October 1, 2005
Alien workers keep their jobs
Over a hundred nonresident workers in some government offices, including those at the Commonwealth Utilities Corp., can now breathe a sigh of relief as the bills extending their employment for one year to five years were signed into law yesterday. Gov. Juan N. Babauta signed Senate Bill 14-98 yesterday afternoon, which grants the Department of Public Health five years or up to Sept. 30, 2010 to hire non-U.S physicians and dentists and two years or up to Sept. 30, 2007 to hire other health professional workers. It also allows the DPH to offer nonresident physicians and dentists a two-year contract initially and one-year term thereafter. Other nonresident workers will remain at one-year contract terms with DPH.
News blackout on Bird Island bust?
The Department of Lands and Natural Resources remains mum on the Bird Island bust since Wednesday, continuing to withhold details about the incident. A draft press release had not been released until yesterday. Last Wednesday, DLNR Secretary Richard Seman’s office said the secretary would have to approve the press statement first before it could be released. The Saipan Tribune followed up on the media statement on Thursday, but was told that the secretary was in Guam. This reporter called Seman’s office yesterday to follow up on the media statement, but was told that the secretary was unavailable to take the call. The DLNR sent no press release to the Saipan Tribune as requested. Based on unconfirmed reports, a ranking government official has intervened in the case. The official, whose name is being withheld, is seeking re-election in the upcoming November polls.
October 1, 2006
6 security guards form bike patrol
Six security officers, along with two police officers, completed Friday their 40-hour bike patrol training at the Department of Public Safety.
Following their certification, the six security guards, all members of the Group 4 Securicor CNMI, will form the Garapan Bike Patrol.
During a press conference at DPS, Peter Callaghan, branch manager for Group 4 Securicor CNMI, said the Bike Patrol will cover the tourist district in Garapan. “We are going to launch the program Tuesday evening. That would be the first shift.from 7pm to 3am seven days a week,” Callaghan said.
Future cover-over refunds eyed for rebate payments
The CNMI government has bared a plan to use future cover-over funds to settle unpaid tax rebates. The U.S. and Commonwealth governments have already signed a $6.2 million agreement on the partial settlement of the CNMI’s cover over claims. According to Attorney General Matthew T. Gregory, this partial settlement concerns CNMI claims over past due income taxes that CNMI employers withheld, but deposited with the U.S Department of Treasury. Gregory announced Friday that the funds would be wire-transferred to the CNMI this week-if it had not been already. The money would be credited to the government budget for fiscal year 2006, which ended yesterday.
October 1, 2007
NMI authorities holding $350K in taxes from uncashed checks
CNMI authorities have been holding approximately $350,000 in taxes from checks issued to class members of the class lawsuit against the garment industry that were never cashed, according to court documents.
Joyce C. H. Tang, one of the lawyers of plaintiffs in the class suit, stated in the settlement fund report filed in the U.S. District Court for the NMI that these withheld taxes were deposited with the CNMI when the checks were issued, in accordance with applicable regulations.
’If it’s not broken, why fix it?’
CNMI Board of Education member Herman T. Guerrero said if he were to speak for the entire board, he would opt not to have the Child Care Program transferred to the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs. In his view, Guerrero said the Public School System should still handle the Child Care Program instead of DCCA. “If it’s not broken then why fix it?” said Guerrero. The board member was looking forward to meet personally Gov. Benigno R. Fitial last Friday and have a chat with him regarding this matter. Guerrero said he would like to find out the real reason behind the proposal from the Governor’s Office.