The police force of the Commonwealth Ports Authority will soon have a new boat after its board approved replacing the harbor patrol boat that CPA has been using for 15 years.
The boat, which would be made of metal, would built from scratch, based on the specifications of the port police. The original estimated cost of around $247,000 for the boat would be reassessed.
“What we need to do is compare the assessment of the cost, and estimate how much we want to budget using our specifications,” said CPA board member Roman T. Tudela, who chairs the board’s Financial Affairs Committee.
The CPA port police uses the boat for search and rescue missions that CPA has been doing with the Department of Public Safety, said CPA police chief Juan T. Dela Cruz.
He assured that procuring a new boat would benefit the public, since it will be used mostly to respond to anything in distress in the water surrounding the CNMI, especially Saipan.
“We need to…look into the capability of the boat…[since] it is a first responder boat,” Dela Cruz said.
He said the boat the ports police are using now has had several breakdowns, prompting him to raise his concerns to the board to see what could be done for this critical asset of the CPA police department.
“The boat will be used primarily for responding to the needs of the Commonwealth in reference to search and rescue, and in the daily operations within the port of Saipan,” Dela Cruz said. The boat will also be used for port protection purposes.
The board insists that CPA’s request for proposal should include an up to two-year warranty and maintenance considerations. It was also mentioned that the purchase would be a truck-trailer-boat package, in that it would also have to come with a truck and a trailer that would pull the boat.
It was previously agreed by the board that the cost of purchasing a new boat is almost the same as paying for the repair of the existing boat.