Due diligence a must

We try to understand issues that are above our heads. Sometime we venture second-guessing our way through subsequent discussion muted, if not, humiliated, for failing due diligence. Perhaps this explains the prevailing disorientation of issues. It seems we’re consistently scattered in our views.

Loss of disposition: The cronyism sealed between the NMI and BSI was done at the exclusion of other key players, including the indigenous people. We are dumbfounded by the policy of domination and subordination via projects purportedly “too big to fail.”

It is basically neocolonialism in business form where the message is “you’re too small and helpless to dispose of our future.” We’ll do it for you!

A mega project was introduced known as integrated resort, the full plan of which we haven’t seen nor has it been shared with the indigenous people. Or do we take it for granted that it’s “too big to fail”?

Now there’s concern that the mega project may be too big for the outdated basic infrastructure in Garapan. What happens when it moves up north? Do we have CIP funds for emplacement of sufficient water, power, and a new sewer system in Marpi?

The oversight of this issue alone threatens to dampen the anticipated growth of the local economy. It slams new sources of revenue generation that places the fiscal crisis in wider and deeper hole. And it reverts to leadership’s lack of vision or foresight in what it takes to instill sturdy wealth and jobs creation. It’s a huge patch-up job or agenda like running with buckets to fetch water to put out a huge marshland fire.

Unless we muster the conviction to take back what’s ours, it simply means that our future is entirely in the hands of the NMI and BSI. The agenda is simple: gradual dominance and subordination. It means destroying our traditional economy first, followed by turning each of us into servile employees.

Fascinating though why China forced Macau to engage in economic diversification. In other words, it could have casino but must develop other sectors to support it over holding as the mainstay. Does this policy make sense? Why embrace an industry that would render most of our people very poor? Hasn’t this happened recently to Native Americans, many of whom are “shockingly poor?” Is there a lesson to draw from this experience before subjecting our people to the same fate?

Unconventional enemy: Let’s take the Islamic State and al-Qaida’s global agenda on death and destruction against the West. While the Paris and San Bernadino carnage may be distant from the NMI, it should be understood that their strength in numbers (millions) is all over Asia. Have we been eyeing their movements too? Or do we even have a halfway decent intelligence unit assigned solely for this purpose?

Crackdown: China is set to launch a nationwide crackdown on the rampant abuse of the state-backed China UnionPay card payment system, according to a recent story in the South China Morning Post. It would require registration of mobile “point of service” transaction across nationwide.

“It is likely to have a significant effect in Macau as insiders say the countrywide crackdown is linked to widespread abuse of the system uncovered in world’s biggest casino hub last year.

“Although the tightening by China UnionPay is a nationwide campaign, its effect is expected to be felt hardest in the former Portuguese enclave, where the proliferation of illegal mobile POS devices has been most rampant.

“An industry consultant in Macau said the new tightening measures would undoubtedly have a chilling short-term effect on gaming revenues, but could actually be beneficial for the industry in the longer run.”

Container houses

A certain firm was allowed to build a demo-house using shipping containers at the Garapan Fishing Base. It may be well intended but it’s an area where no one is allowed to build permanent structures. Where did Skywalker secure its permanent fixture permission and is it leasing the place? If not, who gave the green light that use of the land and permanent fixture are permissible?

Understandably, family homes were destroyed by a superstorm. We’re used to picking up the pieces rebuilding by availing of federal assistance combined with what the family pocketbook could pitch in. Is this program linked with the housing program here (NMHC)? If not, is there a reason for its exclusion? I’d like to hear what it has to say in terms of meeting certain federal standards in the construction of strong, safe and sanitary housing.

‘I never left.’

An islander wrote a very thoughtful poem about his cultural and traditional affinity to the land and sea. Quite a simple poem but loaded with substance and wisdom.

He said he’s dreamt of the past and can never go back. He’s planted taro and bananas on the land, and fished in the waters, as did his ancestors.

He pointed out that he can’t return to the land and sea that he loves because “I never left.” It’s a view of our past anchored to our island’s cultural tradition. Yes, a lot of changes may have occurred against what’s ours, but are fully tethered to our land. We’re still here!

What gives the indigenous people here their identity? Citizenship? Is it genetics, social structure, legal system and DNA? Isn’t it the land, Our Motherland, upon which we were born? In this context, it would seem to me that everything else is an offshoot.

A well-read Filipino writer Montelibano said: “The parent is land and identity, land that is country, land that is home to a people, land that gives nominates the identity of a race. If the land where we were all born, the land where our ancestors were born, had not been the Philippines, there will be another race but no Filipino. Land gives the identity, not the citizenship.”

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John S. Del Rosario Jr. | Contributing Author
John DelRosario Jr. is a former publisher of the Saipan Tribune and a former secretary of the Department of Public Lands.

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  • Ioanes

    JR is watching if Sisyphus would roll the rocks up hill once more when the larger one up there rolls off the mountain top. A fitting term though he should have used but held back for a reason.

  • Magahaga

    John (Ñiao), this is truly an excellent explanation of why it is imperative that our elected and appointed officials; including those in influential positions (business, church, NGO, etc) are reading this piece; and are taking heed on the very road map you provide (herein) of our existence as Tautau Tanu.

    Un dangkulu na si Yu’us Ma’asi!

    Peace!

    • Ioanes

      JR encourages that we calm down and come home to ourselves!

  • jun

    Buenas John,

    Where did Skywalker secure its permanent fixture permission and is it leasing the place? If not, who gave the green light that use of the land and permanent fixture are permissible?

    Who else? “The newly confirmed board member of the Department of Public Lands.” You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to connect the dots within our local government. And hopefully no one would be benefiting from the side from such venture.

    Si Yu’us Ma’ase

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