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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Dr. Carlos Rodríguez Mateo throws his hat in Senate ring




By John McPhaul


After dozens of visits and meetings and a very serious analysis, Dr. Carlos Rodríguez Mateo will officially file his candidacy for the Large Senate seat by Accumulation. Today, Monday, for next year’s elections under the banner of the New Progressive Party (NPP).


“Certainly, we have been evaluating this decision for a long time. But, each time, it is It made stronger the burning desire, in our hearts, to be able to do more for the people and it is from the Senate of Puerto Rico where we can definitely work to legislate for a better Puerto Rico, which provides equal opportunities to its citizens and eliminates the gaps that still remain in the country’s health care system. So concluding this, I recalled a memorable phrase that, on one occasion, I heard from the former President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, who said, ‘If you abandon the idea that your voice will make a difference, other voices will fill the void’... I refuse to let that happen because I love my country, I am a health worker and just as I swore, decades ago, to live to save lives, today I take up the challenge, the doctor said.


Mateo, who until recently served as Administrator of the Mental Health and Addiction Services (AMSSCA), wishes to return to the House of Laws, where he already held a seat in the four years of 2016-2020 and promoted important measures to public sector employees, has as its primary objective to work on more projects of weight in favor of people who have retired from the Government of Puerto Rico or who are close to it to do it to do them justice. He will also push for a new mental health law with more outreach and better services for citizens in general, among many other matters.


Meanwhile, Rodríguez Mateo, a doctor by profession for 34 years, worked and achieved the approval of Law Number 80 -of August 3, 2020-, better known as the “Law of the Incentivized Retirement Program for Our Public Servants” The former NPP legislator has an extensive political career and in public service: Mayor of the Municipality of Salinas (from 2005 to 2012), senator for the District of Guayama (from 2017-2020) and ASSMCA Administrator (from 2021-2023).


During his tenure in the Senate, the doctor filed bills such as 887, aimed at establishing public policy around fibromyalgia and that the Fibromyalgia Insurance Administration Puerto Rico Health (ASES by its Spanish intitials) will include the disease in its special coverage for the benefit of patients.


In addition, he chaired the Senate Committees on Government, Environmental Health, Natural Resources and Boarding Schools in Education Pilar Barbosa, as well as the Joint Commission on Climate change. He also served as vice chairman of the Nomination and Nomination Committees.


He has been a presidential delegate for the Guayama Region. On the other hand, Rodríguez Mateo has vast experience in the field of health and several master’s degrees in the areas of Public Health, Strategic Governance and Political Communication, Public Administration and Political Management and Decision-making. In addition, he has served as medical director at the CDT of the Municipality of Santa Isabel, Regional Hospital of Guayama and Surmed Medical Center, in Salinas, as well as vice president of the South-Central Consortium and university professor.


On the other hand, Rodríguez Mateo’s community social commitment has been reflected in contributions made since his presidency of the American Cancer Society, participation in the Multisectoral Council on Climate Change, National Listening Association Águilas and the Board of Directors of Acción Social de Puerto Rico. He currently presides over the Council Multisectoral Support for the Homeless Population since 2022.


“We didn’t come here to fear the future, but to shape it... We have a purpose, and it’s works for you.. Yes, there is hope and we will be able to make a better country when we Let’s prevail in the 2024 elections,” the doctor said.

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