Private sector to assist Puerto Rico efforts to unblock federal disaster aid
To hold forum for members of Congress Sept. 17-18, following Gov. Vázquez’s trip to Washington
SAN JUAN – Spokespeople from various private sector organizations will participate in efforts in Washington, D.C., to unblock the disbursement of federal funds for Puerto Rico’s recovery, Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón said Tuesday.
“Given this situation and the importance and urgency that the funds be used for the reconstruction of roads, bridges, but also housing—there are over 26,000 families using blue tarps [as a roof]—we [hope we] can unblock the funds that have not yet reached the island,” said the resident commissioner at a press conference.
González Colón said that after the federal arrests for corruption of officials and contractors of the Health Services Administration, there were substantial changes made to the bill to finance the Government Health Plan.
As part of the effort, which includes Gov. Wanda Vázquez’s trip to the federal capital Sept. 8-12, private sector spokespeople will hold a forum for members of Congress Sept. 17-18.
“It will work as a panel. It will be divided into three themes: economic development, tourism, health. This is very important, because it is not the government speaking. This is like a briefing that will be given to members of Congress and staffers. There, we talk about the numbers, why its has to be $12 billion for healthcare. It is the integrated study of how it affects Puerto Rico in these different areas,” she said.
In addition to the bill to finance health coverage, González Colón mentioned other measures whose approval is sought such as for the earned-income tax credit and credit for minors; making the island an international air cargo hub; tax credits for financially stressed areas and reconstruction funds.