:55 pm

Environmentalists reiterate State-owned bank reserve violation

Santo Domingo.- The environmentalist organization NationalCommittee to Combat Climate Change (CNLCC) on Friday responded to central bankerHector Valdez Albizu’s assertion that the State-owned Reservas bank violated reserveminimums as the result of financing for the coal-fired power plants being builtat Punta Catalina, Peravia province (south).

In an emailed statement from CNLCC spokesman Enrique deLeon, the organization requests the publication of its position, “to illuminatethe public of the abuses of power contribute to stop and prevent them.”

He said instead of defending the Reservas bank’s “abusive,illegal and arbitrary government action that has forced him to violate theprudential rules in the financial system,” the central banker “strikes out derogatorilyand threatens the entity which esponsibly denounced the aggression thatvictimizes the institution which this official has the duty and obligation toprotect.”

The full text of the statement from Enrique de Leon

The governor of the Central Bank, Hector Valdez Albizu, instatements given last night to the country, acts as a government employee andnot as autonomous head of the national financial system to protect theinstitutions of this sector and ensure good health national economy.

The governor of the Central Bank, instead of defending theReserve Bank of abusive, illegal and arbitrary government action that hasforced it to violate the prudential rules in the financial system, includingthe legal reserve, strikes out derogatorily and threatens the entity which responsiblydenounced the aggression that victimizes the institution that this officer hasthe mission and the obligation to protect.

The National Committee to Combat Climate Change (CNLCC)denounced concrete and irrefutable facts that the government borrowed 900million pesos from the Reservas Bank to finance payments of staff and covercommitments with local contractors in the construction of coal plants at PuntaCatalina, and as a result of government failure return of this money the bank hasbeen placed in serious difficulties.

Regardless of thefigures and percentages cited by the governor of the Central Bank on thecountry’s financial system, they cannot hide the concrete and true fact of theexistence of this debt, its failure by the government to pay it off and thenegative consequences of for the Reservas Bank.

Nor can the government hide this debt that it has incurreda capital illegality committing public funds from the savings of the oil billin an investment or expenditure not covered by the general law of the statebudget.

As well as the Reservas Bank, the pension funds ofDominican workers are threatened by this government behavior that has isdetermined to build coal plants at Punta Catalina, although they are highlypolluting, and lack international funding, they suffer from an overvaluation ofabout one billion dollars and no one can say how much they will finally cost.

Recently, on 9 May, the Commission on Risk Classificationof pension funds issued the resolutions numbers 110 and 112, providing 600 milliondollars of these funds to be invested in the project of Punta Catalina through bondagencies owned by two wealthy families in the country.

The original sin, the source of both the abusive andillegal behavior of the government and disorders and difficulties of theReservas Bank and pension funds, is the violation of the terms of the tenderand the contract ratified by the chambers of the National Congress for buildingthese coal plants that require the firm hired to provide funding for the workin the form of turnkey.

As the government violated this condition by awarding thecontract to led by Odebrecht group, assuming international funding for thisproject and, now failing to obtain financing agreed with the National Bank forEconomic and Social Development of Brazil (BNDES), prevented from beingdisbursed for being this bank and the loan under investigation by the Braziliancourts for corruption and influence peddling, it’s covering this lack of internalresources.

In the Reserve Bank and pension funds abuse of power,lawlessness and utter lack of transparency has been repeated that thegovernment has practiced from the outset in project management Punta Catalina,giving this contract erratically to the group led by Odebrecht with anovervaluation of about one billion dollars.

Adding to that is the fact that starting this work withoutenvironmental impact study and without an environmental license violatedArticle 40 of Law 64-00 of Environment and Natural Resources and on privateland without any lease, purchase or decree declaring eminent domain. Also withthe construction of two coal plants, it has violated the Law on NationalDevelopment Strategy No. 1-12 Article 27, on the 4th paragraph orders a decarbonizedeconomy and prioritize renewable energy.

This abuse of power that does not respect the law,institutions and no without limit must stop before it causes major andirreparable damage to the financial system, the pension system and the economy,punishing with a higher tax burden for the poorest taxpayers such as workers.

Public opinion and the open, free and transparentelucidation of these threats is the resource available to the Dominican societyto oppose and prevent its materialization, just as the government does notrespect the institutions and the heads of institutions themselves don’t respector what they represent, as evidenced by the statements of the governor of theCentral Bank.

Dominican society must not allow a silence to protect theabuse of power and must oppose all forms of intimidation and censorship as thatrecently applied to our statement on the Reservas Bank, which reached the unprecedentedsituation of being deleted from several online newspapers after publication.

The defense of free expression of ideas and the right ofcitizens to information, is a guarantee of other rights and of setting limitson abuses of power.”

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