Puerto Rico and the COVID-19 emergency

The COVID-19 crisis is a global emergency unprecedented in recent history and has touched every family, every business, and every government agency around the United States.

The United States Government and the Puerto Rico Government have responded forcefully to support those who fight COVID-19 at the front lines, and those who are affected by the emergency measures to prevent the spread of the virus. 

What's the purpose
of this website?

The Oversight Board wants to make sure these funds reach those who need the funds as soon as possible. This website is designed to provide a guide to the various resources available and to help those eligible for the legislated support to navigate the available programs.

The Oversight Board will continue to update this website with information and links as we learn more about the existing programs, and new programs may become available. Please visit this site regularly for the latest on the government response to this crisis.

What can you do to help Puerto Rico at this point, what can we all do to help?

Stay home and follow the Governor’s instructions, stay calm, stay in touch with family and friends through online video calls – and wash our hands.

The Oversight Board wishes all residents to stay healthy and safe.

Resources for Government Agencies
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Resources for Individuals
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Resources for Healthcare
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Resources for Businesses
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Emergency Funds:
Spending Monitoring

Fiscal responsibility depends on transparency. Taxpayer money needs to be spent responsibly. That is what the Puerto Rico Government owes the people. The Oversight Board will be monitoring the use of these funds carefully and provide public updates of how funds are being distributed.

These reports are updated on a weekly basis. 

COVID - 19 Tracker

For the latest information on the COVID-19 virus see related Dashboards below.

PUERTO RICO Dept. of Health Dashboard

Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics Dashboard

V2A Covid-19 Dashboard

Emergency Funds: Resources Available and How to Access Them

COVID-19 brings immense uncertainty – about our health, the economy, and Government finances. At this moment, it is simply impossible to say how long the crisis might last, how much funding will be needed to help the people and businesses most affected, how long the economic decline will continue, and how it will recover.

Federal and Puerto Rico Government funds combined provide essential resources for individuals, families, businesses, nonprofits, and others in this difficult time.

President Donald J. Trump declared a National Emergency on March 13, making certain federal funding is available to reimburse eligible governmental expenditures related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On March 3, the Oversight Board made an initial $5 million of Emergency Reserve funds available to the Government of Puerto Rico to contain and mitigate COVID-19. 

Then on March 13, the Oversight Board made the full remaining $160 million (inclusive of the previous $5 million) of Emergency Reserve Funds available to respond to the pandemic.

On March 23, the Puerto Rico Government and the Oversight Board agreed to provide $787 million in unprecedented financial support (Emergency Measures Support Package) to those on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic and those most affected by the emergency measures that have resulted.

On March 27, President Trump declared a major disaster in Puerto Rico, and ordered federal assistance to help recovery efforts on the island in areas affected by COVID-19. On March 28, President Trump ordered FEMA to fund 100% of the emergency assistance activities as provided by the Puerto Rico National Guard under Title 32 of the Code of Laws of the United States of America. 

The most significant support comes from the multiple laws adopted by the Federal Government, including the $2 trillion CARES Act, which provides the deepest and broadest set of measures, of which Puerto Rico, its residents, businesses, and government, appears to be eligible for approximately $10 billion. 

Puerto Rico Government Agencies have access to funds

The safety of all residents of Puerto Rico is the top priority in this crisis.

Funds are available to the Government, municipalities and public corporations to enhance public safety, contain and mitigate the virus, and provide appropriate and needed support for all those fighting COVID-19 on the front line or are affected by the emergency measures to combat COVID-19.

The available $160 million in the Emergency Reserve Fund provides funding for public entities and agencies specifically related to the mitigation and containment of COVID-19.  Eligible costs expended from the Emergency Reserve Fund may be reimbursed by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a result of the Presidential National Emergency Declaration. – Read more

  • Government agencies, instrumentalities, public corporations, and any other entities under the executive branch of the Commonwealth have access to the Emergency Reserve Fund through the Office of Management and Budget’s (OGP) Special Memorandum ME-005-2020, Procedimiento para Compras de Emergencia COVID-19.
  • For more information and updates, visit the Office of Management and Budget website or download the report for the use of funds.

$100 million for municipalities, providing support for lost revenues over the next two months as a result of the emergency measures implemented to fight COVID-19. Amounts were allocated amongst municipalities based on a 3-tier population division.

Access the latest report on the distribution of funds here.

Access the latest report on the funds allocated to each municipality here.

  • Public Safety Investments: $20 million for equipment and capital expenditures. These funds are under custody of the Dept. of Public Safety.
  • UPR Research and Development: $1.7 million to fund COVID-19 related research and development in the Medical Sciences Department.
  • HTA: Up to $6 million as needed to restore lost revenues resulting from the moratorium on tolls.

Access the latest report on the distribution of funds here.

On April 22, the Government of Puerto Rico announced that they had received $2.2 billion in direct aid provided by the CARES Act for the territories, for necessary COVID-19 related expenditures and costs not previously budgeted for. – Read more 

The CARES Act provides that payments from the Fund may only be used to cover costs that are: 

  1. Necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19). 
  2. Expenditures that were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 (the date of enactment of the CARES Act) for the State or government. 
  3. Expenditures that were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020. 
  4. Municipalities with a population of 500,000 or more are eligible to receive direct payments. – Read more

Local Disbursement Plan and Reports: 

→ Executive Order 2020-040

→ See AAFAF’s Strategic Disbursement Plan

→ May 18 – Disbursement Report

→ May 29 – Disbursement Report

→ June 5 – Disbursement Report

→ June 12 – Disbursement Report

→ June 22 – Disbursement Report

June 29 – Disbursement Report

Federal Guidelines: 

→ See the guidelines here

→ Access the frequently asked questions here

The Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Financing Program (CESF) will provide funds to help states, local government units and law enforcement officers become eligible to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the Coronavirus emergency. Puerto Rico is set to receive for this program an allocation of about $8,823,415. – Read more

  • However, these assists are not automatically granted. Puerto Rico and any other eligible jurisdiction must submit an application to receive their assignment.

Allowed projects and purchases include:

  • Extra hours and equipment;
  • Medical personal protection and contracting team; and
  • Supplies: gloves, masks, disinfectants, training, travel expenses and attention to the medical needs of inmates in state, local prisons, jails and detention centers. 

More information: 

  • FAQ available at the Bureau of Justice Assistance here

It is important that we provide maximum support to both our public safety officers and their family members during this emergency. Recently, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) issued guidance to establish eligibility for a first responders’ death or disability due to COVID-19 under DOJ’s Public Safety Officers’ Benefit (PSOB). – Read more 

This program provides:

  • Death benefits to the eligible survivors of federal, state, territorial, and local law enforcement officers, firefighters, employees of emergency management agencies, and members of emergency medical services agencies who are fatally injured in the line of duty;
  • Education benefits to the eligible spouses and children of fallen and catastrophically injured officers; and
  • It similarly provides disability benefits to public safety officers catastrophically injured in the line of duty.

