Schooldays cut short by lack of food
The president of the Dominican Association of Professors (ADP), the nation’s public school teachers union, Eduardo Hidalgo, told reporters yesterday that many schools throughout the country that offer the extended day program are forced to end classes early because there are no lunches to serve to their students.
The suppliers, who are being forced to reduce the delivery of the school lunches, complain that the government owes them millions of pesos. Some suppliers told reporters from the Diario Libre that they have not been paid for at least five months. Since many of them are small businesses, they can no longer afford to do business with the government. Hidalgo pointed out that given the lack of food many schools are closing at 1pm.
René Jaquez, the director of the National Institute of Student Welfare (Inabie), the government program in charge of contracting and paying for the school meals, has argued that the arrears with suppliers are due to several factors, among which is a lack of proper registration with the Procurement Department as well as the poor preparation of their invoices.
Marino Peralta, the president of the Association of Suppliers and Providers of Food to the Schools of the Dominican Republic, said that the sector that he represents provides approximately 1.2 million daily rations of school lunches and that each ration costs RD$40 pesos. He admitted that the bureaucracy in the payment system makes it difficult for suppliers to receive their money. He told reporters: “What we want is for them to do is get on the ball and pay us the amounts due from last year in order to be able to supply the schools.”
Diario Libre tried to obtain a statement from the Ministry of Education regarding the situation and were told that Minister Andres Navarro will offer a press conference regarding the situation.
Mar 31, 2017
Category: DR News |