Feb. 1, 1999
Employers told: Cut unqualified jobseekers
Despite a huge leap in the number of local residents seeking jobs in the private sector, Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio has said employers should not be forced to hire applicants who lack qualifications. Locals who have signed up for employment totaled 1,516 in 1998, or a 170 percent jump from the previous year at 561, which officials largely attribute to the economic crisis that has led to business closures. While the governor prodded private employers to take the initiative in training local people to provide them with more opportunities to enter the sector made up more than 90 percent of non-resident workers, businessmen should only accept qualified employees.
Sablan: Hiked fees a damper on tourism
The expected influx of tourist arrivals on the island may not happen this year after the Commonwealth Ports Authority junked the proposal of the Aviation Task Force and the Marianas Visitors Authority to reduce by 50 percent the landing fees to lure new airlines provide service to the commonwealth. "It is our best chance to convince the airlines to come here but we may just witness the death of our tourism economy," said MVA board chairman Dave M. Sablan. In fact, he said airlines have threatened to downsize operations by using smaller type of aircraft once the ports authority pushes through with the planned rate increase of airport fees.
Feb. 1, 2000
Govt anticipates more cuts in spending
The CNMI government is anticipating its total expenditures to be lower in 1999 compared to previous years, as finance managers finalize reports on reduction in the Commonwealth's bureaucracy which had grown so big during the previous administration. The Department of Finance earlier disclosed that the government slashed expenses on leased vehicle by $600,000, from $2 million in FY 1998 to $1.4 million in FY 1999, representing a 28 percent reduction in government spending on leased vehicles. Finance officials said it will monitor strict compliance on the governor's call to further trim government expenses in light of declining revenues.
Removal of K-9 unit worries Rota
The Division of Customs has pulled out its K-9 dog from the Rota International Airport due to funding shortfall, prompting concerns on the failure by authorities to detect drugs and other contraband being smuggled into the CNMI. Sen. Edward U. Maratita, head of the Rota Legislative Delegation, yesterday asked Customs Director Joe Mafnas to reinstate the monitoring system as he offered his assistance in trying to seek funds to have the surveillance dog in place at the airport. Noting that the island municipality last used the K-9 unit in December 1999 to check passengers, baggage and cargoes entering through its ports, he expressed concern that Rota Customs office will not be able to afford having such trained dog for the next two years because of lack of funds.
Feb. 1, 2002
SEDC briefs greenhorns on economy
Members of the Strategic Economic Development Council visited the 13th Legislature yesterday morning and held a joint briefing for both chambers, in a bid to bring freshman lawmakers up to speed on matters relating to the Council. Council member Marian Aldan-Pierce said they met with the lawmakers to orient them on what the SEDC is and its objectives relating to the economic well-being of the Commonwealth. “Besides telling them what the SEDC is, we also updated them on what we have already achieved in terms of the Strategic Five-Year Development Plan we have to kick-start the economy,” said Pierce.
HMO facilitates $500K savings for GHLIP
From September 1 to December 31 last year, the Group Health and Life Insurance Program has already managed to save more than half-a-million dollars in medical claims payments, with the assistance of third-party administrator Hawaii Pacific Medical Referrals. HPMR President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold M. Baptiste said that, since they began handling the Fund’s off-island and on-island medical referrals in September 2001 up to the end of December last year, they have already saved the Fund $539,988, representing 53 percent of the total charges that the Fund was supposed to pay. “During that period, the total charges amounted to more than $1.18 million,” said Baptiste.