How to apply: 

  • Applications may be filled here
  • For questions regarding the PSOB Program or filing a claim, visit PSOB’s online portal at www.psob.gov, or email the PSOB Director at AskPSOB@usdoj.gov.

Under current PSOB regulations, conditions caused by infectious diseases, viruses, and bacteria may be found to be an injury sustained in the line of duty. In its recently released guidance, BJA clarified that for the purposes of PSOB eligibility for COVID-19, it will find that evidence shows the virus was contracted in the line of duty when:

  • The officer had engaged in a line of duty activity under circumstances that indicate that it was medically possible that the officer was exposed to COVID19; and when
  • The officer contracted COVID-19 within a time frame after this exposure in which it was medically possible to contract the disease.

The absence of evidence showing a different cause of death, BJA has indicated that it will generally find that the evidence shows a public safety officer who died while suffering from COVID-19 died as the direct and proximate result of COVID-19.

HUD is making available to Puerto Rico approximately $52 million additional through its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Emergency Solutions Grant, and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program. – Read more

  • These funds will be distributed to municipalities to establish medical facilities for testing and treatment; to build more emergency shelters for homeless individuals and families; and to provide assistance for housing, nutrition, and medical care for Persons Living with HIV/AIDS and their household members, among other approved uses.

On April 1, HUD implemented the CARES Act requirement to provide up to one year of payment forbearance for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) single-family borrowers in Puerto Rico and across the Nation who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. – Read more

  • On April 10, HUD implemented the CARES Act requirement to provide FHA multifamily borrowers in Puerto Rico and across the US with forbearance for up to three months if they agree not to evict tenants during that period. – Read more

To help the Puerto Rico public transportation system during the challenges of the COVID-19 emergency, the Department of Transportation assigned more than $168.6 millions in Federal Transit Administration funds. – Read more

  • To help continuing operations and lost revenue for airports in Puerto Rico, the Department of Transportation allocated more than $42.9 millions from the Federal Aviation Administration funds. 

On April 28, the President Trump signed an Executive Order under the authority of the Defense Production Act to keep meat and poultry processing facilities open during the COVID-19 emergency. CDC and OSHA has provided guidance to ensure the employees’ safety, prompt reopening and operation of facilities. USDA will keep working with all the guidance to ensure plants are allowed to operate so they can continue to harden the American food supply chain. – Read more

  • USDA provided resources to ensure children and low income residents in Puerto Rico have access to food during this emergency. 

The State Department launched a global effort to bring home citizens from all over the world and has repatriated thousands of Americans from multiple countries. As of April 17, the Department of State has arranged the repartition of 70,000 Americans, including Puerto Ricans. – Read more

On April 9, the Department of the Treasury and Federal Reserve launched a Main Street Business Lending program and a Municipal Liquidity Facility (MLF) to support the flow of credit to American workers, businesses, States, Territories, counties, and cities in Puerto Rico and across the U.S. impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The MLF will provide up to $500 billion in direct financing to States, Territories, counties, and cities across the US to help ensure they have the funds necessary to provide essential services to citizens and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. – Read more or here on the Federal Reserve’s FAQ.

Individuals

COVID-19 left many individuals, families, and businesses vulnerable to economic hardship.

Support is available for those fighting the virus at the front lines, and those financially affected by the pandemic.

Access to the Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources website for the latest updates regarding the COVID-19 crisis.

Key Documents:

The program application is now online in order to expedite applications and provide food support during the emergency. 

  • Application: On the website here

$100 million available for $500 one-time direct payments for approximately 200,000 self-employed individuals.

  • This incentive will apply only to those individuals who carry out a business on their own and are registered with SURI as merchants, with their Merchant Registration Certificate valid as of March 15, 2020. Learn more about eligibility and documentation needed here. 
  • Funds under custody the of the PR Dept. of Treasury (Hacienda)

How to apply: 

  • Application: If you are self-employed, meet eligibility requirements, and have an account in SURI, apply here.
  • End date: The program available through May 1, 2020. 

Access the latest report on the distribution of funds here.

Key employees from the Department of Public Safety will receive one-time bonuses: 

  • EMS personnel: 581 frontline personnel receive a $3,500 one-time cash payment.
    • Funds under the custody of the Department of Public Safety.
  • Police officers: 11,650 front office personnel receive a $4,000 one-time cash payment.
    • Funds under the custody of the Department of Public Safety.
  • Firefighters: 1,455 front office personnel receive a $3,500 one-time cash payment.
  • Emergency Management: 112 front office personnel receive a $3,500 one-time cash payment.
    • Funds under the custody of the Department of Public Safety.
  • 9-1-1: 154 front office personnel receive a $3,500 one-time cash payment.
    • Funds under the custody of the Department of Public Safety.
  • Special Investigations Unit: 74 front office personnel receive a $3,500 one-time cash payment.
    • Funds under the custody of the Department of Public Safety.
  • Forensics: 220 front office personnel receive a $3,500 one-time cash payment.
    • Funds under the custody of the Department of Public Safety.
  • Municipal police: 3,428 officers receive a $3,500 one-time cash payment.
    • Funds under the custody of the PR Department of Treasury (Hacienda).
  • Municipal firefighters: 50 officers receive a $3,500 one-time cash payment.
    • Funds under the custody of the PR Department of Treasury (Hacienda).

Access the latest report on the distribution of funds here.

Other key frontline employees will receive one-time bonuses: 

  • Court staff on duty: 400 officers receive a $2,000 one-time cash payment.
    • Funds under the custody of Courts.
  • Internal revenue agents on duty: 250 agents receive a $2,000 one-time cash payment.
    • Funds under the custody of the PR Dept. of Treasury (Hacienda).
  • Corrections officers: 4,809 front line staffers receive a $3,500 one-time cash payment.
    • Funds under the custody of the Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
  • Correctional health officers: 143 (non-nurses) receive a $3,500 one-time cash payment.
    • Funds under the custody of the Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Access the latest report on the distribution of funds here.

Approximately $1.9 million remains available on an as-needed basis to cover any deficiency in the distribution of the first responder and healthcare agency cash incentives.

Access the latest report on the distribution of funds here.

As part of the CARES Act, weekly unemployment benefits will be increased by an additional $600 to all unemployment insurance recipients for up to 4 months. – Apply for unemployment on the PR Dept. of Labor and Human Resources website 

  • The duration of benefits will be extended for an additional 13 weeks above the current 26-week limit.
  • Workers must provide self-certification that they are fully or partially unemployed and that they are unable to work due to COVID-19 (including if they had to leave their job due to COVID-19 or to care for someone with COVID-19)
  • If already on unemployment, individuals will see their coverage expanded by 13 weeks and increased by $600 per week under the CARES Act.
  • Individuals who exhausted employment benefits will be able to receive expanded coverage (13 weeks / $600) if they meet the eligibility criteria.  
  • It also provides federal incentives for states to eliminate wait times so workers can receive benefits immediately.
  • This is a joint state-federal program, so Puerto Rico will determine the guidelines as long as they are consistent with the CARES Act.
  • The Puerto Rican Department of Labor and Human Resources is expecting federal guidelines for implementation, and applications can be submitted online at www.trabajo.pr.gov.

