Senator demands action on NMEAD appointment

By John McPhaul

Sen. Henry Neumann Zayas, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Safety and Veterans Affairs, demanded on Monday that action be taken on the appointment of Nino Correa as commissioner of the Emergency Management and Disaster Administration Bureau (NMEAD by its Spanish acronym).

“We are in the hurricane season and it is unacceptable that almost at the close of this legislative session we do not have a formal Emergency Management commissioner,” Neumann Zayas said in a written statement.

Neumann Zayas noted that “initially, Correa’s appointment faced obstacles to being confirmed due to not complying with the requirements required by Law 20 of the Public Safety Department [DSP by its Spanish initials].”

“For this reason, Senate Bill 45 was introduced, which proposes to amend the DSP law, so that the NMEAD designee meets the academic preparation [requirements] or has at least four years of experience in security matters, emergency management and disaster administration.”

“This amendment remedies the impediment for Nino Correa to be confirmed,” the San Juan district senator said. “The designee has vast experience in rescue and emergency management, and for decades he has served the people of Puerto Rico with an unquestionable commitment.”

The Public Safety and Veterans Affairs Committee rendered a positive report on Senate Bill 45 on March 16. Since then, the measure has been awaiting approval by the legislative body.

“We have a lot of preparation work to do to prevent damage and fatalities from the possibility of an atmospheric phenomenon affecting us,” Neumann Zayas said. “An interim in the middle of the hurricane season that experts have anticipated will be active in the Caribbean affects the state’s preparedness and response to any emergency. I call for action to be taken with the urgency that this matter merits.”

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