Island to receive $61 million in federal funds for education, health services & child care, etc
By John McPhaul
Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón announced on Wednesday a total of $61.1 million in funds for education, health services and child care, drinking water and research, from various federal agencies.
“These appropriations originate in the United States Congress where [I participated] in the approval process in hearings, meetings, legislation and letters to raise support for the funds,” González Colón said in a written statement.
The federal Department of Education under the Upward Bound Program granted a total of $4,182,148 for the current fiscal year 2022 to 10 university institutions on the Island. Inter American University of Puerto Rico will receive $661,333 for its campus in Barranquitas and $514,967 for its San Germán campus; Catholic University of Ponce is receiving $701,598; Ana G. Méndez University $297,599 for its campus in Cupey and $466,402 for its Gurabo campus; University of Puerto Rico (UPR) is receiving $424,198 for the flagship Río Piedras campus and $312,480 for the UPR Humacao campus; University of the Sacred Heart is receiving $343,981; and ASPIRA INC. will receive $399,574.
Inter American University also will receive $474,552 under the College Assistance for Migrants Program under the federal Education Department to provide assistance to students who are migrant or seasonal agricultural workers.
The National Science Foundation meanwhile awarded the UPR Mayagüez campus $520,646 for a project under development to detect gravitational waves.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also announced funds for several educational institutions.
Universidad Carlos Albizu is receiving $439,196 and the Ponce Medical School Foundation Inc. will receive $449,984 under the HHS Psychology Graduate Program, the UPR Medical Sciences Campus will receive $652,071 under Centers of Excellence and the UPR Comprehensive Cancer Center is receiving $1,523,366 under the Cancer Prevention and Control programs.
The Rural Development program, under the federal Department of Agriculture, approved the reimbursement of $3,859,250 to Acueducto Comunidad Quebrada Arriba Inc. ($26,000), Corporación Acueducto Andalucía de Cayey ($36,000), and the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority ($3,797,250) under the Water and Waste Disposal Systems Grant and Loan Program.
The program also offers financing to government and state entities for cleanup efforts related to the drinking water supply system.
In turn, Boinken Marine Group Inc. is receiving a loan for $21,250,000 under Rural Development, as an injection to the working capital and refinancing of the debt of the local company, which is dedicated to the rental of tugboats in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean.
To reinforce HIV surveillance and prevention initiatives on the island, González Colón, co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on HIV/AIDS Affairs, said the Puerto Rico Department of Health will receive $4,632,972 and another $3,711,706 for assistance to anti-addiction programs, with both items awarded under HHS.
Also under HHS, various entities will receive $19,407,513, in total, under the Health Center Cluster and Head Start Projects programs. The Municipality of Humacao is receiving $10,197,593, Med Centro Inc. $2,897,805, the Municipality of Isabela $2,347,791, Health and Advanced Medicine Services Corporation $1,767,443, Center for Primary Health Services of Patillas Inc. $1,138,153, and the Primary Medical Services and Prevention Corporation of Hatillo $1,058,728.