I think most Costa Ricans will agree when I say that the time to discuss inconsequential issues is over, not only in this political campaign, but also in those to come. For the sake of this effort to discuss important ideas for all citizens, I am writing these lines with the hope that they will reach the presidential candidates and their work teams, for their consideration.
Legal security. The judicial processes must be more agile and fast. It is not possible for the Costa Rican judicial system to take an average of 50 weeks to resolve a family case, 75 weeks for a labor case, 130 weeks for a criminal case, and 160 weeks for an agrarian case.. If this were not enough, this happens when the cases are brought to trial since, according to the State of Justice Report, only 1 in 10 criminal cases go to trial. It is absolutely necessary for the citizens to diminish the growing sense of impunity of criminals and offenders who break the law. It is urgent that judges be evaluated for their performance in terms of the speed of the processes and the quality of their sentences in accordance with the current legal system.
State efficiency. Probably, the reason that most influences the inefficiency of public institutions is the enormous difficulty imposed by the intricate administrative procedures to remove officials for incompetence and / or serious misconduct. In addition, the lack of incentives for performance and good service to the public, and not for punctuality and seniority as is currently the case.
Citizens must feel that their taxes are used correctly and that is how I propose to allocate a part of the payment of the mark so that all vehicle owners have civil liability insurance for damage to third parties, collision and rollover. Public institutions that do not fulfill the mission for which they were created must be closed and / or drastically reformed. Those institutions that double or triple their functions should be merged.
The digital government must be promoted with all energy and determination. Estonia, a small country like Costa Rica, has one of the most efficient public sectors in the world. This efficiency is based on a fully developed and ubiquitous digital government so that virtually anything can be done online quickly and smoothly. Estonia’s motto is that no data is typed twice, neither by users nor by public officials. Estonia is also a leader in tax efficiency and simplification through the system flat tax which applies a very low single rate to all income levels. I propose to reach a cooperation agreement with Estonia to assist us in substantially improving the efficiency of our state apparatus.
Private Investment and Entrepreneurship. One of the great burdens that private companies must bear in Costa Rica is the high social burden of 26.3% that employers must pay on wages.As the OECD has recommended, the social burden should be reduced to 15% (average of the OECD member countries). To offset the short-term revenue decline from the CCSS, I propose to transfer ownership of the INS to the CCSS. This will not only substantially improve the competitiveness of the country, but will also help the State pay its debt with the CCSS, which dates back many years. This high social burden makes the 46% of the economically active population remains informal, which is estimated to cause the CCSS to stop receiving some 216 billion colones year. By the way, I totally agree that social charges are approved by the Legislative Assembly, as proposed by Mrs. Lineth Saborío in one of the PUSC pre-campaign debates, not only because it is a rate that has a great impact on the economy , but because it really is one more tax.
I propose to make the INA the National Institute for the Promotion of Entrepreneurship and Employability (INPEE). The objective of this new institution will be to centralize and facilitate all the procedures required by small and medium-sized companies during their training period (the first two years). In addition, it should serve as a driving force for the promotion of business creation, and something very important , help new companies to move to the stage called Scale-up. This means that it must support in everything and accompany new ventures so that they can overcome the first two years of their training stage to become a sustainable operation over time. This is undoubtedly the most critical phase for entrepreneurs. From now on, the variables for measuring the performance of the new institution are established: 1) the number of companies that it sponsors for its formation, and the most important: 2) how many of those companies that were formed under its auspices cross the threshold of first two years with good operational and financial indicators that allow them to prosper. The employability function would be very similar to the one it currently performs: properly train people for the trades and occupations that the labor market is demanding
Unemployment. This is the most serious and urgent economic and social problem that we suffer in Costa Rica, since the consequences of unemployment go far beyond the lack of an income to live on. People suffer from mental and physical problems, as well as the loss of their self-esteem. Furthermore, the social stigma caused by unemployment is enormous. Families disintegrate, people divorce, and respect for those who were once the head of the family is lost. “You lose status, there is widespread demoralization that manifests itself somatically or psychologically, or both,” says Ralph Catalano, a professor of public health at the University of California at Berkeley. There is research that indicates that it is more difficult to recover from a long period of unemployment than from the loss of a loved one or a major illness.
Unemployment is produced by the lack of dynamism of the economy as a result of an unfriendly environment for business (weak demand) and a deficit of the skills demanded by the companies on the part of the labor force (weak supply). In Costa Rica we suffer from a significant weakness in both demand and labor supply. Today we find that 60% of the workforce has not completed high school, which greatly limits the employability of these people and makes it practically impossible for them to opt for well-paid jobs. The situation of the command of the English language is very similar. Only between 10% and 15% of the economically active population have a practical command of English, which also means that a large number of people also have great limitations in opting for a well-paid job. To attack these two major issues of employability, I propose: a) that the INA facilitate entry to technical careers for people who have not finished secondary education, giving them remedial courses to solve their deficiencies and thus they can enter technical careers and b) It is clear that the bilingualism programs currently being taught by the Ministry of Education are not effective. Bolder options must be sought. In this case, I propose that the teachers be people who speak English as their native language.
Because the people (men and women alike) who have the most problems to be employed are young people between 18 and 28 years old, because they are young and inexperienced; and people over 50 years of age due to their age, I propose to enact an incentive similar to the one that already exists in Colombia that allows companies to apply directly to their tax liabilities what they have paid for social charges on the salaries of companies. people from 18 to 28 years old and people over 50 years old , who are hired from the enactment of the law for the next 4 years.
In the next articles I will include some proposals for Agriculture, Fisheries, Energy, Pensions, Health, Environment and Natural Resources and International Cooperation.
Opinion articles published here do not necessarily reflect EL MUNDO’s editorial position. Anyone interested in publishing an opinion article in this medium can do so, sending the text with full name, photo in PDF of the identity card on both sides and telephone number to the email [email protected], or [email protected].