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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Electric system improving says governor

By The Star Staff

Following the University of Colorado researchers’ forecast that the 2024 hurricane season will be “extremely active,” Gov. Pedro Rafael Pierluisi Urrutia said Friday that the electrical system “still leaves a lot to be desired, but it is better than last year.”

“Our electrical system leaves a lot to be said. But it’s being rebuilt. It is gradually being strengthened. Today it is more stable than last year. We had a situation on Saturday night, in several hours, subscribers, about 200,000 subscribers without service, because two plants failed. But the next day the situation was corrected and it has not happened again. And that hadn’t happened in more than six months. In other words, the system is much more stable than it was the previous year. And so it should be, because this improvement in the electrical system is going to be gradual. It’s going to take many years. Because obviously it’s a system that was broken after Maria. Apart from the fact that it already suffered from a flaw of yesteryear,” the governor said in response to questions from the press.

Regarding the preparation process for the hurricane season, the governor said that “the Emergency Management Bureau, led by Nino Correa, is constantly taking steps to ensure that at all levels, at the central government level and at the municipal level, we have work and response plans properly outlined. And in these coming months, as we always do, there will be preparation workshops. And so it will be. In other words, if we look at the resources we have, all the time is more, that is, in terms of the inventory we have in the energy sector, in the electricity system sector, it is greater than what we had before. Similarly, in the area of aqueduct and sewerage, we have more and more generators available to power treatment plants, filtration plants, pump stations. In other words, everything has been improving. In the emergency fund, it is higher, because we continue to make contributions. Of course, what is missing are the workshops that are always given. They usually happen, the main workshop that I attend, always happens in the month of May. So I don’t know if it’s scheduled yet, when it’s scheduled, we’ll let the media know.”

Regarding the decentralization of the Department of Education, he said that “the closest goal is that by the beginning of the next academic semester, August, we will have at least one LEA, that is, a local educational entity that has direct access to federal funds and has a structure that allows it to make decisions in its region. In other words, it is taking the concept of the ORE, the Regional Educational Office, to another level. When we talk about LEA, it is an entity that has, for example, its own legal division. Its own human resources division. Its own purchasing division. Because then the purchases are carried out in the region or locality. And its own federal funding team to access federal funds. It’s another concept. It’s basically having the Department of Education overseeing the LEAs. That is to say, they are educational but empowered regions. Who have direct access to federal funds. This is not currently the case. There are currently seven OREs and one Department. But the Department pretty much controls everything. Starting in August, we will be decentralizing at least one region. Not necessarily with the same conformation as the seven OREs of today. It’s a change. A region that is going to be called LEA. Local Education Agency. It will be well underway. Something that leaves out the answer that is important. A regulation was submitted for approval in the legislature. That it is a regulation that is required by Law 85.”

His remarks came at the end of a meeting with the mayors of the New Progressive Party (NPP).

Asked if he would also meet with the mayors of the Popular Democratic Party (PDP), he replied, “If the meeting is for a concrete, positive purpose, I will gladly support it. But if it’s to be, perhaps, taking a barrage of unfair attacks here, when the record is clear, that’s it.”

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