CCC vice chair says IPI pushing commission to the wall


Commonwealth Casino Commission vice chair Ramon M. Dela Cruz said Thursday that Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC is pushing CCC to the wall by coming up with the same old story that there is again a delay with the payroll for IPI employees.

At CCC’s monthly meeting at their conference room at Springs Plaza in Gualo Rai, Dela Cruz said a lot of IPI employees have been demonstrating and coming not only to the commission but also to elected officials to complain.

He said this is putting a blackeye on IPI.

Dela Cruz expressed disappointment with IPI, after IPI human resources director Redie Dela Cruz disclosed that they are up to date with payroll, but that for payroll for pay period 18 which was scheduled for Friday would likely not be out.

“I’ve been informed that there will be a delay in tomorrow’s payout and it will be distributed as early as next week,” director Dela Cruz said Thursday.

She said they are drafting the memo to send out to all employees about that.

CCC chair Edward C. Deleon Guerrero urged HR director Dela Cruz to work with IPI’s chief executive officer Donald Browne to make sure that payroll should be on time.

“We cannot continue this delay. The corporate office should know. They should move the money much earlier,” Deleon Guerrero said.

The chairman also disclosed that it was brought to his attention that several of the previous key employees have five months of severance pay that they are still waiting.

HR director Dela Cruz said IPI had to delay the processing of the hours because there is not enough funding in pay period 17 to payout those employees’ final hours.

Deleon Guerrero said it’s terrible news to hear that as he cited CCC’s order 2020-003 requires IPI to reserve payroll in advance.

HR director Dela Cruz agreed with the chair that IPI is not in compliance with that CCC order.

Deleon Guerrero said this announcement on any pay period that money wasn’t transferred to the Guam payroll company and other things, “is turning to be old story.”

He said IPI’s corporate office needs to move the money in advance so they can meet the Friday payroll.

Director Dela Cruz agreed with Deleon Guerrero that it is her opinion that it’s a violation of CNMI and federal laws for consistently not making payroll payment on time.

Vice chair Dela Cruz said they hear this excuse every time they met at CCC.

“These are very trying times for our people,” said vice chair Dela Cruz, adding that it’s not only because of the COVID-19 pandemic situation but also for people who are furloughed.

He said a lot of people, including IPI employees, are struggling. “Every time we discussed this we try to urge you to communicate this concern with the corporate office in Hong Kong and let them know that this thing has to be done ahead of time,” the vice chair told HR director Dela Cruz.

The vice chair said it is very critical that HR communicate that concern to IPI’s corporate office because patience is running thin especially for the affected employees.

He, however, commended the director for “trying your very best.”

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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