July 19, 2000
Teno hopes Congress shoots down takeover bill
Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio yesterday expressed hope again that legislation extending federal minimum wage and immigration laws that are pending in the U.S. Congress will not pass despite renewed efforts by some members to revive these measures. “It's been our desire that [they], and we have always asked Congress to please, help us and hopefully the bill will not go through,” he told reporters in an interview. The governor was referring to S. 1052-which seeks automatic takeover of CNMI's immigration by the federal government-that was passed by the U.S. Senate last February and is still awaiting action in the lower house.
$40K fed grants for visually-impaired
The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation has recently been awarded $40,000 worth of federal funds to assist visually-impaired individuals who are 55 years old and above acquire the necessary vision aids that would support their plight to be independent. The agency has been guaranteed continuous $40,000 funding for a span of five years under its Independent Living for the Older Blind program. Tee Abraham, Vocational Rehabilitation director, is urging visually-impaired individuals and those whose vision are poor to avail of the services the agency is offering. Under the program, qualified applicants can be provided eye examinations, eye glasses or other vision aids at the expense of the VR office.
July 19, 2001
Govt scrambles for funds as lobby firm contract nears end
As the clock winds down on the Greenberg Traurig contract, local leaders in the Commonwealth are stepping up efforts to find funding to retain the lobby group, which is in the frontline of efforts to block the proposed federal takeover of the CNMI. Though no decision has been made yet whether to renew the Greenberg Traurig contract, Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio said that chief among their concerns is the source of funding if a decision is actually made to renew the contract. He said that he has already met with key business leaders and lawmakers to discuss the matter.
EMO seeks additional funds
Citing probable miscommunication between the Emergency Management Office and some lawmakers, the EMO is set to request the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation for fresh funding amounting to $120,000 to pay off its obligations to several vendors. This comes in the wake of the passage of House Local Bill 12-40, a local measure appropriating $303,957 for projects in the Third Senatorial District-with $19,062 going to the EMO. EMO director Gregorio A DL. Guerrero had originally asked for $120,000 but legislative action whittled down this amount to just $19,062, as lawmakers had to readjust the funding allocation to accommodate several priority projects for Saipan.
July 19, 2002
Customs collections rise to $4.55M in June
Customs collections in June totaled $4.55 million-a modest increase of $123,945 compared to May's earnings but a steep plunge of 17 percent when compared to year-ago levels. The marginal growth from May's $4.42 million to June's $4.55 million translates to a 2.8 percent increase, representing a slowdown in collections compared to that in April, when collections rose by 7.38 percent. Total customs collections for the fiscal year starting October 2001 is now pegged at $38.29 million, or an 18-percent decline when compared to the same period last fiscal year.
CDA promotes one-stop shop for foreign investors' inquiries
The Commonwealth Development Authority is beefing up efforts to fast-track the creation of a proposed center that will handle business information and the needs of potential investors, Board Chair Juan S. Tenorio said. Tenorio, however, explained that more have to be done in order to completely establish the proposed one-stop shop. He said a deeper study is needed to prevent possible duplication of other government agencies' functions, especially those that directly or indirectly deal with businesses and investments. “We are continuously working with both the Legislature and the Administration to keep things going in order to revive the economy through increased business activities. CDA is definitely working on the proposed one-stop shop,” he said.