Published: Uncle Dave’s book


It was an honor to receive a signed copy of Uncle Dave’s book, A Degree of Success Through Curiosity. Uncle Dave’s book was basically a piece about the family origin (Sablan), his younger pre-war days; experience during the naval administration and the “hard days night” as a student in Guam in the mid-’50s. Immediately after high school, he started working as a clerk at a shipping firm run by Atkins Kroll Guam.

Elias P. Sablan was my grandpa, Felix Sablan, great grandpa, and Mariano DelRosario Sablan, great-great grandpa. Mariano was the first appointed governor of these isles during the Spanish era.

Grandpa Elias served three consecutive four-year terms as mayor of Saipan. His vision of closer U.S. ties came to fruition in what’s our relationship today with the federal government.

The name Sablan is Hebrew, meaning “to deal with issues…tolerant of others.” DelRosario is simply the rosary. I’m blessed! My great-great grandpa left behind a pedigree of leadership.

With a humble beginning, Uncle Dave never lost sight of his burning determination to succeed. He’s done banking, established AK here (then Microl Corp.) and led the building of the Saipan Beach Intercontinental Inn (now Fiesta Resort) and founded business and civic organizations like the Saipan Chamber of Commerce and the Saipan Rotary Club.

For his business acumen, this is one person who could have become a multi-millionaire had he decided to go it alone. But there’s that DNA we’ve picked up from Grandpa Elias P. Sablan, focusing on “service to others” so they too could see brighter tomorrows. He never ingratiates himself though highly successful in his attainment of pinnacles in his career in private industries.

He’s one person I can’t compensate for his generosity, grand sense of compassion and mindfulness. He was by my mom’s side when dad died in 1955. Even beyond his golden years I still enjoy his intellectual acuity and even more, his character or intellectual integrity. He’s a godsend and a uniquely blessed Chamolinian.

Uncle Dave was my beacon light for most of my high school years. He coached me in a speech competition during my freshman year. Won first place and repeated the same feat for the next two years coming out number one, three years in a row!

Si Yuus Maase, Uncle Dave!

Trust but verify
Whatever you do there’s a measure of confidence in your dealings with others. Though this may be the case it’s always good practice to “trust but verify.”

For instance, last week I wrote about CHC’s need for a financial bailout. Legislators must not rush to judgment. It’s your responsibility to figure out the beast or lead, not pander.

Did CHC submit a balanced budget to the Legislature in the last three fiscal years? Approved or otherwise, was the planned expenditure followed as a matter of accountability following the fiscal blueprint? Now, if the answer is in the affirmative, then how come the hospital is bankrupt?

If the CEO did her own fiscal somersault, what areas were violated (in her balanced budget submission) and by how much? I raise this query based on word of salary promotions rendered to “some” hospital staff while skipping others. If this was ransom to buy loyalty it may have worked.

However, the fiscal somersaulting isn’t an accomplishment but a half-inclusive policy decision. It’s the obvious perversion of fairness against non-recipients who may be victims of salary stagnancy for years. An across-the-board increase would have settled the score peacefully from the outset where everybody’s a happy camper.

A balanced budgetary blueprint doesn’t necessarily leave much room for politicking lest such hasty decision means sacrificing critical programs in the process. For instance, doctors and nurses have learned to work under familiar theme of “no supplies.” This piqued my interest—specifically what supplies aren’t available in the ER, ICU, pediatrics and the regular floor?

You see, the power of the purse rests with the Legislature, not department or agency heads. DPL’s budget is the only constitutionally protected submission from legislative disposition. Everybody else must follow the approved blueprint. Additional funds must undergo supplemental budgetary request and approval.

Unfortunately, CHC is under fiscal life support system now. It can’t even meet its utility bill. Such being the case, it is into deficit spending while pinned down with more debts than its annual revenue collection or funds from upstairs.

More the reason why the board must be given oversight authority so there’s consistent review and evaluation of the CEO’s performance. The goal is the enhancement of services. Let’s end spouting one thing while doing the exact opposite. Accountability is imperative! After all, it’s our tax dollars!

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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