The Center for Living Independently in the CNMI recently got the support of five lawmakers who provided additional funds to subsidize a safe and affordable public transportation for people with disabilities.
Senate President Paul Manglona of Rota, Sen. Francisco Cruz of Tinian, Sen. Pete Reyes of Saipan, House Speaker Eli Cabrera, and Rep. Froilan Tenorio contributed a total of $1,350 to assist CLI-CNMI in providing coupons that allow its consumers to use the Call-A-Ride Saipan local transportation service at reduced rates.
The five legislators were given certificates of appreciation, which were hand-delivered on Oct. 23 to their offices on Capital Hill.
Cruz, in making his contribution, saluted the CLI-CNMI staff and members of the Independent Living Group, a non-profit advocacy group, for striving to live independently and benefiting the entire community.
Cabrera noted that the disability community has long been neglected and that the CNMI must provide the encouragement and the services that will help them become active, contributing community members.
Lydia D. Igitol, executive director for CLI-CNMI, expressed on behalf of the many consumers served by the center their sincere gratitude to the government leaders for their donation.
Last month, three other lawmakers-Reps. Ramon Basa, Edmund Villagomez, and Ray Yumul-contributed a total of $2,500 for the same purpose.
Igitol said the reduced fare coupons would be used by CLI-CNMI consumers to travel to and from training and support activities at the center, as well as for transportation to and from school or work.
She noted, though, that the center is struggling to maintain its services in the wake of reduced federal businesses.
CLI-CNMI is a non-profit organization funded through the U.S. Department of Education for the purpose of providing a comprehensive range of services that will make it possible for people with disabilities to live as independently as they choose within the community.
Individuals or businesses interested in assisting the work of the group may visit the center at Capital Hill House No. 1366 or call 322-4303.