SD Metro - Now we know where the money is coming from!

Jan 5, 2006
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LF is requesting senate approval for a loan package in the amount of $116 Million Euros destined toward the construction of the SD metro.

http://www.hoy.com.do/app/article.aspx?id=81791

It looks very clear that Leonel had to wait until after the midterm elections to drop this bombshell, because there's no way that he would have gotten or will get a single vote from senators from the opposing parties.

I've been opposed to this project from the very begining because it smelled of a rat and a front for the administration to conduct a calculated campaign of massive stealing from the people as soon as it was mentioned. There were better and more economical ways available to alleviate the traffic problems in SD, in addition to the fact that this is a project which in reality only affects a small portion of the population in DR. In the grand scheme of things, these same funds would have done wonders for education, the public health system, crime fighting, and infrastructure projects throughout the entire country. Those are issues that affect the entire country and continue to be neglected in favor a LF's pet project.
 

Mirador

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Apr 15, 2004
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Sounds like the reporting journalist jumped the gun. The Senate has yet to receive this loan project, and if it does, probably will not vote on it before the end of the present legislature. The Executive will submit this bill along with others to the next legislature, starting August 16th, where the government party will hold an overwhelming majority in both houses. There is a similiar controversial loan bill, for about the same amount but in US dollars. This bill is for vehicles and equipment for the national police, and which an independent TV journalist has determined in an itemized study that it includes about US$34.5 million in overprice vis-?-vis similar list prices for same vehicles and equipment in the local market. For example, US$9.000 laptops for police cars.
 

Fuel

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Jun 29, 2006
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Hipocrito Mejia said:
LF is requesting senate approval for a loan package in the amount of $116 Million Euros destined toward the construction of the SD metro.

http://www.hoy.com.do/app/article.aspx?id=81791

It looks very clear that Leonel had to wait until after the midterm elections to drop this bombshell, because there's no way that he would have gotten or will get a single vote from senators from the opposing parties.

I've been opposed to this project from the very begining because it smelled of a rat and a front for the administration to conduct a calculated campaign of massive stealing from the people as soon as it was mentioned. There were better and more economical ways available to alleviate the traffic problems in SD, in addition to the fact that this is a project which in reality only affects a small portion of the population in DR. In the grand scheme of things, these same funds would have done wonders for education, the public health system, crime fighting, and infrastructure projects throughout the entire country. Those are issues that affect the entire country and continue to be neglected in favor a LF's pet project.

Why is Fernandez so intent on getting this project approved?
 

rtejeda

*** Sin Bin ***
Jun 16, 2006
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Plaintly put- is open corruption

Hipocrito Mejia said:
LF is requesting senate approval for a loan package in the amount of $116 Million Euros destined toward the construction of the SD metro.

http://www.hoy.com.do/app/article.aspx?id=81791

It looks very clear that Leonel had to wait until after the midterm elections to drop this bombshell, because there's no way that he would have gotten or will get a single vote from senators from the opposing parties.

I've been opposed to this project from the very beginning because it smelled of a rat and a front for the administration to conduct a calculated campaign of massive stealing from the people as soon as it was mentioned. There were better and more economical ways available to alleviate the traffic problems in SD, in addition to the fact that this is a project which in reality only affects a small portion of the population in DR. In the grand scheme of things, these same funds would have done wonders for education, the public health system, crime fighting, and infrastructure projects throughout the entire country. Those are issues that affect the entire country and continue to be neglected in favor a LF's pet project.

This is, "exactly", what I am talking about!

ART. 102.- Será sancionado con las penas que la ley determine, todo aquel que, para su provecho personal, substraiga fondos públicos o prevaleciéndose de sus posiciones dentro de los organismos del Estado, sus dependencias o instituciones autónomas, obtenga provechos económicos. "Serán igualmente sancionadas" "las personas" que hayan "proporcionado ventajas" "a sus asociados", familiares, "allegados", "amigos" o "relacionados". Nadie podrá ser penalmente responsable por el hecho de otro ni en estos casos ni en cualquier otro.

