Central gov’t starts distributing $100M more to Puerto Rico towns
Puerto Rico’s 78 towns have completed the application process for the third phase of the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) Assistance Program to Municipalities, Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (AAFAF, in Spanish) Executive Director Omar Marrero said.
As part of the process, the central government will assign $1 million to each town so they can continue to guarantee that emergency services associated with the pandemic are rendered.
The approximately $100 million to be distributed in this phase of the program pushes the total assistance provided to municipalities to $300 million, he said.
“After Gov. Pedro Pierluisi authorized the extension of this program, we immediately began working hand-in-hand with the municipalities to meet federal requirements from the start and be able to distribute the money more expeditiously,” Marrero said.
“For this reason, we prepared updated guidelines with the terms and conditions and we organized many group and individual informative sessions with the municipalities where we provided relevant guidance and information on the application process in accordance with the eligibility criteria,” Marrero said.
Through the applications, municipal governments submitted their eligible expenses, expenses not budgeted nor covered by other assistance funding, which the municipalities must incur during 2021 to expand the effective response against the pandemic, Marrero said.
He added that most municipalities were able to include in the application expenses incurred in 2020 that could not be paid from other assistance funds.