Tinian mayor scores DPL process as not friendly to investors

TINIAN—Tinian Mayor Edwin Aldan laments what he said is the slow process of the Department of Public Lands, which he described as “not being very investor friendly.”

In a recent interview, Aldan said that during the confirmation hearing on Tinian for Marianne Concepcion-Teregeyo as DPL secretary, he told her that they need to sit down and talk about the issue on DPL’s slow process.

Aldan said he still supported Teregeyo’s nomination confirmation, but told her that they need to return to the table and deal with this issue.

The mayor said no investor will go to Tinian and give DPL $60 million, but every time there is a project, that investor has to “beg DPL to pay for that project.”

“That’s wrong. Any investor cannot be put in that situation,” he said.

Aldan said at present, the only large investors on Tinian are Bridge Investment Group and the Alter City Group.

He said the Macau City-based Alter City Group, which is supposed to build a five-star casino, is coming over to Tinian to sit down with them.

Aldan said they need to be upfront with Alter City Group.

“We don’t want to…continue to dance to the same music. …We’ve got to change the music because we are not moving anyway,” he said.

The mayor said Alter City Group should make their financial situation known. “We need to know, where are you at? Where we’re going to? What do you need?” Aldan said.

Alter City Group and DPL signed a 152-hectare Tinian land lease agreement in September 2014 for a $300-million casino resort they expect to complete within 12 years.

In June 2016, it was reported that Alter City Group is aiming to open a college on Tinian aside from the $1.2-billion hotel and golf resort project.

In August 2018, it was reported that Alter City Group’s application for a Regional Center Designation under the Immigrant Investor Program has been approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Such approval gives way for a business project to raise capital.

With respect to Bridge Investment Group, the company plans to build two hotels on Tinian. It is also working to revive the Saipan-Tinian ferry service.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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