Admin prepares for possible SOCA in Feb. but will submit financial report this week

Lt. Gov. Eloy S. Inos said yesterday that the Fitial administration has started preparing for a possible delivery of a State of the Commonwealth Address in February 2012 as so far requested by the Senate, but will still submit to the Legislature a financial report this week to comply with the constitutional requirement.

Senate President Paul Manglona (Ind-Rota) separately said yesterday that they moved their requested joint session of the Senate and House from Feb. 14 to Feb. 23 to accept the governor’s SOCA.

Inos said the written financial report he expects to be submitted by Friday or Saturday will be for fiscal year 2011, while the SOCA in February will be for FY 2011 “and looking forward for 2012 and beyond.”

“Everything that the government does is on a fiscal year basis,” he said.

Press secretary Angel Demapan said the state of the Commonwealth “is not a secret right now.”

“There are insurmountable challenges. We’re working hard to try to live within the resources we have now and by next year, we should have a better projection what to expect in the coming fiscal year,” he said.

The Senate adopted on Tuesday Manglona’s joint resolution asking Gov. Benigno R. Fitial to deliver his SOCA on Feb. 23.

The joint resolution, which still needs the House approval, also requests Delegate Gregorio Kilili Sablan (Ind-MP) to report on federal matter affecting the CNMI.

Fitial sent a written report on the state of the CNMI and its finances addressed to the Legislature in December 2010, but the last time he delivered a SOCA was in 2009.

Article III Section 9(b) of the CNMI Constitution requires the governor to report at least annually to the Legislature regarding the affairs of the Commonwealth and new measures that are necessary or desirable.

Haidee V. Eugenio | Reporter
Haidee V. Eugenio has covered politics, immigration, business and a host of other news beats as a longtime journalist in the CNMI, and is a recipient of professional awards and commendations, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s environmental achievement award for her environmental reporting. She is a graduate of the University of the Philippines Diliman.

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