Jun. 16, 2000
Amendment to state funeral law eyed
Senate Floor Leader Pete P. Reyes vowed to press passage of an amendment to the state funeral law to allow the government to give formal honors to individuals in the community who are otherwise not qualified under the present criteria. HB 12-154 cleared the lower house last March, but has yet been acted by the Senate despite the deaths of three prominent members over the past few months who were not honored a state funeral due to the restrictions of the existing law. Senators are set to hold session today where Mr. Reyes said he will move to include that House amendment to the agenda for voting.
Unpaid retro pay reaches $9.4M
The government has owed over $9.4 million in unpaid pay raise to nearly 2,000 employees, according to the Office of Management and Budget. In a report to Sen. Edward U. Maratita who has asked for the information in preparation for a plan to pay these overdue wages, OMB chief Edward S. Tenorio said the administration will need more time to compile and update on the financial obligation. The Rota senator, who chairs the Senate Fiscal Affairs Committee, is looking at appropriating some funds from FY 2001 budget for its settlement, saying that the mandatory pay increase for government employees has been neglected long enough.
Jun. 16, 2003
Unassisted worker to be deported
The Superior Court has affirmed the deportation of an alien worker who claimed he was not represented by any lawyer when the court conducted a hearing prior to the issuance of a repatriation order last April 22. Associate Judge David Wiseman effectively made the affirmation by denying last June 12 the request of Roberto C. Senido to stay the deportation order against him, saying that ruling otherwise would circumvent CNMI laws. “While the court is not unsympathetic to [Senido’s] situation, the court must nevertheless deny the motion for reconsideration and stay of deportation,” Wiseman said.
CRMO chief defends agency’s mandate
Coastal Resources Management Office director Joaquin D. Salas defended his agency’s existence, in the face of the Department of Lands and Natural Resources’ call to strip it of certain functions pertaining to coastal resources protection. In a letter to Gov. Juan N. Babauta last week, Salas said there is no need to transfer certain technical functions and funding from CRMO to DLNR as inter-agency cooperation has resulted in better achievement of the goals of government projects. The DLNR had earlier asked the Governor to limit the CRMO to just issuing permits. The two agencies have been engaged in a turf war over environmental issues, that most recent of which was the DLNR’s use of rotenone in collecting fish specimens.
Jun. 16, 2004
CUC’s Sablan: No sole-sourcing of contracts
Commonwealth Utilities Corp. board chairman Herman P. Sablan denied yesterday that CUC is “sole sourcing” solutions to resolve the current power crisis. In a June 12, 2004 statement that was released yesterday, Sablan said any reports insinuating that CUC would be sole-sourcing contracts for the privatization of its power plants are “totally and completely erroneous and unacceptable to me and my colleagues on the CUC board of directors.” “It has come to my attention lately from misconstrued media reports and misinterpretation of verbal statements made by CUC officers, including myself, that might insinuate to the public at large that CUC might be looking for solutions to resolve its power crises by ’sole sourcing’ solutions with power Plant 4 or any other suppliers,” Sablan said.
Lagoon project could affect 18 land parcels
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineer disclosed Monday that portions of at least 18 land parcels in Quartermaster and on Beach Road would be affected when the Corps begins the Saipan Lagoon Restoration Project, which aims to control the flow of runoff into the Saipan lagoon. In a report presented to the 14th CNMI Legislature yesterday, the Corps disclosed that nine areas would be affected along the China House site, where five landowners have yet to be identified. The Army Corps has already identified four owners of the affected lots. At the Quartermaster area, seven owners were identified while the government reportedly owns a parcel of land near the cockfighting arena; another owner has yet to be identified.