Private sector calls for reopening Puerto Rico’s economy
Saying that six weeks after the government of Puerto Rico established a strict lock-down the private sector is not producing economic activity, newly created group Movement for a Healthy Economy said it is time to reopen the economy.
The island’s private sector reportedly generates 94.3% of the value of Puerto Rico’s productive activity, while the government represents 5.7%, said the group that has produced a number of recommendations to “reopen the economy, following the necessary protocols and safety measures.”
“A two-week shutdown to prevent a collapse in the healthcare system is something that most businesses can handle. But maintaining the restrictions for more than six weeks will force the bankruptcy and failure of most businesses and jobs in Puerto Rico,” said Federico Stubbe, chairman of Prisa Group, one of the founders and spokesman of this movement integrated by business representatives and citizens.
The group includes Rafael Rojo, ex-president of the Homebuilders Association, Carlos Blanco, of the Grupo Doctor’s Hospital, and Waleska Rivera, CEO of Danosa and former Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association president, among others.
“The economic collapse will be devastating. The health system has ample capacity. It is time to produce,” he said.
It is estimated that 300,000 private-sector workers are temporarily out of work, which translates to 45% of employees affected. Of these, some 170,000 have already applied for unemployment benefits.
The group is calling on government leaders to trust the ability of the private industry to “think of innovative ideas and offer alternatives that can help build a program of effective solutions to succeed, which in turn leads to building a long-term development strategy.”