To critics of his administration, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres wants solutions to issues hounding the CNMI.
At the news briefing Tuesday, when asked about his opinion on the seemingly endless dispute, especially on social media, between some members of the administration and some members of the Legislature, Torres said his door is open to anyone who wants to move forward for the betterment of the CNMI.
“At the end of the day, we do need to work together and address our issues,” he added.
The governor urged his critics to come up with solutions, in particular focusing on bringing tourism back up and funding for the CNMI’s retirees.
“With tourism, you criticize certain things, what’s your solution? Who do you have here marketing the new Marianas? …When something is good, you criticize it. Let’s look into it. What’s this? What’s that? Well, what’s your solution?” he said. “How do you bring in tourists? How do you bring in your Korean market? How do you increase our Japanese market? How do you bring in other markets? What is your plan for the Northern Islands? Who do you have marketing the whole Marianas?”
“The casino came in, we get criticized. We did it for the retirees, what’s your solution? We can sit here and put a Democrat and Republican, and just criticize. What solution do you bring to the table? …Well, let’s have great ideas. Let’s collaborate. Let’s have a good solution,” he added.
Last April, retirees’ pensions were cut to just 75% due to funding restrictions. The full amounts were restored the following month in May. Adding to the budget concerns is COVID-19 hitting the CNMI’s only industry, tourism.
With no tourists in the CNMI, every government department is right now going through challenges, according to the governor. “Good thing that we have our federal funds coming in to assist us and alleviate our shortfall. The administration and all the departments will continue to work as hard as we can to provide public safety, public health, and continuing education,” he said.
The governor also asked for lawmakers to “bring in solutions” such as coming up with new revenue-generating bills, where everyone “can work together.”