Manglona: CUC needs to press CPA over expensive commodities on Rota


Sen. Paul A. Manglona (Ind-Rota) believes that the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. pressuring the Commonwealth Ports Authority would influence commodity prices on Rota.

During the public comment portion of a CUC board meeting last Friday, Manglona raised three issues, including what CUC is doing to press CUC and help push down the high prices of commodities on Rota.

The senator said CPA is charged with making sure they have to offload any vessel that comes into Rota and that CPA has the monopoly—the only authority—and responsibility to offload and load shipping vessels.

“I’m not hearing anything coming from CUC pressuring CPA or trying to say, ‘hey, we’re bringing in stuff and it is costing us hundreds of thousands of dollars,’” Manglona said.

The senator underscored the need to pressure CPA, saying it’s their responsibility.

“If the present company handling is irresponsible and can’t do anything, then by God, kick them out and put in another company there,” he said.

The Rota Terminal & Transfer, a stevedoring company, has an exclusive contract with CPA to handle stevedoring services at the Rota port.

Rota Terminal & Transfer reportedly cannot unload shipments because its mobile crane has been broken for over three months now. The company reportedly has been trying to fix the crane by sending parts to Guam for repair. It is also trying to ship another crane from Guam.

Manglona said if anybody has an emergency it is CPA, as it is costing the people of Rota because the commodities on the island are so expensive.

“I don’t know if you know but on Rota, if you go there to buy a softdrink or something, they tell you, ‘Sorry, we only have air flown prices [and] air flown commodities,’” he said.

That means air flown prices are “triple, quadruple” the regular price, he said. “It is so frustrating. You want to kill somebody,” Manglona said.

Currently, some commodities are brought to Rota by plane.

As for the electric power situation, Manglona said he is alarmed by the situation on Rota, with many of the generators being down. The third issue Manglona discussed with the CUC board was the Rota Resort’s assistance on the power outage problem.

CUC board chair Miranda V. Manglona interrupted the senator’s comments and reminded the senator that what they had on that day, Friday, was a special meeting and those who want to talk during public comments were afforded only three minutes.

The chairman instead invited Manglona to attend their regular meeting today, Tuesday, to discuss those issues.

The chairman assured the senator that CUC executive director Gary P. Camacho would look into his concerns and get back to him.

The senator was then allowed to wrap up his comments.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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