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Legislator proposes bills to help Puerto Rico’s disabled community

By on November 27, 2016

By Gabriel Orlando Santos Ortega

SAN JUAN — New Progressive Party (NPP) Rep. José Aponte Hernández announced Sunday he will file two important bills aimed toward improving quality and promptness of services offered to Puerto Rico’s most vulnerable sector in light of the present economic crisis.

The legislator indicated that the first bill would establish the Center for Integrated Government Services for People with Disabilities so this sector can receive services from different public agencies in one place. It is estimated that there are some 1 million people with various disabilities residing in the island.

New Progressive Party Rep. José Aponte Hernández presented two measures to improve services for Puerto Rico's disabled community, (CyberNews)

New Progressive Party Rep. José Aponte Hernández presented two measures to improve services for Puerto Rico’s disabled community, (CyberNews)

“It is time to begin a new dynamic to help our most vulnerable. This is the first step of many that we must and will oversee,” expressed the representative in written declarations.

As Aponte Hernández explained, the Center would be integrated by personnel from the Office of Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities, and Education, Family and Health departments. Also joined would be the Vocational Rehabilitation Administration, as well as the Housing Department and the Transportation & Public Works Department (DTOP by its Spanish acronym.

On the other hand, the former House Speaker stated that the other measure would ease the establishment of Integrated Services Centers of Non-Profit Organizations, authorizing the government to identify an out-of-use facility and direct it in offices, with a nominal income of one dollar, so these non-profit organizations can offer their respective services under one roof.

The pro-statehood leader said that the state government currently holds many properties that aren’t providing services. He affirmed that using these could be a solution to reduce those entities’ operational costs, simultaneously keeping them. It is estimated that these entities address a sector of the population that could round up to 800,000 persons.

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