Reportajes en Profundidad

Fiscal Oversight Board Loses Importance for Puerto Ricans

El Nuevo Día
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A significant change in the perception of the Board is the importance given to its existence.

While in the current El Nuevo Día Poll,  31% say that the existence of the OB is "very important", this feeling was 47% in the October 2016 survey, 16 percentage points higher.

While the 28% say that the existence of the OB is "quite important" in line with what was reported in October. However, 40% of participants answer that the existence of the OB is "little" or "not important", compared with 24% in the October survey last year.

It is interesting to note that among those who are "against" the OB - 40% of the participants - 21% do see a degree of importance to it. And among those who are "neither for nor against", 49% do see a degree of importance to its existence, compared to 43% who see "little" or "no" importance.

No perception of benefit

Puerto Rico seems to be completely divided in the feeling towards the OB, as in other metrics this opinion is observed.

Specifically, while just one out of two participants says that this entity will be beneficial to the country and its current economic situation, the other half thinks otherwise.

This feeling is more like what was reported in a Pulso País in June 2016 when the issue of the Board began to spread more strongly. At that time, 47% felt that it would be beneficial to the country and its economy. This favorable opinion increased to 61%, according to data from the August 2016 Poll and 69% in the one conducted in October 2016.

This means that the perception of benefit for the country has dropped by 18 percentage points from October until now, as the group has assumed full functions and has taken over the reins of the country's budget.

In favor of the bondholders

Now that the JSF has been fully working, the dominant feeling,  44% of the participants of El Nuevo Día Poll is that the purpose of the Board is to favor the bondholders. This feeling shows a progress of 14 percentage points against the 30% that was reported in the October Poll last year.

Meanwhile, 17% believe that the main purpose of the entity is to favor the people of Puerto Rico. This feeling shows a drop of 11 points in relation to the survey of October, when it was reported a 28%.

A feeling that shows less fluctuation is that the OB aims to favor both parties equally, both the bondholders and the people. In the current issue of The Poll, 23% think this way, compared to 27% who said so eight months ago, in October 2016, a difference that is barely outside the sampling error

Eye on finances

For 45% of the participants, the main function of the OB is only to monitor the expenses and income of the country, however this does not mean that this subgroup perceives that the Board is doing that.

On the other hand, 29% said that the main task of this entity should be to govern Puerto Rico for its broad powers. Another 21% considered that the primary role of the OB was a different one, a feeling that was not reported in October 2016, while 5% did not comment on this.