• The Star Staff

COR3 continues apace with recovery projects


By John McPhaul

jpmcphaul@gmail.com


Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruc-tion and Resilience (COR3) Executive Director Manuel Laboy Rivera said Monday that during the second quarter of 2021, the office he directs managed to imple-ment initiatives along with other government agencies to streamline recovery processes and eliminate bureaucratic processes, as well as support the start of major infrastructure projects and complete reconstruction work with funds assigned by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).


“During the last quarter from April to June we continued teamwork between the subrecipients and other government agencies,” Laboy Rivera said in a written statement. “As a result of these efforts, we achieved the implementation of the Reconstruction Work Fund of $750 million, changes to Chapter 7 of COR3’s internal policies on disburse-ment processes and cash handling, which streamline the procedures for Requests for Reimbursement (RFR) and Requests for Ad-vances (RFA) and increased the number of disbursements to sub-recipients.”


“Also, we achieved the first disbursement for the construction of the Central Laboratory in Caguas of the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority, one of the projects required by FEMA under the Federal Accelerated Grant Strategy,” Laboy Rivera noted. “In addition, we are supporting the start of multiple recon-struction works for the Port Authority and in municipalities.”


Recently, FEMA reported that it had sur-passed 8,000 projects approved to address the damage caused by the passage of Hurricane Maria and that it has allocated about $25.6 billion for the development of various projects.


One of the most recent and significant obligations was made in June for $93 million for the Industrial Development Co. to rebuild some 159 properties in 41 municipalities.


To date, some $4.7 billion has been disbursed from the FEMA Public Assistance program and more than 300 permanent works -- buildings, parks, roads and basic services -- have been completed by municipalities, government agencies and non-profit orga-nizations.


“At COR3, we continue to strengthen our team and join forces with other govern-ment agencies to offer alternatives that make project execution feasible,” Laboy Rivera said. “We have shown that the changes we are implementing are working and will continue to work.”