Rota Mayor Efraim M. Atalig yesterday announced, through the Rota Mayor’s Office social media page, that he is stopping commercial operations at the island’s East Dock and reverting it back to the West Dock.
The statement noted that Atalig held a roundtable discussions with Rota’s private sector community last June 11, where he announced the move to stop commercial operations at the East Dock of Rota and resume dock operations at the island’s West Dock.
The statement did not clarify when the commercial operations are to stop at the East Dock.
“…In the absence of [a] state of emergency or a threat to [the] life, security, and wellbeing of the good people of Rota, operations for commercial activities must continue to operate in unison with CNMI Law,” Atalig’s office statement noted.
It cited CNMI law, through Public Law 18-33, that the East Dock of Rota is constitutionally identified as a sports and recreational area for the island, meaning only smaller boats may use the East Harbor, while the West Harbor is the only seaport that is constitutionally identified for commercial operation.
In an earlier Saipan Tribune story, it quoted Commonwealth Ports Authority board member and Rota representative Barrie Toves as saying that the West Dock of Rota had to be temporarily shut down to undergo repairs last November 2018, forcing Atalig to declare a state of emergency and move commercial operations to the East Dock.
However, commercial operations are now being moved back to the West Harbor.
“The East Harbor on Rota is not recognized as a designated port of entry or exit,” Toves explained to Saipan Tribune. “On Rota, the only seaport designated as a port of entry is the West Harbor.”
Toves added that Rota only has three ports of possible entry—the airport, the west and east harbors, and the post office.