At LatinAmerican Post we make a relationship between the main current issues in Colombia and the way in which each candidate intends to deal with them in the event of reaching the Presidency. Know the main differences between Gustavo Petro and Rodolfo Hernández.
Photos: YT-RED+, YT-Ing. Rodolfo Hernandez
LatinAmerican Post | Christopher Ramírez Hernández
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Leer en español: Elecciones Colombia: principales diferencias de las propuestas de Rodolfo Hernández y Gustavo Petro
On June 19, Colombians will go to the polls again, this time to elect their new president. On May 29, of seven candidates in the race, only two remained in the competition to fight for the love and conviction of the people: the candidate of the Pacto Histórica, Gustavo Petro, and his contender from the Liga de Gobernantes Anticorrupción, Rodolfo Hernández.
According to the latest survey carried out by the Yanhaas firm, the leader of the left beats the Engineer by one percentage point: while Petro has 42% of the voting intention, Hernández has 41%. However, due to the margin of error, experts consider this result a technical tie between the two candidates.
Given this reality, in LatinAmerican Post we bring some of Petro and Hernández's proposals on the most relevant issues of the national situation and a brief explanation of each one so that the voters can decide which is the best option for Colombia:
Gustavo Petro in his government program explains that there will be a " single, public, universal, preventive and predictive, participatory, decentralized and intercultural system, which does not depend on payment capacity, economic profitability or administrative and financial intermediation" . In a few words, there will be a total change of the Health Provider Entities (called EPS) that exist today, almost eliminating all "financial intermediation" in this area.
“We are going to transform those EPS from the compensation funds into health-providing institutions (IPS), that is, to recognize their clinics and infrastructure, in health protection,” said the candidate.
For his part, Rodolfo Hernández in his government plan considers the elimination of the existing health regimes to date, to "give care to the entire population", regardless of the regime of which they are part.
It also proposes the creation of a "family medicine model, focused not only on the need but also on the responsibility of the patient himself (...) The doctor dedicated to each family will keep a constant record of their medical conditions for timely intervention and quality. However, it is the duty of every citizen to help with their health care.”
Starting with Rodolfo Hernández, the 77-year-old candidate has taken older adults into account in his pension proposal, since it aims to grant, in the long term, a pension of one minimum wage (one million pesos or 246 dollars) to all those citizens "who failed to meet the basic requirements of the pension system."
But before reaching this figure, it will opt for the strengthening of the Periodic Economic Benefits, in which currently people who earn less than a minimum wage can, according to Colpensiones, contribute "whatever they can, when they want". With this initiative, it is expected that help for vulnerable older adults will increase in the short term to half the minimum wage.
In the case of Petro, the transformation goes much further: the implementation of a pillar system, like the one used by countries like Iceland or the Netherlands. Although difficult to understand, the issue is simple: there will be three main pillars: a basic solidarity one, one that complements the work of Colpensiones and private funds, and a third that is known as "complementary voluntary savings."
The first pillar promises a subsidy of 500 thousand Colombian pesos (132 dollars) to older adults without a pension; the second means that all Colombians who earn from one to four minimum wages have to contribute to Colpensiones, and those who earn more will be able to choose whether to remain in this regime or leave the rest in a Pension Fund Administrator (private fund); and "complementary voluntary savings" is nothing more than an option with which "everyone who wants to supplement their pension can save in a voluntary pension fund."
This issue, although complex, has simple and clear proposals from both candidates. Petro summarizes his intentions for change in education with a system that guarantees that "early childhood will be able to grow up with love and protection, children and adolescents will enjoy basic and secondary education (in extended hours), pertinent, inclusive, quality, participatory and intercultural, and young people will have access to free public higher education, which allows them to fulfill their dreams by studying whatever they want”.
Hernández, for his part, bets on “improving teaching performance” both in preparation and in decent salaries. It also talks about “expanding universal coverage in primary education (expanding the single day) (…) improving the infrastructure of educational venues in basic and secondary education, and in higher education programs and institutions with quality accreditation (…) and year after year to guarantee that this sector has the highest percentage of the Gross Domestic Product” of the country.
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From the beginning, Hernández has been clear: there will be no tax reform, because, according to him, "a tax reform is nothing more than taking money from the productive sector and handing it over to politicians so that they continue stealing". So, his idea is, without reform as such, not to “allow unfair taxes or brazen diversion of resources. Taxpayer money is sacred. For this reason, as an example of optimization, it is necessary to evaluate how to lower the general VAT to 10%, with an exempt basic basket in a system without discountable payment deductions”.
On the other hand, Petro does support this reform in order to “gradually dismantle those tax benefits that, without due economic and social justification, introduce serious distortions to competition, encourage mining-energy extraction and primarily privilege, or are used mostly by its favor by natural and legal persons with high incomes and assets”.
Thus, it will create strategies with which to prevent the wealthiest people from paying taxes at preferential rates; maintain jail for tax evaders without the right to withdraw this punishment; not extend VAT and counteract at all costs the permanence of “those who receive public resources” in the so-called “tax havens”.