Jun. 21, 1999
Filipino workers are investing in real estate
Despite the uncertainty of their employment contracts in the CNMI, Filipino workers here are investing in real estate in the hope to fulfill their dream to own a house back in the Philippines. Visiting loan program manager Vincent N. Nery said following its first housing fair held on Saipan last year, the number of borrowers from the CNMI has more than doubled. "From 17 borrowers before the fair, we have 210 as of today," he said.
BOE decides to build one high school, junior high
The Board of Education decided against the proposal to build two new high schools on Saipan and favored the original plan to construct a junior high school and a new high school. In a special meeting called last Friday, board members carried the motion to develop a junior high school in Kagman III, near the site where the elementary school is being constructed. For the new high school, the Board favored the location near the Governor's Office up at Capitol Hill. However, the site is not one of the lot properties assigned to the Public School System.
Jun. 21, 2000
CDA curbs non-performing loans
The number of loans issued by the Commonwealth Development Authority that are considered non-performing remained at a tolerable level primarily because of recently-enforced measures that reduce average monthly mortgage by borrowers, according to Executive Director Marylou S. Ada. CDA has launched a program aimed at educating its clients on ways to become better borrowers, underscoring the importance of a good credit history in their future loan applications. This has been complemented by a counseling program, also initiated by the development authority, to halt the rising number of delinquent borrowers and non-performing loans which soared to 15 percent during the first quarter of the year. Ms. Ada disclosed non-performing loans are currently concentrated on the real estate sector due to the tremendous increase in vacancy rate of commercial and residential spaces, which has reached 45 percent since the departure of too many Korean businesses in 1998.
OPA faults DOF computation of lottery revenues
The Office of the Public Auditor faulted the computation of government revenues generated from the lottery operations during the first quarter of Fiscal Year 1999 when earnings were reportedly understated. According to an audit report released yesterday, government revenues were understated by as much as $25,232 in the first three months of the last fiscal year. Government revenue from lottery operations was reported to have reached only $157,830, and should be increased to $183,062 following the audit report's findings that it was understated. Lottery operators failed to compute lottery revenues based on the terms of agreement of the Memorandum of Understanding reached with the CNMI government in 1994, 1997 and 1998.
Wider PCB contamination feared
Impending opening of the refuse transfer station may cause wider polychlorinated biphenyl contamination because the project's identified site in Lower Base remains untested for PCB. Tanapag Action Group Chair Juan I. Tenorio said the area, which is also a subject to a legal dispute, was part of the US Military Fuel Farm. This raises concerns on the area being possibly tainted with PCB. Tenorio added the project site was never submitted to any soil and water laboratory test, which doubles the probability of contaminating other Saipan villages with PCB. He said the movement of collected garbage from the Tanapag Village to the transfer station and to the Marpi Sanitary Landfill poses greater health risks among Saipan residents.
Japan group promotes inter-Pacific education
Rich reading resources valued at around $10,000 were turned over to the Northern Marianas College yesterday by a prominent Japan-based organization. Soka Gakkai International, a group active in the promotion of worldwide peace and education, donated to NMC's Learning Resources department 228 books. SGI Vice President Richard Sasaki said the goodwill donation is part of the group's efforts to elevate the level of education in the Pacific Islands. Tonga, Fiji and the College of Micronesia have previously been recipients of the reading materials, most of which are authored by SGI's President, Dr. Daisaku Ikeda.Ikeda's works tackle themes on peace and humanism based on the principles of Buddhism.