Rosselló: Board’s Recommendations Included in Plan for Puerto Rico
SAN JUAN — Governor-elect Ricardo Rosselló reacted Tuesday to the letter addressed by the Fiscal Oversight Board (FOB) regarding the island’s deficit and the local government’s responsibility to restructure the public debt.
Among other affairs, the board informed Rosselló and Gov. Alejandro García Padilla that Puerto Rico’s deficit is $10 billion higher than originally estimated, and that the new administration must take various initiatives to substantially reduce the indebted amount. Specifically, the island’s revised estimate is $67,7500 million ($67.75 billion), compared to the $58 billion originally projected.
“When I read some of the recommendations, it was like reading part of the Plan for Puerto Rico that we have proposed the people,” expressed Rosselló Nevares during a press conference.
Some of these suggestions include laboral reforms and social assistance to accelerate job creations and guarantee that less people depend on social assistance and form part of the workforce; energy reform to reduce costs and increase trustworthiness in the electric energy system; public-private partnerships to develop a new infrastructure and fix and improve the current one; restructure the government to the correct size to focus on the quality of basic services while eliminating non-essential services that the government simply cannot afford; Privatize the government’s actives so they can be managed more effectively by the private sector; and reform the education and health systems, among others.
FOB President José Carrión emphasized that the local government is responsible of implementing measures, while the board’s primary function is to “analyze, evaluate and eventually certify the fiscal plan,” as well as providing “safeguards to assure fulfillment, discipline and for the government to stay on course.”
The governor-elect said the issue will be discussed in the Legislative Conference to be held this afternoon, so they can implement measures attuned to the board’s recommendations.