The Senate passed Friday last week a bill that seeks to change the expenditure authority, management, and control of the solid waste sub-accounts for Rota and Tinian to the mayors of these municipalities.
In a Senate session at the Rota Mayor’s Office conference room, seven senators voted “yes” to pass Senate Bill 22-04, Senate Draft 1. Sens. Paul A. Manglona (Ind-Rota) and Karl R. King-Nabors (R-Tinian) were absent but excused.
Sen. Teresita A. Santos (Ind-Rota) said Rota Mayor Efraim M. Atalig supports the bill so the delivery of public services of solid waste management can be efficiently and expeditiously provided to the Rota and Tinian communities.
Santos said Atalig also fully understands that the funds under the sub-account of the Solid Waste Revolving Funds are not subjected to any reprogramming.
Currently, the expenditure authority for these sub-accounts is the Department of Public Works chief.
Santos said the intent of the bill is to decentralize the sub-accounts and place them under the authority of the mayors of Rota and Tinian.
Atalig said he believes the ultimate recipients of any public service will be the people themselves, yet in so many instances he has had to practically beg the heads of various government agencies to release funds allocated to the Rota municipality.
According to the bill, which is authored by Senate President Jude U. Hofschneider (R-Tinian), the expenditure authority of the solid waste sub-accounts for the First and Second Senatorial Districts should be vested in the mayor of these municipalities in order to expedite the disbursement of funds, and procurement of services and equipment for each municipality.
Hofschneider said the mayors of each municipality have firsthand knowledge of the solid waste needs and requirements of their municipalities and should prioritize the sub-account funding for those purposes.
Under the bill, expenditure authority over the revolving fund is vested in the DPW secretary; provided that the expenditure authority for the sub-accounts of the First (Rota) and Second (Tinian and Aguiguan) senatorial districts shall be the mayor of each municipality.
Revolving fund monies shall be available for expenditure on solid waste-related purposes without further appropriation and without fiscal year limitations.
The sub-accounts of the First and Second senatorial districts shall not be reprogrammed for any other purpose.
The mayor of each respective municipality shall manage the funds in the sub-accounts of the First and Second senatorial districts, according to the bill.