On April 17, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Treasury Department assigned state by state the Economy Impact Payments. 89.5 millions individuals received payments worth $160 billion. The IRS sends 89.5 million payments to taxpayers and they should be sending more each week. 

  • U.S. citizens and residents with adjusted gross income under $75,000 ($112,500 for the head of household and $150,000 married) receive a $1,200 one-time cash payment and an additional $500 per child ($2,400 per couple). – Read more
  • The economic impact payment will reduce to zero on a sliding scale for individuals who make between $75,000 and 99,000 (and couples making between $150,000 and $198,000).
  • Those making more than the top threshold will not receive payment.

More information: 

  • Access the Puerto Rico’s Dept. of Treasury website for the Economic Impact Payment.
  • The Oversight Board approved on April 7 an advance of $400 million to speed distribution of these payments once an agreement is reached between U.S. and Puerto Rico Treasury Departments. 
  • The Puerto Rico Dept. of Treasury started disbursing funds on May 5 for 2019 taxpayers who filed their 2019 tax return. 
  • In the first week of May, the Puerto Rico Dept. of Treasury will enable a link defined as the “Payment Economic Impact CARES Act” through the Unified Internal Revenue System (SURI), for taxpayers who filed the 2019 return and did not register their bank accounts. 
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs is hiring new staff and procuring additional resources to deal with the COVID-19 emergency with the $19.6 billions allocated under the CARES Act. This includes Telehealth services and waiving a requirement that VA State homes maintain a 90% occupancy rate in order to receive the Federal benefits. – Read more
    • The Department of Veterans Affairs traditionally provides healthcare, benefits and memorial affairs, but in times of national crisis, the VA brings and continues to evaluate services to the Nation based on requests from States, Territories and local communities across the country, while being clear that Veterans are priority, that is the VA’s Fourth Mission.
    • VA benefit recipients from Puerto Rico and the Nation will automatically receive $1,200 in Economic Impact Payments provided for under the CARES Act.
  • The Department Veterans Affairs announced on April 3 a number of actions to provide Veterans Nationwide and Puerto Rico with financial, benefits and claims help as part of the VA’s COVID-19 response. The relief actions include suspending all actions on Veteran debts under the jurisdiction of the Treasury Department and suspending collection action or extending repayment on pre-existing debts. 

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) provides increased Unemployment Compensation benefits. – Read more

  • The FPUC provides an additional $600 per week to individuals who are collecting regular Unemployment Compensation (UC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), among others programs.
  • The cost of these additional $600 payments to eligible individuals each week is 100% federally funded.

Start date: Benefit retroactive to April 4 until July 31

Temporary Full Federal Funding provides full federal funding of the first week of compensable regular unemployment for states with no waiting week. – Read more

  • States that provide compensation to individuals for their first week of unemployment (i.e., states which do not require a waiting week) and that enter into an agreement with the Department will receive 100 percent federal funding for the total amount of regular UC paid to individuals for their first week of regular UC. 
  • Guidance has not yet been issued by DOL. All states should wait for mandatory guidance.

The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) provides up to 13 weeks of Unemployment Compensation (UC)benefits. – Read more

This program covers:

  • Individuals who have exhausted regular UC under state or federal law. 
  • Individuals who have no rights to regular UC under any other state or federal law; and are receiving UC under Canadian law. 
  • Individuals who are able to work, available for work, and actively seeking work.

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program provides up to 39 weeks of benefits and will cover individuals who are self-employed, seeking part-time employment, or who otherwise would not qualify for regular Unemployment Compensation (UC). Claimants will receive benefits from $66 to $190. – Read more

  • Start date: Last week of April 2020
    • Benefit can be retroactive to as early as February 2, 2020 and is available for up to 39 weeks after the start of the benefit. 

How to apply: 

  • Fill the application here
  • Download forms here

More information:

  • Read the FAQ by the The Puerto Rico Dept. of Labor and Human Resources here

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.

  • Certain employers must cover 2 weeks (80 hours) sick leave coverage for qualifying reasons.
  • Up to 12 weeks (at 2/3rd rate) if caring for a child whose place of care is closed due to COVID-19. 

More information: 

  • See the IRS’s FAQ here and learn more here.
  • Download the Factsheet – Employees Rights
  • Key dates: These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020.

USDA published a COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide for rural residents, businesses and communities in the United States, including Puerto Rico, to find information about federal funding opportunities during the COVID-19 emergency. – Read more

On April 17, the Secretary Perdue and President Trump announced the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) to assist farmers, ranchers and consumers nationwide, including Puerto Rico, in response to the COVID-19 emergency. It is a $19 billion program that will be distributed on actual losses for agricultural producers and purchases of fresh produce, dairy and meat.Read more

Healthcare Sector

We applaud and support those risking their lives to keep all of us safe and healthy.

Doctors, nurses, technicians, Emergency Management Service (EMS) personnel are on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19. The Government provides funds for them and for public hospitals to restock medical supplies and invest in equipment.

  • Public Sector Nurses: $4,000 one-time cash payment for 5,508 public sector nurses.
    • Funds under the custody of the Dept. of Health
  • Private Sector Nurses: $3,000 one-time cash payment for 24,460 private sector nurses.
    • Funds under the custody of PR Dept. of Treasury (Hacienda)
  • Professional Service Nurses: $3,500 one-time cash payment for 6,460 professional service nurses
    • Funds under the custody of PR Dept. of Treasury (Hacienda)
  • Nurses in Correctional Facilities: $4,000 one-time cash payment for 272 nurses in correctional facilities
    • Funds under the custody of Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
  • Technicians: $2,500 one-time cash payment for 600 health care technicians.
    • Funds under the custody of the Dept. of Health
  • Healthcare Professionals: $1,000 one-time cash payment for 4,500 public sector pharmacists, medical technologists, and resident MDs.
    • Funds under the custody of the Dept. of Health.

Access the latest report on the distribution of funds here.

Public hospitals will receive $30 million for necessary medical supplies not directly related to COVID-19 (materials related to COVID-19 are covered under the $160 Emergency Reserve and available federal funding).

  • Funds under the custody of the Dept. of Health and the Office of Management and Budget.

Access the latest report on the distribution of funds here.

On March 20, 2020, the Governor signed Joint Resolution 19-2020, which authorizes physicians that are authorized to practice medicine in PR, to use telemedicine, medical consultations by telephone, or by any other authorized method to evaluate their patients.

  • They are authorized to send a prescription, referral, or medical order by photograph or any other electronic method, and the service provider that receives it has to accept it.  
  • Health insurance companies are obligated to pay for the services provided electronically or by telephone as it was a face to face consultation and for any medical test or treatment for COVID-19.

