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Governor Urged to Address Ponce in State of the Commonwealth Message

By on February 29, 2016

SAN JUAN – New Progressive Party (NPP) Rep. Luis “Tato” León Rodríguez urged Gov. Alejandro García Padilla to include, in his last State of the Commonwealth message Monday, concrete steps to improve Ponce’s infrastructure and to make way for the proposal to develop a shipyard in the Port of Ponce

“Since January 2013, this administration has forgotten Ponce. It is as if our city did not exist. We hope…García Padilla will present an initiative to solve the infrastructure crisis,” the lawmaker said in a statement Monday, adding, “We also want him to say something about the development of the Port of Ponce, which we all know is in limbo.”

León Rodríguez, who is also  the NPP’s spokesman in the Judiciary Committee, said García Padilla’s record in this matter is “disastrous.”

“Economic Development Secretary Alberto Bacó Bagué publicly said that six months after the adoption of the law that facilitated the transfer of ownership, the first ships would be arriving to the Port of Ponce. However, it’s been two years since the transfer became law, and to this day no vessel has arrived. On the contrary, the port is abandoned and docks 1 and 2 are in dilapidated conditions,” he pointed out.

García Padilla signed a law two years ago on Dec. 19 that transferred the port’s ownership from the municipality of Ponce for a 10-year period with the intention of promoting it as a cruise destination.

“While the governor ignores our Port of Ponce, other ports in the Caribbean Sea pass us, and our proposal to develop a shipyard for the repair and rehabilitation of boats in the port is still a dream because it is an NPP idea. Currently, Puerto Rico does not have a place of this importance. The U.S. Armed Forces are receptive to the initiative of a center to repair large ships…. However, we have not heard anything by the central government. I hope the governor discusses it this afternoon,” he concluded.

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