Governor has no Plan B to handle crisis
Amid the uncertainty about the imminent depletion of funding in the government of Puerto Rico by the end of October, governor Ricardo Rosselló assured the press yesterday that the exodus of Puerto Ricans to the states could worsen if Congress does not offer a positive and expedited response when it comes to funding to deal with the crisis.
The governor’s statements came after he emphasized that “there should not be a Plan B” to handle the emergency the island faces after the devastation left by hurricane María 16 days ago. According to Rosselló, the situation could turn into a humanitarian crisis if the Puerto Rico does not receive any federal aid.
“Puerto Rico already has a fairly significant exodus problem. That exodus could accelerate, and depending on the damages, we could be looking at millions of Puerto Ricans moving to many of the nation’s states,” maintained the governor.
Rosselló went on to say that this could trigger a “severe demographic problem”, both for Puerto Rico and for the states –Florida, New York and Connecticut– that have received the largest amount of Puerto Ricans over a 15 year time period, during which around 500,000 locals have joined the diaspora.
Meanwhile, the governor declared that his administration doesn’t have a Plan B to handle the current crisis if the federal government doesn’t give a favorable response to the petitions for aid. Rossselló defended his point by mentioning that other jurisdictions have not required an alternate plan.
According to the dignitary, a negative response from Congress could spark serious consequences, like difficulties rebuilding the health care system, while it would be “harder to be competitive in economic terms” if areas like telecommunications and the electric service are not restore.
“It is in the best interest of Puerto Rico but also for the nation in general, to handle this appropriately, because if not this could turn into a humanitarian crisis […] If we handle this well, we will have the tools to come out of this emergency,” he stated.
On Wednesday, Rosselló indicated that the initial aid from Congress should be between $10 to $15 million. Resident Commissioner, Jennifer González joined the governor’s plea and said via press release that president Donald Trump will ask Congress to send an initial allocation of $12.77 million.