Wanda Vázquez

Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vázquez. >Josian E. Bruno Gómez / File photo

Gov. Wanda Vázquez and the government's chief financial officer (CFO), Omar J. Marrero, convened with agency heads to give continuity to the fiscal plan's implementation and to review the progress of the measures of cost reduction and budgetary controls of government agencies.

Marrero, who also serves as the executive director of the Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (Aafaf by its Spanish acronym), explained that the meeting—called the First Summit of Fiscal Public Policy—is part of the administration's efforts to disseminate and strengthen, among other affairs, each of the specific measures included in the fiscal plan and the implications presented by the Adjustment Plan of the Financial Oversight & Management Board (FOMB).

"Our administration is focused on taking Puerto Rico toward economic sustainability by means of strict compliance to fiscal and budgetary adjustments. It is important that all government entities comply with their measures for fiscal responsibility and the information requirements presented both by FOMB and the government's fiscal and financial agencies. Puerto Rico deserves visibility on public finances, transparency, and accountability," the governor affirmed.

The summit was led by the governor's fiscal and economic group. Among them was the government's representative before FOMB, Elí Díaz Atienza; Treasury Secretary Francisco Parés; the executive director of the Office of Management and Budget, Iris Santos, and the executive director of the Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience (COR3), Ottmar Chávez.

Vázquez also informed that the Opportunity Zones (OZ) Summit was held immediately thereafter, grouping the majority of Puerto Rico's mayors. The governor was accompanied by the OZ Priority Projects Committee, House Speaker Thomas Rivera Schatz, and Senate President Carlos "Johnny" Méndez.

The governor said that the input of these mayors is a "key" factor in boosting the OZ Program successfully, "because they are the ones who maintain an inventory about the available assets in their municipalities."

"This meeting served to present to all of them the scope of this legislation that is part of the Incentives Code," she added.

Moreover, Marrero—who also chairs the OZ Priority Projects committee—stated that the administration's primary interest is for mayors to get involved and understand the benefits of this program as a "unique" opportunity to bolster municipal economies.

"We will continue working with our mayors and legislators to attract local and foreign investment on key projects for economic growth and infrastructure, the CFO said.

The governor stressed that this efforts will go on, and that the Aafaf and the CFO's office will be the entities responsible for overseeing the compliance of fiscal responsibility and economic development measures.

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