Lt. Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres said the recommendations suggested by the Committee on Transition are exactly what they are—just recommendations.
In an interview after serving as the main speaker in yesterday’s Society for Human Resource Management CNMI Chapter’s first meeting of the year, Torres said he would soon meet with Gov. Eloy S. Inos to discuss what parts of the transition report they will adopt.
“Those are the ones that I need to talk to with the governor. The transition report is just recommendations on how to approach the new administration. I will take that under consideration and will be addressing those per department,” he said.
Torres said one thing’s for sure: Some departments that would deal directly with the planned $7.1-billion casino project of Best Sunshine International Ltd. would definitely be augmented with more staff.
“When you say increase, there are certain departments that need to be increased like enforcement agencies for sure. Revenues generated from the investments will pay new staffing,” he said, reiterating the transition report’s recommendations that Customs, Revenue and Taxation, and other enforcement agencies would have to be beefed up.
Torres said he and Inos are looking to finalize the makeup of the new Cabinet this weekend with an eye of releasing the appointments by Monday, Feb. 2.
So far, only acting Department of Natural Resources secretary Richard Seman and acting Department of Commerce secretary Mark Rabuiliman have been appointed by the new administration.
The current Cabinet is composed of Finance Secretary Larrisa Larson, Community and Cultural Affairs Secretary Laura Ogumoro, Labor Secretary Edith Deleon Guerrero, Public Works Secretary Martin Sablan, Public Lands Secretary Pete A. Tenorio, Public Safety Commissioner James Deleon Guerrero, Corrections Commissioner Ramon Mafnas, Marianas Visitors Authority managing director Perry Tenorio, Chief Public Defender Doug Hartig, special assistant for Management and Budget Virginia Villagomez, special assistant for Homeland Security and Emergency Management Marvin Seman, Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality administrator Frank Rabauliman, special assistant for administration Esther Fleming, Carolinian Affairs Office director Jose Limes, Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority special assistant Thomas J. Camacho, Women’s Affairs Office special assistant Remy Buniag, and acting press secretary Ivan Blanco.
Inos requested his Cabinet to submit courtesy resignations immediately after his and Torres’ victory in the runoff election in December.
In yesterday’s interview, Torres said he hopes the governor will finally be able to attend this morning’s proclamation signings. He also clarified that Inos is still in charge of the day-to-day operations of the CNMI government.
“I’m not acting by any means as the governor. I’m doing the duties as the lieutenant governor does. I go to these proclamations and do these speeches and that’s my job as lieutenant governor.”
He said he talked with the governor last Wednesday and by all indications Inos in on the road to recovery from the illness that led him to be confined at the Commonwealth Health Center since last week.
A source at hospital confirmed that the governor is still confined as of early evening yesterday. The source said Inos may be discharged today.
The source added that the governor’s treatment at the hospital seems to be working as Inos is more spry and healthier than when he first checked in a week ago.