POST-MARIA GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS NEWSLETTER

November 1, 2017

 

The PRHTA has participated in every meeting celebrated by the Government and the private sector at the Center for Emergency Operations (“COE” Spanish acronym) that is located at the Puerto Rico Convention Center.

 

The PRHTA continues to channel requests for diesel with Government Officials, and has provided information on your facilities in order to attend the number of FEMA and military personnel that will be deployed island-wide.

 

The following are important updates provided by Government Officials:

 

I. PREPA

            - The cancellation of the Whitefish contract will set the established schedule back 10-12 weeks (CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION).

            - Whitefish has communicated that it will waive non-complete clauses so that subcontracted workers can continue with PREPA.

            - Government reached joint-agreement with Florida and New York for additional resources.

 

II. FEMA

            - Priority is to work on critical infrastructure projects (Example: Barceloneta waste-water treatment facility)

            - Connecting major employers by economic cluster in every region

 

III. FEMA / TSA (Transitional Shelter Program) Program

            - The TSA program provides refugee persons temporary lodging at hotel, motels and homes. The PRTC has objected that the TSA program be used with endorsed hotels, the PRTC has only made available a list of non-endorses lodging facilities.

            - Essentially, the program would place people located in the shelters to lodging facilities for a period of 10-15 days, paid by FEMA. This program was used during hurricane Katrina.

            - You can find a list of participating hotels/motels in the following link (http://www.femaevachotels.com/index.php).

             

 

The government has set-up a website for the population to get a first-hand look at the progress being made. The link is www.status.pr.

 

If you have any questions or requests please feel free to contact us at 787-758-8001, or at 787-955-0539. Lastly, you are welcome to come to our office and enjoy access to internet and a working space.


 

POST-MARIA GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS NEWSLETTER

OCTOBER 23, 2017

 

The PRHTA has participated in every meeting celebrated by the Government and the private sector at the Center for Emergency Operations (“COE” Spanish acronym) that is located at the Puerto Rico Convention Center.

 

The PRHTA continues to channel requests for diesel with Government Officials, and has provided information on your facilities in order to attend the number of FEMA and military personnel that will be deployed island-wide.

 

The following are important updates provided by Government Officials:

 

I. Ronald Hopgood, Special Advisor to Director of PREPA

            - The most important goal for the moment is connecting Cambalache Station to Manati Station. This will give Municipalities in the Northern-Coast Corridor energy and stability. This area was priority do to the large amount of manufacturing facilities. This is supposed to be finished by October 23rd.

            - By October 30th lines from Aguirre Station will be connected to Aguas Buenas. This is important because Aguas Buenas will feed new energy into Bayamon Station and Sabana LLana Station in Carolina. Providing additional energy and stability to metropolitan area.

            - Two main strategies to power East & South-East. 1. USACE working on building infrastructure for 115KV & 250KV (most powerful lines) lines, and 2. Stretching from Sabana LLana a number of 38KV lines (3rd String Lines).

             

II. US Army Corp. of Engineers, Col. Floyd (Energy Restoration Task Force Commander)

            - On October 25th, twin generators will be installed in Palo Seco station to give metropolitan area additional energy and stability.

            - The East & South-East mission is a logistical nightmare, and is by far the most extensive and difficult mission undertaken by the US Army Corp. of Engineers. Rebuilding infrastructure can take between 3-6 months, while energizing the area can take up-to a year.

 

 

III. Puerto Rico Legislation

            - House Bill 1274 – Establishes “Law to Manage Emergency & Disasters in Puerto Rico”. The project gives the Governor additional power to waive certain laws during an emergency, and requires certain essential private sector industries to have additional inventory during hurricane season. Establishes preferences for certain workers in gasoline stations.

            - House Bill 1275 – Established “Law for a New Puerto Rico Government”. Essential the project delegates power held by the Legislative Branch to the Executive Branch is re-organizing and consolidating government agencies and employees. Recognizing that certain independent offices and constitutionally created Departments will not be eliminated.

IV. Opinion Memo (2017-001) by Secretary of Department of Labor Puerto Rico

            - On October 17th, 2017 the Secretary of Labor of Puerto Rico published a letter clarifying the payment of exempt and non-exempt employees during and after Hurricane Maria. Please See attachment for more details.

 

V. Casino and Illegal-Slot Machines

            - On October 20th, 2017 the Puerto Rico Department of Treasury published an Administrative Determination (17-22) postponing the payment of renovation of licenses and revocation for these machines until the 31st of March 2018.

 

The government has set-up a website for the population to get a first-hand look at the progress being made. The link is www.status.pr.

 

If you have any questions or requests please feel free to contact us at 787-758-8001, or at 787-955-0539. Lastly, you are welcome to come to our office and enjoy access to internet and a working space.