Lawmakers begin approval for World Bank loan to pay off Caja

Lawmakers have approved on first reading a $420 million loan from the World Bank that will be used to pay off the government’s long-standing debt with the Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social.

Casa Presidencial said that the Caja can use the money to rebuild three hospitals, Max Peralta in Cartago, Manuel Mora Valverde in Golfito and William Allen in Turrialba.

The measure will need one more vote before going to President Luis Guillermo Solís for his signature.

The executive branch has long ducked paying the monthly Caja charges that are a percentage of salaries.

The Laura Chinchilla administration made a similar large payment with much fanfare, but, instead of money, the Caja received government bonds.

Casa Presidencial said that with the new resources, the Caja will improve conditions for health care and make the institution sustainable.

The loan will be in $60 million increments based on the agenda of the Caja, said Casa Presidencial.

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