‘CPA pays CUC $400K a month’

Roman Tudela

Within a nine-month period, the Commonwealth Ports Authority’s monthly power and water utility bill amounted to over $400,000, according to CPA personnel committee chair Roman Tudela.

Citing that tenants are supposed to have sub-meters with CPA, Tudela expressed concern whether the tenants are paying CPA because CPA pays the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. based on the total reading.

“CPA then bills the tenants,” said Tudela during a joint CPA airport, finance and personnel committee meeting at the Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting classroom at the Francisco S. Ada/Saipan International Airport.

“The thing is, when the tenants pay, CPA should reduce its expenditures. Basically, that’s my target—to reduce the expenditures,” he said.

Tudela said that CPA used to only pay CUC about $200,000 a month.

He cited the amount to insist on CPA investing in solar energy. He said they had a proposal last year and it’s been determined that CPA will be able to save half on its utility bill with the solar power.

Tudela said they should not neglect that and focus on transitioning to solar power.

He pointed out that the CNMI government is putting up another half a million dollars for a solar power project.

“Can we look at that and try to work out to at least find ways and means to cut back our expenditures and furthermore to work hard and save for other means to increase our revenue?” he asked.

Tudela, in a separate interview with Saipan Tribune, said they are looking into the cause of the high utility bill.

He, however, stated that based on his recent discussion with the CPA executive director, one of the things that causes the higher utility bill, particularly power, is that a lot of the airport power lines are old.

“In some areas, even during daytime, the lights are still on,” Tudela said.

Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. officials, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, and lawmakers recently held a groundbreaking on the hospital’s solar power project.

CHCC chief executive officer Esther L. Muna said that CHCC is estimated to save as much as $700,000 on its utility bills once the solar project is completed by 2019.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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