Price of the lack of foresight


Anyone who claims to be a leader knows, with a sense of intuitive understanding, foresight and insight, issues that matter the most for people he or she represents.
Obviously, we can’t say the incumbents are endowed with such qualities and we need not beg the issue to probe what else is new. One only look at the miseries of livelihood today to understand conditions at home.

Miserable conditions may be sinking deeper into the corner of despair or hopelessness or both while many of us had hoped that there would emerge a visionary that could organize a blueprint of hope for these isles. Plans, like road signs, give direction to places we wish to go. There are signs too that warn us in advance what to expect ahead.

The boom years came and faded into history. Didn’t people at the helm see the economic foundation swaying dangerously at the base? Or were they sleeping on the navigational switchboard as to crash directly into the iceberg? Let’s look at some issues:

The missing equation that has deepened the current mess is the lack of leadership and a set of plans to navigate the erratic turns in the economic storm. It would have provided guidelines to move from point A-B while allowing for refinement of policies as we move forward.

Cost of power: The entire CNMI needs reliable, stable and affordable power. But the lack of depth of perception and understanding of issues turns into a dog chase tail show.

The lack of foresight fittingly compliments CUC’s lack of a decent roadmap on how to resolve the power needs of the islands. This anomaly forced the closure of small businesses, the backbone of our community, and forced residential consumers to cut the use of power 24/7. So it isn’t the loss of base-load consumers so much as rock bottom conservation.

Can the CNMI reasonably expect to see business expansion and investment or wouldn’t power rates alone sufficiently deter growth to our detriment? So how do we improve revenue generation when expansion and investments head south or elsewhere as a result of very costly power bills?

Education: Our educational institutions can no longer play second fiddle in planning the education and future of these islands. It must join hands with key players with the goal to make NMC a four-year institution.

Upon attaining four-year status, NMC must equip itself with a highly reputable and credible “Research and Development Center.” It should capably assist any and all planned socio-economic programs here. The R&D component is a must that is found in the most economically advanced countries at the global village. This component should foster and proactively partake in fully thought-out growth plans.

Healthcare: This sector is the most complicated of services that is highly costly in operations too. It requires ultra-dedication in all aspects of healthcare delivery. Today, we’re dealing with a highly sick local population that is suffering from Type II diabetes or heart and other serious ailments.

Leadership is needed to view and assess the forest over the trees, so to speak. Sending heart patients to bypass factories in the Philippines or Hawaii is a serious matter that warrants full-scale review. Moreover, we must return emphasis to preventative healthcare over scrambling to handle catastrophic illnesses.

The CNMI has a lot of substantive issues that require focus and attention. We thought we had foresight as the elixir to fix our own mess. Strange though that our foresight has been and is still glued to the rearview mirror! Call it “advancing to the rear.”

Navigating hopelessness

The young folks are struggling and sifting to make sense of leadership’s negligence that abandoned their future. They’re suffocating against hope of finding brighter tomorrows.

Interesting how the same clowns and goons have spouted concerns about the future of our young people. Yet, when you measure their accomplishments on this score, the net result is a woefully humiliating ZERO! In fact, I have a truckload of useless fat zeroes.

I could envision standing by the pier watching our Canoe of Hope sink steadily in the harbor before it even sets sail. If it topples over, there goes the future of our young people. Nah! Let me have your tiny hands so I could pull you off the sinking canoe.

Walk with us and let’s rebuild the future together. We could reclaim these isles and rebuild the bridge of economic prosperity for you and the younger ones walking with you. We could do it with or without the fossilized goons upstairs!

This too shall pass

Do not be disheartened nor derailed by the deepening mess at home. I’m a strong believer that we could forcefully inflict change for the better. The removal of zombie-like impediments upstairs ought to open up opportunities to rebuild a bright new morning for you and generations behind you.

As difficult as it may seem, hold on tight for we shall move away from the powerful stench of apathy and indifference blowing into the villages from the hill. We must rely upon collective hope and genuine resiliency to pull through a few hurdles before we could hold the reins of change to make a difference. Believe in yourself for “this too shall pass!”

* * *

The prevailing myopic view of the elected elite is the very culprit of the mess at home. It fits the second group of the three kinds of people, “…those who didn’t know what happened…” No wonder it’s a sad day, everyday, in paradise!

John DelRosario Jr. is a former publisher of the Saipan Tribune and a former secretary of the Department of Public Lands.

John S. Del Rosario Jr. | Contributing Author
John DelRosario Jr. is a former publisher of the Saipan Tribune and a former secretary of the Department of Public Lands.

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