‘Everybody chipped in’
Although the 2019 Labor Day Committee worked hardly without any budget, they were still able to pull through for this year’s celebration at the Garapan Fishing Base last Saturday, according to committee chair Eli Cabrera.
With over 2,000 government employees and their families attending, Cabrera told Saipan Tribune in an interview Saturday afternoon that although there were some budget concerns following the austerity measure as a result of Super Typhoon Yutu, all the departments were able to chip in for this year’s celebrations.
“We didn’t ask for any funding; we used last year’s [carryover] funding. I believe every [agency] sacrificed a little bit of their budget, contributing their own tents, their own coolers, their own everything,” he told Saipan Tribune.
He explained that there was only about $2,000 left over from last year’s annual Labor Day celebration. This year, his committee still has about $1,200 for next year.
“We are here to have fun and I want every agency to celebrate the hard labor of each and every employee. Let’s have fun and let’s sit down and…keep moving forward,” he said.
Cabrera noted that funding was the main concern plaguing the committee. “The only concern was I was worried where to find funding for this event. …We had some money left over from last year and…we still have some money left over from this year,” he noted.
“We are looking forward to a better year next year,” he said, adding that he is looking to approach the CNMI Legislature when the CNMI finances improves for next year’s Labor Day celebrations. If not, he said he would consider asking each department to raise their own funds for the celebration.
“I would like to see every department involved. This year, everybody chipped in and [helped],” he noted.