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“The municipal government must make decisions now”

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“The municipal government must make decisions now”

Championed by the interests of the citizens, the Neiva Council has led important debates on political control in these 100 days of government, some scandals surrounded the election of the Municipal Representative, which finally came out ahead.


The Neiva Council Corporation in the 100 days of 2024 has been under the presidency of Councilor Juan Diego Amaya Palencia, there have been several debates on political control, the financial status of the Public Companies of Neiva was known, a debate was held special of the Electrificadora del Huila that had an impact throughout the department.

Diario del Huila spoke with Juan Diego Amaya and learned what the work of the Neiva Council has been like this year.

How have these hundred days been like as president of the Neiva Council?

It has been an enriching experience of great challenges, the first of which was completing a very controversial election process for a representative, which we managed to move forward with that 10% that was pending in the process of electing the Representative; Then we began a diagnostic analysis process to see how the different portfolios of the municipality were doing. Several political control debates were held, almost in all departments, we identified the biggest problems that the municipality has in terms of public finances, in terms of security, in terms of the Public Companies of Neiva, related to the road network. Township.

Additionally, we had a very judicious and very nice job that I must recognize and it is the diagnosis carried out by the education commission of the Council of Neiva, analyzing each of the educational institutions, and defining what their investment priorities were, finally to make known the As a result of this process, there was a meeting at the Atanasio Girardot with the entire educational community where the worrying situation of Neiva’s educational infrastructure was explained.

Also from the Council of Neiva and together with the citizens, for the first time in the recent history of Neiva, we held a special control debate with the manager of the Huila Electrification Plant, because we find it extremely unfair that in a country where the energy matrix is ​​in The vast majority consists of energy generation through water and in a department where its best lands were flooded and where water is produced with its main river, we are paying 380 pesos per kilowatt, that makes no sense, we have even gone to the councilors to Bogotá to complain to the Ministry of Mines, so that they can tell us what is happening with the tariff formula, because they charge such a high rate to the residents of Neiva, we have exposed the errors in terms of management that the Electrificadora del Huila has made since the way in which it purchases energy to non-technical losses, which are ultimately assumed by the user via tariff.

We work hand in hand with other councilors on the issue of gas, it seems unfair to us that reconnections cost 47 thousand pesos, when the bill is around 10 thousand pesos, and that if you stop paying one day they will cut it off. We are talking about gas installations that are very expensive, almost at the top of the interest rate.

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We were very attentive to the issue of sport, what is happening with the sports facilities, what is happening with the synthetic fields, what is happening with the sports clubs, in general terms it has been a collective work, we are united as the Neiva Council Corporation and we The most satisfactory thing is that people already see in the corporation a Council that represents their interests.

After those control debates with the Secretariats, what were the priorities that you found in the Council?

In terms of perception, what most distresses Neiva citizens are three specific issues, the first being security, although the rates have dropped a little in the case of all crimes, there are two crimes where the rates have increased, but they have multiplied. the perception of insecurity that is the attacks on commercial establishments and extortion, these crimes that have increased have made citizens’ hair stand on end, because it recalls what happened a few decades ago.

On the other hand, there is the issue of the road network, I think that the municipal administration made a big mistake there and that is that the 100 days have arrived, the rainy seasons have arrived and the patching is just beginning, that cannot happen. Since October 29, 2023, when the current Mayor won, he knew that one of Neiva’s priorities was the road network.

The third thing is the economic issue, the unemployment that continues to grow in the country, and naturally where you do not have economic stability in a home, you have problems of all kinds.

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But there are other hidden priorities that the Municipal Administration is suffering from, which are not as well known and do not affect the citizen so directly. The first of them is the finances of the municipality of Neiva that are going through their worst moment, we are talking about debts of 200 billion pesos, if they are all included, 40 billion pesos of debts to pay from last year to contractors, We are talking about the fact that banks owe close to 100 billion pesos, with credits where they did not see much of the works, 30 billion pesos that are owed to the transportation system, which freezes important money for us.

Secondly, I believe that there are administrative decisions that must be made now, for example, what is going to happen with the 15-year agreement signed with a company created to manage public lighting, but that from one moment to the next to be a cadastral operator and that is doing the appraisals of the multipurpose cadastre of the municipality’s properties for the next 15 years, will that continue? Is the agreement going to be demanded? But we have to make decisions now, because we have taxpayers who want to pay their property tax and they have not done so because they are not within the cadastral base.

Decisions have to be made regarding the merit contest that is being carried out in the commission. What will happen with that?

What projects do you think should have been a priority for the Neiva Mayor’s Office?

We have a project that is amnesties, which is very important for citizens who have debts, but there are councilors who have doubts in legal terms about this draft agreement and there is a somewhat tenuous atmosphere in the Council.

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We are waiting for them to present us with draft agreements, the councilors are working hard, we were waiting for the Mayor’s call to start debating and analyzing

We know that they are going to present the development plan, an issue of the security rate that has an increase in taxes, I know that they have to present an issue of the San Pedro festivities.

What is your evaluation of the Mayor of Neiva?

I believe that he has made good decisions, I must say that it is very different from the previous Administration, starting with the people who are leading the portfolios, I must recognize that the election of the Secretary of State was a very good decision from my point of view. Treasury, a man who knows public finances, who knows tax law, but also a man who, from what I have seen and perceived, is honest.

I really like the Secretary of Education, I like the rigor and vehemence with which she is monitoring the PAE program, which is perhaps the most important social program in Neiva, a child who is not well nourished cannot build a successful life project, I like that I went almost from school to school to ask why the children have not enrolled, it has been a success.

I like what is happening in the Public Companies of Neiva, it is being managed like a company, I dream of the day that the Public Companies tell the people of Neiva and the Municipal Government that the company’s surpluses were 8 billion, Take it, municipality, invest it in roads, in schools, in public infrastructure.

I think it has been very correct in deciding who is in charge of these portfolios, in some brave decisions such as the repeal of some decrees, that of payment dations, that of the illegal linking of hectares to the urban perimeter of Neiva, those are decisions brave because it has legal repercussions and well I admire that.

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