Sen. Teresita A. Santos (Ind-Rota) said the CNMI is grateful to the federal government for its continued assistance and that, without that help, the Commonwealth’s current situation would have been much bleaker.
Speaking at the Senate’s sine die or final session, Santos said the 21st Commonwealth Legislature has been fruitful, albeit trying and challenging. She said the economic decline has affected all three branches of the government, even more so the local municipalities, resulting in a very meager budget in fiscal year 2021.
The senator also pointed out that the CNMI was inundated with consecutive disheartening news throughout the previous legislature such as the continued struggle to recover from super typhoons Soudelor and Yutu, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic that caused a temporary government shutdown, indefinite cancellation of incoming flights, furloughed or terminated government and private employees and, for those who were able to keep their jobs, a significant cut in working hours, among other challenges.
“This is the new reality that the pandemic has created, not only for us but the entire world, with only a shadowy glimpse of recovery in sight,” Santos said.
During these difficult times for the CNMI, she said, government leaders should continue to pledge their goodwill and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge differences and help restore prosperity.
“We must understand that our love of the CNMI and our desire to improve the common good must always outweigh personal and partisan interests,” she said.
Santos commended then- senators Francisco M. Borja and Sixto K. Igisomar for “enriching and inspiring this chamber with their charisma, professionalism, diplomacy, and expertise” and that it has been an honor and pleasure to be their colleague.