The Federal Government is providing $30 billion, the first part of the legislated $100 billion from the CARES Act, in grants to health providers based on their Medicare revenue. – Read more

  • The Oversight Board has written to the U.S. Secretary of Health concerning how the definition of Medicare revenue would affect Puerto Rico, and to the Puerto Rico Hospital Association on April 3 regarding some of the HHS Grant Opportunities. 
  • On April 10, more than $80.9 million were allocated for medical providers in Puerto Rico from the Provider Relief Fund.
  • On April 10, Puerto Rico requested a 1135 Medicaid Waiver to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). On April 14, the petition was approved, offering flexibility to focus on resources to fight the COVID-19 outbreak and providing the best care possible to the beneficiaries from Puerto Rico.
  • On April 27, Puerto Rico received over $155.6 million from HHS through the Provider Relief Fund, CDC State and local funding, HRSA Health centers.
  • All facilities and providers that received Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursements in 2019 are eligible for this initial rapid distribution.
  • Providers will be distributed a portion of the initial $30 billion based on their share of total Medicare FFS reimbursements in 2019.
What to do if you are an elegible provider: 
 
  • HHS has partnered with UnitedHealth Group (UHG) to provide rapid payment to providers eligible for the distribution of the initial $30 billion in funds.
  • Providers will be paid via Automated Clearing House account information on file with UHG or the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
  • Providers who normally receive a paper check for reimbursement from CMS will receive a paper check in the mail for this payment as well, within the next few weeks.
  • Providers who have been allocated a payment must sign an attestation confirming receipt of the funds and agree to the terms and conditions within 30 days of payment. The site is open to all providers, regardless of network affiliation or payer contract. 

FEMA is working closely with federal and Puerto Rico agencies.

As of April 27, FEMA delivered:

  • 132,134 N-95 masks
  • 314,275 Surgical masks
  • 52,200 Medical gowns
  • 1,901 Coveralls
  • 63,724 Face shields
  • 278,656 Gloves from the Strategic National Stockpile to PR

In addition, FEMA obligated $31.6 M for COVID-19 response efforts in Puerto Rico.

The White House COVID19 Task Force, FEMA and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) are coordinating a plan to source personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, testing supplies, and critical resources for all States and Territories. This effort is led by Admiral John Polowczyk of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. For more on the Supply Chain read more here.

On April 23, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CARES Act, and the Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act provided over $14.4 million for Puerto Rico. – Read more

Health centers in Puerto Rico and across the United States can receive monetary awards after the Health Resources and Health Administration (HRSA) announced the release of $100 million in the fiscal year 2020 COVID-19 that was provided by the CARES Act.  

  • On May 1, HHS provided over $18.5 million from the CARES Act to 22 different health centers across Puerto Rico to fight COVID-19. – See the amount granted by center.
  • Health centers can receive around $50,000 to $300,000 using a formula that tabulates the amount of uninsured and insured patients as well as a base value of $50,464. The health centers will be receiving an average of $70,000, according to HRSA. 
  • The assistance is being provided to account for COVID-19 prevention, preparedness, and response-related activities. These COVID-19 awards, for this reason, were issued separately from a health care operational grant award. 
  • HRSA will make these funds immediately available to expedite their distribution. The agency will proceed to collect budget and activities that are supported by the funding.
  • The CARES Act provides $200 million in funding for telecommunication and information services necessary to enable the provision of Telehealth services. – Read more
  • The CARES Act expands the Medicare Hospital Accelerated Payment Program to provide funding advances for acute care hospitals, and Puerto Rico hospitals with demonstrated cash flow problems. – Read more 
  • Puerto Rico is eligible for a funding allocation as part of the $1.5 billion in the CARES Act to support testing, procure supplies, and execute local response needs related to COVID-19. – Read more
  • See the link for the latest allocations regarding the $100 billion in the CARES Act destined to healthcare and how they are being distributed. – Read more
  • HHS, CMS, and FDA have issued guidance on several topics to inform decisions made by Puerto Rico and local health and private sector partners. Read more from CDC, CMS and FDA. 
    • This guidance includes: 
      • Nursing homes,
      • Elective surgery,
      • Telemedicine, 
      • Insurers in Puerto Rico.

Businesses and Non-Profits

Many businesses have been affected by the emergency measures required as a result of the pandemic.

Support is available for those affected to maintain employment, pay rent, utilities, and other expenses in this difficult time. We encourage eligible entities to apply as soon as possible to mitigate the financial damage done by the pandemic. 

$60 million is available for one-time $1,500 direct payments to approximately 40,000 small businesses whose incomes have been affected by the disruption of their work and income.

  • More information here.
  • Funds under the custody of the Dept. of Economic Development and Commerce. 

How to apply: 

  • Application: Apply on the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC) website.
  • End date: Program available until May 1, 2020.

Access the latest report on the distribution of funds here.

The Puerto Rico Government, through the Department of Economic Development and Commerce, announced the availability of $8 million, provided by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), a federally funded program, to reimburse certain expenses of up to 160 employers. – Read more

How to apply:

  • Who can apply: Business owners with less than 500 employees or self-employed individuals that can demonstrate that the extraordinary expenses incurred to maintain its operation or to resume it could result in the loss of its human capital. They must not have any outstanding debt with the Govt. of Puerto Rico.
  • Application: The application is available here, or you can communicate via email at layoffaversion@ddec.pr.gov.
  • Start Date: April 13 , 2020. 
  • End Date: June 15, 2020. 

Small Business can also apply to the Small Business Financing (SBF) Program, which is financed with funds allocated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. – Read more

  • Recovery Grants: The purpose of recovery grants that the Small Business Financing Program offers is to help micro and small businesses restart their operations and invest in growth opportunities through grant awards for working capital and mobile equipment.
  • Recovery Loans and Expansion: If any funds are assigned, the Recovery Loans and Expansion offer would include two options: Option A, a line of credit for working capital; and Option B, term loans for larger projects.

How to apply:

  • Application: Fill out the application on their website here.
  • As a result of the CARES Act, the SBA created four programs to aid businesses affected by COVID-19.
  • On March 20, SBA declared an economic disaster in Puerto Rico at the request of Governor Vázquez Garced. The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available and creates access to low interest loans for small businesses across Puerto Rico.

Learn more here about SBA funding options, loans, and guidance for businesses.

The CARES Act provides $10 billion for the SBA to provide economic injury disaster loans until December 31, 2020. Small businesses are eligible for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000 from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

  • These loan advances are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period, will be available within a few days an application is made, and applicants are not required to repay the advance even if the EIDL loan is denied.The ultimate need for repayment of the EIDL is partially determined by ability to repay the loan.
  • The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses (less than 500 employees) with working capital loans to help overcome the temporary loss of revenues of up to $2 million to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, nonprofit organizations of all sizes meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster.

How to apply: 

  • Where can I apply: Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance.
  • End date: Program available through September 30, 2020.

