VIDEO: All Three Port Board Appointees Deny Rumors of Port Privatization

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Guam – The legislature held confirmation hearings this morning [Thursday] for 3 people who have been appointed by Governor Eddie Calvo to the Port Board. During the hearing appointee Michael Benito, Eduardo Ilao, and Daniel Tydingco were asked whether or not there was any truth to rumors that privatization is again being considered for the port.

 “Are you there to ensure that the people of Guam will always have themselves a port that it will be owned by the people of Guam that it will be in the hands of the people of Guam that it will benefit the people of Guam in it’s structure as a public asset?” asked Senator Ben Pangelinan.

 Benito, Ilao, and Tydingco all said for the record that they were opposed to privatizing the Port Authority of Guam. “Do I think that the port should be privatized no,” said Benito adding. “I don’t have any intention of moving forward on privatizing this port at all and you can say that for the record right here.” Tydingco echoed the same sentiments. “I don’t support the privatization of the Port Authority of Guam just like I wouldn’t support the privatization of Guam Waterworks because those are two assets that the people in the community rely on.,” said Tydingco adding, “Since you break out the “p” word, privatization, the only “p” word I’ve actually heard, Senator Ben, from Governor Calvo with regards to the port authority are two words, promote and protect.” Ilao responded to Senator Pangelinan’s question saying, “I would say for now at this time I am in favor of the PMC’s the performance management contracts for the port.”

 All three of the appointees believe PMC’s or performance management contracts are best for the port. PMC’s are a way of privatizing certain management functions of the port. In fact, the port already has some PMC’s in place. “I do believe in PMC’s I think they are successful models like what we had at GPA and I think that there are some roadblocks that sometimes are put in front of our employees that makes it difficult for them to do their jobs and the classic example is the port sometimes with procurement sometimes they can’t move forward sometimes they can’t buy things but hopefully with a PMC that can knock down some of those roadblocks,” said Benito.

 Senator Respicio wanted to be sure that the appointees had no intentions of any form of port privatization. “My question is do you support the sale of the Port Authority of Guam? Because you can tell us, you can tell me that you don’t support privatization that you support performance management contracts but please help me dispel some rumors that it’s on someones agenda to sell the port authority of Guam.” All three replied on record that the port is not for sale.

 All three appointees are from the private sector and all three said that it is in their best interest to ensure that port operations are as efficient as possible.