CUC will not adopt austerity measures for now


Commonwealth Utilities Corp. acting board chair Weston Deleon Guerrero presides over a board meeting last Friday. (Ferdie de la Torre)

The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. will not adopt the Torres administration’s austerity measures to cut employees’ work hours but it will still be implementing cost-cutting measures and will reevaluate its finances after 30 days.

CUC executive director Gary P. Camacho said Friday that CUC will continue to have the full 80 work hours for their over 400 employees on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota for another 30 days.

“After 30 days, we are going to review and reevaluate our options and capability in making necessary adjustments,” Camacho said.

He said the austerity measures was among the topics that the CUC board directors discussed during an executive session last Friday.

Camacho acknowledged that CUC’s billing collections is very challenging right now and they intend to strengthen that.

That includes implementing cost-cutting measures such as no non-emergency overtime, justified hiring, no off-island training unless it is a system emergency, and no non-critical purchases, among others.

“Right now we are trying to do the best we can and see where we are and how are we going to move forward,” Camacho said.

Camacho said that CUC’s infrastructure requires a lot of people and they want to ensure that the delivery of essential power, water, and wastewater services to the customers is not affected.

“We must continue to do everything we can…to provide essential services for all the people,” he said.

Camacho said they appreciate the payments from the Commonwealth Ports Authority and other agencies for the services rendered.

Autonomous agencies like CUC, the Marianas Visitors Authority, and Commonwealth Ports Authority can follow or not the Torres administration’s austerity measures.

MVA has already cut the regular 80 hours of its 36 employees in the CNMI, including its managing director Priscilla Maratita Iakopo, to 72 work hours starting last June 23.

CPA, on the other hand, is not adopting the austerity measures, but is cutting its operations due to reduced revenues.

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres has reduced the operation hours of offices under the Executive Branch, starting last June 23. Agencies will be closed every payday Friday beginning on July 5.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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