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Governor A No-Show At AGC Convention
Construction Industry Council Gives Calderon Administration An F For Failing To Implement Most Recommendations From Last Industry Summit
By JOSE L. CARMONA
August 28, 2003
Gov. Sila Calderon will be a no-show at this weekends convention of the Puerto Rico chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), AGC President Elpidio Rivera told CARIBBEAN BUSINESS.
The AGC convention and ninth Construction Industry Summit will take place at the Westin Rio Mar Beach Resort & Golf Club in Rio Grande.
"This year, the AGC celebrates its 40th anniversary," said Rivera. "For the past eight years, we have been celebrating the Construction Industry Summit during AGCs convention, which the governor has regularly attended. This year, however, Gov. Calderon wont go; she will send instead Transportation & Public Works Secretary Fernando Fagundo."
In Riveras opinion, which he says is shared by most in the industry, Puerto Ricos construction industry is facing some serious problems, which the Calderon administration still needs to address.
"We have numerous problems with Ondeo, with Puerto Rico Aqueduct & Sewer Authority [Prasa] projects, and with the Public Buildings Authority, even though weve had meetings with the latter on prompt payment to contractors," said Rivera. "We are still waiting for the governor to sign into law the uniform contracting act. We are also waiting for a site for the construction industry museum. The museum was one of the promises made by the governor during last years construction industry summit."
Each year, the Construction Industry Council, made up of representatives from the College of Architects & Landscape Architects, the College of Engineers & Surveyors, and the AGC, evaluates the recommendations made by council members to the government during the previous summit.
The council has given the Calderon administration an "F" because it hasnt made much progress in following last years recommendations.
"Last year, each organization in the council held forums at which several issues and recommendations were discussed. The councils recommendations were presented to the governor at last years summit," Rivera said. "The government still has a lot to do. Unfortunately, things arent moving along as we all had hoped and expected."
Rivera said Puerto Ricos construction industry must be attended to because it represents 30% of the islands economy.
"Its clear whats going on," Rivera said. "Had the governor had any interest in helping to move the construction industry ahead, she would have done the impossible to solve our problems, but everyone knows the government is in neutral in that respect."
This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.