Costa Rica’s Finance Minister, Edgar Ayales, said on the Nuestra Voz radio program of the need to explore a decrease in the monetary transfers the government makes each year to the Catholic Church, most of which is used to finance schools.
The minister confirmed that the transfer for 2014 will increase 29%, in real terms from ¢550 million to ¢710 million colones (US$1.1 million to US$1.43 million dollars).
Ayales said that some of the money is used by the Church to finance the Instituto Educativo San Jorge and the educational centres Eulogio López Obando, San Daniel Comboni and San Ambrosio, all in Tilarán, Guanacaste.
The minister explained that the rest of the money is used mainly for the maintenance of church buildings that are considered architectural gems.
Currently the transfers are handled by the Ministry of Public Education (MEP in Spanish). The Finance minister said there is a need to discuss whether the funds should be administered by the Ministry of Culture and not the Catholic Church.