Rough days ahead


The budgetary shortfall of about $12 million (per the governor’s submission to the Legislature) shows a decrease in revenue generation.

The dip came from overall economic contraction that started with two storms late last year. It means a bit less for our obligations like healthcare and education, among others. Hope a return to economic normalcy would boost revenue generation to healthier level soon.

The reality of funds increasing depends on private industry expansion that isn’t moving anywhere at this point. The contraction ought to ring the alarm bell that something’s afoot—far less for far more—a temporary setback.

Acting Finance secretary David DLG Atalig recently said it is “scary as we are really low on cash” in his recent meeting with the Legislature. What’s the magnitude of his assertion: is the NMI poised to see more revenue or is it fair warning of further dip in resources? Logical that it would have to be the latter.

It’s useless rationalizing the drop in revenue by $12 million at this point. It’s not available to pay for obligations. Chances of it improving and by how much? Would it be anywhere near half of the $12 million? What does it mean if it keeps going south? It would obviate taking drastic measures like serious austerity (cut in work hours), if not, furlough—release of employees from their jobs?

At day’s end, we must accept that both are serious fiscal issues, their maintenance contingent upon sufficiency of funds from economic activities.

Loss: Meanwhile, there were storms and exit of Nippon investments in recent past that resulted in the loss of about $14 billion. It’s a humongous amount that presents the query: How do we recoup $14 billion today? Private industry expansion is at a standstill as this point.

We could rebuild from the storm, but there’s nothing we could do with the exit of Nippon investments. The heavy implications of the latter are definitely very troubling. Without this economic expansion would it gradually translate into economic hardship here like huge job losses?

How about Da Boysis employing depth of vision so they see its implications or is it above their heads? Or is it another case of negligence nestled in the usual chorus, “not yet, already?”

It pertains to “wealth and jobs creation”—your primary fiduciary duty! Are you familiar with the concept? Break it down to its lowest term so you see its essence with clarity! It’s foremost in your fiduciary duty!

Cause: Elected officials should share their assessed view on the exit of Nippon investments. Please explain to us using the KISS concept its implications on “wealth and jobs creation” here. Let us know the magnitude of its adverse effects on the quality of life here. Isn’t the economy about “quality of life?”

Most of our friends have hopped on airplanes heading home! Is there room to reset relations? Sadly, it’s sayonara!

With ripped sails and questionable seaworthiness of our canoe, what then is our alternative? Is there a realistic substitute beyond lack of depth of vision and simple apprehension to see what’s coming down the pike from recent contractions? Does it matter that austerity and furlough are close behind?

It pays to seriously review the implications of the Nippon investment exit. Is there anybody else after wealthy Nippon investors? It still is the economy, sonny! It pertains to quality of life of people you represent! That isn’t hard to understand, is it?

The magnitude of the exit of Nippon investment would eventually show its negative effects here shortly, if not already. Its implications are dire. It would impose hardship among families here when economic opportunities consistently contract. The elected elite ought to ponder (if they have initial apprehension) the economic implications of investments exiting! It’s the loss of wealth and jobs creation! Is the concept familiar or “not yet, already?”

At Issue: Exhausting guarding events as they unfold in these isles. Perplexing the attitude of indifference or despondence as if it’s okay to ignore or neglect the economy heading south. It’s about the quality of life of people you represent. Do you have difficulty putting this into perspective?

The elected elite must converge to trump its card on this issue. It’s despicably irresponsible to treat it like tidal shift that comes and goes without notice. The impending familial hardship is serious as the wealthiest Nippon investors politely bow their last sayonara heading home! What economic scaffold is there to rely upon beyond feel-good ignorance?

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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