More information: 

  • As of April 19, the SBA has approved 2,061 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) advances of up to $10,000 for Puerto Rico small businesses impacted by COVID-19; these funds, as authorized by the CARES Act, do not need to be repaid and have totaled more than $9.7 millions in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
  • Download the factsheet here for more information or visit the SBA’s website for additional information and resources.

The Small Businesses Administration (SBA) will begin accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications on a limited basis only to provide relief to U.S. agricultural businesses. Agricultural businesses are now eligible as a result of the latest round of funds appropriated by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. – Read more

Agricultural businesses includes those businesses engaged in the production of :

  • Food and fiber
  • Ranching
  • Raising of livestock
  • Aquaculture
  • All other farming and agricultural related industries (as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b).

The Small Businesses Administration (SBA) is encouraging all eligible agricultural businesses with 500 or fewer employees wishing to apply to begin preparing their business financial information needed for their application.

The SBA Express Loans Enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. The bridge loan will be repaid from the proceeds of an EIDL loan. – Read more 

  • Under the CARES Act, the SBA increased the maximum SBA Express loan fund from $350,000 to $1 million.

More information: 

  • Download the factsheet on the EBL Pilot Program here

The CARES Act provides $17 billion in immediate relief to cover 6 months of payments of loan payments on existing SBA 7(a) loans, Certified Development Company loans, and micro loans.  – Read more

  • The SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and micro loans for six months, commencing on payments after March 27, 2020
  • The SBA will also automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of new 7(a), 504, and micro loans issued before September 27, 2020.

The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities during the COVID-19 crisis. – Read more 

  • Small businesses and non-profit organizations, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors with 500 or fewer employees are eligible for the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

How to apply: 

  • Where can I apply: You can apply through any existing SBA lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating. Visit the website for a list of SBA lenders. You can also download the application form here.
  • Start Date: Program starts on April 3, 2020 for small businesses and sole proprietorships and starts on April 10, 2020 for independent contractors and self-employed individuals. Due to the approval of a second phase of funding, the program resumed on April 27. 
  • End date: Program will be available through June 30, 2020.

More information: 

  • Learn more about the Program by downloading the borrower factsheet, lender factsheet, or the one pager for a brief overview.
  • Other key documents for assistance here.

Updates: 

  • On the first PPP round, PR received 2,856 loans totaling $658,573,638.
  • After funds got exhausted for this program, Congress approved the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act of 2020 allocating an additional $310 billion for the PPP. 
  • On the second PPP round, PR so far has received 19,691 loans totaling $987,677,005 up to May 1, 2020.  

The Employee Retention Tax Credit is refundable tax credit of 50% of up to $10,000 in qualified wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19. The credit applies to qualified wages paid between March 12, 2020, and January 1, 2021. – Read more.

How to apply:

  • Who can apply: Eligible employers for the purposes of the Employee Retention Credit are those that carry on a trade or business during calendar year 2020, including a tax-exempt organization, that either:
    • Fully or partially suspends operation during any calendar quarter in 2020 due to orders from an appropriate governmental authority limiting commerce, travel, or group meetings (for commercial, social, religious, or other purposes) due to COVID-19; or
    • Experiences a significant decline in gross receipts during the calendar quarter.
    • If a business obtains a loan through the $349b SBA Paycheck Protection Program, they will be ineligible to receive this credit.
  • Application: Because this credit can apply to wages already paid after March 12, 2020, many struggling employers can get access to this credit by reducing upcoming deposits or requesting an advance credit on Form 7200, Advance of Employer Credits Due To COVID-19.

More information: 

  • Visit the FAQ for more information here. 

Mid-size and larger business, and municipalities may have access to loans and loan-guarantees from the $500 billion Economic Stabilization Fund.

Allows employers and self-employed individuals to delay the payment of the employer share of the 2020 social security tax (6.2%) with 50 percent of the 2020 liability due in 2021 and 50 percent due in 2022.  – Read more

  • US Treasury – Assistance for Small Businesses – Read more
  • Municipality of Caguas: Business Incentives ProgramRead more
  • Resources for Nonprofits During COVID-19 Emergency: Hispanic Federation – Read more

Education

Closing Schools and Universities as a result of responsible social distancing does not need to mean a stop to learning.

Support is available for schools and students to continue learning and to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic on students. 

$240 million for the Puerto Rico Department of Education to support and enable online learning when schools are closed, to buy tablets for every student and teacher, and provide teachers and students with software and training

  • The U.S. Department of Education will pay materials to a total of $130.6 million for 159,330. 
  • The remaining materials for 165,670 individuals will be paid from Puerto Rico General funds, unless later reimbursable with Federal funds.

The UPR will be receiving $81.1 million in order to provide emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families, and personnel. 50% of these funds were assigned to the students. – Read more

→ Access the latest report on the disbursement and use of funds here.

On March 20, the Dept. of Education suspended federal student loan payments and waived interest during the federal emergency, which could help up to 286,600 borrowers in Puerto Rico. To provide relief to student loan borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency, federal student loan borrowers are automatically being placed in an administrative forbearance, which allows them to temporarily stop making monthly loan payments. – Read more

  • Payments will be automatically suspended between March 13, 2020 until September 30, 2020 however you can still make payments if you choose.
  • Interest is stopped.
  • Access the StudentAid.Gov FAQ for more information. 
  • Pell Grants: The act allows students to keep their Pell Grants. Any semester not completed due to COVID-19 will be excluded from a student’s Federal Pell Grant duration limit. For students who dropped out of school as a result of COVID-19 it will exclude the term from counting toward lifetime Pell eligibility.
  • Institutional Waivers: Waives the institutional requirement for the amount of grant or loan assistance to be returned under such section if a recipient of assistance withdraws from the institution of higher education during the payment period or period of enrollment as a result of a qualifying emergency.
  • Study and Work Programs: It allows higher institutions to continue paying students for the federal Work-Study program for up to one year if the student’s employer or the college or university campus closes due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Academic Testing: Institutions have flexibility to waive federal academic tests and liability rules.
  • Employer Provided Education: Allows employers to pay qualified education loans up to $5,250 on a tax free basis until 1 January, 2021. – Read more

More information: 

  • Visit the U.S. Dept. of Education’s website for more information on the available resources. 
  • Supplemental Appropriations: Puerto Rico is eligible to access the $13.5 billion for K-12 education; $14 billion for higher education (this includes $62 million for HBCU Capital Financing Program). 
  • Education Stabilization Fund: Puerto Rico is eligible for flexible funding for elementary and secondary schools, institutions of higher education, students, teachers, and families with immediate needs related to coronavirus, including:
    • Elementary and Secondary Education: $12 billion in formula funding to help schools respond to coronavirus and related school closures.
    • Higher education: $6 billion in funding to both directly support students facing urgent needs related to coronavirus, and to support institutions as they cope with the immediate effects of coronavirus and school closures (including “significant changes to the delivery of instruction”). This includes formula funding to all institutions of higher education and targeted funding for those with the greatest need and minority-serving institutions, including HBCUs ($62 million for HBCU Capital Financing Program. Current borrowers are not required to pay principal installments or interest for 180 days).
  • State Flexibility Funding: Puerto Rico is eligible to access the $3 billion in flexible funding to be allocated by states based on the needs of elementary and schools and institutions of higher education in their state. 

