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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Treasury chief headed for ‘new opportunities for professional growth’

By The Star Staff

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia announced late last week that he had accepted the resignation of Treasury Secretary Francisco Parés Alicea, effective Jan. 31.

The resignation of the civil servant is due to new professional challenges in the private sector, the governor said.

“Francisco Parés Alicea has been an undisputed leader in the transformation of the Treasury Department to be more agile, reliable and offer better service to our citizens,” Pierluisi said in a written statement. “The implementation of SURI, creating an easily accessible digitized system; The disbursement, in record time, of refunds to taxpayers and the payment of credits to pensioners and the credit for work are part of the legacy left by the secretary in the agency. I recognize that he has always been willing to give his best to meet the challenges that I have entrusted to him so that the Treasury and our tax system respond to the needs of the people. I thank you for your willingness, commitment and efficiency, and I wish you success in the private sector.”

Parés Alicea said “new opportunities for professional growth and important changes in my personal life are leading me in other directions.”

“I conclude my duties as Secretary of the Treasury and Chief Financial Officer of the Government with the satisfaction of having fulfilled the important mission of serving Puerto Rico,” he said. “Leading the Department has been and always will be the greatest distinction, as a professional and as a Puerto Rican. Digitalization, the structural changes we have implemented in the agency, and the teamwork that accompanied me on this journey contributed to achieving the historic results that have put Puerto Rico on the path to economic stability. That team effort will always transcend the figure of a secretary.”

The Treasury secretary added that “the challenges experienced in the Treasury were never obstacles, rather they were a motivation and I guarantee you that each action was intended to achieve sound financial management and a fairer tax system for all.”

“I thank Governor Pedro Pierluisi for giving me the great opportunity to serve Puerto Rico, as well as the team that has accompanied me in this enormous responsibility,” Parés Alicea said. “To my family, I will be eternally grateful for the support they always gave me. Today I deserve to go back to them. Thank you for all the signs of affection and respect you have given me …”

Parés Alicea stood out for simplifying and facilitating tax processes so that taxpayers could have better access to them. Similarly, during the pandemic, he managed to reach record and historic figures in the collection of contributions to the General fund. In addition, he efficiently achieved the disbursement of $4.247 billion in aid to taxpayers and participants of the various aid programs available as a result of the economic situation due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, as well as economic aid for small and midsize businesses.

Nelson Pérez will serve as the new undersecretary of the Treasury Department and will assume the interim position of secretary, once Parés Alicea ceases his functions.

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