Regressive federal policy

Ten years ago, the NMI was denied local control of immigration by the U.S. Congress. The reasoning was unfair competition in apparel manufacturing between theirs and ours.

The removal of this policy has dealt the NMI economic stagnancy and uncertainty. We now mull over its disastrous implications before the end of next year.

The denial violates federal obligation under the Covenant agreement to “provide for a higher standard of living.” The net effect is the complete opposite. It compromises and dulls our ability to plan for our future wellbeing. It shows the insensitivity of policies made across the sea that completely ignores our views.

It’s situational irony where we’re expected to compete in a marathon as an amputee. The more critically we look at it the more it confirms that its intent is to paralyze whatever our plans may be to improve the quality of life of our people. The feds must come to terms with the essence of consistency in policy.

It’s an issue that must be restored for the sake of the economic future of the NMI. Otherwise, we’d be paddling our canoes across the Pacific to beg for more handouts that aren’t necessarily free for they are paid for by U.S. taxpayers.

In paralysis, we did our rain and fire dance and came up with casino as our holy grail to meeting financial needs. Common sense dictates this isn’t the answer. It’s in economic diversification! Given nearby competition, what if this single-licensed business goes Deep South or bankrupt? Does the Torres administration have a back-up plan?

It is a given that labor and immigration go together in tandem. When the latter is missing, there’s total compromise in the disposition of projects or any meaningful planning.

While this compromises nearly every aspect of self-government, have our esteemed elected elite done anything to restore the dignity of strengthening our democratic institutions? Complacency must have sunk a bit too deep in their nimble minds, thus the repeat of the refrain “que sera” well into the wee hours of the morning. Humiliating!

Deep state: Then there’s the Deep State—officials who issue policies as good as laws—people who we never elected as our representatives in Washington. The issue is now under serious scrutiny in D.C. This was prompted by the fact that there are policies that impose huge expenses against states and territories by as much as $100 million per pop. This amount requires the issue be returned to the U.S. Congress for disposition.

Here at home, a closer scrutiny reveals that “we the people” are sandwiched and neglected right in what I call institutional failure! It’s the tendency to ignore the voice of the people. It’s one of complete abandon. Remember the 80-percent salary increase in recent past?

Remember Biktot Hokog’s expropriation of the $400,000 for his family business? Why are legislators woefully mute on this issue?

Recalled two years ago I wrote of the dire need for elected officials to focus on putting strength, building strong governance.

It seems, however, that we are satisfied with our sophomoric understanding of our relationship with Uncle Sam. It certainly needs revisiting and strengthening!

Competency and nepotism
Two retired government leaders with superb academic and professional credentials recently made mention of competency and nepotism in government. They are former chief justice Jose Dela Cruz and former speaker Oscar C. Rasa.

There’s full substance and legitimacy in what they’ve raised, for they’ve kept an eye on the wellbeing of the public. Across the board, are people appointed to key positions endowed with the requisite credentials? Or isn’t it true that some family members are pushed into positions because of nepotism?

This disposition shows reckless disregard for the final recipient of incompetency and family connection: the demise of our intellectual resources. They may be out of active government service, but it pays to listen to their wise counsel to secure clarity and understanding on policy matters you may have in mind. They’re people with intellectual depth upon which the uninitiated could learn.

Is it fitting to derail opportunities to improving the quality of life of our people just so that you are rewarded a job because of your filial or political “connection” to the inner sanctum of politics? What credentials do you bring to the table?

Do you appoint a brother or sister-in-law to a position without the requisite credentials, skipping others who have far superior qualifications? This is what the former speaker is talking about in the demise of our intellectual resources. It also contributes to the loss of trust in our governmental institutions.

Ooops: It brings into focus a policy matter relating to the ongoing disoriented discussion how to run the public hospital here effectively and efficiently.

For instance, Rep. Janet Maratita wrote a lengthy, disoriented, and myopic dissertation. It skips mention of the deadly influenza sweeping across the country, killing both young and old while research for medication lags behind in complacency. And she wants a return to the old system for no other than political punditry.

Ms. Maratita should retreat from myopic spouts so she ensures that CHC is sufficiently funded to treat the fast spreading fatal illness (influenza) that has begun spreading like wildfire everywhere. Closer to home, some 2.8 million Japanese are infected with it today.

The budget for CHC has selfishly been incremented. If the flu descends quicker than its usual spread, the hospital may find itself short of beds, ventilators, vaccine and other equipment. Hospitals across the country are straining to accommodate the flood of patients. Does this ring a bell, Ms. Maratita?

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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