The Fiscal Oversight Board announced today that it certified the 2020 fiscal plans for the Electric Power Authority (PREPA), the Highway and Transportation Authority (ACT) and the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (AAA).
According to the federal ante imposed by Congress to control the country's finances, the three fiscal plans are "the route" towards a better quality of life in Puerto Rico, as well as more security and continuity of its services to citizens during hurricanes, earthquakes, drought, and the day-to-day operations.
“Electricity, roads, and water are essential for all residents, and neglecting these essential elements has negatively affected life in Puerto Rico for decades. ”the executive director, Natalie Jaresko, maintained in written statements.
“These three elements require significant improvements, and substantial new investments that reflect the needs of the people and businesses in Puerto Rico today. Furthermore, these three agencies have to make sure that their finances are stable. To achieve these goals, the three entities have to make extraordinary changes in the way they operate, "he added.
According to the Board, PREPA's Fiscal Plan is" the route "towards a transformation complete of Puerto Rico's electricity system. The plan requires a five-step transformation; The first two have already been completed: the creation of an independent regulator with the Puerto Rico Electricity Board and the agreement signed at the beginning of the month with Luma Energy to manage the Puerto Rico electricity network.
PREPA, maintains the entity, now you have to focus on transforming power generation. Key initiatives include updating mechanisms to generate energy to include renewable energy sources and the transition to private operators.
“PREPA needs private capital and the expertise to develop a modern, flexible and efficient generation system that achieves cheap electricity and directs Puerto Rico towards 100% renewable energy by 2050. Furthermore, PREPA must to be able to guarantee the maximum financing by federal funds for its recovery and modernization, in addition to the restructuring of the debt and its obligations with the pensions ”, it is clear from the statement.
The Board noted that the roads of Puerto Rico "are in deterioration", so the ACT would have to improve their maintenance and the traffic system.
Only 4 percent of Puerto Rico's roads are in good condition, in addition to the San Juan metropolitan area being the 25th most congested city in the entire United States and its territories.  The Fiscal Plan of the ACT would seek to improve and maintain the highway system and repair the damage caused by "disasters and abandonment", so that the residents of Puerto Rico can reach their destination safely.  The Supervisory Board and ACT collaborated to develop a dashboard that allows the people of Puerto Rico to see progress in construction and repairs to the roads. The dashboard will provide ongoing visibility into the status of projects and includes a public comment function.
“The ACT Fiscal Plan requires the entity to establish an independent board of directors with experienced and knowledgeable directors. It also includes six measures to improve revenues, including an increase in the collection of fines on tolls, on tolls and the introduction of congestion tolls; in addition to four more measures to reduce expenses, including a reduction in pension costs and employee health coverage. ACT's existing debt is not sustainable and requires significant adjustments, pursuant to Title III of the Promise Law, "added the JSF.
In Puerto Rico, according to the press release," too much is lost AAA ”water due to recurring duct breaks, faulty meters, and other deficiencies. Up to 60 percent of water is wasted before it reaches homes.
It is safe to drink water in Puerto Rico, but reports of water quality indicate worrying trends for health-based violations, such as nitrates and chlorine-based by-products.
“The Fiscal Plan for AAA is the route to sustainability, but requires the implementation of 11 fiscal measures, which include moderate increases in rates and reductions in wasteful use of water and the use of chemicals, "they concluded.