‘The Day After Tomorrow?’


It seems a given that being situated in the typhoon belt since time begun that a contingency plan would be in place in the event we’re hit with a superstorm. Most importantly, a Standard Operating Procedure would be in place to ensure we get to displaced victims on a timely basis.

But this so-called SOP doesn’t exist. Employees from the social and health sectors aren’t necessarily ready for major disasters. Their lack of competence isn’t their fault. Blame city hall for piling up drone employees who collect high paying loot as political hires!

Moreover, whatever happened to the proclamation on Disaster Preparedness signed by a former impeached and convicted governor in September of 2010? What about the interagency emergency team that was never deployed? Is conundrum the new culture the more than 3,000 public sector employees who collect highly paid loot as do-nothing apostles of useless bosses?

We were running around like some headless chicken trying to define with a warped sense of command and control what orders go out first. So-called “official information” have been retardant, some of which were wrong. There’s gas rationing as though there’s factually fuel shortage and water rationing of 100 gallons per family. Ludicrous! Did the administration issue 100-gallon containers to families throughout the villages? Diberas na che`chu` miron.

There’s also the lighter side to the prevailing disaster: A KKNP announcer urged everyone to be “patient, clean around the yard and fill up your buckets.” Patience has expired, but fill up my buckets when there’s no water in village pipes? Some komun sense is in order!

Then some unthinking politician was looking around for former CUC CEO Alan Fletcher to blame for the lack of water and power. Wrong! It was a natural disaster envenomed by a calamity whose genesis is the sole preserve of evil geniuses on imperial Capital Hill! I can’t fathom the instant alienation of the folks in the villages.

Imagine the deficient and apathetic attitude of the elected elite if and when a major earthquake hits the CNMI. Storms could be tracked but there’s no technology yet to monitor earthquakes. When the Philippine and Pacific plates meet, therein we would see how of Earth’s crust hits beyond what the Richter scale could record. We’d be headless chickens once more, halo?

Anybody home? Frustrated and helpless, we brave insanity by juggling the family budget looking for more pennies, nickels and dimes, hoping for different results. None!

Finding hope is hard under persistent depressed economic conditions. We wake up to another break of dawn hoping for miracles rising out of the eastern skies of paradise. None!

In the aftermath of Typhoon Soudelor you wonder how agile is the administration helping folks rebuild their lives with common decency. I know the Red Cross was out immediately on the streets helping. Anybody else? Ooops! No photo-ops since this isn’t a trash collection excursion.

What about the 29 legislators? Is its silence and inaction one of political alignment in servility to avoid fulfilling their fiduciary duty? Why the seeming contentment with apathy and spinelessness? Any constructive spout from the presiding officers of the legislature or is its deafening silence an inexplicable mixture of incompetence and callousness?

Either the evil geniuses on imperial Capital Hill are ignorant, sporting nervous tummy laughs (now turned into an art) or have turned purposeful “negligence” a part of their daily routine. Wow! Admirable though legislators who brave talking of issues to impress us, with less than educated view of the fiscal crisis at home. Are you wary if our canoe is sinking or are its sails ripped and shredded already? What’s your take?

Folks everywhere quietly though persistently ask, “Where’s our stinking raise?” Realistically, there’s nothing up that alley. Thus far they have endured more than a decade of stagnant wages and salaries.

Yet, each must endure huge increases in health insurance, health deductibles, and basic commodities, among others. Unfortunately, empty promises are now in full bloom! It’s the obvious plunder in the livelihood of ordinary citizens in recent past.

My assessment may be a bit pessimistic but it’s the reality here. Interestingly, south of the NMI Guam’s visitor industry is expanding by leaps and bounds. It has completed over $70 million airport runway improvement to accommodate expanding transit passengers and the anticipated robust cargo business this year. Ours? It shrinks even further by year’s end. Are we even wary of these impending events before they unfold?

Induction: The NMI has gone through a lot this year. It shifted gear in white-collar-crime like corruption, conviction, ah, yes, commutation! We should add the term “induction” for those in the wings that took freebies on trips to Hong Kong and Macau last year to escort the casino legislation.

Trashy Pix: Legislators aren’t ready for their usual excursion picking up trash islandwide. They’re complaining there’s just too much trash! Someone asked why the refusal. The lame excuse is: “because they don’t picture us `nai?” Seesuzzzz!

Tradition: Magoo perked coffee on traditional wooden stove, including rice and sautéed corned beef cooked with lush green onions and bell pepper. If anything, traditional the native stove may be, it still has use in modern day NMI. It may be hard firing it up with damp wood after the storm, but once it lights up cooking is easy.

Maybe, and just maybe, some evil genius would submit to humility to listen to the voice of tradition. I would revisit it and challenge the big boys to make a difference. These issues have begun on Guam and are highly successful. A little use of the cranium and we could replicate what has been a part of us since time immemorial.

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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