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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

PDP president meets with US Rep. Grijalva on issues of top concern


During their meeting, Popular Democratic Party President Jesús Manuel Ortiz gave U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) a letter in which he expressed, among other things, his concern about the lack of compliance by the Financial Oversight and Management Board with Title V of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act, which calls for a revitalization coordinator to move along critical projects for the island.


By THE STAR STAFF


Popular Democratic Party (PDP) President Jesús Manuel Ortiz González received U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) in his legislative office Wednesday to discuss pressing issues for Puerto Rico.


“We had a meeting where we could talk about various important issues for Puerto Rico,” said Ortiz, who is an at-large representative in the island Legislature. “We talked about health, reconstruction, economic development and status, all matters of relevance to the island. As a legislator, and as president of the PDP, it is essential that we clearly focus the discussion on issues that immediately impact people through better jobs, accessible health services, tools to fight crime, and development opportunities for our SMEs [small and midsize business enterprises] and entrepreneurs. In that agenda they will have our collaboration.”


During the meeting, Ortiz gave Grijalva a letter in which he expressed, among other things, his concern about the lack of compliance by the Financial Oversight and Management Board with Title V of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA).


Title V of PROMESA calls for a revitalization coordinator to move along critical projects for the U.S. island territory.


“Unfortunately, seven years have passed since PROMESA went into effect, and we have not yet seen a single proposal arising from that provision or even on the appointment of a ‘Revitalization Coordinator.’ This provision was supposed to help our permitting process, infrastructure development, our energy system, and handling of environmental issues. However, a person in charge of promoting projects that result in the island’s economic development has yet to be appointed. Since it is a federal law, we seek assistance to provide supervision from Congress in compliance with the Oversight Board and our local government with the provisions of PROMESA.”


Another of the approaches that Ortiz brought to the attention of the ranking member of the Committee on Natural Resources in the U.S. House of Representatives is the health crisis facing the island and the limited resources that exist for Puerto Ricans to have the medical assistance and health services they so badly need.


“We express to Congressman Grijalva that in the process of addressing the health crisis that the island is going through, our Legislative Assembly approved legislation to help our people obtain that assistance and medical services,” Ortiz said. “However, after the approval of several bills, we have not seen the expected results, and the discussion in public hearings leads us to conclude that the main reason has been an obstructive oversight board and resistance from the government of Pedro Pierluisi to implement them.”


On the political status issue, Ortiz called for the inclusion of the commonwealth status and its development possibilities in any measure for a proposed plebiscite considered by the U.S. Congress.


“The differences that we may have on the issue of status will not be an impediment to working together on so many initiatives in favor of Puerto Rico on which we agree,” the PDP leader emphasized.

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