Rota mayor wants private company to take over Pinatang Park


The swimming pool at the Pinatang Park in Songsong Village was once a popular swimming place for residents and visitors of Rota. The Rota administration wants a big company to take over operation of the park, which is now dilapidated due to typhoons and lack of maintenance. (Ferdie De La Torre)

ROTA—Rota Mayor Efraim M. Atalig wants a private company to take over the operation of the abandoned Pinatang Park, a seawater park with several channels out to the open sea.

In an interview on Friday, Atalig disclosed that he met on Thursday with Saipan people led by Jacob Muña who are handling the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant, in which they discussed Pinatang Park.

“We are discussing to at least guide me on how to put out a request for proposal to these investors that are interested in doing something about it so that we can turn it over to a private industry rather than a government like us to maintain it,” Atalig said.

The mayor pointed out that maintenance for Pinatang Park is very costly.

Atalig believes that if a big company takes over the operation of the seawater park, it will benefit the community of Rota and the municipality.

He said typhoons have a lot to do with the damage to the park and partly because there is not enough emphasis on upkeep or maintenance.

The mayor underscored the importance of restoring the seawater park as “it is so beautiful.”

“When the tides and waves are high, it’s a very good place to swim…because the wave is controlled from those rocks outside,” he said. “The water just slips into the swimming pool and it cleanses it out and then if there is no wave, the water becomes stagnant.”

In a separate interview on Friday, Rota Municipal Council chair George Ogo Hocog agreed that the administration’s plan is to look for investors or put out a request for proposals for those who want to invest in it.

Hocog said a lot of typhoons have damaged the park. The park is a little bit nice now, but the problem is that the building is already dilapidated, he said.

Hocog said the Department of Public Workers already condemned the pavilion because it’s falling apart.

In November 1996, the Northern Marianas Housing Corp. sought request for proposals for rehabilitation of Pinatang Park using a Community Development Block Grant but it was never completed then due to insufficient local funds.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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