Mexico City, Mexico, May 23, 2022 (venezuelanalysis.com) – The Venezuelan government launched a new app-based initiative to address deteriorated public services that will facilitate a more direct means of communication between the citizenry and the government.
President Nicolás Maduro toured the headquarters of a newly-opened rapid-response center, located inside the presidential palace of Miraflores on Saturday, saying the new system would “show the complaint, show the process and show the result, so that people can see processes and results.”
Maduro said the aim was to break with the bureaucracy that often serves to delay a quick resolution, adding that issues related to water, education, and healthcare would be given priority. Centers throughout the country are tasked with filtering reports and directing them to the relevant state or local institution.
“We call on everyone to communicate with government instances,” Maduro said during the program’s unveiling on Thursday. “The reports will reach mayors, governors, ministers so we can begin to address the issues.”
The so-called “1×10 System” will be overseen by Planning Minister Ricardo Menéndez and it aims to quickly answer complaints through Venezuela’s new social app, known as VenApp. Users have 60-days to register for the service.
The government also touted the app as an example of “popular power” and direct democracy, where users have a direct line to officials responsible for resolving complaints. Authorities urged grassroots organizations such as communal councils to register as well, and urged municipal and regional governments to prioritized basic services.
During the president’s visit on Saturday, officials reported that they had resolved half of the 31 complaints registered that day.
The US-led sanctions campaign and the country’s years-long economic crisis has led to decreased government revenue, an exodus of qualified personnel, and difficulty in securing parts, which has culminated in a significant deterioration of public services such as water, electricity or cooking gas supply.
Until the onset of the crisis, the expansion of public services was one of the core tenets of the Bolivarian Process that was initiated by Maduro’s predecessor, the late Hugo Chávez.
The government effort to quickly resolve complaints reflects their confidence in their capacity to resolve quality-of-life issues.
The South American country’s economic situation has seen a small but steady improvement in recent months—with strong forecasts for 2022—and has bolstered through the cooperation of allies such as Iran who helped the country’s oil industry recover under significant US sanctions.
This effort to improve public services comes after the Maduro government announced earlier this month a one-time bonus to workers who retired in 2018 as the government seeks to compensate those who had their retirement settlements pulverized by high inflation.
At the time, the Venezuelan president also announced a number of other measures and said that government policies were aimed at a gradual recovery of workers’ purchasing power through wage increases.
Edited by Ricardo Vaz in Caracas.