The Dept. of Education provided reporting flexibilities to Puerto Rico to allow the Commonwealth to best meet the needs of students and teachers during the emergency.

  • On March 27, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education, sent a letter to Dr. Eligio Hernández, the PR Secretary of Education regarding the request made on waivers for the statewide assessment, accountability and reporting requirements in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) for the 2019-2020 school year. – Read more
  • On April 6, the new flexibilities, authorized under the CARES Act, allow schools to repurpose existing K-12 education funds for technology infrastructure and teacher training on distance learning, among other flexibilities to move resources to areas of highest need during the national emergency. – Read more

To support post-secondary education students and institutions of higher education in Puerto Rico, the DoED announced allocations under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund of the CARES Act with over $323.7 millions. Read more here, here and here.

On April 27, DoED announced an allocation in the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund, authorized by the CARES Act, over $47.8 million for Puerto Rico. This consists of a very flexible grant designed to enable governors to decide the best way to meet the needs of students, schools, post-secondary institutions and other education-related organizations. – Read More

On April 27, the DoED made $349.1 millions available to Puerto Rico to guarantee learning continues for all students, through the Elementary and  Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund of the CARES Act. – Read more

 

Federal Legislation for which , its residents, businesses and not for profits are elegible

Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Approp. Act (H.R.6074), Enacted March 6.

  • Research and Development: $3.1 billion available for domestic and international research and development of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics
  • Prevention and Preparedness: Prevention, preparedness, and response, of which $950 m goes to state and local health dept. (incl. Puerto Rico)
  • Supplies & Pharma: Pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, healthcare preparedness and Community Health Centers ($100 million carve-out for grants)
  • Global Response: Evacuating Diplomates and improving global health ($264 million carve-out for diplomatic programs)

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), Enacted March 18.

  • Free testing: Guarantees free coronavirus testing
  • FMLA, Sick Leave and Employer tax credits: Establishes paid sick leave, enhances unemployment insurance, expands eligibility
  • Increased FMAP: Federal FMAP rate increased by 6.2% until end of disaster declaration, although contingent on metrics
  • Health and Nutrition: $100 million Nutrition assistance for territories until Sept. 2021

CARES Act (H.R.748), Enacted March 27.

  • Payment and employment Assistance
    • $349 billion for the Payment Protection Program, SBA loans up to $10 million
    • Additional funding being considered in additional phases
  • Financial assistance to individuals, families and businesses
    • $1.2k for individuals making less than $75k with phase-out up to $198k. $500 per eligible child.
    • Additional 13-weeks of unemployment beyond state limit
    • Additional unemployment benefit of $600/week; up to 4 months
    • Extension of unemployment to sole props and gig workers
    • Support to states and business that furlough vs. layoff
  • Distressed sector assistance
    • $500 billion for economic stabilization
    • Includes $46 billion for passenger airlines, commercial airlines and businesses related to national security
    • Remaining for all other businesses subject to application, also open to State and Local Governments
  • Healthcare support funds and Education
    • $100 billion for hospitals
    • Healthcare and social services administered through the CDC
    • Education and loan support, Puerto Rico could receive an estimate of $720 million
    • Advanced tax credits for employers
    • HHS and Public Health
  • State and local government (General Relief Funds)
    • 150 billion total appropriation for state and local. Puerto Rico is expected to get $2.2 billion

The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, Enacted on April 24

  • $310 billion increase for PPP
    • Increases overall PPP funding to $659 billion, with specific appropriations to ensure smaller entities have access
      • $30 billion for banks and credit unions with $10b – $50b in assets
      • $30 billion for banks and credit unions with less than $10b in assets
      • $2.1 billion to cover Small Business Administration (SBA) salaries and expenses associated with the expansion of PPP
  • $10 billion increase for EIDL 
    • EIDL eligibility has been expanded to include the agricultural sector and small businesses with less than 500 employees
  • $75 billion increase for hospitals
    • This is in addition to the $100 billion allocated in the CARES act
  • $50 billion for Disaster Loans Program Account
    • $50 billion to expand the SBA loan program used when private insurance and FEMA do not fully cover disaster assistance needed
  • $25 billion for rapid COVID-19 testing and vaccine  
    • New funding dedicated to COVID-19 point of care rapid testing
    • R&D for rapid test methods, nationwide vaccine deployment and expedited approvals of new COVID-19 vaccines and testing  
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Emergency Fund:
Spending Monitoring

The Oversight Board will be monitoring the use of the emergency funds carefully and provides public updates of how the Emergency Reserve Fund and the funds allocated to the Emergency Measures Support Package are being distributed.

  • Emergency Reserve Fund: The Emergency Reserve Fund gives access to $160 million for public education, supplies, equipment and cost-share needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic were spent.
  • Emergency Measures Package: The Oversight Board granted urgent budgetary support for Puerto Rico for an Emergency Measures Support Package amounting to $787 million. This significant budgetary allocation is designed to enable the Government to respond to the difficulties arising from the Emergency Measures instituted to contain and mitigate COVID-19.
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Download the report of the use of funds

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Download the report of the use of funds

Puerto Rico Government
Emergency Measures

The Puerto Rico Government and the Oversight Board agreed to provide about $1 billion in unprecedented financial support in response to COVID-19.
The Oversight Board will be monitoring the use of these funds carefully.

The Oversight Board has also been supporting the Government to ensure that Puerto Rico will receive its fair share of funds from the Federal Government’s emergency programs.

The Oversight Board will continue to work closely with the Governor, the Legislature, and the private sector to mitigate the crisis to the extent possible, and to provide appropriate and needed support for those affected by COVID-19, those fighting the virus at the frontlines, and those affected by the Government’s response to the emergency. See below the measures by the Oversight Board.

