Saying the creation of the Commonwealth Economic Development Authority is needed to entice economic development, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said Friday he is thankful to the House of Representatives for passing the bill that will create CEDA.
Speaking at his regular radio news briefing, Torres thanked the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers actually advised the creation of CEDA to benefit the entire CNMI. “It’s definitely not for one entity. It’s not for two entities or any specific company. It’s for the entire Marianas. And so…the next step is to ask the Senate to also push that bill and let’s create the new CEDA,” he said.
The House unanimously passed House Bill 22-21 last Thursday. It was authored by Rep. Angel A. Demapan (R-Saipan).
Torres said he issued an executive order last year to split the governing boards of the Commonwealth Development Authority and the Northern Marianas Housing Corp., also at the advice of the GCEA. Torres said creation of CEDA is also at the GCEA’s advice.
“Hopefully we can really entice economic development [with CEDA’s creation]” he said.
The governor said the GCEA has a lot more recommendations in the pipeline. “I hope the Legislature really embraces those changes and support because we put so much time, effort, and resources to meet weekly basis in the last eight to nine months. …We went to the House and we did a presentation and we went to the Senate and also did the presentation about these changes,” he said.
Torres said it’s not just the CEDA that they’re trying to push. The governor said all the efforts of the GCEA can be seen with the transformation of tourist sites.
“We have a long goal. We have a goal to make the CNMI a world-class destination. It’s not going to be a two-year program. it’s not going to be a three-year, it’s going to be at least 10 years to get to where we at,” Torres said, adding that he has taken a lot of the GCEA’s recommendations to heart.