Are you going to tell me that you have to wait three generations to minimize corruption? Thats Bullsh*t.
This S.D metro project is Diandino Pena and Leonel Fernandez ticket to wealth. I am not sure how the project got finally approved by congress; however I do know that is in violation of article 102 of the current Dominican constitution because L.F and A.P are friends from Mauricio Baez, away before L.F becoming president.:surprised
 
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Jan 5, 2006
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Fuel said:
Why is Fernandez so intent on getting this project approved?
I think that LF is enamored with Balaguer's legacy in the memory of most Dominicans, as a president who built great projects and left them for generations to come. In that sense, I think that he considers himself a visionary and wants to build projects that are beyond the scope of mainstream thinkers in DR. Sadly, I do agree with rtejeda on the fact that this is also a scheme for a lot of people in this administration to get rich by siphoning funds into their pockets.
 
Jan 5, 2006
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Mirador, this loan request will obviously be voted on by the incoming legislature. Certainly, this was in the works for a long time, but was being held back and kept under wraps because it had no chance of approval with the current legislature.
 
Oct 13, 2003
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The current running total of costs for the metro (already spent or awaiting approval) is about 116 Mio and 62.5 Mio euro's, for a total of 178.5 Mio euro's or about 223 Mio USD.

The initial outlay of the Metro as announced by the same government was 327 Mio USD.

Therefore about 2/3 of that amount will be allocated to the project before the year is out and I doubt that 2/3 of the work will already have been done..
 

Don Juan

Living Brain Donor
Dec 5, 2003
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Que sera, sera!

It's unfortunate, as the OP stated, that all these millions could have been better spent on other projects that could have benefited the entire country not just a small part of it.
But, alas! What can be done now? Leonel's folly is too far along to shift into reverse. The country will further go into hock to finish this idiocy before Leonels 2nd term is up. (I presume he's running again)......One way or another they'll find the money to complete this craziness and we'll be paying dearly for the next generation or two. And yes, a lot of people will get rich from it and not in an entirely legal way.
The only thing we can hope for is that this metro turns out as well as some supporters say it will. If it does, it certainly will improve the citie's image, appeal, commerce and maybe even attract more tourists. If it doesn't....Well, you can draw your own conclusions.
Whenever I visit Santiago, the most striking feature there is the "Monumento de los heroes", the huge statue in the center of town that serves no purpose at all. But it does remind me and, and surely other people too, of who built it. Trujillo.
Leonel is also building a monument to himself. And long after his death, the obvious question he'll be asking from the grave to future presidents is: "Can you top this?" :paranoid:
 

NALs

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Jan 20, 2003
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If everyone would recall, the administration made the proposal of the metro and the financial projections of how much it would cost NOT FOR THE ENTIRE PROJECT, but rather for the first line. That line is the one being built right now, it's the shortest line and thus, the least expensive of all the lines the entire system will consist of.

As for why was the project presented in that form, well all I can say is that in democracies there are somethings you can say and other things you hold for latter or not say at all - unless any politician wants to commit a political suicide.

The project will cost much more than the amount presented, because the amount presented is only for a part of the entire project. Remember, the subway system will consist of 3 lines to date, one going north-south and two on an east-west. The two east-west are longer and thus, will cost more than the current north-south under construction and this means the entire price tag for the project will be higher than anything that has been quoted thus far, simply due to the fact that the full price of this project has not been presented to the public at any given time.

As for corruption, what else is new? The issue in Santo Domingo is not whether there is corruption or not, but rather how much. I still feel that the Leonel administration is the least corrupt of any administration in recent years.

In addition to all of this, everybody knows what the benefits of this project will be for anyone who has to do cross city travel during peak traffic hours. It sure sounds good to be able to go from one end of the city to the other in a matter of minutes..... it sure will be much more beneficial to the general public than a Faro A Colon or maybe a mausoleum for the fathers of the country or perhaps building a National Theater for the well to do.

-NALs
 

aegap

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Mar 19, 2005
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I'm with NALs, ..let them steal, so long as they still less than the other guys.
 

NALs

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aegap said:
I'm with NALs, ..let them steal, so long as they still less than the other guys.
They are going to steal anyway, those who steal less are better than those who steal more.

It would be IDEAL to have politicians who don't steal, BUT that is an ideal based on some sort of utopia.

Non-utopian beings (ie. humans) are not capable of creating a utopian society, so let's settle for what we can.

Dominican or any type of politician will always take more than his (or her) share, but those who steal less are extremely better than those who steal more.

Given the history of Dominican politicians, Leonel and company steals less and when they steal, it's in the process of creating something that benefits more people than some stupid mausoleum or theater or monument!

