The Association of Onemi Officials (Anfuonemi) began a work stoppage as a protest against the alleged defunding of the National System for Prevention and Response to Disasters (Senapred), which will replace the current division.
According to Cooperativa, this is the subject of discussion at a table where representatives of the Ministry of the Interior, Onemi and Anfuonemi participate, which must agree on a proposal for a Decree with Force of Law (DFL) that must be subsequently presented to the Budget Directorate (Dipres) and that according to the service, is in its final stage.
According to Anfuonemi’s national treasurer, Marcos Denmark, this new service will require about $8 million and 200 additional staff to operate properly. However, Dipres proposed to inject 5,400 million for all operations, including new ones.
Through a public statement, Anfuonemi reported that the strike is indefinite and points to Dipres, summoned for “intransigent” and “rigidity.”
“Currently, Onemi does not have the infrastructure and adequate staffing for the new tasks that the Law throws up, but on the contrary, it weakens decentralization by concentrating many of the region’s own tasks at the central level,” Anfuonemi maintained.
In this sense, he indicated that for all Onemi officials it is of “vital importance to strengthen a service that in 2010 suffered a major crisis due to not having the personnel or the adequate infrastructure to respond to the different threats to which the country is exposed and that this Law wants to correct, but with the financing and structure proposal returning to the organization that we were in 1974”.
“We don’t want to have a 27-F again,” Anfuonemi stressed.
What does the Onemi say?
The National Emergency Office stated that, despite the strike, “it maintains its operational continuity 24/7, monitoring the main threats at the country level, through the operation of the national and regional Early Warning Centers (CAT), with the higher purpose to safeguard people’s lives, this being our main commitment”.
As for the reasons of the workers that triggered the strike, the agency maintained that “since June, a working table was formed between Onemi, the Ministry of the Interior and Public Security and the Onemi Officials Association, to develop the final proposal of the Decree with Force of Law (DFL) that establishes Law 21,364 enacted in August 2021”.
“This defines, among other matters, the new plant of the institution, the regulation of the assignment of shifts and sets the date of entry into force of the new National Disaster Prevention and Response Service, legal substitute of the National Emergency Office”, complement.
“The DFL proposal is currently in its final stage, and despite significant progress being made in this regard, a counterproposal was submitted to the Budget Directorate (Dipres) through the Undersecretary of the Interior, which is currently in analysis by the authority,” he said.