CDA to further improve programs as economy grows


The Commonwealth Development Authority capped its 30th anniversary celebration with a luncheon gathering at the Saipan World Resort last Thursday.

The luncheon was attended by present and past CDA board of directors, managers, and officers, as well as members of the Legislature and some of CDA’s clients.

According to CDA managing director Manny Sablan, they were successful in reaching out to the community during their month-long celebration.

“We tried to reach out to the community, Saipan, Rota and Tinian, and it went very well. Basically we just tell them what we’ve done over the last 30 years and what are the programs going forward,” Sablan said, adding that they will make the organization more effective and efficient.

Just some of CDA’s upcoming projects will include training and extending underwriting abilities to Rota and Tinian.

“We’re reorganizing the offices on Rota and Tinian,” Sablan said.

Through their stakeholders meetings in the three islands, CDA was also able to get feedback about their programs and that “the prognosis is good.”

“We’re taking those advice seriously, we will try to do whatever we can to further improve so that we can effectively deploy more loans,” Sablan said.

Growing economy
According to Sablan, they are seeing an increase of loans in their State Small Business Credit Initiative both in terms of borrowers and amount.

For SSBCI, which is a loan from the banks and where CDA provides support, they have already loaned $4 million.

“We have been able to fully deploy the first tranche of the $13 million,” Sablan said.

“We see this thing generating every week, new loan requests coming in, that is beautiful,” he added.

Another CDA program that has been very active and has been generating borrowers is their microloan program where borrowers can loan up to $25,000.

“We have set aside $750,000 for the microloans,” Sablan said.

In general, Sablan notes that the CNMI’s economy has been improving.

“The whole economy also seems to be improving as you can see in the construction that’s going on, the traffic,” Sablan said.

“We’re also trying to find ways to help the government in terms of getting some of the infrastructure financed,” he added.

During the luncheon, Bank of Guam senior vice president and chief economist Joseph Bradley gave a talk on “Economic Conditions and Prospects” where part of his discussion was the economy of the three majo countries that are key players in CNMI’s economy.

CDA also awarded the winner of its Business Plan Competition that was held in partnership with the Northern Marianas College.

College student Alexandra Villagomez took home $1,000 scholarship after her business project “Kinsi Minutos Oil Change” was chosen as the winner.

CDA said they hope to continue this competition every year.

CDA was established on May 31, 1985 through Public Law 4-49 signed by then governor Pedro P. Tenorio. It was supposed to celebrate its anniversary late last year, but it was pushed until March.

Frauleine S. Villanueva-Dizon | Reporter
Frauleine Michelle S. Villanueva was a broadcast news producer in the Philippines before moving to the CNMI to pursue becoming a print journalist. She is interested in weather and environmental reporting but is an all-around writer. She graduated cum laude from the University of Santo Tomas with a degree in Journalism and was a sportswriter in the student publication.

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