By Jesús Aguado
Unidad Médica Familiar del IMSS (Family Medical Unit of the Social Security Department) in San Miguel de Allende has almost 80,000 registered patients. Other patients who are not registered do not receive benefits because they have private insurance.
The authorities do not know the exact number of the unemployed in San Miguel. Francisco Garay, director of Fomento Económico, Relaciones Exteriores y Organizaciones no Gubernamentales (Economic Promotion, Outside Relations and Non-Government Organizations), stated that up to six thousand businesses of all sizes are registered in San Miguel that employed up to 62,250 workers.
In a city that depends heavily on tourism, only the agricultural production and some of the automotive industry are operating currently. In order to alleviate the loss of employment income, the municipal government has decided to invest 30 million pesos to generate 1,300 jobs from now through August. Some of the money will support small businesses, commercial enterprises, and farmers.
According to Mayor Luis Alberto Villarreal, the program “is the result of a series of adjustments to the budget in order to focus attention on and benefit Sanmiguelenses,” He emphasized, “Health and life first, nothing in the world has more value!” He announced he will be working with the public sector to make sure all health workers have indispensable equipment, such as oxygen tanks and ventilators, necessary to care for San Miguel residents. He wants to assure that they are working in safe conditions while they risk their lives to care for others.
Osvaldo García, director of Desarrollo Social y Bienestar (Social Development and Welfare), told Atención that Coordinación de Salud (Health Coordination) already has 1.5 million pesos of funds, but the administration is taking steps to increase this amount by 4 million pesos.
The mayor said that these funds will be sufficient to generate up to 900 temporary jobs, and another 400 state jobs. “There will be sufficient money to cover the basic expenses of commercial and service workers, with a preference for ambulatory vendors.”
The department in charge of administering this program is Desarrollo Social y Bienestar. Director García said that they are focusing supporting small businesses. Some of the expenses that might be paid during this contingency are electricity, water, debts, and even partial employee salaries. The money would be divided in two payments of 3 thousand pesos each. The first would come in May, and the second in June.
Commercial enterprises are another sector that the government is focusing on. Aside from the available 30 million pesos, sellers with permanent spaces in the plaza or the tianguis, have been given permission to occupy public spaces during the contingency. Street vendors who are registered with Coordinación de Mercados (Coordination of Markets) could receive aid of two thousand pesos in two installments in May and June. Farmers would also receive funds in the amount of a one-time payment of 2,500 pesos, to be used to buy seeds, rent tractors, or spend on any other agriculture related investments.
Temporary employment will begin on April 30 and continue as long as resources are available.
According to García, this program is intended for those who have lost their source of income. They will be employed in activities in public spaces, such as gardening, painting, and cleaning plazas. San Miguel will generate 900 jobs between now and August, and the state will provide 400 more jobs. Those with temporary employment will receive one thousand pesos per week. To qualify they need to get an appointment at Centro de Atención that has 10 phone lines.
Means and ends of temporary employment
Objective: To help Sanmiguelenses who have lost their jobs to move toward economic recovery and cover basic needs for workers and their families.
Description: Economic support for work that will benefit the community and the environment.
Strategy: Provide paid employment for public works such as cleaning streets and public spaces, gardens, parks, pathways, sporting areas, trimming trees, caring for plants, and painting.
Compensation: A maximum of four weekly payments per person.
Requirements: Complete application at the offices of Desarrollo Social y Bienestar (415 152 9605) and provide an original proof of identity (passport, INE, military ID, or official proof of profession) and proof of address no more than three months old.
Criteria for eligibility: Applicant must be over the age of 18 and not in a high-risk group for Covid-19, as determined by the Health Department.
General application procedure: Those interested should make an appointment between April 30 and May 3 by calling. Applicants will be given a number and date for presenting the required documents and completed application.