BVC April, 2016 - page 10

10 April 2016 - Business View Caribbean
Puerto Rico Lawmakers Approve
Moratorium on Loan Repayments
On Wednesday, April 6th, Puerto Rico’s House of
Representatives approved a bill imposing a morato-
rium on servicing the US territory’s massive $70 bil-
lion debt. The Senate approved the bill in the early
hours of Tuesday morning, and the House passed it
some 24 hours later after a lengthy debate. It now
goes to Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla, who is
expected to sign it.
According to the Governor, the bill to stop the loan
payments is the best way to guarantee continued
services for the 3.5 million residents of the US Ca-
ribbean territory, in the absence of a federal bailout.
The US Congress so far has not granted the island
the right to bankruptcy protection, as the White
House and Puerto Rico Governor have sought to do,
and the bill is seen as adding pressure on Congress
for a restructuring of the island’s debt burden.
Garcia Padilla said that the government cannot pay
creditors when it needs to fund public sector sala-
ries, health, and education budgets, which if it ne-
glects could unleash a “humanitarian crisis.”
Meanwhile, US Virgin Islands Governor, Kenneth
Mapp has expressed his strong concern to Congres-
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