Friday, June 2, 2023

Petro announces presentation of pension, labor and health reforms

The president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, announced that in the coming days he will present to the Legislature the reforms to the pension, health and labor systems that he promised during the electoral campaign.

“What starts today, in the phase of this Government, is to present the reforms to the Congress of the Republic to once again guarantee the rights of Colombian men and women, rights that are in the Constitution in terms of pensions, health, labor and public services”, he said in an act in Duitama, in the department of Boyacá.

Petro’s announcement on the health reform, which eliminates the intermediation of the current Health Provider Companies (EPS), has been fiercely opposed by political and economic sectors that consider it a setback in the quality of patient care.

In this regard, the president said that the purpose is to migrate to a preventive system in which “people avoid the disease as much as possible and arrive with doctors at the homes of people who live in remote or difficult-to-reach places, and treat to the pregnant woman or the farmer, who has no resources”.

Petro, who has been in favor of greater State intervention in the services that citizens receive, affirmed that “this preventive health model exists in most of the world, from Costa Rica to Europe, where they did not believe the tale of that health is a business”.

Changes in pensions

Regarding the pension reform, Petro explained that the current system “is a business where what a person saves for years is not enough to have a pension” and added that the objective is “for an important part of the contributions of citizens are saved in the public fund”.

The president added that the changes will allow the State to “pay a decent pension bonus (…) of 500,000 pesos a month (about 110 dollars)” to each of the nearly three million older adults who require a pension.

In addition, he pointed out that it is about reaching full coverage in the pension system and guaranteeing that when a person ages they have access to retirement.

The Petro government, which in its first months managed to get Congress to approve a tax reform that aims to strengthen public finances by reducing the fiscal deficit by imposing a higher tax burden on large capitals, is also pending the presentation of labor reform projects and public services.

As he said today, the labor reform “seeks that Colombian men and women can once again have stability and dignity in the world of work”, considering that citizens should have the right to social benefits, vacations, a decent working day and not encourage job insecurity, “leading a person to a condition of slavery.”


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