In-Brief

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.”

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

Comments (3)

  1. It has been too long. We are under this unconstitutioanl strict lock down, with threats of fines and jail. Why is this government allowed to control our personal life and freedom, with no clue how to run economy on this Island. We are quietly sitting for 6 weeks in our rooms, looking at the ocean we can’t even touch. The government got their $2.2 billion in financial aid, that this Island will never see. Let us go back to our work of running businesses, and hopefully keeping our employees. We can all social distance, but give us some updates about how to slowly reopen. If you don’t know how to start, ask business owners, I am sure, every one of them came up with ideas how to continue with their businesses and keep healthy. We have to start somewhere.

  2. I went into self quarantine when I arrived from Arizona in February 20 ,2020 14 day later I enjoyed Puerto Rico and all I heard was how devestated everyone was with the earthquakes so my travel was limited. I was planning on touring the waterfalls of Puerto Rico when I was left in Puerto Rico under lock down. I treasure my lockdown with my 86 year old mom that lives in beautiful Ponti Coeli in San German, Puerto Rico. I must say that the respect to one another during the pandemic has left me speechless . Everyone caring for one another at a socially acceptable distance. Let’s keep the unity and move forward.

  3. This disease is not like a plague for which nobody survives. Those that get it and don’t know it are a majority of all alive. Those that get it and need treatment now are able to be treated with far more than nothing as was so in January.

    PR has to escape blind obedience to successors to the Conquistadores and risk consequences. The Governor may want to arrest a million but she has no place to put them or feed them. She can try to get Courts to levy fines but judges are not going to mass produce them or ever lose a way to forgive them.

    Of course, starvation is an alternative. President Trump may be about ready to remove the state of National Emergency and encourage states and territories to let all work. Then if we use intelligence ways to minimize risk and new tools to help those serious cases, we can revive. Wait and we save a lot more to starve with many more.

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