Puerto Rico's government on Friday began making payments on debt due in the first few days of January, defaulting on just a portion of the $757 million total and paying the full amount owed on general obligation, or GO, debt.

Puerto Rican Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla announced Wednesday that the island would not make debt payments totaling $37 million, most of which is due on Infrastructure Financing Authority bonds that offer little legal protection to their holders.

The U.S. commonwealth, however, will make full payment of around $335 million on its constitutionally guaranteed GO bonds, coming up with around half of the necessary cash by shifting around money that had originally been intended to pay holders of bonds issued by different government agencies.

Puerto Rico's financial liabilities total nearly $73 billion, a sum Garcia Padilla has declared "unpayable."

The governor's administration is appealing to the U.S. Congress to extend Chapter 9 bankruptcy protections to Puerto Rico. EFE