Sen. Vinnie F. Sablan (Ind-Saipan) is the newest member of the Senate but will be taking on a bigger role after being appointed as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Utilities, Transportation, and Communication in the 21st Legislature. Sablan topped the last elections for the Third Senatorial District followed by Sen. Justo S. Quitugua (R-Saipan).
Sen. Vinnie F. Sablan (Ind-Saipan) is the newest member of the Senate, but will be taking on a bigger role after being appointed as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Utilities, Transportation, and Communication in the 21st Legislature. Sablan topped the last elections for the Third Senatorial District followed by Sen. Justo S. Quitugua (R-Saipan).
Sablan replaced Sen. Sixto K. Igisomar (R-Saipan), who is now the PUTC vice chair, and at the helm of PUTC with the latter being appointed to head two committees—Federal Relations and Independent Agencies and Judiciary, Government, and Law.
He said that his still getting a feel of things in the Senate after serving two consecutive terms at the House of Representatives in the 19th and 20th Legislatures.
The Commonwealth Utilities Corp., Commonwealth Ports Authority (air and sea ports), the Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority for transportation, Department of Public Works for roads, and telecommunications companies IT&E and Docomo Pacific fall under PUTC.
The first-term senator from Precinct 4 said he has already met with representatives from CUC, COTA, IT&E, Docomo, and DPW, and has also made arrangements to talk with CPA officials.
“I just want to make sure that I cover all grounds. I’m still, in kind of getting into what’s going on within PUTC. I know down the pipeline, there will be several concerns, ideas, and issues of agencies and industries that will come up that fall under my committee,” said Sablan.
“So, I want to make sure that I’m prepared. I want to make sure that I know how to approach each situation. We’re diving in, we’re doing introductory meetings, and other things. Just getting up to speed on what was left off in the last Legislature.”
He added that as the days go by, the Senate PUTC Committee would look into all the current issues that would come up. “We will be calling committee and public hearings just to make sure we cover all grounds in taking the appropriate action and in trying to find solutions to better provide services to our people.”
“That’s where we are at right now. I’m just kind of reading through the responsibility of the position of chair. I’m excited to take on the role and hopefully we make the necessary actions to improve the services to the people. We’re moving forward and we’re ready to go to work.”
Quitugua and Sens. Francisco Q. Cruz (R-Tinian) and Jude U. Hofschneider (R-Tinian) are the other members of the PUTC committee.
Cruz will again head the Executive Appointments and Government Investigations, while Hofschneider is the Senate Fiscal Affairs committee chairman. Quitugua takes on the Education and Youth Affairs and Health and Welfare portfolios, while Sen. Francisco M. Borja (R-Tinian) the committee chairman for Resources, Economic Development, and Programs.