Summary Background


In the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and María, the Government of Puerto Rico, with numerous federal partners and local stakeholders, worked to compile “Transformation and Innovation in the Wake of Devastation: An Economic and Disaster Recovery Plan for Puerto Rico” (the Recovery Plan), which is a Recovery Plan for Puerto Rico. In accordance with the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, the Recovery Plan was submitted to Congress on August 8, 2018.

The vision for transforming Puerto Rico set forth in the Recovery Plan is grounded in the present, taking into account a variety of preexisting factors that will continue to challenge the Island and its citizens in the years ahead. These include Puerto Rico’s location and geography, changing demographics, the economic trends and fiscal conditions prior to the hurricanes, and the limited maintenance of critical infrastructure. This recovery effort represents more than simply the effort to physically repair and reconstruct the damage caused by the hurricanes; it is also an opportunity to implement the social, governmental, fiscal, and economic reforms that will lead to a 21st-century Puerto Rico.

The Recovery Plan also incorporates several plans, such as (former) Governor Ricardo Rosselló’s Plan for Puerto Rico; the New Fiscal Plan for Puerto Rico: Restoring Growth and Prosperity, which was certified by the Financial Oversight and Management Board; and the CDBG-DR Action Plan approved on July 30, 2018.

Table 1: COAs impacted by EDD formation

The Recovery Plan includes 276 Courses of Action (COAs) based on numerous recovery components such as Communications, Housing, Natural and Cultural Resources, Health and Social Services, Energy, Water, Figure 1: Puerto Rico’s Recovery Plan 6 Economic and others. EDA’s investments in Puerto Rico post-María all address various COAs. The formation of an EDD specifically addresses the COAs set forth in Table 1 in whole or in part.

In addition to the direct impacts of the COAs in Table 1 formation of SPREDD is also likely to indirectly advance many COAs with respect to workforce development and other advancements and improvements in infrastructure that may require regional planning and collaboration. In addition to the Recovery Plan, the SPREDD CEDS will work in tandem with other existing plans such as PRIDCO’s Integrated Economic Development Plan, as several of the largest private employers in the SPREDD region operate in facilities leased from PRIDCO, plus other adopted elements of the Puerto Rico Disaster Recovery Action Plan for the use of CDBG-DR Funds, the United Plan for Puerto Rico WIOA for 2020-2023, and others to work towards the following abridged goals:

  • Promote sustainable economic growth
  • Attract additional private capital
  • Promote effective governance and transparency
  • Build capacity
  • Support ocean and visitor economy initiatives
  • Incorporate economic resilience
  • Decrease outmigration of the skilled workforce
  • Incentivizing formal/additional labor force participation by means of developing a 21st Century workforce
  • Broadening the tax base
  • Rehabilitation and renewal of existing housing units
  • Increasing fiscal discipline
  • Clarify ownership and responsibility for various infrastructure assets