Da plan, da plan, da plan!


The NMI is completely confused over priorities magnified and heightened by the lack of a meaningful set of plans detailing what needs to be done first and foremost.

The empty DC trip failed our 902 SearsRoebuck Team. In other words, Interior said it would present CW concerns in December to the WH. Isn’t December the last month of Obama’s term in office? How did the team miss answer?

The issues on the table are far more complicated and costly than meets the “ad hoc” mindset of folks on imperial Capital Hill. To secure a sense of confidence and clarity on the needs of the NMI there has to be a master plan that addresses such issues as funds for CIP emplacement, planned projects, labor requirements; local programs defining the role of education; focusing funds on skills acquisition training programs for locals; and, an inventory of the number of high school graduates who would need meaningful jobs after pomp and circumstance.

The NMI has conveniently sleepwalked what would eventually turn into disruptive and disastrous confrontations with infrastructure systems that are bursting at the seams.

Old generators in the power plant have started sputtering to death. As CUC scrambles to maintain the old system the island may have to deal with persistent blackouts in the near term.

Water remains problematic all these years what with a system that has over 400 miles of pipes placed all over. But sixty percent of the pipes are leaking! Don’t be surprised if in the near future CUC implements long water hours amidst the prolonged drought season. How does the NMI push for new projects when basic infrastructure is bursting with inadequacies?

Suppressed salaries: The Department of Labor must take an inventory of available local workforce, level of skills, training that they need to upgrade skills; and must advocate for higher wages and salaries in private industries. This should encourage locals to see that there are meaningful opportunities in the private sector. Can’t Leave It To Beaver!

As it is, salaries in private industries are suppressed and unless one is a government employee a job in the private sector is far from encouraging. Locals who braved it eventually evacuated to Guam, Hawaii, and the U.S. mainland where there’s some semblance of decency, meaningful wages and salaries they could rely upon for familial sustenance. Yet they had the audacity to stereotype locals as lazy. Not quite and you know the deficiency is on your side of the court.

Meaningful opportunities don’t exist here and not when most key players in this sector would suppress wages that perpetuates dirt-cheap labor. This has gone far enough! Would anyone with an engineering degree from an accredited U.S. university settle for $6.50 an hour? How could locals attain upward mobility when the silent one-upmanship is a deterrent from the outset? I’ve seen it before and still exist!

Money for training is ridiculously spread all over the torched desert land of disorientation. Must recover them forthwith and dedicate the entire amount for indigenous training. Ensure there’s a fully thought-out goal to improve skills. I find it very troubling the sheer sense of hopelessness blowing in the wind. Is this it? Didn’t someone boast of the “solutions driven” team?

Graduation: Nearly half-a-century ago I marched out of pomp and circumstance at Mt. Carmel Cathedral, the venue after horrific Superstorm Jean pulped the island.

I don’t recall the theme of the Class of `68 but I vividly remember singing “Climb Every Mountain.” What a beginning in search of a career. Ironic the theme song that seems to tell us well in advance, “climb!” And climb we did from day one.

I started out in radio, staff writer for the TT-wide Micronesian News Service, and PIO intern at the Congress of Micronesia until I moved to the last Marianas District Legislature in 1977. A year before I graduated from the U.S. Department of Defense School of Journalism. It was a sound foundation honing journalistic discipline in news writing.

Indeed, historians have an advantage of time versus journalists. But the latter is often present at events as they unfold. I’ve seen major regional events north and south of the equator. In other words, I was there!

I relish the experience that hardened my commitment to plant the permanent seed of indigenous experience. But time has faded quickly in the rearview mirror. I trust young scholars would pick-up the pieces sooner than later.

Well, most of my classmates have sailed into the sunset. I stand at the shore pondering if there’s any other mountain to climb. The shorelines and savannahs I used to frequent are now part of memory lane. Golden age has his own limitations, too.


Indigenous: I’ve heard discussions about who is indigenous to the Marianas. Is it the Chamorro or Carolinian? Someone advocates it’s the Chamorro.

This level of discussion awakens the discrimination and vicious condescending treatment of Carolinians here in the late fifties and sixties. I was a victim partly because of my Carolinian genealogy and the fact that I grew up in Lali Four. Sickening!

I heard so much about our filthy loincloth and oily bodies for using coconut oil and our fishy smell for being fish-eating folks. Like a giant sponge I took most everything in stride. I refused to focus on what’s in my blood cells and made it a point to look beyond immaturity and ethnic racism. It made me a better person too knowing that my Carolinian and Chamorro blood have never collided throughout my lifetime.

Through the years I’ve researched and read about Chamorros and their journey through history. In most every historic material I’ve read about the origin of Chamorros it’s all theory that Chamorros came from Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, or the Philippines. There’s no solid answer of its origin. So where’s the historic legitimacy of Chamorro being indigenous when it also sailed into the islands from somewhere?

John S. Del Rosario Jr. | Contributing Author
John DelRosario Jr. is a former publisher of the Saipan Tribune and a former secretary of the Department of Public Lands.

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