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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Senate approves job security measure to facilitate return of former residents

Sen. Marially González Huertas

By The Star Staff

The Senate approved various measures of social interest earlier this week, one of which was Senate Bill (SB) 1124, which aims to create a law that promotes the return of Puerto Ricans to the island with secure employment.

The purpose of the bill authored by Senate Vice President Marially González Huertas is to establish a series of virtual interviews, and a unified process of compiling documents and data, to attract people who have left the island with the intention of bringing them back with guaranteed jobs. People who work in the private or public sector can submit job applications.

“This bill implies the creation of a system that allows citizens interested in returning to Puerto Rico to acquire a job from wherever they reside, so that when they come back to Puerto Rico, where they will have a job to lean on,” González Huertas said late Wednesday. “Technology can help us speed up the process; however, it is up to us to adapt to the times and attract the citizens that were once part of our island, so that they contribute to its economic development. As senators it is our duty to put value in our words and understand that the most valuable thing in a country is the people. Let us use that valuable asset that brings knowledge and the preparation of many professionals on the island to achieve our goal.”

The Senate also approved Senate Joint Resolution 349, authored by Puerto Rican Independence Party Sen. María de Lourdes Santiago Negrón, so that the Department of Education is ordered, among other effects, to re-establish within three months the special education facilitator office in Vieques, and assign school psychologists to all public schools in Vieques, also within three months.

During her turn regarding the measure, Santiago Negrón stated that “[t]his measure reflects and demands attention to many other problems that we find in Vieques; what we expect is that the Department of Education does its job and complies with the [landmark special education] case of Rosa Lydia Vélez.”

“That within the to-do list of the Department of Education, and the Special Needs Students Program, is to comply and address the needs of that population,” she added.

The upper chamber went on to approve SB 1017, authored by Ponce District Sen. Ramón Ruiz Nieves, the goal of which is to amend the Public-Private Partnerships Law, with the means of prohibiting contractors in a public-private partnership (PPP) contract from the contracting or designating as official executives and/or corporate directors any government officials or employees who have taken part in evaluation, approval or suspension of a PPP while the contract in question is current and for a two-year time period after the contract is finished.

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