Impending revenue loss


Two disasters piled by major visitor cancellations, the domino effect being a slowdown of business operations, derail any optimistic outlook for positive revenue generation for the rest of the year. So the projected fiscal year 2016 budget would have to be far less than $145 million.

The deepening fiscal crisis atop piles of debts or financial obligation is troubling. It’s disaster piled upon other disasters. Let’s hope there’s enough left to ensure the delivery of essential public services like health, education, and public safety. These are relevant concerns given that we would be scrambling for pennies, nickels, and dimes to make ends meet!

Once again, the revenue slide south reminds us of the fickleness of the tourism industry. It makes for a relevant quiz: How do we realign a mainstay that is as sturdy as poorly predicted Typhoon Soudelor?

Kilili: The lack of leadership is what we had to endure after the storm. Is it a tale of tentativeness and indecisions of dispositions since Monday, Aug. 4? I’ve heard your concerns about the queue lines for gasoline, water, and food assistance. Prompt assistance was insufficient, if not woefully slow where storm battered folks compete with the scorching heat all over.

Delegate Kilili is right that the system needs something better than grand disorientation where the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.

At least Kilili had the presidential declaration of local disaster emergency signed in six hours’ time. This while the boss tries to figure out “what’s north?” But why did the acting governor limit the approximate destruction to $20 million? Goes to show a neophyte on the job!

Kilili also has a congressional staffer out here to help get the job done—getting the federal side to move quickly—as the local government figures out its role. Moreover, he asked the U.S. Marines out of Hawaii to move in and help the NMI. Thanks, guys, you’ve eased potable water needs of the village folks.

Goes to show in clear-cut fashion what happens when the elected elite is fossilized into the new sleepwalk culture basking in confusion. It’s amateurish in every form or fashion or both. It isn’t leadership but confused followership. Seesuzzzz!


Meanwhile, I know the healthcare staff is overworked, handling additional patients in makeshift room like the old AC-II. It’s no easy feat where efficiency begins to peter out after 12–18 long hours.

Kudos to all who work under scorching heat to put up power poles and stand for hours issuing food and other assistance to storm victims. It’s no easy task either when the breeze takes a rain check while humidity thickens and plasters the entire island.

My friend Duñg: On the way home from a clinic, I visited Sugar Dock scouting for returning fishermen for fresh tuna. I was salivating and hungry for real sashimi and miso soup. Yep! It’s been awhile since I last had on an old favorite dish just caught off the deep blue!

As I looked around, there stood at the end of the pier a young boy looking at the virulent sea below him that seems peaceful on the surface. He took a chancy quick dive then swam around the corner and got up. I noticed that he was alone. No room for a buddy system in the event something goes wrong.

I got out of the car and talked to him. I crumbled a piece of paper and threw it in the water. He watched powerful current quickly move it into the channel about a mile out. The kid understood the dangers I was explaining. He listened to my advice and moved to the shore.

A couple of issues came to mind as I recall Duñg taking a dive in dangerous water conditions. 1). The lack of organized youth activities for disadvantaged kids or those who can’t afford fees for summer fun programs. 2). The tons of useless social programs in the NMI that hardly lift a finger to do something constructive for these kids.

I’m sure the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs could muster sufficient manpower and money for this purpose. Go ahead and tell me it needs money therefore it can’t be done. How about a fully rounded youth program that include summer day blues? I’ll show you exactly where to draw funds for this purpose.

Desperation: I feel for folks standing in long queues for gas, food, water and ice. I mean they do so under scorching heat. It shows the gauge of need reaching desperation level and would do anything to get what they came for. It’s worrisome. I wonder if they are aware that they could get killed from heatstroke. It’s good to bring water for rehydration and an umbrella to ward off direct heat from the sun. Do yourself this favor!


Those on long gas lines have learned to deal with it. They brought their lunch, beach chairs and umbrellas as they inch their way through the endless formation. Stunning how they literally succeed getting their share of gasoline after five to eight hours. I still can’t figure out why the rationing. Was there factually a fuel shortage? Mobil finally resolved its dysfunctional filling stations eliminating long lines.


The loss of an entire family home is devastating. Rebuilding from scratch with some FEMA assistance is a start to regroup. It would take time to re-establish one happy family setting once more. But don’t fret, do it now! It’s one tough job all the way around. Still thankful, though, that no one was fatally hurt. It’s one major reconstruction period for the next six-eight months, if not a whole year ahead.

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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