Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Excessive bureaucratization of the political administration of the Dominican territory

For better or for worse (or both at the same time), the politicians have been part of the social and economic development of our Dominican Republic. I want to leave the contributions of the private sector for another article, since my focus now is on the need to review our political administration of the territory.

I am fully aware that a mediocre politician who thinks only in terms of his partisan interests, even if I explain it to him with a Nacho, will never agree to a reduction in the number of geopolitical divisions. Do not even think about it! His arguments will revolve around the need for decentralization of the Public Management to guarantee the development of towns and a better distribution of public resources. I admit that this justification sounds nice and convincing.

However, what has been shown is that excessive bureaucratization does more harm than good. Atomizing a territory generates more bureaucracy and many unproductive jobs. Bottles? We all know the wizard of the wizard of the wizard. And the worst: it makes the State’s oversight function impossible because it is much more difficult (almost impossible) to monitor 500 institutions instead of 150, just to give an example. And I want to make it clear: one thing is the political division and another is the management of the territory.

Just to remember, the Dominican Republic has 48,442 square kilometers. Between 1844 and 1863, our territory was divided into five provinces and reached 11 in 1916. Another 16 were added during the 31 years of the dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo.

And now? Our country, for its political administration, is divided into 10 regions, which in turn imply the National District, 31 provinces, 158 municipalities and 235 districts and hundreds of sections and places. Those who justify this “hyperfragmentation” of the Dominican territory will say that the population has increased and that it is necessary to facilitate access to public services. I repeat: one thing is the political division and another, I remind you, the management or administration of the territory.

However, a political division is not always related to the number of inhabitants or something similar. It is well known that Trujillo It has been the one that has created the most provinces in the history of our country, but it was possibly due more to a strategy of territorial control than to a merely economic, demographic and social aspect. All the border provinces, for example, were created as justifying structures in the face of the demographic threat from Haiti. In this part of the country, despite the fact that they were created more than 60 years ago, Dominicans with fewer development possibilities live.

I know that, based on what is constitutionally established, there are those who advocate the creation of new provinces. Here it is good to remember that not everything legal is legitimate or fair. Our country has a population of approximately 11 million. Many of the reasons put forward by those who defend the “hyperfragmentation” of the territory are related to the provision of public services. However, nothing more irrational than justifying a new political-administrative structure in which it is necessary to bring a justice of the peace, labor court, tax office or the Public ministryamong others, since the decentralization of public services does not depend on the creation of a new jurisdiction.

Now comes the most important part of this article (and perhaps the most difficult to bring up), which is the responsibility of those who have the power to make decisions, but who, at the same time, benefit from the current system of things. How can we ask a representative or a senator to reduce the number of legislators, not to submit a new bill to create new political jurisdictions solely for reasons of partisan interest, or to prevent the hyper-fragmentation of the territory? We know countries with more population and more square kilometers and less bureaucracy than the Dominican Republic. The SaviorFor example, it plans to reduce the number of municipalities from 262 to 44, not only to save public resources, but also to prevent corruption by making inspection easier. Who dares to stand in Congress and propose a reform to the country’s political-administrative system? I doubt there are any brave ones.


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