Puerto Rico resident commissioner to request meeting with revitalization coordinator
SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González announced she will be sending the fiscal control board a written request Monday to meet the newly appointed revitalization coordinator, Noel Zamot, who is tasked with putting the island’s critical infrastructure projects on track.
“I think that, at a time when the economy of Puerto Rico must be pushed, it cannot only be cutting costs, it has to be the role of the revitalization coordinator, to move the economy, to move projects and to get that approved for Puerto Rico,” he said.
González also said the fiscal board’s first report, describing the work it performed during its first year, did not include economic development initiatives. The board, however, has said this issue is not its responsibility.
The official said the federally created entity did not include any of the measures submitted to the U.S. Congress since it took office either, among which is the inclusion of Puerto Rico in U.S. tax reform.
The New Progressive Party leader also believes the board’s intention to audit Puerto Rico’s debt and determine the root cause of its fiscal crisis should be tied to economic improvement measures, as the current priority must be the island’s economic growth.
“While that happens, what are they doing to move Puerto Rico’s economy? I think both things should go hand in hand; do the audit, but also, how are we going to move the economy? The measures are there; I’m filing measures in Congress,” she said.
González made the remarks during the presentation of the Congressional Gold Medal to Borinqueneer Carlos de la Rosa Mangual’s widow. He joined the Army in 1950 and was active for eight years in the 65th Infantry Regiment.
Veterans Services scarce
Amid the medal ceremony, widow Ana Romero Sánchez questioned the lack of adequate services for the island’s veterans, particularly at the Veterans Hospital, which she called “lousy” due to its lack of specialists.
“Veterans in Puerto Rico should have better care,” she said. “When [her husband] had to see specialists, he had to wait six months. Almost always those who saw him were nurses and practitioners, but for the specialist they gave him an appointment every six months.
“I find that they should be more efficient at the Veterans Hospital, more frequent, not an appointment in a month and then four months. When veterans have a chronic condition they need to be treated properly. They don’t receive the attention they should receive,” Romero said.
The resident commissioner said she has taken several steps to improve the quality of life of Puerto Rican veterans and has held several meetings at the federal level on the matter, but acknowledged that “much remains to be done.”