Puerto Rico’s November 13-19, 2017 political week in tweets

by | Nov 20, 2017 | Political Week in Tweets | Comments

THE PROPOSED TAX REFORM BILL COULD BECOME ANOTHER DISASTER FOR PUERTO RICO

The recently approved US tax reform could result in the loss of nearly 250,000 jobs in Puerto Rico which is the last thing to allow after Hurricane Maria hit the islands. Under the tax reform provisions the Controlled Foreign Corporations in Puerto Rico will be classified as “foreign” for purposes of uniformly and will be imposed a 20 percent taxation rate on their earnings. This will most certainly drive corporations, which make up until 30 percent of the government revenues on the islands, away from Puerto Rico. Governor Ricardo Rosselló already criticized the bill as hampering “Puerto Rico’s competitiveness at a time of fiscal crisis and hurricane devastation”.

HOW MUCH DOES PUERTO RICO NEED FOR HURRICANE RECOVERY?

Puerto Rico is currently seeking $94 billion aid for recovery efforts from the Hurricane Maria. “We are calling upon your administration to request an emergency supplemental appropriation bill that addresses our unique unmet needs with strength and expediency”, Ricardo Rosselló wrote. Another problem is whether the residents decide to remain on the islands to help rebuild Puerto Rico or to move to the US mainland. The governor also highlighted that the new tax reform could become a trigger for the second scenario.

WATER CRISIS IN PUERTO RICO CAN BECOME ANOTHER HUMANITARIAN CATASTROPHE IF IS NOT RESOLVED SOON

Apart from the absence of electricity, Puerto Ricans are currently facing a bigger problem. If they continue to drink tap water from unsafe places, Puerto Rico might face another humanitarian crisis as water in many places contains contaminants such as dead animals, open sewage, and animal fecal and urine matter. Doctors have reported numerous injuries and illnesses because of water contamination sickness.

DEBRIS REMOVAL BECOMES HUGE BUSINESS FOR DOZENS OF COMPANIES

Enormous amounts of debris still remaining in the streets of Puerto Rico could be a good metaphor for the number of contracts, companies, and bureaucratic procedures for debris removal that currently exist. The millionaire amount in contracts is still unknown and it seems that the main victim of this is the cleanup itself. With the lack of coordinated work the process is not as fast as it should be considering the deteriorating public health situation on the islands.

NOT ONLY INFRASTRUCTURE AND DEBRIS NEED ASSISTANCE RIGHT NOW

Many people report anxiety and depression cases for the first time in their lives. And some have a fear that a disaster will strike again and become paranoid. Puerto Rico already had a problem with increasing mental illnesses cases due to the long-time recession that caused unemployment, poverty and family separation due to migration. Experts now claim that Hurricane Maria has worsened the situation on the islands.

KATRINA LESSONS FOR PUERTO RICO

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, in New Orleans alone, 110 out of 126 public schools were destroyed. Almost 400,000 children were displaced to other states for the rest of the school year so that they could attend. How did New Orleans deal with the hurricane impact and how can this experience be useful for Puerto Rico now?

PUERTO RICO FINDS A NEW WAY OF ATTRACTING TOURISTS

Many Americans wonder how they can make a difference and help rebuild Puerto Rico right now. The Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC) found a way of attracting travelers that are looking for meaningful tourism opportunities and announced the launch of a series of “Rebuild Days” through the end of the year. The program will focus on the cleanup of parks, historical sites and other tourist attractions. The company will provide the travelers with all the necessary tools and supplies.

“Tourism continues to be vital to Puerto Rico’s road to recovery, and we look forward to welcoming visitors soon, especially those who want to give back this holiday season,” said Jose Izquierdo, Executive Director of the PRTC.