Rejection persists for the possible 233 per cent increase in tolls
SD. Although the increase from RD$30 to RD$100, from RD$50 to RD$166, from RD$60 to RD$200 and from RD$100 to RD$333 as announced by the Minister of Public Works, Gonzalo Castillo, last week has still not gone into effect, the people are still as incensed as if they were paying the new tolls.
“We still don’t have anyone to defend us, because the driver’s syndicates are all politicized. They can’t **** much because if they **** around they won’t approve the game, what these people are doing is playing their politics.”
“They increased gas (LPG) to RD$116, and nobody said anything, before they got into politics, if they increased gas by a peso there were strikes, and the country was paralyzed and now, nothing,” was how David Sano, a driver of a public car (concho), who lives in Haina, referred to the syndicates such as the New Option National Federation of Transportation (Fenatrano) and the National Transportation Confederation (Conatra), from which two political movements have sprung.
The payment of the toll for light vehicles means 7.9% of the highest minimum wage in the country, and would be 26.56% if the increase in tolls to RD$100 pesos is applied. “I don’t know what we are going to do in this country, because you pay RD$116 for gas, and now the tolls goes to RD$100, how is one going to live here,” the worker asked.
He said he felt that President Danilo Medina does a lot of good things, but this type of increase are part of the bad things that are seen in his administration. The businessman and former executive vice-president of the Dominican Corporation of State-owned Electricity Enterprises (CDEEE), Celso Marranzini, said that the increase in the tolls will not produce any benefit for the Haina Industrial Park which is the biggest in the country, which has 10,000 direct jobs, according to what he said, and will, instead, cause many employees to not want to work in that place with such a high toll.
“People, we have to think that in Haina there is the largest free zone park in the country, but, in addition, there is the oil refinery, the largest concentration of electricity, and RD$100 pesos is for a (light) vehicle, but trucks are more than RD$300, which is to say that there will be no benefits of any kind, the only benefit will be for collecting the tolls,” he said.
In the meantime, Ariela Cuesta, a young woman who works and lives in Haina, but who studies in the city, said that she is not in agreement with such a high toll because she pays between RD$70 and RD$90 in fares Monday through Friday in order to go to the university, and as soon as the increased tolls go into effect, the drivers will also increase fares. “If they increase the tolls, right away the fares will go up,” she pointed out.
They fear inter-city fare hikes
The fear of young Viverly Rosario, who also lives in Haina, is that they will increase the bus fares. She said that she only earns a salary of RD$5,500 and pays RD$1,925 to the university and she has to cover the other university expenses.
The biggest salary increase that the private sector employees have ever received from the National Salary Committee, over the past five years, has been just 17%, nevertheless at the present time they are suggesting a toll increase of 233.33%, which will have an inflationary effect.
Category: DR News |