In a presentation ceremony on Capital Hill last Friday, former lieutenant governor Diego T. Benavente, the honorary consul of the Federated States of Micronesia in the CNMI, presented acting governor Victor B. Hocog with a $100,000 donation from FSM to assist in recovery efforts relating to the damage the Commonwealth sustained from Super Typhoon Yutu.
Also in attendance were presidents of the different associations for each of the FSM states, Rep. Ivan A. Blanco (R-Saipan), who is also chairman of Yutu relief efforts for FSM citizens, and Finance Secretary Larissa Larson.
According to Benavente, this donation is in addition to an earlier appropriation FSM President Peter Christian and the country’s congressional leaders made in the same amount to support the relief efforts for Typhoon Mangkhut, which hit the CNMI in September.
“I am pleased to accept this for our people here in the CNMI for further distribution to those severely affected by Yutu,” said Hocog, who also expressed appreciation on behalf of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres for FSM’s generosity. FSM also contributed manpower to expedite the restoration of utilities in villages.
For his part, Blanco said, “This is a very generous donation and a mindful one. With this being a season of thanksgiving, we cannot thank our leaders in the FSM enough for the help they have given us in the past, and most especially during this trying time.”
Chuukese Association president Own Cholymay expressed the sentiments of his countrymen by saying that they feel blessed for all the support and assistance given to their citizens residing in the Northern Marianas.
Benavente said the FSM government also desires to provide construction workers and carpenters to assist in rebuilding homes damaged by the typhoon.
In a meeting Benavente had with Christian, he mentioned it was a “great idea because people do need construction professionals at this time.” Christian also noted that local money was appropriated by the FSM to assist in travel expenses incurred for workers helping the CNMI’s relief efforts.
After presenting the check to the Department of Finance, Hocog thanked FSM leaders and Benavente for seeing the effects Super Typhoon Yutu has had on their compatriots in the CNMI.
“We’d like to see more leaders coming this way to meet with our FSM citizens to establish more connections among the citizens and residents in the Commonwealth and build a stronger relationship as we continue to expand and grow a better livelihood for them,” he added.”
Hocog is optimistic that the cash contributions for both Yutu and Mangkhut recovery will be used to help affected FSM citizens. (PR)