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Trade group calls for passage of measure that prioritizes local contractors

By on June 25, 2018

SAN JUAN – The president of the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association (PRMA), Rodrigo Masses, said the trade group endorsed Senate Bill 999, authored by the president of the upper chamber, Thomas Rivera Schatz, which proposes to amend the public-private partnerships (P3) law, to include a requirement that protects the local goods and services industries when it comes to government contracting.

“Public-Private Partnerships have proven to be an ideal mechanism for citizens to continue enjoying services that the Government does not have the capacity to provide efficiently and adequately,” Masses said in a statement in which he listed the P3 concessions of the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport and the operation of PR-5 and PR-22 highways as successful models.

The president of the association recalled that in 2004, the Legislative Assembly approved a measure to ensure a preferential public policy for government procurement. Act 14, as amended, stipulated parameters and establishes requirements regarding the acquisition of products and contracting of services offered by local companies that manufacture and produce goods and services in Puerto Rico.

PRMA President Rodrigo Masses (Courtesy)

To that end, the Puerto Rico Industry Investment Board was established under the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Co., and tasked with ensuring support for local services and products by establishing contracting parameters.

“That way, the Government made sure to achieve a multiplier effect and significant impact on our economy. That is why it is essential, as indicated in S.B. 999, that contractors under the P3 model comply with the provisions of Act 14,” Masses stressed.

The executive added that the inclusion of the clause that forces private entities participating in partnership contracts to comply with the provisions of Act 14 “is a sensible measure that promotes the economic development of Puerto Rico” and is “a good step to ensure the strengthening and proper implementation of public policy” for the benefit of the local goods and services industries.

“We call on the president of the House of Representatives, Carlos J. Méndez, and said legislative body to welcome this legislation and promote the approval of S.B. 999 in defense of local industry in this ordinary session, whose period of approval of measures ends today Monday,” Masses concluded.

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