Gov Creates Vieques Sustainable Economic Development Council
SAN JUAN – With the objective of strengthening the economic development of the island-municipality of Vieques, while focusing on the health of it residents and promoting tourism, as well as improving education, transportation and infrastructure, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi established Wednesday the Council for the Sustainable Economic Development of Vieques.
Executive Order 2021-031 also includes addressing job creation, energy sources, climate change and special cooperative projects.
“For many years ,our people in Vieques have faced lags in the areas of transportation, health, security, infrastructure, and education, among other sectors of a social and economic nature. It is high time that they are given the timely and necessary care that they need. I have promised to address their demands with a sense of urgency, and this Council, which will be chaired by the mayor of Vieques, José Corcino Acevedo, seeks that Vieques can have the resources it needs once and for all, ” the governor said in statement.
The council will also be composed of the secretaries of the departments of Economic Development and Commerce, Public Safety, Natural and Environmental Resources, Health, Education and Transportation. It will also include two community leaders from Vieques, an engineer, an architect, a planner, a representative of the cooperative sector, an economist and a representative of the business sector, all whom will be appointed by the governor.
The council must present to the governor a report on the proposals and initiatives being considered within 60 days. The panel has six months to submit an economic development plan that includes the strategies to tap the needed resources.
In the order, the governor says he seeks a memorandum of understanding and collaboration to develop a tourism promotion and customer service plan in support of tourists for the areas of Roosevelt Roads, Vieques and Culebra.
The agreement would be between the Roosevelt Roads Redevelopment Authority; the Tourism Co.; and Discover Puerto Rico, the destination marketing organization; as well as the municipalities of Ceiba, Naguabo, Vieques and Culebra. The ferry service provider of the island-municipalities, as well as representatives of the airlines that provide them service from the Ceiba airport, and representatives of the hotel sector and of the Vieques and Culebra community will also participate.
On March 14, Pierluisi declared a maritime transportation emergency in Vieques and Culebra, activating the National Guard to support the Maritime Transportation Authority.
“Regarding health and the Vieques hospital, on April 23 the bidding process for the conceptual design of what will be the new Susana Centeno hospital formally began, for which the initial disbursement of $1 million was authorized,” the governor’s office added in the media release.