Lawmaker: Let’s use extra session to order agencies to pay their electricity bills
By The Star Staff
Popular Democratic Party Rep. Ángel Matos García asked Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia on Thursday to include in an extraordinary session convened by the governor for this week a measure that would order various agency heads to settle their electrical energy debts or make payment plans with LUMA Energy within a term of 30 days.
“It is irresponsible that the government itself does not pay its debt, which currently totals $210.5 million,” Matos said. “This measure seeks to collect these funds so that private clients do not have to assume the heavy load that the electricity bill represents.”
The measure notes that agencies and public corporations with debts are: the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority, $84,563,467.43; Medical Services Administration/Medical Center, $33,107,760.30; Department of Education, $17,481,000.07; Ports Authority, $16,797,370.85; Public Housing Administration, $11,134,779.06; Metropolitan Bus Authority, $8,418,744.42; University Medical Services, $6,710,685.66; Urban Train, $6,136,991.16; Cardiovascular Center, $2,984,817.53; State Insurance Fund, $1,792,845.57; Department of Transportation and Public Works, $399,645.89; State Election Commission, $226,153.34; Comprehensive Cancer Center, $23,972.78; and WIC Program, $91.92.
Likewise, the measure points out that Puerto Rico residents are going through one of the most difficult times economically due to the constant increases in energy rates pushed by LUMA Energy.
“From January 2021 to July 2022, seven increases to energy billing have been approved, the last being the highest reaching 17.1%,” reads the joint resolution. “Even so, Puerto Ricans have been responsible and have been able to fulfill their duty to pay for the high-billed consumption.”
“If ordinary citizens pay their bill, the least the government can do is pay what corresponds to each agency,” Matos said.