Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares. (GFR Media) (Vanessa Serra Díaz)

Gurabo - Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares reiterated yesterday that creditors of the Electric Power Authority (PREPA) are participating in the process of debt restructuring  that is carried out under Title III of PROMESA, so he ruled out any previous intervention as requested by Congressman Rob Bishop.

"We have been in process of collaboration, but that's what Title III is for. That is a mechanism with broad transparency and that is where the process will be discussed. Now we are developing fiscal policies," said the governor at a press conference, after the a housing complex opening ceremony in this town.

On Thursday, when the details of the recommended Fiscal Plan for PREPA were disclosed, Bishop issued a statement asking the governor to include  creditors in the discussions of the fiscal document and the privatization of the public corporation.

"It is imperative that the Board and the governor fully integrate in the development of these plans those who hold the debt, thus ensuring accuracy and transparency in the assumptions made," said Bishop, who chairs the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Federal House of Representatives.

"The process with the creditors will be taking place in Title III," Rossello Nevares insisted yesterday.


The governor also defended his proposal to integrate the Energy Commission with other entities that oversee industries to create the Public Service Regulatory Board. The proposal has been criticized because that Board would be led by an official appointed by the governor, thus removing independent criteria from the agency.

"The Commission as it is today is going to change. The first step is to integrate them administratively so that components are more effective. The new regulatory entity will be critical for the effective operation of the system," said Rosselló Nevares.

The recommended Fiscal Plan for PREPA contemplates leaving the electric transmission and distribution network in the hands of a private operator, while the power plants of San Juan, Palo Seco, Aguirre, Costa Sur and "others" would be sold.

The Fiscal Plan also proposes to return to the rate structure that the Energy Commission- an organization that, according to the document, has tried to exercise excessive operational control over PREPA- has already rejected,


On the other hand, Rosselló Nevares defended the efforts made by his administration to show the data on the amount of cash they have available to keep the government operating.

His statements come after some political leaders pointed to the government mismanagement of financial information as a reason for the Department of Treasury not having disbursed the $ 4.9 billion loan that Congress approved for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Contrary to Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands have already received the loan, which seeks to give stability to public finances after the impact of Hurricanes Irma and María.

"The liquidity part itself has already been made public many times. What has been established is a dialogue on the negotiation parameters for this loan that is going to be granted. One of the parameters is that liquidity had to go down to a point. Because we had saved money, we had liquidity but  revenues have gone down and the economy too," he said.

 However, in a recent letter from the US Treasury to the Island, it came to light that the federal determination, among other things, was due to the fact that in the government's liquidity reports there were more than $ 1.5 billion in cash and a financial analysis had revealed the existence of 800 bank accounts with more than $ 6.8 million deposited.

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