June 15, 2021

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Chamber demands to stop PPP contract for administration of regional airports

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Ponce – The representatives Ángel “Tito” Fourquet Cordero, José “Cheito” Rivera Madera and Domingo Torres García together with the mayor of Ponce, doctor Luis Manuel Irizarry Pabón and the chamber president Rafael “Tatito” Hernández Montañez requested this Monday, the designated director of the Port Authority, Joel Pizá Batiz, be accountable for the hiring and promotion of regional airports, before proceeding with any negotiation for any public-private alliance (PPP).

“We began the effort to begin with the economic development of our city and the south, putting the Mercedita Airport in the hands of the people of our region. We need local entrepreneurship to grow and for job creation and infrastructure development to be a key element in our economic development plan. It is essential to establish alliances with all government and private agencies to ensure that our Mercedita airport stands out as the axis of our economic activity. Mercedita Airport has to be ours ”, emphasized Mayor Irizarry Pabón in written statements.

For his part, the Fourquet representative stated that “the development of the Mercedita airport is a key element and a priority for Ponce’s economic boost. Any initiative for economic development, tourism, manufacturing and job creation in the city must respond to our needs and characteristics as a tourist, educational and commercial destination ”.

Similarly, representative Rivera Madera stated that “the Ponce regional airport cannot continue to lag behind the country’s development. It is up to the government to open the participation of the Mercedita Airport transformation process to include local businessmen and academics. The operation of regional airports cannot be handed over to a single foreign company that turns this into a private monopoly and puts their development to sleep. Certainly, in the House of Representatives we are going to exercise our ministerial duty to look after the best interests of the entire country and not only of the metropolitan region. “

“The DMO spends 26 million dollars a year and does not have a single mention of the Ponce Airport in its marketing management of the tourism offer in Puerto Rico. We have to change that reality, “he added.

Similarly, representative Domingo Torres asked the director of the Ports Authority to stop the Public-Private Partnership agreement for the Mercedita airport.

“Currently, there is a group of businessmen from Ponce who are willing to manage and develop the airport. It is important that the Ports Authority be in the best position to establish an agenda to dialogue with the leadership of the southern region. This project represents the development of the southern region of the country, both in the economic, social and cultural fields. It is time for the future of Ponce, and Puerto Rico, to be in Ponce’s hands, ”he said.

In this sense, the chamber president, Hernández Montañez said that “we welcomed the claim of the southern Chamber of Commerce, to foster an alliance between the Municipal Government of Ponce, the universities, hospitals, hotels and businessmen from the south to manage the Mercedita airport. In the same way, we will file together with the representatives of the south a resolution to investigate and evaluate everything related to the administration of regional airports around the island, including that of the Señorial City ”, he concluded.

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