Famine on the islands


The NMI faces critical issues on two fronts: decrease in local economy and the deadly global virus that threatens everybody within 30 feet of an infected person. The decrease in the global economy has hit and devastated the NMI equally hard.

In the process, economic reduction has forced the administration to pare down the number of employees in government of some 3,000. News article has it that some 50% would either be furloughed or released or both. Didn’t know we have this many piggy baggers feeding off taxpayers’ contributions.

Excess baggage shows lack of collective planning on the part of the administration obviously lackadaisical how it disposes hard-earned taxpayers’ money. It could have used public funds for real programs to help the poor in the villages. But an understanding what fiduciary duty entails is the missing equation.

The economic decrease is a solid negative we can do nothing about. When it crash-lands it hits long and hard, sending the NMI into a scramble to hold on to anything it could grab.

Thus guarding scarce resources turns into a task in perpetuity. Said Magoo disgustingly, “Ai, wen natting, den natting!” But we sometime boast deficit spending, chancing what’s constitutionally prohibited.

Airlines have cut flights to and from the islands. The only thing flying is the faithful pair of white doves that visit my backyard at dawn for breakfast. Otherwise, I end up humming a fearful 12 Days of Christmas.

Recent news has it that hotel occupancy here is down by 84%. Definitely, it leaves our mini-tourism industry doing the mea culpa.

The deathly message about the coronavirus has equally forced silence in the villages as if there’s a huge wake. Or is it in observance of Holy Week? It isn’t surprising the prayer of mea culpa from the elderly who understand the wraths of the scourge that is basically biblical in every sense. I could only watch in hopeful prayers as dusk replaces dawn, daily, wrapped in mild confusion.

Something’s woefully wrong at home. Or have you any idea what the persistent silence and sense of hopelessness depict? It’s also reflected in the troubled faces of our people everywhere! Whatever happened to fiduciary duty to improve the lot of villagers?

It’s bad news to the core that may explode from the village level, indicating dissatisfaction with the way things are at this juncture. EVERbody home? Village sentiment is no longer rhetorical and you could see it if you cruise by villages to get a feel of life in failed leadership land.

What is the extent of the virus spreading across the islands? Has it forced small and large business shuttering doors, including the release of workers? With the way decrease in economic activities has taken a nosedive I expect reduction in major ways we’ve never seen since 1978.

I’m sure employees are seriously quizzing what happens to the first family home or filial needs if he/she is released from work. Is there a federally established program here that could provide temporary cushion for folks whose work hours are reduced or released from work altogether?

Amidst the uncertainty and decrease in the economy why would you reduce salaries of employees by 25%? Is this the fitting agony you’re leveling against employees caught in miserable poverty while literally struggling to make ends meet?

The filial misery now requires use of hydroxychloroquine for people to survive the bad times. Is the respiratory aid available at your shop and how much do you charge for it? Would you accept federal coupons for this purpose?

In fact, it may do you good taking a step back to see folks pining for help, any help, in sheer painful situations. No worries, I’ve walked this path before, thus the clarity of understanding what destitution entails.

Your 25%
The obvious decrease in the local economy prompted by the deadly coronavirus has the concurrent effect of bringing everybody’s budget down to pennies, nickels, and dimes.

Appalling that PSS is clamoring to retain its 25% to focus improving upon the quality of instructions. Wasn’t this the same hypercatalectic excuse it fronted last year only to raise salaries? EVERbody home? I mean the lights are on so someone must be snoring somewhere inside, yeah?

Hombre, our reading comprehension is sufficiently adequate to discern half-cocked schemes presented in deceitful fashion! You’ve failed once. Is there a need to reconfirm failure?

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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