Torres signs four bills into law

Posted on Dec 20 2019

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres signed into law four bills yesterday, as witnessed by Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, House floor leader John Paul P. Sablan (R-Saipan), and Sen. Francisco Q. Cruz (R-Tinian) at the Office of the Governor on Capital Hill.

First of these bills is Senate Bill 21-2, SD1, HD1, authored by Sen. Justo S. Quitugua (R-Saipan), and now Public Law 21-13, which names the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.’s Diabetes Care and Control Center as a program recipient of the Tobacco Control Fund.

This law corrects the text in Public Law 13-38, which states that only the “Department of Public Health” is eligible to draw from the fund. The “Department of Public Health” was later renamed to what is now known as CHCC.

In addition, the law also awards eligibility to the program activities of the Diabetes Care and Control Center to obtain funding.

The second bill signed, S.B. 21-3, SD1, HD1, authored by Sen. Sixto K. Igisomar (R-Saipan), and now P.L. 21-14, adopts the International Building Code as the CNMI’s official building code.

The new law would require the Building Safety Code Division of the Department of Public Works to adopt the IBC. At present, the CNMI is still using the 2009 version of the building code as established by the International Conference of Building Officials.

Third signed into law is S.B. 21-10, SD1, authored by Cruz, and now P.L. 21-15.

The new law mandates the Department of Public Lands to issue within 45 days the deed for homesteads that are awarded to homesteaders who have complied with the laws and regulations pertaining to homesteads.

The new law cuts the length of time homesteaders who received homestead lots without infrastructure to receive their deeds. At most, homesteaders receive their deeds after five years, three years after the date of entry and up to two years for the issuance of the deed.

Last is House Local Bill 21-33, authored by Sablan, and now Saipan Local Law 21-11, amends the Saipan Zoning Law of 2013.

Iva Maurin | Correspondent
Iva Maurin is a communications specialist with environment and community outreach experience in the Philippines and in California. She has a background in graphic arts and is the Saipan Tribune’s community and environment reporter. Contact her at
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