IPRC to receive $900,000 for archeology, ethnohistory, and heritage programs
By John McPhaul
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia announced on Thursday that he had allocated nearly $900,000 to the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (ICP by its Spanish initials) in order to strengthen the Archeology and Ethnohistory program, as well as build the Historical Heritage Program.
“The allocated funds come from the reserve of the first phase of the Cultural Rescue Program created by the Government with funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and will allow the ICP to recruit archaeologists, conservationists and additional support staff for the next three years,” Pierluisi said in a written communication. “In addition, with this allocation we seek that the Institute can have agile, accurate and transparent processes for the presentation, processing and evaluation of permits under its jurisdiction. This will be of benefit to both government projects for the reconstruction of Puerto Rico, as well as private projects that must be evaluated by the ICP by virtue of law and regulation.”
The governor noted that both programs have an important role in the implementation of Law 161-2009, as amended, known as the Puerto Rico Permit Process Reform Law. However, due to budget cuts imposed by the Financial Oversight and Board, the ICP has been unable to recruit additional staff to work in these programs, he said.
ICP Executive Director Carlos Ruiz Cortés said the funds “support the mission of the ICP for heritage conservation, adding new temporary staff through our Archeology and Ethnohistory and Built Historical Heritage programs.”
“In this way, we will be able to count on new archaeologists, architects and permit officers for the supervision and evaluation of projects in historical areas and archaeological sites,” he said, “adding greater efficiency in the endorsement processes related to construction permits, among others.”
The Archeology and Ethnohistory program offers guidance to citizens on the importance of archaeological heritage, providing advice or consultations to proponents of construction projects who want to know in advance the archaeological potential of an area they are interested in developing.