Feb. 28, 2004
Promoted law enforcers to get salary hikes
Police commissioner Edward Camacho disclosed Friday that salary increases to promoted officials will soon begin at the Department of Public Safety, as soon as technicalities are worked out. Camacho said the police leadership is now on the last leg of negotiations for the implementation of the salary increase, adding that the first batch of salary increases would be implemented at the Corrections Division. “There are correctional officers who would be promoted in days to come and they would be the first to get the corresponding salary increase. That would spearhead the department-wide salary increase,” said Camacho in an interview.
LB analyzing budget for more personnel
Despite a joint bid by the Senate and House leaderships to lift the full-time employee slots of the Legislative Bureau from 35 to 45, bureau executive director Walter Macaranas said Thursday that there is “no definite hirings at this point” pending his review of the office’s budget. He confirmed, though, that the leaderships have approved the hiring of two more legal counsels for the Senate. Also, the recommendation to extend the bureau’s services to delegations of each senatorial district has yet to be discussed and finalized, Macaranas added. House Vice Speaker Timothy Villagomez, in a separate interview, said the House leadership supports the additional FTE for the bureau provided these are professional positions.
Feb. 28, 2005
CNMI gets over $5M for Compact Impact
The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands will receive a grant in the amount of $5,171,914 from the Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs to reimburse the islands for the social costs of migration from the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands. “These funds will help the CNMI to offset the costs that it has incurred to provide health care, education and other social services to those who are permitted to migrate to the CNMI under the Compacts of Free Association,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior David B. Cohen. “The funds can be used for most public services that have been impacted by the need to serve migrants, and can be used for infrastructure as well.”
PSS admits shortcomings in mathematics
The recent MATHCOUNTS competition exposed that the Public School System needs to do more to improve its mathematics curriculum in the Commonwealth, which has led to students having low-level competency on the subject. Education associate commissioner David M. Borja said the criticisms are warranted and are not only true for the CNMI but is also a correct assumption to the teaching of mathematics across the United States. “It was also determined through a test about math [in other states in the mainland],” he said. Borja said the test showed that students in America falls behind in the subject of math and science compared to students from a lot of Asian countries.
Feb. 28, 2006
MVA: We need more funding, not cuts
Reducing the already meager budget of the Marianas Visitors Authority is not an option-especially if the administration aims to raise tourist arrivals in the CNMI to 1 million in 2008, according to the MVA board. During a meeting yesterday morning, MVA officials said that, instead of reducing its funds, the government should actually give the agency a bigger budget. Board chair Marian Aldan-Pierce said it is about time for the government to look at MVA funding as “investments, not spending.” MVA board member appointee Jerry Tan, president of Tan Holdings Corp., said that MVA’s advertising budget should never be sacrificed.
MVA didn’t get promised $1M
The Marianas Visitors Authority said yesterday that it failed to get the promised $1 million for advertising from the previous administration. “We never received it,” said MVA board chair Marian Aldan-Pierce and MVA acting managing director Tess Castro during a meeting Monday. As a result, the MVA said it had to use its already depleted budget for needed programs. It cited that it had to commit $250,000 of its budget for the launching and development of the Osaka destination. This happened when Northwest Airlines added a new flight from Osaka when Japan Airlines pulled out from the CNMI last October.