Jan. 29, 1999
CPA considers cut in pay and benefits
The Commonwealth Ports Authority board is looking at the possibility of reducing the salaries and benefits of employees as a way to cut down on expenditures of the cash-strapped agency. “We are studying everything that would benefit everybody and still maintain the present number of employees,” according to Roman Tudela, chairman of the finance committee. Almost 60 percent of the $11 million budget for fiscal year 1999 goes to salaries and wages of the ports authority. Saddled with a $53 million debt, the ports authority is seeking an increase in airport fees so that it can pay for its financial obligation.
Costs on FAS migration being studied
The administration is preparing a study on the impact of the growing presence of the citizens from the Freely Associated States in the Northern Marianas whose uncontrolled migration has strained the islands' resources and infrastructure. According to Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio, the cost impact analysis is being prepared by various government agencies to account how much of the local funds is spent for hosting Micronesians in light of shrinking revenues. The financially-troubled commonwealth has been seeking reimbursement from Washington for money spent in accommodating FAS citizens, who are allowed unrestricted entry into the United States and its territories, including Guam and CNMI.
Jan. 29, 2001
Govt eyes scuba diving fee
The government will generate additional revenues to finance marine researches and restoration of sea life sanctuaries once the proposed collection of scuba diving fee is implemented. Rep. Thomas B. Pangelinan introduced the legislative proposal which stipulated that commercial and recreational scuba diving should be regulated to minimize the adverse impact on the marine ecosystem of the Northern Marianas. Mr. Pangelinan said the Division of Fish and Wildlife should be authorized to establish a scuba diving license fee for all scuba divers amounting to $10.00 a year.
Autism: Unseen problem in the CNMI
The Commonwealth lacks the necessary resources to identify the exact number of children who might be needing medical and educational assistance as problem on autism slowly alerts the community. Autism is a well-known disorder in the medical field but the Commonwealth is yet to exhaust effort to identify the problem and to get the necessary programs in place to help children with Neurological Spectrum Disorder. Autism is a broad medical subject described as the inability of a child to communicate verbally or the most common perceived symptom-speech development. To explore carefully the aspects and concerns on autism, the Parents Association for Children with Autism together with medical experts held a symposium Saturday at the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library.
Jan. 29, 2002
EPA, CUC to craft ways to improve NMI water system
Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency are set to meet with Commonwealth Utilities Corp. executives tomorrow to frame strategies for an upcoming study on the CNMI's plans to improve its water system. The federally-funded study, to be conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will review the plans developed by the CNMI to improve its water infrastructure. It will also look into hydrological and geological problems, as well as operational scenarios that would paint an accurate picture of the water situation in the CNMI. Once the review is done, the Corps of Engineers will be required to prepare a report and transmit it to the U.S. Congress, to be used as a basis for any future assistance that the United States may extend to the CNMI to improve its water system.
Torres touts better campaign on USDA home loan program
In a bid to highlight homeownership opportunities for low- and middle-income families, Rep. William S. Torres urged the mayors of Rota and Tinian to inform their constituents about the home loan program being offered by the US Department of Agriculture. In a letter to Rota Mayor Benjamin T. Manglona and Tinian Mayor Francisco M. Borja, Torres said the USDA Section 502 home loan program for the underserved population has existed over the years but it has not been fully taken advantage of. Last year, the USDA made available over $900,000 for the underserved population in the Western Pacific, Torres said. In contrast, the CNMI, particularly Tinian and Rota, was only able to spend close to $300,000, he added.