48 Rota scholars get zilch

Lack of quorum for Rota Scholarship Foundation hinders aid

About 48 students who were supposed to get financial aid from the Rota Municipal Scholarship Foundation for the fall 2019 semester ended up getting nothing.

According to Sen. Teresita Santos (R-Rota), an estimated 48 recipients of educational assistance through the Rota Municipal Scholarship Foundation did not receive anything for the fall 2019 semester due to a lack of quorum at the foundation board.

Rota Mayor Efraim Atalig affirmed yesterday that only two of the five seats on the foundation board are filled.

The current foundation board members are Agida Quituga and Sharon Manglona.

Atalig said he submitted yesterday morning to the Rota Legislative Delegation the names of his three nominees to the foundation board.

“It is true that the board is lacking in its quorum. [Yesterday] morning I appointed three of them to join the other two [Quitugua and Manglona]. The letter has been prepared and to be transmitted to the [Rota] delegation for confirmation,” Atalig told Saipan Tribune.

It was learned Tuesday afternoon that Santos had been concerned about the lack of quorum on the foundation board and she had written to the Rota mayor about this.

Every CNMI board must at least meet a quorum, depending on the maximum number of members, to conduct official business. A quorum is the minimum number of members that constitutes a simple majority, e.g. the quorum for seven-member board is five members. In this case, the quorum for a five-member board is three members.

According to Santos, the RMSF has not had a quorum for several months. She told Saipan Tribune in an interview that it was reported to her that the board has not met since summer this year.

“…It is already halfway through the fall 2019 semester and scholarship recipients have yet to receive any financial assistance. Furthermore, House Bill 21-78…appropriates $100,000 to the RMSF,” she noted in her letter.

The House unanimously passed yesterday House Bill 21-78, a bill that appropriates a total of over $11.5 million government-wide.

“It is therefore important that appointments are identified so, upon passage of the House bill and its enactment into law, the board is ready to act and disburse funds,” she added in her letter.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.
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