CIUDAD VICTORIA, Tamaulipas – State Governor Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca announced Thursday a family financial support plan, along with a 10-step plan to save around 680 million pesos ($33 million) in the state’s budget.

It was decided to apply a series of urgent measurements to benefit those in most need, the Governor said in a press conference.

Governor Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca

For instance, there won’t be an increase in fares for the public transportation system, and a Low-Cost Supply Program will be created to provide an accessible basic products list that has a 25 percent off lowest price in the market provision.

Also, through the “Community Kitchen Program” the State will deliver 10,000 free daily meals to the poorest in the state.

Garcia Cabeza de Vaca made a commitment to grant health services and medicine to all Tamaulipas’ habitants, and add some 400,000 people to the Popular Insurance (a federal health initiative) program so that everyone can have access to health services. Along with this, public state hospital and clinics will have enough medicines to cope with the need of its patients.

Farmers in less developed areas will be able to count on support of the state government support, the governor said.

Garcia Cabeza de Vaca also announced a 25 percent discount in the price of a driver’s license, an allowance for the cost of a vehicle ownership license, and a full waiver on fines, late fees and other penalties because of the vehicle’s ownership charge.

“We will promote an austerity plan with the State’s Public Sector to better use of our public resources, as well as any action to support local families’ economy,” he said.

To be able to save money in the state’s current budget, some salaries will be reduced by ten percent, including the Governor’s, State Secretaries, Assistant State Secretaries, and public directors.

He explained the salaries adjustment will be reached through analysis to find any double-dealing posts, but also canceling vacancies which will save around 240 million pesos (around $12 million), and by reducing by 2,000 million pesos (some $10 million) the budget for allowances, conventions, representation funds, and social communication.

“We will reduce by almost 25 percent the vehicle fleet, but not affecting the public health and security system, which will allow us to avoid spending some 19 million pesos ($923,000) in maintenance and vehicle parts,” Cabeza de Vaca said. “We will be able to save a 25 percent in gasoline.”

Another 44 million pesos ($2 million) will be saved in photocopy, phone, surveillance and courier services.

“By increasing the use of technology, we will eliminate the expenditure in paper and other related articles by 23 million pesos ($1 million),” Garcia Cabeza de Vaca said.

Also, there will be a review of all leased buildings to decide if these are necessary without affecting critical service infrastructure. This will allow the State to save 22 million pesos ($1 million).

Cabeza de Vaca also announced a reduction of almost 132 million pesos ($6.5 million) in the cost of legal counsel, studies, research, supply, events, and cleaning services.

“In the coming days, I will send a bill to the State House to establish the new budget regulations so we can have an efficient, transparent and effective use of our budget considering austerity and reasonable way of thinking,” he added. “Tamaulipas will show how to survive during difficult times, while society and government work together to build a new statewide era.”

Garcia Cabeza de Vaca assured that “we will not accept any deviation in our budget, but neither we will be an accomplice of any kind of corruption.”

Through audits and defining boundaries of liability the state will look to penalize those who are found stealing from the state’s budget, he concluded.

Editor’s Note: The above story was translated into English by reporter Melva Lavín-Castillo.