• The San Juan Daily Star

Labor Dept. delivers mobile kiosks to outlying towns

By John McPhaul

Labor and Human Resources (DTRH by its Spanish initials) Secretary Carlos J. Rivera Santiago on Monday delivered 19 mobile kiosks to municipalities in the south, east and west of the island with the purpose of promoting the economic reconstruction of those regions through self-management, as well as micro-enterprises and the streamlining of municipal services.

The delivery, through a transfer process, came about as a result of the approval by Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia of Law 14 of 2021, which allows the DTRH to deliver the equipment, free of charge, to municipalities so that they can identify potential proprietors or even put kiosks into circulation to provide direct services in their communities.

The legislation addresses a problem of permitting and bureaucracy that for years has been an obstacle to incentivizing microenterprises.

The mobile kiosks are designed to offer services and sale of products such as food, under the model of food trucks, or handicrafts, flowers, fruits or vegetables, among others.

“... [W]e are continually evaluating alternatives for generating jobs on the island, and also generating proposals that are economically viable to support the municipalities, since they are the ones who work firsthand with the needs of their constituents,” the Labor chief said. “With this initiative, … we provide mayors, who have shown interest, a valuable tool for job creation and to encourage the development of new microentrepreneurs. By transferring the kiosk to the municipality, mayors can create a business proposal to generate jobs, request proposals to provide a first entrepreneurial opportunity to unemployed people or, also, establish a mobile office to provide services in their communities. …”

In the first installment, the benefitting municipalities are Villalba, Yauco, Utuado, Cayey, Sabana Grande, Patillas, Ponce, Peñuelas, Maunabo, Lajas, Juana Díaz, Jayuya, Guánica, Guayanilla, Coamo, Cabo Rojo, Arroyo, Adjuntas and Ceiba.

The secretary added that with the approval of Law 14, the problem of bureaucracy and permits for merchants is also being addressed, thus freeing DTRH personnel from supervising their operation and concentrating on other efforts to support the unemployed for the benefit of the local economy.

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