A cargo ship carrying essential commodities recently arrived at the Rota Seaport but failed to offload the items from the containers and had to return to Saipan due to lack of a crane at the port, according to Sen. Paul A. Manglona (Ind-Rota) Monday.
Manglona informed Commonwealth Ports Authority executive director Christopher S. Tenorio that the Rota seaport is not equipped with a port crane, which plays a vital role in the day-to-day operations of the port.
Saipan Tribune was still trying to obtain comments from Tenorio as of press time yesterday.
The senator noted in a letter to Tenorio that this was not the first time such an incident affected the island’s port operations.
With the millions of dollars being invested in the CNMI by the federal government, he said that now is the time to seek financial assistance in procuring a port crane to ensure the continuous operation of the Rota Seaport.
Manglona said he learned that M/V Mariana made a trip to Rota last Feb. 24 to transport commodities in approximately six or more containers. However, he said, due to lack of a port crane, none of the commodities from the containers were offloaded and had to be returned to Saipan.
Manglona told Saipan Tribune yesterday that some bulk cargoes that were not in the containers were unloaded.
M/V Mariana used to be called M/V Luta.
The senator told Tenorio that when Rota was experiencing continuous power outages many years back, the municipality had to identify funding to ship a port crane from Saipan just to unload the emergency generator that had been shipped over to aid the residents because the seaport was not readily equipped for such an operation.
“I cannot stress the significant concern regarding this matter. As you are aware, the price for commodities on Rota are extremely high for residents due to the additional shipping fees alone,” Manglona said.
To further prolong the arrival of commodities at a time when fuel prices are at an all-time high is truly a disadvantage for Rota residents who absorb the financial burden of such costs, he said.
The senator is worried that further delays in addressing this longstanding concern will only impair the livelihood of the community in the event of another crisis.