See the other measures taken by the Oversight Board:

  • March 13 – The Oversight Board authorized the use of the remaining $160 million Emergency Reserve Fund balance for preparedness and response. These funds, from the FY19 and FY20, are to be used as needed by the Government of PR through April 15. This Emergency Reserve fund was in the Certified Fiscal Plan and is funded with $130M annually, and between FY19 and FY20, the Oversight Board set aside $260M in reserves; $100M was used to respond to the recent earthquakes. – Read More
  • March 16 – Letter to the Secretary of the Treasury Department regarding the administrative Determination 20-04. – Read more
  • March 17 – FOMB agreed to provide the Government with an extension to the submission of the revised updated CW Fiscal Plan. – Read More
  • March 18 – The Puerto Rico sales tax (SUT) at the ports and within the supply chain was suspended for three months. The penalties for non-compliance with the twice-monthly SUT reporting and remittance and missed payments on estimated income tax bills were waived for two months. – Read More
  • March 21 – The Oversight Board asked the U.S District Court for the District of Puerto Rico to suspend the restructuring processes for the Commonwealth’s Plan of Adjustment. – Read more
  • March 23 – The Oversight Board authorized an additional $787 million to help with the COVID-19 emergency. The Emergency Measures Support Package is funded with $500 million from the Commonwealth fiscal year 2020 surplus as a special appropriation, $157 million as a reapportionment within the current fiscal year 2020 Commonwealth General Fund budget, and $131 million from Federal funds. – Read more
  • March 25 – Letter to the Puerto Rico Government regarding the budget process needed for t $787M Emergency Measures Support Package. – Read more
  • March 25 – The deadline to file income taxes was extended to July 15 and the 10% withholding tax on professional services was suspended for three months. – Read more
  • March 26 – Letter regarding a proposed compliant budget for the Emergency Measures Support Package. – Read more
  • March 26 – The Oversight Board asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico to suspend the restructuring of debt for the PREPA Restructuring Support Agreement. – Read more
  • March 28 – Letter regarding the compliance certification for the FY2020 Emergency Measures Support Package Compliant Budget. – Read More
  • March 29 – The FOMB welcomes the Puerto Rico House of Representatives and the Puerto Rico Senate, passing the Emergency Measures Support Package that provides funding for those most affected by the COVID-19 emergency measures. – Read more
  • March 30 – The Oversight Board urged the Puerto Rico Department of Education to create and implement a plan to provide student meals. – Read more
  • March 30 – Letter responding to the UPR’s request of expanding the scope of services for the Training and Seminar Program provided to the Department of Education as included on the Certified Fiscal Plan and Budget for FY19 and FY20. – Read more
  • March 30 – Letter regarding the response to the Emergency Measures Support Package reapportionment request for $157M for health initiatives for the COVID19 emergency as submitted by the OMB. – Read more
  • March 30 – Letter concerning the release and use of 2.5% of withholdings from the Budgetary Reserve FY20. – Read more
  • March 30 – Letter urging the PRDE to create and implement a plan to provide student meals while ensuring proper safety controls, following the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. – Read more
  • April 1 – Letter regarding a 30-day automatic extension for the use of the Emergency Reserve Funds due to the COVID19 crisis. – Read more
  • April 2 – Letter requesting the Government of PR to provide weekly reports on the uses and disbursements of the Emergency Measures Support Package. – Read more
  • April 3 – Letter from the FOMB to the Puerto Rico Hospital Association regarding an HHS grant opportunity. – Read more
  • April 5 – Letter regarding PRDE’s implementation of the nutritional assistance program allowed by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. – Read more
  • April 5 – The Oversight Board provided a 30-Day Automatic Extension for the usage of Emergency Reserve Funds in connection with COVID-19. – Read more
  • April 6 – Letter regarding the contract review of the $40M rapid testing kits for the COVID19. – Read more
  • April 6 – The Oversight Board approved the request by the Government for a cash advance of up to $400 million to expedite the distribution of the transfers by using Commonwealth funds until the federal funds arrive. – Read more
  • April 9 – Letter urging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to consider including Medicare Advantage revenues in the definition of Medicare revenue about the allocation of CARES Act funding to the healthcare sector. – Read more
  • April 9 – The Oversight Board sent a letter to the Executive Director of the Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority related to the $40M COVID-19 test contracts, clarifying that the Contract Review Policy applies to any contract or agreement, including purchase orders. – Read more
  • April 9 – Letter to the Govt. of Puerto Rico recommending avoiding measures such as the R.C. 675, which would force employers in the private sector to pay their employees time and a half, as it would have a significant impact on private sector companies. – Read more
  • April 14 – The Oversight Board certified the Action Plan for the use of federal funds assigned by the Federal Department of Housing, detailing the use of funds for the Block Grant for Community Development in Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR). – Read more
  • April 16 – The Oversight Board launched a comprehensive web page with details on the COVID-19 emergency, which includes all programs implemented by the U.S. and Puerto Rico Governments, as well as guidelines on how to access the funds. – Read more
  • April 18 – Letter to the Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury approving the temporary exemption of prepared food from the sales tax until May 3. – Read more
  • April 23 – Letter to the Governor of Puerto Rico regarding the reopening of the economy. It is critical to do so slowly and gradually so that the health and safety of the people of Puerto Rico are not compromised. – Read more
  • April 24 – Letter to the Governor of Puerto Rico providing short-, medium-, and long-term alternatives to ensure proper nutritional services to all students in the Puerto Rico education system. – Read more
  • April 26 Letter to the Government of Puerto Rico with recommendations on how to invest the $2.2 billion from the federal CARES Act, including testing and tracing, and areas most impacted by the measures that were taken to protect Puerto Rico from the spread of COVID-19, particularly our education system, and those who lost jobs or who lost business. – Read more
  • April 26 – Letter to the Department of Education requesting a work plan after the agency received nearly $349 million for primary and secondary education, and $3 million for higher education, and other funds. – Read more
  • April 27 – The Oversight Board sent a letter to Governor Wanda Vázquez regarding the Government’s posture on FOMB’s proposed policy to amend Act 106-2017, which would change the default investment fund options for participants in the Defined Contribution plans. – Read more
  •  April 27 – The Oversight Board sent a letter to the Directors of Puerto Rico Hospital Association notifying that the Oversight Board also understands that hospitals and other healthcare providers will have access to $100 billion in financial relief through the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Funds. – Read more
  • April 28 – The Oversight Board sent a letter to the Governor of Puerto Rico, the President of the Senate of Puerto Rico, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Puerto Rico regarding the solutions that will help municipalities repay their FY20 ASES and PayGo obligations to the Government with incremental revenues and no impact in current operating expenses. – Read more
  • April 28 – The Oversight Board sent a letter to the Director Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority Governor’s Representative and Ex-Officio Member requesting documents and other information regarding the negotiation and procurement of contracts for COVID-19 rapid test kits, as well as other transactions performed during the state of emergency declared on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. – Read more
  • April 29 – The Oversight Board welcomed the decision by Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced to authorize the Department of Education to reopen some school canteens to cook meals, and, in coordination with the mayors, deliver those meals to the homes of school children. – Read more
  • April 29 – The Oversight Board sent a letter to the Chief Executive Officer of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) encouraging to explore alternatives that would allow savings or any cost reductions to clients given the reduction of prices for crude oil due to COVID-19. PREPA must submit its result before May 22. – Read more
