Is NMI a Third World country?


Assuming you have no inherent ties to the islands. You enter the Internet and start reading headlines and stories about the Marianas from the two local papers.

I’m sure your impression would be far from the “paradise” travel writers have dubbed it to be but more like a “Third World country.”

High collar crime: Impeachment, resignation, conviction and, yes, commutation all in quick succession. Bewildering? How about eight murder cases gone cold—even the disappearance of four young women remains unsolved. Major travel cancellations, business slowdown and a protracted pace in recovery. The complete abandon of precious ancestral burial ground in favor of a casino…no sense of heritage…a confused juvenile mindset!

It seems a perfect work venue in progress for “That’s all she wrote!” or a murder novel.

With pants below our knees, we found out we don’t even know how to deal with the normal conduct of business, much less dovetailed disasters. We love ad hoc planning—plan by eventualities—hoping to make it with another miracle. We fear discovering that we could also plan for our future!


Curious that Tinian Dynasty has shot down casino gaming operations displacing over 140 workers. These aren’t good tidings at all! What triggered the eventual fiscal inferno?

Rota’s casino never got off the ground, though someone thinks it’s a lucrative “global” venture. Then why is it stuck in the filthy sand of non-operation?

Does anybody care? Very troubling the lack of expression from among the 20-something students here how big corporations now dictate the electoral process. Does it matter we’re being corralled for sale at the stock auction when such decision was once founded on personal integrity?

I think the origin of these anomalies came from within ourselves where we never gave the long thoughtful process a chance. It’s the usual “ad hoc” approach.


I kept bumping into grand inconsistencies in what is said about the preservation of Pagan. We don’t want the military there but it’s okay to destroy it with pozzolan extraction. Didn’t know we have that many pirates venturing in and out of Smiling Cove Marina.


At the social or PTA level, have parents and teachers held consultation conferences to deal with how modern gadgets have ruined familial conversations, prayers and even the relegation of the local language? Or does this matter at all?

A lot of vital issues have been beaten into negligence land taking preference in shortsighted politics. It’s politics over what’s right.

Semantics! A truly people-oriented Delegate Kilili doesn’t mince words when it comes down to extending help to victims of the recent superstorm.

He just reminded the administration to get over “semantics” and get as much help to those seeking assistance. How true that the duo—Inos and Torres—have placed greater importance on the maintenance of a bureaucracy over the single most important component of all—assistance—for hard-beaten storm victims!

Not a fan either of seasoned bureaucrats who often ignore fiduciary duty in favor of trying to sound vacuously authoritative. Hombre, let’s keep it simple, otherwise we’d be going in and out of the court of public jargons trying to figure out if a word is a synonym or an antonym, get it? And without an understanding of the term’s definiens, where would you take your fully polished bureaucratic lingo?

Depth of destruction: My jaw still drops at the depth of destruction between Koblerville and Garapan on incidental cruise to the business center. Talk about being pulped at every corner. Everything comes to a screeching halt. The tons of debris inside villages would take months to clear.

Good to learn the military has flown in telephone poles. We could have done this ourselves if we had borrowed a former congressman his flying kite retrofit it so we begin hauling poles from the West Coast. Seriously, though, my personal salute to the strongest global defense team who volunteered providing direly needed potable water throughout the villages.

Folks aren’t holding back on their expressions of the snail-like progress being made in the recovery effort. They were expecting something decisive. There’s nothing up that alley. And so the band plays on “take me out to the ball game.”

The combined eight teams erecting downed telephone poles are at it daily. No fanfare, just the appropriate emplacement or replacement of downed poles and lines. Imagine if you allow 29 other confused so-called policymakers pitch in even picking trash along main thoroughfare. The CUC, GPA and FEMA teams have done superbly well.

Folks, southern Saipan is back up as of last Wednesday evening. Lateral areas should be fixed soon just as the team identifies which area goes first. Thanks a million!

Tough sail: With serious revenue losses shortly, e.g., major visitor cancellations and its accompanying domino effects would be tough sailing trying to maintain the crew happy when revenue generation takes a nosedive this month.

In budgeting the decision boils to “nice to have” or “must have” and I’m sure this is no easy feat for budget hawkers. I wonder what would be the collection for September just as the nosedive takes full speed into the deep blue off Banzai Cliff! Bad time to be the chief navigator!

Let’s be upfront about the fiscal mess, unpleasant it may be politically. How do we divvy $20 million when we still owe CUC over $30 million, $40 apiece to CHC and CUC and other Cs? Must employ the old juvenile fish split known as “patten tiau” to ensure we make it through another day. And for as long as there doesn’t exist a plan, how do we foster some sense of purpose and organization? “I don’t know Maria!”

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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