The Commonwealth Ports Authority board of directors unanimously approved waiving and giving discounts in the total amount of $1.22 million in leases for six months to its tenants at CNMI airports and seaports that have been severely impacted due to shutdown of operations as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.
CPA is waiving 100% of the April, May, and June leases for this year. July will be discounted 50%, August 40%, and September 30%.
For the airports’ tenants, the total proposed lease revenue discount/waiver for that six-month period is $710,174.29, while for the seaports’ tenants is $519,124.94. This would bring the lease revenue waiver/discount to a total of $1,229,299.
Saipan Tribune learned that there are 50 tenants at CNMI airports and 37 tenants at its seaports that will benefit the waiver/discount.
The six directors—Kimberlyn King-Hinds, Roman Tudela, Pete P. Reyes, Thomas P. Villagomez, Joseph Diaz, and Ramon Tebuteb—agreed to revisit the issue as needed. Barrie C. Toves was excused from the meeting as he is on Rota. King-Hinds presided over Monday night’s special/emergency board meeting held between the arrival and departure terminals of the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport.
King-Hinds said yesterday that the road to economic recovery is only going to be harder and longer if some of CPA’s industry partners are not there standing with them when the time comes to fully open the Commonwealth’s borders.
“CPA is committed to the success of our partners. Their success is our success,” she said. “We hope that this provides them a little bit of relief as we weather this pandemic together.”
She said their initial idea about giving relief to tenants was deferments on their leases, but King-Hinds said she does not like deferments as it’s basically digging a bigger, deeper financial hole for businesses that are already in a hole to begin with.
She disclosed that CPA was provided with $22.8 million relief because the federal government knows that their tenants are going to have challenges with paying the rent when no income is coming in.
She said that $22.8 million contemplates that loss to CPA.
“It’s only right that we don’t profit from this windfall, but use it to benefit the entire industry so that we can all hopefully make it to the finish line and be ready to fire up this economy when the time comes,” King-Hinds said.
Toves, who chairs the board’s Airport Facilities Committee, earlier stated that since they received news that CPA is expecting the Federal Aviation Administration to award $22.8 million to CPA under the CARES Act, CPA should consider helping out its tenants.
“We’re all in this [COVID-19] pandemic together and therefore we should all come together to help each other out,” Toves said.