SAN JUAN – The secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC), Manuel Laboy Rivera, announced on Monday, that the Court of First Instance, Superior Chamber of San Juan, declared Ha Lugar, the Motion to dismiss and in opposition to preliminary injunction, filed by the DDEC, together with the Government of Puerto Rico, after dismissing the lawsuit filed by the representative of the Popular Democratic Party, Ángel Matos, in an attempt to stop the process of integrating the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (CTPR) into the DDEC , as ordered by Law 141 of 2018, known as the “Law for the Execution of the Reorganization Plan of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce”.
“Since Law 141-2018 came into force, we have successfully integrated the Permit Management Office, the Trade and Export Company, the Industrial Development Company and the Industrial Tax Exemption Office, among others. The transition processes are carried out as established by law and the Fiscal Plan, so that we can achieve the projected savings and efficiency of services. The opinion of the Court of First Instance of San Juan, validates the actions we have taken to comply with and enforce the Law in the transition process of the CTPR, as well as of other government agencies, “the official explained in a written communication.
According to the ruling issued by the judge, Anthony Cuevas Ramos of the San Juan Court of First Instance, “it seems clear to us that the Legislative Assembly, although it was interested in having some power to supervise the procedures to consolidate the government entities mentioned in the law, It delegated to the Secretary of the DDEC extensive powers to carry out any process that generates savings and efficiencies for such entities, in the same way that it has the power to carry out actions regarding the entities that are already attached to the DDEC. It does not appear from the law that the Legislative Assembly has the power to establish or confirm what actions the DDEC can carry out, but rather that such powers were delegated to the S]secretary. The certification required by law is only a formal requirement so that, officially, the Legislative Assembly and the Governor are aware that the procedure has been completed ”.
He said that this ruling makes it clear that the DDEC has taken all the necessary steps to comply with the mandate to reorganize the Economic Development component. “Understanding that the law is clear, it is not appropriate for this court to establish any limits to the powers of the DDEC to act as administrator of the DDEC for the purpose of generating savings and efficiencies. We must also express that the DDEC demonstrated that its action was not purely arbitrary, but that it consulted the Office of Administration and Transformation of Human Resources of the Government of Puerto Rico (OATRH) on the movements of personnel, to which the OATRH expressed that are under the framework established by Law No. 141 of 2018 ”, reads the judicial document that will be available to the public soon on the DDEC Access to Information portal through: https://www.ddec.pr.gov/accesoinfo/
The secretary of the DDEC and also president of the Board of Directors of the CTPR concluded “as I have expressed on multiple occasions the work, benefits and rights of colleagues who now become part of our agency, are protected according to the Law itself 141 and should have no doubts or fear. These changes are part of what is necessary and required to comply with the Fiscal Plan Certified by the Board of Fiscal Supervision and Financial Administration for Puerto Rico, for which we will continue working as a team in favor of the economic development of Puerto Rico ”.