Govt, CHC, CPA owe CUC $51.2M

As of last week, the CNMI central government, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., and the Commonwealth Ports Authority owe the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. a total of $51.2 million.

CUC acting chief financial officer Corina Magofna disclosed at the CUC board meeting last Tuesday that the central government owes $6,133,067, CHCC $27,412,615, and CPA $17,662,237—a total of $51,207,919 in receivables.

Magofna said the central government is past due for 12 months, CHCC for four years, and CPA for five months.

With respect to the $17.8 million receivable from CPA, under a 40-year lease agreement, $10 million will be used to offset CUC’s access to 46 wells on CPA property, she said.

CUC executive director Gary P. Camacho said he recently attended a meeting with CPA to discuss outstanding concerns with their accounts payable.

Corina Magofna

Camacho said the intent was also to finalize the lease agreement with the CPA board of directors that would provide CUC control and access to the 46 wells on CPA property for 40 years in exchange for $10 million in outstanding water charges.

Camacho also reported that he, CUC financial account manager Betty Terlaje, and CUC board vice chair Weston Deleon Guerrero recently attended a meeting at CHCC about their past due.

He said the purpose of the meeting was to come to an accommodation on the outstanding accounts payable CHCC owes CUC totaling $26 million, including penalties.

He said CHCC will only pay $71,000 each month, even though they are billed about $400,000 a month.

Camacho said CHCC’s chief financial officer indicated that they did include the cost of CUC services in their latest rate change.

He said the CHCC chief financial officer, however, informed them that the rate portion will not be used for utilities.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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