Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló announced Friday that he will impose a new rule that “will give every adult a guaranteed minimum income of P500 per month.”
He called it “No Rent or No Money,” and said that anyone who has an income above P500 will be required to pay at least half of it.
The new rule will be enforced from December 1 through January 1, according to Rossello.
This will be the first time that a Puerto Rican governor has taken action against those living below the poverty line.
Puerto Rico, the poorest of the U.S. territories, has seen a wave of suicides and poverty-related deaths in recent years, as the island’s economy has struggled with a severe recession.
The Puerto Rican government has been under a series of economic pressures, as well as a humanitarian crisis caused by the hurricanes.
Puerto Ricans have faced a drastic drop in economic activity, with more than 70 percent of businesses shut down and unemployment above 10 percent.
The crisis prompted Puerto Rico Gov.
Ricardo Rosseló to order the suspension of all state-run and private-sector contracts in the island, including transportation, electricity, health care and communications.
The order came after the island declared bankruptcy, with the government unable to pay its debts.
Rossellos announcement came in the wake of another dramatic move from Puerto Rico: it announced the suspension on Friday of the islands annual general meeting, a popular event that has drawn millions of people from across the island.
The island’s governor announced the decision on Thursday, but he didn’t say why.
It was the second time that Rossella was forced to cancel the island´s annual meeting, and the first since he took office in January.
The governor announced on Friday that the island will hold the meeting again on April 4, the day before the first hurricane season ends.
The hurricane season typically begins in October, but many islanders are now expecting that it will be far longer than normal.