P3 law passes: What does this mean?
The Salvadoran Legislative Assembly passed the Public-Private Partnerships Law Thursday, May 23rd, with 83 of 84 votes. As one assembly member was absent for the vote, the law passed by consensus, meaning no parties opposed the passing of the law. Despite some resistance from the Salvadoran left and social movements, especially unions, the current public services that this law will open to contracts for management by private companies include ports, the airport, highways, and municipal services. Before agreeing to pass the bill, left-wing political party FMLN negotiated to ensure that some major public services are excluded from privatization, including water, education (particularly the national university), healthcare, the health insurance system for Salvadorans with formal jobs, and public security. While these exclusions are an important silver lining, Salvadoran social movements have reacted with outrage.“Public-Private partnerships continue the neo-liberal economic model where, once again, the state turns over public goods to private enterprise.”
– Isabel Hernandez, SHARE El Salvador
The United States was keen on this law passing in order to facilitate contracts for U.S. based corporations’ future business development and other international corporations’ investment to be carried out without facing any obstacles. U.S.-El Salvador ambassador, Mari Carmen Aponte, even threatened not to approve the next Millennium Challenge Corporation project funding, had the law not been passed. The fund focuses on coordinating public-private partnerships to enact mega tourism and development projects primarily along the coast in the Lower Lempa region. Read More »