Economic Task Force presents alternatives for reopening the private sector
The secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce, Manuel A. Laboy Rivera announced that, after weeks of work by the Economic Task Force, he received the recommendations of the Plan for the economic reopening of the private sector, after the stoppage of certain operations to avoid contagion by the Covid-19.
"As a team, members of the private and government sectors, we evaluate various alternatives so that different economic sectors resume their operations, as long as it is done gradually and in harmony with the situation of the pandemic. We all have the responsibility for the economic development of Puerto Rico, but it is essential that these actions occur while safeguarding the health and safety of the workforce, ”said Laboy Rivera.
These recommendations issued by the working group that makes up the Economic Task Force will be under a joint evaluation process by the Governor, the Secretary of Health, the Secretary of the DDEC and members of the Medical and Economic Task Force. "When Puerto Rico is ready to open, we trust that the recommendations will be the guide to gradually restart operations in the private sector safely," explained the secretary of the DDEC.
The Economic Task Force is made up of approximately 50 representatives of the private sector and it is led by the president of the Business Emergency Operations Center, Emilio Colón Zavala.
The also president of the Association of Builders of Puerto Rico stated that "after five weeks of closing measures and restriction of mobility, it is important to evaluate moving to a transition phase to reactivate our economy. Now we have to start an orderly process, in phases, in two-week sequences, that allows our people to return to work. ”
Colón Zavala, also indicated “when it comes to flexibility, the risk level of contagion, number of jobs and percent of the Gross National Product (GNP) of each sector must be taken into account. Everything must be tied to the monitoring of our hospital infrastructure, the result of tests and tracing of contacts of those who test positive. ”
Several economists are part of the Economic Task Force. This second working group has the participation of the economist Roberto Toledo, who pointed out “that the main objective of the economic roll out” is to protect the Health system and the health of citizens, with these two principles, we develop different tools to an eventual orderly and sustainable opening.
The expert in economics, argued that "our goal has been to develop indices that indicate the capacity of the health system not to saturate it, risk indices by economic sector and economic impact to direct us with validated data, which sectors to recommend and open before others . This is supported by standardized CDC and OSHA guidelines on how to operate even under the threat of Covid -19. "
The economist emphasized three issues. First, if the roll out has to be stopped due to an outbreak, it will be done. Second, he stressed that the private sector is committed to supporting the government with all the necessary tools to address this, for example, in the purchase of evidence and contact tracing systems. Lastly, he indicated, "as I have always stipulated, in our system, an economic decision affects a health worker and a health worker affects an economic one."
The secretary of the DDEC, who leads the economic team on the part of the government sector, indicated that he is pleased that all sectors agree on the way in which the measures taken have been handled by the government and that health comes first.
Likewise, Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced expressed that “the measures must be correct and at the correct moment; for this reason the evaluation of the levels of contagion of the population, the protection measures that employers will take for their employees and how the pandemic is developing at the level of our island; they will be the indispensable criteria ”.
Together with the economic sector represented in the task force, as well as the medical task force and both secretaries, the pandemic is analyzed daily, so that, in a fair balance, our people are protected and the economy is reactivated.
Likewise, the first executive, noted that "federal aid will come to mitigate the joint economic impact to state, but in the meantime health must be strengthened and the measures taken to reopen companies, employers will have to provide security to the people go out and avoid a resurgence and acceleration of the pandemic. "
“Thank you to everyone in Puerto Rico for protecting themselves, for taking care of themselves and protecting their relatives, which is the greatest concern at this time. We are working hard and in consensus with all sectors including the economic sector, so promoting anxiety is not an alternative, quite the contrary, having