DeLeon Guerrero questions whether CNMI got reimbursed $20.8M for COVID response


Edith E. DeLeon Guerrero

Senate President Edith E. DeLeon Guerrero (D-Saipan) is questioning whether the CNMI government got reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the $20.8 million the Torres administration paid for its COVID-19 response.

In response to Saipan Tribune’s inquiry as to why there is a need to investigate the $93-million FEMA Community Disaster Loan funds, DeLeon Guerrero said Monday that a prior report states that $6.8 million worth of expenses was transferred to the FEMA CDL. A few months later, she said, numerous expenses were funded by these FEMA CDL funds.

DeLeon Guerrero has created a special committee and appointed Sen. Donald M. Manglona (Ind-Rota) as chairman to investigate the Torres administration’s expenditures of the CDL funds.

The Senate president noted that the CNMI received a total of $88.7 million of FEMA CDL funds in the third quarter of fiscal year 2021. DeLeon Guerrero said these funds allowed the reimbursement of COVID-19 costs taken from the CNMI’s general fund.

She said significant amounts of $16.4 million for the CNMI Group Health Life Insurance Plan due to GHLI vendors was paid for, and $20.8 million in CDL money was used to pay for the COVID-19 response. There was also a $5.5 million in paid expenses for the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.

“It is important to validate and confirm these payments to ensure that government payables/vendors truly received their payments,” she said.

DeLeon Guerrero said this review requires tremendous analytics to understand the movement of monies as they are classified/interchanged as receivables, payables, and cash on hand, and/or assets/liabilities.

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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