Sept. 18, 2000
Telesource gets $17-M Tinian airport rehab contract
The Commonwealth Ports Authority has formally decided to award the contract for the construction of the new $17-million West Tinian International Airport runway to Telesource CNMI, Inc., which offered the lowest bid among six companies that proposed to carry out the project. The Federal Aviation Administration has recently concurred with the ports authority's decision to award the contract for the project to Telesource at $16.9 million for the 8,600-linear-foot Tinian airport runway. “Your bid offer for the Alternative Bid Project of $16,949,105 is being accepted by CPA as the contract amount. CPA has reviewed the bid proposal documents submitted by Telesource CNMI, Inc. and has found the bid proposal to be responsive,” said Executive Director Carlos H. Salas.
House okays bill to boost postsecondary education
Saying the Northern Marianas College is a failure in developing local labor pool required to meet the islands' needs for economic development, the House of Representatives has moved to remove barriers against establishment of new colleges here. Legislation amending the statute that established the community college was passed by the lower house last Friday in a bid to encourage more postsecondary educational institutions to come into the CNMI. HB 12-192, sponsored by Speaker Benigno R. Fitial, seeks to limit NMC's powers to regulate the establishment of colleges as provided under existing laws.
Sept. 18, 2001
Budget revision near at hand
Belt-tightening measures being implemented by the CNMI government may yet become tougher, as the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2002 goes under review for a possible downward adjustment, in the wake of the downturn being seen in the tourism sector. Reeling from the one-two punch brought on by the terror attacks in the US mainland, government officials are now saying that the CNMI's tourism sector may not bring in the expected revenues it promised in the early part of the year, necessitating a review of the proposed $233.84 million budget. “From the report we received from the Governor, it appears that the next couple of months would have a tremendous adverse effect on the revenue that we've been expecting. It doesn't look like the resources identified are realistic figure. So there's a need to adjust the revenue down,” said Senate Floor Leader Pedro P. Reyes .
NMC lobbies for approval of funding bill
The Northern Marianas College is awaiting executive action on a pending legislation that would channel a portion of nonresident workers' fees to NMC's key educational programs. The college administration, in a letter addressed to Governor Pedro P. Tenorio, appealed for the approval of House Bill 12-361 which seeks to assure financial support to the college's crucial programs: the Nursing Program, the Work Experience Training Program, the Business and Hospitality Program, the School of Education and the Business Development Center. NMC believes the passage of the bill will benefit local students through expanded programs and courses. The legislation is also expected to encourage local residents to seek private sector employment as a result of acquired skills in the areas of health, hospitality and business.
Sept. 18, 2002
'Let's change the way of doing business in NMI'
In a tacit admission that doing business in the Commonwealth is becoming harder and harder, Gov. Juan N. Babauta said now is the time for the CNMI to change the way business is being done here. “I think that it is time that we change the way we do business here in the CNMI. We really need to reach out to potential investors and make it easier to do business here. We certainly want to streamline the bureaucratic process of doing business here,” said the Governor. This effort would complement the government's drive to bring in more tourists into the Commonwealth and make the CNMI a favored destination both to tourists and investors, he added.
US Labor mulls more education, less enforcement
The U.S. Labor Wage and Hour Division in Region IX has indicated its desire to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Saipan Garment Manufacturers Association that would refocus the division's goals here in the CNMI from enforcement toward educational outreach. This came soon after U.S. Labor Region IX administrator George Friday said that, although there are still some wage problems in some of the factories, these violations are minimal and isolated compared to previous ones. These violations include the eight garment firms on Saipan that were recently cited for violation of the federal overtime provisions of the federal Fair Labor and Standards Act.