PR Chamber of Commerce adds Diaspora unions in support of parity initiatives for Puerto Rico – V1.0
August 10, San Juan, P.R.— The Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce (PRCC), has been adding followers in the diaspora as part of the “Puerto Rico Equality Pledge Tour”, to strengthen the demand for parity in health issues, nutritional assistance and tax incentives for the Island. The initial visit included meetings in several Florida cities with PROFESA, an organization that brings together Puerto Rican professionals, as well as the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, among others. The national tour to rally support for the island will continue through major cities that bring together communities of Puerto Ricans.
“The Association of Puerto Rican Professionals in Florida (PROFESA) for more than 20 years has maintained its unwavering commitment to empowerment for all Puerto Ricans. Our alliances with institutions such as the CCPR are ideal tools to achieve and execute improvement projects in all areas for our community of professionals and citizens in general. Parallelism in the health system and better economic opportunities are the north of this pact where we reaffirm our alliance with the CCPR and our community,” said Cameron McKenzie, president of the CCPR. “It should be noted that more than 1.2MM Of Puerto Ricans reside in Florida and constitute an electoral force that is fundamental to exert pressure on Congress in support of these core efforts for the Island,” added the president of the guild.
The PRCC recently created the “Federal Affairs Chamber Educational Series” (FACES) to address an agenda of core issues on economic development, health, energy, manufacturing, food, infrastructure, contributions and sustainable development of infrastructure, which have been advancing in the Federal Capital.
“After three missions to Washington DC, we are adding Puerto Rican allies in the Diaspora to strengthen our claims with the Federal Government, gather support in the Federal Congress, and achieve the endorsement of commercial sectors for the benefit of Puerto Rico. Mainly, we are focusing our efforts on the issue of parity of funds for Medicare and Medicaid, as well as funds for the universal health card, which impacts 74% of our people.
Likewise, the delegation seeks to obtain approval in the conversion of the formula to calculate the funds of the nutritional assistance program from NAP to SNAP, which will help address the challenge of food insecurity on the Island. Unlike all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam, Puerto Rico is not eligible to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”) and remains under the above program, the Nutrition Assistance Program (“NAP”). “Such disparity means that Puerto Rico residents living in poverty (approximately 43% of the population) annually lose access to approximately $2 billion,” said CPA Kenneth Rivera, former president of the CCPR. The Puerto Rico Equity in Nutrition Assistance Act of 2022 (HR 8945) provides an orderly transition from NAP to SNAP for Puerto Rican residents to improve nutrition security. Another pillar of economic development that they have strongly promoted is to achieve tax incentives to maintain and expand the manufacturing sector in Puerto Rico, which represents 35% of government revenues and is responsible for 49% of GDP or Gross Domestic Product.
“In the past, the FACES effort has had the support of the executive, legislative leaders and the private sector that have been vital in advancing congressional and federal initiatives that allow us to promote the agenda for Puerto Rico. As a team we have the mission of strengthening economic development with a business perspective to achieve the execution of projects on the Island that are essential to maximize reconstruction funds after the hurricanes, earthquakes and pandemic that we have suffered on the Island. We will continue to add alliances throughout the United States with our Puerto Rican brothers in the diaspora to together contribute to the progress of our Island,” the LCDA concluded. Liza García, executive director of the PRCC.
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Contact: Karen Garnik, APR
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