DLNR working to have state vet back


The Department of Lands and Natural Resources is making an effort to have former state veterinarian Dr. Ignacio Dela Cruz back on service.

According to DLNR Secretary Richard Seman, the government needs Dela Cruz.

“It’s very crucial that in one form or another, the government retains or take back Dr. Dela Cruz because we need a state veterinarian. Right off the ground we need him no matter what,” Seman said.

“Dr. Dela Cruz doesn’t need the government…it’s the government that needs him badly because there are certain issues that only a state veterinarian can perform, can proclaim, no one else,” he added.

Seman said that they are working to resolve the issues that are preventing them from hiring back Dela Cruz as he is a retiree who is receiving pension and therefore cannot work as a government employee as per CNMI law.

“The only issue that we’re face with this is the existing legislation that prohibits his work as a retiree,” Seman said.

To do this, Seman said they need to match his pension and add that amount to what they used to give him.

“One of the things that we need to do right now is at least meet the value of what we used to give him, and whatever his pension amount is, add that to the contract that we used to give him, and give him that as one contract,” Seman said.

Seman said the contract amount which is $60,000 is still available but they need additional funds to match Dela Cruz’s pension.

“We’re trying to secure extra funds so that we can avail him the additional,” he added.

Seman said Dela Cruz will then have to give up his pension if he chooses to accept the contract.

Seman noted Dela Cruz’s credentials that make him qualified as a state veterinarian.

“He’s one of the very few people in the whole nation that is certified in certain credentials,” Seman said.

Dela Cruz is an accredited veterinarian, a regulatory meat inspector, and a certified foreign animal disease diagnostician, trained and certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The government veterinary clinic closed down around May of last year after the Attorney General’s decision that they could not sign Dela Cruz’s contract due to what has been described as “double dipping.”

Frauleine S. Villanueva-Dizon | Reporter
Frauleine Michelle S. Villanueva was a broadcast news producer in the Philippines before moving to the CNMI to pursue becoming a print journalist. She is interested in weather and environmental reporting but is an all-around writer. She graduated cum laude from the University of Santo Tomas with a degree in Journalism and was a sportswriter in the student publication.

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