‘Years of disasters impeded prior SOCA’


Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres stated that years of disasters have impeded prior State of the Commonwealth Addresses from occurring.

Torres’ last SOCA was in August 2018 at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe.

Torres, in his letter Wednesday to Senate President Jude U. Hofschneider (R-Tinian) and House of Representatives Speaker Edmund S. Villagomez (Ind-Rota), said the SOCA is a critical element in ensuring that the public is aware of the actions and decisions of its government.

The governor said that last Oct. 14, he asked the attendance of both House and Senate to join him on Friday, Oct. 21, as he shares the story of the resiliency of the islands and its people during the 2022 SOCA.

He said SOCA’s goal is to provide the public an opportunity to hear from its government, the challenges they have faced, and the progress they have made as a community.

Torres said SOCA is traditionally delivered before the Legislative Branch when the Legislature formally requests for one through a joint resolution, for which a joint resolution is also traditionally initiated by the House.

He said in the last three years, the Legislature has not introduced a joint resolution nor has it formally requested his office to present the SOCA before the joint chambers.

The governor said similar to actions by a previous administration, financial reporting to the Legislature on a quarterly and on an annual basis have been submitted in the last three years without the convening of the two legislative bodies.

“I am pleased that there is interest in providing for a joint session to host this year’s address since initial invitations have been provided as this gives us the opportunity to come together for this event,” Torres said.

He said as he stated in his letter of invitation that while the Commonwealth has faced the greatest challenges in the past few years, they also recognize and welcome the unique opportunity to envision a stronger and brighter Commonwealth for the people.

The governor said in the spirit of cooperation, he is submitting the formal request for the Legislature to convene in a joint legislative session to receive SOCA.

Torres said his office has confirmed the use of Kensington Hall to deliver SOCA before the joint chambers on Oct. 31 at 10am.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com
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