Photo via Cadena 3

The Macri administration announced that citizens from several cities in the interior will be able to partake in the upcoming public hearings regarding gas bill increases via teleconference, in an attempt to “promote citizen participation with federal reach.”

In a resolution published in the Official Bulletin, the Energy Ministry instructed the entity in charge of regulating gas (ENARGAS) to enable locations in different cities throughout the country so that interested citizens or entities can get involved in the debate over the increases, which will physically take place at the Usina del Arte, in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of La Boca on September 16th.

“(ENARGAS) will have to provide mechanisms so users and interested parties from all areas where gas services are provided can simultaneously partake in the hearings,” the resolution reads.

These are the cities from which people will be able to take part in the hearings:

  • Concordia, Entre Ríos Province
  • City of Córdoba, Córdoba Province
  • City of Mendoza, Mendoza Province
  • City of Neuquén, Neuquén Province
  • Río Grande, Tierra del Fuego Province
  • Rosario, Santa Fe Province
  • City of Salta, Salta Province
  • Santa Rosa, La Pampa Province

The process to sign up has not changed: Any person or company, public or private, who claims a right has been transgressed or is simply interested will be eligible to attend. Those who want to sign up or learn about the requisites to do so will have to go to ENARGAS’s front desk, located at Suipacha 632, in Microcentro, between 10 AM and 5 PM. There’s time until two days before the hearing.

Following last week’s Supreme Court ruling suspending gas bill increases for homes, the Macri administration called for a public hearing to, once again, present its proposal to raise gas prices. This is in accordance with Article 42 of the Constitution, which “foresees the participation of users in public service and republican democracy.”

The government still hopes to implement the rate hikes, which it deems crucial to fixing the country’s “energy crisis” and to improving the economy as a whole. Hearings are intended to inform the public and are not legally binding, however.