COR3 Presents Disaster Recovery Plans to Mayors
Director Laboy Says Goal is for all Hurricane Maria Funds to be Obligated by Year’s End
SAN JUAN – As part of efforts to streamline recovery projects in municipalities affected by natural disasters, the executive director of the Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience (COR3) of Puerto Rico, Manuel Laboy, on Thursday met with the members of the majority Popular Democratic Party’s Mayors Association, to whom he presented his work plan and addressed their concerns.
“It is important that the mayors and our COR3 work team maintain effective communication in order to attend to the needs and receive recommendations that allow the progress of the projects for the recovery of Puerto Rico,” said Laboy, who was appointed by New Progressive Party Gov. Pedro Pierluisi. “During the meeting that we held this week with the associated mayors, we reiterated that approximately by the end of March we will be presenting the new guidelines to streamline disbursements to municipalities and the Revolving Investment Fund that is being worked on together with the Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority [Aafaf by its Spanish acronym], among other specific initiatives.”
At the meeting, which took place at the headquarters of the Mayors Association in Puerta de Tierra, the municipal executives expressed their concern about an agreement between COR3 and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that was established in 2019. COR3’s director stressed that multiple operational processes of the office he leads are currently under evaluation, and he committed to evaluating the agreement with FEMA officials to address the concerns of the mayors.
“One of the priorities of Governor Pedro R. Pierluisi is the development of permanent reconstruction works. We at COR3 have to be facilitators in this process, but we must comply with the requirements demanded by federal agencies. The goal is to obligate all the funds for the recovery of the Hurricane María disaster by December 31 and implement the necessary changes to expedite the progress of the 4,152 municipal projects that are under development, while we continue to work diligently on the recovery of other disasters such as the earthquakes and Covid-19,” the official said.
Laboy has met frequently since January with incumbent and recently sworn-in mayors to present them his work plan, as well as to learn about the challenges they face in carrying out projects, with the commitment to eliminate bureaucracy that hinders the island’s recovery.