-NALs
 
Jan 5, 2006
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My concern is that given the magnitude of this project and the huge financial expense, that a small percentage of the total cost will be a very significant amount of money. Sure, they'll end up stealing a smaller percentage, but this is a much larger amount of money, and in the end, It'll be a larger amount of money than what other administrations have stolen.

IMO, the trafiic issues in SD could have been resolved by building more elevados and creating a better organized public transportation system, consisting of LPG powered buses.

If LF wanted to leave a true legacy for the benefit of the entire country and future generations, he should have found a way to acquire the funds to restructure the entire education system on a national level. He would forever be remembered as the man who changed the attitude of the country and its citizens, by showing that education has to be the number one priority for a society that wants to modernize itself and maintain consistent and sustainable growth.

It would totally differentiate him and put him on a different level from all of those who went before him, and whose only legacy amounts to nothing more than a big chunk of concrete. That is after all, what he really wants!
 

NALs

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Hipocrito Mejia said:
My concern is that given the magnitude of this project and the huge financial expense, that a small percentage of the total cost will be a very significant amount of money. Sure, they'll end up stealing a smaller percentage, but this is a much larger amount of money, and in the end, It'll be a larger amount of money than what other administrations have stolen.

IMO, the trafiic issues in SD could have been resolved by building more elevados and creating a better organized public transportation system, consisting of LPG powered buses.

If LF wanted to leave a true legacy for the benefit of the entire country and future generations, he should have found a way to acquire the funds to restructure the entire education system on a national level. He would forever be remembered as the man who changed the attitude of the country and its citizens, by showing that education has to be the number one priority for a society that wants to modernize itself and maintain consistent and sustainable growth.
For the comment section in dark red:

Yes there is much truth to that. However, things are always relative and percentage wise corruption is much lower with this administration than it has been with any other. Let's assume this project would have been done under Hipolito! Get the idea?

Now that I think of it, Hipolito did almost nothing for the country.... other than steal more than predecessors and leaving the country on the brink of implosion.

Leonel is the better of the bunch, and while we may always wish for things to be even better regarding politics and corruption; reality hardly ever reflects such aspirations and desires.

I understand what you are saying, but less corruption is seen in relative terms, not absolute terms much in the way investments and their returns or increases in literacy or even increases in overall well being is done in relative terms, not absolute.

Absolute terms always are good for a headline story or selling newspapers, but in reality comparisons are worth more in the relative realm of things.

Regarding the section in blue:

The current transport system in the city is heavily controlled by the unions (particularly the conchos) who (as was reported on DR1 earlier this week) don't adhere to government suggestions that would result in benefits to the population. I'm sure government officials are tired of having to resort to extortion or blackmail, as was stated in the report, in order to get anything done with public transport.

The problem with building more elevados is that it has the same effect widening a road has on local traffic patterns. In short, the wider the road the more traffic it attracts shifting the problem from one area to another, but never really fixing the traffic problem. Also, the country needs to move away from fossil fuel based transport and development and one way of doing this is through mass transit systems such as a metro. Once people experience the benefits (seeing is not always convincing, they must experience it as well) they will prefer the metro over any falling apart publico or risky motoconcho; especially if the time to get from point A to point B is cut in more than half.

Regarding the part in magenta:

The problem with legacies is that in order for them to work, they must last. Let's assume Leonel improves public education, what would happen if the opposition wins an election? There goes the public education. People have short minds, so what would happen to Leonel's legacy? I think we both know the answer. Look what happened to the educational system once Trujillo fell of the power base and does anyone remember Trujillo for the relatively good education system? Granted, Trujillo was an evil man in more ways than one, but even evil men have their good moments and deeds.

However, building projects that benefits the population in other ways, such as faster transportation, will have a much more profound effect faster. Let's face it, a metro is much much better than that monstrosity known as the Faro A Colon which does absolutely nothing for the everyday capitale?o.

The truth is that the DR needs all sorts of things all at once and not all those things are able to be fulfilled at once. Governments must define what should be done now and what should be done for later and while many people wish for education to receive more funding, the fact of the matter is that students will not be able to get the education they need if they can't get to class on time! In a metropolis like Santo Domingo, that is still growing rapidly, traffic will only get worse. A metro will help offer a solution to a problem that could affect even the most lavish of education programs in the world.

