Marianas added to AMBER Alert program

Sablan’s four bills are now laws


Four of Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan’s (Ind-MP) bills, including one that adds the CNMI and other insular areas in the AMBER Alert program to find missing children, are now laws.

In a Facebook post last Tuesday, Sablan said his bill, H.R. 4614, adds the Marianas and other insular areas to the national AMBER alert system for finding missing children. AMBER alerts mobilize the community via radio, TV, and text messages and have helped locate almost 1,000 children since the system was created in 1996.

Sablan said his three other legislations will help Marianas small business; increase student participation in STEM disciplines (science, engineering technology and math); and gives opportunities for military spouses.

Sablan authored the four bills, H.R. 4614, H.R. 6021, H.R. 6786, and H.R. 7712, and then piggybacked them in the fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act.

President Donald Trump had vetoed the NDAA but both the U.S. House and Senate overrode that veto, so the NDAA became law last Saturday. As a result, the CNMI became part of the AMBER Alert Program.

Sablan said his AMBER Alerts Nationwide Act will give law enforcement in the CNMI the financial and technical resources from the U.S. departments of Justice and Transportation to implement such alerts in the community in hopes of saving lives.

As for H.R. 6021, the Marianas is now eligible for funding to establish a Lead Small Business Development Center. “Marianas small businesses will have access to federal seed funding,” Sablan said.

Under H.R. 6786, the islands are included in the Department of Defense STARBASE grant program, which aims to improve students’ skills in science, technology, engineering, and math. The STARBASE program aims to improve student skills in the STEM fields.

Sablan said STARBASE links military installations with schools having high proportions of economically and educationally disadvantaged students.

Also, H.R. 7112, the Military Spouses Career Education Act, will help wives and husbands of service members finish their college degrees more quickly and get the training needed to re-license in their professions, when they must move to a new location under military orders, Sablan said. As a result of the law, he said, military spouses will get more financial aid to get the training they may need to re-license in their profession or finish their college degrees.

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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