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Luis de Rosa: The conflict of interest impeding Puerto Rico’s economic recovery

We must ensure that there are appropriate protections in place during Puerto Rico’s economic recovery.

In 2016, Congress passed a law called PROMESA which helped Puerto Rico take the first steps toward economic stability.

Unfortunately, this law was missing key provisions which would prevent conflicts of interest from playing a role in the debt restructuring process, leaving Puerto Rico at a disadvantage in bankruptcy proceedings.

Filing for bankruptcy is all about reducing the amount of money a borrower owes to an outside party. But when outside parties remain in charge of how much is owed, it defeats the purpose of the intended financial recovery meant to come from filing for bankruptcy.

This does a disservice to the Puerto Rican government and people of Puerto Rico trying to recover from economic hardship to get a fresh start and thrive as a United States Territory.

While we don’t know why Congress passed a law which denied Puerto Rico the same bankruptcy transparency requirements as the mainland, this is one example in a list of many that illustrate how Puerto Rico does not receive the same focus or protections as other parts of the United States.

In an effort to bring these important issues to light, the annual Puerto Rican Summit brings community leaders together to promote economic and community development for Puerto Ricans on the Island and on the mainland.

We must ensure that there are appropriate protections in place during Puerto Rico’s economic recovery and that every tax dollar spent in this process is done so prudently and with the appropriate oversight.

This is why I support the legislation that achieves this common-sense goal by fixing the flaws in PROMESA with a new bill called the Puerto Rico Recovery Accuracy Disclosures Act of 2019, or PRRADA.

This bill will ultimately mend the shortcomings of PROMESA and ensure that Puerto Rico has the same transparency protections as every other part of the United States which is integral to the Island’s recovery.

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Luis de Rosa is the president at South Florida Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce Inc. and the Executive Director of the Puerto Rican Summit.

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