Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio has allowed the transfer of management of the CNMI slaughterhouse to a Chinese company in a bid to ensure its smooth operation and cut down operating expenses.
The agreement signed recently by the governor paves the way for the takeover of Sei Shin Farms which will pay the government a $12,000 lease for a year.
“We believe that it is in the best interest of the government to get out of business,” said Dr. Jack A. Tenorio, secretary of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
With a $160,000 budget in fiscal year 1998, the slaughterhouse is only making some $6,000 to $7,000 a year .
Although previous political leaders had also planned to privatize the operation of the slaughterhouse, it was only during the time of the current administration that it was finally carried out.
When Sei Shin Farms, the biggest commercial customer of the slaughterhouse, expressed interest to manage it, negotiations were carried out and the agreement was drafted.
The department secretary said the public can still use the slaughterhouse provided certain arrangements are made with the new management to avoid any conflict of schedule. Six employees of the department who are assigned to the slaughterhouse will remain under the division of agriculture but given other assignments.
During previous years, the operation of the slaughterhouse had to be shut down because it did not meet the US Department of Agriculture standards. Under the administration of Gov. Froilan C. Tenorio, the slaughterhouse was renovated to comply with the requirements of the federal government.
The privatization of the slaughterhouse was immediately lauded by members of the private sector saying it was very timely due to the limited financial resources of the government.
“You cannot measure the feasibility of any government operation by its expenses against its earnings because in the first place they are here to provide service and not to make any profit,” said Patrick Calvo, general manager and owner of Calvo’s Development Enterprises. Now that government resources are hard to come by, more government agencies must be privatized, he added.