Police aguinaldo effort is a sure sign of Christmas

There is a sure sign that Christmas is coming. The Fuerza Pública is about to announce its strategy for safeguarding the Christmas bonuses Costa Rican workers get.

Juan José Andrade Morales, the director general of the Fuerza Pública, is expected to announce some changes during a meeting today.

The police most certainly will continue the use of towers that have proved successful in the past. Some have remained in place all year  because they give police officers a bird’s eye view of the crowds. The metro area also is flooded with police during this time.

The Christmas bonus is called an aguinaldo, and it represents one twelfth of what an employee earns all year. That is why it is called the 13th month of salary. Employees also do not have any deductions from the payment as is usually the case with the regular paycheck.

Police officials reason that with the increased amount of money in the street, there is more opportunities for thieves and robbers.  Most Costa Ricans now have bank accounts and use their debit cards for purchases. But there always is the negotiating power of cash, which is why some carry large amounts.

Employers are supposed to pay the bonus between Dec. 1 and 15, and Costa Ricans who fail to get their money will quickly show up at the Ministerio de Trabajo to file a claim.

A big chunk of money is that paid to public employees. The government always manages to pay this money despite the national economic conditions.

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