Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced announced this Friday the start of disbursement of the allocation of $ 100 million from the General Fund to assist the 78 municipalities of the island during the emergency caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
“The millionaire allocation, which is part of the first phase of the Strategic Plan to Reactivate Our Economy, Support Our Merchants and Protect Our Workers, is intended to provide urgent assistance to our municipalities so that they can face this emergency,” he said. the first executive in a statement.
“Another purpose is to ensure the continuity of services to our people, since we know that they have had to incur extraordinary expenses and that has an impact on the budget,” he said.
The Office of Management and Budget (OGP) will distribute the allocation depending on the number of residents of each city council: $ 1 million for municipalities with 25,000 inhabitants or less; $ 1,350,000 for municipalities between 25,001 and 50,000 inhabitants; and $ 1,750,000 for municipalities with more than 50 thousand inhabitants. That totals the sum of $ 100,050,000.
For said distribution, the population estimates of the 2018 Federal Census Bureau will be used, as approved by the Fiscal Oversight Board (JSF).
“At the moment, the disbursement has been processed to 49 municipalities that completed the registration with the Treasury, while 29 are in the process of completing said management in order to receive the funds. We urge those 29 municipalities to streamline their procedures so that they can receive their funds as soon as possible, “urged the first executive.
The 49 municipalities that completed the process are: Aguada, Cayey, Lares, Sabana Grande, Aguadilla, Ceiba, Las Marías, Salinas, Aibonito, Cidra, Las Piedras, San Juan, Añasco, Coamo, Loíza, San Sebastián, Arecibo, Corozal, Maunabo, Toa Alta, Arroyo, Culebra, Mayagüez, Toa Baja, Barceloneta, Dorado, Moca, Trujillo Alto, Barranquitas, Fajardo, Morovis, Utuado, Bayamón, Guayanilla, Naranjito, Vega Baja, Cabo Rojo, Gurabo, Orocovis, Yabucoa, Caguas , Hatillo, Ponce, Carolina, Juana Díaz, Rincón, Canóvanas, Lajas and Río Grande.
Meanwhile, the following municipalities are in the process of completing the process to receive the assignment: Aguas Buenas, Guayama, Peñuelas, Camuy, Guaynabo, Quebradillas, Cataño, Hormigueros, San Germán, Ciales, Jayuya, Santa Isabel, Comerío, Juncos, Vega Alta , Florida, Naguabo, Villalba, Guánica, Patillas, Yauco, Adjuntas, Humacao, Isabela, Luquillo, Manatí, Maricao, San Lorenzo and Vieques.
The mayor Cataño, Felix Delgado Montalvo, indicated that between today and the weekend that city council will complete the process. “It is practically validating some data so that everything is correct,” he said in statements to this medium.
“This money helps us a lot because with these emergencies, they are unexpected things, greater expenses are incurred,” said the mayor. Cataño is in the line of the municipalities that would receive $ 1,350,000. The mayor indicated that he will use the assistance to “continue minimizing the risk in the sense of buying masks, disinfectants to continue washing the streets and protect citizens.”
Additionally, it will set aside a budget of about $ 275,000 to give a $ 1,300 incentive to Municipal Emergency Management and Medical Emergency employees who are working during the emergency and who have not been covered by other state incentives.
The Municipality projects that, if the crisis situation were to be extended by COVID-19 until June 30, it would be losing about $ 9,000,000.
In the same direction, the mayor of Yauco, Ángel Luis Torres Ortiz, stated that “it is undoubtedly a lifeline for the municipality’s operations.”
Torres Ortiz indicated that he hopes that before Monday the city council has completed the process, and that he was waiting for data from the bank account that would be sent to the Treasury for the disbursement of the funds. IVU collections are generally around $ 160,000, but in the past three months, no month has exceeded $ 20,000.
The funds that the municipality will receive for the COVID-19 emergency will be used to pay the payroll of the 163 municipal employees who remain active during the emergency, such as police, garbage collection and Emergency Management personnel, as well as street sanitation and cleaning equipment, and the protective equipment required by employees. Torres Ortiz fears that the city council will not have payroll funds as of June 1.
Likewise, the mayor indicated that they plan to hire medical and nursing personnel to administer the COVID-19 test in that municipality.