Amid heavy rains that rerouted Guam flights to Saipan, Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo and CNMI Gov. Eloy S. Inos held a summit yesterday that focused mainly on economic development, health care, and military buildup in the region.
Calvo described it as a “One Marianas Campaign,” highlighting collaboration on issues of mutual interests between Guam and the CNMI, collectively known as the Marianas.
The closed-door summit was held at LauLau Bay Golf & Resort in Kagman.
“We’re talking about it as a Marianas summit, focusing on issues not only with regards to the military buildup but other areas where we have common and mutual interests as well as challenges. Some of the issues we talked about besides military buildup is the application of the Affordable Healthcare Act and what it means to territory of Guam, the Commonwealth and other insular areas,” Calvo told Saipan Tribune right after the summit wrapped up.
They also discussed common mandates imposed by federal agencies such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act on the two territories.
Calvo said the summit may well be the first of its kind between the chief executives of Guam and the CNMI.
He said other issues they’d like to address more are opportunities for increased economic trade between the two territories. Calvo said this includes looking at some the regulations and laws of each of the islands.
Tinian Mayor Ramon Dela Cruz, also a participant in the summit, said Tinian, for example, would like to have its airport open to direct flights to Guam.
Press secretary Angel Demapan said yesterday’s discussions “were very healthy and served as a great leap pad for future collaboration on issues identified today.”
“Because of time limitation, both governors have agreed to continue the dialogue and set more meetings of this kind throughout the year,” he said.
Other issues they had initially planned to discuss included immigration and tourism.
Marianas officials said that yesterday was only the start of a series of meetings between the two governments to address issues of mutual interest and to formulate mutually beneficial solutions for the CNMI and Guam.
Heavy rains in Guam forced airlines to reroute flights to Saipan yesterday while other flights were either delayed or cancelled. Guam is right under a monsoon tail spawned by a tropical disturbance near Saipan. It dumped record rainfall on Guam.
As of 5pm yesterday, Calvo said it looked like the flights will be back to normal late Thursday night and his flight back to Guam might also be among those affected.
“I anticipate that our flight will still be able to leave. So far it looks promising but we’ll see as weather reports come in. Of course I wouldn’t mind spending the night over here, it’s a beautiful island,” he added.