Santos: What happened to AC units for Rota schools?

Posted on Oct 04 2019


A Rota senator is seeking clarification on a measure enacted last year to provide new air-conditioning units for both the Sinapalo Elementary School and the Dr. Rita Hocog Inos Jr. Sr. High School, yet not one air-conditioning unit has been installed in both schools up to now.

Sen. Teresita Santos (Ind-Rota) is seeking clarification from Education Commissioner Glenn Muña about what happened to the funding provided in Public Law 20-68.

P.L. 20-68 appropriated over $20.88 million in supplemental funding to many government agencies, one of which was for the purchase of 41 air-conditioning units and one riding mower for the RHI Jr./Sr. High School.

In her letter to Muña, Santos said, “Since the beginning of the school year, no [air-conditioning] units have been installed at either school,” adding that there was a reported oral agreement that 25 air conditioning units will be procured for the RHI Jr. Sr. High School and 16 for Sinapalo Elementary School.

“The public schools on Rota have requested from the local delegation for funds to procure the much-needed air-conditioning units. The children’s welfare and learning environment [is being] compromised because of this inadequacy,” she said.

“I have called your office on numerous occasions and left messages with your secretary to discuss this urgent matter. However, all my calls went unreturned,” she noted.

Santos seeks to clarify whether PSS had received the funds and, if so, what PSS has done, to date, to procure the air conditioning units.

“I understand that times are tough and funds are not always transferred to PSS in a timely manner, thus open collaboration is necessary to ensure that appropriated funds are used for their specific purpose. Collaborated efforts will yield better results,” she added in her letter.

In a separate interview with Saipan Tribune, Santos noted that a request for proposal for the air-conditioning units were reportedly published early this year. She noted that there were bidders who reportedly submitted proposals, but no awardees were announced.

Saipan Tribune reached out to Muña last night but he did not respond as of press time.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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