Too little, too late?

The Dominican Republic may have lost out on a US$30-million loan this week, as the Congress gave it the go-ahead loan on the last viable day. According to Hoy newspaper, the loan was destined to support a program of reform in the Public Health sector. The agreement that was signed on 27 June 2003 with the World Bank was granted to finance the first phase of the health reform program. Chamber of Deputies president, Alfredo Pacheco, said that the authorities should make a “great” effort in order to save the loan. According to Pacheco, it was for this reason that he called the deputies into session on the Monday after Christmas. The agreement was submitted by the Executive Branch last October and the Senate gave its approval on 7 December, from where the legislation reached the Chamber of Deputies on 14 December. According to a memorandum sent to President Fernandez by Senate leader Andres Bautista, the total cost of the program would be US$42 million, with the DR’s counterpart funding totaling US$12 million.