From the assembly of printed circuit boards for commercial aircraft engines to the manufacturing of contact lenses, Puerto Rico is home to an array of important manufacturing companies, making the island a significant manufacturing hub in the Americas. The impact on Puerto Rico’s economy is significant. Currently, manufacturing is the largest industry when it comes to economic activity on the island, representing 43% of Puerto Rico’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and producing over $48 billion in 2022. Manufacturing plants can be found throughout the territory. Collins Aerospace chose the southern municipality of Santa Isabel for its aircraft circuit board manufacturing operation. From Aguadilla, Phoenix Cables provides custom cable assemblies for the military and the aerospace, automotive and medical industries. And the manufacturing plants of dozens of biotechnology corporations are scattered throughout every corner of the island from where hundreds of workers design and build medical devices and other pharmaceutical and
Ensuring that only government workers who are working get paid is an important component of fiscal responsibility. In the past, the failure to connect attendance and payroll reflected serious fiscal mismanagement. It cost the people of Puerto Rico millions of dollars. That is why the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico, working with the Commonwealth government, developed a joint project to resolve this problem by implementing the Time & Attendance (T&A) initiative in September 2020. The project links government employee attendance to the government payroll system to properly account for time worked, vacation and other absences, and employee departures. Today, the initiative has reached an important milestone, as more than 50% of central government workers are now using the new system. According to the Oversight Board’s Fiscal Year 2023 Annual Report, over 59% of the total 100,000 Commonwealth employees are using the integrated T&A system, including the Education,
Arnaldo Cruz, Director of Policy and Research at the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico, spoke with Humberto Mercader, Assistant Deputy Secretary for Strategic Initiatives at the Puerto Rico Department of Economic Development and Commerce, about the 21st Century Techforce program, which seeks to boost digital skills among students in Puerto Rico and the competitiveness of Puerto Ricans in the computer industry. The $50 million fund through which the 21st Century Techforce program was developed was included in Puerto Rico’s 2020 fiscal plan, following a public policy investigation conducted by the Oversight Board. The research found that there is a gap between the needs of the local industry and the academic offerings of universities and educational providers on the island. Now the funds are being distributed through DDEC and PRopósito, the strategic framework for the economic development of Puerto Rico. To listen to the entire conversation in Spanish
Buying a property is a big step in every home or business owner’s life. Making sure the property is properly registered in a timely manner may seem like a formality but is actually one of the most important steps in the process. Proper registration is required for property owners to prove and exercise their rights. Registration documents ownership, which is particularly important when filing a claim after a natural disaster, for example. Maintaining clear documentation of ownership also encourages investment as it makes investors feel more secure. Additionally, proper registration records help municipalities to determine the rightful owner of vacant properties. The Property Registry of Puerto Rico, which sits under the Department of Justice (DOJ), manages this system that records property rights. The DOJ is charged with documenting and publicizing information related to real estate transactions and provides visibility into any existing liens and other relevant information about properties on
The third amended Plan of Adjustment to end the bankruptcy of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) is a breakthrough and a significant win for the people of Puerto Rico. This Plan reduces more than $10 billion of total asserted claims by various creditors against PREPA by almost 80%, to the equivalent of $2.5 billion. The Plan is a breakthrough because it is a viable compromise that reflects the good faith of all participants. It reflects Puerto Rico’s reality, and it reflects the legal standing of bondholders and other creditors. The pressure on the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico, which represents Puerto Rico in the bankruptcy-like process under Title III of PROMESA, has been considerable — from bondholders, unions, and from the public. We know what is at stake for Puerto Rico. That is why the legacy charge imposed on PREPA’s customers to pay the much-reduced
2023 Annual Report: Creating the foundations for sustainable economic growth for Puerto Rico a letter from the Executive Director Robert F. Mujica Jr.
Puerto Rico’s economy continued to recover in fiscal year 2023, and its fiscal situation continued to stabilize following the Oversight Board’s successful reduction in debt payments. Focusing on fiscal discipline, through responsible budgeting, kept spending in line with revenues to prevent the Government from falling back into deficit. Stabilization, however, is not enough to move Puerto Rico forward, and it is not enough to fulfill the Oversight Board’s mandate under PROMESA. To achieve fiscal responsibility, the elected Government and covered instrumentalities must continue to implement the structural reforms set forth in the Fiscal Plans for Puerto Rico. In addition, the Governor, the Legislature and the covered instrumentalities must operate within existing budgets and submit future budgets for certification by the Oversight Board that are compliant with the respective Fiscal Plans. Puerto Rico’s future depends on true reform and lasting change to create a solid foundation of sustainable economic growth. Achieving