-NALs
 

suarezn

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Feb 3, 2002
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The biggest problem with the metro is not even the amount of money that's being borrowed to build it, but the huge subsidy that will have to be spent for as long as it exists (many many years into the future), because the cost to operate makes it not competitive with other forms of transportation. So the country will get indebted now and will continue to get more and more into debt for generations to come...There's a legacy for you...
 
Oct 13, 2003
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Nals,

We don't agree on this and you know my reasons:

1. The project is too costly to build in relation to the entire Dominican GDP.

2. There will be a huge amount of corruption (but maybe less than with Los Blancos).

3. The project will only benefit a very, very small proportion of the countries population, while being funded by the entire population.

4. The Metro will never be running properly, as the upkeep will certainly not be done correctly.

5. The upkeep will continue to be a drain on the countries coffers and a lasting opportunity to keep scamming of the top.

6. The opportunity costs are way too high, vis-a-vis energy needs, education and healthcare.

7. I doubt the project will be finished as Leonel will have to step down after 2 more years and a new government is unlikely to finish his prestigious project.

In short, it will cost a massive amount of money (that should be spent on other projects) and will never finish..
 
Jan 5, 2006
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I guess that the disagreement will continue on this. Like I stated before, in absolute terms, I believe that this will be the source of the single largest theft of government funds to date. They are taking the high volume approach, as opposed to the big percentage approach that others took in the past, but in the end, absolute amounts are what counts.

I do agree that the unions present a great challenge to dealing with the traffic issues in SD. However, the metro will not make the conchos magically disappear. Now, unless I missed something, I wasn't aware that the metro will operate on solar power. I could have sworn that they were building a power plant for the exclusive use of the metro, which will produce said power with fossil fuels. Now, we all know how efficient our country is at producing and delivering electricity.

Another issue regarding the metro and its usage is pricing. What will a fare cost? Will the average person be able to afford it? In addition, as others have pointed out, this project will continue to be a financial burden on the entire country for as long as it exists, if it ever does get finished. Or should we pretend that by some act of God, the SD metro will be the only public transportation system of its kind in the world to operate at a profit. That has not been accomplished in first world cities with millions of daily users and somewhat uncorrupted authorities, so why will it be any different in SD?

Again, the single most important thing that LF can do is to restructure the entire education system. For all intents and purposes, he has 6 years to change the attitude and the way of thinking of a country; to make people believe that through education we can fight poverty, crime, corruption, environmental issues and more. Once these ideas get inculcated into people throughout the country, you will have current and future generations praising the benefits and importance of a good education, and that is something that no future government will be able to take away, because educated people will demand more from their government.
 

bilijou

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Jun 13, 2006
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I am not very knowledgable in this subject. I've only heard people complaining about the metro, but never knew why. Personally, I would have rathered a metro system that ran through the whole country, not only the capital.

DR has the lowest social spending in Latin America, however, it lacks a lot of infrastructure. I understand it is a huge amount of money, but is there an estimate on its positive effects?

Will it create jobs?
Will it bring life to areas in the city which were dead?
Will it generate money to small businesses through tourism (since big resorts are usually the only ones who profit)?

Metro systems, as natural monopolies, arent necesarily the most efficient. The government will have to subsidies them at some points. But taking all its effects into account is it worth it?
 
Oct 13, 2003
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bilijou said:
I am not very knowledgable in this subject. I've only heard people complaining about the metro, but never knew why. Personally, I would have rathered a metro system that ran through the whole country, not only the capital.

DR has the lowest social spending in Latin America, however, it lacks a lot of infrastructure. I understand it is a huge amount of money, but is there an estimate on its positive effects?

Will it create jobs?
Will it bring life to areas in the city which were dead?
Will it generate money to small businesses through tourism (since big resorts are usually the only ones who profit)?

Metro systems, as natural monopolies, arent necesarily the most efficient. The government will have to subsidies them at some points. But taking all its effects into account is it worth it?



Short answer: NO

The costs are astronomical, there are serious and legitimate doubts it will actually get finished, the running costs if it will be finished are huge, the benefit will go to a small amount of people and not to the population at large, the opportunity costs are huge.

If you want details I suggest a search.
 

Fuel

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Jun 29, 2006
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Sounds like this thing could bring more ploblems than what it aleviates... Remind anybody of "The Simpsons" Monorail episode? Where they get conned into building a Monorail, and are left with elevated rails and old trains.