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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Lawmakers denounce impending water rate hike

Rep. Héctor Ferrer Santiago

By The Star Staff

With water rates slated to go up in July, several lawmakers voiced their opposition to the increases on Tuesday.

Popular Democratic Party Reps. Héctor Ferrer Santiago, Juan José Santiago Nieves and Ramón Luis Cruz Burgos expressed their anger at the hike, which they consider another unfair blow to the budgets of Puerto Rican families, especially in a context where they have already faced multiple increases in electricity rates, tolls and other services.

“This increase is a harsh blow to the already stretched budgets of Puerto Rican families, and it’s not the first,” Ferrer Santiago pointed out, emphasizing the urgency of the situation. “Water service, in particular, is showing alarming signs of deterioration. Many communities are grappling with severe water shortages in the middle of 2024.”

Santiago Nieves underscored the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority’s (PRASA) inefficiency in managing water service.

“Despite the rate adjustments, the service remains subpar,” he said. “Many communities in my district have been enduring the consequences of PRASA’s managerial shortcomings. In Corozal, Naranjito and Comerío, communities have been without water for weeks. This is not a way to live. Our people deserve a better quality of life, and that’s why I’m committed to working every day.”

Santiago Nieves noted that “they abandoned the preventive units previously seen on the street, keeping watch for any leaks, visiting the pumping stations to verify their operation.”

“That’s why now they are always putting out fires, as we say in the countryside, instead of mitigating recurring situations,” he said.

Cruz Burgos, the District 34 representative, added that the poor management of LUMA Energy also contributes to the water service’s problems, including the adverse impact of power outages on the island’s small and midsize businesses.

“Due to the LUMA deficiency, which has caused recurring electricity outages, many communities are left without water as the electricity supply is essential for the operation of water pumps,” he said. “This reflects a double inefficiency in the management of essential public services on the island.”

The lawmakers urged the relevant authorities to reevaluate the rate increases and implement real improvements in the infrastructure and management of both PRASA and the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority to ensure that island residents receive the quality service they deserve and for which they are paying.

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1 Comment

William Rosa
William Rosa
Jun 12

The question that all Puerto Ricans must ask Popular Democratic Party Reps. Héctor Ferrer Santiago, Juan José Santiago Nieves and Ramón Luis Cruz Burgos is why they are angry at the water rate hike? Their political party as well as the NPP are the only ones responsible for the water, energy, health, education crisis experienced by every Puerto Rican daily since they are the only ones that had occupied the Fortaleza for the past 74 years.

Their reaction to this situation is not only ridiculous but arrogant, on this election year, they became aware that Puerto Ricans have been suffering from the debacle created by their total lack of commitment and know-how to govern for 74 years. To pretend that…

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