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FLASHBACK - Feb. 14, 2013

Feb. 14, 2000

INS rejects visa waiver for Filipino accountants

The Immigration and Naturalization Service has rejected a request from the Philippine Consulate here for a Guam-only, single entry visa waiver for Filipino accountants taking the CPA certifying board examination in the territory in May. This was learned from Consul Julia Heidemann who said Saturday her office will coordinate with Capital Hill for possible arrangements that can be made to allow Filipino accountants in the CNMI take the board examination in May. According to Heidemann, INS officials cited existing policies relating to the granting of U.S. visa to foreign nationals that require application and processing on their point of origin.

Govt eyes equipment for water testing

Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio yesterday said he favors acquiring an equipment for chemical testing for the Division of Environmental Quality to help lower the cost of the required water testing. Mr. Tenorio has assured the business sector that the CNMI government will find ways to cut cost and still implement the needed requirement to protect public health by ensuring that their water is analyzed for microbiological and chemical contaminants. The business sector has asked the government to look for various ways to reduce the financial burden as most revenues have declined as a result of slowdown in the island’s tourism economy.

Feb. 14, 2001

Bill to pardon convicts awaits governor’s nod

Granting more elbow room for members of the Board of Parole and a full capacity of the governor to pardon and exonerate a convicted felon, the House of Representatives yesterday approved amendments to the Crimes and Criminal Procedures under the Commonwealth Code. The amendments sought by Sen. Jose M. Dela Cruz through Senate Bill 12-102 was aimed at rectifying certain provisions that are seen to hamper the ability of the parole board to discharge mandates stipulated in the existing statutes. The bill now heads to Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio for approval following deliberations on the House of Representatives and a consensus from the Senate.

Resolution honors Attao

A resolution has been introduced in the House of Representatives commending Rep. Jesus T. Attao for having authored the most number of bills and having the most number of legislation enacted into law. Attao has filed 361 bills in all of his terms as congressman; 51 of which had been signed into law. He topped the list of congressmen from the First to the Twelfth CNMI House of Representatives who have had the most number of bills filed and the most number of enacted legislation. According to House Resolution 12-120 introduced by Rep. Thomas B. Pangelinan, Attao should be conferred the title "Prime Lawmaker" for his preeminent role in the creation of Commonwealth laws.

Feb. 14, 2002

Govt may face class-action suit

Government workers who would be stripped of their civil service status once Gov. Juan N. Babauta signs Senate Bill 13-15 into law can file a class-action suit against the CNMI government for removing from them their rights as civil-service protected employees. Personnel Director Norbert Sablan, who left his post yesterday, said he had pointed this out in his efforts to oppose the passage of Senate Bill 13-15, as it would make the government vulnerable to a costly and overdrawn legal battle that could possibly cost the government millions. “At the same time, “they can gather together as a group and voice their concern to the government that this is not fair. This is not appropriate. This is irresponsible behavior on the part of both the Legislature and the Governor. And the public should not condone that. This is no way to run a democratic government,” said Sablan.

PCB treatment resumes but not without EPA restrictions

The US Environmental Protection Agency has imposed certain restrictions on the treatment of PCB-contaminated soil in Tanapag, allegedly slowing down the process that resumed this week. Michelle Rogow, of EPA Region IX, said the operation by the ITD machine was allowed to continue at a much lower rate, while the treatment is being considered for final approval . From the previous 16 tons of soil treated per hour, the maximum amount of soil that can be treated in a given hour now is 13 tons. In a telephone interview, Rogow said the Army Corps and its contractor may only treat up to 7,500 tons of soil, pending EPA’s final approval.

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