EL ESPECTADOR, November 15, 2022

(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)

As President Gustavo completed the first 100 days of his administration, he presented a first outline of the National Development Plan (PND in Spanish), which Congress will begin debating on February 7. The estimated investment for the four-year execution of the plan would be 1,048.2 billón pesos (roughly USD $215,473,000,000 at today’s exchange rates).

President Petro’s administration has now presented the first draft of his National Development Plan (PND), which will be the road map that defines objectives and programs for the next four years. This Tuesday, he filed a first draft with the National Planning Council (CNP in Spanish) containing the first foundations of the document, but it will be fueled by the materials being collected in the coming days when the last regional binding dialogs have taken place.

They will also continue to construct the set of articles and the plan for investments, for which 1,048.2 billón pesos (roughly USD $215,473,000,000 at today’s exchange rates) would be budgeted. The final document must be submitted to the Congress before February 7, 2023, so that debate can commence on that day, and approval reached before May 7, which is the deadline for approval of the PND.

After filing the draft, Alfonso Prada, Minister of Interior and spokesperson for the administration, described the plan submitted as “unprecedented”, considering that it takes into consideration the visions of the 200,000 people who took part in the 34 binding regional dialogs all over the country. “We still have 18 more dialogs where nearly 100,000 more people will take part. That is so that it will be a project put together democratically and with the people, with a collective vision for the region,” he emphasized.

The Director of the National Planning Department (DNP), Jorge Iván González agreed with that, stating that the document titled “Colombia, a World Power for Life”, consisting of 238 pages, “is the first National Development Plan that, from its very beginning, had the participation of all of the people who, through the length and breadth of Colombia, wanted to express their opinions about the strategic projects that would guarantee better living conditions.”

According to González, this plan was constructed around “the diminution of the inequalities” and “overcoming the injustices that are part of that”. Therefore, he emphasized, the PND is focused on a “redistribution of resources” which will give priority to looking at those sectors and territories that have been marginalized and forgotten for decades. In González’ words, “at the regions that produce the riches, but have received no benefit from them.”

With respect to the document, which will now be studied by representatives of entities in the countryside and members of civil society on the economic, social, ecological, and cultural issues, so that they can provide their thoughts. Minister Prada stated that, “it’s nothing more than the administration program that the majority of Colombians voted for,” but beefed up “with the vision from the countryside expressed in every one of the regional dialogs”.

A system of laws for the countryside, for peace, and for human security, the foundations of the PND

The document is divided into core subject areas, and Prada emphasized those related to land use law, total peace, and human security. “The flooding and its effects are the result of having settlements of dwellings in the country where nature has been assaulted, and the streams are recovering the direction of their flow,” explained the Minister, referring to the need for land use laws.

Total peace, he explained, will be the anchor of the entire PND, while with regard to human security, he pointed out that this goes beyond protection and forceful public action, and rather, it focuses more on “a decent life, education, health, housing, transportation infrastructure, and the development of technological possibilities.” Along with that, he said that the document will also play a leading role in the policy of transition to clean and renewable energy.

The administration has high hopes for the PND. “We expect that it will improve the lives of ordinary people, the humble people in the remotest territories where the government has not been present. With this PND we hope to bring a decent life to every part of the countryside,” concluded the Interior Minister about the proposed plan to protect life in all its forms.

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