NMD comments sought in HLI public hearing

The House of Representatives’ Committee on Natural Resources will be conducting a public hearing today, June 12, starting at 6pm at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe.

This public hearing will particularly affect those of Northern Marianas descent.

Rep. Alice S. Igitol (R-Saipan), who chairs the committee, is strongly soliciting the participation of the public, especially NMDs, to attend this hearing so that they can present comments, suggestions and/or recommendations on the proposal to amend Article 11, Section 6(d) of the CNMI Constitution.

Presently, Article 11, Section 6 (d) states that trustees of the Marianas Public Land Trust “shall carry out the intention of Article 8, Section 803(e) of the Covenant by using the interest on the amount received for the lease of the property at Tanapag Harbor for the development and maintenance of a memorial park. The trustees shall transfer to the general revenue of the Commonwealth the remaining interest accrued on the trust proceeds, except that the trustees may retain the amount of necessary to meet reasonable expenses of administration.”

The proposed House legislative initiative amendment states, that trustees of the Marianas Public Land Trust “shall carry out the intention of Article 8, Section 803(e) of the Covenant by using the interest on the amount received for the lease of the property at Tanapag Harbor for the development and maintenance of a memorial park. The trustees shall transfer the accrued interest into a separate special account to be distributed to all eligible persons of Northern Marianas descents every year, except that the trustees may retain the amount necessary to meet reasonable expenses of the administration. To be eligible to receive the portion of the fund, all persons of Northern Marianas descent are required to register at the Marianas Public Land Trust office. The Marianas Public Land Trust shall issue an official “Northern Marianas Descent Identification Card” to all eligible persons of Northern Marianas descent for use for the distribution of the accrued interest funds. The Marianas Public Land trustees shall be authorized to establish rules and procedure to effectuate the intent of the section.”

In a media notice, Igitol is quoted as saying it highly critical that the public, most especially the Northern Marianas descent, attend this hearing so that the legislative initiative can be placed on the ballot this coming election.

“Your full participation at the hearing will provide proper guidance to the Legislature on this constitutional amendment. Your presence at the hearing is highly appreciated,” the notice added. (Saipan Tribune)

Saipan Tribune

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