GOP to focus on tourism, jobs, other industries


Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, fourth left, joins other Republican Party of the Northern Mariana Islands Association candidates and some supporters in last Sunday’s kickoff rally at the Susupe Beach Park. (Contributed Photo)

The Republican Party of the Northern Mariana Islands Association said job creation, tourism, and exploring other industries in the CNMI will be part of their candidates’ campaign platforms in this year’s general elections. The local GOP party held a kickoff rally last Sunday at the Susupe Beach Park.

Job creation, tourism, and exploring other industries is part of the GOP’s nine-point agenda that will be advanced by re-electionists Senate President Francisco Borja and Sen. Sixto Igisomar, House Speaker Rafael Demapan, vice speaker Joseph Deleon Guerrero, floor leader George Camacho, and Reps. Angel Demapan, Joseph Lee Pan Guerrero, Anthony Sablan, and Tinian’s Edwin Aldan.

Former Reps. Janet Maratita and Antonio Agulto are trying to make a return to the House, while press secretary Ivan Blanco, Veterans Affairs director Gregorio Sablan Jr., Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council vice chair Alice Igitol, Frank Aguon, and Donald Barcinas are hoping to win seats for their respective precincts.

Local GOP spokesperson Blanco said the Republican Party agreed to focus on the nine-point agenda if given the chance that they retake the CNMI Legislature.

Job creation by expanding employment opportunities for the local people is on top of the GOP’s platform followed by restoring the 25 percent cut made in the retirement pension and payment of interest to former defined benefit members that withdrew their respective retirement contributions.

Aiming to reduce the utility costs, land compensation, medical referral, scholarships, and tourism enhancement programs, are also on their agenda as well as exploring alternative industries like casino gaming operations, strengthening the agriculture and fisheries sectors, and the submerged land mineral exploration.

Expanding the training of the local CNMI workforce, improving the government’s social programs, and providing miscellaneous programs and services to improve the standard of living of all citizens of the Commonwealth are also part of the local GOP’s platform.

Blanco will be taking a leave from his duties as press secretary once the Commonwealth Election Commission certifies his candidacy. He, however, will remain as the local GOP’s spokesperson.

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said he was pleased to see the incredible turnout in last Sunday’s kickoff rally. “This shows the strength and momentum of the party and most especially the people’s faith in the party’s platform that we are actually delivering what we set out to do since we took office.”

“And, we continue to welcome everyone to join the Republican Party based on the platform and the solutions for long standing issues and challenges in our islands,” added Torres.

Torres, who led the CNMI’s local GOP delegation to last month’s Republican National Convention, said the national committee had already learned of the concerns by the territories as evident on adopting some issues.

“It is a totally different atmosphere from the local campaign here but the national committee is now aware of the needs of the territories. They have acknowledged and accepted our policies for the insular areas,” said Torres.

Appointing a Special Assistant to the President that would be the direct representative of the territories to the White House was part of the platform adopted by the national GOP.

All five territories—American Samoa, the CNMI, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands—introduced it with amendment.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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