Feb. 12, 2004
Resolution mulled to back 702 accord
Senate Floor Leader Paul A. Manglona yesterday recommended that the upper chamber adopt a resolution endorsing the new Covenant Section 702 agreement inked by Lt. Gov. Diego T. Benavente and Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior David B. Cohen this week. The new agreement would provide up to $13 million a year for the next six years in financial assistance to the CNMI. The Rota senator, who lauded the efforts of Benavente, the chief negotiator in the financial assistance talks under Section 702 of the US-CNMI Covenant, said the Senate's support on this issue may help in the proposal's swift passage in the U.S. Congress.
Quorum lack delays land compensation
Although land compensation money is available, actual payment has not been done due to the failure of the Marianas Public Lands Authority Board of Directors to convene and approve such payments. MPLA commissioner Henry S. Hofschneider claimed yesterday that the primary reason of the delay is the board's lack of quorum. He earlier said that the lack of quorum was only part of the reason why the agency could not issue the settlement checks to landowners. He admitted yesterday that MPLA has been getting calls from landowners inquiring what had happened to their checks. The MPLA had already received the first drawdown-about $5 million-from the $40-million land compensation bond money. It got the money on the first week of this month.
Feb. 12, 2005
CUC's Torres: Where are your priorities?
A Commonwealth Utilities Corp. official questioned yesterday a proposal to reprogram $700,000 from the Kagman sewer project appropriations to road paving projects. A member of the House of Representatives has moved to modify House Bill 14-286, which seeks to reprogram $3.3 million from the Kagman wastewater treatment plant project to the construction of the Agingan ocean outfall and upgrade of the Agingan sewer treatment plant. Under the proposed change, the bill would allocate only $1.6 million to the Agingan project and distribute the remaining $1.7 million among various sewer projects and road paving projects in Precinct I.
Micronesia Group in town for PSS seminar
Guam-based Micronesia Group Inc. assisted the Public School System Thursday during the start of its two-day professional development program held at the Hyatt Regency Saipan. “Let us be each other's partners in the workplace and share convictions with respect as a team and I am sharing my team with you today,” said Micronesia Group chief executive officer Jesse Sablan. Sablan led the presentation attended by Kagman High School teachers and staff. He said his group presented a more dynamic professional development seminar focusing on accreditation and professionalism of KHS employees.
Feb. 12, 2006
Labor sanctions company for delay in filing
The Department of Labor has imposed a $265 sanction on a company for negligence that caused the late filing of a renewal application for one of its employees. Labor Administrative Hearing Officer Jerry Cody warned that if Pacific Utility & Communications Inc. fails to pay the sanction, further sanctions may be imposed on the company. Cody reversed the Labor director's decision to deny PUC's application to renew the renew the employment of Basilio L. Siason. “I believe the regulatory late fee is the most appropriate standard to apply in this case and I find that the figure proposed by the Department ($50 per each day of tardiness after 30 days) would have been unduly harsh under the circumstances,” the hearing officer said.
Fund seeks assurance on govt contributions
NMI Retirement Fund officials were set to meet with Gov. Benigno R. Fitial late Friday afternoon to obtain assurances that the government would timely and accurately pay its retirement contributions. “The board wants to make sure that every 15 days, we get the government's share,” said Fund administrator Karl T. Reyes. The financial crisis gripping the government has resulted in late payments of its employer contribution to the Fund over the years, the arrears of which now totals over $85 million. As of early January, the Fund said the government had been four pay periods behind in employer contributions, amounting to some $3 million.