Popular government festivities: 103 million pesos in artists for Christmas
The Dominican government sought to bring back December joy to its people last year for Christmas after the Covid-19 pandemic’s constant confinements. Based on this, President Luis Abinader directed the General Budget Office to transfer 100 million pesos to the Dominican Municipal League for it to organize over 100 parties featuring local artists and orchestras. To round out the budget, the League contributed RD$3,436,188 in “own resources” to expand the “Relive the Joy of Christmas from the Local 2022” program to include up to 58 town halls and 51 municipal district boards. The total was RD$103,281,266.
The expenses were split in two: 62% was spent on hiring artists and orchestras. The remaining 38% was for “assemblies, animation, and other aspects.” Crazy Design had the most bookings for these parties, with at least 12 presentations; Kiko el Presidente, El Mayor Clásico, and Kinito Méndez had 11 each; Chimbala had 10, and Miriam Cruz had 9. Each mayor or director of municipal district boards received an average of RD$947,534. However, some six received over $950,000 to organize the parties.
The council of the municipality of Puerto Plata received the most money, RD$1,393,000. Alá Jazá and Mozart performed at this party, for which they paid RD$985,000. The municipal council of Hato Mayor del Rey received RD$1,299,180, of which RD$875,000 was invested in the artists Mozart la Para, Coco Band, Stefany Constanza, and a local group. The “Reviving the Joy of Christmas” program had the goal of “contributing to the reduction of the negative emotional burden of citizens in the various municipalities of the country,” and it also contributed economically to the revitalization of the local economy, according to the organizers.