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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Governor says by 2026-27 he may be able to justify fiscal board’s departure


Gov. Pedro Pierluisi said the evidence that will ultimately clear the way for the exit of the Financial Oversight andManagement Board from Puerto Rico will be in the government’s audited financial statements.

By The Star Staff


Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said on Tuesday that by 2026-2027 he will be able to present evidence that may justify the departure of the Financial Oversight and Management Board.


The governor said in a radio interview that the evidence will be the audited financial statements. According to the federal Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), the oversight board will terminate overseeing the U.S. territory’s fiscal matters when Puerto Rico has adequate access to short-term and long-term credit markets at reasonable interest rates to meet the government’s borrowing needs, which will only be possible once the commonwealth can restructure all its debt.


In addition, Puerto Rico must balance its budget for at least four consecutive fiscal years by modified accrual accounting standards before the oversight board disbands. A balanced budget includes payments on the restructured debt.


“I will be able to demonstrate that at the end of this year. There are [supposed to be] three audited statements one after the other, which would be 2026, so we are talking about mid-2026, or a little later,” the governor said in a radio interview (NotiUno). “Because what I am going to use as tools are the audited, published financial statements. Using the financial statements published by the government, further demonstrating that we have already had access to the market.”


Pierluisi added that the audited financial statements and the loan market access attained by the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority will be the evidence needed to request the oversight board’s exit.


He said there may be a roadblock or opposition to the board’s departure. If that were the case, the governor said he will go to Congress and say: “‘Look, take action on the matter.’”


“The other forum you can go to is the court,” he added.


Regarding a disagreement with the oversight board’s executive director, Robert Mujica, who argues that Puerto Rico has not had balanced budgets, Pierluisi said he believes that there are two or possibly three balanced budgets.


“The reality is that [there have been] enough of the cuts; we had them at one time and they cleared the way for the debt being restructured and now the government is in a very solid fiscal state,” he said. “But that’s what I can tell you; if I am waiting, I also long for the day when we don’t have a meeting. Let the elected officials, both in the House and Senate and in [La Fortaleza], be the ones who make the final decisions here in Puerto Rico, in all areas.”


The oversight board was appointed in 2016 as part of PROMESA, which allowed Puerto Rico to restructure its debt in a bankruptcy process in order to achieve fiscal responsibility and access to the capital markets.

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