  • April 29 – The Oversight Board sent a letter to President Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority encouraging to resume meter readings as soon as practicable in order to ensure timeliness and accuracy of billing and provide management with an accurate, real-time insight into customer consumption patterns, an essential component for financial and operational decision- making.  – Read more
  • April 30 – The Oversight Board sent a letter to the Secretary of the Treasury Department of Puerto Rico temporarily exempting first necessity items needed to prevent the spread, or for the treatment of COVID-19 from the payment of sales and use tax, until May 31. – Read more 
  • May 1 – The Oversight Board sent a letter to the United States Treasury Department encouraging the approval of the Proposed Plan for the Economic Incentive Payment in Puerto Rico. Then, the Oversight Board welcomed the decision of the United States Treasury Department to approve the plan of the Government of Puerto Rico to distribute the $1,200 of the Economic Impact Payments program to residents of PR. – Read more
  • May 1 The Oversight Board sent a follow up letter to WIPR and AAFAF. The Oversight Board strongly recommends that AAFAF, WIPR, and the Government work together and assure legislation is enacted on or before May 15, enabling the corporation to access the cash balances referenced in our previous letter. This, in turn, will allow the corporation to maintain operations in the interim. – Read more
  • May 3 – The Oversight Board received the Government’s revised draft Fiscal Plan for the Commonwealth (after granting two extensions in light of COVID).
  • May 3 – The Oversight Board sent a letter to the Secretary of the Treasury Department of Puerto Rico approving another exemption on SUT for prepared meals through May 25. – Read more
  • May 4 – The Oversight Board issued a statement regarding a $50 million plan for reconstruction in Southwestern municipalities. The statement confirmed that the Oversight Board had not received any such proposed plan, any request for approval of such a plan, or a request for the reapportionment of funds for such a plan. A plan was received on May 5. – Read more
  • May 7 – The Oversight Board welcomed the selection by the Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority of the Community Foundation for the management and administration of the CW University of Puerto Rico’s Scholarship Fund. – Read more
  • May 7 – The Oversight Board welcomed the decision by HUD to make a $1.7B block of funding available from its Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program (CDBG-DR). – Read more
  • May 8 – The Oversight Board welcomed the substantial support made available to small businesses in Puerto Rico under the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that is part of the Coronavirus Aid Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). From inception through May 1, more than $1.6 billion has been lent by the SBA via Puerto Rico’s participating commercial banks and cooperatives to some 23,000 small businesses in Puerto Rico. – Read more
  • May 9 – The Oversight Board sent a letter legislating additional bonuses for Government employees, who have been receiving their salaries in full and at a time when thousands of employees haven been laid off in the private sector, puts the Government’s financial situation at further risk. – Read more
  • May 13 – The Oversight Board issued a press release announcing the authorization of a $185 million short-term liquidity facility to help Puerto Rico’s 78 municipalities offset the timing of expected receipt of property tax revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. – Read more
  • May 19 – The Oversight Board issued a statement notifying that the Chairman and the Executive Director of the FOMB had a meeting with Governor Vázquez Garced where they discussed different fiscal issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic compensations for individuals and the PR municipalities. – Read more
  • June 1 – The Oversight Board sent a letter to the Treasury Department regarding the temporarily exempt sales of “First Necessity Items”1 that are needed to prevent the spread or for the treatment of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the payment of sales tax during the period from June 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020. – Read more
  • June 2 – The Oversight Board sent a letter to the Department of Education requesting weekly reports detailing disbursements and the use of federal funds received in connection with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”). – Read more
  • June 2 – Letter addressed to the Governor of Puerto Rico, Wanda Vázquez Garced to establish a timeline for the recertification of the Certified Budget of the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA), dated June 30, 2019. Read more
  • June 4 – Letter to the Governor of Puerto Rico on the importance of how the CRIM needs to adjust the forecast of property tax collections for FY2021 to FY2025 for the anticipated economic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more
  • June 5 – Letter to the Governor, Wanda Vázquez Garced, Thomas Rivera Schatz President of the Senate and Carlos J. Méndez Nuñez President of the House, on the joint Resolution that would allocate $185M from the Emergency Fund of the Government of Puerto Rico to the CRIM, and would be distributed among 78 municipalities as economic relief due to COVID-19 pandemic. Read more
  • June 5 – The Oversight Board sent a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Treasure, Hon. Francisco Parés, regarding the submission of the proposed professional services contract with KPMG covering the FY2018 audit of the Commonwealth Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR) and will wait for its approval. –-Read more  
  • June 8 – The Oversight Board announced that it has filed a complaint to compel the Government to provide documents related to contract negotiations for the purchase of COVID-19 tests and other medical supplies during the state of emergency. – Read more
  • June 8 – Letter to the President of the United Group of Automobile Importers and the President of the PR Automobile Distributors Association regarding the proposal they sent in relation to the imported vehicles excise tax during the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. – Read more
  • June 9 – The Oversight Board sent a letter to the Governor of Puerto Rico and the President of the Senate regarding the approved revised version of Senate Joint Resolution 534 in which proposes a 50% reduction of sales tax for a period of 120 days on the sale of any automobile vehicle, new or used. – Read more
  • June 10 – FOMB’s Research and Policy Department wrote an essay detailing recommendation to maximize the use of CARES Law funds to meet the needs of small and medium-sized businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. – Read more
  • June 23 – Letter to the Secretary of the Department of Education, Hon. Eligio Hernández in response to the request to submit a monthly CARES Act reporting instead of weekly reporting as establish on April 26 and June 2. – Read more
  • June 25 – The Oversight Board proposed to the Government of Puerto Rico and the Legislature to replenish the Emergency Reserve, included in the Certified Fiscal Plan, with $536M. The goal is to fund the Emergency Reserve with about $1.7B over 10 years. –Read more
  • June 25 – Letter to the Governor of Puerto Rico, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Puerto Rico on the Joint Resolution 568 approved by the Senate were proposes to grant an economic incentive of $3,000 to every pharmacist and pharmacy technician giving the COVID-19 pandemic. – Read more
  • June 26 – The Oversight Board announced the approval of $253M in funding for Health Care. These funds will be assigned to the Department of Health and various programs for hospitals, opioid treatment programs, tele-health, and medical student scholarships. – Read more
  • June 26 – Letter to the Secretary of the Department of Health and the Executive Director of Puerto Rico Health Insurance Administration requesting an update on the status of the FY21 rate negotiations with the Vital program’s managed care organizations (MCO’s) – Read more
  • June 26 – The Oversight Board sent a letter to the Comptroller of Puerto Rico, Ms. Yesmín Valdivieso, providing a detailed schedule of all the funds authorized in response to the COVID-19 emergency. – Read more
  • June 26 – The Oversight Board approves additional $253M to the Department of Health and various programs. – Read more
  • June 29 – Letter to the Mayors of Camuy, Cidra, Comerío, Orocovis, Quebradillas, San Sebastián and Villalba, with a notice of violation because the proposed budget does not account for revenue adjustments from COVID-19 emergency and over macroeconomic assumptions with the 2020 Certified Fiscal Plan. – Read more
  • July 2- Letter to the Chairman of the Committee on Natural Resources, Hon. Raúl M. Grijalva, with a follow up testimony and answers and clarifications upon conclusions of the hearing “PROMESA Implementation during the Coronavirus Pandemic” – Read more
  • July 5 – Letter to the Executive Director of the Financial Agency and Financial Advisory Authority, where the Oversight Board approves the access to the Emergency Reserve Fund for 30 days to be used for the drought emergency. – Read more