Gov. Pierluisi’s Economic Team Meets with Mayors
To Address Fiscal, Reconstruction and Infrastructure Matters
SAN JUAN – The Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (Aafaf by its Spanish acronym) said Thursday that the agency’s executive director, Omar J. Marrero, has been meeting with the island’s mayors over the past few weeks.
COR3 Executive Director Manuel A. Laboy Rivera and Puerto Rico Infrastructure Financing Authority (Prifa) Executive Director Eduardo Rivera Cruz participated in the meetings as well.
“At AAFAF, we recognize the economic challenges municipalities are currently facing, as well as the importance of opening direct communication channels with the mayors. Through this initiative, we are pledging to work with the mayors,” Marrero said in the press release.
“The meetings are intended to brief mayors and their officers on the funds managed from AAFAF, such as, the municipal sales and use tax (IVU) revenues that are received by the Municipal Finance Corporation (COFIM, by its Spanish acronym), IVU Excess, Special Additional Surtax (CAE, by its Spanish acronym), payments of municipal loan debts, loans with the USDA Rural Development, and the Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF), among others,” Aafaf explained.
The agency said the mayors were also “briefed on AAFAF’s role as Fiscal Agent of the Government of Puerto Rico, including all the municipalities of Puerto Rico as well,” and that during the meetings, Laboy and part of his COR3 team gave mayors information on the status of the FEMA recovery funds and COR3’s work plan. In addition, Prifa’s Rivera informed the mayors about the status of pending infrastructure projects in their respective municipalities.
“Through these meetings, we established direct communication with each mayor, and they expressed their needs and concerns, which allows the COR3 team to address them individually and provide them with solutions and support. We are committed to expediting the processes that are under our control while guaranteeing compliance with federal regulations. In this sense, direct communication with municipal executives and their teams is important,” Laboy said.
“Communications with mayors are constant and direct in order to keep them abreast on the status of the projects in their jurisdictions, as well as providing them with the technical assistance that PRIFA can offer them in developing new reconstruction projects. We are focused on optimizing the use of all reconstruction funds that are delegated to us and work hand in hand with AAFAF and the mayors,” said Prifa’s director added.
“This bears immediate and specific results like, for example, when funds were identified in January for municipalities that were short of resources,” Marrero said about the ongoing meetings, which began in December.
Aafaf said that among the municipalities “that have participated in this joint effort” are: San Juan, Vega Alta, Corozal, Patillas, Cabo Rojo, Utuado, San Lorenzo, San Germán, Culebra, Humacao, Moca, Maunabo, Lajas, Aguadilla, Lares, Adjuntas, Cidra, Vieques, Guayanilla, Maricao, Ponce, Isabela and Naguabo. “In the coming weeks similar meetings are expected to take place with mayors of several other municipalities of the island,” the release added.