These Are the First Six Executive Orders Signed by Puerto Rico’s New Governor


Image courtesy of La Fortaleza

By Mivette Vega

January 4, 2021

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi’s executive orders address the coronavirus emergency, crime, and the budget.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico—Pedro Pierluisi became the 12th governor of Puerto Rico at a private ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 2. 

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Maité Oronoz was in charge of taking Pierluisi’s oath. 

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After the swearing-in, Pierluisi called on the island legislature to “work as a team” in effectively addressing the challenges ahead and recognizing diverse leadership in both chambers.

“We are going to play as a team again because that is what Puerto Rico needs,” he said during the ceremony.

Later, Pierluisi attended a controversial public ceremony in Puerto Rico’s Capitol building with 400 guests, despite social distancing restrictions. After the inauguration ceremony, Pierluisi went to La Fortaleza, both office and home during his term as governor.

He then signed his first six executive orders.

The first one was for Puerto Rico’s Health Department to design a massive coronavirus testing campaign to guarantee availability to everyone. “The design of this campaign must ensure that the tests reach remote or hard-to-reach areas, so everyone has the opportunity to receive them,” the first order stated.

For his second order, the governor required that the Department of Justice and the Department of Public Safety draft a memorandum of understanding with the US attorney for Puerto Rico to address corruption and other crimes.

“The Department of Public Safety and the Secretary of Justice are ordered to immediately conduct conversations with the federal prosecutor for the District of Puerto Rico, to establish, amend, or improve any collaboration agreement regarding the prosecution of corruption or white-collar crimes,” the executive order reads.

Pierluisi also signed an order demanding fiscal responsibility regarding spending measures in the executive branch.

“This order declares this government is committed to maintaining spending-control measures while we are responsible for the people’s resources,” Pierluisi said in a press release.

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Another order signed prohibits spending on official photos of the governor and heads of agencies in government facilities. 

“Our administration will reflect the priorities of our people, so there is no need to be investing people’s money in official frames and photos,” the governor said.

The last two executive orders establish the structure and organization of the Office of the Governor and designate Carmen Salgado as its administrator, respectively.



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