Puerto Rico’s government announced it would pay its annual Christmas bonus to workers this year.

The government, which first defaulted on its general obligation debt in summer 2016, said it would start paying the bonus on Friday.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said it was important to pay the Christmas bonus to help the island's economy.

All government workers who have put in more than 960 hours of government work in the previous 12 months are contractually entitled to the bonus.

“It is important that we advance this well-deserved payment to help our public employees and encourage an economy that faces great challenges,” said Gov. Ricardo Rosselló.

Regarding the island’s public corporations, Rosselló said each body should evaluate its fiscal situation and make the bonus payments as soon as possible.

In 2015 the central government paid out $120 million in Christmas bonuses.

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