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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Criticism of toll roads PPP is a problem of communication, governor says

By The Star Staff

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia acknowledged on Wednesday that he faces a communication challenge following criticism of the announcement of a public-private partnership with Metropistas to manage the island’s remaining toll roads for 40 years, and criticism over increases in toll costs in particular.

“It’s a shame that’s what’s being projected. Because that’s not what just happened. It’s the opposite,” the governor said in response to questions from the press. “There has been no change here in the form and manner in which tolls are adjusted from time to time. There may be an adjustment in a toll for the cost of inflation, for an increase in inflation. That has always been the case and the Highway Authority’s certified fiscal plan envisions that yes, from time to time tolls will be adjusted for inflation costs.”

“It’s a communication challenge,” Pierluisi added. “... [I]f anything has changed, it is that now we’re going to have, again, all those highways in the state that we want them to be in for road safety.”

The governor said the same thing is happening with the negative perception of his government, as reflected in a survey conducted by the digital news outlet Noticel.

“What I’m committed to doing is to keep communicating whenever we can communicate what we’re doing,” Pierluisi said. “Sometimes we have to advertise in the media to communicate what is being done on other occasions; because we hold press conferences and so on, we all have to communicate in the government on what is being done, which is a lot by the way, and we have made great progress in everything. In other words, there are achievements in all agencies. The challenge we have is to communicate it. I say this with humility.”

“In other words, if we don’t communicate, the people don’t perceive it and it’s important that the people perceive these achievements,” he added. “There’s room for improvement, there’s no doubt; there’s a lot of work to be done, so that’s what I can tell you.”

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