The House of Representatives Commerce and Tourism Committee approved last week a bill that would adopt a sole village delimitation and name master map of Saipan and names the Office of the Mayor of Saipan as primary custodian for maintaining and preserving it.
House Bill 22-82, authored by House Speaker Edmund S. Villagomez (Ind-Saipan), also proposes that the Department of Commerce’s Central Statistics Division be the secondary custodian of the village delimitation and name master map.
With the committee’s approval, the bill now goes to the full House for voting, according to committee chair Rep. Denita Yangetmai (D-Saipan).
At the committee meeting, Rep. Vicente Camacho (D-Saipan) said that he has identified many points in the bill that makes the legislation important, one of which is the accessibility of emergency vehicles.
Camacho said the proper naming of streets and house numbers , along with this map, would actually enhance the capabilities of emergency vehicles wherever they are going.
The other thing is the house-to-house mail service, Camacho said. “I think it’s time that we would do that. With that it also helps the post office [minimize] congestion,” he said, adding that he fully supports the bill and that they should pass it and send it to the full House.
Rep. Richard T. Lizama (D-Saipan) also moved for the committee’s adoption of the legislation, citing the public hearings they did on the bill and the urgency of the bill to be passed.
Under the bill, the standard village delimitation and name master map for Saipan identifies 34 official village names. The bill would adopt those names. The names of the villages are Marpi, As Matuis, San Roque, Tanapag, Wireless, Talofofo, Lower Base, As Mahetog, Sadog Tasi, Puerto Rico, Capitol Hill, As Teo, Kagman, Papago, Tapochao, Navy Hill, Garapan, Gualo Rai, I Liyan, Chalan Laulau, Oleai, Chalan Kiya, Kanat Tabla, San Vicente, Dandan, As Lito, Finasisu, Chalan Kanoa, Chalan Piao, As Perdido, San Antonio, Koblerville, I Naftan, and Susupe.
The places or areas in the various villages as listed shall retain their common names but are not integrated in the standard village delimitation and name master map.
In the legislation, Villagomez cited as an example the village of Marpi, with references to San Juan, Banderu, etc. and are considered sub-areas of Marpi Village. This places will retain their common names but will not be included in the official list of names on the name master map of Saipan.
Villagomez said sub-areas are not used for purposes of identifying the name of a village or village boundary on the standard village delimitation and name master map.
He said that identifying a village by name is critical in responding to emergency calls, as arriving at a specific site in minutes is a matter of saving a person’s life.
He said for many years, the CNMI Department of Commerce’s Central Statistics Division has been tasked with carrying out the decennial census under the supervision of the U.S. Census Bureau, and has used a statistical map to describe boundaries that separate one village from another. He said its statistical map also identifies the various areas within the boundaries by name, giving an area its specific village name.
While residents and businesses enjoy door delivery of mail orders, couriers use local directions to locate a physical address, which is inefficient for couriers that are concerned with the cost of delivery, Villagomez said.
By clearly identifying the village delimitation and name, timely and accurate delivery of mails and packages to a specific site would be greatly enhanced, he added.
In the interest of time, the mayor of each municipality shall be granted the authority and power to adopt the standard village identification and delimitation master map for the municipality served by the mayor within 180 days after the effective date of this bill.
Villagomez said the Legislature has received the master map from the mayor of Saipan and it is the intent of the bill to adopt the master map.