The Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience (COR3) affirmed being focused on reaching the goal for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to obligate the $4 billion destined for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) by Oct. 31, and denied that these funds are at risk.
COR3 Executive Director Manuel Laboy explained that of the funds obligated to mitigate the damages caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017, the agency has submitted $2.5 billion in formal proposals, of which $1,152 million ($1.2 billion) were approved.
"We currently have $1 billion in proposals that are under review and will be forwarded to FEMA for approval. In addition, we are assisting government agencies in the process to submit $500 billion in additional proposals, with which we meet the total obligation of $4 billion," Laboy said.
In order to strengthen the work team of the HMGP program, personnel have been hired this year. In addition, COR3 recently hired the IEM and DCMC companies to support the technical issues of each risk mitigation project, such as: reinforcing the work of the HMGP team for the development of formal proposals that will be submitted to FEMA, reviewing proposals that were submitted sub-applicants to COR3 to ensure they comply with all requirements and assisting in the review of mitigation plans, among others.
These hires were completed after completing the respective competitive processes through Request for Proposals (RFP). The funds for the hiring of both companies come from a special allocation from FEMA.
"Through the execution of the projects presented by the [HGMP] under Section 404 of the Stafford Act, compliance with the public policy of Gov. Pedro R. Pierluisi is guaranteed when addressing situations that affect our people, such as such as: flood control, mitigation of the effects of climate change, mitigation of coral reefs and coastal erosion, renewable energy, repair of structures due to seismic damage and landslides, among others," Laboy added.
For more information about the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, visit www.recovery.pr.