New truck to address junk car issue


Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, eighth left, joins House Speaker Rafael S. Demapan (R-Saipan), left, and staff of the Saipan Mayor’s Office when they presented the new truck to the members of the House of Representatives last Thursday at the parking lot of the Jesus P. Mafnas Memorial Building. (Jon Perez)

The Saipan Mayor’s Office acquired a new truck that would help collect junk cars and put them in a holding area before being shipped off-island. The funding that bought the truck came from an appropriation by the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation.

Rep. John Paul Sablan (R-Saipan) is the SNILD chair and they appropriated $136,000 to the Saipan Mayor’s Office, which then purchased the truck from South Korea.

Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, along with field operations director Joan Aquino and safety officer Mac Chargualaf, presented the new truck to House of Representatives members.

Apatang said the truck, which has a claw, is the one that they needed to pick up the junk cars in some areas of the island. Some car owners, whose vehicles are either no longer working or have some problems, just abandon them.

“There have been a lot of complaints about junk cars and all other trash. We’re going to use this for trash removal. So this is the one truck that can help us in picking up heavy trash,” said Apatang during a recess in last Thursday’s House session at the Jesus P. Mafnas Memorial Building.

“We bought it from Korea. It is a special truck since it has a claw, where it can pick up [heavy] typhoon debris and junk cars around the island,” added Apatang.

He said the truck would make things easier for them. “It will make things faster for us. The truck will claw the debris, load it, and then the trash will be taken to the landfill. Everything goes to the landfill.”

“We have two staging areas before, one in Kagman and the other one in Koblerville. But we removed everything out and moved it all to the landfill,” said Apatang, who added that they asked the Department of Public Lands, through Secretary Marianne Teregeyo, for a piece of land.

“We’re working with DPL so they could give us a place in Lower Base where we can stock all of the junk cars temporarily until those guys that have junkyards can secure them and ship it off-island,” Apatang said.

“We need to clean the community of junk cars because mosquitoes use it as a breeding ground and rats as a nesting place.”

He thanked SNILD for their assistance and again wrote Sablan for additional help in providing the money to purchase one more truck. “I already wrote a letter to the local delegation. I’m still looking for another truck where the delegation could help me out.”

“This is a truck that would help cut trees and branches that are almost near the phone and power lines. It is like a bucket truck just like the one used by [the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.] but smaller. We don’t want the big one, the smaller one is enough.”

Apatang said the truck, which costs $190,000, would help them respond to numerous calls by Saipan residents who ask for assistance in cutting trees.

“A lot of people are calling our office and asking us to cut and trim their trees that is next to their houses. You can always call our office if there are also fallen trees that you need to be picked up.”

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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