The emergencies experienced in Puerto Rico during the past months have exacerbated the island's economic dependence on funds that come from the United States, for which two leading experts in economics recommended loosening those ties to achieve the island's economic success .
The economist Leandro Colón, vice president of Academic Affairs of the Pontifical Catholic University (PUC) of Puerto Rico, and the professor of the UPR of Mayagüez Edwin Irizarry Mora were part of the discussion "Dependence and Dignity" of the II Certification in public responsibility and governance of the PUC, and warned that success “cannot be measured on the basis of federal government aid, but rather on measures that must be developed in the internal economy.
Colón Alicea pointed to deficiencies in education , as well as the limited internal business and technological culture as central causes of dependency.
“The strategy of a massive injection of c America's apital has failed to reduce unemployment and inequality. For a long time, Puerto Rico has suffered a disastrous and overwhelming dependence that has had adverse effects on our people, and that has not allowed the formulation and implementation of sustainable economic development strategies, "he said.
He specified that" it is necessary to reform our educational system to, from the primary grades, inject into our students their ability to value themselves, undertake, self-manage and take charge of their own destiny, in order to raise the dignity of our people. It is necessary to sit down at the table and reach broad consensus to formulate a model of human and sustainable development that frees us from this crisis. ”
Meanwhile, Irizarry Mora affirmed that after the impact of Hurricane María,“ the disbursement of funds for the process of rebuilding the physical infrastructure of Puerto Rico, and this has been dramatized by the pandemic in regard to transfers of funds to Puerto Ricans.
The scene in which the people are immersed reinforces that collective mentality that if we do not receive federal funds, we cannot solve the problems. ”
“ Development has focused on economic dependence, with the consequent implications for the possibility of launching a model aimed at human development. A model that, in the end, reduces poverty and inequality and responds to our needs as a people ”, he argued.
Irizarry Mora urged us to take concrete measures to reduce economic dependence and poverty.
“ If we succeed If all our industrial or productive sectors are strengthened, we will begin to lay the foundations for poverty reduction, because we will generate wealth, income, production and employment precisely for the most vulnerable sectors of our society ", he pointed out.
He added that" This has to be accompanied by an institutional effort, a legal framework and an intersectoral commitment that do not remain in rhetoric or mere theory. Consensus has to be achieved among all sectors of our society so that the above can be a reality. ”
The PUC offers certification in virtual mode, free of charge, through the Institute of Continuing Education. Those interested in obtaining the Certification should contact the Continuing Education Institute at [email protected] or call 787-366-7678.