The San Juan Daily Star
Mayors Association demands service restoration timetables from LUMA, utilities
By John McPhaul
Mayors Association of Puerto Rico (AAPR by its Spanish initials) President Luis Javier Hernández Ortiz demanded on Sunday that the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, LUMA Energy and the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority notify mayors when they will finally provide water and electricity to the island’s most affected municipalities.
Hernández Ortiz likewise demanded that the central government provide greater communication with municipalities that they have forgotten.
“It is unacceptable that our people have to continue paying for the inefficiency of the agencies,” he said. “Right now our mayors are the ones that are supplying diesel and using their generators so that some communities can have access to essential services such as water.”
Hernández Ortiz spoke on behalf of all the mayors in the AAPR, who have requested help from the government through Form 113, and who he said have been working with due diligence.
“All the mayors, especially those in the central south, are without electricity and almost without water,” Hernández Ortiz said. “It is absurd that communication regarding these resources fails at times when people have so much need.”
The head of the AAPR, which groups the island’s Popular Democratic Party mayors, requested a detailed accountability report, as well as details on where the 113 pending requests stand, which he added should be acted upon with a sense of urgency.
“A week is not tolerable,” Hernández Ortiz said. “This response has been a disaster and the agency logistics have not been adequate. Today I speak on behalf of all the mayors who live day by day with the affected communities and who try to work with the government bureaucracy, but already … it is becoming almost impossible.”
The Villalba mayor added that for the AAPR “it is important that they begin to work with solidarity and work for a common good, without looking at political colors and that the aid from the central government be for everyone equally.”