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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Senate adopts major policy decision
Senators push for CUC’s privatization

The Senate has approved a major policy decision calling for the privatization of the Commonwealth Utilities Corp., a move seen to pave the way for affordable power rates via alternative energy for both residential and private industries in the CNMI.

Authored by Senate Vice President Victor B. Hocog (R-Rota), the joint resolution enumerates the inability of the utility agency to provide affordable and reliable power generation now and over the long haul.

“The policy decision is timely at a time when our people have been swamped and floored by a myriad of increases from utilities, health premiums, cost of basic goods as families struggle to make ends meet in dire bad times,” Hocog said.

“It’s time to stop the bleeding and begin rebuilding a brighter and a more promising tomorrow for our people and posterity,” he said, adding, “It’s our fiduciary duty to provide the pathway to granting all families here the opportunity to really relish the essence of economic prosperity at home.”

“Paving the way for affordable power generation, and therefore lower rates for both electricity and water, would not only help everybody, but will ensure that investors’ needs are met,” Hocog said. “It’s a win-win situation for everybody as we put in place the vital infrastructure to encourage the infusion of durable mega-investments into the CNMI.”

“When we successfully emplace affordable alternative energy sources, I believe other huge investments would explore making the islands their permanent home, bringing durable investments to meet the need for direly needed jobs and revenue generation for the CNMI.

“We are at the crossroads to making a major difference in bringing the livelihood of our people to the even playing field of economic prosperity and opportunities. It is also my hope that my colleagues in the House of Representatives see the visionary components of brighter tomorrows inherent in the just adopted measure by the Senate.

“It is also my hope that the [Inos] administration would rally behind the intent of the joint resolution for it is the beginning of a realistic and brighter future for our people. It transcends just the reduction of power bills for everyone but opens up more opportunities for lasting revenue generation that could pare down the current deficit, obligations with the Retirement Fund, and avoid saddling our children with liabilities contained under the planned pension obligation bond,” Hocog said.

The Senate adopted the joint resolution by a 6-0 vote.

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