The Puerto Rico Builders Association and the Puerto Rico Farm Bureau, two professional organizations representing thousands of local members, voiced their rejection of recently uncovered acts of government corruption, which has “tainted the island’s reputation.
In a statement the Builders Association, through its President Emilio Colón-Zavala, said “Puerto Rico and its institutions, both in the government and in the private sector, urgently need to rescue the citizens’ confidence.”
“After listening to [Gov. Ricardo Rosselló’s] press conference, it is important to highlight that corruption knows no political parties and it’s a problem that we have been facing for decades,” Colón-Zavala said.
The engineer said it is up to the business community to take a step forward, urging for the implementation of administrative prevention processes similar to ISO 37001, in both at the government level as well by the private sector to prevent problems like the ones currently faced.
“It is of common knowledge that this unstable environment does not contribute to the climate and recovery that Puerto Rico needs,” he said. “This week’s events cloud the efforts of thousands of good Puerto Ricans who day by day contribute to positioning our island within the jurisdictions that lead in global competitiveness and ease of doing business.”
Meanwhile, Puerto Rico Farm Bureau President Hector I. Cordero-Toledo condemned “each of the immoral and illegal acts by public officials who have abused the trust of thousands of farmers.”
“In the past 24 to 96 hours, the people of Puerto Rico have witnessed an unprecedented government catastrophe. It started with the arrests by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was followed by the disclosure of the governor’s now infamous circle of trust chat,” said Cordero-Toledo, highlighting the “stark contrast” between the government’s and the private sector’s work.
He said last week’s arrests involving six people with ties to the Rosselló administration — including former Education Secretary Julia Keleher and former Health Insurance Services Administration Executive Director Ángela Ávila — “shatter the island’s reputation.”
“The only thing left is to feel indignant and also require immediate action. The governor of Puerto Rico and his entire cabinet have lost the people’s trust, and we have been warning about this for more than a year, and were not heard in time,” Cordero-Toledo said.
“We demand that the governor, his advisers and his cabinet resign their posts immediately,” he said, adding that farmers and the people of Puerto Rico “deserve respect.”
For more reactions from the private sector, we invite you to download and listen to the latest episode of our Dollars and Sense podcast series, through the link at the top of the story.