(San Juan, PR –December 5, 2018) – The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico (the “Oversight Board”) created by Congress under the bipartisan Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (“PROMESA”), today issued the following statement:
“As referenced in a November 14, 2018 letter to Governor Rosselló, the certified Fiscal Plan for the Commonwealth calls for the elimination of the Christmas bonus as part of cost reductions in Payroll and Related costs as a measure to avoid more drastic measures, and the certified budget reflects that the Commonwealth would not pay a Christmas bonus. The certified budget for the Commonwealth requires that the Commonwealth not exceed the total amount budgeted for Payroll and Related concept of spend. As the Commonwealth proceeds to pay a Christmas bonus to its employees this year, each agency will have to achieve an equal amount of savings within the Payroll and Related allocation to offset such an expenditure. Failure to achieve the requisite savings in the Payroll and Related concept of spend may result in Commonwealth agencies exhausting their Payroll and Related allocation in the certified budget before the end of fiscal year 2019, imperiling the Commonwealth’s ability to make payroll for its employees. We will continue to monitor spending and will evaluate whether to take any corrective actions.
Puerto Rico has accumulated debt beyond the Commonwealth’s ability to repay, and has suffered from decades of financial mismanagement and ineffective delivery of government services. PROMESA was adopted specifically to respond to this situation. The Board has been charged with bringing the Island back to fiscal balance and returning market access to the Island. These mandates require many policy changes and implementation of hundreds of measures and structural reforms. Success for Puerto Rico, the end of the Board’s mandate, and a return to economic growth and hope are only possible with the Government’s steadfast cooperation.”