DLNR cuts operational hours at the Grotto


In this file photo, tourists go down to the Grotto in Marpi to dive and snorkel. Grotto is Saipan’s most popular dive spot. (Ferdie de la Torre)

Acting Department of Lands and Natural Resources secretary Manuel P. Pangelinan has reduced by one hour the operational hours at the Grotto, effective today, Monday, as part of DLNR’s cost-cutting measures.

Pangelinan told Saipan Tribune over the weekend that they are doing this to prevent DLNR staff from accruing overtime every day, including weekends and holidays.

At present, only one person is assigned to the Grotto, which is located in Marpi. It is considered one of Saipan’s most popular dive spot.

Pangelinan said he is making adjustments and schedule change to avoid or minimize overtime.

Manuel Pangelinan

“[It’s a] proactive approach to cost-cutting measures,” he said.

Pangelinan issued a memorandum Friday about the Grotto’s new operational hours to the Marianas Visitors Authority and Department of Public Lands.

In that memo, he stated that, due to budgetary constraints and the DLNR management’s review of operations at the Grotto in Marpi, DLNR wishes to inform all stakeholders that effective today, Monday, business hours at Grotto will be between 8am and 4pm. The previous operational hours at Grotto were between 8am and 5pm.

Pangelinan said anyone who has questions and concerns about this may call him at (670) 483-6261.

Gov. Arnold I. Palacios designated Pangelinan as the acting DLNR secretary last Tuesday. Pangelinan is currently director for Fish and Wildlife.

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 ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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