Stressing the urgent need to rectify the constant flooding that happens in Garapan each time it rains, Rep. Ivan Blanco (R-Saipan), together with his colleagues in Precinct 3, has identified this among a host of projects that have to be allocated enough funds and resolve as soon as possible.
“One of those projects that we’re looking at is our San Jose Road area,” Blanco said. “We know when it’s flooding, our students, after they get off school and when they walk to their bus, they have to walk in on the edge of the road hugging the buildings or the gates, walk in the mud, and it’s not good for their health.”
The legislator also raised concerns about flood leaving standing water in neighborhoods.
“That is one thing that the community has been bringing up with us. We have conveyed to the Executive Branch that this is a project that we want going and as soon as possible,” he said.
Last month, flooding in a portion of the San Jose Road created a cloud of stench that triggered the asthma of some children living in the area.
Blanco said that they have already talked with Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Public Work Secretary James Ada about several projects for Garapan.
“[During] heavy rains and when we do not open that drainage by IPI and Fiesta, all our tourists are walking in [flood] water. So those are issues that we try to address,” he said.
Aside from flooding, Blanco said that there also have been discussions related to the parking concerns in Garapan, in particular the parking meters that have yet to function, which businesses in Garapan have been raising with legislators.
“If we go to Garapan, I’ll be happy to pay the fee for the parking meters if I’m comfortable that I can park and not worry about getting towed or ticketed,” he said. “Even the businesses, they’re bringing the issue up to us.”
Blanco said it is his understanding that there are three separate entities that were supposed to deal with the parking meters: one in the executive branch that is supposed to enforce, another that is supposed to maintain, and another to collect the funds. The legislator raised the possibility of amending the law to lump all these responsibilities under one government entity.
Despite other existing challenges, such as not having enough workers, Blanco said the most important thing is that they were able to share these concerns with the Executive Branch as Precinct 3 priority projects.
“There’s a saying we need this done yesterday. That’s the message that we conveyed to the Executive Branch and I’m pleased that they’re amenable to it,” he said. “This is very important, because we all have families. It’s a win-win for everybody, wherever you reside. As you know, in Precinct 3, a lot of businesses are here.”