Monday 18 October 2021

Autonomous Agencies Increase Their 2017 ‘Propaganda’ Spending

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Autonomous state institutions increase their publicity budgets for 2017

Q COSTA RICA NEWS – Eleven autonomous government agencies (state agencies) including RECOPE (see hike in gasoline prices) and Acueductos y Alcantarillados (AyA), aja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS), Patronato Nacional de la Infancia (PANI), Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS), Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones (Sutel), and Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) averaged a 32% increase in their advertising (publicity) budgets in 2017.

In their budgets for 2017 at least eleven state agencies have significantly increased the amount of resources allocated to publicity (propaganda in Spanish) in 2017.

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The Sutel’s propaganda spending will go from the ¢243 millones in 2016 to ¢518 millones for 2017.  The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) will spend this year ¢2.123 billion colones, the Patronato Nacional de la Infancia (PANI) – child welfare agency, ¢1.339 billion colones.

The Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social (IMAS) – the people who bring us the duty-free shops at the airport, among other things – with an increase of 141% compared to 2016 (it went up from ¢85 million to ¢207 million.

In the case of Recope, reports that “… The increase is 30%.” AyA has budgeted to spend ¢525 million to in 2016, to ¢681 million in 2017, an increase of ¢156 million colones.

Shionny Porras, press chief at Recope, explained that among other objectives, “educating the population about Recope’s role as guarantor of energy security.”

Porras also argued that the budget will be used to publicize the progress of investment projects to strengthen the National Fuel System (Sistema Nacional de Combustibles) and report on the quality of fuels.

Now you know why fuel costs in Costa Rica are so high.

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La Nacion report says it was not able to obtain figures from ICE.

During his presidential campaign of 2014, President Lui Guillermo Solis promised to cut all superfluous expenses, including consultancies and publicity.

However, state agencies such as Recope, ICE, AyA and the others are “autonomous institutions”, that is to stay their budgeting is not under the direct control of the central government.

Former presidential candidate, leader of and legislator for the Movimiento Libertatio party, Otto Guevara, considered the increases for 2017 to be “another unfulfilled promise” by Solis.

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“He (Solis) said the state was not going to spend on advertising more than the minimum, to report on closing a street, but not to advertise,” said Guevara.



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