February 18, 2006
Govt mulls cutting work hours
The Fitial administration is leaving no corner uncut in its drive to reduce government spending. Gov. Benigno R. Fitial disclosed in his weekly press conference yesterday a plan to decrease the work hours of government employees, particularly administrative and non-essential workers. As in other government cost-cutting measures, the proposal would not affect essential services such as the Department of Public Health, Department of Public Safety, Department of Corrections, Commonwealth Utilities Corp., and the Public School System. Fitial said the plan would be discussed in the next Cabinet meeting scheduled for Tuesday. It could be implemented next week.
Micronesian Games hosting still alive
Gov. Benigno R. Fitial gave local athletes and fans of sports throughout the region cause for a brief celebration yesterday afternoon after announcing that he will entertain a financial plan to host the 2006 Micronesian Games put forth by concerned members of the athletic community. “Next Friday, if nothing develops from the chairman’s visit to Palau, we’ll get together…and we’ll decide, based on the quantification of the requirements—because we have to quantify every single support that the government will be providing—and then we’ll make a decision the same day,” Fitial said. A crowd of protestors rallied outside Fitial’s Capitol Hill office yesterday afternoon in hopes of convincing him to rescind his previous decision to withdraw the CNMI from hosting the Games. Following the governor’s regularly scheduled press conference, Fitial invited the group of concerned athletes, coaches, parents, and supporters for an audience inside the conference room to hear their requests.
February 18, 2007
Warning out vs certain peanut butter brands
The CNMI Department of Public Health has issued an advisory, warning the public against eating certain peanut butter, Peter Pan and Great Value, following reports that consumption of these brands led to a salmonella outbreak in the U.S. mainland. “This notice serves as a warning for the general public not to eat certain jars of peanut butter manufactured from ConAgra, Georgia, USA…Consumers are advised to check their home supply and discard abovementioned peanut butter purchased since May 2006,” said Public Health Secretary Kevin P. Villagomez in a public notice released yesterday.
Path to Port Project construction to start soon
The Path to Port Project is expected to commence anytime as the Department of Public Works had already given a go signal for the contractor to proceed with the work. DPW Secretary Jose S. Demapan said the contractor, AIC, has been notified to begin the construction. Demapan said under the plan, the end part of the pathway at the Puerto Rico Dump will be continued all the way to the port. The project will cost about $300,000 or less than $400,000 and that DPW is only waiting for AIC to commence construction, he said. Demapan cited that a few weeks ago, the Office of Insular Affairs issued the authorization to proceed.
February 18, 2008
Bill to exempt CUC from paying 1 percent of OPA budget introduced
A bill has been introduced to exempt the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation from a requirement to remit one percent of its budget to the Office of the Public Auditor. The proposed legislation says the required contribution to OPA is an additional cost that is ultimately passed on to the customers, including the government itself. Removing the requirement will lessen CUC’s cost and help make power services more affordable to the customers.
CUC owed $600K by private firm
An undisclosed private company continues to get electric service despite owing the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. approximately $600,000. CUC executive director Anthony Guerrero has said that the company has not been disconnected because it has agreed to a payment plan with the utility. “To their [company’s] credit, they have complied with the agreed upon payment plan,” Guerrero told the House of Representatives in a recent meeting.