Atalig working on ARPA premium pay for municipality’s employees

Mayor also sends staff to follow up payments for vendors

Rota Mayor Efraim Atalig disclosed yesterday that he is working for the payment of premium pay for eligible municipality employees.

In an email to Sen. Teresita A. Santos (Ind-Rota), Atalig also stated that he is assigning a staff to follow up all pending claims for payments from vendors of the municipality.


Atalig shared his action in response to Santos’ request yesterday to expeditiously begin releasing premium pay to all affected municipal employees using the American Rescue Plan Act funds allocated to the municipality.

“Our employees have been and continue to be dedicated to protecting and securing our borders,” Santos said.

The senator also requested Atalig to pay some vendors in a timely manner to maintain and continue to build strong business relationship with them. She said some vendors have expressed concerns over the non-payment of services that have been rendered to the municipality.

Santos said municipal employees have worked tirelessly to provide public services since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.


With Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ recent announcement of premium pay for select CNMI government employees, Santo s said she has been inundated with phone calls from concerned municipal employees regarding their premium pay.

She said she was also informed that when the Torres administration worked on the ARPA spending plan, the Rota municipality was provided with sufficient ARPA funds to include premium pay for municipal employees.

In his response yesterday, Atalig said he sent the list of employees eligible for the $5,000 and $1,000 premium pay to the Department of Finance on Saipan. Atalig said Finance on Saipan is responsible for printing the checks.

With respect to vendors, the mayor said he sent a staff to Saipan to follow up all the pending payments for all vendors, rather than to make phone calls to follow up.

The administration has expended $3.6 million in ARPA funds for the first batch of premium pay for CNMI government employees who have worked directly to mitigate the COVID-19 and well as those government employees who have worked to provide services since the pandemic began.

The administration is also currently working on the payment of premium pay for front-liners and workers in the private sector who worked in the battle against the virus.

Government employees who have worked on the front lines at least 40 hours to directly mitigate the pandemic, will be receiving $5,000 in premium pay/bonus. Government employees who have worked to provide essential public services during this pandemic will be getting $1,000.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at
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