Feb. 21, 2004
Adriano offers support to ’stateless’ bill
From the Senate standpoint, acting Gov. Joaquin G. Adriano pledged yesterday his support behind the legislation proposing to grant ’stateless’ individuals permanent CNMI residency status. If he had it his way, the acting chief executive said he would have already signed the bill--the proposed Stateless Children Act of 2004 or House Bill 14-97--into law. “As soon as that thing comes to the Senate, I pledge my support that we should grant these people their permanent residency. And if that thing has been done and I’m sitting right here now as acting governor, I will sign that bill right away,” the Senate president assured yesterday.
Ex-CUC officials have outstanding travel accounts
The over $17,000 remaining outstanding travel advances listed by the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. included trips made way back in 1996 by former CUC and non-CUC officials such as senators Thomas P. Villagomez and Joaquin G. Adriano, and Rota Mayor Benjamin T. Manglona. Latest records showed that these officials are among the 20 individuals who have yet to account for $17,230 worth of travel money from CUC. As of Feb. 11, 2004, CUC said that Sen. Villagomez has yet to account for a total of $3,826 for travels he made in Feb. 1997 and in July 2000. Acting Gov. Adriano has $480 outstanding account for a June 2002 travel. Rota’s Manglona has yet to account for $140 for his travel in Nov. 2002.
Feb. 21, 2005
NMI to revive livestock artificial insemination
To improve the meat quality of livestock, the CNMI should take a long and careful look at reviving its artificial insemination project, according to Northern Marianas College Cooperative Research, Extension and Education Service agricultural consultant Isidoro Cabrera. He said the project would help solve the problem of “inbreeding” that leads to the drop in meat quality, meat production, and livestock being more prone to diseases. NMC and the Department of Land and Natural Resources are reportedly mulling the resuscitation of the project. Cabrera recalled that a similar initiative was conducted from 1996 to 1998 in cooperation with Agricultural Development in the American Pacific. The project, however, was discontinued due to problems in funding and semen quality.
CPA signs concession pact with LSG
The Commonwealth Ports Authority approved on Friday an agreement granting LSG Lufthansa Service Saipan Inc. a non-exclusive right to operate a food and beverage concession at the Saipan International Airport. Unlike CPA’s previous contract with DFS Saipan Limited, the new agreement with LSG gives the ports authority a greater role in the operation of the concession, including areas relating to the type of food and beverage served and the physical appearance of the restaurant. “This new provision addresses an ongoing issue we have with LSG when we see need for certain kinds of services to be provided at the concession. In the past, we had only a suggesting role; the new agreement gives CPA more role in deciding the makeup of concessions at the airport,” said CPA executive director Carlos Salas.
Feb. 21, 2006
’No loan discrimination vs nonresidents’
While some banks have stopped granting loans to nonresident workers based on “irregular” employment status in the CNMI, Bank of Hawaii said it continues to treat contract workers the same way it does all other loan applicants. Honolulu-based BoH executive vice president Ronald H. Leach said the bank follows the same criteria for all applicants when it comes to credit or loan applications. He said that, although the bank made some changes in its credit program in view of overall economic condition in the Commonwealth, it makes no distinction against a certain group of people.
CUC posts $19M loss in FY 2005
The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. sustained a deficit of almost $19 million last fiscal year, due largely to the skyrocketing cost of fuel. According to CUC’s unaudited financial statement for FY 2005, the utility earned total revenues amounting to $84.47 million. CUC’s expenses totaled $103.33 million between October 2004 and September 2005. This resulted in a net loss of $18.86 million. CUC data showed that the utility firm collected $82.21 million in operating revenues last year. This represents a 15-percent increase, which resulted from the implementation of the fuel surcharge and government subsidy.